back back back again (CMM 2015)

Happy Monday and Happy International-I-Hate-College-Why-Didn’t-I-Go-To-Cosmetology-School-It’s-Finals-Week Day!

On Saturday, April 25, I ran the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville. The experience was very different from my first half, but I loved it even more.

I drove home Friday morning to meet my family in Nashville. It’s my hometown and in my opinion the best city in the South. I am a completely objective third party with absolutely no bias in the matter.

I pretty much quit training after the big February snows. I kept in shape for the most part, but my training runs went to crap. Aka I didn’t do them. I’d run a couple miles here and there, but nothing that could be considered preparatory for this race. Therefore, all expectations of my PR/finishing time went out the window. Instead, I decided to focus on enjoying the time with my family and run with my little sister, Kathryn. 

She signed up for the race on a whim and hadn’t trained much either. Actually, she informed me at mile 6-7 that she had never run more than 2 miles at one time. Eep.

The course for the CMM was 100 times better than the course for my Nashville half in November. We ran through a lot of neighborhoods, and people came out and sat on their front lawns drinking, watching and cheering us on. Signs like, “You run better than our government” and “Keg this way” definitely made the race better.

Around mile 8, she started to fade. She was so ready for it to be over, which is totally understandable. But she pushed through. We ran/walked the entire race, which was totally fine with me. I decided that our goal was to finish in under 3 hours, with the 1.1 run the whole way.

I have never run distance with someone, and it was great to have someone to talk to, motivate, and keep pace with. Kathryn told my mom later that when I got on my motivational rants she would start running again 80% because she appreciated what I was saying and 20% so I would shut up. No offense taken.

The last mile was a real push. I insisted that we run the whole thing, and when we came over the last bridge towards the Titans’ Stadium, I think she finally realized how close she was to being done. We sprinted in hand-in-hand, grinning from ear to ear.

Finish Time: 2:54:30

We met up with the rest of the family. Mom and Aunt Cynthia finished in right over 3 hours, while Uncle Scott and Philip ran the 5k and then went and got breakfast to wait for us.

I got an additional medal for running for St. Jude. I can’t explain the amount of pride I had wearing that jersey. Over 3,000 runners were St. Jude Heroes! Huge thanks to everyone who donated to my fundraising campaign. I raised over $700 for the sweet babies of St. Jude.

Post-race we grabbed lunch at the Pour House. It was our first time there. The food menu was one page and the drink menu was 5. Bourbon aficionados, you’ve found your home.

Afterwards we went home and relaxed. Also I ate 3 red velvet mini cupcakes. But that’s beside the point.

This race really changed my perspective on running. I fell back in love with the sport. I think I had set unrealistic expectations for myself, and pushed myself too much too soon into starting this great hobby. I wanted to qualify for Boston, but I forgot the years of training I needed to get there. I am running again in the fall, but my training plan is going to consist of a lot of working out and only running 3 days a week. I think that’s the balance I need for now. Over the summer I’m only going to school and having a complete lack of social life, so I’m hoping to get in great shape for fall racing season.

Sunday my sister and I did a quick round of yoga to stretch out our achy bodies. I’m still doing the Tone It Up Bikini Series, although finals week is going to be the ultimate test.

Long story short, the Country Music Half was fantabulous and I totally recommend it to beginners and veterans alike. Running through Nashville is a beautiful thing and the course was fairly flat. Come run with me next time! Maybe I’ll do the full next spring winky face winky face.