Monday, March 30, 2015

Music City Half Marathon Race Recap

   I've been gearing up for the Oak Barrel Half Marathon, which is this weekend. As part of my training, I had a 12-mile run on my schedule recently (March 22). Since running 12 miles solo can be pretty boring, I signed up for the Music City Half Marathon. What's one more mile, right?


   The race was on Sunday, so advance packet pickup was Saturday. Rather than being in a running store or someplace like that, the pickup was held at the offices of the Cumberland River Compact, which was the charity partner of the race. The offices are located in the Bridge Building, which has, what you would expect, an amazing view of the Cumberland River. Though I've past by this building a lot, I'd never been inside. It was pretty cool and had a GREAT view.

Not bad, eh?

   The race started at 8:00 am, so I got up around 6:00 am. I wasn't nervous about the race, since I was really determined to use it as a training run. Coach Andrew gets on me for running races as training runs because I always go faster than scheduled. And while running fast is good, it can also take longer to recover from and then my training for the upcoming week goes go out the window. With Chattanooga 70.3 coming up soon, I didn't want mess up my training. I had to take it easy.
   I arrived at the race start around 7:00 am. (Yes, I like to get to races early. It lowers my stress level immensely.) The race started and ended downtown on Public Square. It's a great place for a race because there's a courtyard with a lot of room for runners to hang out before and after the race. The parking situation is iffy though, and I'll get to that in bit. 
   I don't really have much to say about the race itself.  We were fortunate to have a beautiful day and Team Magic always does a great job with their races. It was well-organized, had ample water stops and lots of food at the end. Other than the half-mile getting in and out of town, the course was FLAT. If you want to PR - do this race. The Tom King course might be a little flatter, but it's pretty close. You're on a greenway for 99% of the time. Not the most interesting route, but other than passing through the water treatment center, not too bad. The run by the river was nice, though the headwind on the way back was awful. Apparently, Nashville has turned into Chicago over the past few years as the wind in the Spring has just gotten crazy.  
   I finished the race in 2:06. A little faster than I was supposed to go (shocking), but not too far off. And I got a fancy medal at the finish! 


   I'm glad I decided to sign up for this race. Even though I ran solo for the entire race, I never felt alone and I was way more motivated to run than I would have been if I was just out for a training run. If you're looking for a good first half marathon, or a course to PR, this would be a good one.
   The only negative - the parking. While I'm sure there's street parking somewhere, I decided to park in a lot since I'm not that familiar with downtown. Y'all - I got charged $20 for parking!! $20! On a Sunday morning!! I know that's not the race director's fault, but it's definitely something that I'm going to think about the next time there is a downtown race. There was supposed to be a parking lot available for racers for $3, but I guess it wasn't open when I got there because this was the only open lot I saw. It kind of bummed me out after having such a good day. Whomp Whomp.
   
   Next up - Oak Barrel and Whiskey Hill!!