Here are the few high points that I will mention:
- Running with other people
Flight - $$$
Hotel - $$$
Race - $$$
Money spent at expo - $$$
My bank account - very sad
Running with my friends - priceless
We had a great weekend! And it was comforting knowing they'd be at the finish line waiting for me! We got TONS of compliments on our team-sparkle skirts!! I will say I chickened out and didn't end up wearing it for the actual run - I ran upstairs at 6:50 to put on shorts... I just wasn't sure how comfortable I'd be and while running for 5 (what ended up being over 5) hours...
- I really do love to visit Nashville. It is a beautiful city, again to visit and to run through. I really enjoy running through the Belmont Campus and the Gulch and Five Points... Seeing everything that I never saw when I actually lived there.
- I couldn't have picked a better first marathon - the expo was really fun and the race start went off without a hitch and the crowd support along the way was out of this world - the sheer amount of people that were having neighborhood parties while we ran... and out and about.. crazy nuts! ( Even though I kind of wanted to hit everyone with a mimosa or bloody mary...)
- Like I said the Rock n' Roll people know how to do it - the miles were marked well (Except for the small fact that my garmin read the course as 26.5 miles...), the course was marked really well (I never thought I was going to get lost) and they were ready for the heat! There were stations along the way just handing out ice for which I am eternally grateful!
- The bands! Y'all I have never run without music but at mile 14 I took out my music and I never put it back in! There were some great local bands playing!
- The runners - I met a friend around mile 14 (Hi Kelli!!) and we just stuck together the rest of the way - and honestly I think I would have taken a DNF and been perfectly fine with it if it wasn't for her!! And the few miles that I was with a pacer were great- she talked to us a lot and encouraged us and handed out sports beans and was a wonderful support person to have!
- Oh yeah- the very best part was that our hotel was literally the start line... like we walked outside and there was my corral.. worth every penny =)
There was no using the same port-a-john that 20,000 some odd of your closest friends had used too!
And my lowest of the low points...
- When I hit the wall at mile 11 I knew it wasn't going to end pretty... forget that wall at mile 20..
- The weather - I knew it was going to be hot, but I didn't think it would be that hard in the heat - as fast as I could drink water, gatorade etc I was just sweating it right back out...
- I was no where near my goal time... which I should've known better than to go in to my first marathon with a goal time
- I honestly didn't think I'd be SO hungry - my body didn't know what food to eat but nothing was enough. I only took two gels because I've never taken more than that on my long runs (and that always seemed to work) and I ate sports beans (um yum!), a piece of an apple, I tried pretzels for the salt but they totally sucked my mouth dry - and gatorade out the wazoo which may have led to the bladder issues that plagued me later...
- I really felt like the hills never ended - Nashville is like a never-ending rolling hill... I'd think that I was getting a break and then they would just start again... I think they were my downfall...
- I reached a point where I was pretty sure my kidneys hated me - I felt like I was going to pee my pants with every step so I'd stop to use the potty and nothing... so I just kept going <-- running, not peeing in my pants..
Y'all, honestly, I want to give you this killer feel good woo I ran a marathon let me recap it mile by mile with tons and tons of pictures and give you all my splits and we'll all smile and be happy and cyber hug BUT I just didn't have that experience... it was more all thoughts of dying and praying the whole thing was a dream and maybe it didn't really happen... But I have the medal and finisher t-shirt to prove it... And it was nothing to do with the Rock 'n Roll people - they were great - with their crowd support and aid stations and medical tent stations - it was just my own experience.. I probably could have trained harder, done more hills, tried to prepare a little more for the heat.. but I didn't and this marathon kicked my butt and I'm still a little upset about the whole thing and I'm still not to the point where I enjoyed it, and it's all still a little raw for me... BUT with that said I have already started looking for my next marathon... in the fall... on a flat course... because next time will be PR city and I will enjoy every second of it and remember why I love running and subject myself to spending multiple hours at a time doing it!
So... sorry this is all so jumbled and probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense but those are the thoughts that are running through my head (ha ha funny, funny) at the moment... So I'll leave you with this little gem that probably sums up my experience better than I can try to in words...
Marathon - 1
Holly - 0
I must rectify this...