Friday, May 2, 2014

Country Music Marathon Recap...Rock n' Roll Series #RUNCMM



     Hey y'all...I did it!!! I ran my 6th Full Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee! I completed the Rock n' Roll Country Music Marathon!! 26.2 Miles of Yeehaw goodness. When I tell you that I have waited a long time to run this race....I have waited too dang long. AND boy oh boy was it ever worth the wait! 

     I'm not going to lie and tell you that it was easy because there was no part of it that was easy. One word. HILLS. However, the energy of this race was over-the-top and that Honky Tonkin' energy was just the boost I needed to get me through to the Finish Line!
This was the scene approximately 6:30am on the city streets of Nashville Tennessee!

     I started out the morning getting ZERO sleep the night before...there was a Bachelor Party going on right in front of my hotel room. The fellas were clearly not prepping to run a marathon the next day. Hydrating while dehydrating all at the same time. My hotel shall remain anonymous in this post because I'm not very happy with them and am in the process of getting a refund. I paid waaaaaaay too much money for my room to not get any sleep. I'm still trying to make up for my missed zzzzzz's. Insert mad runner face here. :/

     Regardless of the Bachelor Party shenanigans, I got out of my bed at 4:45am and was leaving my hotel room by 5:45. The race started at 7am and I wanted to get there a good bit early.  I was within a short 10min walk to the Start Line...It was a little chilly that morning so the walk was a good warmup. The high for the day was going to be 82 degrees so I knew I wouldn't be cold for long. 

     As soon as we made it to where all of the pre-race festivities were, I started looking for the gear check (aka UPS trucks) area. I brought a bag with my post-race essentials (jacket, extra banana, back up battery for my phone etc.) I found the trucks, checked my bag and then met up with a few of my running pals for pics and good running wishes.
Met up with Dave and Kim!
My Mom and Sis.
     I was with my a Mom and my Sis...we goofed off a little, took more pics near the start of the 5k and then headed over to Broadway (Start Line of Half and Full). Of course no trip to Nashville is complete without a pic in front of the guitar outside of a Legends. It's a family tradition! ;)
The Famous Guitar in Front of Legends...Always gotta get this pic!

     I noticed the St. Jude group gathering for a group picture and got a quick hug from my friend Sami and then off to my corral I went! I was so ready to start this race!!!!
St. Jude Group Pic
Why yes! It is the REAL Sami Cone!!!
    As I was getting into my corral, I was looking for another friend of mine from home. My friend Missy was running the half and I wanted to stay with her and my sis as much as I could for the first half. The second half was going to be quite a journey and I knew it!
Love my sweet friend Missy!
 
Early morning Start Line Pic!

     Time to start y'all! I LOVED where the start Line was located. So cool seeing the streets of Nashville completely filled with runners. I've been here for fun, concerts and festivals lots of times but this was just really great!!!!

Country Music Marathon Start Line..But first, Let us take a Selfie!
     Come on everybody...He we GOOOOOO!!!

    We took off and circled the block, running around where the new Music City Center is located heading back towards Vanderbilt University. We ran through lots of quaint neighborhoods and even ran past a few Country Music recording studios. How cool is that?? 
Let's Do this! GO!!
The Spectators ROCKED!!!
     The spectators were endless and just full of crazy personality and before I knew it, I was coming up on the split. By this time, I had left my Sis and Missy and was on my own. Mile 11...Goodbye Half-Marathoners. Omg. I'm going to the left! ALONE. Reality has sunk in.
The Split! Omg. I'm going left!
So So happy to be running on Music Row. 
    There were SO many water stops along the way. I stopped for almost all of them, even when I didn't think that I needed to. I knew it was going to be hot and I didn't want to play around with the heat. The heat is real and I've seen too many people dehydrated to not stop! Drink up people!!!!
Brooks Mile!
My Favorite Verse...Hebrews 12:1.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
     Mile 14....this is really getting tough but I'm still hanging in. I'm on my third Gu. I can do this!
Howdy from Mile 15!
     Mile 17... I'm feeling the hills. WHAT is up with my legs??? I know now that both of my second toes are bruised. Not only are there uphills, holy moly the downhills are hard too. #BlackToenailProbs

     We are on the switchback now and that's just mentally tough.

     There's crazy people talking in my head now.  "All of those runners on my right?? Yeah they are in front of me. How do I look? Are they happy they are in front of me? They look so much better than me. Buddy they are trained. Why am I slower??

What's going on?!?! I'M LOSING MY MIND. Get me past the switchback!!!"

     Mile 21.... We are running through a gorgeous park. This was a nice change of scenery from the city. Lots of shade here but not as many spectators. And oh, have I mentioned that there was a live band at every mile?!? That was a cool bonus!!
Running through the park with some Country twang on the side of the road.
     Mile 24...I'm out of the park and two miles away from the Finish!!!! How crazy is this??? I'm about to be a six-time marathoner. Really just crazy. 

     Mile 24.5.... Runner down. Pulling over...goodbye decent time. There was two other people on the scene but I don't care. Runner down is serious business. I know I would appreciate the help if I was laid out on the side of the road. He was a younger (maybe mid-20's guy) who looked to be in terrific shape. Just goes to show that anyone can fall out mid-race. 

     We got his legs elevated, shielded the sun from his face, poured water down his throat given to us from runners passing by who were carrying water. There was a stop a little ways back that was giving out cold bags of ice so I ran back just a bit to find one of those on the ground, got it to him just before police and medical arrived. Alright I'm good to go now. Back to the marathon....

     Keep running. Keep running. Keep running.
The most beautiful sight in all the land...LP Field!!
      I see LP Field!!!!!! Hallelujah!!!!! The Finish Line is near!!!!!! That last half mile was a killer. I was  mental case by this time and I wanted my medal. 

     Heading in to the finish line at LP Field was one of the sweetest moments of my running life!! I did it!!!! YeeeeeeeeeHaw!!!!!!

     My mom and my sis were waiting for me and I needed food and hydration pretty quick! I've never chugged chocolate milk as fast as I did after that race!!! 

     There were lots of refreshments and beverages at the finish line and a band playing too! We took medal pics, got my gear bag from the UPS truck and headed back towards the hotel! I needed a shower and more food stat!
Finisher's pics!
    Overall, I cannot say enough good things about the Rock n' Roll Country Music Marathon. From the expo to the post- race party, I would totally do it again. And I'm planning on it. See you soon Rock n' Roll and Nashville, you were my kind of party! ;)
Good Morning from Country Music Marathon!

So excited to add my first Rock n' Roll Medal to my Full Marathon Bling collection!
For more information on this race and other Rock n' Roll Series events, please visit runrocknroll.competitor.com.

Happy Running Ya'll!

Disclaimer: I was provided an entry to this event and worked with Rock n' Roll as a Rock n' Blogger in exchange for my press coverage and race review. All opinions are my own.