Thursday, September 5, 2013

Big Peach Sizzler 10k Race Recap

Big Peach Sizzler 10k, September 2, 2013 (Labor Day every year)
Field: ~1500
Spectators: Few, but it poured the entire race. Not a bad crowd at the finish.
Start: In Chamblee a block from the MARTA station.  Plenty of parking/ways to get to the start.
Course: Point to point with shuttles back to the start
Schwag: Dri-fit shirt, Lots of coupons and tons of vendors at the finish even in the rain!

I have  known about this race for years and that it is a fast course, but it had never really crossed my radar because I don't run many 10ks.  This year while we were at the Peachtree Road Race Expo, the Jayhawk decided to sign up and after watching him fill out the form, I decided to join him.  Originally, I had been looking at some other longer races to do Labor Day weekend, but I figured, what the heck.  It's only $22.

Race day arrived without much planning or specific training by me. I ended up with a very busy running weekend (15 miles on Saturday, 6 hours of Volunteering at an Ultra on Sunday, and then the race on Monday), so by race day I was hoping I still had the energy to run. On the drive over, we noticed a few sprinkles, but didn't think too much of it because the sun was rising and it rains all the time this summer.
Rocking my new Nike skirt at the start. All smiles and still dry.
By the time we parked the sprinkles were done so we commenced the usual pre-race fun of port-a-john lines, shoe tying, and scoping out the other runners who were warming up.  I am an avid non-warmer-upper.  I don't like to waste precious calories.  Instead I usually stand around pre-race yawning and and looking grumpy.  The Jayhawk on the other hand was striding it out so he could warm up his bum hammy and get a good stretch before the race (this was his longest run since the horrific accident).  We made the mistake of shuffling over to the start and NOT jockeying for good position, so I ended up crawling over people for the first few miles.  Completely my own fault.
Lots of people wearing the race shirt to the race.
Lesson#1 of the day: Line up in the right spot. You know better.
Once the crowds cleared though, it was smooth sailing.  Somewhere during mile 2 the rain started to sprinkle, then really rain, then kind of side smack me in the face.  Of course the one day all summer I think it's a good idea to run without my visor, it rains like the Dickens.  The one HUGE benefit was that it was a cool rain, making the race temps actually quite lovely.  Sizzle we didn't!
Notice the ominous clouds in the background and my lack of visor.
Lesson#2 of the day: Stop making changes on race day. You know better.
Once I hit my stride around mile two, I kept the pace at a comfortable push not knowing how my legs would feel coming off a tough 15 miler two days earlier.  My legs ended up feeling pretty strong so I decided to keep the tempo up unless anything started to hurt.  The course was gently rolling (which is actually rather flat by ATL standards) and it really suited my running style.  I like to push going up hill and then translate that to a little extra speed on the way down. I did take fuel at mile 4 thinking I was near a water stop when I was still really a mile away. Oops. I ran solid for most of the race.  At mile 5, my soggy sneakers began to bother me, but it was almost the end, so I kept on.
All smiles and soggy sneakers at the finish.
I finished in 51:27 which I was happy with and thought was a minute or so off my PR.  I don't race 10ks much, so I honestly had to look it up when I got home because the Jayhawk was curious.  Turns out I was 9 seconds away from my PR.  9 seconds.  I easily could have made that up.
It's even brighter in person.  I swear.
Lesson #3 of the day: Know your PRs. It makes it easier to break them.  Now you know better.

Even though I made a bunch of rookie mistakes, I still really liked this race.  I can see why it is so popular and that it's a good course for PRs (assuming you know what your current PR is).  I'll be back.

What lessons have you learned from racing?


  1. Like the bright shirt! I don't race 10Ks much. There is one maybe next weekend I like but I think two tris and a half marathon this month is enough.

    1. I like it too! I don't have to worry about cars seeing me so much. Sounds like you have a busy month!

  2. I always enjoy the shorter distance races like 5k/10k. Mostly because they are local and cheaper. Race logistics and entry fees can really add up over time.

    What I have learned to be really beneficial on race day is to research the course ahead of time. Also checking the weather always seems to be helpful as well. lol.

    1. I think I like the longer races because I feel like I am getting more race for your buck. If you looking around, you can find some that are not too bad on the wallet.

      Yes, those are good lessons as well! You would think after all these years of racing I would know better! :P

  3. I've only raced one 10k before. I liked it but I really had no strategy. Just go! was my mindset. And don't even get me started on races in the rain. UGH!

    1. The mindset is really different and I think that is what I need to get use to!

  4. I've done three 10K's. They're kind of tough - you can't relax for a minute (!) and they're twice as long as a 5K! Congrats on your time!

    1. Thanks so much! I might try them more often now!

  5. Awesome job! Laughing at your lessons... so true! Position can make a huge difference, and 9 seconds! You'll beat it next time!

    1. It's silly how I know better but still make these mistakes! At least it was still lots of fun! :)


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