Well folks, I can’t believe I did it. I actually ran a half-marathon. A whole 13.1 miles. Whoa nelly. Talk about one of my farthest fetched goals. It was amazing and I am SO glad I did it. I would definitely do it again!
The Rock ‘n Roll half-marathon was in Nashville on April 28th (I realize I’m pathetically behind in blogging.) All my months of training were coming to a rapid close as that weekend approached. One side of me couldn’t believe it was here and the other side of me couldn’t wait for it to be over! After 4 months of difficult training, random injuries, and more achey muscles and joints than I’ve ever experienced, I was ready to get it behind me so that my body could actually get a chance to rest and heal. So needless to say, when the weekend did finally come, I was ready.
When we finally got to Nashville, we headed to the Expo to pick up my race bib and my fancy schmancy “swag bag” with a bunch of goodies in it. I had just bought some KT tape the day before to try to use for my feet and my IT band on race day. I’ve heard amazing things about this tape so when I saw the KT tape station at the expo, I jetted over to them so they could teach me how to tape up my body before the race. This tape is unnecessarily expensive but definitely worth it.
After we left the expo, we headed out to dinner at Caesar’s Italian Restaurant to grub up on some carbs. I must say, carb loading my have been one of my favorite parts of training. Sooo yummy!
I’m so glad my parents got to come with us. They were so supportive and excited for me, so it was so much fun to have them there to experience the whole thing. Not to mention my dad using Marriott points for our hotel was a HUGE bonus. Thanks again Dad!
Then we headed back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep before my alarm would go off at 4:30 the next morning. When I woke up, I couldn’t believe it was actually time to start gearing up for THE RACE. The actual race. Not just a long Saturday run, but the long Saturday run. And thankfully my nightmare about oversleeping and missing the whole thing didn’t come true. That would have been a disaster. After about an hour of calmly getting ready, stretching, eating, H2O-ing, and taping up, I was ready to go.
We walked about a half a mile to the start line where I was to report to Corral #27. That’s right, the SLOW-poke corral. But I didn’t even care. My goal was to finish. Once it was time for the race to start I hopped into the massive herd of people and began my trek.
I would say the first 3 miles were the easiest. Praise the Lord I didn’t have any pain in my feet like I had been experiencing the week before. They were sore, but no sharp pain. So I was able to get swept up in the adrenaline of it all and keep a very nice pace for the first 5k portion of the race. And honestly, I feel like I don’t remember too many details of miles 4-9. It was very hilly and very sunny. I was sweating like crazy, and definitely taking advantage of the water/gatorade stops. It’s amazing what hydration will do for your energy level.
I was so excited to look over and see Matt jogging beside me on the side walk at mile 9! He and my parents made it to that point to meet me and cheer me on. It was so refreshing seeing people cheering specifically FOR ME. Especially since Matt ran the majority of my training with me, it felt a little strange to be “all by myself” running in a sea of strangers. After I saw them, I had another burst of energy for the next 1.5 miles.
I’ve told people who’ve asked, and it may be TMI, but the last part of the race was not enjoyable AT ALL for me. For some reason, I get CRAZY stomach problems after about 8 miles. Like, sweating, make-you-wanna-throw-up digestive issues. NOT FUN when you decide to bite the bullet and attempt a visit to the porta potty mid race to find out there is NO TOILET PAPER! In any of them! Absolutely ridiculous. Note to self: put tissues in waist pack for future races. So with that being said, for about the last 3-4 miles I was desperately trying not to have an accident. I had to walk a good bit which was a bummer, but it was definitely better than the alternative.
But I did eventually make it to the finish line and got my medal! It was SO exciting having accomplished something that I never believed I could do. I would definitely do it again. Especially if I can figure out these stomach and foot issues.
When we finally got back to the hotel I showered and then we ALL completely CRASHED. It was probably the best nap I’ve ever taken. Besides the fact that I was achey and sore like no other! Literally, I felt like an old woman every time I moved.
After we rested for a couple of hours, we found a steakhouse to go to for an early dinner and then enjoyed ourselves some Maggie Moos ice cream. It was definitely the way to finish the day. Because seriously, after you burn 1,300 calories, you pretty much give yourself a little grace when it comes to the eating department (at least I did anyway!)
It was a fantastic weekend spent with my favorite people. I am so thankful for their support (as well as all my other family and friends who have encouraged me along the way!) You all believed in me more than I believed in myself and it definitely made all the difference.
Now, who’s signing up for the next one with me?!