Nashville Recap

Hooray! I’m back from Nashville with a medal from marathon #2!

IMG_20130427_133851

Definitely a well-earned medal. The recap:

Mile 1: Rain

Mile 2: Pouring Rain

Mile 3:…well, you probably get it.

It poured down rain the entire race. Well, not quite. But I’ll get to that. This is going to be a bit long, since it was a whirlwind of a weekend! If you’re just interested in my finish time, you can scroll down to the bottom ūüėČ I do it too.

So, Friday morning, I packed up the car and went to pick up my travel buddy Jen for our 6-ish hour drive to Nashville! The drive was pretty uneventful; it’s actually a pretty scenic drive. We got in around 3 and got settled into our hotel before heading over to the expo. ¬†Here’s my one big complaint about the whole weekend – the price to park was ridiculous! I think we paid a total of $35 over the whole weekend, which is ridiculous IMO. ¬†Is that normal for a big city? I don’t remember paying that much ever, even in Chicago.

Anyways, there were tons of people at the expo, but it was pretty well organized.

PicMonkey Collage

We wandered around for a while after I picked up my bib and I tried every sample I could since I’m dumb. ¬†I know that’s breaking a race rule or whatever, but I like free stuff. I did buy one thing, this foam roller ball thing. ¬†I’ve seen a few reviews out there and Jen told me I should buy it. Hah. But it was pretty reasonably priced, and she was right that it would probably be better for rolling out my butt than a tennis ball. I’m a fan.

Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel since there would be an early wake up call the next morning. We wanted to make sure that traffic and parking at LP field wasn’t an issue, so we left around 4:45. We made sure that Jen had a good (safe) game plan for spectating and that we knew where to meet at the finish, then I took off for the start line shuttle. ¬†It seemed like there were plenty of shuttles, but I was there pretty early, so I don’t know how it was for the people who got there much later. The moment we got off the shuttle it started raining! Ug.

I had an old throwaway sweatshirt to keep me warm and a trash bag to keep most of my dry, but my shoes got soaked pretty quickly. ¬†I really liked that this race had food and drinks at the start line since there was still an hour and a half before the race start. This was good because I really didn’t want to end up hungry halfway through like I did at Spinx, so I ate a lot. Like 2 bananas, a peanut butter bagel, oatmeal and a Cliff Bar. I think that’s it. They had coffee too, which was awesome. I spent the whole time before the start wandering around, eating, using the port-a-potties, and chatting with random people. And it rained some more.

I really liked the corral start at this race. They started the first corrals almost 10 minutes late (was supposed to start at 7) and I was still across the start line a little after 7:30. I didn’t have to worry about dodging people at all, so that was really great. I decided not to wear my Garmin for this race, just a regular old watch, so when I got to the start, I ditched my sweatshirt and trashbag, started my watch and took off!

There’s alot of say about the race, but it’s kind of all a jumbled mess in my head. I’ll try and list them out as organized as possible!

1. There were so many spectators and volunteers! I really couldn’t believe how many people came out to stand out in the pouring rain and cheer. There were several places where spectators were handing out snacks and beers and it was just awesome. All the race volunteers I encountered were friendly and helpful. ¬†Those guys are great! Way to leave a good impression =)

2. ¬†My clothes and shoes were completely soaked by mile 2. ¬†This was kind of a good thing because I think it’s better to be totally soaked than to be that half wet/half dry sticky feeling that you get when it’s just sprinkling. The weather forecasted about a half inch of rain, but I’m pretty sure it rained like 4 inches (ok, maybe not that much). ¬†There were huge puddles everywhere and some of the roads were flooded. And it just would not let up…until mile 23. The moment I passed the mile 23 marked, it stopped raining and I was like, “Omgs, you’ve got to be kidding me”. I guess it was nice that I was slightly drier when I finished.

3. I made sure I charged up my little iPod shuffle before I left so it wouldn’t die on me again, and what happened? Low battery at mile 6. ARG! At that point, I decided to turn it off and save the battery for the last 6 miles when I knew I would need it. I thought this would be awful, but it was actually kind of awesome. ¬†I could hear the on-course bands and spectators better and I was more aware of the scenery than I usually am. Even still, I didn’t hear Jen at mile 10.

photo 1 (1)

4. I did have to take a potty break. I hated it, but it was an¬†emergency. ¬†The thought of having to peel off my soaking wet clothes was repulsive and I put it off for almost 5 miles before I could wait no longer.¬†And of course, I picked the port-a-potty with a lock that didn’t work. Two people managed to walk in on me, but I feel like a marathon in the pouring rain leaves you with little dignity, so whatever.

