Last weekend (April 30), Rachel and I ran the Tear Drop Half Marathon in Chatsworth, GA, which is about 75 miles northwest of Atlanta. We decided to grab a hotel room in Dalton for Saturday night, since it was only about 25 minutes from the race and much closer to the interstate for our trip home.
This race offers a very different kind of challenge, as the race actually starts at the top of a mountain and is mostly downhill. I knew this would allow for a much faster pace, but would be tough on the quads/legs.
I also knew I wanted to run this particular race solo, so that I could try to get close to my PR (personal record) of 1:57. Rachel would also be running the half and was hoping to get close to her own PR of 2:17.
After my PR of 1:57 back in March of 2015, my next best half time is 2:07, but unfortunately, both of these times were from several years ago and I wouldn’t be able to use them as proof of time for corral placements for future races. At this point, my half time for corral placement was 2:24. I knew it was time to get myself back down closer to the 2 hour mark.
I had 3 different goals for the race…
Goal A: Finish under 2:10. I had been really working on my pace/speed the past few months and felt pretty confident that I could get myself under 2:10, especially since a lot of the race was downhill.
Goal B: Finish under 2:05. This was the goal I wasn’t 100% sure I could pull off, but I thought I had a decent shot at. I knew it would require basically a 9:30 per mile pace for 13.1 miles, which I had been averaging for a lot of my training runs the past few weeks. However, a lot of those training runs were between 4-6 miles.
Goal C: Finish under 2:00. I was pretty sure this one wasn’t going to happen, but I figured I would at least put it out there in case the conditions (weather, course, etc…) were perfect.
On Saturday we made our way up to Chatsworth to pick up our race number/shirt and get the lay of the land. This is a much smaller race (about 400 total runners), so we were in and out in less than 5 minutes. But it was helpful to see where we would need to be to start the race early the next morning.
After exploring the area for a few minutes, we made our way over to our hotel in Dalton to check in. We decided to head up to Chattanooga to get some pasta, since there are way more food options and it’s only 20 minutes north of Dalton. After grabbing dinner, we headed back to our hotel room to rest and watch TV before calling it an early night. The next morning would be an early one….
Part Two of the Tear Drop Half Marathon Recap coming soon!