Looking forward to 2014, I was trying to decide what was going to be my next BIG race. There are several half-marathons that I was debating about, and I asked around to local friends, friends I made through the Fleet Feet group I trained with, and workers at the Fleet Feet Store. Do I run the Tom King Classic Half-Marathon (here in Nashville), the Country Music Half-Marathon, or the Finish on the Fifty in Knoxville? Each had their advantages, with the first two being local, and the last one finishing on the fifty yard of Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee. If you know me, you know I am a HUGE UT fan, so that would have been pretty cool. The Tom King also finishes on the fifty yard line of LP Field where the Tennessee Titans play. That's cool, but the UT one just had more allure to me.
The drawbacks were pretty huge as well--CMM and FOTF have a lot of hills, which is not fun to train on, or run on for that matter. The Tom King one is pretty flat, but running in March is always a crap-shoot. It can either be really nice outside, or bitter cold. Of course, we are having that exact same kind of weather this week in Kentucky, so there goes that argument. I really struggled with the decision on which race to run. I feel like I am still new enough to running long distances that all three would be crazy....doable, but crazy.
The deciding factor was training. What was going to be my method of training? How do I do it? Knowing myself, I found that running with a training group, while can be costly in money and gas to get there, was the only way to keep myself accountable to getting those long mileage run in the books. So I chose to run the Country Music Half-Marathon and train again with Fleet Feet Nashville. It is what works for me, because I know I can go out the door with the mind set of running 8 miles, but with no one with me, it is easy to say "eh, four miles is enough for today". This mentality will only defeat me on race day, and running with a group, and friends for that matter, is the only way to get those long runs in the books!