Half Marathon Recap-Yeehaw

This last weekend I accomplished something I never thought I would do.

I completed my 5th half marathon.

Not only did I complete it, I finished it 20 weeks pregnant.

(I really must be crazy.)

I have to say thought that it was one of my favorite races to date.

I signed up for this race back in December long before I knew that George would be in my belly at the time of the race.

Even then, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to ever beat my PR time. So I came up with the idea of just having fun with this race and doing a scavenger hunt with my sister-in-law, Emily.

But then life happened, and the pregnancy took it’s toll on my body during the first trimester. I debated whether it was even a good idea to keep this race on the docket. Finally though, the morning sickness lifted, and I could exercise again. I began testing how far I could walk. The most I had done in the past month was 6 miles. Even up to last week I was unsure if I could do this. I talked with my doctor about running, and she said as long as I listened to my body and stayed extremely hydrated she was not concerned because I have an active past.

Emily and I decided to just go for it. We knew our options if we wanted to stop and knew that a truck would pick us up if we went too slow. I had been feeling great the past couple weeks, so we figured why not give it a whirl. We just wanted to have fun with everything!

And we did it full out! (Get ready for a ton of photos.)

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Emily and I before the race began.

I have to say the costumes were the best part of the race. About every 5 steps someone shouted/pointed/showed their extreme jealousy at our awesome cowgirl get-up. We pretty much won the best costume award! We are waiting for them to ask us to be the next year’s poster girls! (only slightly kidding)

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This is our favorite shirt from the day.

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This was at the beginning of the race. 30,000+ runners (and walkers)! Such a beautiful day for 13.1 miles!

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The first band of the day.

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Some of the bands were good, and some were not so good.

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It is a naked statue behind us.

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Walker selfie in front of the Brooks man!

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In front of Belmont University! We ran about 20% of the race, which were mostly on the downhills. It gave our legs a change of pace every once in awhile.

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This was one of our favorite signs. And yes, we both pooped that day. There were also a lot of signs about peeing. This was the first race that I used a Port-A-Potty, and I used it three times because I was chugging water like there was no tomorrow to stay hydrated. Each time there was no toilet paper…awesome.

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There weren’t many of us in costume for the day. These were some gals we passed a couple times before they eventually left us in their runner dust.

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Giddy Up!

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This was our favorite!

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No beer for the preggo. Sad day.

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One of the coolest parts of the race was going through Music Row where all the recording studios are. We were starry-eyed so we didn’t take pictures of hardly any of them. Whoops. In our defense, this part of the race was also on a downhill, so we were taking advantage of that momentum.

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You can’t read it, but this is a wedding chapel.

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A little praise band action!

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Very cool!

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Just a little bit country.

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And a little bit rock and roll.

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I think this was around 8 miles.

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The studios were surprisingly small.

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This is where we both started hurting a little. Also, I was starving. I needed carbs. I got some snicker-doodle cookies from a stranger and some jelly beans I had. I eventually had to ask a medical tent if they had a granola bar. George was hungry! And then soon after they had orange peels. They need to space this out more.

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The bump making an appearance with this lovely cop who was cheering us all on!

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This was a pleasant surprise! It was fun to shout a little Clemson love! Tiger Nation!

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Only two miles left. We can do this!

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The capital building.

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Emily tried out for American Idol here.

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We did it, and with smiles on our faces!

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Knowing there was food at the end got me through the last 2 miles. I took two of everything.

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I just have to say, I love my husband for coming and capturing our moment of crossing the finish line and also driving us back to our car. However, what this picture captures was my least favorite part of the day. The guys said this was the only way back to the car, barring walking another mile or so around the road barricades. This was a steep hill that I had to take my concrete legs and pregnant butt up. Not a happy camper! Tom loving braced me and pushed me up the rocks as I muttered curses at him all the way up. We did make it safely up this hill, but it was not a pleasant experience! I really am thankful for them coming though!

All in all, we had a blast. I feel really accomplished after this. It is funny that each race has brought it’s own challenges that I have had to overcome. It is one of the things that I love about race days. You really get to see what you are made of.

The participants were great. Besides Disney, you really can’t beat the atmosphere and environment Nashville brings (at least of the races I have done, I am sure there are other great race destinations). The organization was fairly good for the race. My only complaint is the lack of food throughout the race and the location of port-a-potties.

We didn’t really follow our scavenger hunt list we made previously. Instead we just took pictures of whatever moved us, and looking back we did get a lot that was on our list. We also saw a lot of things but didn’t take pictures of it like a barefoot runner, cheer team, and every water stop we took advantage of. We finished with a time of 3 hours and 41 minutes, which I would say isn’t too bad for walking pretty much the whole thing and making a ton of stops!

Who knows if I will ever do another one, but this was a great one to add to the books.

**As a caveat, if you are pregnant and planning on doing races, I would seriously think about your past activity and talk with your doctor. It is an individual decision, but it can be done! Just make sure you are taking all the necessary precautions and doing what is right for you and your baby’s health.

So I Lied

I may have said that every half marathon that I have done will be the last. Time and time again, I make some grandiose statement to Tom that this “one” means this to me, and this is why it will be my last. And I will promise no more!

I lied.

Not intentionally though. I really do mean it in the moment.

But then things happen.

After every race, I am on a high and go searching for that next race. After a few weeks, I begin getting stir crazy and want to have another race to aim for. I feel it in my gut to go after that next medal.

I am addicted to race day!

Although much like my last race, I need to be realistic about how I train and how I run. I probably will never PR again because I want to be able to use my knees when I am forty.

So what is a girl to do?

Get creative.

I have signed up for my next race in April. This one in Nashville will be my fifth half marathon.

There is a twist though.

I ran my very first half marathon with my sister-in-law. “With” being an operative word. She came in under 2 hours, which is much faster than I ever hope to run.

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We ran to honor her birthday back in 2011.

But the fact is she was a big reason that I started running and signing up for races in the first place, so I suggested doing this one actually with her, especially knowing her infatuation with Nashville. Plus, neither of us really grew up with a sister (we both had younger pesky brothers), so it will be fun to do some sisterly bonding with her.

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Instead of running for a PR, we decided to do a scavenger hunt while on the course.

Yes you read that right. We are going to do a 13.1 mile scavenger hunt.

We will run some of it for sure, but it is meant to be all for fun and doing something different together.

So for 13.1 miles we are going to be on the lookout to pose with just a few things.

  • port a potty
  • someone dressed as a character
  • cheer team
  • band
  • a cop
  • someone in a military uniform
  • best road signs
  • historic places
  • Nashville icons
  • best road side snack
  • beer stop
  • water stop
  • start/finish

We may not find all these, and we may add others along the way. We will be taking tons of pictures regardless.

We are also going to be dressing up in costume to fit the Nashville country theme. So that will be entertaining.

I am really looking forward to it.

And who knows maybe this will be my last one. I like that it would end on my fifth race. Five is a nice round number to me.

We’ll see a couple months into the summer how I am feeling after the fact.

Here’s to Em and I taking over Nashville one scavenger hunt item at a time!

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Do you have ideas to add to our list? Anyone else running a race soon?