Nervous Nelly

I am so glad that I have Thanksgiving to distract me from the fact that I have MY FIRST MARATHON IN 11 DAYS!!!!!

Am I ready?  I don’t know, but I guess I’ll find out!

Am I excited?  Ummm… YEAH!

Am I nervous?  UNBELIEVEABLY so.

But I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, so I’m just ready to do this thang.

I ran last night after two days of rest following my 20-miler Saturday.  I expected to still feel sluggish, and I sat out with all intents of just taking on an easy 5 miles.  The legs (even the knee!) felt really good!  Without even trying, that was my second fastest 5-mile run ever.

Maybe it was the nerves; maybe it was the bangin’ play list I’m putting together; or maybe it was the fact that I had some pretty ferocious winds at my back for part of the run.  Whatever.  I’ll take it any way I can get it.

I hope you all have a glorious Thanksgiving!

Clarksville Half Marathon: The Race Report

I’ve really been looking forward to this race for quite some time.  The Clarksville Half was my first-ever HM.  I ran it last November 7th a mere four months after I started running.  I was excited to see what kind of time improvement I could put up on the same course one year later.

As you may know, my knee has been giving me a bit of a fit lately, and after a six-miler Thursday night, I had serious doubts about whether or not I would be able to run this race on Saturday.  By the end of those six miles I was feeling nauseated I was in so much pain.  Every time I bent that knee it felt like something was slicing behind my kneecap.  But I had done an out-and-back and I didn’t have a phone with me, so without resorting to hitch-hiking, my legs were my only mode of transportation back to my car.

Anyway, long story short, after lots of drugs, ice, and very, VERY agressive stretching and massaging (which has led me to a new theory that I am going to be speaking to the sports medicine doctor about tomorrow when I see him after my MRI) I was able to toe the line Saturday morning feeling pretty darn good.

It was a chilly morning–probably the coolest one of the fall so far!  The temp on the car hovered right around the freezing mark on the drive to Clarksville.  By the time the sun came up and we were set to start running at 8:00, it was probably up to around 40.  I couldn’t have asked for a better running day!  It was cool at the start but with my awesome pink knee-high compression socks, shorts, and a short-sleeve tech tee I was PERFECT once I got moving.  I felt bad for the people that obviously didn’t check the hour-by-hour forecast to see that it would be upwards of 60 degrees by the time we finished.  Toward the end I was passing people who were no doubt suffocating in their cold gear tights and compression turtlenecks.

So back to the starting line…

Don’t you just love early-morning no-makeup closeups?

The field size for the half was a little shy of 500 runners this year.  There were no corals or anything, so I just kind of stood off to the side with D (Yes, the Hubs actually went to a race with me!  He slept in the truck while I was running, but at least he came!  haha  And he did make it back to the finish line before I did.) and stretched until someone yelled GO.  I waited for the pack to thin out a little bit, passed my fleece jacket off to D and I was off.

I gotta hand it to ’em… for what the expo lacked, the race made up for.  They didn’t have bands on the course like they did last year and like the website said they would this year, but they outdid themselves with the support.  There were portajohns all throughout the course (which thankfully I never had to utilize), and there was water/Gatorade about every two miles.  Each stop was very well-staffed, and the volunteers were all so cool and encouraging!

There’s really not a lot to tell about my race.  I didn’t take my camera with me because honestly there’s not much to look at on the course.  It’s a pretty course, but it’s just typical rural Tennessee countryside–the same thing I see on EVERY run!

My knee didn’t put up too much of a protest, and I made it to about mile 10.25 before I had to stop for a minute to walk/stretch out a twinge.  And with that I was good to go again.  I walked one more time for a cup of Gatorade at the last water stop at mile 12 and then brought it on home still feeling strong.  D was there at the finish line with camera in hand, but the sun behind me really whited out the picture and it wasn’t worth keeping.  Hopefully the race photos turn out decent!

My official time came in at 2:21:13, an 8:02 PR from April!  I felt strong throughout the course and can’t wait to run it again next year when I’m hopefully not nursing a bum knee and not in the smack in the heart of marathon training.  I definitely could have put more into this race than I did, but since my ultimate goal is Vegas in 5 weeks I didn’t want to push anything.

I got a hefty PR out of it and a new piece of jewelry, and really, what more can a girl ask for?