This is one of those races I really didn’t want to write a race recap for…why? Because it wasn’t awesome. Nothing to brag about..no PR.
It was one of those races that didn’t feel right from the start and the hills of Nashville and the rain didn’t help. But let’s talk about it.
I knew this wasn’t going to be an “A” race for me. There was no way. After three weeks of travel and VERY little running, I didn’t feel strong in the way you need to feel to run long. I tried to stay optimistic. I was excited about the roadtrip to Nashville. I had made a reservation at the Marriott Opryland Hotel and was excited to take the kids and my sis and mom.
The expo was also pretty good. I never thought about it but the kids haven’t ever been to one and they were in awe and a little overwhelmed. I couldn’t get E to take any pics with us as we visited some of our favorite brands like Eagle Creek Pack-It System or Plantronics.
This race happens on a Saturday which is a little weird since most races are on Sundays. It kind of threw me off but I woke up, grabbed my gear bag and headed to meet the shuttle that left from the hotel. IF YOU RUN THIS RACE, TAKE THE SHUTTLES. It was so nice to not have to worry about parking. Worth the $20. SO WORTH IT! The hotel was still sleeping and I managed to capture this photo as I sipped my coffee. I love it more every time I see it. Gorgeous right?!
Why I thought about doing this is beyond me but I seriously considered the 5K/Half challenge they have at this race. It’s not back to back days…it’s back to back races like I did at Halloween last year. The 5K starts 30 minutes before the half and you’ve got to haul it over the start of the half. Luckily, I came to my senses. This was not the race for me to try that. The half was scheduled to start at 7:15 but it was raining and thundering by 6:45. They had to delay the start of the 5K which delayed the half by 35 minutes. Luckily, I had VIP access (another upgrade that’s worth EVERY PENNY) so I was cozy and dry as I sipped some coffee and chatted with Megan, Gretchen and other Rock ‘n’ Blog friends (Jason and Jennifer).
We finally started at 7:45 and it was obvious that this was not going to be a good day. My legs didn’t feel like turning over. My head didn’t feel like focusing and my heart just wasn’t in it. By mile three I was WAY over it. My times were SLOW and I hadn’t found any semblance of a rhythm. Oh and did I mention, my battery was low on my phone so no music the entire race. UGH!
At mile 6 I started getting philosophical and I asked myself this question and I want your answer…
What’s harder…a race you’re trying to PR or a race you just want to quit but don’t?
Well, I can honestly say, this race was one of the TOUGHEST I’ve ever finished. Nothing was clicking but yet, something in me said to keep going. I guess it was that unnerving fear of failure. I’m not opposed to quitting for the right reasons but there was no good reason to quit. Not wanting to run just wasn’t enough of a reason that day. So I pushed through, running slowly with spurts of walking. The hills in Nashville are no joke. Never-ending. Horrible for running, great for scenery.
The course is lovely though…it takes you through some charming neighborhoods like it St. Louis and you really get to feel the sense of community that exists in Nashville but sadly I was in such a sour mood, I didn’t even take any pictures along the way. So just picture it…a quaint little southern neighborhood equipped with adorable neighbors dressed up in suits and drinking mint juleps in front of big adorable sprawling southern homes watching you run. Yeah, that was basically it.
By mile 12, I was starting to feel better and optimistic that I was going to finish..yeah it took me that long then the last big hill it and I started questioning myself all over again.
Why couldn’t I just be back at the hotel, cozy in bed with my kids?! WHY?!
Then I remembered why…because I TOLD them I was going to run this race and I TOLD them I was going to get a medal (aka finish) and if I came back without one, well, I would never be ok with that.
What would the message be to my kids? What lesson would that be teaching them?
Those thoughts alone were enough to get me across the finish. Not in the time I wanted but it was completed.
When I got back to the hotel, I was quickly relieved of my medal and the questions started…
- Mommy, did you win?
- Mommy, did you have fun?
- Mommy, can I run with you next time?
I answered them honestly and we had a good conversation about how good it feels to finish something you didn’t think you could and it was then that I finally felt ok with the race.
Sometimes it’s not about the fastest time, but about the lessons you learn (are able to teach) about yourself along the way. This was one of those races.
Thanks to Rock ‘n’ Roll for again orchestrating a great event. Their level of professionalism with the weather was outstanding and top notch. If you want to come run with me in San Diego or St. Louis, you can still sign up! I’ll bring the snacks! Use code MomsLRB for $15 off!
What’s the hardest race you’ve ever run? What got you through it?