July marks the official end to my 4th year of residency, and start of my 5th (AND LAST!!!) year as an orthopaedic resident. After clinic on Thursday, I hit the road bound for Atlanta. Traffic was horrendous, but ultimately I arrived 5.5 hours later. Friday involved an early morning swim - 4000 wonderful long course meters. Then, Mom and I wandered through the Peachtree Road Race expo and picked up our race bibs for the 4th of July 10k. Our pre-race meal was a carb-fest of spaghetti with vegetable marinara, salad, and garlic bread. The Italian feast is one of my favorite meals!
Royce and Erin joined us for dinner and brought the newest addition to their family. Kona is an 11 week old chocolate lab puppy and is absolutely adorable. She's quite a spitfire when she's awake and full of energy, but then crashes hard when she naps. Evidently a single Kong was not sufficient and she had to keep both hers and Bailey's close while she slept.
Saturday morning we were all up bright and early for a 5:30am departure toward downtown Atlanta. After 10+ years doing this race, we have a well laid out plan to park near the finish, ride Marta to the start, and then walk back to our car. We learned the tough way that riding Marta from the finish back toward the start is a miserable experience of being herded like cattle into very close proximity with hundreds of your favorite stinky and sweaty friends.
We woke up to heavy rain, and that was the forecast for the entire morning. Garbage bags helped to keep us dry while we waited for the start of the race.
This year's race was much different for me. Two weeks ago I had a rather sudden onset of hip pain, and since then I've been unable to run without significant pain. Thus, running and I are on a temporary break. A few weeks ago I was cursing my evening runs in the 95+ degree heat, and now there's nothing I want more than to lace up my Mizunos and pound the pavement. With Ironman Louisville just 3 months away, I'm crossing my fingers that this is just a temporary set back.
Although I really wanted to run, I had fun walking with Mom and taking in more of the sights and sounds of the race than when I'm racing. Unfortunately, the pouring rain meant that none of the live bands that usually provide entertainment were on the course. The light drizzle lasted through the first 3 miles, but around mile four started to become heavier. Lightening struck around mile 4 but fortunately was an isolated strike and then seemed to pass. Later we learned that race officials had halted the race for approximately 30 minutes due to bad weather. 6.2 miles later, soaked from head to toe, we crossed the finish line and entered Piedmont Park to gather our coveted Peachtree t-shirt and snacks.
Later that afternoon the sun actually came out and we all gathered for a 4th of July barbecue. Kona joined us again, and after playing fetch, eating plants, digging holes, and playing in the pool, made herself comfortable on Dad's lap.
Mom and Grandma prepared yet another fantastic meal for us all to enjoy. The spread included veggie burgers, slaw, potato salad, watermelon, and homemade vanilla and lemon blueberry coconut ice creams.
Sunday morning brought the lazy morning I had been craving, featuring sleeping in, reading the newspaper, sipping a tea latte, and a casual breakfast. Papaya topped with yogurt, a squeeze of lime, and coconut chips was Mom's creation and brought me back to our trip to Hawaii. To accompany it, I made french toast topped with almond butter, raisins, chia seeds, and bourbon honey. Terrific breakfast!
In typical fashion, the "long" weekend flew by in the blink of an eye and before I knew it I was packing my bags and driving back to Charlotte. What happened to the weekend? I guess we were too busy having fun and enjoying time together. T-minus 1 year until Atlanta is home yet again!