St. Jude’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon Recap (Part Two)

Miles One through Nine

I know this may seem weird to segment this as miles one through nine but you will soon know why. The first mile started downhill but that didn’t last very long. The overall goal was to finish the race in under 2:30:00. I’ve never ran with a group before so things felt different. Since it was my daughter and son-in-law running with me it did feel relaxed and I was very happy to be running with them. We agreed that I would set the pace at the start. That helped me stay relaxed for sure. The first half mile started a little fast but by the time we hit the one mile mark we settled in to a relaxed and steady pace and finished the mile in 11:23.

Remember in part one of this post I mentioned my daughter and I had the urge to go pee just before the start of the race? Well, the urge didn’t go away. We found porta potty’s at about the 2.5 mile mark. Of course there was a waiting line. We moved as quickly as we could but still lost about 7 or 8 minutes.

Miles two and three were both ran in 11:30 (minus the pee penalty). Mile four was our fastest mile of the day at 10:42. Mile eight was the slowest of the first nine miles at 11:36. The other miles were between 10:56 and 11:30 per mile.

My plan for nutrition during the run was to eat two Clif Blocks just before hitting the water stations. Since I ate a few before the race I knew I’d come up short after mile nine but figured I would be fine that close to the finish. Upon getting to the mile seven water station I noticed I had dropped one of my Clif Blocks so I only ate one block at that station which left me two more for the mile nine station. When we got to mile nine guess what? I had lost my last two Clif Blocs! I have learned the hard way now to make sure to take more than you need just in case. This meant I had very little supplemental energy consumed after the 5.5 mile mark.

Could anything else go wrong? Of course it could. Somehow I turned off my watch that was tracking my run. I think it happened when I tightened up my wrist band and I must have accidentally hit the stop button. My Fitbit Surge stopped tracking my run at the 9.12 mile mark. At this point I showed a time of 1:42:43 with an average pace of 11:15 per mile.

Miles Ten through Thirteen Point One

I realized my mistake very close to the ten mile mark and quickly got my watch tracking again. I know it was close to ten miles because the second segment on my watch tracked exactly 3.1 miles. I think mile ten was pretty close to the pace of the previous nine miles.

I had no trouble setting the pace for us but after mile ten I started slowing down and I was no longer the pace setter. I think the lack of energy supplements had taken its effect. I don’t recall exactly where we were, but I think somewhere between miles 11 and 12 there was a group on the sidelines with a large box of pretzels and another box with candy. In hindsight, I should have grabbed a handful of the candy. I didn’t because I was reluctant to eat something without knowing the effect it would have on me. I think we were far enough along if there were any bad effects, it wouldn’t have hit until after the finish line. Live and learn I guess.

The final mile splits were between 11: 51 and 11:57. The last tenth of a mile was at a 10:09 per mile pace. At least the dash to the finish was strong. Our official finish time was 2:38:17. Had we not stopped to pee I think we would have finished under 2:30:00.

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Conclusion

It was a great experience. Running the St. Jude’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon with my daughter and son-in-law made it an experience I’ll never forget and I will always treasure the memories. We’re considering running this event together next year and then the following week run the OneAmerica Mini Marathon in Indianapolis, IN. Trying to figure out our work schedules along with the miles we live apart and have to travel for both events might be hard to pull off. I’m hopeful we can swing one of them at least.

Twenty-five years ago after running the Mini Marathon in Indianapolis I swore I’d never run another half marathon again. This time I was much better prepared. The added years to my age have slowed me down but I feel like I still have room for improvement. Who knows, with more training and experience maybe I can better my running time to the levels I had a long time ago. Time will tell and I’m not giving up the dream.

Postscript: I forgot to mention Nashville has a lot of hills. There were more than I expected for sure. None of them were all that steeply graded but they went on seemingly forever. Finish one and look ahead and see another one.

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