Monthly Archives: May 2016

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.



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.

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

After traveling nine days, visiting four cities in three states and covering 1,671 miles I finally have time to write about my experience in running the St. Jude’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. The past nine days were very busy with little time to sit still for long. I got to see and run with my daughter and son-in-law. Visit with two of the grandkids, my mother, sister, and a whole bunch of cousins, aunts and uncles. At the start of this writing it’s still a bit of a whirlwind.

We headed to Nashville on the Friday before the race. The travel by car went smoothly-even the part through downtown Atlanta. I made sure to drink plenty of water on Thursday and Friday. In fact at least 100 ounces on both days with Nuun electrolyte tablets added. I did have to make a bunch of pee stops on the way to Nashville though. We arrived in Nashville around 2 p.m. and my daughter and her family arrived about an hour later. My daughter, son-in-law and myself headed down to the Music City Center right away to get our race packet. Our motel was just a little over a mile away from the Music City Center and with the traffic we probably could have walked faster. On top of that, I had to pay $10 to park once we got there.


The Health Expo was very well organized. The line to get our race packet and shirts went very quickly and the people at the check-in were very friendly and easily answered our questions. We didn’t stay all that long at the expo though. We all wanted to eat an early dinner, prep for the race and try to get to bed early. If we do this again I think we will try to get to Nashville by mid-day so we have more time to walk around the expo area and allow us not to feel so rushed.

Immediately after getting back to the motel we all (my wife, grandkids, daughter & son-in-law) went across the street to Amerigo Italian Restaurant where we hoped to eat a plate of pasta to carbo load a bit. Unfortunately, the wait for a table was about 90 minutes. So we walked next door to Blackstone Restaurant & Brewery. Not much on the menu for carbo loading but we were able to get a table immediately. The dinner was good just didn’t get the pasta I was hoping to have. Instead I had a tuna steak sandwich. Some had pizza, sandwiches, ribs, etc. I even tried one of their brewed beers.

Back to the motel we started prepping for the race. We had been checking the weather several times a day for most of the week and rain situation wasn’t looking good for race day. By Friday evening it was starting to look like we might get a break in the rain forecast. It appeared we were right on the edge of the weather system so it could go either way. We were certainly praying for the best. With our clothes, shoes and gear laid out I was in bed by 9 p.m. with my alarm set for a 4 a.m. wakeup.

Up at 4 a.m. I felt rested. I dropped two Nuun tablets into a liter bottle of water and started nursing it down. I ate a Quest protein bar and a Clif Bar right away. I really can’t eat anything unless its at least two hours before a run. Jumped into the shower, dressed and doubled checked I had my shoe tag, number bib, ear buds, phone, SPIBelt, and Clif Blocks for energy during the race. I met my daughter and son-in-law in the lobby and I drank coffee while they ate their breakfast. By then I had started my second liter bottle of water with Nuun tablets.

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All Dressed and Ready

After breakfast it was going on 6 a.m. We had shuttle bus tickets to the starting line so we headed outside to wait on the bus. We had garbage bags to use a rainsuits and ziplock bags to protect our phones but at the last minute decided to take our chances and leave them behind. The bus ride was uneventful and it didn’t take very long to get to the dropoff point. It was nice not having to stress about getting to the start. By the time we got there though I had to pee BAD! The bus dropped us off around 2nd Avenue and the porta potty’s were up the hill to 7th Avenue. I knew there were supposed to be porta potty’s near the start line. The trouble was we couldn’t find them or any signs pointing us in the right direction. I finally found a police officer that gave me directions and we quickly moved to get relief. By then, my daughter was ready to go too! Of course, as with any race there is a line to get in the porta potty. Let’s just say I was doing quite a bit of dancing and jumping while I waited my turn.

My dancing around must have been a little to close to being a rain dance because the sky opened up with a downpour minutes afterward. Luckily, we found shelter using a building overhang. I can’t remember how long the rain lasted, maybe 15 minutes tops. Once the rain stopped we started walking toward our starting corral. Our starting corral was 32 so we were staged four large city blocks from the starting line. No problem at all getting to our corral. Just a few minutes later, the rain came again but this time with some lightning and thunder in the distance. We found shelter under a gas station pumping area and started waiting it out.  The rain didn’t last long but you could still see lightning and hear thunder in the distance. The race was supposed to start at 7:00 a.m. I received text message that the race was delayed until 7:30 due to the weather.

I never intended to finish the second liter bottle of water but after drinking two I needed to get some relief again! We walked two blocks to the nearest porta potty’s and the lines were crazy long. I didn’t keep track of the time we waited but let me tell you it felt like forever. I should tell you now, after waiting over a week to write this some of the details and sequence of events could be off slightly. While we waited I got another text message saying the race would start at 7:45 a.m. It was hard to hear the PA system from the porta potty queue but we were still waiting in line when the National Anthem was sung. By then our stress level was up a bit. Minutes after the National Anthem we were relieved and quickly heading to our corral. I’m not sure how soon the first corral’s took off after the National Anthem but we stood still for a long time before we started moving toward the start line. I calculated our start time would be no sooner than 8:17 or no later than 8:51 a.m.


With the delay I was starting to get hungry. I went ahead and ate three of my Clif Blocks. I didn’t really bring extras so this would cause me to come up a little short at the end but I figured I would still be OK since I did eat a little earlier. Normally, I eat nothing when I run in the morning. Finally, we started slowly moving toward the start line. Once we got within a block or so from the start both my daughter and I needed to pee again! There was no way we could run over to the potty’s and still find our way back to our corral. All we could do at this point is hope the urge would go away. At approximately 8:45 a.m. we made it across the start line…


St. Jude’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon Report Coming Soon

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in several days. I did run in the St. Jude’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon and I had a great time running with my daughter and son-in-law.

I’m on the road traveling to visit family all of this week. I had hoped to have time to write the details about my experience in Nashville but just haven’t had the time to put my thoughts down in writing yet. I have a feeling it will be the early part of next week before I get it done. I’m traveling to four cities in eight days and visiting with family in each of them. Don’t have the time I’d like to spend with the family let alone write on my blog.

Stay tuned. My story and photos coming soon!


The Start Line & the Finish Line

Workout Playlist of the Month: May 2016

Since I just finished the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Nashville I thought this would be a great time to feature some country music tracks.

Where The Blacktop Ends – Keith Urban (79 BPM)
She s So California – Gary Allan (130 BPM)
Boot Scootin Boogie – Brooks and Dunn (131)
You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift (130 BPM)
Best Days Of Your Life – Kellie Pickler (128 BPM)
You Win My Love – Shania Twain (128 BPM)
Gone Country – Alan Jackson (126 BPM)
I Like It, I Love It – Tim McGraw (124 BPM)
Stays In Mexico – Toby Keith (123 BPM)
Seven Nation Army – The Oak Ridge Boys (123 BPM)
Lovin’ All Night – Rodney Crowell (89 BPM)
Kickstart My Heart – Rascal Flatts (89 BPM)
Country Girl (Shake It for Me)- Luke Bryan (106 BPM)
Baby Likes to Rock It – The Tractors (80 BPM)
Ring of Fire – Billy Burnette (81 BPM)
American Middle Class – Angaleena Presley (80 BPM)

To learn an easy way to create a workout mix check out my blog post, “Easy Way to Create Your Own Music Mixes Using the Cross DJ App“.