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Country Music Marathon - RunMarathon

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Nashville, Tennessee
United States
Competitor Group, Inc.
80F / 27C
Total Time = 5h 37m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

This was a fun, no-pressure race for me, mostly as a means to force myself to keep up my run fitness between Cowtown 50K and Kansas 70.3.

Flew to Nashville Friday afternoon, my girl Jen and her friend Nikki picked me up and in a bizarre coincidence of the universe, it turned out that Nikki (who I was staying with) lived in the same condo building as my friend Chris! Chris was also racing so it was super nice to be able to meet up with him before and after - plus their building was only 3/4 mile from the start line.

Had some nachos and even a glass of pinor noir for dinner the night before, slept horribly in a strange place (but yay for free!) and got up at 5 a.m. to do normal race morning stuffs. Met up with Chris and had him tape my toes since they had been rubbing all week (and were actually still red! How does that happen?!). Good call.

Walked to the race with him and said good luck as he headed to Coral #1 (yes #1 fasty mc-fasterson) as I sauntered over to the Starbucks for some coffee and chilled out in Coral #19. Chatted with some nice ladies, listened to Sheryl Crowe talk (who ran the half), and had to pee already when the gun went off - heh. Took about 25 minutes for our Coral to get to the timing mats and as we inched our way up I almost regretted not bringing my sunglasses (only visor) as the sun was already blazing down on us at 7:30 a.m.

As always, I soaked up the start line - Rock N Roll does everything fabulously and I made sure to look up and all around so I'd remember everything. Here we go - stand-alone marathon #2 but "marathon" #5 is underway!
Event warmup:

About 3/4 mile walk to the start.
  • 5h 37m
  • 26.51 miles
  • 12m 43s  min/mile

Start line! Music! People! I love running!
I was immediately hot from the very first step and I knew the day was going to be kind of brutal. The Mile 1.5 aid station was heavily picked over by the time I got there, only a few tables left with water. I silently congratulated myself for bringing my hand-held water bottle. I'm not sure I'll ever race without it again.

Lots of energy in the first few miles, lots of people but not as congested as I imagined it would be (31,000 racers!). My spirits were super high for 8-10 miles, no iPod, just loving running to the fullest. Around then I started walking up the 2nd half of some of the hills. I stopped to pee at mile 10 (can't believe I held out that long), 2 minutes exactly, and knew that would be the last stop since I was sweating so heavily.

Mile 11 is where the half marathoners split and then I let myself put my iPod in. The ear buds had been down my top and were soaking wet with sweat so didn't work right away but I needed something, anything so I listened to the tin-ny music and it eventually cleared up. Weird. I got a little antsy here, just wanting to get to the halfway mark to hit that mental milestone. It came and went and got hotter and hotter and hotter.

I was taking 2 cups of Gatorade each time it was available, and drinking at least 1/2 of my water bottle between each aid station, re-filling each time. Sweating lots - good sign, right? I'd been noticing my LEFT IT-band bothering me, which is weird since all winter it was my RIGHT one. And then my right knee, predictably. I think around mile 15 I took my Bio Freeze sample and split it between the two spots.

I don't remember much till mile 20, except I was walking much more frequently than I would have liked. The hills just absolutely kicked my tail. They never stopped. That, combined with the heat and no breeze, made for a really tough time. I was constantly reminding myself that this was just a "for fun" race, that all I had to do was get to the finish and I could stop, relax, and have fun with my friends tonight. I went in and out of moods rapidly - excited to be running, ouch body parts hurting, a funny sign that would make me laugh, depressed about walking. Repeat.

Miles 20-23 were OH so tough! Cliche of course, but this is where the race really begins. Lots more walking, watching ambulances go by and people laying in the grass with heat issues. At most points in this stretch, there would be one out of the 20 people around me running, the rest walking. Death march time.

Then at mile 23 aid station a volunteer said "Gatorade" and then almost under his breath said "Coke" and I wheeled around like an addict saying "Coke? Coke? You have Coke?" There were 2 little cups left and not wanting to be selfish I only grabbed one. I think I even said out loud "Sweet, sweet Coke." Gulp. I know how this works.

Then the Music City Hashers were right there and Chris made me promise I'd grab a beer from them and tell them he sent me - so I did! I only took a pretend swig of beer but stopped for a few seconds to chat with the group. Predictably, the Coke pepped me up for about a mile and I was feeling great! The last few miles involved lots of counting steps, a last resort of sorts for me, mentally.

