The Country Music Marathon and P90X


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At the beginning of the year I registered for the Country Music Marathon with the goal of improving my time from the the St. Jude's Marathon in December of 2009.  Training was going well until I hit my 18 mile run.  18 is where I seem to hit the wall, the same was true when I was preparing for St. Jude's.  The week after the 18 mile run I received P90X for my birthday (the 30th).  At that time I made the decision to focus on weight loss and running a solid half-marathon, re-valuate after the race a plan for another marathon later in the year.  During the 6 weeks that I have been doing P90X I have run approximately 4 times: a couple of 4 milers, one 5 miler, and then the Saturday before the 1/2 I ran 6.5 in order to help me gauge my pace for the race.
My official time was 2:01:53, which was four minutes faster than my first 1/2 at Soaring Wings in Conway last year. I wish I had broken 2 hours, and I think I could have with a couple of key differences in my race. Overall though, I was happy with my results from P90X. Living in Arkansas it can be hard to get out in winter and run early in morning.  Seeing these results lets me know that if I can build up a strong base during the fall I can use P90X over the winter months to help me maintain my level of fitness.
As for the the Country Music Marathon. I am still undecided about whether I will ever do this race again.  First the swag bag was lacking.  Seriously, dog treats! I realize a lot of people run with their dogs, but wasn't running the race with me, nor did I see any other dogs on the course.
I realize that there were major storms to contend with and I appreciate the email that got sent out letting runners know that if you were expecting to complete the full marathon in less than 4:30 that you need to plan on running the half instead, however, where was the notification that you were going to start the race 15 minutes early? I was at LP by 5:30 and got straight on a bus to the start line.  After getting of the bus I went straight to the restroom and then to the start line where I noticed that the race had already started! I did a quick stretch and then hopped into one of corrals. I didn't help that I was in a later corral number than the one was suppose to be in, meaning that I spent much of the early miles trying to dodging and run around much slower runners. I didn't help that from mile 3-4 we were only running on a two-lane street. Later, around mile 6 or 7 we went from 4 lanes down to a very narrow 2 through a residential section with no shoulder or sidewalks.  With 32,000 runners we just needed more space.
I was also a little disappointed in the fan support.  Aside from this great sign from my daughter Gabie:

there was not much cheering after mile 3.  Now there was a good group for mile 5 and 9 (the same section of cheerleaders because you went out and then came back along the same course.  But around 9.5 there was a section where we ran under the Broadway bridge and people were lined up across it- silence.  Even when a couple of runners yelled, "Make some noise!"- Silence. Sorry, but it's pretty sad when people running a marathon are louder than people watching! It was so different from St. Jude's where I felt like fan support was everywhere! For the first 3 miles of St. Jude's the streets were packed 5 or 6 deep with people yelling.  The people there were cheering for everyone, not just people they knew.  The only place at CMM where I felt that was the case was at the finish line.
For another opinion about the race check out Operation Jack. I figure he knows what he is talking about since he is running 60 marathons this year in order to raise awareness about autism.
Finally, here are my other girls to meet me at the finish:

Thanks everyone, especially Meg, Gabie, Lexie and Lucie!
One last thing: P90X will turn you into a nut, Sunday afternoon I did my Chest, Shoulders and Triceps workout since I missed it for my rest leading up to the race.


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