Sunday, December 05, 2010
The Dog Days Are Over
Friday around noon I left for Memphis to go run my second half marathon this year. Considering last December I wanted to run a single half marathon I am very pleased with this portion of my new year's goal.
I got to Memphis with my friend and we went to straight to the expo to pick up our packets. While there I was convinced to sign up for the Country Music Half. It was cheaper to register there and I got a free shirt, plus I would have ended up registering it before the month's end anyway. After packet pick up we checked in at the hotel, did a little shopping and then were on the search for food. Every place in town had a minimum of an hour wait, so we opted for Whole Foods where I ate two very large pieces of pizza, a small salad, and a chocolate chip cookie. It was 8:30 and I was ready for bed. I laid out all my gear and got to bed.
5 AM came pretty fast. I got ready and ate my normal race meal of fruit and a luna bar and a few swigs of Diet Coke. We met up with the rest of our group and headed downtown. The race was very well organized and we dropped our bags at bag check. We also watched a friend WIN the 5k. I was a little nervous, but that's normal. We all made our way to our different corrals. I did a quick jog and met up with a friend who I ran 9 miles of the race with.
They used a wave start and I started 10 minutes after the first runners. The first 3 mile were pretty easy and we were keeping a good pace. We were running through downtown, so the sites were more interesting. Right after mile 3 we turned on to Beale which was a nice hill. Right before mile 4 I realized I hadn't reset my Garmin from my run on Wednesday. UGH! So I reset it and it was 30 minutes behind. At that point I knew there was no way I could use it for my exact time, but as a guideline. Mile 5 was through the St. Jude's Campus and was a really neat part of the race. I took a GU right before St. Jude's. We proceeded to run through a residential area and a park. Around mile 9 I was feeling ROUGH. I got another GU and I told my friend to go ahead and I was going to slow down a little bit. And slow down I did. I was pretty much taking water at every mile after 9. And walking through the water stops. Poplar Avenue might have been a rolling street, but it sure was a long one. I would finish running up one gradual hill and start to run down it only to see another hill in front of me. Plus, the downtown buildings seemed so far away. During miles 9-13 I thought about walking, never doing another one of these again, and flat out stopping.
But, it really wasn't as bad as I was making it out to be. I was fine. Tired, but fine. And at that point I had less than a 5k left. I could do it. And do it I did.
I haven't looked at the splits from my watch, but my official time: 1:58:53. Even though I wanted to do better, I will take it! My training really slacked off after mid-October and I didn't get a long run in over 10 miles either. So, my time was 4 seconds faster than country music which is nothing at all, so I have some work to do for the next one. I do know that I felt much better after this race and I wasn't walking around in a daze for 20 minutes after either! I definitely have some things to work on for the next race. Overall it was a great race and I am glad I did it.
Part of my running group that made the trek to run in Memphis
I finished and am alive!