|Clear blue skies in Nashville!|
I came to Nashville very concerned about Mother Nature's violent mood swings. A few days before the Country Music Marathon, thunderstorms, severe winds and tornadoes slammed the South, killing dozens of people in four states, with Tennessee being one of them. Last year in Nashville, we had to run from a tornado. That event almost got canceled due to extreme weather. I remember shortly after crossing the finish line, I had to quickly move into shelter in place mode due to the storm. This year, I was fully prepared to dodge anything Mother Nature threw out at me. To my surprise, no rain, no gusty winds, no funnels! In fact, it was hot! Mother Nature must be going through "the change." That could only explain the extreme and unpredictable mood swings, and the hot flashes that we all had to endure in Nashville.
The Country Music Marathon marked the first marathon in my third attempt at the double header. Earlier this month I ran two back to back Charlie Alewine marathons followed by the grueling Labor of Love ultra marathon double. For this weekend, I chose Nashville and The Flying Pigs Marathon in Cincinnati. Initially, I had wanted to run the Kentucky Derby Marathon/Flying Pigs double, but because the Competitor Group announced the new Rock Idol medal for completion of 10 Rock 'N' Roll events, I had to jump on the bandwagon. The Derby would have been much more convenient for me, but because I am such a bling whore, I'll do what it takes to get that extra medal!
- Fly into Louisville, KY, on Thursday.
- Drive 50 miles to Madison, IN, to spend the night with my old college buddy's parents.
- Wake up Friday morning and drive 225 miles to Nashville, TN.
- Attend expo and meet up with Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics.
- Run The Country Music Marathon on Saturday.
- Cross the finish line then jump into the rental car and drive 275 miles to Cincinnati.
- Run The Flying Pigs Sunday morning.
- Cross the finish line then jump in rental car and drive back to Madison, IN.
- Fly out of Louisville, KY, on Monday.
|I finally got to meet Ryan Hall at an expo!|
|I tried to stick around to meet Kara Goucher but I had to get back to the hotel to meet my peeps for dinner.|
|Finally! I get to meet Aaron Braunstein! Along with Mr. Braunstein was my Boston Dudette, Stephanie Arango, and her awesome Mama, Mary Signorelli.|
|Endorphin Dude with Lyle Lyle Crocodile. We look like siamese twins in this photo, fused at the shoulder.|
|It was like one big slumber party with my room mates, Jennifer Walker and Kassi Vasquez.|
A few of us met up at a hole in the wall Italian eatery down town for our carbo load dinner. For most Marathon Maniacs, this is a double header weekend, so everyone was running from one expo to the next across state lines. Because of this, not everyone was able to show up on time for dinner. The restaurant host threatened to take our table away because we were all just sitting there drinking water. He was actually quite rude to us, but I suppose I could understand his situation. It was the night before a marathon at a pasta joint, and there was a line of people waiting to get a table. I was just disappointed that he was so terse to us. Fortunately, the rest of our party arrived and we were able to feast. The meal was less than adequate, so it's safe to say that if I ever return to Nashville, I will be avoiding this place. The combination of poor customer service and bad food makes this a no brainer. At least I was in good company, otherwise the dinner would have been a total bust.
We got back to our hotel at about 8pm and turned out the lights by nine. I did not have a good sleep, as my back was killing me. A few days ago, I started to develop a slight pinch above my right glute. I talked to my Nashville room mate Jennifer, who is a physical therapist by vocation, and she noted that what I had was most likely my sciatic nerve being pinched. She showed me some stretches, which I jumped right into. I didn't sleep well that night, but I knew I could count on adrenaline the next morning. That hormone has saved my butt many different times! When the morning alarm went off, I got up, threw on the Endorphin suit, and ventured off to the start line with my running peeps.
|Marathon Maniacs from behind! That's Troy and Cathy.|
|I didn't catch this Maniac's name, so if you know her, let me know who she is!|
|I caught up with this Half Fanatic. Turns out, it's Louie Soriano's brother in law!|
|Thank you Sisters for getting me through this race!|
|There were a series of these signs from the Nashville chapter of the humane society. I am raising money for the Peninsula Humane Society, so these signs really resonated with me. The last one read, "You're almost done, but our race continues."|
|I'm seeing this guy pop up everywhere. It's the Teddy Bear Man himself, Tyler Rich.|
|It's always tough to only hit your mile 19 and you see all those at mile 23 run right by you. It's nice, though, when it's someone you know. Seeing fellow Maniac Mary out there gave me that extra boost to get to the finish line.|
|Yay! Finish line! Nashville was hot and hilly, but Endorphin Dude got through it!|
The Country Music Marathon was definitely a challenging race. It's funny how I came into the marathon fearing hurricanes and tornadoes but ended up suffering from heat exhaustion instead. It was a good thing I kept my Camelback fully stocked and I continued to hydrate myself throughout the 26.2 miles. That final 5k hurt, but at the end of the day, I made it. Waiting for me at the finish line were some Marathon Maniac buddies of mine and Michael Kanh of WhyMarathons.com. If you haven't checked out this site yet, I highly recommend that you do. Why Marthons is a platform for inspiration, devoted to digging into the real reason that you put yourself to the test and push the limits of mind and body. Michael caught me at the peak of runner's high. I knew right when he clicked on the record button that he would get the very absolute endorphin-filled best out me or the goofiest stuttering worst. I'm glad it was the former that he caught on film.
Marathon #23 is now in the books. Titanium scoreboard: 16 down, 36 to go!