Country Music Half Marathon April 29 2015

On Saturday, April 25, I toed the starting line of the Country Music Half Marathon.  And as usual, there were a whole lot of thoughts going through my head as I ran the course.

Before I share my ramblings, I would like to give you a bit of background.  I train in Florida.  It's very flat in Florida.  I like to run along a certain street in my hometown because it has "rolling hills."  Elevation 5 feet.  Not an exaggeration.  I will make every effort to get to the side of the road to give a kid a high five.  If there is a little hand sticking out, I may or may not clothesline you to get to that kid.  Worth it.  If someone is offering food or beverages on the course, I will always take it.  If they put forth the effort to go to Krispy Kreme at o'dark thirty so I can have a bit of extra sugar, I will take them, thank the person and declare him/her to be my favorite person.  Because at that point in time, it really is true.  I also give a huge shout of "THANK YOU!" to the volunteers along the course.  Because without them, there would be no race.  And, well, because they're freaking awesome.

Now, this is what flowed through my head.

  • It's cold out.  (It was in the 60's.  Remember, I'm a Florida girl.)
  • Wow.  There are a lot of people here.
  • Starting off downhill.  I like this course!
  • Wait.  What is that giant mound of dirt that they paved over?  Is that a mountain?  Florida Girl doesn't comprehend this.
  • Yes.  I'm over that hill.  Where's the downhill.  Seriously.  What goes up must come down, right?  Why am I turning on a flat road?
  • Ah, yes.  There's the downhill.  Time to fly, baby!
  • Why do these hills keep happening to me?  I didn't sign up for this!  Well, maybe I did.  But that doesn't mean that I have to like it!
  • OMG.  There is a couple sitting in front of their house, drinking champagne at a bistro table.  I love them.
  • This whole street is awesome!  Check out all of the parties going on!  I love this town.
  • Ah, yes.  There's a man up ahead giving out Krispy Kremes.  I love him.  He is my new favorite person.  Wait!  What?  Where are you going?  Are you out of donuts!  WHYYYYYY???!?!  Why couldn't I run just a little bit faster?  I think I'm going to cry a little.
  • Oh, wait.  There's a kid ahead handing something out.  He has a big bowl.  Maybe there's some candy in it.  Nope.   Bananas.  Thanks, kid!  You're my new favorite person!
  • I can't eat this banana yet.  What will I do with the peel?  There aren't any trashcans around.  I'll hold onto it until the next water stop.
  • Don't squeeze the banana.
  • Gentle with that banana!
  • Yay!  Water.  Time to eat the banana.  Why is it squished?
  • This course is really beautiful.  Except for those stupid mountains.
  • This is the hardest I've ever had to work during a race.
  • Will this ever end?
  • Mile 12.  Almost there.
  • Seriously.  Where is mile 13?  
  • At the top.  The finish has to be around here somewhere! 
  • I hear cheering.  It has to be close!
  • Down the bridge and to the right, and there it is!
  • Wait?  Did I cross the finish?  Why isn't there the thingy that says finish line?  Well, I crossed two mats, so I'm going to stop running now.
  • Legs, you can stop.  Wait.  If I stop, I might not start going again.  Walk, legs, walk!
  • Ah, yes.  The medals.  There you are, my precious.
  • Food.  Lots of food.  And what  are you handing me?  A box?  You're handing me a box to put all of my food in?  You know the way to my heart.
  • And, finally, beer.  You make all of the torture worthwhile. Thank you, beer.

Overall, the race was fabulous.  The course was well marked, and well supported.  I was undertrained, and I underestimated the "rolling hills" that I was warned about.  Nashville, I'll be back!  And next time I'll be ready for you, mountains of pain!

This was a very emotional race for me, as my son Josh benefitted from the research conducted at St. Jude.  He is alive today because of the incredible people who have raised the money to fund research.  If you are a St. Jude hero, or if you run for any charity, I thank you.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.