Nashville Marathon Finishers!

WE DID IT!! WE ARE NASHVILLE MARATHON FINISHERS!!!

Here’s the post where I dive into everything: the night before, the race itself and the aftermath. Buckle up!

The Before

We took Friday off work so we could drive to Cincy (the halfway point between Detroit and Nashville) and stay at my parent’s house. It was nice to break the 9 hour drive into 3.5 hour increments. It definitely helped!

When we arrived in Nashville, we picked up my mom and went straight to the EXPO.

The EXPO was held at the Nashville Music City Center, which was really nice!

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I have a love/hate relationship with running EXPOs. They are great for seeing new vendors and getting some swag for the race, but they are awfully packed. There were so many lines! A line to get your BIB, a line to buy your merchandise, a line to get your band for the free beer after the race, a line to donate money to St. Jude <—- which everyone should do, a truly incredible cause. Lines everywhere!

Hubby and I ended up getting some 1/4 zip up hoodies, I got a tee and he got a hat. I’m very excited to wear my gear around and if anyone asks, I can say I ran this marathon!

Here we are with our bibs:

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Little did we know this would be the only real picture of us at the finish line….

After we picked up everything and I had a minor panic/anxiety attack from all the people, we went over to our friend’s condo to hang out before dinner.

We carb-o loaded up at an Italian restaurant, that was just okay. It’s hard to eat at Italian restaurants when you’re Italian and know you can make it better. Oh well. It was still good. Then we went back and fell asleep around 10 PM…or attempted to!

RACE DAY

We laid out everything the night before to make the day of a breeze. There was still a chance of rain/showers that day so we had to check our email first thing. GAME ON! Well, we can’t control the weather…so let’s do this!

Race day mantras: this is our victory lap! We’ve done this before, we can do it again! One foot in front of the other!

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We’re psyched! OBVI. Huge shout out for the VIPotty. Because we spent so much at the EXPO, we got a sticker that got us into the facilities of the Bridgestone arena. Well worth it!! The lines for the porta potties were out of control!! And I really needed the bathroom with my nervous bladder.

Then it was time to make it the start line!

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The feeling at the start line is always great! You’re psyched and feel like you can do anything. The start was all down hill, which was great. We were towards the back of the corrals and we got to see a bunch of elite runners coming around the 2 mile mark. It was really exciting to see them run. They are so fast!!!

The first few miles felt great. The weather was nice, just a little humid. I had heard that the hills were rough and they were right! We were up one hill, then down the hill, ran a few feet then, bam, another hill! It was never ending. Luckily, we were prepared.

Here we are at mile 10. Lookin’ pretty good! Oh, hey, frizzy hair. Thanks, humidity!

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The split around mile 11 was eye opening!

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There were so many half marathon runners and so few full marathon runners. I guess I can understand it because those hills were rough after the split. All the spectators pretty much went away after the split, which was sad. And all the spectators were yelling, “Almost there! Almost there!”I hated them…almost done?! More like halfway done!

At this point, I was feeling okay, getting a little hot and the back of my left knee was starting to hurt, but I was determined to make it happen.

For every training run, I would tell myself to just get to mile 15. Race day mile 15 was SO HARD! The hills were so steep, the heat was insane. I actually thought I was going to pass out.  It wasn’t pretty….

Here’s a shot my friends took as we ran past their condo:

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I was hurting at this point, like really bad, like how am I going to finish this thing, bad. I wasn’t sure I could do it. It was so hot!! Volunteers were actually handing out ice and ambulances were full of people who had heat exhaustion. I just didn’t want to end up in a medical tent.

At this point, my goals shifted. Granted, our goal was to finish, but I really didn’t want to walk. But when the heat got to be too intense, I had to take my health into consideration. I don’t sweat enough and my body retains all the heat. I’ve actually fainted three times in my life from being overheated. I was NOT going to pass out. I WAS going to finish. Thank God, Hubby was there. He put ice on my neck and encouraged me the whole way. I couldn’t have done it without him!

Here we are at mile 17, looking pretty tired! My mom gave me my jelly beans. I inhaled them like crack cocaine.

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Once we got to mile 20 I knew we could do it! We did a walk/run combo and made sure to push ourselves at the end. At mile 24, we kicked it up a notch and actually started passing people. That felt pretty good to actually pass someone. We actually saw some half marathoners at the end and they looked like they were in intense pain. I feel ya, peeps!

We turned a corner and down a hill: Mile 26! We got this!!

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WE FINISHED!! WE ARE MARATHON FINISHERS!!! I almost collapsed at the end. My feet were killing me and my body was about to give up. I didn’t even look at my watch towards the end. We ran 45 minutes slower than expected and it’s all because of the humidity. When we got to the car, it said it was 82 degrees outside. That’s too hot for lounging at the pool for me!

But, we did it!! We have the medals to prove it!

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We did what we came to do: finish together. I am proud of us!! The first thing I said when we were done was, “We did it!! I’m never doing that again!” I didn’t hit “the wall” that some people experience, but I didn’t run the race I was expecting. I was disappointed for Hubby because he definitely held back to stay with me. But he is the best and said we are finishing together! That’s it!!

It was a tough race, for sure, even without the heat. There is a reason only 2,600 people ran the full. I wouldn’t recommend it as a first time marathoner.

The After

We went back to the condo, took a shower, took a nap, then celebrated in style!

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Yes…that is sunburn. I have sunburn on my face and on my arms. The other casualty is my bra line. I put ice in my bra when I was too hot and I have a cut along my bra line. Not good!! It doesn’t hurt, but it’s definitely there.

Huge shout out to our friend, Chris, for grilling these steaks. They were delicious. They know how to treat some peeps!

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I’m glad it’s over..I’m glad we did it…I’m glad I’m home…I’m glad to start weight training again!

Just like Elle Woods, “We did it!!”

COMMENT

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