Race Recap: Mt. Juliet Holiday Half Marathon

A few weeks ago, I ran my sixth half marathon, the

Team Magic Mt. Juliet Holiday Half

. This was the race I signed up for while training for

Ironman 70.3 Augusta

, to have something to train for after my 70.3. The last half marathon I ran (aside from Augusta) was the

Oak Barrel Half

last April, and I PR-ed at that race. For you non-runners, a PR means your best time, or "personal record". Here are my half marathon stats:

Tom King, 2012

2:43, 11:41 avg min/mile

NOLA, 2013

2:52, 13:04 avg min/mile

Oak Barrel, 2013

2:50, 12:55 avg min/mile

Oak Barrel, 2014

2:34, 11:46 avg min/mile

IM 70.3 Augusta, 2014

2:53, 13:16 avg min/mile

*Holiday Half, 2014

2:22, 10:46 avg min/mile

I set a new PR at the *Holiday Half with a finish time of 2:22, beating my previous PR by 12 minutes. I was hoping to PR at this race. I've gotten a lot faster, plus I'm 20 lbs lighter. I've run a lot of my long runs at a 9:30 - 10:00 min/mile pace, so I was hoping to run this at 10:00 and finish at 2:12. I missed my goal by 10 minutes, but I'm still proud of my 2:22 finish time, especially since I ran wearing a full-length, fur-trimmed Santa Claus apron, which, P.S. I highly recommend because those apron pockets hold everything!

I ran this race totally wrong. My fastest mile was my first mile, which is the absolute wrong way to run a long distance race. You're supposed to start about 30-60 seconds slower than your race pace, so I should have been running a 10:30 or 11:00. I paid the price when I hit MOUNTAIN JULIET at mile 3.

Mile 1 - 9:17 (DUMB)

Mile 2 - 9:31

Mile 3 - 11:24

This part of the race was actually through the main drag of Mt. Juliet (I think. I don't know Mt. Juliet). Two things: 1) a Hardee's advertising a special bologna and Velveeta breakfast biscuit, which made me dry heave, and 2) a Dairy Queen turned Christmas tree depot with these cute little wooden reindeer, one with polka dots. Because common sense factored into no part of this race (


: mile 1) (

see also

: my outfit), I spent about 30 seconds debating whether or not I could run with that polka dotted reindeer under my arm. Spoiler alert: I didn't. I don't run with money, plus, John is still mad about that

snowman chiminea

I brought home.

Mile 4 - 10:49

Mile 5 - 9:48

Mile 6 - 10:06

I started this race running alongside Melanie, but she dropped me early on. I caught up to her around now and we fell back in step with each other. This part of the race curved through a residential neighborhood. It felt very East Nasty. Somewhere in here is where my knee started to give out. Of course. I walked a little bit, but was mostly okay and able to run back out of the neighborhood.

Mile 7 - 10:16

Mile 8 - 10:38

Mile 9 - 10:59

These miles were not fun for me. I was still with Melanie, but we were both having trouble. Me with my knees and Melanie with her IT band. This part of the race, visually, was also super boooooring. I spent a long time in my head asking myself why I continue to do these things. This is not fun. My body is not enjoying this.

Swim Bike Mom

calls this the Pain Cave. I was definitely in my pain cave.

Mile 10 - 11:35

Mile 11 - 12:07 (pain cave)

Mile 12 - 11:59

I was doing a run/walk interval for these last two-ish miles and it was actually helping. We were also running back through town and people were honking and waving. Nothing pulls you out of the pain cave faster than pride. I was going to run that last mile, in front of all those people. And I did. The last mile was great and I was able to finish strong (ish).

Mile 13 - 11:23

Finish time - 2:22:06 (a PR)

I run with a Garmin, so I knew I didn't make my goal time of 2:12, but I was happy to have stayed under 2:30. All of my pain dissipated as soon as I quit running, so I felt fine and went inside to get drinks and snacks and see my friends.

I liked this race! I didn't hear any serious complaints. A lot of people took issue with the road traffic and having to run in the shoulder on main highways. Hilariously, I didn't even notice this. That's either from being a cyclist or being a triathlete, but I never felt uncomfortable during the race. And then EVERYONE complained about the hills on this course, not because we can't run hills, but because it was billed as "flat and fast". For my fellow 

East Nasties

, I looked at the elevation from The Nasty and this race is hillier.

Team Magic is great and they'll work all of this out. There are always kinks in the first year of a race. I'd run this again - it's cheap, it's close and it was fun to dress up. But next year, I'm carrying cash and buying that reindeer.

Full photostream



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