Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Rock N Roll Nashville 1/2 Marathon Recap

Last weekend, the 3 of us drove to Nashville so I could run (and walk) the RNR Nashville 1/2 Marathon. I was super excited and had plans to PR. Yeah, those plans...did not happen. I have been reading about so many different races lately, I didn't remember that this course is fairly hilly so that killed the chances of a PR...especially when mile 12 (!!!) is a hill....yeah, mile 12, when you have NO gas left in your tank. Oh well....
As I arrived at the start line...now to trek the bazillion miles to my starting corral.
As with most half marathons, I did not sleep so well the night before and so I was awake at 4:30am but didn't start getting ready until 6am. Turns out I could have slept another hour or so because no sooner did I arrive at the start line and the rain commenced. Hard. The race was scheduled to start at 7:15am, but was postponed to 7:50am - which doesn't seem like much of a delay, but I was also in corral 30 (!!) so I didn't start until 8:37am. Total drag. I had NO idea the size of the RNR races but turns out there were 36k people there. Too big for my taste really. With regards to their corrals...what a joke, no one checks to see if you are in the right one, so I could have moved up to 20 if I wanted to (and I should have), but I followed the rules at the Expo and got approval to move from 34 to 30. 
A ton of people...and this is after some corrals had already started.
As usual, I started off strong (and too fast) but it seemed like the hills were in the latter part of the course- that's always fun. One thing I noticed during (and after) this race, I no longer get out of breath with running. That used to be the problem for me for years, so I guess I've done enough running that my lungs have adjusted...now the problem is my thighs and hips. They were so sore and that is what forced me to take my walking breaks. 

I went into the race hoping to do 45:45 intervals, but it's usually impossible to start walking early in the race, so I ran almost the entire first mile before taking a walk break. And then, because of the hills, I really couldn't stick to my interval plan well as I chose to walk most of the hills so I could pick up the pace on the flat or downhill portions. 

The "standard" finisher picture....so glad someone took one with my phone for me...
that will save me paying $30 to marathonfoto....total rip off. 
I did not have "warm fuzzies" about this race experience and yet RNR did nothing wrong. Do I wish I got a PR? Of course. But that's not why I don't feel great about this race. Will I do this particular race again? Probably not - simply because of the hills. It's hard to avoid them in TN, but I can find other (flatter) courses to run (Detroit, here I come!). 

I've also been struggling with a fussy knee lately...the one that has had 5 procedures done on it. It's been swollen and sore but not awful. I definitely notice a difference though between running on concrete vs. the treadmill. Treadmill=Happy Knee. And with that, I have made the decision that this will be the year I run the half marathons that I'm already signed up for, but after that, I will be going down to running 5ks only...maybe 8-10ks if they show up, but that's it. Neither my body nor my knees are cut out for 13.1 miles. Of course, I am signed up for 6 halves still this year, so let's hope I am able to complete them. I had set a goal of running 10 this year and by doing the remaining 6, I will be at 9 for the year, so you know me, I will probably have to sign up for 1 more, which will hopefully be the Santa Hustle...it was a super flat course and it was a fun family weekend, so what a great way to finish out the year. 
This is my favorite picture from the race!
My #1 fan!
I already took advantage of the "discount" pricing for the RNR 5k next year. All weekend Oscar kept saying "Nashville is awesome, we need to come here more often" and so with that, we will at least go back next April and once again it falls on our Anniversary weekend...oh, oops...it will be our 10th anniversary....not the most exciting trip but at least it's something! Hah! Oh and it's a 5k WITH a medal!! #AllAboutTheBling

So thankful for the bike taxi we found after the race, I had thought I could walk the 2 miles back to the hotel,
 but it would not have been fun and Ethan is always game for a ride in the bike taxi. 
The one thing that will keep me coming back to RNR (for 5ks only) is their Expos. Not only was it super fun and had fun photo spots, the clothing options were excellent. I love the Brooks  long sleeve blue shirt I got. It's so comfortable. I also picked up (finally) some running sunglasses for a steal at $20! Didn't use them during the race since it was overcast all day, but they came in handy afterwards when the sun tried to peak out.

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