Thursday, April 24, 2008

Experience Matters

I've enjoyed talking this week with several fellow runners who are planning to run Saturday. For most, the CMM is their first half marathon. I've realized I've been giving lots of advice this week about preparation and raceday approach and adjusting. Some examples:

- One girl is dreading the expected rain. I recommended she use lots of body glide on her feet to avoid blistering. Another girl just doesn't like rain ... I shared she won't notice it after she gets started and is focused on running. The rain will actually cool you!
- One girl said she hates hills. I told her looking up can be deflating when you're in pain. Instead, I foucs on watching my feet as I conquer tough hills because I'm proving who's boss - me, not the hill. Put your shoulders back and your eyes down, relax and run.
- One guy said he doesn't like most fruits, so I went through all the good carb fruits until he settled on apples. I told him brown rice, which he loves, is great, and he's loading up on it.

I kinda feel like Yoda or Obi-Wan-Kenobee. Experience, the force, Jedi mind tricks ... the whole bag. My problem in the Country Music has been Miles 11 through 12.5. After you emerge from the Gulch, you glide around the Farmer's Market and Bicentennial Mall before going up James Robertson Parkway. I've stunk it up here in my previous two races. My goal Saturday is to push through this wall and shave many minutes off my previous course best.

My last training run was 3.75 miles yesterday morning at 5:15. I've been stretching some, but I can tell I'm a bit tired. I've slept well (important before a race), but something's got my energy down a smidge. I know I'll be good to go in two days.

The CMM race program is showcasing 12 testimonials of triumph and tragedy, and at least half are about blood cancer battles. It's emotional stuff that has reminded me what this race is really about - Thousands of people are going to display tremendous compassion, courage and endurance for a loved one or a cause. Here's a testimonial in The Tennessean, one of many to catch Dori's and my attention this week, that supports that.

If you sleep in and miss this race, you are missing out. My favorite part of the course is the Music Row-Belmont Blvd. corridor, an area I know well. I use it as a training run and a way to get into downtown for work. The energy on Belmont is electric. People throw parties (imagine celery stalks in bloody mary's, kegs of beer, lawn chairs and speakers), college bands play on lawns, and family members hold up "Run, Mommy" and "Go, Daddy!" signs. It's Southern Hospitality and Fun 101.

Nashvillians, we'll see you Saturday, bright and early.


Summer said...

Have fun!!! I hate that I won't be there to (walk and) cheer everyone on. But Hammock will have a tent around mile 8. Look for some friendly faces there!!!

Groff Family said...

I am Robin Groff's sister-in-law, and I just wanted to send my well wishes to Dori. I googled Robin's name tonight, as I obviously can't get her or the hurt out of my mind, and I ran across your blog. Thanks for the strength, thanks for loving Robin, and thanks for bringing awareness to leukemia. Good luck in your battle, we will pray for you! Julie Groff

Jim said...


I am deeply appreciative you shared your thoughts with us. Needless to say, I'm a little emotional after reading your post. I will be thinking a lot of your wonderful sister-in-law today. We are all in this nasty fight with leukemia together. Much love to the Groffs. Jim