My thoughts on the 11th annual Country Music Marathon in Nashville, TN…
Country Music Marathon
April 24, 2010
My Run: Overall, the Country Music Marathon (CMM) was my fourth full marathon, and my second in the last four weeks (Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon on 03/28). In Knoxville, I set a new PR of 3:39, and in the back of my mind hoped that I could improve on that time at the CMM. I really like running with pace groups, and at the CMM, the pace groups are set every 15 minutes. It took me a while to decide whether I would run with the 3:45 group, and attempt to pick it up at the end, or try to hang with the 3:30 group. I ultimately decided to go with the 3:30 group which turned out to be a poor decision considering the conditions on race day.
All week, the forecast had called for severe storms on Saturday, and ultimately the race organizers decided to cut off the full marathon after 4:30. The prediction was for a first wave of storms that would clear out around 6am, and then a second wave would move in around mid-day. This is pretty close to how it turned out, but what I didn’t expect was that during this gap there would be warm, sunny, and humid conditions.
I was able to hang with the 3:30 pace group through the first 11 miles or so, but the heat and humidity took a big toll. Between miles 11 and 12 I hit the wall very hard (bonked). My heart rate was in the mid 180s, which is much higher than I am used to after coming through the winter months. I had to walk for a bit to try and lower my heart rate, and began dumping cold water over my head. I began to think that finishing the race was going to be extremely difficult. Once I reached the second half of the course, I was able to regain some semblance of a running rhythm, and made the decision that I was going to walk for a couple of minutes at every aid station, and simply focus on finishing.