Country Music Marathon Recap
Training for, and running, my third marathon was not as easy as I thought. Having run two before this I knew that it would be hard, time consuming, and a challenge like the others but I also thought it would be a lot easier come the day of the race. However, no race is ever the same and this one proved just that.
One of the main reasons I signed up for the Country Music Marathon in Nashville was because I wanted a new challenge and a race in a different city. Because my parents live in Nashville, that made figuring out the logistics a lot easier. I also wanted a new challenge and I figured training for a spring race (my two other marathons were in the fall) would definitely bring that – especially living in Chicago. Training through winter was no easy task and forced some long runs to be done inside on the treadmill. I can say I definitely got the challenge I wanted! I ran through some pretty interesting weather – snow, hail, rain, crazy winds, and just plain freezing temperatures. Little did I know this was preparing me even better than I thought.
The other big challenge I had this time was I was also a coach. I was a coach to someone who means the world to me – my husband. I had to learn how his body worked differently from mine, his strengths in running, and when the time was right for him to rest or push himself a little harder. I learned a lot from this experience and am thankful I can now say I have coached someone to the finish line. He really did listen to the things I told him and asked me for advice throughout the training. It was a bonding moment for us as a couple but also a great way to show the things I know and have learned.
With a full 3 months of training under our belt my husband and I headed to Nashville for this race. The weather report was not looking good but having lived in Nashville for almost two years myself I figured it couldn’t be THAT bad. I definitely underestimated Nashville.
Thankfully my father was very gracious in buying and surprising us with a VIP status for parking at the event. We were able to pull up to a prime spot and take a shuttle over to the start line. This is where things started to get difficult. The shuttle got lost and was being blocked off by the roads so we ended up getting to the start line later than we thought. The race hadn’t started but what was the problem with getting there right before the start? No trip to the port-a-john!! With race nerves high this was going to be a problem. As my husband and I were lined up in our start corral we both realized we just weren’t going to make it through the race without stopping for a bathroom break. Well, we accepted that and tried to plan accordingly on the course.
As the race was about to get started the rain decided to join us as well. It was 50 degrees and pretty cold with some strong winds already. I figured we could warm up once we started running and be fine. Well the rain that started turned into a complete DOWNPOUR. This downpour stayed with us throughout the entire race. Seriously!
Around mile 5 we stopped for our bathroom break we needed and that took way longer than we thought. There was one port-a-john and a line of two guys. I figured – boys are fast so this shouldn’t take too long. Well, we didn’t get started running until about 10 MINUTES LATER. Ugh, there goes a huge chunk of time.
We tried to shake this off and ran on. The entire time it was just pouring. And it started to get cold – really cold. Around Mile 15 I started shaking due to the cold. I’m talking teeth chattering, hands freezing, numb cold. My husband was getting very concerned so we made a stop by the medical tent at this point to see if I could warm up. They were very helpful in trying to get me to warm up and I must say I really appreciate those people! The ladies at that tent who helped me were great. BUT, there was another probably 10 minutes we stopped. However, we weren’t going to stop now so on we went.
The race was pretty much a freezing, rainy, windy mess but I couldn’t have been more thankful to have my husband with me. We were still fueling at the right time and when I could tell he was struggling just a little I was able to provide some encouraging words and also make sure he was eating what he needed. The race was hard and definitely didn’t go as we had planned!
As we started to approach Mile 24 I remember feeling really excited! I knew we were going to make it and although we had to endure two long stops that cost us time and an endless amount of rain I was so proud and happy that we were going to do this together. My coaching, our hard work, and dedication was going to pay off!
Then I saw Mile 25 and started to really get pumped up… here we go! We came up on the finishing chute around Mile 26 and saw the crowds cheering. I looked at my husband and told him he better get his arms up in the air for the finish! So as we approached the finish we held our arms up together.
It was a great moment to look at my husband and tell him how great he did and that he just ran a marathon! It didn’t go how we thought it would, our time wasn’t what we had thought, and we were soaked and cold from running through floods of water. But we still finished and were really proud of ourselves. We couldn’t wait to get our medals and go home to celebrate with our families. That’s just what we did – and I’m not ashamed to say I wore that medal the entire day.
I want to encourage you to follow along in my health journey through what I learn and experience. I hope there is something you can take away from Fit Busy Female that inspires you to start taking control of your health and feeling better every day.