And finally, 8 pound 6 oz sweet baby Jesus, the finish. Turning the corner I was shocked there was still a huge crowd - usually people my speed don't get such a warm welcome unless Mike Reiley is announcing :). But they were there cheering and high-fiving and overwhelming. I'll never get tired of the stuff finish lines are made of. As I glanced down at my watch I was suddenly sad and feeling sorry for myself and my pitiful finish time. I wanted to be around 5:15 or even 5:30 and it always sucks to miss a goal. But I quickly squashed that feeling and fought back emotion as I forced myself to realize I am HERE, I am RUNNING, I am HEALTHY, and LOVING this!

The announcer was in the chute and said "She has the whole chute to herself, let's hear it for her" and I got more cheers. Then she saw my IM visor and said "Oh this one is an IRONMAN! This is only part of her day! Yeah!" and gave me a huge high five. Crossed the finish line feeling proud and emotional - this finish took a lot more than other races both physically and mentally. I was so ready to stop moving.
What would you do differently?:

Find some hills to train on.
Post race
Warm down:

I knew no one would be waiting for me and I'd have to walk back to the girls' place, so I took my time cooling off in the beer tent, eating a Snickers marathon bar and using the ice towel they gave me to wipe down a bit. I was covered in uber cakey salt, bio freeze, body glide, sunscreen, vasaline, gatorade, spit, snot, you name it. Hawt.

When I was finally ready to trek back, I was a little disoriented direction-wise, and a little out of it mentally. In my head I got a little upset that Jen didn't/wouldn't meet me at the finish and give me a ride back, or at the very least help me navigate a town I've never been to. But I told myself to suck it up, be an adult, and figure it out. I had to ask someone how to "cross the river" because that was the first thing I knew I had to do. On the bridge, I surveyed the landscape and found the land mark I was looking for and very slowly headed that way. Turns out I took the "wrong" bridge (gee thanks for telling me there were multiple choices?) and doubled my walk distance. Oh well. I am honestly thankful I didn't stumble onto a wrong street or trip or pass out or something on the walk in a strange town after running 26.51 (yes .51) miles by myself. I'm not sure I was all there during that walk.

After a shower and nap, we headed to dinner and then the awards ceremony and concert (Rodney Adkins?). Then we hit up the night life and found an amazing place with a cover band that played 90s music and classics - really fun stuff to sing and dance to - had the time of my life!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think it was all mental today. Afterwards, I sure felt like I could have not taken as many walk breaks but I let the hills and the heat justify all of them at the time.

Last updated: 2012-02-01 12:00 AM
05:37:00 | 26.51 miles | 12m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Course: Don't kid yourself, this is one tough and HILLY marathon. Always going up or down. HIlls HIlls HILLLLLLLS.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-04-29 11:50 PM

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: Country Music Marathon

2012-04-30 7:29 AM
in reply to: #4180266

Subject: RE: Country Music Marathon
Congratulations!  I ran the half as I'm not quite ready for a full yet.  It was HOT by mile 6 for me.  Kudos to everyone that finished the full on this hot, humid, sunny day in Nashville.
2012-04-30 9:31 AM
in reply to: #4180266

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Husker Nation
Subject: RE: Country Music Marathon
I was covered in uber cakey salt, bio freeze, body glide, sunscreen, vasaline, gatorade, spit, snot, you name it.

Bet the boys were just lining up to get your number! Super good job despite the hills and heat--sounds like it was a very tough race. To still have fun despite those conditions is the mark of a true runner.
2012-04-30 10:50 AM
in reply to: #4180266

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Subject: RE: Country Music Marathon
Way to GOOOO! This will be one of those races you can look back to during a future race to remember how well you can power through when it's hot, hilly or worse!
2012-04-30 11:41 AM
in reply to: #4180266

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Subject: RE: Country Music Marathon
Loved the reception you had in the finishing chute! Congrats on finishing the race w/it's so mentally & physically tough.
2012-05-01 12:15 PM
in reply to: #4180266

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The Original
Subject: RE: Country Music Marathon
Nice job Lisa!  I have only run the half, but I've heard that the 2nd half of the marathon course is a BEAST.  Way to tough it out!

2012-05-01 2:00 PM
in reply to: #4180266

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Country Music Marathon
As usual, a very well written race report.  Sounds like it was a warm one.  "...8 pound 6 oz sweet baby Jesus....", love it!
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