Running In Circles
Saturday, April 30th
Country Music Half Marathon
Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: Country Music Half Marathon
Distance: 13.1 Miles (14 Miles with Warm-up/Cool-down)
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Cloudy, Cool
Comments: After sitting through a traffic jam—rather unexpected on a Saturday at 5:30 a.m.—I needed to hurry to catch the shuttle bus to the start line of the Country Music Half Marathon. Judging by the BenGay-scented horde, I wasn't the only runner trying to catch a last minute bus. Luckily, the race organizers planned for a late rush and had plenty of buses standing by.
I felt a bit chilled while wandering around the start area. The bag drop had closed 30 minutes prior to the first wave, so I had stripped down to my singlet and shorts. The weather was unseasonably cool, but that was fine with me—or would be, once I began running.
I started in "Corral One." I had my trepidations about the wave start, but everything went smoothly. In fact, that was true of the whole race. For such a huge event—18,000-plus runners—there was none of the chaos I've encountered before.
I found the course much hillier than I expected. The hills weren't particularly steep; they just went on and on at a gentle grade, which worked to wear me down. I held an even, comfortable pace, but I started to flag once I saw Elvis at the Marathon/Half-Marathon split, about 11.5 miles in. I finished muttering curses, my hamstrings locking-up with cramps.
After crossing the finish line, I didn't stick around long. I had Angie drive me back to the hotel, where I showered and napped. Once I'd recovered a bit, we hit the town and found a couple of brewpubs, where I washed away the bad taste of my disappointing time with several pints of Nashville's finest beer.
Later, I perused the unofficial results of the half-marathon and found I'd placed 289th out of 11,390 finishers. That means I beat 11,111 other people. Not too shabby.
Since I ran this race way across the country in Tennessee, I'm now up to six states in my quest for 50 Halfs in 50 States.