Since I mostly lurk, I'll introduce myself. I'm 4'10" - hence the handle. I'm 34 and live in East TN with DH, our dog and two cats. We moved back to our hometown last summer to help take care of our aging parents and my oldest brother who is dealing with lung cancer. Both DH and I were "surprises" in our families, so our parents are OLD. I went from working full-time to part-time after the move in order to be more available to our parents and my brother. In order to keep myself sane, I chose running as my go-to form of exercise. I began running again last July. I ran in middle and high school, but back then I did sprints. My longest race was the half mile, so this distance stuff is a whole new deal.
Cliff's Notes Version: 2:33:18, ran and finished with three of my best friends. weather was horrid - 50's, pouring rain, wind
Novel: Over the holidays, one of my friends brought up the notion of doing a half marathon together. I thought she was nuts. I was up to running six miles as a long run at that point. Several other friends decided to sign up and train. One friend lives in my town and asked if she could run with me. I said sure. She kept trying to talk me into the half. I looked up the race and about fainted from sticker shock. It's a R-n-R series race. Spendy, tons of people, and I'm an introvert. Still not sold. I finally told my friend I'd see how I felt about month out and decide then. Turns out I felt good, and we have friends in Nashville who we could mooch off of stay with, so I thought "what the hell" and signed up.
I didn't follow any particular plan. I just kept building my base and got up to running five days a week. My longest run was 11 miles, and I still ran the 5k's I'd signed up for. I run hills all the time because of the geography of the area. I do yoga, stretch, and foam roll and haven't had any injuries save some chafing from a pair of tights.
DH and I went to Nashville a day early and went to the expo. There were so many people. I wanted to get out quick. I did take the time to sign the giant card that will be sent to Boston. We also got "Remember Boston" bracelets to wear. The swag bag was pretty sparse, just the shirt, bag and some advertisements. I did manage to get a cutting board from the Publix display. We got out of there and made our way to Music Row to look around and ducked into a bar that wasn't blaring country music. It has 72 craft beer taps. Ahhhhh. After a little carb loading, we met up with our friends and settled in for the night.
Race Day - Got up at 4:30 and my friends and I head to the shuttles. I ate a Clif bar and drank a gatorade on the way. All of us were nervous about the weather as the sky lit up and we heard rumbles thunder. We get to the starting area and head to the porta-potty lines. That took forty minutes. After reading LTH's Boston RR, I decided to take an individually wrapped wipe. Best. Decision. Ever. There was toilet paper. However, someone dropped it, so it was covered in mud and who-the-hell-knows-what.
As soon as we got done with the porta-potties, the rain started, and by rain, I mean deluge. I think Noah may have been the Grand Marshall. My feet were completely soaked by the time was got to our corral. Oh well. There was a tribute and moment of silence for the victims in Boston before the start which was very moving.
The race finally started. We were in the snail pace corral, so it took a while for us to start. So, very, cold. Finally, at about 7:30 or so, we were off. Our plan was to keep the pace just under 12:00 and then speed up a bit if we were feeling good the last couple of miles. I have a Garmin and am the fastest in our group, so I was charged with the task of pacer. One of our group took off like a canon and looked like a pinball whizzing around people the first half mile. We had to reign her in. After we calmed her down, we settled into a steady pace. The course was pretty neat, winding through downtown Nashville, campuses, historic neighborhoods, subdivisions, and winding back to downtown, ending at LP Field (home of the TN Titans). There are some rolling hills throughout the course, but living in the Eastern end of TN, they weren't a big deal. The crowd support was great. I know not as many people came out as in the past, but those who did were awesome. We were cheered on through pretty much the entire course, lots of high fives, signs, and cheers the whole way. We were surprised when we rounded the corner around mile 3 or so when we say my DH and one of the other SO's there under a pink umbrella cheering us on. That meant the world to us. We all did well during the race. The rain wasn't that bothersome during the actual run. Breathing was easy since the rain washed all the pollen away. My legs felt good and strong. A couple of my friends started having some twinges in their knees around mile 8, but they weren't stopping. Our plan was to finish together. One of us got hit by the pee monster at mile 9. Two others started to fade a bit at mile 10. I felt really good. At that point, I was like "It's a 5k, we've got this! We do these all the time!" They told me to go ahead. I kept them in my sight for a while but then just decided to run my pace because it felt good. I wasn't going to finish without them though. I stopped by the 13 mile marker and saw them round the corner and ran back to meet them. Our friend who was taken by the pee monster escaped and made her way back to us. The four of us ran the last .1 together and crossed the finish as one. Yeah, I could have had a better time, but crossing with my friends was more important. There will be other races.
