Monday, September 26, 2011

Race Recap: Nashville Women's Half Marathon

After getting up at dark o' clock on Friday morning, after essentially no sleep because someone decided that the bed would be a fabulous place to go potty at midnight, I headed to Nashville!! I flew through Chicago, and just as a side note, have you ever been through the Chicago airport!? The toilets in the bathrooms have a rotating plastic cover that renews itself after every use! How cool is that? The germophobe in me thought that this was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I'm not going to lie, I kind of stood in front of it for a couple of minutes and waved my hand in front of the censor and just watched in awe. I know, I know, I'm like a five year old. It really doesn't take much to capture my attention... Anywho, I left Chicago and landed in Nashville, where I most definitely hit up Starbucks, saw the fam jam and then headed to the expo. This was my third half marathon and by far the largest expo. Compared to the other two halfs that I've ran, this was a huge event, even with only like six thousand people. And I got a little overwhelmed and slightly claustrophobic, I'm having a hard time imagining being involved in a larger race.. But it was super fun none the less, tons of estrogen and tons of pink. And a fairy runner as the emcee.

I did get sucked in, and spent some money... call me a sucker, or maybe just inexperienced with expos and way to excited with all the merchandise. But I got a 13.1 magnet for my car, to which Rod says, what does 13.1 mean? And I bought an iFitness belt. I've been wanting one because I generally carry my phone in my sports bra.. which probably isn't super smart considering how much I sweat, cause that puppy is expensive to replace and water (sweat) damage is detrimental. But I bought the small one and it held my cell phone, ID, credit card, and my iPod as a backup. It's a win in my book. 

After the expo, we went to the flea market. If you've never been to the Nashville flea market - you should go. I'm not really a flea market kind of person, all the stuff, again, it overwhelms me. I don't do well with clutter, and what is a flea market but a bunch of old junk cluttered together. But it is HUGE! And some of the stuff is really neat to look at. By this point I was starving, pretty sure my stomach was starting to eat itself, and I was ready to use little man as a small snack. So we went to Loveless. It did not disappoint. I do not have a picture of the food, because it was inhaled. I'm not even sure if I chewed. But we ate early enough, that it was a great pre-race carb loading experience. 

It's a little blurry, but you can just see the happiness on his face that can only come from a meal of fried chicken, mac & cheese, fried okra and mashed potatoes. 

We hit the sac pretty early, about 10pm, but the nerves set in and a small bout of insomnia and I was up at 12am and then again at 2 am and then again at 4am and finally at 5am right before my alarm went off. I have a serious fear of over sleeping. I am notorious for just turning my alarm off... all three of them, or just plain setting it to PM instead of AM. (I never claimed to be the brightest crayon in the box.) We had to be super quiet so as not to wake the small child that was still asleep, because when you're nervous and trying to prepare yourself to run 13.1 miles, it is super hard to entertain a 14 month old. I ate my banana, almond butter, and honey english muffin in the bathroom. And we were ready to go.

These are the shirts the sister had made for us. Mine is a little bunchy, but I was correct, it did have to do with cake. It says One more mile and that cake is history. Amen sister, Amen. I run to eat. So glad that the parentals were able to come up and go with us, and mainly because Rod is the best chauffeur anyone could ask for. And he's willing to wake up at the crack of dawn to make sure we get there on time.

Race time! We got there right around 6:15, which gave us 45 minutes. There was plenty of parking so close to the start. And my nerves were getting to my GI so I ran to the bathroom. There were tons and tons of port-o-potties but the lines were still outrageous and it took about 20 min just to get into one. There was also no hand sanitizer or anything - yuck. We hugged Rod bye, gave him all our junk to hold, and made our way to our corral. This was also the first race I've ran in that had corrals.   

Lots and lots of ladies, all ages. Everywhere!

Bright eyed and bushy tailed. Ready to go!

