Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Chattanooga half

A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to go on a little vacation, change of scenery, break the routine, etc. A quick trip to runningintheusa revealed there was a marathon in Chattanooga, Tennessee the weekend I wanted to travel. The week of the race, the half was still $75 and I had most of my Christmas money unspent. To Tennessee!!!!!

We left early Friday and traveled and visited and saw everything for two days before the race on Sunday. The way we travel and cram in every site we can possibly see, I was completely exhausted before the race started haha Pickup was quick and easy at the minor league stadium. Shirt, drawstring backpack. They offered pre-race pickup as well.

Sunday morning was in the low 30s at the start, but the forecast promised sun and rising temperatures. Did I want to be cold at the start or too warm at the finish? I compromised with a long sleeve shirt, skort and knee socks. At the last minute I tossed my gloves to my boyfriend on the sidelines because I knew I wouldn't wear them very long and they were my good ones that I want to keep.

The plan had been to start at marathon pace (10:15). I stayed with pacer Sergio for a few miles and it started off well. They always do. Chattanooga is hilly! Not as many hills as Cincinnati, but a lot steeper! I walked UP the hills. Coming down was just as bad because I wanted to go really fast, yet it was so steep I subconsciously landed on my heels as a braking mechanism then the PF tingle wanted to say hi every time I did that...

It got nice and hot. Initially I had hoped for a 2:08-2:10 finish. The reality was a 2:21. Ah well, first race post-injury. It was plenty faster than the halfs I did in October and November 2016. There wasn't a ton of scenery to look at - the bf walked around downtown while I ran and he saw a lot more than I did.  There weren't thousands of spectators either, but it was a good one. Very well organized, especially considering it was only the 2nd year, ample water on the course, more than enough Gu (I only took 1, I didn't want to take more than I needed and have full marathoners be without later in the race), tons of course marshals and cops directing us and stopping traffic. Very organized finish - Coke!!!!! at the finish line, water, chips, pretzels, cookies and mini candy bars! Then I could use my bib for a hot meal from a food truck, my choice of pizza, burger, chicken fingers or tacos. I got the chicken because it was the shortest line.

Good weather, great medal, and another state under my belt! (Full of half in 8 states now). I don't know if I'll do it again, but I'm glad I did it this once :)
Look at the medal! It's the primary reason I did the race, yes? ;)
Started by the Chattanooga aquarium, ended near a minor league stadium
The site said it was a tech shirt, it was cotton :( Nice enough design, front is a small logo on the chest.

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