Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Humid Peachtree to Hot Yoga

It's been quite a summer. Once wedding season ended I finally made it to the beach for the first time in over a year. I am fortunate enough to babysit for the best family! There's nothing like being with a child at the beach. There is never a dull moment, only jumping and crashing in the waves, building sandcastles, and poking dead jellyfish with sticks. It was an amazing week. That was followed by the 4th of July. To most people, the 4th is a time to celebrate on a lake or at the beach, but I always find myself heading back to Atlanta. People think it's crazy to go to a hot and humid big city for the holiday but behind Christmas and Thanksgiving it's our next biggest family tradition. We wake up at 6 AM and venture into the humid streets of Buckhead and Downtown Atlanta to run the World's Largest 10K- The Peachtree Road Race. This year was one of my hottest by far and my time showed it. I knew as soon as I began that it was not a morning to PR. The sun beamed on my face as I struggled up and down the hills of Peachtree Street. It was still a great run and remains, in my opinion, the best race ever organized. First, there are thousands of people lining the street, screaming words of encouragement, handing out everything from ice to beer to donuts, dressed from head to toe in red, white, and blue. Second, how many races can you run with 59,999 other people? (Only about 55,000 "crossed the finish line" perhaps because so many people struggle with putting the time chip on their shoes, which I will never understand.) Lastly, how many race organizers deal with organizing such a big race?! It is a miracle to me and now with the wave start, which began last year, the race goes on like a breeze. (Thank you Atlanta Track club!) I really find it fascinating and can only thank the 3,000 volunteers, many of whom arrived on Peachtree Street at 4AM that wonderful Monday. If you have never participated in this race before- it is a MUST. My family began running it in 1978 (my grandmother) and my father started a year later. This was his 32nd CONSECUTIVE race. It was mom's 31st as she had to miss one when she was pregnant with me :-) While my dad has every race number and corresponding t-shirt (see photo above of this year's) I am not as organized. I figure this was the 9th or 10th PRR for me.

Our 4th of July continued as usual. Bike parade and pool games at our neighborhood pool, though this year they were shortened by thunderstorms. We braved the green and red on the radar and went back to Lenox Mall (where the race starts) to see the fireworks. We ended up huddled in a parking garage amidst  rain, thunder, and lightning anticipating the fireworks show. As we gave up and started our walk in the pouring rain to the car (8 people with only two ponchos and one umbrella) out of nowhere the fireworks began! They were magnificent as ever and it was a year we will not forget.

Since the Peachtree I have been struggling with my run. My body has adjusted to not really having to get out of bed in the morning and any other time of day the temperature is brutal. A friend of mine at work encouraged me to visit her yoga studio with her and I have fallen in love with it. I used to be a religious yogi a couple years ago, and though my first few practices have been tough I can already feel my body getting back into the flow. Don't get me wrong, it's between 85 and 95 degrees in the yoga studio, but it is currently making my body more satisfied than running. I am already looking forward to the fall, yes of course for football, but also because fall is a runner's favorite season. The temperature is perfect and the sound of crunching leaves beneath my feet makes me beam. I am glad I have yoga for now to get me through the next couple of months in this heat.

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