Did you know that it's still dark at 4 in the morning? I don't see 4 a.m. that often, but I did witness its presence this past Sunday. Earlier this year, I signed up to run the Zooma Women's Half Marathon in Nashville. After yet again limited training, I ran my sixth half marathon.
My original plan was to drive up there myself and just run the race the best I could. I knew I wasn't well prepared and my goal was to just finish. The night before, a friend texted me and said two other girls were riding up with her and I was welcome to join them. I decided it would be more fun to at least ride together even if we all didn't run together.
As we were driving to Nashville, we each honestly shared how much we prepared for the race. A couple of girls hadn't trained at all the past two weeks. One girl hadn't trained in six weeks because of a bruised rib. I did do a training run this past weekend , but the most miles I ran was six. We all knew we were pretty ill prepared for this race.
The race started and ended in Bicentennial State Park. We arrived in Nashville a little before 7 a.m. and started searching for a place to park for the race. It was so odd not to see a lot of people...I'm used to seeing tons of people out for the Rock and Roll Half. We finally found our way to Bicentennial Park and still found very few cars as well as nothing indicating where runners needed to park. We came upon a group of cops who would be directing traffic during the race and asked if they knew where we were supposed to go. They had no idea either. It was a mess. No one knew what was going on.
We finally did find somewhere to park. The air was a little cold, so the people who had arrived were sitting in their vehicles. So, we took a bathroom break and headed back to sit in the warm car until race time.
About fifteen minutes before eight, we headed to the starting line...only to find there were maybe about 500 people or less running this race. It sounds like a lot of runners, but not to us. We knew we might as well head to the back of the line because we would probably be the slowest. Another lady was standing back there and overheard us talking about not even having a pacer to run with for our estimated finish time. She said it was because we all were in the slower than sh** pace group. So very true!
The course itself was very pretty. Other than the 5,000,000 hills, it was one of the prettiest courses I've run. I don't think you can run Nashville and not have a lot of hills. It's inevitable. I did a 2 minute walk/run combination which worked perfectly for me. One of my friends kept pace with me for most of the race until mile 8. She hit a wall at mile 8 and was just done. I knew exactly how she was feeling. I was shocked that I hadn't hit that wall yet. Just like in the previous half, I didn't hit my wall until later. Mine was at mile 11. At that point, I had enough and was ready to get it over with.
I'm pretty sure the finish line photo shows me dry heaving. That folks, is the sign of a true runner. :)
All in all, it was a good race. Great weather, great friends, pretty scenery. There were a lot of water stations and great volunteers.
If given the option to run this race again, would I? Probably not. I like big races with a lot of people. I also didn't like that there was no fruit or any food of any kind at the finish line. That's the first half I've run that didn't have anything available. Don't these people know how hangry runners are after 13.1 miles??