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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nashville Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

Last night, I had a big meal before I went to bed, so that my body would be ready for the race.  Waking up at 5:25 (20 min before my alarm), I took a long drink, and made sure that I was fully prepared for the race.  Because I didn't eat anything that would 'run' through my digestive system, I was a lot more ready than one of my other races where I had to make one of those mid-run stops.  I didn't prepare too much so I spent a little bit of time finding a good parking spot, but after finding one nearby, I walked over, handed my gear bag in, and  went off to the starting line.  As I had a light breakfast, I thought I was at least a little ready, but I realized as the race was about to start that I did not water up as much as I should, and my running shoes were pretty loose.  I started untying them as the announcer gave a thirty second warning, and barely tied them tightly as we started the race.  Running on the faster side in the beginning because I was using this as a speed workout, I made sure to tire my body, and by the second half of the race, I was feeling the effects.  All this time, I've been training so that I would be able to do consistent 10 minute miles, so that in the 12 hour race I'd be able to get as close to 72 miles as I could (which would be pretty sweet if I could do that).  By the end of the race, I had run a total of 27.37 miles (funny how running a marathon really is more than 26.2 miles due to all the turns that are in the course) in 3:50:44, an average of 8:26 min/mile, a minute and a half faster than my goal pace for the 12 hour race.

It was a tough day.  The sun was shining, there were a ton of hills... but the race was well prepared.  There were always people cheering you on, a lot of music, the water stations were well stocked and plentiful.  Though the course may have been pretty hard, some of the music played slow (I shook my head when I listened to some of the songs they were playing), but the volunteers were plentiful, and a lot of them really had a passion to help with the race.  I'm thankful to all the volunteers that stood out there and encouraged the runners for the long hours we were all out there.

At the end of the race, I sprinted as hard as I possibly could, pushing my body as far as I could in the last mile, and at the end, when I crossed the finish line, it was all I could do to not drop down and take a break.  I kept on walking in order to let my muscles recover, and I received my medal and water, and found a sidewalk to sit down for a bit.  I noticed that my iPhone had run out of batteries during the long run, so I had to ask a random lady to take a picture of me with her iPhone and send it to me (side note: good way to get numbers).  I also talked to another guy who told me to go to which seems to be my kind of site.  I need to look into it a little more, but it seems to be something that I'd like to be a part of.  After taking my break, I got some gatorade, bananas, and other snacks while I went to get my gear.  After I had gotten my gear, I asked someone if they could show me on their iPhone how to get to the starting line, which was two miles from the finish line.  Planning on walking all the way there, I met a couple guys and started talking with them.  Seemed like a small world when I found out that he was a brother of someone I knew from college.  They offered me a ride which I took with gratitude, and so I managed to get to the starting line and to my car so I could drive back.  It was really a long day, but it was well worth it.  I had a great time.

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