Official Race: miles 13.1 Time: 1:58:54
1:58:54. I finished running the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, Tn. in under 2 hours!
Overall I finished 3386 out of 24,674 people and in my age group 30-34, I finished 242 out of 2803. I am still pretty stoked!
So here is how the day went.
I stayed at hubby's Aunt's house, who just happens to live 3 housed down from Johnny Cash's old place!! Very cool area! I woke up race morning at 3:45am and figured that would allow me ample time to eat, park, take the shuttle to the start, and be ready to race by 7:00am. Wrong!
I ate my oats, banana, and coffee and left the house at 5:00am. My plan was to drive to LP Stadium(the finish line) and take the shuttle,which were supposed to stop running at 6am, to the starting line. I got to the exit for the stadium at 5:15am and was excited to make good time until I saw the cars......it was gridlock! Cars were backed up for miles to get to finish line parking!! What's worse is that there was no one directing traffic and I had to pee! I finally made it to parking at 6:05am. Thankfully they extended the shuttles until 6:30am. So, I got in the 1/2 mile long line for a shuttle I asked the lady in front of me if she would hold my place in line while I dashed off to the porta-potties.
I made it to the start line at 6:40am and was just about to get in line for a second time at the porta-potties(I have to pee when I get nervous....kind of like a cocker spaniel) when I heard the announcement that because of the storms moving in they had moved the start time ahead 15 minutes to 6:45am!! I decided I could hold it, not smart when you are about to run 13.1 miles, but I figured I could always stop along the way. I ran to find my coral, coral #4 and by the time I got there the runners in the front of coral #4 were already crossing the starting line. I was so flustered! I tossed off my raincoat and sweatshirt, turned on my Garmin, and crossed the Start line. In hindsight, the fact that it was so rushed really worked to my advantage. I didn't have time to get anxious or nervous or freak out.
Miles 1-6(according to Garmin)
Mile 6 -8:32
I felt fantastic the first 5 miles. The course had a LOT of hills which I was not totally prepared for. At the end of mile 5 I started to feel my quads cramp up a bit, so I stopped, downed a water and GU and stretched for about 20 seconds at a water station. Legs felt MUCH better after that.
The course was very pretty and the streets were completely lined with supporters cheering. It was a really fun and exciting atmosphere. There were bands every couple miles and cheer leading squads on almost every corner! I welcomed the distractions.
The roads in Nashville are pretty narrow and there were 24,674 people running so you can imagine it was pretty crowded. I kept expecting it to thin out a bit but it never did. There was never a point where I couldn't reach out and pinch someone...if I wanted to.......and I did want to a couple times...
As you can see my pace started to s.l.o.w. down. Miles 7-10 I was still feeling pretty good though, the hills were starting to mess with me a bit. I stopped again at 9.5 miles and stretched my quads. This time I stretched for about 30 seconds. Stopping to stretch made such a huge difference for me this race. Normally I don't stop. I just try to run through the cramp which inevitably leads to injury... I do believe I'm getting smarter!!
At mile 10 I downed another GU and some cyto-max.
I really need to practice negative splits!!! In my defense the last mile and a half were up hill. Okay so I need to work more on hills too.;)
I really don't remember much about the last few miles, I was so elated that I was on time for my goal. I was already on cloud nine before I crossed the finish line!
After I crossed the finish line and stopped to get my medal and a water my quads locked up. I went and got two ice packs and sat down for 15 mins and iced my knees and quads. I think that really helped in my race recovery because the next day my quads were not nearly as sore as I anticipated.
After I had gone through the picture line, food lines, potty lines..line lines... and all the other lines I headed out to find my car. I got in my car, shut the door and it started to POUR!! It rained and rained and rained!!
Now, just so you understand, it was 100% chance of rain for Saturday. It was also 100% chance that the rain would start by 8am. Personally, I believe that it was an answer to prayer. I prayed that the skies would be dry until I was finished and they were. I didn't get one drop of rain on me! Praise GOD!!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
I think the half marathon is my new favorite. I am going to run the Women's Half Marathon in Nashville, Sept 25th. I think an all women's race would be fantastic! I have already recruited my running buddy Angie(she just doesn't know it yet!)
Plus, look how cute the medal for the Women's Half is:
Thank you all for your comments, encouraging words, tips, and advice!! I am grateful for all of you!!!
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Grace and peace,
Grace and peace,