After months of training and worrying and sweating and developing psychsomatic injuries that would prevent me from running, the Rock and Roll Country Music Half Marathon has come and gone.
It was so much freaking fun.
I laughed, I cried, I ate lots of tater tots.
Let's start at the beginning, shall we?
On Friday, Chickey, Win, Brandon and myself all piled up in the car and headed north. I carbloaded on chick-fil-a and starburst and tried to ignore the nervous feeling that was mounting in my tummy. Upon arriving for Nashville, I was dropped off at the convention center to get registered.
Turns out, the Rock and Roll marathon people are some of the most organized humans on the planet. I was snaked and herded and corralled to the spot where I could pick up my packet. I got it, got my tshirt, spent 30 minutes trying to get out of the convention center. There were lots of distractions and fanatics and mazes. I was pretty jazzed when I was able to escape the chaos and meet the rest of the crew at a honky tonk.
Did I mention that Van Halen was playing in Nasvhille that night? They were. And it made for some pretty awesome people watching.
We got ready for dinner that night and ventured to a place called Merchants. Holy hey it was awesome. I would be lying if i said that we did not order tater tots and bacon macaroni and cheese. The others had cocktails, they seemed pretty spot on, too. GO THERE. SERIOUSLY.
The next morning, my alarm went off at 545 in the am. I washed my face, fixed my hair, panicked, and laced up my sneaks. I woke Brandon up at about six and we made our way to the start line.
Ya'll. There were so many people. It was insane. Insane.
I teared up seeing people's in honor of and in memory of signs, I teared up during the national anthem, I teared up when I realized that I was about to do something that I never in one hundred million years thought I'd be able to do. I was in coral 26 so Brandon and I just kind of hung out until it was time for me to start. Well, Brandon managed to find a McDonalds to score a burrito, but other than that we just kind of hung out.
When I was my turn, I said a big ole prayer, and got to it. The scenery was so pretty, the music was loud, the signs were fun the people were encouraging. I loved weaving through all of the neighborhoods and was so entertained with seeing things i've never seen before.
I was also entertained by seeing signs that said things like "DO EPIC SH*T." I said "Hey girl. I like that sign."
I was moved by the man dressed in full army fatigues with his pack on, running in the full marathon.
I was brought to tears by the St. Jude signs that said things like "Thanks for being a hero!"
Things were pretty peachy until around mile 10. My head got unright, the scenery got unfun, the hills moved to a point that was beyond rediculous. I was nervous and my legs were a shaking. The picture below was around mile 11. I remember looking up to the bridge that this picture was takin from and thinking:
"Look at those people up there not running. I hate them."
Luckily around mile 12, I saw Brandon. He galloped along next to me on the side walk, told me I was doing a great job and that he loved me, AND captured a video. We wont be sharing the video. It's pretty ugly. And it is kind of nauseating as he was running wildly down a sidewalk in sandals.
Fast forward a half a mile and there were Chickey and Win!! They had signs that said things like "Numba one Runna", I thought they were pretty awesome. They also snapped a pic.
Again with the buck teeth. This is becoming a problem. For real. Do I walk around with buckteeth and just not know it? Someone please tell me if I do.
When the race ended, I wasn't sure if I was going to cry of vomit. So instead, I grapped a cold wet towel and a water and tried to pull it together. I was finally able to pull it together behind some UPS trucks and next to some porta poties. Hey. It was the only spot of grass where no one was. I rested here until the rest of the gang found me.
While I continued to recover aka waller around in the grass, Brandon trekked off to get us a table at one of the restaurants downtown. We walked there (kind of painful) which allowed us to take in some of that lovely downtown Nashville scenery. I may or may not have gotten a single shot of myself on a bridge. And yes I wore my medal most of the day.
Brandon snagged us a table outside at the Big River Grille. As I ate some nachos and drank an ice cold beer, I slowly felt myself returning to normal.
After a shower, a nap, and a TV special about Magic Johnson, it was time to hit the town.
We got our honky tonk fill at Roberts....I could probably move into a honky tonk and be just fine.
Apps and drinks went down at Patterson House. Hey hey hey, it was good. All I can say is get the Pimm's Cup #6, the Juliet and Romeo, and the pork rinds. It's a place where the bartenders dance as they mix your cocktails and the rules are plenty....but I loved it!
The rest of the night involved lots of walking, a broken flip flop, an awkward band, a college bar, and a chili dog.
Nashville, I love you so.
Thanks to all who supported me during this adventure! Thanks to Brandon and Win and Chickey for getting up unreasonably early and wandering around Nashville trying to figure out what the heck was going on AND for being such awesome travel companions.
Three cheers for trying things that scare you!