Monday, September 26, 2011

Race Report: Women's Half Marathon Nashville

It literally took several miracles to get me to this race.

You may remember, a while ago I wrote about how badly my training was going, and doubted if I would even be ready.

2 weeks ago I went out for a long run, and made it 4.5 miles before stopping. And crying.

However, a week before the race, things started to turn around. I had a miraculous 10 mile run. I mean, it really was a miracle. I decided then I would make it, and I started to get excited.

There were still more obstacles...

Thursday night, I discovered I would not be able to make it to the Expo on Friday to pick up my race packet. I started to panic. I contacted a friend of mine who was also doing the race, and asked if she could pick it up for me...

Turns out you need a signed and NOTARIZED form, and a copy of your picture ID. So, that wouldn't work.
She offered to go back Friday with those things and pick up my stuff. And she sent me this pick to let me know it worked:
I woke up Saturday morning, with just enough gas and the car to get to the race and back, and $11 in my bank account. I thought surely that would get me through, right?

I got to the site of the race at about 6:00 am and started to look for parking. I found a lot really close to the start. Great. I said, "Do you take debit cards?" "Yes, it's $25." Crap. Can't do that.

Found another lot. $10. Awesome. "But we only take cash." D'oh!

Another lot. "$15. Card. Nope, not going into the negative for parking.

After starting to panic, I ended up driving around and finding FREE parking (yeah I had to walk a little. Duh. That was probably good for me) and still made it in time to meet my friend to get my bib.

My hero(ine)!
 After waiting in line for the port-o-potties one more time, I was finally about to cross the starting line. So, I took a really corny self portrait:

Way too excited!
 So, about the race:

I decided to run 3/walk 2, from the beginning, no matter how great I felt. I am SOOOOO glad I did.

You know how the Country Music (Half) Marathon is REALLY hilly? I was expecting some hills. However, there were a LOT of them. For most of them, I was able to run *as long as it's during one of my 3 minute run intervals*. Most of them.

Around mile 6 or so, we saw people who had turned around. We knew it was coming. We were also going downhill, and watching them go uphill. Not so fun.

But, we finally reached that turn-around at about the halfway point. I started to get tired. I wondered if I'd make it. But I was making good time, and I was *really* determined.

At around mile 9 I got pretty excited. I started to think I might actually do this.

At mile 10, I decided I would try running a little longer, so I started adding in some 3:30/1:30 intervals.

The last 3.1 miles were very HARD. I knew there was a big hill towards the end, but they FAKED ME OUT. There was a really brutal hill, and I actually had to stop and walk during a run interval (the only time I had to do it). I reached the end and I thought, "Well. Thank goodness that's over". I turned a corner and saw THE HILL. They call it "I WILL HILL". Holy moly.

But, it ended up being kind of cool. There were motivational signs. I'm a sucker for motivational signs.

I will:



You know, I can't remember anymore of these. But at the time, they were really effective.

After the I WILL HILL, it was pretty much downhill to the end. Thank. Goodness.

I hit the 13 mile sign, and I saw the end. And then my music stopped because my phone was ringing. My husband was calling me. So, I answered it, and kept running. I said, "I'm about to cross the finish line. Can I call you back?" As weird as it was to get a phone call, it was nice, since my family wasn't there, to have a little connection with him as it was happening.

So, in my finish picture (which I hope to see at some point), I am holding my phone in one hand.

There were servicemen at the finish line waiting to put our medals on us. That was nice.

The medal was quite nice.
Here comes the cool part: I was so excited about my medal, and finishing, and calling my husband back, that, although I stopped my watch, I had forgotten to look at it. When I did, I was SO surprised

Here was my time for the Country Music Half in April:
Here's what my watch said:
Really? WOW!
So, the official chip time was 2:30:34. That means I finished 6 minutes faster! Holy moly! I did NOT expect that!

Overall, I am thrilled with how it went. I can't believe it went so well. I just think I finally got my mind right, and did it.

And, since no one was around to take my picture, here's my self portrait:
"See my medal?"


Lisa J said...

yes this race is brutal. I ran it last year and told myself I wouldn't again. Last minute decision (day before) and I figured 'what the heck'- it did help knowing where all the hills were- especially the last one- GAH! I remember another one of the words was 'dominate'
Congrats on finishing faster bc I truly think its a harder course than CMM

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

Great job persevering! So proud of you and happy for you! Love the medal!

BabyWilt said...

Oh wow, go you, WELL DONE :-) xx

XLMIC said...

Awesome show of determination! Way to go! I love the finish pic... not corny like the start :P... just super happy :)

AngryPorkchop said...

Great job! My wife and I ran the Murfreesboro Half last year but I've heard that this one was tougher. That is an awesome metal by the way!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Awesome! Mind over matter! Way to go on such a difficult course! And I really like that medal too...

KarmaKristin said...

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Karma Kristin