Music City Half Marathon Race Report (#14)

I have run this race 3 times now.  It's the flattest course around.  For months, I'd been training hard and planning on attempting a sub-2:05 on the course or getting a PR at least.  Last year, I ran 2:05:52 on the course.

It was a pretty good day, not an awesome race, but ok. I missed my goal of sub-2:05, but not by much. 2:05:26  I can't be too upset with a new 26-second half marathon PR (over last year on the same course). I was much better trained this year though, but my body wasn't super cooperative today. It was a fight in the later miles: me against my body!

Course was 13.2, but I stopped my Garmin at 13.1 so I could see my 13.1 time. My chip time was 2:06 ish. This is only the 3rd half marathon where I've run every single step. I always used to walk through the water stops, but I carried my fuel belt and didn't walk at all today. That's always a win.

Overall, I ran a strong first 7 miles right where I wanted to be at around a 9:27 pace. At the half-way mark of 6.55 (cool sign placed there), I was on track for a 2:04. However, soon after that I started struggling a bit. In miles 8 and 9, I dropped to about a 9:45 pace with the same amount of effort. My legs felt unusually tight and my right glute started aching about this time. (An ALL FLAT course uses the same muscles in a completely repetitive motion and that could be part of the tightness. And I honestly just don't run enough 9:30 miles to be super-comfortable there. Note to self!)
The wheels fell off even more in mile 10 with a 10:02 pace. I had some stomach cramps in mile 10 (thinking, "Uh oh, where's that dang port-o-potty???) and being in pain always slows you down. Luckily, the stomach cramps passed, but my legs just did not want to move at the pace I wanted them to!

Then my right ankle and Achilles tendon both started to hurt. I got a little angry at my body at this point, but more determined. I managed to get the wheels back on a bit in miles 11 and 12, which were down in the 9:40's again. (Praying my Achilles wouldn't rupture. I hear they do that. It had been sore on Friday after a very hilly run on Thursday.) So then my right ankle and achilles and glute were all hurting. It was almost comical. I'm sure my form was just lovely. I was close to the end, so I decided to just push through the pain and fatigue. I literally told my legs, "You're tired. So what??" at least twice. I'm pretty sure I didn't actually say it out loud but I might have. :-)

My fast friend James met me at mile 13 and we finished relatively strong (mile 13 was a 9:30 pace exactly). Finished the .1 around a 9:12 pace. He was an excellent pacer and motivator. He told me no whining. So I just didn't talk.

I had a hard time finding my stride today. I kept concentrating on running "comfortably hard," and being "smooth, light, easy, fast" (a quote from Born to Run) with a quick foot turnover. I'd have moments where I'd find my stride and was just rolling smoothly along and moments where I felt like I was running like Phoebe Buffet from Friends. Awkward. ;-)

I might not have "left it all out there," but I left most of it and that was good enough.

  • Currently 4/5 Effort.