We didn’t really have good internet access in Nashville, so here I am.
Thursday was a fun trip to Nashville. Kenny, me, Margi, Suzanne and Renee all loaded into the Saturn. Lots of stories shared, a lot of laughing, and an all around great time. We dropped Renee off at her hotel and made it to our hotel…just in time to catch the last 30 minutes of “Lost!”
Friday included heading to the expo to pick up our race packets. I wasn’t quite as sick on Friday, which was a great feeling. I was super-exhausted on Thursday. Nine hours of sleep sure did help, though. We walked around town, Kenny and I went to the Team in Training pasta party, and eventually had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. In between all of this, we were able to catch several episodes of “Can You Duet?” on CMT. Terrible show, but cool that it was shot in Nashville and gave us many jokes throughout the weekend. We went to bed early Friday – before 9:30 p.m. and nobody slept well. Kenny was up by 2:30 (nerves) and I kept waking up every 30 or so minutes, afraid I would miss my alarm.
We finally got out of bed at 4 a.m.
The weather was terrible. We walked out of the hotel, into the rain, and came across a couple getting out of a limo. Um. It was 4:45 a.m. They were just getting in. We walked to LP Field, and caught a shuttle over to the starting line. By 7 a.m. the rain was letting up and we shed our ponchos. My shoes were soaked and I wasn’t feeling good about running. By 7:20ish, we were well on our way.
The race was surreal. Kenny (I only saw him briefly, mind you, and that was mostly at a bathroom stop at mile 2) saw a couple from the CMT show, and even saw Melinda Doolittle (remember her from American Idol??). He had a great race, and finished his first half marathon at 2 hours and 3 minutes. He even high-fived Melinda.
My race? It was decent. The sports drink they gave me made me sick, and I eventually stopped drinking it at mile 17 or 18. I started feeling physically better around mile 22. It started getting sunny and warm around 11 a.m. (I don’t have a severe sunburn this year) and I talked to a few other TNT runners. I talked to a guy who was running his 108th marathon…he started running marathons at age 54 and he was 75 this year. Darren (a TNT coach) ran with me several times which greatly helped. Thank goodness for the Team. They really do know how to be supportive.
Around mile 14, I saw a picture on someone’s jersey, and I recognized the girl in the photo. I asked the woman if she was Jillian’s mom. She said ‘yes.’ Jillian was a leukemia patient who I followed online for about two years. She was one of the first kid’s I ever read about, and one of the reasons that I started to get involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. (Back in those days, I volunteered with Light the Night.) What an awesome experience to meet her mother. We talked briefly and I saw her a few more times during the race.
I finished my race in 5 hours, 17 minutes. About 20 minutes faster than last year. Kenny met me at the finish, we gathered my stuff and got back to the hotel about an hour later. It was a long walk, and it took a long time to gather everything (and find the stations I needed to check in at). I napped, and ordered pizza. I ate pizza in bed…it was awesome.
Around 5, we felt the need to leave. We were waking up a bit, and needed food…and drinks. At that time a year ago, I was just about to have an ambulance called for me. Oh what some salt packets can do for a person…
On our way down Church Street, a homeless man mentioned something about someone not wanting to talk to him and he asked me a question. I replied, “well, we really aren’t up for talking, either. sorry.” He then continued on about how I smelled like his first wife. I wasn’t sure if I should be insulted. Then, he said a few things we really didn’t understand before he finally kept repeating that I smelled like a bar of soap. Well, if a bar of soap smells bad, I guess I should be offended.
We made it to the Big River Brewery where we consumed a lot of chips, queso and sampler platters…and beer and San Francisco Lemonades. At one point, I made it over to the Wildhorse Saloon, saw some of my Team in Training friends, and headed back to the brewery. After the brewery, we made our way into Coyote Ugly (me, Kenny and Suzanne.) Needless to say, we weren’t feeling the pain in our legs anymore and Suzanne and I even found ourselves dancing on top of the bar. 🙂 It was great, great fun and there will be photos soon – most likely tomorrow.
Kenny had us go back to the hotel before 11. He had been up since 2:30 a.m., so it was ok. This morning, we woke up around 7, started to get ready, had breakfast and saw some of our friends from the brewery. They had told us about a half marathon club which Kenny is now seriously considering. We drove back to Asheville and got home around 4:15. I can barely move my legs. Very, very sore, but I didn’t have to go to Baptist Hospital this year!
Many, many thanks to everyone who donated in support of my race!! I’m looking forward to my next race. I’m thinking of doing TNT again in 2009, but maybe for a Fall race. We’re currently looking up half marathons we can run later this year…
Until then, this runner is taking a break for a few weeks!