I ran the Country Music Half-Marathon on April 25. My goals for coming into this race were twofold: 1)break a 2:30 time, or 2) better my 2:48 best in the half. As you probably now know if you listen to the podcast, I failed at both. This was the hottest day of the year for Nashville, so the heat affected hundreds of runners. So much so, that a good number of those running the full, decided to bail at the cutoff point for finishing the half. I saw at least three EMT teams rushing to treat or treating downed runners. The other factor responsible for my bonking and not meeting either goal was the new course. Aparently race organizers wanted to present runners with a prettier course, more scenic, than in the past. Well, I can tell you that the course was pretty. But it was hilly. Here is an elevation chart from my Garmin that shows you how hilly.
I finished the race in 2:49, which is one minute slower than my previous 1/2 best time. Although I had my Garmin, I had bumped the pause button at some point early in the run and didn’t realize it until at least 1/2 to 3/4 miles later. And with all race clocks set to gun time, and the fact that my wave didn’t start until at least 45 minutes AFTER gun time, I had no clue as to my total run time or distance covered. I had guestimates, and I knew my pace at any given moment, but with the heat, the hills, and the off-track Garmin, I was frustrated, tired, and bonkalicious.
Gladly, I didn’t fall out, hurt myself, suffer dehydration, or die, as one runner did after he finished the half. I survived and learned a great deal about running. Although I had heard this maxim so much in the past :” training is training, race day is race day. You never know what that will bring.” It never really hit home until the Nashville experience. I may have cursed my running existence on that day after the finish, but I now realize that I am fortunate to run any distance at all and am thankful to have the opportunity, even under oppressive conditions.