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2 people want to do this.

run the inaugural ing georgia marathon on march 25, 2007 and then hang out with jeherv in atlanta afterwards


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JamSmoothFrom "non-runner" to Half-Marathoner

If you told me a year ago that I would have run a half-marathon I would’ve probably done a spit take.

It feels like a dream, a vivid one. First off, waking up at 5 a.m. for this rock star is unfathomable. Yet I did it willingly. I was eager to meet this challenge. After all, I prepared for this since January 1st.

I met AM, JH and SS at the Inman Park MARTA station. We were at 5 Points in 10 minutes. A constant flow of people came out of the station to the street.

It was a beautiful morning, not a cloud in the sky. There was an incredible energy in the air, like a huge adrenaline bomb waiting to explode.

This was an international event. A woman from Ireland bumped into me and said sorry as I waited anxiously at the start line.

The MC introduced the race director and the husband to whom the race was dedicated. He lost his wife to cancer. After that a pastor, who was a runner, led a prayer. His prayer touched me. He prayed that each runner would encounter Christ during the race. He also prayed that at that point when we needed to dig deep, we’d call out to God for strength. Let me tell you I did this no less than 17 times.

Right at 7 a.m. the race started. It took a while for the thousands of runners to begin moving. Eventually I hit the mats which recorded my time with the special chip in my shoelaces.

I was passing many people looking for my pace. I finally found it at about mile 2. That was about the time I saw a gospel choir on the right singing for us! It was thrilling. They were wearing purple robes hitting tambourines and singing for us runners.

One of the most indelible things about this race was the amount of support from the city. At every single step of this race people were cheering for us saying “Go runners!,” holding signs and ringing cowbells. Some even had water bottles and oranges for us.

All things were rocking for me until I hit Freedom Parkway. That was the 10k spot and I was at 49 minutes at that point, doing well. However it wasn’t long after that I started fading fast.

As I got to Ponce to run through Virginia Highlands I began to struggle and slow down. I turned off the music too. It was messing with me head.

Honestly it was hill after hill. The flats were so short that I couldn’t quite catch my breath. I would turn the corner and it would just be another hill. It was brutal.

I think it was in Piedmont Park that did my first minute walk. I’d hoped to run the whole way but it wasn’t going to happen. I started praying fervently at this point. I just wanted to finish.

As I hit midtown I knew the end was getting closer. 10th Street was yet another hill before I turned to the home stretch and last brutal hill which was South on Peachtree Street. All I had to do was keep going.

Peachtree had the most supporters. People were everywhere. Quite honestly I blocked it all out. The only thing in my mind was crossing the finish line. Here I began walking more. I think I walked 3 more 1 minute breaks. People were passing me left and right but I didn’t care anymore.

Soon enough I saw the finish line. I knew then I’d run the rest of the way, finishing strong was the only option. I kept my head up and just ran.

I did it! The clock said 1:56 but my official chip time was 1:54:19, 8:43/mile pace. I was so glad it was over. If I make it sound hard that’s because it was. This was serious.

I didn’t know where to walk. I could barely walk as it was. I saw the medals and got mine. Right behind them were huge stacks of water. I grabbed one and inhaled it. I turned around and got another bottle. Just beyond the water was a huge, long table filled with gogurt, muffins, bananas and apples. I grabbed a gogurt and banana.

I was in a daze. I wanted to get back to MARTA so I could get home. As I walked I ran into an old college friend who was in town from Chicago for the race. She finished in 1:50 I think. We talked about the race and how hard it was.

I got to my car and sat down. I thanked God for allowing me to do this and for His help. It was an emotional moment. Truly there was NO WAY I could’ve done this without Christ. Sure I put in the training. The conditions were rough out there! It was hot and again the hills, so many. There is no doubt God carried me though this.

I’m so grateful to have been part of this first race. The city was closed off and shut down just for us runners. Police were at every street and many of them were cheering for us! My friend from New York, who ran the half, said she realized how much she enjoyed Atlanta during the race. The city looked beautiful. The route showed off our best neighborhoods. I think this race will be known for its difficulty.

All of the volunteers and staff did an excellent job. For us running the half I don’t think it could’ve gone any better. This was not the case for the marathoners. A few water stations were missing for a 6 mile stretch.

I’ve been asked will I run another. At this point I don’t know. There is an amazing sense of accomplishment that I can’t deny treasuring. I have concerns about the effects of running on the body, how it effects the knees, joints, back and overall health. I know there is a downside.

For now I don’t have to think about all that. For now I deal with the soreness in my legs. For now I take pride in accomplishing something which tested my limits physically and mentally.

