On Saturday, I ran in my 10th half marathon. I honestly didn't realize it was number 10 until after the fact, but it's still kind of cool nonetheless.
I ran in the Tom King Classic here in Nashville. I'd run this before i 2007 and 2008, but I wasn't in shape to do it last year. Needless to say, I had been looking forward to running it again because it's one of my favorite half marathons. I even set my PR here back in 2008.
I had grand aspirations several months ago about trying to PR at this race, but when my world changed with a new job I knew it probably wasn't going to happen. I really have not been putting in the kind of training that a new PR requires, and I've honestly been ok with that. Sometimes it's good to take it easy for a bit.
In fact, I was way more unprepared than I was really really to share on this blog. Since the half marathon that I ran on February 13th (an exact month before this race), I had run a total of like 10 miles... over the course of those 4 weeks.
In most cases, this is really insufficient training for a half marathon, but I knew I've been running long enough and am fit enough overall that I could wing it. I just had to go into it with reasonable expectations... like knowing it wouldn't be my fastest half and knowing it might be kind of hard.
In addition to my lack of training, I also started having some sinus issues starting on Thursday. It wasn't terrible yet, but deep down I knew that running was probably not the smartest idea. However, like most runners, this did not stop me.
Oh, and I kind of stayed out until 2am the night before. This is also not ideal, but it is what it is...
So I headed to the Titans stadium and met up with some friends who were also running the race. One of the guys I used to work with was running his second ever half, and his wife was running her very first one. I decided to start with her and another gal she planned to run with.
Since it's almost St. Patrick's Day and I was feeling less than serious about this run, I decided to wear some special socks. See below.
They also had little shamrocks on the back. See below.
We set out with about a 9:30 pace for the first couple of miles. I felt pretty comfortable, but I wondered if I would end up slowing down a bit.
We ended up chatting a good bit as we ran, and that really helped to make the time go by and keep me distracted. By mile 8 or 9, I could definitely feel my lack of training. It wasn't terrible though, so I kept going.
We definitely slowed down to more of a 10:00 pace, but I was managing to hang on and was having a fun time running and chatting.
When we got closer to the end, I found myself picking it up a bit. Even though I was tired, I definitely wanted to finish strong. Before I knew it, I was running into the stadium and on the football field.
I passed a big group of people toward the very end, and then I ended up kind of sprinting against this one guy for the final yards.
One of the cool things about finishing inside the football field is that you're also shown up on the Jumbo Tron!
I ended up finishing in 2:08:20. It wasn't my fastest half, but it also wasn't my slowest. I think that factoring in my lack of training, lack of sleep and lack of clear sinus passages that it went pretty well. We were one happy group at the finish line.
I really love this race. It's a great course that's actually really flat considering it's located in Nashville. The weather was perfect this year - cloudy and cool. It's a real shame I wasn't in better shape because I would have loved to have been able to try to push for a PR.
One of my favorite things about the race is that they offer a buffet breakfast after the race, but this year I was less than impressed. I had a biscuit, but the hashbrowns were mushy and the eggs were incredibly bland. I guess maybe they had to cut back or something, but I'm hopeful they'll step it back up next year and return to the same quality that used to have at it.
All in all, it was a great race. I definitely felt sore the next day, but that seems to be gone now. I think that it was proof that I'm capable of more than I expect sometimes, and it was also a great start to getting more serious about training since I have two more halfs coming up in April... one of which I'd like to try to push and do really well if I can.