20 May 2010

Nashville 1/2 Marathon - A Race, A Best Friend, A Beautiful Goddaughter... And an Almost Tornado!

In April I went down to Nashville to see my best friend Erin, her husband Ashley, and their beee-yooootiful daughter Reagan, who also happens to be my goddaughter. I hadn't seen Reagan since Thanksgiving when she was barely two months old. Now she's seven months old, super cute, and SO BIG compared to when I last saw her. And she was such an easygoing baby too - as Erin said, "This is how they trick you into having another one."

I was also down in Nashville for the Country Music 1/2 Marathon. I didn't realize Nashville was so hilly! I had spent alot of time over the weeks prior on travel for work, participating in pre-wedding festivities for one of our good friends who was getting married i
n May, not getting alot of sleep, and my head wasn't completely in the game. Because it was a hilly race, I set a goal for myself that wasn't really a time goal but more of a goal to go faster as the race went on and finish strong, which is totally opposite of what happened during the Shamrock 1/2. So, here are my mile splits:
1: 7:13, 161 bpm average HR
2: 7:25, 163 bpm
3: 7:38, 167 bpm
4: 7:38, 169 bpm
5: 7:46, 170 bpm
6: 7:09, 170 bpm
7: 7:11, 172 bpm
8: 7:45, 174 bpm
9: 6:53, 173 bpm
10: 7:12, 174 bpm
11: 7:02, 173 bpm
12: 7:25, 176 bpm
13: 7:22, 179 bpm
0.1 - 1:08, 183 bpm

The race was on a Saturday, which was great because that gave us Saturday night to just relax. Erin was a trooper and she got up at O-Dark 30 to drive me 45 minutes into Nashville. It was great to catch up with her during the ride. Traffic was ridiculous getting off the exit ramp - I ended up just getting out of the car and I luckily found a bus right away. Luck was on my side again and I found a short porta-potty line. I figured I had plenty of time to get to the start, but as I was trying to get up to my corral, the gun went off 15 minutes early. There was some bad weather expected and they wanted to do what they could to get the race started as early as possible. So, I started at the tail end of my corral, which was rather nice because I was basically running on my own until the fast people from the corral behind me caught up.
My overall time was 1:37:00, which isn't my best time, but I was still pleased with it overall. I had a mile under 7:00 and I didn't fall apart at the end. I felt good and felt like I was getting faster towards the end. I also had a kick at the end, something I haven't had in awhile. I was 16th in my AG (out of 3,515) and the 40th girl overall (out of 15,254). And I kept it together mentally to keep on pace during the whole race. It was alot hillier than I had anticipated - fortunately, most of the hills were all before mile 8 and then there were some nice downhills. This is the first race that Erin had watched me run, and I knew she was at the finish, so I wanted to kick it in as best as possible.

Erin and I stayed and watched the first marathoners come in. And as they came across the finish line, the clouds started rolling in. We had a great afternoon of watching movies, eating ice cream and candy, and chatting. Until the tornado alarms started up. The power went off and this is where we ended up:
In the closet - four people and two dogs. The wind was like nothing we'd ever heard and when we went outside into the backyard after the storm passed, there were leaves strewn all over every side of the fence and their house - shows that the wind was swirling - kind of freaky.

Anyway, the visit to Tennessee was fantastic. I've missed Erin ever since we moved away from Saint Mike's after senior year. I've basically been in DC since 2004, but Erin has been living in Korea, Washington State, Iraq... Tennessee is the closest she has lived to me since we lived down the hall from each other in college. And Reagan was such a super easy baby - just happy and smiley and giggly all of the time. Erin and Ashley have their daily routine down to a science. I was very impressed. Makes my morning routine seem like a mess. It was a great weekend of just catching up, hanging out, and spending time together. I can't wait to go down there and visit again - but there is a great possibility they will be stopping through DC in July on their was back to Tennessee after being up in NH, which will be great.

More posts to come - up next: the Kinetic 1/2 Ironman Race Report.

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