Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 235th Birthday, America!

This weekend was one that I’ll remember for a very long time and I hope I can recreate the memories I made each 4th of July weekend.  That’s not to say that the past two 4th of July weekends haven’t been amazing – 2 years ago I was in Gainesville to watch one of my best friends walk down the aisle and say I Do and last year I was in NYC with a great group of friends and my sister.  Both weekends gave me memories for a lifetime.

This year I stayed in Atlanta and my Dad came to visit.  The trip was supposed to be for my dad and Patti, but there was a situation back in Orlando and Patti had to stay home.  I was really looking forward to the weekend with both of them; I hope Patti can make it back up with my dad soon.  I had the weekend planned out with activities that both of them would enjoy and had to revise a few things to make them good for just my dad.  I still have the other outings saved in the back of my mind, though, no worries. 

Friday as soon as my dad got into town we headed to Turner Field for another big tailgate and then Braves game, complete with a win and fireworks!  It was great for my dad to meet a bunch of my friends and Stephen. 

Saturday we went for a walk to Piedmont Park so my dad could get the lay of the land for the race and then we met up with Stephen and his mom to head over to Sweetwater Brewing Co for their brewery tour and happy hour.  That evening was dinner at Rathbun Steak. 

Sunday, Dad and I headed off to Mass in the morning then to brunch.  In the afternoon we took my new gun to the range so I could try it out and make sure I liked it.  I’ve never been scared of guns.  My entire life my dad has had a gun around and he taught me to respect them.  For a while now I’ve wanted to have a gun in the house.  I’m a single woman living in a very large city with a diverse group of people all around me.  I haven’t felt scared in my apartment, but if I do, I want to know I have a gun with me. 

The gun is GREAT!  I am absolutely comfortable loading it and shooting it and I could actually control the gun and aim well with it.  Much different than the automatics I’ve shot before.  I’ll go to the range more often with Stephen so I get even better at shooting, but now I know that if someone comes into my house with bad intentions, I’ll have the upper hand. 

The invited and sponsored runners at the start of the race

That's what the start of 60k runners looks like.  All the people watching are also runners headed to line up at the start.

Monday morning was the Peachtree Road Race, the 10k that I’ve been training for the past few months.  I got up early, made my way to Buckhead and was there in time to watch the Invited and Sponsored runners at the start of the race.  They were so fast!  The entire experience was fantastic.  There were 60k runners participating this year.  Each runner is placed in a Wave based on his or her speed.  I was in wave W because I’ve never run a race before so there is no way to judge me against others.  That means I was in the back of the 60k people, there were only 2 waves behind me.  Every group of runners is lined up around the Lenox mall and it’s all pretty organized at how everyone makes it to the starting line.

Wave W as we turned onto Peachtree headed to the start... the giant American Flag in the distance

The run wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I’d run 5 miles before with Stephen so I knew what to expect.  There was no way I was going to walk any part of the last mile of the race, no matter how tired I was.  The hills were rough, but what I expected based on my training and what I’d heard from other people.  The last mile I thought was all downhill.  I was wrong.  There were little, one block long hills.  They killed me.  But I didn’t stop. 

Almost to the end - running down 10th

I finished the race in 1:16:40.  I ranked 30,749th overall and 12,259th for women.  Basically, I’m right smack in the middle.  But now I know I can do it.  I know I can finish.  Now I’m searching for a 5k to run to keep bringing my times down so next year if I run the Peachtree again (and I hope I do) I won’t be back in wave W and starting as the sun starts to heat everyone up!  The best part of the race – running as hard as I could down 10th Street and seeing my dad and Stephen cheering me on.  My dad hasn’t missed a major sporting event in my entire life.  It was very special to have him there.  Next year, I hope Stephen will be running with me.

The rest of the day was spend with Stephen as my dad had to head home.  We went to Cypress St Pint and Plate for Brunch and a few drinks.  Then we headed back to my place with a few friends to hang out and grill.  The weather didn’t participate and we didn’t get to grill, but we still got our hotdogs!  Fireworks were on the TV this year.  I’m not complaining – I’m exhausted. 

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