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JoJo’s Column: The ING!

March 23, 2010

JoJo is a GOTR Atlanta SoleMate who has agreed to share her experiences training for the ING Georgia Half-Marathon on the Why We Run blog.  You can read JoJo’s previous posts here and learn a little more about her from her GOTR SoleMate Spotlight feature. Congrats JoJo for successful completion of the ING Georgia Half on Sunday!

March 21, 2010

More than 18,000 runners from around the world participated in the 4th annual ING Georgia Marathon weekend.
I was one of those people!

The race stated at 7:00am. We only got about three hours of sleep – you could say we were anxious.  Our day started at 3:30am, as we planned to take MARTA into the city.  What a mistake that was; we will drive next time.  At any rate, we made it to Centennial Park in good timing. It was exciting to look out at the sea of people.  There were seasoned runners, novice runners, and walkers; we were all there for a common goal and that was to finish. 

When we started the race it was dark, cold, and windy; then it started to rain, but luckily not hard.  We were grouped by corrals (depending on how fast you thought you would run).  Rosa (my running buddy) and I were side by side in corral M; while my husband was in corral I (he is a faster runner than the two of us).  We made it to the starting line for our corral and we began our race.  Then all of a sudden I heard someone say “JoJo”  – it was my friend Lynn coming from the rear! She didn’t hang with us for long – about 15 minutes – then proceeded on as she is a nine minute miler and we are not. 

Now they told me the route was pretty flat; well to our surprise and being in downtown Atlanta we should have known better – it was hilly…but I was okay with that as most of my training was done on hilly routes.  After mile three I was feeling pretty good.  For each mile marker I would shout out “C’mon JoJo, Finish Strong, and at times reciting Hebrews 12:1 (run with endurance the race that is before you” for self motivation). 

My most memorable landmark during this race was running past the King Center and then Ebenezer Baptist Church; the parishioners lined up along the street cheering us on to victory.  When I made it to mile 8, I told myself only five more miles, surely you can run five more miles!  I continued this self-talk over and over in my head.  However, in the last 3 miles I did not think I could finish the race running because I was exhausted.  But I persevered, pressing towards the finish line.  I finished in 2 hours and 27 minutes.  That is three minutes fewer than I expected.  This was my husband’s first half-marathon; he finished 2 hours and 7 minutes.  My friend Rosa is actually a tri-athlete and running is her weakness.  This was her first half-marathon and she finished in 3 hours and 15 minutes. 
I am looking forward to my next race whether it be a 5k (3.1 miles), 10k (6.1 miles) or a half marathon (13.1 miles).
Until next time,
Live Out Loud! Love Out Loud! Run!

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