Monday, March 2, 2020

Publix Atlanta Half Marathon 2020 {race recap}

On Sunday, March 1, 2020 we ran the Publix Atlanta Half Marathon.

We arrived to Atlanta Friday and got lunch before heading to the expo. Centennial park was closed off due to the trials, but I got this sweet snap of the Olympic Rings because of my long arms. 

We went to the expo and got our bibs. It was interesting how they assigned your bib when you arrived and even printed your name on it. While I was waiting for my bib (it took a little longer than Kim and L due to the guy learning how to assign them) I looked around and saw....

MEB! We waited in a brief line to get our bibs signed and take pictures. I told him “thank you for all you’ve done for this sport.” L was going to ask him to be his medical contact but chickened out, and instead showed him a pic of them together from 2009 when they both ran the San Jose half. One of them won... Meb is an amazing human being.

Obligatory silly pic at the expo.

Show your gold was the theme of the weekend.

While we were leaving, we saw a photo of Aliphine and had to take a photo “with her.” We have been huge fans of Aliphine for a while. Fun fact: When Aliphine was injured last year, she filled her time crocheting beanies. I thought this was amazing so I had to purchase one each for Kim and I back in October.  Fun fact # 2:  about a month ago Aliphine reached out to me and said she was sorry for sending the wrong color and insisted on sending me an orange one. I told her we were really happy with the green and gold beanies but she insisted and sent me an orange one. I told her we were coming to Atlanta and were excited to cheer for her and hoped that she would be able to fulfill her dream and make the team.

We hoped so much that we would be able to met her in real life but decided pictures with her at the expo would be better than nothing.

Pre race: we Did a way too long shakeout run with Naz Elite Hoka. Then we spectated the Olympic trials for several hours. Then we ran take the bridge Natties. All stories and blog posts for another day. 

Pre race Flat Xaar:

Meb signed our bibs at the expo 🥰

Race morning we met in the lobby to walk a few blocks to the start. 

It was calm, and mid 30’s. It was really perfect conditions for a race.

As we were walking towards the start line we saw... 


We were able to talk to her for a few minutes and she remembered me and the beanies 🥰 (I felt bad we didn’t have them on, but we had worn them non stop with the exception of the race)  we showed her the pics we took “with her” at the expo. Gah. She’s so great.   Her story is so inspiring, and I’ve loved following her. 

We were on cloud nine. I was practically in tears. Meeting her was the icing on the cake to a perfect weekend in Atlanta.

Pre race photo with Kim and L before we ate hillz for breakfast.

Going into the race I had low expectations for time. Specific training was non existent. No speed work, no real long runs. Just cycling and running and stairs. I was giving myself a lot of rest post Chicago since I haven’t been feeling great. Gaining weight makes speedwork not fun and then I don’t want to do it even though some intervals would help. I cant be in “racing shape” 100% of the time. Such is life. Sometimes it’s just nice to jump into a race for the experience and to see a new place. 

More sand bagging: We were also on our feet for a while spectating and I also “raced” Take The Bridge the night prior. My legs were pretty trashed but I had planned on this.

The gun went off and soon we were running the streets of Atlanta. The first few miles were really congested due to the narrow streets. It eventually spread out and was fine.

I took a Maurten at mile 2 because I was hungry- I didn’t plan ahead for breakfast. Shortly after my iPod died. I tried to fiddle with it to get it to work but no jam. Ugh. I realized during this race that I listen to music because I don’t want to hear people talking or singing and their foot stomps. I do enjoy singing along (to myself) which makes the miles fly by.

At mile 5.4 I saw people handing out shots of Powerade and vodka. I took one. They said I was the first customer of the day. I told them it was great and hoped to see them in a few more miles. 

At mile 5.9, Atlanta track club was handing out beer. I stopped and had some. 