Special thanks go out to Jeherv and Thatgirlsab for encouraging me to run this. I would never have done this if they hadn’t encouraged me. 7 years ago

FaustusWonderful :)

I ran the half, apparently, I don’t know where to start… I guess the following would be a bunch of statements, no structure, my apologies in advance:

First, I would like to thank all those guys who came early in the morning to cheer runners, thank you kids for high-fiving the passing runners, thank you dogs for coming out and watching runners in absolute boredom and sleepy eyes, thank you “rough pavement ahead” announcer, and last but not least, thank you drivers trapped inside the route for not getting too upset :)

The race started at a little bit slower pace just because of the number of people present there, which was good. As soon as the crowd got a little spread out, we found ourself behind someone who was keeping the 4:00 pace for the marathoner, which was in perfect match with our planned 9min/mile pace… there, no stress for keeping a steady pace :) The first part was of course a mild downhill which served perfectly for warming us up (no room for pre-race stretching, as you would imagine). We, the half runners, split from the marathoners at about mile 4 (no more pace-keeper for me, no more road blockers for marathoners ;)) but at that point I was so amused with the surroundings that
I wasn’t really paying any attention to the pace. The worst slope of the half-mary route (Freedom Parkway) between miles 5 and 8 went easier than expected (I had a tough time running that section while training), maybe because of the extra motivation from the race, or because of “Run runners! Way to go!” being always in the air. I have no recollection of miles 8-11! Juest mechanically running, I guess. And then the race technically finished at mile 11, no challenge, no worry, nothing! I still crazy-ran the very last mile just for the kicks of it! Game clock 1:52, personal time: 1:50(something).

Went back after the finish line to watch other half/full runners finish, and it almost made me cry [How did I came up with the “almost-crying” idea? Perhaps I did almost cry?]

We went to my friend’s place for ice cream :) and then to the campus for swimming (which turned out to be just floating for the most part :)). [Note to self: terrible idea to try to cut the running route driving during a race!] Went home, did nothing for a while, got something to eat, watched “Goodfellas” (again!), went to sleep, and woke up to see it was already late for hanging out with jeherv. Needless to say, I didn’t want to miss the last part of the goal, so I drove to James’ place and met his family, annamaria08, JamSmooth, a quite lively and active Abby, and two not-so-pleased-seeing-me puppies :) [Great to meet you all, by the way :)] Listened, talked (a little), laughed (quite a bit), and mostly shared the post-race sluggishness :)

When I wanted to go home, however, my car wouldn’t start! I thought it’s because it was heated up (it sometimes does that!), but alas… the gear was not in the park, and it took me a modest 40-minute span to figure that out! (Ever wondered how it feels to be brain-dead?) My clumsiness still astonishes me… sometimes :)

Thanks James for encouraging us to run it, for great training advices, and for the post-race gathering.

Great job everybody. Thank you!

PS. I have no intention to check this post for typos, apparently :) 7 years ago

JamSmoothIt's Over!

I’m still processing this accomplishment. It seems like a dream, like it didn’t happen in reality. Oh but my legs sure bring it back quickly! I can barely walk. Stairs are deadly!

The turnout by the fans impressed me. There were people cheering at every single mile.

Very tough race. I’m on the fence about another half. I haven’t ruled it out either. We’ll see.

Thanks to all my friends for their support! Thanks to my Higher Power for getting me through that race! 7 years ago

thatgirlsabwoo hoo

Despite being undertrained, I posted my best half marathon time yet (which is still nothing to write home about!). I’m paying for it now, though—my knees and ankles and a blister on the bottom of my left foot are killing me.

I loved the course and am definitely going to do it again next year. I promise I’ll train for it too. :P

While I couldn’t stay long, I’m glad I got to stop by jeherv’s place so I could really count this goal as done. :) Thanks for your hospitality! 7 years ago

james - the FOUR times marathonerdone.

longer race report tomorrow 7 years ago

james - the FOUR times marathonerin about 6.5 hours

we should be marking this one as ‘done’ 7 years ago

JamSmoothHalf-Marathon Eve

It took an hour for SS and me to get our race stuff. By the time we left AmericasMart the line was down the street and almost around the corner. It was a madhouse in there.

The race is going to be insane tomorrow. 15,000 people running all at the same time. The energy will be off the charts.

I’m reflecting on this race. Tomorrow is the culmination of 3 months (really 2.5 with my injury) of training. Honestly I’m mixed about running. I know running is brutally hard on the body, especially the knees. I know that a balanced workout regimen includes resistance training, something I truly love. For me running a marathon is as appealing as living in Siberia. I discovered I enjoy the 5k and 10k races.

Though this training I found I enjoy running quite a bit. The solitude, being with nature, seeing different sides of my neighborhood and the athletic aspects are great. This training practically eliminated my weight training though. I dropped down to once a week. After this race I’m going to be hitting the weights hard.

