Six down, fourteen to go !
Wow, what a month of ups and downs. My knee had been continuing to give me problems post Paris as had my head, and following advice from a Physio I endured three weeks of rest prior to travelling out to the states. So, for the first time I’d be going in to a marathon off of no running for a while …. a taper I most certainly didn’t enjoy.
I was accompanied on this trip by a wonderful friend of ours who made the trip much easier for me and the support was much appreciated every day. Although we probably frequented a few too many bars prior to race day than would be my usual routine …. oh well probably helped me relax.
I’d arranged to meet a couple of stateside based BCRCer’s and their families in Nashville, as they’d kindly offered to travel to support. It was great to meet up and spend much of our time with them, and a lovely surprise to find out they’d decided to run the half marathon.
Despite Nashville throwing torrential rain, thunder and lightning at us resulting in a delay of 45 minutes to the start time, it was good to run the first few miles of my first race in the US with friends, and great to see Karen make her way to the start for the 5k.
We started downtown amongst the bars and clubs of Nashville, and wound our way out into some of Nashville’s well-heeled neighbourhoods, passing such sights as the state capitol, music row and many of country music’s famous sights.
The course was more congested than I’d expected with over 30,000 runners across all distances, but after 7 or 8 miles the crowds thinned out and when the race distances split it became quite a lonely race with sparse support on much of the undulating course.
It was always going to be a bit of an unknown how I’d fare this time round due to the knee, the rest up and the beer (!), but despite the knee reminding me it was there every now and then, I settled in to a steady pace and got on with it.
The humidity, hills and beer probably started taking effect around 22 miles and I started slowing knowing I didn’t really need to push it. I was more than happy taking into account the preparation for this and the circumstances I was running under to go under four hours again. It was so nice to see my supporters as I neared the finish line, it gave me the boost to finish this one off with a little showboating …. well it was Nashville !
After meeting up with everyone at the finish and finding out how well everyone else had done, and with a little medal envy we made our way to the nearest bar to celebrate followed by a lovely meal later that evening.
Learning points :
- I have some amazing friends
- I need to factor in some rest every now and then
- Alcohol and rest don’t affect my racing too much !
- Warm bananas after a long run aren’t particularly appetising
- Beer is
- Toenails aren’t needed …. one down, nine to go
- I forgot about Kent Roadrunner when I said I’d never run another lap marathon again
- The US holds many special memories for me
This trip was always going to be about so much more than the marathon. I’d wanted to make the trip last year, but was advised against it probably for good reason. I will always be thankful for the friends who accompanied me on this trip, they certainly helped me enjoy it and picked me up when I needed it. Thank you so much to Karen for everything you did to make this trip so much easier and for being such an awesome friend and travel buddy, and to Danni, Linda, Hari, Nirisha and Jay for your amazing support and friendship.
We remembered Sharon often and toasted her with many a drink. She loved the southern states, and we needed to go back to her promised land.
Always on my mind ….