Sunday, February 10, 2013

Back2Back- Week 6 (February 3 - February 9, 2013)

MARDI GRAS 5K (Marietta, GA) - FEBRUARY 9, 2013

Last year I took part in my first Mardi Gras 5K in Marietta.  The race is hosted by Junior League of Cobb-Marietta and proceeds go towards their projects in the community.  The race last year really stuck out in my mind because it started to snow!  That is right, part way through the course we were welcomed by snow.  I love running races in downtown Marietta because The Square is so beautiful and the neighborhoods surrounding The Square are wonderful.  

Mom once again joined me for a 5K - I think I have her hooked!  For the first time in a while, my dad even joined in on the 5K fun! 

The parking and check-in situation were wonderful (we were there very early).  I am not too fond of races that give you your swag before the race since it is hard for those parking far away, using public transportation, etc.  

Once again it was cold!  I know it is February and cold is to be expected, but I feel like Georgia has only been getting these beautiful 60 degree days during the week.  Racing every Saturday when it is below 40 makes me really start to look forward to Disney more and more (if that is possible).

It seems to be a trend that races aren't clearly marking the start line.  Of the past 6 races I have done this year, only 2 have had a clear start line.  Despite confusion as to where to line up, the race started on time.  

My one gripe about the actual race beyond the start line confusion was the number of people with strollers and dogs at the front of the pack.  When 800 runners are bottlenecked to begin with, dogs on long leads and non-jogging strollers cause a lot more bottlenecks/tripping hazards.  Most races ask that runners with dogs or strollers line up towards the back for safety reasons.  Nothing was ever mentioned during pre-race announcements about this.

The doctor said I could run - NOT RACE.  There is a huge difference between the two.  I had to keep telling myself that - you can run, not race.  I went into the race knowing I had to slow my pace.  I am going to admit, I did hurt during the race but I finished (slow).  

Post-race was nice.  They had banana bread pudding as well as typical bananas, Cliff Bars, etc.  There was also a vendor set up with gluten-free muffins.  A lot of runners express interest in gluten-free options, so it was nice to see that.

Race Pros:
Beautiful course
Good mid-sized race (about 800)
On-time start
Post race food options

Race Cons:
Not a clear start line
Swag handed out pre-race

Overal Race Rating: A

Okay, so when the doctor said it was ok to run - I don't think he meant to go run back to backs...

After completing the Mardi Gras 5K, we drove up to Kennesaw for a quick bite to eat before heading to KSU.  Owls Making Strides 5K was celebrating their 5th running this year.  The race is part of the Play4Kay event with the women's basketball team.  Play4Kay honors the coach from NC State that fought a hard battle with breast cancer a few years ago.  A lot of women's basketball teams host Play4Kay events - Georgia Tech hosted their event Sunday which I attended of course.  Dad sat out this one, so it was just mom and I doing the back to back races.

I did this race last year as well.  I like the course because since it is my college (twice over), I can reflect on my experiences and memories of campus and how my time at KSU made me the person I am today.  It is also nice to see how campus has changed since I graduated in 2006 then again in 2011.

Just like the Mardi Gras 5K, swag was given at check in which meant we had to go back to the car before the race.  Fortunately, I am always early to races, so I had time to go back.  Once again, the start line was not clearly marked.  The most annoying part of the race was the race director speaking directions about the course into a bullhorn that was pointing away from the crowd so no one could hear him.  

The course was alright - same as last year except in the opposite direction so all of uphill segments were now downhills.  Since the course is not a certified 5K, it actually measured longer than 3.1 miles.  It was a 3 loop course with each loop measuring 1.1 miles, so we ran about 3.3 miles total.  

At this point, my foot was quite angry at me.  As much as I thought about quitting or just walking, I couldn't.  This race raises awareness for breast cancer which is a very important cause to me.  I thought about everything that a breast cancer (or any cancer at that) patient goes through and that made my foot pain seem so minute.  Keeping those that have battled or are currently battling cancer, I kept running.  I DID IT!  Slowly again, but I did it!

After getting about 6.5 miles done today, I feel confident that despite my injury I can get Princess done in 2 weeks.  It is the most magical place on earth, so how can I not make it to the finish at Disney!?!  

After the race we were given tickets to the KSU women's basketball game vs. Jacksonville.  Inside the game was a buffet lunch hosted by Copeland's.  We ended up staying until half-time because at that point we were beat since we woke up at 5:15 for the first race.  

Race Pros:
On-time start
Post race buffet (not typical race food)
Post race entertainment

Race Cons:
Not a clear start line
Swag handed out pre-race
3 loop course

Overal Race Rating: B

Question of the Week:
Breast cancer awareness is something important to me as my grandmother (survivor) and Aunt Carol both battled this terrible disease.  What causes do you enjoy running for?

Time to Run,

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