After finishing the St. Jude Country Music Half Marathon in 2014, I said I’d definitely never run a full marathon. The course was super hilly and I was sore for daaaaays after the race. Fast foward a year, there I was back in Nashville running the freaking full marathon. WHY??? Of all the marathons, I have to say — this was NOT the best choice for me. Sure, it’s got great atmosphere (for about half of it). But, when the distance alone you know will be a challenge…go for something with not a huge amount of elevation gain. Lesson learned, right? Well, my next marathon will be much flatter (win!). But, will I be returning to Nashville again for the half?
I know my mom holds a special place in her heart for this race. I suppose I always will too, despite how much I despise the elevation gain. Hills can be fun — but for me, only if it’s a short run. But, it was my first ever half. And it was my mom’s first big race in several years. We finished the half holding hands and it was by far my most favorite racing memory.
So, I’m at my sister’s birthday dinner party this week and my mom mentions possibly running the half in Nashville again. My husband said I should go down to be the cheerleader. So I half jokingly said, “Yeah, I’d come down to cheerlead for you….or run it too.” I’ve gone mental. That night I had insomnia, and so at 3am I got on my computer and looked at my training schedule. I figured out I could make some changes and make it work. However, I really wanted to run a local 25k HARD this year. Doing a super challenging half just two weeks before might hinder that a little. That’s basically what I did the year I ran the Nashville half. I completed the half and then the next weekend I did an 8 mile “taper” run, and the following weekend was the 25k.
My 25k pace was faster than the half (as it should be considering the significant drop in elevation), however I knew it wasn’t my best because my legs hadn’t fully recovered from the hills. This year was going to be my second chance at it. I’m so torn! I mean the 25k is local and I can do that any year. Do I register for Nashville and just see what I can do for the 25k and just know I probably won’t be meeting any personal goals for it this time? This is a tough call…but you can probably see what I’m leaning towards. I have such a hard time saying no when it comes to races. And if I decide to register for Nashville, what will my racing strategy be? Do I just take it easy? Do I try for a course PR? Decisions, decisions…