Although my summer schedule is really low key, I’m trying to keep up getting in some quality workouts for the Peachtree Road Race.
Peachtree is kind of a humbling race because, at least in my experience, it’s very difficult to get a good time due to the crowds. I ran it last year back to back with another 10k, and my time for Peachtree was about 13 minutes slower. That said, it’s a really fun, high energy race. 60,000 runners and 120,000+ spectators. The streets are completely lined with people the entire course. There are traditions along the course like Dean Sam Candler from The Cathedral of St. Philip throwing holy water on the runners as well as “Cardiac Hill,” aptly named because Piedmont Hospital sits at the top of the largest hill (i.e. have a heart attack going up and then the hospital is conveniently right there).
The most challenging aspects of the course are the crowds and the weather. The road is absolutely packed, and I’ve been elbowed quite a few times (although the highest corral I’ve ever started in, A-Y, was F). Trying to weave isn’t a great idea; the Peachtree is a lot of people’s first time race (being such an iconic event in Atlanta) and so you’d basically be weaving the entire course (side note: Peachtree 2009 was actually my first race!). And as for the weather… well, it’s Atlanta on July 4. I’m sure you can imagine.
The best way to approach Peachtree is just to have fun, and if you get a good time, icing on the cake.
That said, I hope to be starting in corral A this time around. I used the Runner’s World Half from last October as my qualifying time (the qualifying time for a half was 1:45:47; I ran 1:44:00) so I should be in there unless something goes wrong. If corral A isn’t as congested as the later corrals, I may try for a PR. My current PR stands 45:54 from last summer, although I’m pretty certain that course was short by at least .2 miles.
I used the Runner’s World Smart Coach App to make a training schedule of sorts. It has me doing one long run and one speed workout a week, with two days of rest and around 30-35 miles per week. That’s a nice low key training cycle in my books.
So far I’ve followed it pretty much to a T, notably…
- 13 miles on May 15 @ 8:59
- 13.14 miles on May 22 @ 8:55
- 5 mile tempo @ 7:40
- 23 miles of biking as cross training last week and Jillian Michaels “Hard Body” DVD today
And that’s about it for right now Here’s some pictures to accent this otherwise dull post:
After my first Peachtree (2009) with my sister, mom, and brother-in-law. I was 15.
Another Peachtree 2009 with my sister. I wish I’d bought that photo!
I’ve run Peachtree 3 times total – 2009, 2011, 2012 (I was away at a summer program in 2010). I have one picture from 2011 but it’s kind of horrendous so I’ll spare you having to look at it and spare myself the embarrassment