met some awesome ladies and spent time with my Holly...
made it to a
This weekend, me and the hubs traveled to Nashville for the St Jude Country Music Marathon weekend. I signed up to run my first half marathon and what I thought would be my last. I have said numerous times that I am not a long distance runner, but after this weekend I think maybe I am. Or maybe I am still on a runner's high.
Friday, I made it to the expo just in time to pick up my race packet and a Spi belt. I looked like such a newbie walking around in awe of all the cool running gear and serious runners. Everyone was so incredibly nice there too. I would have probably walked through every single row of vendors and looked at every item, but I needed to get to Cabana for dinner with the ladies (and Aubrey's husband Tommy). It was so nice meeting new friends and hugging on Holly some more.
I wish this photo wasn't blurry. In my defense, there were two big tables of prom kids behind us so I had to bust out my best teeny bopper peace and duck face. Holly is doing her best "First of all" impression of me. I told you blondes have more fun!
As for the race, wow, there were tons of people.
Start time was 7am but we didn't actually cross the start until 8:08! Yes! We had a warm up half mile as the crowd thinned out and we got a good pace going. I am so very glad that Holly and I started out the race together. She is a great friend to pace with. When I felt like my legs were too tired to keep up, I kept going. I didn't want to slow her down. And honestly, it was all in my head. My head kept telling me to stop, not my legs. For the first 5 miles or so, we were on pace to finish in 2 hr 20 min. Holly reminded me on one of the hills (so.many.hills.) that we were running for Brayden and I used that to push through the tougher parts. Around mile 5, I had to slow down. My side was hurting and I had to get my breathing right so I told Holly to keep going. The rest of the race I tried alternating my running and walking based on the sun, the shade and the hills. Did I mention there were hills?!
For the last half of the race, I listened to the live music along the route. I got a bit of a tour from one of the pace leaders. She was going strong and telling us about the different colleges and buildings we passed along the route. I listened to lots and lots of people cheering. The people that live along this route are some really awesome people. They were handing out fruits, beer, ice, and Jose Cuervo. Several awesome people had their hoses and sprinklers going strong for us. There were awesome signs, of course. There was even a nice woo girl singing "Who Run the World.....Girls" over and over from her patio. She was also sharing her own alcoholic drink with whoever wanted some. There was just so much fun and encouragement along the route.
As I got closer to the finish I was feeling more confident but man, I was tired. Right when I was thinking too much about how much my feet hurt or how I should have gotten sunscreen at the last medical tent, Kira's sweet self was beside me asking how I was doing. She is a rockstar by the way. She was running for two! She jogged ahead and I got my head right to finish those last 3 miles. Somewhere in there I passed some young girls all in pink holding posters and cheering. They lost a friend to cancer. That got me. I shed a few tears and then got moving again (probably up another hill). I somehow missed seeing the mile 12 marker so mile 11 was the neverending mile for me. I thought I must have been having a heat stroke since there was no way I hadn't gone a full mile since 11. Just when I was getting really worried, I got to the top of the bridge and saw the mile 13 marker. Holy crap, I made it. I was jogging down the bridge, looking for the finish and looking for my husband. I got my medal and tried so hard not to completely break down right there. I was so glad to be done and I felt so accomplished. All the worries and fears were over (except the fear of seeing my feet afterwards). I know people do way more impressive things every single day, but i am not ashamed to say I was pretty damn proud of myself at that particular moment.
If you have ever even thought for a second about doing a half or a full marathon, do it! Next up for me is the M-town series. There are 4 races from May 22 to July 3rd. I need to complete 3 to complete the series, but I'm going to try to do all 4 depending on Brooklyn's softball schedule. What races does everyone else have lined up for the summer? Anyone completing a first half or full this year?