Sunday, May 13, 2012

Holy HILLS, Batman! Country Music Marathon 2012

Well, 2 weeks have passed and I think I've finally recovered enough to talk about it!  I was back to running the following tuesday but discussing this race was something I needed to mull over a bit! 
 I think the 3 H's sum it up best.




We began this journey a LONG time ago.  Last year when we moved here, it was race weekend.  I said then, I would run it next year and back in Janurary we formed a running group to start training.  Stephanie and I had been running most all winter but our milage needed to go up....WAY up!  Our 150 miles of training started in January!  It was in fact SNOWING on one of our first runs.  We ran several routes and at some point we ran every part of the half.  We knew the course.  We just couldn't control the weather.

Race expo opened for locals on Thursday and we knew to go that day, I heard it gets pretty crazy down there on that Friday before.  We went around lunch time and Lincoln had to accompany me.  He was a complete ANGEL!  

Race day was pretty nostalgic.  We had some great friends that drove us downtown becuase getting there can be somewhat of a nightmare.  Our walk was short and all lines were minimal.  We got to pass on the miles and miles of port a potty's in lieu of indoor plumbing at PF Changs on West End.  With a sticker we signed up for at the expo, we were allowed inside to use their potty's and were grateful for the insight to do that ahead of time!  Once inside our corral, the butterflies begin.  There were oh about 15,000 people in front of us 
and another 15,000 people behind us.  

The air was buzzing with deodorant, body glide and a slight smell of steaks from the J Alexanders just ahead.  Once the National Anthem was complete and the waves started, it was around 11 minutes into the race when we finally got across the start line. 
The first 2 miles were downhill. It was nice while it lasted.  That would be the end of that.  It was SUCH an amazing feeling to finally culminate all those training miles into seeing the city pass by full of runners.  They were EVERYWHERE you looked.  Lots of onlookers cheered too.  We saw some great signs such as "girls don't sweat, they glitter" and "May the odds be ever in your favor" from Hunger Games!  The music was great every few miles.  The first 6 were not as challenging but after that every ounce of my concentration was put into keep up pace.  I wasn't prepared for it to be so hot. A friend even picked up and ran a few miles with us along Belmont, 12S and Music Row.    We passed down Broadway the quintessential Nashville, we ran Demonbreum, we spend through the blazing Gulch  We crossed the bridge over the Cumberland and passed the farmers market.  Seeing the stadium was the most blessed sight.  I have never been so happy to see the finish line.  There was a few moments at miles 12&13 that I simply thought I wouldn't make it.  It was too hard.  But thankfully, I have some fantastic friends that wouldn't let me give up.  They wouldn't leave my side and we all crossed the finish like together.  I will always be grateful for them!  We knew around mile 10 that our time wouldn't be what we all wanted.  The heat was dragging everyone down.  We were hoping to finish in under 2:10 and we hit 2:20.  It was a far cry from my previous half but the difficulty of this course was the sole factor in that.  I knew it would be hard, now I is HARD.  

I saw several people I knew along the course!  Most were friends of Jason's from Vandy!
With views like THIS how could it be anything but awesome (and HARD)?

I could run another 13.1 (give me a few months!)  with these guys by my side.  They are simply the best!

The race was amazing, an accomplishment and incredibly challenging.  I'm happy to have completed my second one and to have done it in the city I've come to love.

  Despite the challenging course you ask "Will I do it again?"

You better believe it!!

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