Thursday, October 6, 2011

Music City Half Marathon

Picture from this thread on the Nashville Striders board.

Ended up going to the Music City Half Marathon on Sunday morning. The W brothers drove, picking up Dr P and me on the way out of Murfreesboro. BQ1's hip was still bothering him. so I used his bib and he spectated. Big crowd at around 500 or so. Parking was a breeze, the R lot with the finish line was within 100 meters of everything. Plenty of parking, plenty of porta potties and beer.

Beer was the deciding factor for this race from the beginning. I was really on the fence about the race because I just wanted a long run, and didn't want to race. The W brothers, though have an eye for the local races that have beer. Not that many in middle Tennessee. The Zoo run 5k, Octoberfest 5k, The Flying Monkey Marathon and this race are the only one's I can name. Sure, other races may have beer, but it's domestic swill, not local micro brews. Great to finish a race and enjoy a Yazoo, Blackstone or fine German beer, instead of some watered down American attempt at beer.

I did a easy 4 mile run before the start, trying to time it within about 10 minutes. Plan was for 18-20 miles easy. Lined up towards the back, so I wouldn't be tempted to try and run fast. Still, the first mile was under 8:00 and I was holding back. Took almost 2 miles to get everyone scattered out pace wise. I settled into a pace of about 7:50 and planned to hold that till the end.

Seems like the half marathon crowd is different, or maybe it was just me. No one really seemed to be racing. It was all fun in the sun, lets have a good time. I was ok with that, that was my plan. Just struck me as odd that most people didn't seem to be racing. At least that was my thoughts until we hit mile 5. Then I was thinking the leaders should be coming back our way. That thought made me pick up the pace.

Seemed like I was holding back until I saw the leader. He was all by himself. 2nd place wasn't even close behind. Dr P was 5th. All of this got me down to a 7:10 pace and I forced myself to slow down. Only slowed to 7:40 or so. Once I got close to a runner I'd reel them in and then back the pace back down again. I still needed to got 20 miles and didn't want to fade in the end. Plus, I didn't want to take any gel or gu. I carried some just in case, but didn't plan on using them.

I continued passing runners around the lollipop section of the course at mile 6. It was really tough to keep from racing once the course doubled back on itself. Ended up just making a game of passing runners and trying not to go to hard. Last 4 miles were 6:58, 6:47, 6:42, and 6:43. Nice way to do a long run and the beer and sunshine at the end made it all worthwhile.

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