Sunday, May 1, 2011

Country Music Half Marathon Recap

In case you are just joining us, the CMM was this past Saturday.  I have been training for it since January with the exception of about 3 weeks in late March and early April. It was my first half marathon.  Here is the rundown.

The expo: The expo was on Thursday and Friday in the Nashville Convention Center. I think it was smart to have this in 2 days because it is such a big race (32,000 people ran it this year). We got there and it was crowded, but seemed well organized and we were quickly able to pick up our bibs and free swag and then were free to either leave or walk around the booths. They had several guest speakers including Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher which I thought was pretty cool. We walked around for a little which and then headed out. 

Race Day: I ran the race with my sister-in-law Megan and also several other friends: Meredith, Bethany, Ashley, and Kelly. Megan and I got up at 4:30am and headed down to catch the hotels' bus to the race. It was crazy crowded in the hotel lobby with folks waiting for the shuttle and we ended up waiting about 45 mins to get the shuttle but we finally got on it. We arrived around 6am and walked around before heading to our corral to meet up with the others.  The race seemed pretty well organized, though of course there was not nearly enough porta potties. The lines for those things were sooo long. Yuck-ola.

We decided ahead of time that even though we were scheduled in different corrals (I was assigned corral 17) we would drop back to corral 30 (yeah suuuper far back) to start together. We easily found our corral and friends and anxiously awaited for our corrals start. When we were almost about to start, I said to the girls, most of whom were as nervous as me "I feel like I just got on a roller coaster or ride that I am not sure I want to ride anymore because it is scary!!" They all laughed and agreed and before we knew it we were off. We started off well, Bethany, Megan and I a little bit in front of the rest of the girls. We had a great pace, and I think starting in a slower corral was both good and bad for us. Good, because we didn't feel rushed by the pace of the group, but bad because the whole race we were passing people which slowed me down a little because I would get stuck behind slower runners and have to wait for a moment to get through.

Megan and Bethany had to take a potty break around mile 1 so I waved bye and kept going. The run itself felt great, I never felt out of breath, my ankle never hurt, and my feet never fell asleep, all of which have happened numerous times on previous runs. The first few miles were on Broadway, which is a huge road that runs into downtown Nashville where all the bars are. After the first few miles you weave through many beautiful neighborhoods and areas.  By the end the course takes you through a more industrial, city part of town.  It ends at LP Field, which is home to the NFL team the Tennessee Titans. The course was never boring and I loved looking at all the sights as we ran.

The race had tons of hills, which were rolling hills but I felt like they weren't bad at all. They played a huge factor into my time though, as I often had to slow down to go up them, but I never stopped running. Did you read that!? I never.stopped.running. That is probably one of the things I am most proud of myself for! The course also had tons of spectators which made it so much fun! They had a live band playing every mile and some places were jamming music. Seeing fun signs and spectators (free high fives!) was great and kept me motivated to continue. I brought my ipod and never ended up using it because there was so much going on I didn't need it! There was tons of shaded areas which was nice, as it was a hot day. Luckily though, there was a nice breeze that came often to cool us down, and in a couple places there were people with sprinklers or hoses that were spraying us also. Yes please!

Around mile 5 Bethany caught up with me and we ran pretty much the whole race together. She is a lot faster than I, and she has run several half's before so it was great for me. She stayed with my pace but still kept mostly in front of me, which made me push myself to stay with her. I think she was a big reason why I did so well. Thanks Bethany! :)

I felt great pretty much the whole race, until around mile 12 when my legs started aching. There was a long uphill at the end and it sucked. Really bad. Bethany decided she wanted to get the heck out of dodge and speed up and I slowed a little. But kept running. We went over a bride and then downhill. The finish line was downhill which I felt was great. I began to push myself and sprinted through the finish.

In all I think the race went great. It was by far the best run I have ever had. I guess the adrenaline kicks in and my body just took over. It made all the hard work worth it! Dare I say I want to do another?! Have I  caught the bug??

Here's my stats:
Chip time: 2:26:26
Overall Place: 11155  out of 21944 (what? I didn't win!!?)

Gender: 5834 out of 13966

I'm pretty happy with my time. I had an avg of 11 minute mile pace, which is slower than I was running pre-injury, but I hadn't bounced back from it as I'd hoped in time, so that is okay. The hills were a major factor in my time as well as with getting stuck behind others. I am ready to try another possible flatter race to see what my time is. We shall see if that happens.  I would definitely recommend this race to others and would love to run it again. It was a great experience!

Oh, and the other girls did great also! Bethany finished 1 minute ahead of me, the rest of the gang not too far behind, all within about 20 minutes of Bethany and I. I am so proud of myself and my friends! We rock!

4:30 in the morning sure is early, but I'll smile!

How cute is Megan in her pink and grey? Love it!

One of the only pics my mom and Liz got of me, they didn't even see me until I started shouting their names.

Durhhh I don't know what I am doing here.

Please note the rolling hill

Holy cow we made it! Bethany, Megan, and I

My sister!

Our cheerleaders! Mom and Liz, thanks so much for supporting us! Yall rock!

The group minus Ashley: Megan, me, Kelly, Bethany and Mere

Medal and shirt. I love the shirt, it is dry fit material.

Before the race

Bethany and I before the race


  1. nice job! way to push through that last hill :)

  2. Great job! You rocked that race!

  3. Congrats girl!!! Looks like you enjoyed it!! Your experience in the race was much like mine (and I have that weird feet-falling-asleep thing happen to me, too, sometimes). Were there still people around mile 7 or so passing out cups of beer and champagne?? I thought that was hilarious last year!!

  4. So proud of all my girlies! I knew you could do it!

  5. Great race! Sounds like a fun one :) Congratulations!!

  6. New reader here! Congratulations on finishing the half. I have my first on June 11th. Time to get fired up!

    I'm a social worker too and am looking forward to continuing to read!

  7. Thanks everyone for the sweet and kind comments! It makes my day!:)

  8. Yeah!!! So glad you were able to run and the injury didn't get in the way. Hate we didn't make it to NashVegas, but....I still ran my race. Again. Congrats on the first. Awesome time. Keep it up!

  9. Congratulations on a great race.

    This was also my first half. I thought it was a lot of fun and would definitely do it again. I wish I would have better trained on hills, but I managed. I am glad I am not the only one that thought the last mile was near torture. :)

    From the looks of your pictures - I think we stayed at the same hotel. My 3 friends and I ended up calling a taxi the night before to get us to the start of the race. We had long waits for the shuttle at the hotel all weekend so we decided to play it safe.

    Congrats again on a great race.

  10. Great job on your finish!! I also ran the half this past weekend! This is my second time doing this one and I can't decide if I want to do it again or venture onto other races. I'm doing the Women's Half this September for the second time as well! It is a really fun race too!
    Congrats again!