|The medal and shirt|
Welcome to another Weekly Review linkup with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. I'm going to use my normal weekly wrap up space to recap my most recent race: The Rock 'n' Roll Nashville Half Marathon took place Saturday, April 30 in Nashville, Tennessee. [Race Information]
Arriving in TN & Expo
The expo was large, but they kept people moving. We grabbed our packets then wandered around to see the vendors and collect some samples. I was excited to see Harvest Snaps. (Between the 5 of us we had a bajillion sample bags and I ate at least 8 bags total. I'm not joking.) I was also excited to grab some Wild Planet coupons.
After the expo we had to kill some time so we went to eat at a bar on Broadway. It was tasty and yes, I had a good local beer. We were all pretty beat by this point, so when our room was ready we went over immediately. After getting situated we walked down Broadway again, then stopped at Jimmy Johns and Walgreens. I wish I had a Fitbit because I'm pretty sure we walked several miles.
After our last outing, we went back to the room, turned on the TV and vegged out for a while. We got our stuff ready for the race and went to bed. I think it was 10pm. I got lucky: it was a two room suite and I ended up alone on the couch bed in the second room.
My goal race was April 10, so this wasn't a PR attempt. I waited so long to sign up that even with a discount code it was still $120! (I usually spend as little as $10-35 on halves!) I knew going into the race my main goal was to have fun and get as much out of it as possible. I figured I'd run with a friend, but wasn't sure who. Andrea wanted to chase her 2:08 PR, Angie was looking to beat 2:18, Sarah was just running for fun, and Jen changed from the half to the 5k at the expo.
|Pre race, rain was mostly finished|
The forecast predicted rain, but when we woke up everyone's apps (except mine) said 0% chance of rain. I decided to wear my hat and light layers... just in case. I'm glad I did. When we walked outside it was raining. It was a light drizzle, but a few folks decided to add layers. Jen's 5k was set to start at 6:45am and it was already 6:30, so she, Sarah, and Andrea went to the 5k start while Angie changed into capris and made a poncho.
|Getting closer to the start...|
The corrals were crazy. My feet hurt so much as we stood there for what felt like eons. With the delay and corral releases, our 7:15am race start turned into 8:24am. I'm happy I had friends to entertain me!
A complaint: We saw several folks with corral 30+ bibs taking off with the first 10 corrals. I really wish people would take an honest stock of their race speed because I felt like I was dodging and weaving the entire race. I can't remember a segment where I wasn't trying to get around someone.
|A cool inflatable in the early miles|
Holy crap there were a lot of hills. Everyone said Nashville had "rollers" but what they really mean is Nashville has a lot of hills... over and over. Every time we got to the top of the hill I looked forward to the downhill... if there was one. Sometimes there was just another hill. I barely recall any sections of flat road during the first few miles. Angie and I were trucking along. Sarah passed us around mile 3, but we never saw Andrea.
The hills were never-ending. Most of them weren't terrible, so I was able to keep running even though it was tough. I tried to take advantage of downhills, but that only lasted a few miles. Instead of going fast downhill I eventually settled for trotting. It rained a bit, but mostly refreshing sprinkles. Angie grabbed water at the stops, so I'd walk along for a bit. Around mile 5 we passed Sarah when she stopped to talk to her cousin. It seemed like we were always dodging people. I enjoyed the large race and course support, but it was obnoxious to constantly have to get around people. I really respect walkers and interval runners (everyone's out there getting it done!), but I can't stand when people stop right in front of you without warning. Or walk three wide right in the middle. I love when people move to the side and signal their stop. I always say thank you.
I really wanted to be done. Luckily, miles 10 and 11 were downhill or flat-ish. I made good time here, but when my watched beeped 12 and I knew there was no way I could finish before 2:15. Even though the pace group was still behind me –and I know I started behind them!– I would be over 2:15. I got really tired at 12 (probably because 11 and 12 were my fastest miles) and as soon as I turned a corner and saw a steep hill, I allowed myself to walk. I walked three times in that last mile. Normally I'd feel bad about that (especially after running everything leading up to that), but I needed those breaks. I swear the last two hills were killer. Even with my walk breaks the 2:15 paces never caught me. I was so relieved that the last bit on the bridge was downhill, so I let myself fly... kind of. We turned the corner to the finish and I was happy to be done!
|Right after we all finished|
|Nashville bridge shot!|
Eventually I made it through and found a quiet spot. I had a bunch of texts (I forgot Alex didn't know it was delayed, so he texted a few times to make sure I wasn't dead haha.) Jen finished the 5k, showered, and came back to the finish to collect us. She was waiting by the beer and it looked like I was the first to finish. Soon, the texts came through from the others and we reconvened by the beer. By that point I'd had more Harvest Snaps, a fruit cup, some pretzels, and Gatorade so I was feeling ok. No one wanted beer, but luckily the beer dudes didn't open the cans so I took mine to go. I was really trying to get as much swag as possible for that steep race fee! ;) We didn't hang around too long, just long enough to grab some photos.
After the race we lounged around, showered, got ready for dinner at Rock Bottom Brewing, and went bar hopping along the strip. All-in-all a great Nashville weekend!
Stats and Thoughts
Final: 2:18:40 (2:17:20 at 13.1)
Overall: 7155 / 18087 (39%)
Gender: 3612 / 11678 (31%)
Age Group: 698 / 2008 (35%)
Mile Splits: 10:33, 10:32, 11:06, 10:32, 10:36, 10:43, 10:54, 10:25, 10:01, 10:13, 9:57, 9:53, 11:09, 8:41 (last .2)
This was my first Rock 'n' Roll event. I wasn't sure if I'd like it since I tend to gravitate towards small, local races along scenic trails. The only con: the number of people. But the pros outweighed the cons. The course was beautiful, the crowd support was stellar, and the organization was pretty impressive for such a large event.
Up Next: I hope when I run the Medina Half in a month I can remember how I kept trucking during this race. The overall elevation was 620ft in Nashville. Medina is 398ft. I need to remember that when the going gets tough!