I received a free entry into this race since I am a member of Rock N Blog. All opinions are my own.
First thing first, I AM OFFICIALLY A MARATHONER.
Okay, okay. Now to recap RnR Nashville race day. Ryan (my wonderful husband and cheerleader throughout this whole process) and I stayed at the Renaissance in downtown Nashville. We were just a few blocks away from the VIP setup and from the starting line.
After grabbing some fruit (I brought my normal breakfast bar from home) and using the restrooms, I started to get restless so we made our way toward the corrals. I was in corral 13 and had some time to kill before things really got going.
Once we sang the National Anthem, the St. Jude rockstars got to take off first and then each corral about every five minutes. Before I knew it, I was off and running! The crowd support was amazing throughout the entire race. I know I probably started off faster than I should have, but I was so excited to be racing AND for my first marathon.
I also got to see Ryan at the start! He got a video of me running and I love it so much!
Honestly, I tried to “be calm” (my mantra) and enjoy the race. I knew this might be the only marathon I ever run (more on that later) and I wanted to remember it all and enjoy every step.
BUT HOLY HILLS. I knew the hills in this race would be killer, but I didn’t really realize it until I was in the thick of the race. My quads were killing me about 1/4 of the way into the race and I knew I was going to have to earn the title of marathoner. I started walking up some of the hills and made lots of friends along the way who were doing the same thing.
Oh yeah. This also happened at around mile 9.
The wall at mile 20 is a very real thing. I was in so much pain and was ready for the race to be over. I tried not to wish it away since I had worked so hard to get there, but my feet were in pain, I was chafing and I could my shoulders getting burnt.
But like I said, the crowd support was amazing. That’s what helped keep me going. The cheers, high-fives, puppy power, popsicles and orange slices were so appreciated. People were even giving out shots of beer and jello shots. It was awesome.
The best feeling was when I got to mile 26. I KNEW I could finish. There was a bit of a downhill and then you make a turn into Nissan Stadium. Once I saw the finish line I almost started to cry.
I did it! I was about to become a marathoner!
I definitely didn’t run the tangets and ran a couple miles over the 26.2. But I stopped my watch at 26.2 and I’m so happy with the results!
Three days later and I’m still in shock that I ran a marathon.
This was 16 weeks of blood, (I fell off the treadmill once) sweat and tears. Training for a marathon is physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting. There were so many moments of doubt during this process.
My biggest takeaway from this experience is WE CAN DO HARD THINGS.
So thanks for the memories, Nashville. This was a day I won’t soon forget.