Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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Peachtree Road Race

This year was my third time running the Peachtree Road Race, the largest 10K in the world. Yes, the world. It takes place on July 4th every year in Atlanta. Although running is something I do regularly, training in the summer is difficult, especially this year. Between traveling, moving to a new condo, moving offices, and more traveling, running just hasn’t been at the top of the priority list. But to register for the Peachtree you have to enter the lottery in February/March. In the spring I’m thinking “running! yeah! all the races!” and also that I would surely know someone to run with. Well, I got a number, but couldn’t find anyone to run with in my start wave (I somehow didn’t have any great race times to submit from 2014 and they will NOT let you move up). The weather was not looking good on race day, but let’s be real, I wanted the shirt. And for this race you get your shirt at the end of the race.

Long story short, I got up and made it to the start line. Waited around for my wave to start (not a ton of fun by yourself). And as soon as my group got to the start line, the rain started. And it rained. And rained. And rained. The good news was that it made me run the entire race – having not really trained other than a few 3-4 mile runs – in my best time for this race!

This is a really fun race, rain or no rain, friends or no friends. I highly recommend it – even if you’re not a runner, don’t you want to say you completed the largest 10K in the world?! Plenty of people walk it. Or if you do want to run, just hit me up and I’ll likely be running!


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New State, New Race

Two big items crossed off my 30 before 30 list this past weekend! I traveled up to Ohio (#13 – a new state) to visit friends and run the Capital City Half Marathon (#2 – a new half marathon)!

I was very pleasantly surprised by Columbus, OH – it was homey and cozy and fun! I don’t know exactly what I expected, but it was a great city. All of the food we had was great and we visited the conservatory (which was free for me thanks to my local garden membership). The tulips were in full bloom and beautiful. We drove around campus and some different little neighborhoods, and between that and the race I pretty much saw all of Columbus!

As much as I was impressed with the city, I was blown away by the Capital City Half Marathon. It was the best race I have ever done. Not only was it my personal best – crushing my old best time by 9 minutes – but it was SO well organized. There was great music and audio at the start line, the course was beautiful (and mostly flat – thanks Columbus), and most importantly, the finish line was ideal. If you’ve never won a race, the finish line/area is super important, especially for a longer race like a half or full marathon. You don’t want to run for hours then come to a stop in a pack of people. This race was the best finish I’ve ever seen – medics on hand as soon as you crossed the finish (that I luckily did not need), medals being handed out on both sides, water available right away, fences to keep the spectators out of the way, food shortly after the water, and they kept people moving to not block up everything (which is usually the major issue). If you are trying to find a race, I highly recommend this one.

 


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Record Breaking New Year

I think I started off 2015 pretty well. Not only did some friends and I run a 5K on January 1st, but I started the year completing an event for my 30 before 30 list! The First Day 5K was at Red Brick Brewery (so obviously the brewery was the after race fun) and started at 1pm, so we didn’t even have to set an alarm on new years day!

It was a smaller race – and that made it fun! The route was pretty hilly (as can be expected in Atlanta) but I ran pretty well. So well, in fact, that I placed first in my age group, 10th place overall for the women, and improved my personal 5K record to 25:57 (8:22 pace)!!

It was a great and fun way to start the year. Happy 2015!!

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Hot Chocolate

Typically, you wouldn’t think running and chocolate would go together – but the geniuses at RAM Racing thought they should, and it couldn’t have been a better idea.  It’s a 15K and 5K.  Last year, I did the 15K with a group and it immediately became my favorite race. Now last year, it was about 60 degrees (don’t forget, this is a January race) and this year it was about 40 degrees at start time.  Luckily, that was a heat wave here compared to the past few weeks. I did the 5K this year and, despite the pain in my cold fingers, it was just as much fun. Totally worth getting up at 5am and running 3 miles to get a plastic mug full of hot chocolate and chocolate fondue with marshmallow, banana, wafers, pretzels, and a rice krispie treat for dippin. Oh and you get a really awesome performance hoodie. AND part of the proceeds from the race help support the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House, where I’ve been volunteering for a little over a month now!

