The 4 Bridges Half Marathon was a beautiful course, crisscrossing the Tennessee River and giving away to great views of Chattanooga’s skyline, the surrounding hills, and Lookout Mountain.
The race went well, especially considering my training wasn’t what I had hoped. I missed a couple of long runs and my times were slow when I didn’t. However, the terrible early morning Days Inn coffee, race day adrenaline, and constant running the last couple of years led me to beat my goal time of 2:25 by… 45 seconds. Not a lot, but I had low confidence going in, so I was happy when I was able to kick it up a gear or two the last five miles. My average mile was 30 seconds faster for the race than my long runs preceding couple of months.
Another thing I’m happy about is being able to use the race results to practice my R. R, if you don’t know, is a free statistical software program that’s especially good at creating graphics. I had a professor at UGA recommend it, but I never really became curious until the last few months after realizing the limitations of Excel at work. Since races almost always post the results online, I reorganized the data in Excel, loaded it up into R, and made a box-and-whiskers plot of the 370 male finishers of the half marathon.
I’ve still got some work to do, obviously, but this isn’t too shabby for my first go at R. What I don’t need is another t-shirt after receiving this: