This week I set out to accomplish what I've done five other times in my life - train for a half marathon. After struggling all of 2016 to find my love and agility as a runner I decided on taking the first part of 2017 to dedicate to a 13.1 mile race. I have ran the Nashville RnR Marathon the past two years and this year I'm very excited to be getting back to running the half instead. For anyone with thoughts on running Nashville as a race - it is a tough course. Nashville hills are no joke and April weather in this city will either provide you with extreme rain conditions (with threats of tornadoes) or blazing sun guaranteed to give you your first sunburn of the year. There seems to be no in between for this spring race. So after two years of just trying to get through the full, I am welcoming the half with open arms.
The weather has already been wacky here in Nashville and we've seen high 60s and 30s this week which made the first week of training extra interesting.
By the time yesterday rolled around the weather was in the 30s with a real feel of 29° which is normal for this time of year. However, it's been an overly warm winter and the norm has been temperatures in the 50s and above. Maybe I'll be more ready for this spring half than ever before!
When I got to my mailbox after my run on Monday I found the results book from the 2016 Chicago Marathon. I felt like it couldn't have timed t's arrival more perfectly. Chicago was tough for me. Knowing that I had potential to PR on the flattest course I've ever ran and then coming in over 15 minutes slower than my current PR proved that the lack of consistent training in 2016 was unacceptable. However, seeing my name in the book of finishers at 4:27:05 didn't feel awful. And it reminded me of why I need to work so much harder this year for the October race. When you run the streets of Chicago during the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, you run with people from all over the world. Being an international race, you see signs in other languages, you see flags foremother countries, and you hear cheers that you wouldn't normally hear on a smaller race course in the middle of Tennessee.
¡Sí, se puede!
After I got through the initial shock of running a marathon among 45,000 other runners I started listening in. It wasn't long after the start that my body felt sluggish and sore and I thought that maybe this would be my slowest race yet. But ¡Sí, se suede! continued to be posted on signs from spectators and cheers from people who came from around the world to watch their loved ones run 26.2 miles through Chicago. And that became my mantra to get me through this race.
This week I thought I knew what song I wanted to add the the playlist but then Lady Gaga performed the Super Bowl halftime show and completely changed my course. Truly I feel that her performance helped me get excited about training again because training means time spent listening to powerful music.
She didn't perform A-YO, but her performance took me back to her release of the album Joanne this part October. Talk about a fun beat. Many times during this first week of training I felt extremely out of shape and kept running out of breath. A-YO gave me a good beat to run to, and made running feel a little more like dancing than exercise. I highly recommend adding this tune to your playlist if you're not following Mae's Miles and Music. I can see this song being a big game changer during a long run.