Regrouping, rethinking, refocusing: Nashville bound

It's been a week since my nasty half marathon experience, and I'm in a much better state mentally at this point. I no longer loathe the half marathon distance and I'm beginning to feel twinges of excitement for Nashville. I think I'm actually going to run it. Over the past week, my feelings of disappointment have turned into determination. I don't want to end this training cycle with Skidaway. And even though Nashville wasn't supposed to be a redemption race, maybe it is one now. Just a little anyway. At the very least, I hope it's not a wheezing slog to the finish.


I mentioned in my recent weekly workout post that I suspect I'm struggling with PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder). I know pregnancy can really mess with your hormones, and while I didn't suffer from PPD (postpartum depression), I don't think I made it out unscathed. The Skidaway race hit at the peak time for all of those crazy (and quite frankly, scary) hormonal shifts and side effects, but if I'm calculating correctly, I should be pretty much in the clear for Nashville.

Why am I sharing that on my blog? Well, because it's part of my running experience. At least it certainly affects it. I don't share a ton of personal stuff here, but when I do, it's relevant to running. Obviously something like that affects a lot more than running and I definitely need to figure it out, but whatever it is, it's clearly messed with running (and racing).

I've also been monitoring the weather in Nashville, and it's certainly warm, but not generally as humid as we are here on the coast. It looks like last year the weather was pretty decent, but got hot toward the end and the year before, it downpoured. So really, it could be anything. I'm hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.

Barring any really hot or humid weather, the only thing I'll need to deal with in Nashville are the hills. Comparatively (according to

), the full marathon is fairly similar to Thunder Road in Charlotte. Since I've run a bunch of races in Charlotte (Racefest being the hilliest), I think I can get an idea of what to expect from Nashville, although if anything will get me in that race, it's going to be the hills. Especially since I don't run the hills of Charlotte regularly anymore. Hills never bothered me when I trained on them regularly, but now that I've just got several runs on the Cooper River Bridge and some hill repeats, I'm a little less confident about hilly courses. So yeah. Hills. Gross.

Nashville County Music Half Marathon Course Elevation Map

And it's those hills that are keeping me from even thinking I'll come in close to 1:45 or even 1:50, and why Nashville was never my goal race for this season. I'm saving those PR goals for the Myrtle Beach Mini in October. And while a PR would be nice and I absolutely believe I'm in PR shape, I really just want to run sub-2 hours and I'm attempting to not think of PRing at Nashville. I don't plan on racing this one all out, but I'm not planning on just an easy leisurely run, either.

But who knows. I don't want to set my expectations too high. My confidence took a huge hit last week. Even though I know that time wasn't anywhere close to reflecting my current fitness level, it's hard not to let it mess with my head. I just have to keep telling myself, I ran much faster at Charleston and my fitness levels are better now than they were then and I'm also farther out in the post-baby timeline. And maybe Skidaway will end up being that hideously bad training run I have during every training cycle (but thought I escaped this time around) and Nashville will surprise me. Maybe.

We're also heading out to Nashville two days before the race instead of the day before, so it will give the little guy some time to adjust. He's been doing much better with sleep this week as well, so maybe that will continue and we're out of the 9-month sleep regression phase.

If nothing else, I've got some friends from both here in Charleston and from Charlotte running Nashville, so it will be a fun weekend with friends regardless of the race results. Onward.