The Country Music Half Marathon is always a great race and I was so excited to run it with my mom and sister.
We went to the expo the night before the race and then I got flat Alaina all ready to go. We wore matching shirts to the expo. Yes, I love pink and yes, I am tough as hell. Race morning was a breeze. The hotel opened breakfast early so I got up at 5am and met my mom and sis around 5:30am for breakfast. I was pumped to be able to eat jelly toast instead of the Clif bar I packed. I prefer them for emergencies only. We took the complimentary shuttle from the hotel to the start and there was no rain!!!
The race starts on Broadway, which is one of Nashville’s iconic streets. We got there before the crowds, took pictures and then mom and I hit the line for the portajohns. Our plan was to wait in the starting corral together then go our separate ways. My sister is faster than me and I’m a bit faster than our mom so it all worked out. We all wanted to run our own race, especially my mother. This was her first half marathon.
The rest was just a blur except for one thing. Those DAMN hills! I don’t know how I underestimated them…EEK! I would say over the entire course there was maybe one mile that wasn’t an incline. I train on hills at home and ATL is very hilly, but I still don’t think I was really ready. The scenery along the course was fine, I didn’t have high expectations. I was really just happy that we weren’t in a giant tornado. I starting fueling after mile 4 like I always do. I had a Clif shot block every other mile after that and made myself drink through the water stops after mile 5ish. I am always a bundle of nerves at the beginning and feel sick when I drink too early. I had an orange slice from a spectator at mile 11 and it was heaven. I was struggling towards the last 3 ish miles of the race. My body was tired of the hills and I felt like I was fighting a headache. I kept downing water, but that wasn’t helping. It was hotter than I thought so I should have starting drinking water earlier on, but you live and you learn.
The best part of the finish was finding my sister then us waiting on mom. I am so proud of both of them and it was a great experience because we all did it together. I really didn’t like the set up of the race finish. It made it impossible to see runners cross the finish line. We chatted about the race, grabbed one of everything from the food line (except the chocolate milk, gross!!) and walked to find food.
Fourth Half Marathon…check! In case you were curious, that’s Blaine and I’s I can’t believe we just ran all those hills and lived to find each other at the finish face 🙂 My finish time wasn’t what I expected, but I will take it. It was a great weekend and I was just happy to finish especially when my running app said the elevation gain was almost 900 feet!!!
I don’t remember the name of the restaurant we found, but it was perfect. It wasn’t yet crowded so we were able to walk right in and be seated. I ordered the housemade veggie burger with mac and cheese. Mom and I both ordered their house made sangria margarita. It was out of this world! OMG! I usually crave salty margs post race and this marg was perfect. We all caught up and then had to drive home. The Mr. and I drove the four hours south to Atlanta and my family drove two hours north. I didn’t really hit any of my goals this race, but had to remind myself that I wanted to do this race for fun. It was a blast being with my family and it was great running in my home state. The CMM served me well because it was a great long run before the Colfax Marathon, which is so close!
1: Holy hell! I was too fast and worried that I was on the verge of a side stitch for going out too fast.
2-4: Feeling great. I felt like I could PR for sure.
5: Hills weren’t as bad on this stretch.
6-10: Pace was still awesome, but I was feeling a bit weary.
11: Thank goodness for my killer playlist! My core was starting to feel sore from the hill climbs.
12-13: Slowest miles ever and I couldn’t really tell where the finish was which got me frustrated. I also realized I wasn’t going to PR unless I kicked up my speed, but I just couldn’t pull it out.