Country Music Half Marathon 2013...My First Half

As my fellow A to Z blogger friends can see, I am an A to Z blogger dropout.

My goal of blogging every day went downhill after my half marathon.

Why, you ask? Because life just got busy... and I had the post race blues.

It really exists. I Googled it.

I had been training since the first of the year for this half marathon and then after one very, VERY wet Saturday morning, it was over. JUST. LIKE. THAT.


 

But, I have decided I'm hooked. There will be more half marathons in my future for sure.

I had watched the weather forecast all week leading up to the half. The closer it got to Saturday, the worse the forecast. I refused to believe it though. When we ran the 15K, the weather was yucky, but race day ended up being rain free. I just knew it would happen again...

It started raining like cats and dogs Friday night.



Race day began at 3:30 a.m. with some sprinkles. My friend Liz, who was running the half with me, and I decided not to stay in Nashville the night before. I'm not sure if that was the best decision given that we had to get up so early. So around 4 a.m. Liz, her husband, and daughter pulled into my driveway and Brenn and I hopped in (he was WAY excited to be up at the crack of dawn).

After just one miss-turn we pulled into the LP Field parking lot around 5 a.m. This is where the finish line was and where our family would be waiting for us. We had to take a shuttle to Centennial Park. After gathering all our stuff and finding the first of many porta potties we would see throughout the morning, we said goodbye to our family and started making our way to the shuttle buses. That's when the rain started again.

Our shuttle transported us (rather bumpy) to Centennial Park where we took pics, found some aspirin and water, and used the porta potties once more.

I might have been a little over-hydrated for this race...

Once we found our corral WAY in the back, we took refuge under a store awning and hunkered down for an hour. During that time, I decided it was best if I used the porta potty one more time (going on three times now), so we made it to the long line of porta potty people. While there we saw another friend, took pics, and then headed back to our corral. By this time we are pretty soaked.



The race started at 7 a.m. Our wave didn't actually get to the starting line until almost 8 a.m. Liz and I decided by then that we were going to just run the race, not worry about time. Just run. It was POURING rain and we were cold and miserable.

Once we started running, I began to feel better. I started to get in a groove. The rain stunk, but the feeling of actually running my first half overshadowed the pouring rain...for a little while anyway. I was shocked to find that even in mile 9 I was feeling pretty good. I had only done 11.2 miles during my last training run, so I was bracing myself to hit a wall around mile 11. Didn't happen until mile 12. I wanted to cry a river. I had to keep telling myself it was almost over. I had to walk quite a bit of that mile.

We hit mile 13 and soon after we saw the finish line. Wet from head to toe, cold to the bone, absolutely exhausted...we finished our first half marathon in three hours and one second. I cried. I cried from pure exhaustion, I cried because it was over, I cried because I just accomplished something my old self would have never even attempted. I'm even crying right now thinking of that moment.



The run was much, much slower than I wanted. The weather conditions were miserable. But, I can't say enough how much the volunteers and spectators motivated me to keep going. I love the running community. It's not about competing against other people. The competition is really within yourself. Rather, the running community supports and encourages one another. We all have something in common and that joins us in a very special way. After running for 13 miles with strangers, they really aren't strangers anymore.

I said before I ran the County Music Half that I would never run it again because of the cost. But, I think I've changed my mind. I want another opportunity to run it again during better conditions.

Until then, on to the next half...in September or October



And maybe even another half in February at Disney World... :)