Marathon Number Nine
How quickly they have added up in what seems like a short period of time. I was always warned that as you get older time would move by faster and it definitely has. On Saturday April 26th I ran my 9th marathon at the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, TN. My first marathon was in 2005 and I am still in disbelief that in less than 4 years I have this many marathons under my belt. Most people run one and that is it. I guess I really got hooked and went off the deep end. Maybe that explains why I am the first one to jump off the bridge or try something daring?
I have individual memories from each marathon that I have run but this one will be very special to me since I was able to run it with some of my Spring 2008 TNT Runners. Plus I was there to see my other runners finish and hear their stories about the event. TNT coaches cannot go to every event that your runners are training for, so I felt very honored and privileged not only to go, but to also run the entire marathon with a few of them. Our plan was for the four of us to stick together for as long as possible and have me keep them at around a 10 minute pace. Rain was in full effect before the race but it did not dampen out sprits. Garbage bags were the fashionable top of choice to stay dry as we waited for the event to start. About 20 minutes before the event was going to start the rain did slow down and eventually stop so we would be blessed with good running weather. Most of the time we had cool temperatures, a cool breeze at some points of the course and an overcast sky at times. You could not ask for more perfect running weather. The fan support on the course was amazing and it was really fun to interact with them. I had ran this marathon in 2006 so I had an idea on what to expect but the course did not seem as hilly as it was back then. Either better training or I think it was that I had some great people to run with this time around. After about 10 miles one member of our group dropped off, but did end up finishing. Then the three of us made our way around the course at a good pace and had many laughs along the way. Another good note is that the aid stations volunteers were awesome at filling up water bottles if you asked them. That made it really convenient to have water whenever you needed it. As we got closer to the finish line we began seeing more and more TNT Runners and cheered them on since they still had about 6 or less miles to go. You could feel what they were feeling by some of the death looks you received back. All of us have had times when we cannot even give back a wave when people cheer and I felt bad for them because I know how that feels. After mile 25 our pace picked up because we knew the finish was near and even the last quarter of mile turned into a short race with what energy that we had left. The final time was 4:29:30. Mission accomplished. Three of us stuck together for the entire race and two of my first time marathon runners got great times. I am very proud of them that they beat my first marathon time by over 30 minutes. Now the real question is will they sign up for another marathon and get hooked like I am. This coach recommends that if they do another one to do a fall marathon and not go crazy like I have with my running. But if they do follow in my footsteps I will have a comfortable padded room waiting for them at the psychiatric ward.
Congratulations to all of the TNT Runners that completed the 2008 Country Music Marathon and good luck to all of the TNT Runners that are on their way to Vancouver for their marathon.
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