Race Recap: Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half

Is anybody else still stuffed from Thanksgiving?! I know I am! I hope everyone had a great holiday week. We got back from Atlanta this weekend and I’ll be putting a travel diaries post up in a few days highlighting all the great places we ate and ALL THE TREES. Y’all. The leaves there were INSANELY beautiful. I think 90% of the pictures I took focused on trees/leaves. Oh well.
In other news, I finished my 3rd half marathon on Thanksgiving morning! We ran the Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half and major kudos to the Atlanta Track Club on putting together the most organized and well-marked course I have ever run! Packet pickup was easy breezy and they had some great apparel for sale that the hubs just couldn’t resist.
Race morning started off great. I got dressed and debated on what to wear because it was so cold so I finally settled on full-length leggings, a tank and thin pullover, and a sweatshirt to wear until I was too warm. Neat fact: they collect all the apparel left along the start line/race route and donate it. It was great knowing this ahead of time because we just grabbed some pullovers the day before and planned on donating them during the race! We drove to the stadium, parked, and I had battled some congestion so I took a Mucinex. This is where I almost died. 
The Mucinex didn’t go down right and I spent the next 30 minutes thinking I was going to die on the side of the road in Atlanta. If I’m going to choke to death it better be on a gummy bear or a cupcake. Not congestion medicine. The Atlanta Fire Department is very friendly if you ever need them. And thanks to the nice lady that saw me choking and brought me a whole thing of Kleenex. You’re a doll! I’ll spare you the gory details but just know that 3 days later I am living off ice cream because it’s the only thing that doesn’t hurt my throat. 
By some miracle, 20 minutes before the race, I stopped gasping for air, was able to swallow a sip of water, and decided I wasn’t going to let an injured foot and a pre-race choking incident stop me. I had already planned to run/walk the half because of my foot so I lined up with the 3-hour pacers and just figured I’d see how my foot felt, especially after 3.5 weeks with only 5 runs and nothing past 4 miles.
The race started and for the first 2 miles, I couldn’t feel my toes. I also forgot to grab my gloves so I think I was too focused on how cold I was to really know what was going on the first few miles. I couldn’t tell you what we ran by and I never even looked at my watch because I was convinced I was running in Antarctica at this point. Finally, we ran through an area where the sun was shining through and I was finally starting to gain feeling in my feet and hands. I wiggled my toes and fingers and felt like a new person! 
The plan was to run/walk the entire race but almost 6 miles in and I hadn’t stopped to walk yet. I had zero foot pain but as we approached a giant hill I figured that would be the best time to finally start walking. Turns out, the second half of the course was basically just a roller coaster. ALL THE HILLS. I’m sure for you Atlanta dwellers this wasn’t as bad, but coming from a mostly flat town I was like what in the world is this place?! The first half of the course was literally downhill and while the elevation change wasn’t super significant, it was just constant up and downs for the second half. 
The course went through some beautiful places, Piedmont Park, past all the pretty trees around town, and the volunteers were truly fantastic! A huge thanks to everyone that took time out of their Thanksgiving Day to come to cheer the runners on, help man the course, pass out water, and do all the things. The Atlanta Police Department was also top-notch in keeping us safe and they literally were at every turn and were so encouraging! There was never a lull in people because it was such a large race which was really nice since I had no clue where I was. #lostinatlanta
The last half mile was so much fun! All the streets had a ton of finishers/family members/friends/supporters etc near the stadium just cheering everybody on. You finish the race coming through the tunnel at Georgia State Stadium after running under the Olympic rings so you basically feel like a rock star! Side note: I tried to video this so all the finish line photos of me I’m holding my phone looking around the stadium trying to record. Oops.
This was the sorest I have ever been after any race. The hills probably had 100% to do with that. I highly recommend this half if you are in Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day! The course was great, the people were fabulous, and it was such a fun way to spend Thanksgiving morning!
Huge thanks to the hubs for encouraging me to run another half, congrats to the brother-in-law on his first half, and thanks to father-in-law for coming to cheer us on!

Hope everyone had as much fun on Thanksgiving as we did!

My slowest half to date but considering my life that day and how pretty the course was, no worries!!
Time: 2:39:07 Pace: 12:09/mile
10k Split: 1:08:45 Pace: 11:04/mile

Thanks for stopping by!
3rd Half Done!
Videoing the stadium as I ran in and throwing my arms around.
Am I high-fiving? What am I doing? Olympian. #facepalm
Just videoing. Don’t mind me.
Hi. I wave weird. Whatever.

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