What a stellar weekend. The post-race hangover continues, yet I ended up managing to squeak in a great workout this morning. I was a bit relieved and able to go “balls out” because I wasn’t worried about dinging anything.
Here are some additional deets from the race —
Packet Pick-Up Pandemonium
We rolled into town Friday and holy people batman! Picking up the race packets was organized, yet chaotic. Seeing the massive crowds caused minor rapid heartbeat. I had a realization of the popularity and magnitude surrounding the event. I then wondered how I would navigate through the herds of people.
We opted for sushi. Odd, but it actually makes sense. From the Nutrioneer:
– Rice is a good starch-carb combo
– Fish gives you plenty of protein, which is slow to burn and good for muscles
– Seaweed is packed with nutrients
– It’s delicious
We even enjoyed a glass of red wine. I’d been dry all week, but I needed to relax after going through the circus to get our packets. Andrew said wine provides antioxidants, plus-up.
Later that evening, Andrew walked me through the course. Super helpful. He made sure we knew the good parts, bad parts, hills and halfway point. I packed our pre-race breakfast, consisting of Nutellathons and Cliff Bars.
Rip Roaring Race Day
I popped right out of bed, it was my normal weekly wake-up time, Andrew took some coaxing. Everyone will tell you not to use any unnecessary energy before the race, so when we hit traffic I had to take some breaths. The shuttles to the start line where incredibly organized and it was fairly easy to arrive at the starting line.
The moments before a race are the best. People are stretching, getting focused and peeing for the last time. Your fight or flight response is engaged, forcing you to make sure you use the bathroom one more time. A port-a-potty is your friend.
Starting the race with Andrew was awesome. Last words of encouragement go far.
I had earmarked myself to work towards beating two hours, and I had an eye on the clock. The mass of runners puts you on alert, making it difficult to find a stride. Be prepared to weave, dodge and curb-it. Andrew thought weaving in and out of traffic made the race interesting. There were a few tight corners that bottle-necked us, but overall Nashville made for a beautiful backdrop to the race.
Biggest unexpected perk was the hometown support. Be thankful for every spectator. People were rows deep on the sidelines. Running through the suburbs and seeing people toasting runners with Bloody Marys and mimosas topped off the morning.
The race had plenty of refueling stations and local organizations and restaurants provided unexpected places to fuel. Thank you fruit stand owner!
And it was my foot, not my knee, that almost made me bonk. It felt like it went to sleep, stupid foot surgery. I guess it was bored. I got real creative with my technique, not like I had an option to stretch. Motivational t-shirts actually worked: “Pain is temporary, pride is forever.” Head down I pushed through.
In the last few miles of a race, lookout for “chew or goo” stations. Races typically provided you with one last opportunity to get a surge of energy on your home stretch. I run hard during the last 3 miles, helps make up for any mile where I may have been off pace.
13.1 is hard to remember when you see mile marker 13 and no finish line. Alas, the last .1 to push through.
Post-Race Stuff Face
Picking up fruit, pretzels and other snacks post-race is always fun. I try to take it easy because typically my body revolts anything that goes in after a race, but it’s critical to try to put some nutrients back in your body immediately after.
The medals, the celebrations and seeing everyone exhausted at the end, all make the sport what it is. Andrew is even considering doing another! It’s addicting. I highly recommend Nashville and I would also consider other Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series.
Stay tuned, I will feature stories from fellow friends that ran the race.
Thank you Nashville & Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, breaking all sorts of personal records!