Earlier today I ran 2 miles on the advice of my friend who made my orthotics. He said to run in them and make sure my feet felt good. I’m glad I did it too. It was the first I’m I’ve run in 11 days. Everything felt ok. The knee felt strong.

Am I excited? For sure. Do I have doubts? Not so much. I have no doubt this race will be a rewarding experience. I’ll get to see an extremely unique side of the city. I will have proof that anybody can do anything if they train and keep their eyes on the goal.

Interesting fact. Tomorrow marks 5 years off of cigarettes. How about that for an awesome coincidence? Expect a full report on the race. 7 years ago

james - the FOUR times marathonerless than 24 hours....

you guys ready? 7 years ago

annamaria08its definitely

almost here. i look and see that 21 days felt soon 3 weeks ago… i think that we’ve just got 6 miles left! that is just incredible! i can’t wait… goose bumps! 7 years ago

FaustusWeek 17

Ran a couple of 6-miles this week. Nothing extraordinary. One 6 and one 3 left before the race, the schedule says. How’s everybody doing?

Any last minute advice? :) 7 years ago


  1. getting caught up on sleep last night
  2. learning that BriteSmile doesn’t work for me
  3. learning so much in Korean class yesterday
  4. another sunny day
  5. two of my best friends will be in town next weekend, including 7Seven77 years ago

james - the FOUR times marathonerone long run left

did 8 miles today in candler park and inman park. that’s it. no more long runs other than the big one next sunday.

glad to see everyone got the e-vite. looking forward to it.

if you are a 43t’er and running the race and i don’t have you on my list, please let me know. 7 years ago

JamSmoothRunner's Knee

I have “Runner’s Knee” in my right knee. I’m not exactly sure when I did it but I think it happened on my long run last Saturday. It’s not too painful and it feels like it’s getting better today. I haven’t run since Monday.

James says I’ve done enough training for the race. I took his advice and I’ve been doing RICE and ibuprofen all week. Still I’m going to see a sports medicine doctor next week.

It sucks for this to happen so close the race for which I’ve been training 3 months. I’m not worried. I think I’ll be there and I think I’ll be fine. 7 years ago

FaustusWeek 16

25 miles total for this week, including the 13 today on the actual race route for the half (it was supposed to be a tapering week, but the memo somehow got lost!). As a generously-labeled recreational runner, I have to say that the course for the half is not a hard one.

There are mild slopes that can be handled (mostly you can see the end of each uphill portion, so it’s not hard to pass it). The part on Freedom Hwy is just weird with no side-walks, though, but it should be fine if (or iff) there are no cars on the race day. Also, the final slope on the Peachtree is better than it looks on the pedometer (given that we started from Piedmont and ran it first, it may be a little more challenging after running 10 miles, but not too much trouble).

I’m so excited :) The weather was beautiful and the city was so lively and vibrant today (and we did have a good survey of it). My running buddy had to hold a tight grip of my leash to keep me from running like crazy today :) 7 years ago

thatgirlsab7 miles today

It’s better than nothing! 7 years ago

JamSmoothRevolution 9

The title is a reference to that insane Beatles song and the insane distance I ran today, insane for me. 9.1 in 1:18, a little under 9 mins/mile.

It was tough. I only stopped once to walk. I did have to stop the clock and stretch twice. My calves were very tight and I didn’t want to cramp. It would suck to limp 4 miles back home.

Gorgeous weather and also the warmest I’ve run in, 67 degrees. That added to the difficulty.

I finished strong. As I finished I thought about the half, “Ok the half is only 4 more miles than this, I can do this.” It’s not going to be easy. When you’re in a race a lot of that difficulty is gone. When you’re in a race you just run faster, you have the adrenaline and the competition.

Next week is 10, after that the race. 7 years ago

james - the FOUR times marathonercourse preview

is up. check it out here7 years ago

james - the FOUR times marathonertaper!

did a 12 mile taper run today. i am going to try to work on my course preview post on my blog later today. 7 years ago

james - the FOUR times marathonereight

so i’m in taper town. bagged the 5 yesterday due to schedules and going to make it up friday.

anyway, tonight was an eight-miler down from a high of ten on wednesday. i’m in toronto and it is literally sub-zero with ice on every sidewalk.

so i did the eight on the treadmill.

longest i have ever run on a mill.

horrible. i’d rather run 8 miles up hellwater hill the whole time than do that again. 7 years ago

james - the FOUR times marathonerevites

for a post-race gaterhing, early evening like, at my place will be going out soon. 7 years ago

FaustusWeek 15

I only did a 4-mile hill run during the week, and a 12-mile run today. 16 total. Hmmm, who I should blame it on, I wonder. On my running buddy who was sick half of the week and then had to go on a trip when it’s somebody else’s spring break (jk), or on my work that was going exceptionally well this week… tough call.

