I’ve probably flogged this disclosure to death in earlier posts, but it’s worth repeating for this one that I’ve been less than obsessed about my training for the big July 4th race the past 20 years.
Last year I thought I put in a decent effort, although you can see here my time sure didn’t reflect that. But most years I didn’t do much more before the race than trot a couple of miles a few times in June.
But there was little doubt in my mind that I’d be able to run most, if not all, of the AJC Peachtree Road Race.
The secret is Peachtree miles seem shorter than the miles around my neighborhood. With lots of distractions along the way, I can almost forget a little cramping or blistering.
When I run in my neighborhood nobody has a PA blaring “Born to Run” or “Born in the USA” or anything else from Bruce Springsteen’s “Born” anthology. But those and other tunes often blare near the start line.
I can complete my neighborhood run without once hearing a radio DJ call out encouragement or tell me that I’m getting close to the finish. (Hint to Peachtree newbies – the DJs are not near the finish). But for the first five miles or so the live broadcasters will give a shout out, spurring me on.
The live bands along the way play an eclectic mix of tunes. The bands are spread out in parking lots and MARTA shelters. When I pass a live band, for a moment my brain is focused on the song. I have found this doesn’t completely compensate for a lack of training.
Also missing in my neighborhood training are the long tables spaced out every mile or so where people hand me cups of water. My neighborhood run would would be much improved if I could get some volunteers to take this on.
And running the Peachtree is a great place to people watch. People dress up like Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty. I have yet to see anyone in a Liberty Bell costume. Maybe this will be the year.
Do you find that all the scenery, music and encouragement help the miles go by a little easier? What is your favorite roadside attraction, or distraction, as you trek down Peachtree on July 4th?