Yesterday I ran my third half-marathon in the Rock-and-Roll Marathon Nashville. It was definitely my hardest one due to a couple of factors. First, the start of the race was delayed by half-an-hour due to the weather. Standing around an extra 30 minutes does not help runners, believe me. Second, it was much warmer than I prefer. When I got there before dawn, it was already 65 degrees. (I never do long runs when it’s in the 60’s. I like it about 20 degrees cooler.) A long morning shower cooled it off, but it rained very little during the actual run, and by the time I made it back to my car it was up to 68 degrees. Had it not been cloudy, I would not have finished. As it was, I barely finished. The temptation to stop and walk was very present. My unofficial time was 2:15:58, which actually puts me ahead of last year’s time by less than a minute. I have no idea how I accomplished this. The final three miles were extremely difficult — the hardest three miles I’ve ever run, in fact — and my pace suffered as a result.
I felt really good through about mile 7, but the eighth mile saw me start to wear down, and by the time I reached the tenth mile marker I was wondering how I was going to finish. But I finished anyway. I am pleased with the effort. And I also took advantage of a steep discount by going ahead and signing up for next year’s half-marathon. In the meantime, I’ve put myself through a lot the last two months (189 miles since March 1), and now I am taking several days off from running.