I have been off a while. As they say, Life Got In the Way. Who are they? Well, they are Sister Hazel! To be honest, when I got to the episode for cabbage, I stopped. I really hate cooked cabbage and was getting busy with work, walking and other stuff and used it as an excuse to stop. However, I’m going to get back on track. The glitch now? Alton has come out with a SECOND BOOK – Good Eats 2 – The Middle Years!! SO, I’m upping the ante in year 2 – I will finish the first and second books in 2011. A lofty goal? Yes, but I’m going to try. If life gets in the way again, well, here comes 2012! But if I don’t try, I’ll never know. Oh, and I’m still going to try to lose weight. That part didn’t work out so well either, but I’m working on that, too. I thought about giving up all together, but I feel like I owe it to myself to continue. As the Sister Hazel song goes, “And apathy grows quietly where rapture used to fly, And promises and certainty have left love here to die, Won’t you stay and don’t let this one fall away.” I’m not going to let this one fall away….Here is the post I wrote back in September about the Women’s Half Marathon and never posted. It’s the start of more regular posts. I better go buy some cabbage…

My side goal of this blog was doing a sprint triathlon, but I changed it to completing the Nashville Women’s Half Marathon. I trained with a local running store group. The group consisted of 250 women at varying levels from seasoned runners to beginning walkers. We started out in July meeting every Saturday morning at 7am but moved the start time to 6:30AM!!! As if 7 am wasn’t bad enough, it was so hot here in Nashville this summer, we had to start a little earlier so people didn’t pass out or get heat stroke as the mileage got longer. I joined the walkers. We were to meet on Saturdays for a group run/walk and then do two workouts during the week on our own.

Pre Race Dinner At Maggianos

When I went to the first day of group training, I thought to myself – “OK, there are going to be close to 250 women there. Surely, you can find one or two you get along with!” It turns out, I found about seven! Over the next 11 weeks, I walked with Angie, Rosanne, Carolyn, Maureen, Maya, Jen and Alison. There are others that come and went, but these are the ladies that were there on race day. We spent a lot of time together. Each week, people had other obligations or injuries and we got to get to know each other better – walking and talking. I definitely think without the support and encouragement of these women, I would have never completed this task. Angie and I became particularly close as we were meeting for the “homework” days during the week. The walkers group was kind of forgotten by most of the store’s group because it takes so much longer to walk than run. Even the “interval” groups were well ahead when the miles got longer. When we got to the longer walks (10 and 12 miles), we were out there for 3 hours! On one particular walk – I believe our 12 miler, I wanted to stop. Just sit down right there on the side of the road. Rosanne encouraged me with – just get to that tree. Ok, now that street sign, until we finished. That was when I knew I would finish the race.

The actual race is almost ancillary to the story. The start was exciting with all of the women in line to start (oh, and a few men).  The hills were killer. For those of you who don’t know, Nashville is VERY hilly. There were even killer hills at miles 12 and 13! Angie and I walked the whole race together. Others with the training group were with us at varying points, but we were together through the whole thing. It was a hot long morning. We saw SH supporting us at mile 10 and he walked about a mile with us. We then saw two of my friends (one of which who had run the half marathon and had already finished!). One funny thing about this race was that our names were on our number bibs. So, people would randomly say, “GO MELISSA”. At first, I would think, “did I know that person?!?!?” But then I would realize they were just reading. It was a little odd at times though.  After almost 4 hours of walking, we could see the finish. At the end, Angie and I decided to run – the last 100 yards. It was exciting to finish and then a very nice soldier gave me a medal. And after all, it was all about the medal!!