Photo Diary: I Love Rock n' Roll, and Nuun

May 9, 2014

Half Marathon numero seis, or six for the non bilingual folk, went a little something-something like this:

Road trip to Nashville

Stop for gas and buy a family sized bag of white cheddar popcorn

Inhale said popcorn whilst friend drives (5 hours), leaving a popcorn cemetery in her car #friendoftheyear

Check into hotel

How psycadelic is this chair? It was uber comfy too

Bathroom lights. They even dimmed. I died. So neat.

Hit up race expo 

Stocked up on (and sampled every one of them) Nuun -- watermelon and tropical are my new faves (lemon lime was my first love)

Posed, awkward like in front of signs

Lunch, here (Fish Sandwich, all the fries)

Ice Cream (20 minutes later), here (butter pecan, waffle cone)

Meandered downtown, stopping in shops and reveling in the people watching.

Stopped for our ritual pre race cocktail, here where I flipped out over the piano (they made actual key notes!) stairs. 

Once we got back to our hotel -- went in search of ice, but it was quite the journey so I just decided to nap. Rest is essential prior to race day ya know.

Realized when we checked in we didn't receive our "complimentary glass of Prosecco", so went down (twice) to no avail. Bummer town.

Prosecco-less, we got ready for race day -- clothes laid out, alarms (plural) set, jammies donned, and stick rolled (my right calf had been SUPER tight the last month or so)

Before we knew it, it was race day -- coffee with a view, God bless in room coffee machine with Starbucks java. It's the little things really.

Usual pre-race breakfast -- slice of whole grain bread, peanut butter, half a banana, GU roctane (in a toss away water bottle, perfect for the walk over)

The hotel had coffee, bagels and granola bars which was thoughtful

Walked to the start, just over a half mile from our hotel

Corral jumped, selfies snapped, and renuited with our running mates -- Amy and Amie (we stayed at different hotels -- note to self, stay in the same hotel next year, beavis) within the nic of time right before the gun went off. 

Wore the skirt Amie and I got last year in KC (when we ran HH). Dig the d-tag instead of the tag on your bib, less binding on my top, or I just felt cool. 

Asked the guy in front of us to take our picture before the start.  He commenced to take five -- selfies of himself.

Eventually he got it right. Bless his heart

The course boasted a good variety -- neighborhoods, historical landmarks, main thoroughfares, with plenty of race cheerleaders (replete with hilariously inappropriate signs, beer, oranges, and high fives) the entire way.  Aid stations were a plenty, spaced thoughtfully, except for the one in the middle of a hill -- really?! Needless to say I skipped that one. 

Accepted an orange at some point -- for some reason I thought over packing my spibelt was a fantastic idea, so about 4 miles in I wasted a never opened pack of Shot Blocks (I had two). Took gels randomly, and only twice, I don't remember the miles but the heat was getting to me so I tried not to fidget too much. 

Rolling hills were -- not bad. The downhills (some of them) weren't long enough for me to fully restore some energy, but overall I was happy with my hill training.  

Checked my Garmin quite a bit, stuck with the 2:00 group for awhile, and once mile 7 rolled around I hit a wall. I was hot, the sun was unforgiving, and I was over it. Then I thought to myself all the work, sacrifices, and effort to get there and found my second wind -- quit? That's is not in my vocabulary.

The hill at mile 11 or 12 was not my ideal way of travelling miles 11-12, you know cuz it's uphill and my body was screaming by then, but it was doable. The switch backs on the cobble stone was the worst.  So much false hope thinking you were nearing the finish (where the heck did the mile markers go by the way?!), only to find out you were looping back around. Luckily (or not, whatever), I saw Annelise on the last switchback, and dug deep for the last mile or so. The downhill before the sharp right into the finishers area I left every-last-drop of  effort on the pavement and sprinted till I crossed the finish, proud of myself.

2:24:30 (results)

- side thought -

Stopped mid race around mile 2-3 to use the restroom (which gave me anxiety I'd reemerge with tp on my shoe), which cost me about 3-5 minutes in time I never fully made up for. After kicking myself for having to pee during the race (go before you leave Marcia!), I'd much rather pee in a toilet, than on myself while running. 

- end thought-

Got SUPER lightheaded and spent the next few moments catching my breath and trying not to draw attention from the med tent people -- I was literally holding myself upright against a pallet of bottled water. After lots of water, some chocolate milk and some deep breaths I was ok, that sun really did me in. And I probably should have gotten Gatorade and water at aid stations instead of just hindsight.

Once we all reunited Annelise and I had to book it back to the hotel to check out (the hotel wouldn't do a late check out). The mile walk back was excruciating, but in the end probably much needed stretch after the race.  We showered, packed up and were out literally on time, and hit the open road back to STL, stopping once we got out of the city (the race had something like 40k people, so uber crowded) for Chipotle and the largest cup o' water I could order -- dropping a tropical nuun and hydrating/cat napping/listening to Dr. Laura all the way home.

No rest for the weary -- I literally got out of her car, freshened up, and was out the door again in twenty headed to a birthday party. I ain't mad, they gave me a giant slice of cake for running that am :)

My legs were -- what legs are after pounding the pavement for 2+ hours -- exhausted, so me, my compression pants and I kept score (the old school paper kind which I never learned to do in school like everyone else in America).

Yee haw.

Want a good chuckle? Check out my race photos  -- the whole time I felt like I was dying showed in the photos, yowza.

Do you know how to keep score "old school" style in bowling?

Is it just me, or race lodging with no host hotels more expensive? 

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