Have you ever been to Nashville, TN?
Have you ever been to Nashville when there are 30,000 runners packed in one block downtown?
Well if you were there April 25, 2015, you know what I mean. It was the most beautiful chaos I’ve ever seen.
I guess at this point you’ve figured out that I’m a runner. For the last 5-6 years I’ve been almost strictly a half-marathon runner and I love it. There’s nothing better than hundreds or thousands of people around you doing the same hard thing that you’re doing and feeling the same accomplishment at the end. Running has been a passion of mine since I was 12, and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
This weekend I ran my 8th or 9th (I can’t remember…) half-marathon:
The Country Music St. Jude 1/2 Marathon. This was the 3rd time I’ve run this race, and it’s my absolute favorite so far.
I got to run with my sister, who I claim to have gotten into running.
Our 5th half together!
And if you ever plan on running Nashville, don’t make the mistake that I made, register for the right race. Rookie mistake- I accidentally registered for the full marathon. So I wasn’t sure which corral I should be in, I started with my sister in coral 18. This may not seem like a problem, but when you’re running with 30,000 other people, if you’re running next to people considerably slower than you, it’s an issue. So I was blocked in for the first 2 or so miles of the race.
Regardless of the blonde moment, I had a GREAT time.
I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a race so much. Typically, I will walk for a minute at a water station, have to take a bathroom break, or (on a super rough day) stop and stretch at least once. But this race, I ran all the way, didn’t stop once.
The forecast for the day had been 100% chance of rain and thunderstorms. And you know what? It didn’t rain once. Perfect running weather and blue skies in the afternoon. I’d say thousands of prayers for good weather had been happening.
I felt positively golden. Even at mile 10, when I usually start to feel it, my legs were just barely feeling tight. I didn’t lose my breath, I felt so solid. It’s a miraculous feeling. At mile 12, I was tired, but I kept the pace.
As I made it up the last small hill to the bridge and saw the 13 mile marker, I felt so strong.
I SPRINTED the finish. (the first time I’ve ever been able to do that)
I finished in 1hr 53 mins. Definitely not a PR, but not a loss.
There were hundreds of people at this finish line and about a quarter mile of post-race food and people to walk through before I could find my people.
After all of the after race madness, my husband and parents were awaiting my sweaty hugs.
It was such an encouraging experience. Before the race I had been worried that I wouldn’t do well or that my hip that I had strained just a month ago would flare up, but this wasn’t a display of how weak I am.
This whole experience and simply being able to run is such a sweet display of God’s strength and his grace. I don’t deserve to be able to run this far and I haven’t earned it, but God shows me He loves me and has rescued me through running, and I am so thankful.
My sister and I are planning on running the 7 Bridges Marathon in Chattanooga in October. I’m so excited because after this race I know I can finish. I’m shooting for around 4 hrs. for my first marathon. We’ll see…
After the race we showered and went to Maggiano’s Italian Restaurant with the whole gang plus my brother-in-law’s parents.
We ate pasta and went to Centennial park and took pictures.
(my sister’s niece)
(My cute parents)
(My sister and I)
Hope you all have a good week! Happy trails.