I’m not disappointed though. I ran a good one today in the neighborhood (even though it was long enough to go beyond neighborhood borders), and I managed to keep a constant pace throughout the run (despite sidewalk-less streets, car’s side-mirrors whizzing by, traffic signals, slippery slopes of people’s freshly mowed lawns, and my natural over-zealousness for sprinting). I feel good… I do.

There was nobody to talk to, so I had to listen to music, and random shuffling brought Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on, which was surprisingly appropriate :) 7 years ago

annamaria0821 days! (20 and a night)

i am quite excited about this… its going to be a fun run, and i feel well prepared for it. or at least so far, i feel well prepared. there really isn’t supposed to be too much left to do, though, as we finished the 20 mile run yesterday and all that remains is the taper. 3 weeks of taper seems like a really long time, but i’m trying to remind myself that only the last week is really running-limited.

its been a good couple of months, though, and i think i’m a better runner now than i was when i ran chicago, and i think that i’ve been easier to deal with during this training season, too (says my sometimes overly-honest roommate). :-) 7 years ago

james - the FOUR times marathonerwelcome to taper town

my fellow gerogia marathoner’s. annamaria08 did our twenty yesterday and now it’s time to taper.

full report on the run here7 years ago

JamSmoothChattahooche Road Runners 10k

This was a much different affair from the 5k I ran last month. There were hundreds of people for this one, runners of every imaginable shape, size and color, even some kids.

At 8am on the dot the race started. It was packed in for the first 2 minutes. I started passing people and found a pack running at a comfortable speed.

At each mile marker someone was yelling out the split time. That was cool. At the halfway point a group of folks were cheering for us and beating drums. Right past them a radio was playing the standard sports anthem, “Eye Of The Tiger.” As cheesy as it was it gave me a boost.

The course was up and down, an equal share of uphills and downhills, nothing that brutal though.

I’m happy with my time, 45:20. I feel like I could’ve pushed a little harder on the downhills. The race was timed with a DAG chip. They scanned each runner’s number at the finish line. My official time will be posted on the website later tonight.

The race was well organized. Everything went off without a hitch. The weather was perfect.

During the race the thought of doing this for 13.1 crept into my head. It does not seem fun at all. Only 3 more weeks to find out if it will be or not. 7 years ago

FaustusWeek 14

22 miles for this week. My running buddy was out of town, so I split the long run into two parts and tried a little bit of hills (not too much, +3% slope on average, I guess). We will probably run the 13 early next week.

And just for the fun of it, I’ve plotted the summary of my training in a graph :) 7 years ago

thatgirlsabran today

I have no idea how far I went, but I was out and back in a little over an hour.

At the very least, I will walk most of the half. That will leave a lot of room for improvement next year. :) 7 years ago

james - the FOUR times marathoner18

annamaria08 and i ran 18 today on the course.

you can read my report here. damn good run. 7 years ago

JamSmoothOne of those days?

Did 8.07 today in 1:08. The hardest route yet, it was hill after hill. I’ve been able to go non-stop for a while but today’s route kicked my butt. I walked for 2, 1 minute breaks.

I was on Martin Street when what can only be described as a crack whore walked towards me. I ignored her and kept on running. She got within 5 feet of me and said, “Pretty fly for a white guy.” I’m not making this up!

It was beautiful today so lots of folks were out. I was dodging little kids as I ran up Atlanta Ave. I saw a few other runner out too. I gave them “the nod” but they didn’t not back. That’s BS man!

It’s like when you’re out on the boat. You ALWAYS wave at other boaters as they pass, ALWAYS! So what’s with this not reciprocating on the nod?!

My right calf muscle starting cramping at the very end. It still is sore and tight. I’ve got to get back on schedule. I have not been doing my mid-week runs at all and I was feeling it today.

Again, a very challenging run. Next week I’m running a 10k. Hopefully this great weather will be there for me. 7 years ago

FaustusWeek 13

25 miles for this week. Today we ran the 12 outside, and boy it was windy! It’s funny, when it’s windy it feels like the wind is adapting itself very carefully to be always in your face :) 7 years ago

JamSmoothIf the Devil is 6 then God is 7

Just did 7.2 in 59:26. I finished strong. I wanted to keep it below 60:00 so I was going fast at the end. Ran through Grant Park and it was great. That hood has so many cool houses, churches and buildings.

I was so into the run I missed a turn and didn’t do the route I’d planned out. I’m sure it was still the same distance b/c the streets I took instead go the same direction as on the route.

If you listen to music when you run I highly recommend some stuff from BT. His music gets me more pumped than anything else. There is a certain energy and power to it that gets me going faster than any other music. 7 years ago

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