Nashville Half-Marathon Re-Cap

1 May

I can’t even tell you how much fun this weekend was. At times it was invigorating, challenging, miserable, a blessing and pure joy. Jamie and I arrived in Nashville around lunch time and we went straight to the expo to pick up our race packets. The storm clouds were already setting in and we were walking in the rain from the moment we arrived. Once we picked up our race bibs and bags we decided to invest in a bit of rain gear for the next day. The forecast was at a 70% for rain at that point and didn’t look like things were going to clear up. We both purchased visors which proved to be invaluable and we each got an armband that could carry our phones and protect them from the rain. Once we left the expo our next stop was our hotel. We got checked in and unpacked and then headed out to an early dinner at the cheesecake factory.

We call this carb-loading…or a good excuse for a delicious meal.2013-04-26 19.04.48

Don’t worry, we didn’t leave without cheesecake. We both ordered a piece to go to snack on a bit later. The rest of the night was pretty low-key and we managed to get in bed by 10pm.

We had our alarms set for a little after 5 but I woke up around 4am with butterflies in my belly. I went to the window to check out the weather conditions…it was pouring rain. At that point I realized I have absolutely no control over the situation and we were just going to have to make the best of it. I managed to lay back down for another hour until the alarm went off. Jamie and I were both full of nerves and had a hard time wanting to eating. I choked down a banana and half a piece of banana bread and topped it off with some water.

2013-04-27 07.17.04We left the hotel around 6:15 and the hotel shuttle drove us to Centennial Park. We were the only ones on the bus. Apparently, we were pushing it with time and had barely made it before they closed all the roads off…whoops. As we were riding the shuttle the rain stopped and things were looking up. I was convinced the rain was going to hold off for a few hours. I was wrong. As we headed to gear check it started to pour the rain again. We decided we would just run in our long shirts instead of checking them. I’m so glad we did because it was pretty chilly mixed in with all the rain.

Standing in the corrals, waiting for the race to start was one of the more miserable moments. It seemed like we were there for a really long time. However, then they had a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon and I felt thankful just to be there and be healthy enough to run. Shortly after 7am the race started. They started us in staggered groups in order to spread the crown out a bit. Jamie and I ended up starting about 2 minutes after the race clock initially began. Once we started running the rain was kinda invigorating. I almost didn’t even notice it after about the first mile. Like I said, the visor came in super handy. It kept all the rain out of my eyes and face and just let me focus on running. I think the first 5 miles were the hardest for me mentally because I knew there lots of hills in those miles and for some reason I just couldn’t get into the run. But, once I got to that that sixth mile I was feeling good and my pace felt great. Around mile 10 my legs were getting pretty tired and I could tell I was starting to fade. However, when I saw the clock I knew I was going to be close to my personal best time of 1:48. I decided if I could keep my pace up that I may be able to beat my time. Those last three miles were a fight. I had to keep reminding myself I only had a 5k left….I ONLY have 2 miles left. When I made it to mile marker 12 I knew I was gonna be able to keep going. At mile marker 13 I knew I wasn’t going to get my best time but I took off in a sprint anyhow because I was so excited to be done! My chip time came in at 1:49:59! I was beyond thrilled since my goal was to break 2 hours. Jamie had finished about a minute ahead of me and we reunited were so happy to be done.

This is where the real miserable times start. As soon as we stopped running the rain became a factor. Our body temperatures started to cool off and we were freezing. Our hotel was supposed to supply a shuttle for us to get back to the hotel so we were being directed to that area which ended up being about a mile away. Once we got to the shuttle area they informed us it cost $15 to get on. At that point, we didn’t care, we just wanted to be warm and dry. Once we got to the shuttles they told us that the shuttles weren’t running to our hotel. We didn’t know what to do or how we were going to find the shuttle for our hotel. I managed to call and get through to our hotel and they informed us that there was a shuttle running but they couldn’t get to us until 11am…at his point it was only about 9:15am. The security at the marathon was top notch and tightly secured since the events at Boston. I was really thankful for that but it made it impossible to leave. We were freezing and miserable so we decided to jump on one of the shuttles even though they weren’t going to our hotel. It would at least provide a little bit of warmth until we had to make our next decision. At this point we planned to go to any hotel and try to call a cab from there. But, when they let us off the shuttle we were right across from the bus station so we thought we would give it a shot. We asked one of the employees if the bus was traveling on the route of our hotel and they assured us it was. We were so excited, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once we boarded the bus I asked the bus driver to let us know when our stop was for our hotel because we weren’t familiar with the area. She turned quickly in her seat and told us the bus wasn’t running that route because of the detours due to the race. We really wanted to cry. We asked her to get us as close as she could and we would figure it out from there. When she let us off the bus our GPS told us we were still 1.3 miles away. We sucked it up and ran or jogged rather…. Seeing our hotel was almost as good as seeing the finish line at the race. It took us 2 miserable hours to get back to the hotel….but we made it.

2013-04-27 12.05.46I took one of the best showers of my life, followed by a 3 hour nap:)

Once Jamie and I woke up we got ready to go out for the night. We spent the rest of the evening on Music Row celebrating our day!

2013-04-27 21.31.57I am so glad we did this race. Not only was the weekend great but getting to train with my best buddy was awesome too. This really made me love running again and the race made me extremely thankful that I was able run. One other thing I should mention was how awesome the volunteers and spectators were. I felt like there may not be that many people out cheering since the weather was so nasty but they didn’t let the rain hold them back. It really makes a difference when you have people cheering you on and pushing you along the way. I appreciate all those people:)

We plan to continue our workouts and hopefully we will be planning another race for the near future.

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