Yeah, I realize this recap is WAY overdue.
You guys forgive me, right??
Yay, thanks :)
So, I left off with the St. Jude Heroes pasta party Friday night which was AWESOME and it turned out to be just the right fuel for Saturday's half.
One of the downsides to this event was that unless you wanted to take your chances parking at the finish line (LP Field in this case) and hiking to the starting line, you were going to need to take a shuttle. And the shuttles were not free. Lucky for me I read about all of this in advance and purchased my shuttle pass on Friday at the expo - $20 for round trip to and from the race. The shuttle met runners at a hotel right up the road from mine so when I woke up Saturday morning I had a very short walk.
Which was good because it was COLD that morning.
See, this is what I was wearing because I had seen on the news it was going to be a warm one.
In actuality, when we woke up Saturday morning at dark thirty the temperature was in the 40s and I had forgotten my throw-away shirt at home. #runnerfail Needless to say, standing in line for the bus was not a fun experience, especially since they had oversold bus passes than they had room for. But I talked with some really nice folks while we all stood around freezing and when we finally got on a bus I shared a seat with a guy from northern Georgia who was running his first marathon (I hope you did fab!!!).
When we got to the starting line area the sun was starting to come up and as I was walking up to the corrals I passed by the St. Jude Heroes pre-race VIP area and in hindsight, I wish I had stopped. But I guess I was getting anxious so I kept on walking. I got a really pretty pic of the starting line:
I was originally slated in corral 30 (out of 40 - this race was HUGE y'all) but at the expo I got moved up to corral 23 (hence the cute green sticker on my race bib). After a potty stop I began to head to corral. I had quite a walk from the starting line but I did get to see my good friend Heather, who was in corral 6. Once I got to my corral, I stretched and tried to find a sunny spot to stay warm and I finished off my pre-race Cocogo.
The race, unfortunately, started a bit late and with corrals going off every 2-3 minutes, I had quite a wait before I actually started (the race was supposed to start at 7am and I didn't hit the starting line until at least 30 minutes later) but I was glad to get moving so I could warm up. BUT - that Cocogo I had drank while waiting caught up to me before the 1 mile marker so I had to pit stop again in front of Music City Center (and this time all the porta potties were out of toilet paper - bleck). I told myself not to stress out about the early pit stop because I had already said I wasn't running this race for a PR - I was hoping for at least a 2:30 but if it didn't happen it didn't happen and I was going to be ok with that.
I really enjoyed the course - the hills were there but I knew that was coming. I think this course covered more of the area that the Women's Running Half course has the past two years. Since it's been a few weeks I have forgotten a lot of the smaller details but I remember walking away thinking I liked this course better. The on course entertainment of course was much better with music at every mile and there seemed to be more crowd support. I really enjoyed the street lined with supporters that had the funniest signs around mile 8 - really made me smile!
As we got closer to the river I knew the finish line was coming and I glanced at my watch - remember when I said earlier I wasn't that concerned with my time?? Welllll...........that wasn't entirely true. Because I'm competitive by nature and when I saw that I might not hit that 2:30 mark I kicked it into overdrive. Thankfully, the course ended with a downhill bridge into the LP field parking lot so I flew down the hill and around the corner. All of the spectators kept saying "it's just around the corner" and for once, that was actually true :)
I crossed the finish line in 2:30:25 - and I was extremely happy with it. I snagged my bling and some post-race snacks (including my chocolate milk, I love how they have that at the end of the Rock 'n' Roll events!) and met the hubs in the family reunion area. By this time it had gotten pretty warm so after I finished off my chocolate milk I downed my water bottle also and grabbed a second one to work on on my way to the shuttle. Mr. Smith Summary and our friend J that lives in Nashville had ridden their bikes to LP Field so they walked with me towards the shuttles and then took off to meet me back at the hotel.
And this will be my one gripe for the weekend - the walk to the shuttles. We've just run 13.1 or 26.2 miles here folks; we do not want to have to hike to get on a bus. We also do not want to sit on that bus for almost another hour trying to get back to our hotels, which is what happened when the bus that I was on took the 440 loop all the way around Nashville to get back to our hotel in West End. I realize there were road closures but I'm pretty sure there would have been a faster way to get back to our hotel than the route we took - just sayin. Mr. Smith Summary beat me back to the hotel and showered before I made it back, so I barely had time to run through the shower before we had to check out of the hotel (because the hotel was less than accomodating with a late check out but I could go off on a rant about that so I will stop there). Thankfully, we were spending the night with J and his fiance Saturday night so once we got checked out we drove to his apartment and he made us a yummy lunch, which was good because I was starving at this point.
Overall, I was very pleased with the race. A few VERY minor things I was unhappy with but I think I would definitely do this race again - and maybe next time, fit in some more hill training so I can try for an even faster time. Thanks Rock 'n' Roll for an excellent race!