Saturday I completed my 5th half-marathon at the St. Jude Country Music Marathon! I finished it in the pouring rain, and with my running buddy, as planned.
The course was great! I got to see parts of Nashville that I’d never seen we’re even more neat by foot. I assume the organization would have been better without so much rain. The bands, for the most part, didn’t play. Also, I think the waves didn’t have as much time between them so everyone could just get moving, making some parts of the course a little crowded. My overall experience had little to do with the race organizers, however.
Nothing about the run went as I had planned:
– I didn’t get to meet all my blog buddies 😦
– I got approximately 3.5 hours of sleep the night before.
– I didn’t bring enough water to drink on the trek to the race.
– I lost my Garmin somewhere between where I stayed and getting dropped off at the starting area.
– It was cold & rainy. The park near the starting line an hour before the race became a lake.
– My Brooks Adrenalines did not perform well when crazy wet. The liner shifted so that it wrapped over my outer toes. I now have a very sad set of toes, and my ankles/shins are sore from changing my foot placement to avoid bloody toes.
– My overly positive attitude & near constant motivational musings (I may have done my best Jillian Michaels impression at points) while running in the pouring rain may have made my running buddy hate me for life.
Even with the seemingly endless negatives, there were so many amazing things:
– The crazy hills of Nashville felt like nothing. All the hill training I did over the last 4 months worked exactly as hoped.
– I felt unstoppable. Had things worked out differently, I’m fairly certain I would have PR’d this race, even with my shoe issues. I have never felt this strong for a run!
– I learned that I can be a motivator. It may have worked against me because my running buddy, who had asked me to motivate and push her, decided pretty early in the race she wasn’t interested in being motivated. In the future, I need to be this person for myself, because it kept me pumped up throughout the 3+ hours on the course in the cold rain.
– I supported Boston and the many organizations dedicated to showing support. My race buddies and my Boston schwag
– I finished my 5th half marathon in 4 years!!!! 10 years ago I could barely have run more than a mile.
I learned a lot, including that you should not plan to run a race with a friend you don’t run with regularly during training. You need to be able to know what drive each other, and what each other’s weakness or strengths are when running. It’s different than knowing them inside and out as a friend.
I realized i am even more motivated to find a good race this summer to PR. My only issue is dealing with work deadlines & travel that may keep me from a few that would be really fun. I will find something, and until then, will keep my training up and be fierce at it!
What is your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad race story?
Do you have a suggestion for a race in June or July that I have to do?
What’s your best advice for running a race with someone?