Thursday, April 29, 2010


This past weekend Mike and I ran in Nashville's Country Music 1/2 Marathon! It was the first time either of us had run that far and it was awesome. We'd heard about the race when we first moved to Nashville and decided if we were ever going to do it this was a great opportunity. We nervously registered about the first of the year and have been training ever since.

Our training went really well for the most part. We ran 3-4 times a week with our long runs increasing by about a mile each Sunday. Mike ended up with some sort of foot injury with about 5 weeks to go that kept him completely off his feet for almost 10 days. I had some bad hip pain with about 3 weeks to go and didn't run for that entire week. Taking a week off with that little time left till the race left me in a bit of a panic. With two weeks till race time I decided I really needed to get 2 more hour-ish runs in and a final long run before tapering. This may have been unnecessary, but I knew mentally I would feel better about trying 13 if I had done 11. I pushed an 11-, 9-, and 7- mile run that week. The 11 miler was HARD and left me equally nervous and confident. The week up to the race was great as our plan had only a few, relaxed runs.

We picked up our race packets Thursday at the expo and loved walking around and looking at all of the vendors exhibits. People were buzzing with excitement and it really helped motivate us! There were weather reports of 100% chances of severe thunderstorms for Friday night and all day Saturday which left everyone a little anxious. We woke up Saturday at 4:30 to get ready to go and there was no rain! Our drive to the race start took us through a little bit of the course and it was so exciting to see everything being set up. We got to Centennial Park around 6 and had a little bit of time to drop our gear bags off, stretch and get into our race corral.


The number of people was incredible! There were somewhere around 32,000-34,000 runners!

{photo from the Tennessean}

The start time approached really quickly and before we knew it we were running! It was kind of surreal at first and hard to keep a slow pace as the first two miles were mostly downhill. We knew the next 5-6 would be a steady uphill as we'd run this part of the route many times. The run seemed to fly by. All of the support was incredible. I couldn't believe all of the people out cheering. There was a band every mile and a half or so and some very creative signs along the way (think: "Run like Elin Woods is chasing you," "Chafe now, brag later," and "Your feet only hurt because you're kicking so much a$$phalt"). I think Nashville treats this as a sporting event to tailgate for. There were tons of people in their front yards drinking and partying (yes, at 7 in the morning!). Many of them offered runners beer, mimosas, and snacks. I couldn't believe it! I decided to pass on the alcoholic beverages while running but was grateful for all of the water, cytomax, and fruit. Miles 1-10 seemed to fly by. We kept a pretty steady pace that we were happy with and just enjoyed the run. By mile 11 I was anticipating the finish and things started to get hard. I was thirsty and my legs were tired. The last mile and a half were mostly uphill and kept winding back. I knew the stadium where we were to finish was so close and yet we kept turning away from it! People were walking all around us and medics were treating lots of runners who had collapsed on the side. I was ready to lay down and go to sleep but Mike said "you made me run this crazy thing this far we're not stopping now" and so I kept going. That last stretch was one of the hardest things I've ever done but running over the finish line made it all worth it!
{photo quality awful because it's stolen from the race photos- still begging Mike to let me order them!}

I know it sounds cliche but it was such a great feeling getting our medals and seeing all the triumph in the people around us. I think I drank like 4 bottles of water in those first 15 minutes. We decided to forgo the post race celebration as we could tell the storms were coming and we had about a 3/4 mile walk back to our apartment. Overall, the race was amazing. It was way more fun than I imagined and I was so proud of being able to run the whole 13 miles without stopping! I definitely recommend the experience to anyone who has been thinking of doing it. Mike swore all day Saturday he would never do it again and Sunday was already looking up other races! We can't wait to do another one!