Not knowing how the morning would play out, Maryanne, Traci, and I went through our normal pre-race routines. When it was go-time we hurried down the street, two blocks in the rain, to the gear check trucks where we dropped off our bags. We immediately retraced our steps back to the hotel lobby where we waited with approximately a dozen other runners who were also awaiting to hear the verdict of the race.
Race delay: 35 minutes. We were in corral 10 which meant we had another 45-55 minutes until we started. Ugh. Looks like it's time to get Traci another cup of coffee and make new friends with the other runners in the lobby....
Luckily, by the time our corral started the rain had stopped! So off we went starting our 13 mile running tour of Nashville with 35,000 other people just as crazy as us! The course took us through some beautiful areas and past some great sites including downtown Nashville, Music City Center, Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities, gorgeous neighborhoods, and historic buildings. All which came and went as we ran up and down each hill.
Oh, the hills! I was so nervous to run this course because of the hills! After six months of physical therapy, I now had to trust the process and believe that the work I'd done had prepared me for this course. I wasn't yet convinced.
I ran at a conservative and consistent pace both up and down each hill with the goal to keep the same pace for the whole race and not push myself to injury (again). Honestly, I just needed to get through this race to be able to gain my confidence back in running. My body was ready, but my mind wasn't quite there yet. This course was my test and I needed to ace it....
Traci and I paced each other which helped the miles fly by. Focused on one hill at a time, one mile at a time, our watches buzzed with every mile bringing us closer to the finish line.
Then, mile 11.5 hit and Traci's calves decided they didn't want to play nice anymore and began to cramp. We slowed our pace and focused on just getting to the finish line. After two hours, thirty two minutes, and eleven seconds, Traci and I officially crossed the finish line!
Having recovered from her surgery, Maryanne powered through the course and finished strong with an amazing time of 3:07:51! Congrats on a great race, Sissy! All of your "practice" for this race paid off!
Despite not bringing enough fuel on the course (I hadn't taken the race time delay into consideration until my stomach started growling at mile 4), I'm ecstatic to report I had a strong, PAIN FREE race! I feel fantastic and it's not just the runner's high talking. :-)
Now, these Sole Sisters get to look forward to two more races together this year: Missoula, MT and Brooklyn, NY! (Right, Maryanne? You're joining us in Missoula?!) Watch out, this trio may be running in a city near you soon! (We are sporting the number of how many half-marathons we've each run: Traci 5, me 30, Maryanne 4!)
Finally, here are some random fun photos from our trip...