Race in every state: Tennessee


Women’s Half Marathon Nashville

I decided in August that it was time for me to run a half marathon. I had been going on shorter 4-mile runs for awhile but I wasn’t really pushing myself or trying to do more. Sometimes during those runs, I imagined myself as an awesome marathon runner, conquering long arduous runs, running in snow and rain. I saw myself as an avid trail runner too, leaping over small creeks and bounding up dirt paths, spotting harmless woodland creatures as I sprinted along. I imagined how cool it would be to work towards a goal of running a race in every state or on every continent. Basically, I imagined myself being a “runner.”

After months of imagining, I wanted to really see what it would feel like to cross a hard earned finish line. I decided to start training for that first race. I did research and found the Women’s Running Half Marathon was happening the day before my birthday, just 10 weeks away. I found a good training program that would get me ready in time. I had a goal, I had a plan and I began to put it in action.

My training started with a 5-mile Saturday run and alternated days during the week of cross-training, rest and shorter runs. Every Saturday I increased my run by one mile and amped up the weekday runs too. My greatest assets during training were a friend and my boyfriend who both decided to train with me. Neither one was planning on running with me on race day but they wanted to do the long Saturday runs and an occasional weekday run. Having them on my side really made a difference. They encouraged me, kept me accountable for the Saturday runs and gave me training tips that helped with the aches and pains that cropped up as the runs got longer and longer.

There were plenty of times when I had to wake up at 5-something during the week to run a few miles before work. I so much would have rather stayed in bed. Those were the days that I said to myself, “You are not going to cross that finish line laying in bed.” Then I repeated it to myself until I would drag up and put on my shoes and go out for the run.

Finally race day came. I had tried to get a good night’s rest but I was so anxious that I only got a decent night’s sleep and I woke up super early. All that didn’t matter though. Once the race started, the adrenaline kicked in and I was in full motion. I started with my normal pace of an 11-minute mile and ran 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles. No problem. 4 miles, 5 miles, 6 miles. I kept it strong. My new iPod mix, made special for the race, was working for me. My right knee, which had given me problems during training, was holding up. 7 miles, 8 miles – my knee started bumming a bit so I walked about 150 yards then picked it back up. 9 miles, 10 miles, I saw my best friend and her husband on a corner cheering me on. I thought I wouldn’t see them until the finish line so that surprise encouragement gave me an awesome boost. 11 miles, 12 miles, almost there. 13.1 miles and the finish line. I heard my daughter and my friend I had been training with shouting my name. Moments later my best friend and her husband were there too.
Crossing that finish line was an amazing feeling. I’m so happy that I gave that to myself.

What I have to show for it is a huge boot shaped medal (Go Nashvegas – Eat more rhinestones!) and this…

Race Stats:

  • Time: 2:26
  • Pace: 11:35
  • Distance: 13.1 miles

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