Monday, April 30, 2012

Nashville Country Music MARATHON

We did it!! My friend, Nichole, and I ran a MARATHON! Nichole (a good friend I have known for forever) and I traveled up to Nashville Friday afternoon. We basically tried to pump ourselves up for what would be the hardest thing we have ever done. First goal however, was to get to the Convention Center to pick up our race packets which was an easy enough task. When we pulled into downtown Nashville it was complete mayhem. I have never seen so many people in my life in one area much less the line around the building of people trying to get their race packets too. After getting our race packets we walked through the expo where we overheard a man say "biggest mistake of my life was not having sun glasses last year when I ran this race." Needless to say we headed straight towards a vendor selling sun glasses and bought some very stylish running glasses...I think they made us look more like professional runners!! :) Nashville does a wave start so that 20,000+ people don't trample each other to death when the race starts. We were in coralle 20. There were 37. This picture is looking towards the start line which you can't even see because we are so far back. I have never been a part of any event this big in my was insane to see all these people.
A before race picture. When it was time for our coralle to start I was almost in denial of what we were about to do. We had trained for months and prepared all week with drinking LOTS of water, eating TONS of carbs so we felt like we were ready. Nashville is known for its hills. I have never been one to complain about running hills but Nashville was relentless. It wasn't that we couldn't run the hills it was that once you got up one there was another, and another, and another. However, we felt great about ourselves because we were passing people left and right that were having to walk up these little monsters.
Jason, my parents and my in-laws came up to support us. I gave Jason a little baggy of goodies with crackers, extra waters, bananas and more for us to be able to use if we needed to...we needed to. Ideal running weather for me is in the 40's. It was 65 degrees and when we finished it was 80 degrees. Nichole and I made sure to rehydrate every water station...we drank so much water it should have made us have to go to the bathroom a million times but instead our bodies were using every ounce of water we took in and after 20 miles we realized we had never even stopped once to use the bathroom yet.
It was a neat experience to see all ages, all body types out trying to accomplish a goal. We tried to encourage those we saw struggling and especially at the half way mark we were trying to rally those around us...really just trying to sike ourselves up for another 13.1 miles!
I would have never done this alone. I am thankful for Nichole and what a sweet friend she is. This was such an amazing experience and I am glad we accomplished it together.
When we crossed that finish line we hugged and teared up and then I looked at Nichole and said, "we don't have to run anymore!" We had pushed ourselves for close to 5 hours and then to know we had finished felt AMAZING! And besides the fact that my legs felt they could have fallen off my body at that moment they were so exhausted I really felt great otherwise especially considering the heat we had just run in.
I loved every second of this was so hard at times but worth every second!! And a BIG THANK YOU to my husband who never complained once when he had to keep the kids for me to go out for hours to run and train for this. I love you.