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I guess at some point I will stop starting my posts with “It’s been awhile and I will post more often…”  Hmmm… maybe a New Year’s Resolution that starts early.  I find that if I set a resolution before the end of the previous year and

get started on it, I can figure out if I was being ambitious (aka not even in the same galaxy with my capabilities) as well as figure out what tweaks I need to make to my resolutions.  I also don’t call them New Year’s Resolutions but that is for another post to come before the end of the year.

Well what have I been up to since the last time… Running, walking, run leading, reading, and various other adventures.  If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you have seen some of my adventures (if you don’t follow here: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.  

Most recently, I completed the Triple Peach Series with the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler and the Thanksgiving Half Marathon. Since the series has started in 2013, I have completed all 3 races each year.  Let me tell you this, it’s not for the faint at heart.  With the AJC Peachtree Road Race as the first race in the series being blazing hot–I guess I am forewarned given that it is July 4th in Atlanta, GA.  You get a couple of months to forget the heat and the challenge of Cardiac Hill before they send you back out on the triple-peach-medals-2016streets of Atlanta to tackle the 10 Miler.  Full disclosure the 10 Miler is one of my favorite races I do all year aka I gush about it and try to convince people to give it a shot.  I love the challenge of the courses and the distance. I find pacing myself for 10 miles is a struggle…it’s not a 10K but then again it’s not a half marathon either…  I LOVE the crowd support during the race!  All along the course there are groups with cheering stations.  

Some are nonprofits vying for fundraising dollars and others are just people out to watch runners.  Now let’s talk about the hills… just disrespectful at times.  Yes, I train on those hills and we have met on several occasions but every time every single time I ask myself (and sometimes those around me) why do keep trying to make friends with these beasts? Why o Why? [Insert definition of insanity]  And then you hit a cheering section and you (temporarily) forget that the hill you are conquering was giving back as much as you are giving.  It’s that added boost that takes you back to that point where you think ‘you’ve got this’ and ‘those hills have nothing on me.’  It’s 10 miles of the back and forth and I Love it! (Yup, insanity may apply)Party in The Back 10miler 2016

The last miles are the best …not only for the obvious.  Once I crest the top of that last hill, I start the last bit of negotiation with my legs and my arms.  You’ve got this and you have made if over all those hills are you really going to let the distance get you… and bam you hit the Atlanta Roller Derby Girls and they are so loud you get that last boost. Round the corner and there is your personal race DJ Ronnel cheering you on making sure you finish strong and have the same fanfare as the first place winner. Ok so true confession, the #partyintheback crew has taken over so many Atlanta Track Club (and others) finish lines that he knows we are coming…

The 10 Miler wasn’t without its challenges this year beyond the hills… They changed the course a bit which  added 100 ft of elevation gain…cause we totally didn’t have enough hills last year! The 10 Miler is always my benchmark to how worried I should be before the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon.  It’s the same advice I tell my participants too.  I assure them if you can complete the 10 Miler, you will be fine for the Half.  I explain that the half course is 3.1 miles longer but the course is different… probably the same number of hills but more miles to cover them.  I remind them that it doesn’t mean that you can stop training and should have respect for the Half course!

So training continued…

tj-finishes-thanksgiving-2016This year the Thanksgiving Half Marathon this year went a little slower than I would have liked but was just as much fun, if not more, because I raced with Susan.  Let me tell you about Susan… she always has a smile on her face and she keeps me calm (or at least calms me down before I blow…most of the time).  So this year was a treat for me!  I was super excited (and may have annoyed anyone who asked me about the race…) that I was going to have company who I knew was going to be in it with me.  

We had fun even after the wheels fell off (my opinion and not hers cause she told me when I was trying to see if we were on pace to hit the time goal I set for myself that she seriously doubted that it was going to change her race experience. I needed to hear that right then too!).  The hills on Juniper and Courtland didn’t seem so bad this year (don’t get me wrong they were TERRIBLE–Juniper is my race nemesis) because Susan distracted me.  I warned her before that Juniper is the point in which I start to feel everything! As predicted, I declared and I’m out of gas. Susan said “Nope you can run out later but not on Juniper. Let’s go!” So, off we went and before I knew it we were up the hills and at the water stop.  

partyinthebacktriplepeachmedals2016This year there were a group of us on the sidewalk trying to earn that extra piece of pie and the medal.  We had our course maps (that only some of us could read but I digress) and we were in it together.   For me it is even more because some of those out there are MY participants.  We have trained together, cried together, laughed together and maybe even done silly crazy things together too. I want nothing more than for them to complete the entire course and cross the finish line with a sense of accomplishment.  And again it happened. We had first time half-marathoner who put in the work and earned the medal even before race day.  Even better we had fun doing it together. Real speak: it wasn’t all peaches and cream but I’d say the scales tip towards fun when you added it all up…and plus it’s my post so I can declare it so!  

volunteering-before-race-start-thanksgiving-2016I’ll let y’all in on a secret, they push me just as much as I push them.  My participants keep me honest, challenge me to problem solve, keep the creative juice flowing, and just keep me working on me so that I can give them my all every week.  So as this training year comes to a close, I know I’ll be back (after my month of withdrawal) and ready to see some more people reach new goals. Thanks to my fellow Partiers!

Telling you to make a race friend and encourage another,


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TJ Tells It | COPYRIGHT © 2017 · TJ Hadley

2 comments on “10 Miles of Hills to Thanksgiving”

  1. Wanna do the Grand Prix and Triple Peach with me in 2017? I really want to love the 10 miler as much as you do, 3rd times a charm!!!

    • Funny you should ask… set my race calendar for next year and its currently the plan! Let’s get this thing in 2017 #ayearoutofmycomfortzone.

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