Sweet swag + running + chocolate = win.

Oh – and count it! I’m making some good progress on the 30 Before 30 list!

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My First Tri

My friend and I decided we wanted to do something awesome this year. So what crazy idea did we come up with?? A sprint triathlon. Yes, crazy. I have not ridden a bike since…hm….maybe middle school? I have not swam an actual swimming stroke since 5th grade.  So obviously this was a great idea.

I started training in March for an early June race.  Prior to that, of course, I had to stock up on a few small items to prepare – you know, a bike…a swim cap…goggles (and that was just the start).  The first day I jump into the swimming pool I almost quit right then and there, convinced that I would easily drown in seconds in a lake.  After a few swims, though, I actually began to enjoy it – it was a nice change from my normal monotonous running.

Riding a bike is not just like riding a bike. It was kind of scary at first, actually.  It was hard work to learn gears, balancing, taking a drink – and I didn’t have clip-in pedals! But I eventually got the hang out it and, again, enjoyed my rides.  I did discover that training rides are ten times more fun when you do them with someone.  And that training at Stone Mountain is always a good idea (so. many. hills).

Race day was exciting – not quite the hype of a half marathon due to the numbers but it was perfect weather. The water was a lovely 70 degrees (or so I heard). There was a slight cloud cover blocking the intense sun.  Overall, it was a fun event. I did not really enjoy the swimming – open water with 36 other people is kind of difficult. I enjoyed the bike and the run but was very happy to cross the finish line and be done.  I didn’t absolutely love doing all three events together – but I could totally see myself (and plan to) still swimming for exercise (in a pool. not a lake.) and doing some bike races. And of course keep running – my favorite.

Unfortunately my time chip didn’t work, so I don’t have official results, but thanks to our wonderful fans, they estimated my total time at about 1 hour 30 minutes, putting me in about 9th place out of 37! Not too shabby!

Next challenge?! Any suggestions?!


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10K Slump

I’ve enjoyed many 5Ks. I’ve even enjoyed a couple half marathons (plus one that was not so enjoyable). But for some reason, every 10K I run is a struggle.

Today I ran the Atlanta Beltline 10K. If you are not familiar with the Beltline, it is the best thing to happen to Atlanta in a long time. It is a paved trail along the old railway line that will eventually circle the whole city inside the perimeter. Perfect for running, walking, biking, dog-walking, and just getting to another part of town without driving.  It is not completed yet, but parts are open and it’s a hit already!

And it is flat (well, the Beltline itself it is, but since it’s not complete the part through Piedmont Park was a little hilly). So you would think the race would be ok, right? I can give many excuses as to why I had to walk so much (granted, I still finished with about a 10 minute pace), but I think my biggest mistake is that I think it’s JUST a 10K. It may be just a 10K, but that’s still 6.2 miles!! No small feat! I obviously kind of trained but I guess not as well as I could have. I think the other main problem is that I run in winter 10Ks that turn out to be 70 degree days ha.

Anyway, it was a gorgeous day and a fun run despite having to walk some. Definitely continue to be excited about the Beltline and will definitely consider it’s location when I am able to move!!

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#8. Peachtree Road Race

I lived outside of Atlanta for 19 years but always hated running. Therefore was obviously never interested in running the Peachtree Road Race. It’s held every year on July 4th – a 10K – complete with heart attack hill. So even though I’ve done numerous races since I’ve actually enjoyed running, I had to put this specific race on my 101 list.

I stayed with Tess the night before since she’s the Peachtree pro. We took MARTA to Peachtree Road and got in the masses. Oh, did I mention this is the largest 10K in the country? Although they were a annoyingly bossy about the corals (I had to go in the last coral since it was my first time running), it was a great time. Tess and I walked most of it and jogged sporadically. It was actually cooler than it had been – only 95 degrees ;). I’ll run one more year so I can run the whole thing, but probably not something that I will make a tradition.

Finish Line!