The weather was absolutely perfect for running. Sunny but a nice cool 55 when we arrived. I was cold but new that I'd soon be sweating like a pig so I sucked it up and didn't wear a jacket. I found the 2:30 pacer group from Nashville Striders and figured we'd just try to stick with him and hopefully make our goal. But I also had NO time goals... just finish!! I knew the hills would be a killer. Rod had studied the course map, which I hadn't even looked at, yet another reason we like to have him around, he is always super prepared and knows every small detail. He informed us of what to expect mile by mile, I think to make us feel better... And then the gun sounded and we were off. 

We did great the first 4 miles. Stayed with the pacer, and I was feeling really good. But the hills, oh my hills. Mile 5 slowed us down a smidge. We ran through the park, and after living in Nashville for 8 months I finally saw the Parthenon. I would have stopped to take a picture for y'all but that would have just been too much trouble, and it was still pretty tight. I think that was my favorite part about being involved in what to us, was a relatively large race, you were never alone. There were always like 50 other people surrounding you, so you felt okay about your pace and what you were doing, not being passed my a million people, only to be left completely alone, thinking, am I last!? We were doing good, and kept pushing. Luckily, Greenwich is an extremely hilly place and I've been running up them, and down them and figuring out ways to get around them for a couple months now, and I think I was a little prepared for them. So around mile 9 the sister finally told me to go on. I was mixed. I was feeling, um we signed up for this together, we did the Seaside half together, we have matching outfits! How can I just go off and leave you. But I did... After a couple of minutes of oh my gosh I'm the worst sister ever, and now my sciatic nerve decides now would be a great time to start sending shooting pains down the back of my leg - was this punishment for wanted to go on and slightly be competitive and just run and see where I could end up!? But then I just settled in and ran. My mantra the whole time is "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, breathe..." I got to mile 11 and the nice man with water was like you're almost there, it's all down hill and in the shade from here.. Lies. Complete lies. The "I will hill" was left. We rounded the Titan's stadium running up the bridge, AKA the "I will hill" to which I was beyond happy to see a majority of people walking. I saw one sign that said dominate or some such thing and, thought gag me you inspirational sayings I just want to be done. So I bent my head down and just put one foot in front of the other. And thought, breathe,  breathe, breathe. After that, the last .7 miles were all downhill... and I just booked it. I saw Rod, Juls, and little man - I did take a small pause to pose for a picture and then ran on. Always super happy to cross the finish line! So I made one of my goals! I finished and I was running over the finish line! Great news too, I didn't PR but I beat my Seaside Half time by 8 min! I made it to the fam jam, and not too far behind me was the sister! I was so happy to see her!! So was the little man!! 

We survived!! And landed some pretty sweet bling to boot! Such nice medals, they're huge! I'm hoping to find out my second goal soon, if i took a good picture or not. I should know by early next week, and I'll be sure to report back to y'all. And post race - I had more fried chicken - this time chick-fil-a. Again no pictures, because I inhaled this meal too. Never been so happy to see a waffle fry. 

As you can see, I came back home to Greenwich. Although the pull to go back to Florida was huge, and would have been so easy - I would have missed seeing these cute faces 


All in all, it was a great run. An extremely well organized race, in a cool city with a great medal. I had a good time with my family and a good run with my sister. And we might be back... perhaps ready to tackle the hills with a vengeance this time. Or just to have a good time again. 

A big thanks to all the volunteers and the bands along the course and the Women's half marathon series!!


  1. Fantastic recap, Holly! Love it and love you. So very proud of you and all that you continue to accomplish!!!

  2. Great Jog Holly and Lindsay! So happy you both finished! Great Blog Holly!

  3. Good recap!!! I might just have to copy and paste this on my blog.....nah, i will just tell everyone to come read yours!!! Yes, I am lazy.

  4. Nice work! Another half in the bag!

  5. Congrats!! Cute pics of you and your sis!

  6. How cute are Y'ALL in your pink and green?!? Congratulations on a great rave and another half! Love the pink medal too!

  7. Thanks for your comment on my blog the other day! Yes, this race is definitely a hilyl beast! I was definitely one and done on it... even the Country Music Half isn't this hilly!