Women’s Running Series Nashville Half Marathon Race Recap

What? Women’s Running Series Half Marathon
Who? 2,292 runners
When? Sept. 27, 2014
Where? Nashville, Tennessee
How much? $90

wrsnash

My Finish? 2:46:12
The Swag? technical T-shirt, medal and tote bag
The Good? bottomless mimosas
The Bad? anticlimactic race

wrsnash swag

Have you ever had a craving for one of your favorite dishes? And wanted it so bad that you could almost taste it? And when you finally got a plate, from the first bite, it didn’t taste as good as you remember it being? That’s how my experience was at this year’s Women’s Running Series Half Marathon in Nashville.

It was my first half marathon in 2012 and let me hungry for more races. I set a personal record on the same course in 2013, and the victory was sweet. This year, full on sangria and paella and running undertrained, I somehow and maintained an average pace of 12:40 for 13.1 miles using 2:30/1 run/walk intervals.

start line

For my three-peat, the race was a noticeable disappointment. There wasn’t a grand send off at the start line or even a pre-race announcer with music blaring from speakers. People just starting moving under the banner shortly after 7. There weren’t any bands along the race course. Speakers played music in a 10K banner oddly placed around mile 9. The water stops were plentiful, yet there was a noticeable warmth and friendliness missing from the atmosphere. It was as if the Women’s Running Series was the neglected stepdaughter of The Competitor Group compared to the beloved Country Music Marathon, which is on many of the same streets in Nashville. My best guess is that registrations were down, limiting the race budget, as the crowd was noticeably thinner than in previous years.

In a letter posted on the company’s website, Vice President Jessie Sebor writes to runners the Women’s Running Series has postponed its remaining races until 2015 to “create the best running event in the world for women.” The promise is that next year’s races will be amazing, and I am looking forward to a Cinderella-like redemption for the “ultimate girls weekend” race.

freshen up station

Despite my disappointment, the race continued to have many post-race amenities I enjoy, including bottomless mimosas, cookies, yoga and an area with toiletries and sunscreen to freshen up while cooling off.

bottomless mimosas

Disclosure: I received complimentary race registration from Women’s Running Series for promotional purposes. All opinions are my own.

Running Undertrained

So I am running the Women’s Running Nashville Half Marathon this fall, and to say that I am undertrained would be a bit of an understatement. It’s a bit of déjà vu to when the race was my first half marathon three years ago.

Back in 2012, I hastily went from barely completing a 5K to limping my way through a half marathon using Ease into 10K and Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Program for Novices. I didn’t know much about proper fueling or tapering. My longest run of 10 miles was just six days before the race, and I was so anxious that I continued my usual morning runs throughout the week. Both were poor decisions that had me running on tired legs, hitting a wall around the 10K mark and alternating a run/walk the remaining seven miles.

The only motivation that kept me moving was knowing that the end was near. Then around the 13-mile mark, Traughber stepped into the road and yelled, “Go babe!” And I’m sure his encouragement is what pushed me across the finish line.

Although my summer this year ended with a bachelorette weekend planned around 19.3 miles and three medals, fresh off our nuptials and honeymoon, I haven’t pounded the pavement in almost three weeks. So I honestly have no idea how the Women’s Running Series Half Marathon will go this year. Similar to my first try, I’m expecting pain and panting, but I’ve resolved this race’s goals are to have fun, which the women’s-themed race makes so easy, to be honest with my body and to use a deliberate walk-run schedule to my it through the race. And the best part will be seeing my Traughber push me through the finish line again.

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