Monthly Archives: April 2014

Country Music Half Marathon 2014

I promise I have not fallen off the face of the earth!  We are in the final weeks of the semester and things are getting a little crazy around here.  Last week, something had to give and unfortunately, it was my blog.  As a matter of fact, this may be the only post you see this week too but everything should get back to normal once the semester closes.

This weekend I ran my fourth Country Music Half Marathon and despite everything being “off,” I managed to get myself a stellar time (for a downtown Nashville race)!

Life in general has been very stressful as of late and I haven’t really been sleeping nearly as much as I should and the night before the race was no exception.  The alarm went off at a very early 4:00 am and I managed to drag myself out the door and made it to Nashville by 5:30.  The race started at 7:00 and it was quite a walk to the start line (and about a mile and a half to my corral…no seriously).

As we walked from LP Field, over the bridge to the start, I notice my right foot was tight.  I have recently switched to custom orthotics and am in a transition period but decided to run this race in my old inserts and my foot seemed a little confused.  It was also 46 degrees outside so I thought it might just be a little cold.  We promptly got in the very long port-a-potty line and I started to just feel a little off.  Three girls decided that despite the fact that hundreds of people were in line, they would start their own line – so not cool – and I thought maybe I was just a little irritated.  Then, as we were heading to our corral (about another half mile…uphill), I started to get a cramp in my side.  Seriously, how was I getting a side stitch on my way to the start?!

We finally made it to our corral and met up with a friend who was the 2:30 pacer, hung out for a while, went to the port-a-potty again, and our corral finally made it to the start line around 8:00.  I stuck to my guns and was running 2:1 intervals and by the time I got to mile 1, I thought I was going to die.  My foot was tight, my hip was tight, the side stitch was not going away, and I thought I might have to pull over to the side and vomit at any second.  By mile 2, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to finish the race.  Was this going to be my first DNF?  Then I heard someone yelling my name and looked up and saw Coach Charles!  I just kept running and by mile 3, I didn’t feel good but I didn’t feel any worse either.

By mile 5, I finally started feeling like a normal human being, and by mile 6 I was actually feeling pretty good.  Then, at mile 8, the side stitch came back.  It was getting hot and I just couldn’t get enough water.   Miles 8-10 are a bit of a blur but around mile 11, I ran into another friend.  We ran together for a while and then I went on ahead.  I kept looking for the mile 12 marker, but couldn’t find it anywhere (it turns out it was missing) and mile 11 felt like the longest mile of my life.

The course has a nice long down hill finish but you have to go up one last hill to get to it and I had decided I would walk that hill.  Just as I was about to stop and walk, I heard Coach Charles yelling “Go Tonya, You Got This.”  Grrr…now I CAN’T walk!  I looked down at my watch and realized I could actually break 3 hours (after the way the race started I didn’t think that would even be possible), so I started to push it.  I felt like I was once again going to vomit, but it was going to have to wait until I reached the finish line. 2:58:40…take that Nashville…oh, and I kept the contents of my stomach too…TMI?

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This Week’s Training

The Countdown: 502 down, 1,692 to go

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 3 miles
Thursday – 3 miles
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Country Music Half Marathon + 2 miles
Sunday – 1.5 mile walk


Boston Strong

Today is Patriot’s day, the day the Boston Marathon is run each year, and I have a few friends who will be out on the streets of Boston today, living their dream.  I also know that there are many people in the country who will be re-living their worst nightmare.

I remember running the Country Music Half Marathon last year, only one week after the bombing in Boston.  Thousands of runners came out in the pouring rain, refusing to be detered by a horrific act; refusing to be afraid.  There was an eerie calm as those same thousands of runners held up their wrists (donning Boston Strong bracelets) and had a moment of silence to reflect on the previous week’s event.

cmm peace start

A year has passed and my local running store held a boston tribute run Saturday.  Quite a few runners and volunteers came together to run either 2.62 miles (representing the marathon distance) or 4.06 miles (the time the bombs went off).

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Rather than mourning, the mood was more one of rejoicing.  We rejoiced in our friends who are running the Boston Marathon today, the strong runner’s resolve, and the fact that we were able to run yet another day.  Take a moment today to just remember that no matter what is thrown at us, as runners, and human beings, we will persevere.