Over the next few years I have been pretty busy with work and have been out of the country for at least part of every year since 2008. I missed the 08 race due to moving to Korea and 09, 10 being in Korea. I just knew I would be able to run it in 2011. I was going back to Ft Campbell, Ky which is about 45 minutes away and would get there in June of 2010. I was excited to get runs in and train for it. That is when the monkey wrench went into the plan. I left for Afghanistan in Sept 10 and returned 2 days before the 2011 race. I had to admit I would not be good for the race and wait another year.
In that time I decided to run in a couple of Rock and roll events including my first full Marathon in St Louis, and a Half in Savannah. Trying to stay busy I signed up for the Navy Ten Nautical Miler, the Santa Hustle, the Go Commando 5K, and the Oak Barrel Half to name a few.
At the expo in St Louis I signed up for the Country Music Half along with my wife. Two months later work got busy again and I was on orders to go back to Afghanistan. I knew right there that I would miss my chance again to run in this race. That would put me into 2013 before I could do it. I just kept training for the run and for work staying positive. As the date got closer it became evident that I would be able to run it however, my wife would have to sit it out because of a test.
On April 28th I finally got to the start line of the Country Music Half-Marathon. I was one of a sea of people. 22,000 plus ran the half with another 9-10K running the full Marathon. The weather channel said it was going to be 75-80 degrees for the race. As I stood in the my corral I felt good there were clouds above keeping us cool for now. Then as the National Anthem was being sung the clouds began to seperate and the sun fought its way through. The heat was on.
As i hit about mile 8 I saw a sign on a business with the temp and it read 75 degrees. It was at this point I decided to just run and not race. It proved to be a good strategy as the heat was getting me even as I pretty much jogged towards the finish. The final turn had me running straight towards LP Field and I erased the heat as I sped up to the shoot. Finally after a long 5 years of waiting I have completed the race in Nashville.
I guess being persistent paid off as I had the race finisher medal on my neck. A good but hot race complete, on to the next.....