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Meredith Leigh Knight Columnist

Published Friday, July 06, 2012

Peachtree Road Race training secrets revealed

By the time you read this, I’ll either be proudly wearing my very first Peachtree Road Race T-shirt, or I’ll be lying on the side of the road near death. Or perhaps both.

I’d like to say running the Peachtree has been a lifelong dream of mine. It has not. In fact, in Fourth of Julys past, I have rolled out of bed just in time to get the last of the Moreland BBQ and then gone home to nap in order to rest up for a fish fry supper, all the while shaking my head and wondering how anyone could be crazy enough to get up that early just to run alongside 60,000 sweaty people. This year, I will be one of the insane.

My desire to run happened slowly, and when I say slowly, I mean years. I’m not a set-a- goal-and-do-it-right-away girl. I’m more of a swear I never will, then decide perhaps I will, and then say I am going to and, eventually. When I get to the point that people laugh at me when I mention it, I get mad and do it. It’s an exhausting process.

Since I’ve had years to contemplate this event, you are probably wondering what I’ve done to prepare. First of all, after New Year’s, I hung up a six-week training schedule in my cube at work.

“How far have you gotten on your training schedule?” a co-worker asked recently.

“What training schedule?”

“Um, that one,” she said, and pointed to the faded piece of paper taped to the wall next to my computer.

“Ooooh, that training schedule,” I said sheepishly, wondering how it was possible that I had not looked to my left in six months.

That’s when I realized I had only crossed off one day – the first day – which said one word, “Stretch.”

“Wow, does that say Oct. 31 on it?” she asked incredulously.

Yes, indeed, it did. Apparently, I had eaten a lot of Halloween candy and emailed the chart to myself before the night was over.

Panic set in.

“What do I do? How do I prepare?” I asked my co-worker, a seasoned runner.

“Maybe you should start by getting acclimated to the heat,” she suggested.

I rode home that night with the windows rolled down, instead of using the AC. I figured that was a start. I also determined that if I were going to run, a new outfit would be in order, so I purchased a white running skirt and red tank top and jogged in place some. I was almost ready.

My piece de resistance was to book a hotel room. That way I can roll out of bed, hit the streets (hopefully not literally), and, who knows, maybe I’ll make it home in time for the last plate of Moreland barbecue.

Wish me luck!

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