Chip Time = 2:33:18
We had our post race hugs, got our medals, met up with our SO's and then it hit us. We were fucking freezing. I don't think I've ever been so cold in my life. We got some space blankets and water. Our hands were so cold, we had trouble opening the bottles. We were all shaking violently, so we decided to get the hell out of there. The hot shower, dry clothes, and nap that awaited were nothing short of magical.
Packing a wipe = best decision ever
Hat = must have in the rain, it kept the rain out of my eyes and face
Wool blend socks = goodness, despite being soaked the whole time, I had no blisters and my feet weren't cold
Crowd support = can't say enough about how much this adds to the experience (I'm not usually a fan of big, corporate events, but the people made this special)
Thank you! - I don't post very much, but I do enjoy reading, and I've learned so much from the runners on this forum, so thanks to all of you!
Great job on the race! Sorry about your brother. Running sounds like a great escape for you from all the stress.
Lurk less, post more please!
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
Next: Craziness Achieved
Damaris Runs with Asthma
Nicely done in the rain ancools cool you crossed the finish line with our friends!
Hot Chocolate 5K Chicago November 4, 2012 30:17
Penguin in the Park 5K Decatur Illinois March 23,2013 27:08
I was a surprise too, my parents were in their late 30's and early 40's. Needless to say them foo's were not happy to see me lol! But then I went on to be the best of their brood, ha! ; )
Congrats on the tough race and welcome to the board!
"When the gun goes off, everything changes... the world changes... and nothing else really matters!"
Ugh, I do not envy that post-race freeze! Sounds like you a great time though, despite the rain and cold. Nice job on the HM!
What miserable conditions you had for your race... You are tough to have hung on like you did. Congratulations!
PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013
Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013
Sounds like an awesome first HM experience. The big events definitely have a lot to offer so I'm glad you gave it a chance. That's cool that you finished with your friends. You'll run other races for time, but for this one, it seems like that was the most important thing.
PRs: Marathon (2:49xx; '13) Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:33; '13)
Ugh. Cold, windy, and rain. Sounds like you had the same weather I had yesterday. Congrats on getting out there and running anyway.
Short term goal: 17:59 5K
Mid term goal: 2:54:59 marathon
Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life. (I started running at age 45).
Way to go, HL!! Those conditions sound brutal, but you were more than up to the task. Congrats on a great race!! Thanks for sharing your experience with us, and I hope to hear more from you in the future!!
But The Smile That I Sent Out Returned With You.
Sounds like you had a good race, despite the weather. Congratulations on doing so well on your first HM.
Barking Mad To Run
Congrats on your race, especially in those adverse weather conditions!
Wishing your brother and parents all the best!
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
nice job! sounds like some tough conditions. congrats!
marathon pr - 3:16
And here I thought you were a Tolkien fan! :P
I love that you finished with your friends. You are right there will be other races - and hopefully not in the rain!!
Congrats on first HM, Hobbit. You did fantastic under adverse conditions. So glad that running is such a good outlet for you as you take care of your parents and brother. I'm actually considering this race for next year. Thanks for the nice RR.
First HM: Covenant Health Knoxville HM 4/2013 2:24
Second HM: North Shore HM, Highland Park, IL 6/2013 2:20
Third HM: Hard Rock HM, Nashville, TN 11/2013 2:20
Next Race: Michelob Ultra Miami HM ???
Congrats on the race and de-lurking! It sounds like you had a good time despite crappy conditions.
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