Around the 10k, I noticed the bottom of my foot was starting to bug me due to my shoes rubbing in a weird way. I hoped this wouldn’t turn into anything. But by mile 9 when I stopped to have another beer with Hash House Harriers, and started running again I was in quite a bit of pain due to the gigantic blister that had developed. My shoes were also rubbing the top of my feet in a weird way too. F%CK.

I chugged along and felt decent climbing the hills. Each step was increasingly painful due to the blisters. I tried to take my mind off the pain by giving high 5’s to officers and spectators.

Accurate photo depiction of me finishing. The one above this sentence and below. 🙃

I was so happy to be done with the race and to not have to take any more steps on the gigantic blisters on both feet. 

I turned my phone on to see I finished in 1:55:55. And saw a text that L had finished one minute after me with a 1:50.xx (he had started in the wave behind me) I was over the moon happy for him! He has been working so hard- and also has been incredibly consistent with his running. To PR by 4 minutes on a hill AF course after Saturday’s craziness is just insane. This man has some epic PRs ahead.

I found L pretty quick since he was literally behind me by 60 seconds.

Smiles after 13.1 miles.

PR for L! I’m so happy for him both personally but also in a coaching perspective. To see him smash PR after PR is just so incredible.

After we got cleaned up we checked out of the hotel and went to Torched Hop for a proper celebration.

Obligatory beer + medal photo.

Chicken and waffles with Thai pepper infused maple syrup.

We also ran into Moses from Southern California who was also in Atlanta. We met him through MRC when we made a special run for him when he visited Chicago last year. Reason 2,389 I love this run club.

Post race thoughts:

  • Eat small breakfast pre race. I should know better to plan ahead and have something available. 
  • Wear socks with these shoes. I’m not sure I ever wore them without socks before this. Smh. My own stupidity. Now I have 2 large blisters. Fun. 
  • Took Maurten gel at mile 2 and mile 7
  • Took water from most aid stations
  • Base salt multiple times
  • Powerade + vodka at mile 5.4
  • Beer at mile 5.9 + 9.0
  • Wtf iPod? It worked fine last week for the Hancock climb. 
  • My stair training + strength paid off - the hills were not terrible. Even with close to 800’ of Gain. 
  • The course was great! A big loop through Atlanta. 
  • The volunteers were next level friendly. 
  • The award for the most Georgia sign goes to the one that said “Go Y’all”
  • I felt a little hot and probably could have done without the longsleeve.(or a lighter option than the hyper warm)  I thought I’d be cold due to not “racing” and taking an easier pace. 

Ok. So I lied. The best part of this trip was while we were walking back to the hotel and saw this fox mosaic randomly on the sidewalk. I’ll attribute this to CB giving us a “sign.” He loved hills and inclines so much and would power up them. He definitely gave us strength today. Miss you, big fox. 

What’s next?

Presidential towers stair climb 🏙 
Shamrock shuffle ☘️ 


  1. I love how you and Kim "posed" with Aliphine at the expo and then in real life at the race! It was truly a once in a lifetime running weekend!

    1. It was truly once in a lifetime. It far surpasses anything I could have dreamed up for the weekend. 10/10 would go spectate the trials again.

  2. Ahhh love everything about this! What a fun weekend. I'm with you on the Aliphine love, too. I wanted to get a beanie of hers way back when she first started her biz but felt like I couldn't justify it bc it's not that cold here ..ah well! Congrats to L on the massive PR, too. What an incredible and memorable weekend for y'all.

    1. Thank you! It was such a great weekend! Like it couldn’t have been any better. The hats are very breathable so it would be perfect for you in Cali. :) one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long long time.

  3. I love the sign from CB and am so happy you saw it!

    Congrats L! I agree that he has major PRs ahead when he PR'd by so much on this course after the day he had before! Majorly impressive.

    And congrats to you on the half! I hope the bottom of your feet are feeling better now!

    I am so incredibly happy we ran in to Aliphine. I still think about it and smile. It was so great to talk to her, and to Meb, too! I had forgotten to ask if he was L's emergency contact. LOLOLOL.