5. I had very minimal chafing, thank goodness. There’s a few spots on one ankle where my sock slid (I had to stop and fix it), and a little line on my hip where my SPIBelt rubbed. I wore very thin socks, my compression calf sleeves, lulu shorts, a quick-dry tank I bought at Marshall’s last week, and my hat. I am SO GLAD I had that hat. So glad.

My mom said I looked way too cheerful to be at mile 17 and so I couldn't have been running fast enough. Thanks mom =)

My mom said I looked way too cheerful to be at mile 17 and so I couldn’t have been running fast enough. Thanks mom =)

6. Unfortunately, I had other pains. ¬†My bum (the one that hurts) didn’t start in until 23-24, so that was good, but early on, my left achilles felt really, really tight. WHY? That’s never been a problem before! Makes no sense. It still hurts today, but it’s much better. ¬†Also, the outside of my right foot hurts! It didn’t start until a few hours after I finished, but I could barely walk on it later that day. Very annoying.

FINALLY, the finish.

I could've cried

I could’ve cried

I came in and finished in 4:55! Oh, thank goodness I got in under 5 hours! This is almost a 20 minute PR, and while I think I could have done better, I’m still very happy. This was a pretty hilly course, and my training was definitely not where it needed to be, so this is great.

I got my medal and got all the free food I could hold and went to go find Jen. She stood out in the pouring rain almost the whole time to cheer for me. WHAT A FRIEND! You are awesome.

I made her drive me back to the hotel since my legs weren’t working yet so we could have long hot showers before heading out to be touristy. The rest of the afternoon was fun (even though I could barely walk). We went to the Country Music Hall of Fame since it was still raining.

PicMonkey CollageI’m not huge into country music, but it was pretty neat. We were super¬†disappointed¬†that there was going to be a Carrie Underwood exhibit that wouldn’t open until June! She is pretty awesome.

We also had an amazing dinner at the Merchant’s Restaurant downtown. Seriously, it was amazing. Go there. I didn’t take pictures because I was busy devouring it, but I had chicken fried chicken and peach cobbler and it was definitely one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to.

So, Nashville is a pretty cool city. I would love to go with more time and better weather to explore some of the sights I saw during the marathon. I am so glad I went.

 

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About Steph

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9 Responses to Nashville Recap

  1. Amy Lauren says:

    Great job on the time, that’s so impressive for running in the rain! It sounds like a really amazing race with the breakfast at the start, crowd support, and fun expo. I would have tried everything at the expo too even though I know that “breaks the rules”. I’m glad you had Jen there to cheer you on too.

    Sorry about parking… that does seem really expensive. I wonder if they inflated the prices for the marathon being in town, you know? Wishing you a speedy recovery so you can run another speedy race soon!

    Oh and I love your shoes! I have those same ones, Mizuno Wave Elixir :).

    • Steph says:

      They are awesome shoes =) I hope they’re not the reason my foot is killing me, because I love how light-weight they are.

      • Amy Lauren says:

        Yeah, I would say they might be a little light for a marathon. I wore them for a half marathon and was fine, but now I mostly wear them for shorter runs. I am getting the Wave Precisions for my marathon training, not sure if you’ve tried those but they are great.

        • Steph says:

          I’ll check them out! I wore my elixirs for my first marathon and they were fine, but you’re probably right that they’re a little insubstantial for marathons. Especially marathons in the rain! haha.

          • Amy Lauren says:

            Yeah definitely! I would at least ask, I mean the others may have been fine for your first marathon but with different terrain and different conditions and different people’s feet and running habits, I guess it depends. I train in much lighter shoes than some of my friends do. So what works for one may not always work.

  2. I literally was right behind you at 4:57 and it stopped raining on me right at the same spot so I bet we were actually really close together. I am so glad you didn’t have chaffing issues. I am so cut up from clothes that never bothered me before – stupid rain!

  3. Corey says:

    Congrats on your PR! On a tough course and on a tough day! Definitely something to be very proud of!! I am very happy for you!! So…more marathon plans or is that it for a while? ūüôā (Sorry…had to ask! PR’s are ADDICTING!)

    • Steph says:

      Haha, PRs are addicting! I’m already signed up for the Kiawah Marathon later this year, and I’m 99.99% sure that I’m not going to do another until then. I think I could do a 4:30 if I really trained and focused on that race!

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