I didn't decide I was going to run this race until the day before. With the BAA Half the next weekend, I didn't want to overwork myself and put a more important race in jeopardy. The big determining factor was the weather. Now this race usually has temperatures in the 40s. Well, so they say. But the forecast was predicting race time temperatures of around 65, with a 62 dew point. A misery index of 127 isn't that bad. If it would have been closer to 140, I would have axed it but since the weather looked ok (but not great).
Andy Baska held the state record at 46:44, which is around 5:01 pace. My plan was to hover right at/just under 5:00, build a small cushion and then relax the last mile or two, if I could. When I woke up on Saturday, it was five degrees warmer than what it predicted the night before. Race time temperature would be almost 75, with a dew point of 65 and it was going to make a run for the hottest October 5th in Nashville history. Not the most ideal temperature, but I was going to go after it anyway. At least the course was mostly flat.
|Man, I wish I would have run it the year they had this shirt|
I warmed up with my favorite Saucony rep, Ricky Lupp and then got ready to run. The lead biker was going to be my favorite Swiftwick employee, Hunter Hall. When the race started, I tried to get after it right away so I wouldn't lose any time. Hunter did a great job of announcing to all the Saturday morning walkers that a race was going on and I was waiting for someone to throw something at him or try and beat him up but nothing happened.
I went through the first mile in 4:58 and didn't feel too smooth but I kept on. I became annoyed since I forgot to turn off my auto-lap on my Garmin. In races, the Garmin always measures long, so it would reset my watch a few seconds before each mile and then I would have to hit the lap button at the actual mile marker and add up the two numbers. The next two miles were 4:57 and 4:56, so I was starting to find my rhythm. I was getting tired of having to add up the times, so I stopped paying attention to the watch and used the 1/4 mile marker signs on the trail. I looked at my overall time and would try and run each segment under 75 seconds and I was clicking off consistent 73s.
I was banking time with every mile and the heat started playing a role, so at seven miles, I relaxed a bit because I had over a twenty second cushion. At eight miles, I still had about the same amount, so I backed off again, especially because there were some hills in this part. I ended up crossing the finish line in 46:37, sneaking under the record by seven seconds. My effort level was pretty controlled and I was happy with how it felt because I feel like I could have run a half-marathon at this pace.
Despite the weather, this was a good race. The course is fast, whether you run the 5k or 10k, most of the Nashville racing community comes out to run it and they even had marshmallows to dip into melted chocolate.