We did it!! Amanda & I walked our first half marathon…13.1 miles! While I haven’t talked about my half marathon training in a while, Amanda and I were still training for the Country Music Half Marathon which took place last Saturday here in Nashville.
This is part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll circuit so there were bands about every mile throughout the race to keep us entertained and most importantly moving! My parents drove up from Atlanta to form a cheering team with Jon and it was so great to see them at a few places along the route!! The weather was perfect for a race – there was a slight chill in the air in the morning but as the sun came out the temperature was just perfectly beautiful!!
I learned a few helpful things before/during the race:
- Wear throw away clothes. I didn’t walk in the green jumpsuit below but it sure did keep me warm before the race started! A co-worker told me that after the race the clothes left along the route are collected and donated to good will.
- Unless you are an elite athlete (or running/walking a much smaller race, or faster than us) you will not be starting at the start time. The Music City Marathon is huge – there were more than 30,000 racers – so they started us in corrals every minute or two. The race started at 7:00am but Amanda & I didn’t cross the starting line until 7:49. This also means you are finishing later then anticipated.
- The cups that they hand out at the water stations are great – but very slippery. As people are throwing the cups on the ground they still have some water in them, as they get trampled by the other racers they become a little slippery since they are wax cups. Try to avoid these.
- If you bring your cell phone with you be sure to find an inconspicuous place to leave it while racing. The top of your shirt does not equal inconspicuous (see all photos below).
I was giving Jon the thumbs up around mile 4. Amanda and I were sticking to our 15 min/mile pace and were feeling good! We were very lucky as we walked to vast majority of the route while training for the half so we knew what to expect. We were walking at a run/walk pace as we were passing the runners who had to stop to walk (slowly) up the hills.
This was around mile 8 or 9. I was fading a little here. Amanda and I stayed together the entire race; she was a few yards away so she wasn’t in this picture.
The above two photos were taken with my knowledge. I knew where Jon and my parents were going to be since I had my phone with me (see box pop-out in shirt). I didn’t think Jon was going to be at the finish line. We had decided that he would drop my parents off at the finish line and then pick us all up. Well, it turned out that they got a great parking spot so they were all there…only Amanda and I didn’t see them. And Jon got these two gems with us making horrified faces. I am sure I was
talking complaining about the amount of uphill on the last mile (the only part of the race we hadn’t walked) and the lack of water for the last two miles.Amanda was clearly outraged also.Crossing the finish line baby!WE DID IT!!!Official picture showing off our completion medals. These bad boys are heavy!
We all piled into the 4runner for the trip home.
It was such a great day! I am beyond proud of Amanda and I for setting our goal of walking the half marathon back in January and sticking with our training in order to accomplish our goal! Our official time was 3:30 but we did take a four-minute porta potty break. So that puts us in at 3:26…right around a 15.45 min/mile pace. Not too bad for two first timers.
I had meant to take photos of our fan club but forgot. Mom & Dad – THANK YOU so much for coming up to cheer us on! It meant so much having you both there! You helped make it a really fun weekend!
I also have to brag on my honey! He got up early to shuttle us to the starting line – and got us very close. He was also the official photographer, host to my parents, cheerleading me on through text messages and our shuttle back home.