Saturday, April 30, 2011

Derby Festival Minimarathon or Race 1 of 2

This was a really great race!  The course was beautiful and had very little elevation changes.  I highly recommend adding this race to your list of races to run.  There was pretty good crowd support at the beginning, middle and end.  The temperature outside was cool when we started and warmed up, but it never felt too hot (there was a nice, light breeze most of the race).

The very best part of the race was running through Churchill Downs.  It was amazing to get to run through there.  We stayed on pavement and not the horse track, but it was awesome.  Horses were running and were beautiful.  There were also lots of available bathrooms, which couldn't have come at a better time! Mark (who didn't get to run due to an injury) was waiting on us as we exited Churchill downs. It was a great time to him and motivated me for a couple miles.

Gail, Chrystyna, Victoria and I ran together the whole race.  We probably started off just a little too fast.  But we felt really good most of the race. Hopefully, we didn't jinx tomorrow's run. 

As we were running today, I kept thinking about how far we've come in the last year.  I felt really good today.  It never really felt like I was going to die (extreme, I know, but I really felt that way a couple times last year) or that I wouldn't be able to finish.  Feeling so good today, makes me really excited to see where I'll be as a runner this time next year.

The finish of the race was really well done.  They kept the festival theme going and had carnival rides and some food stands where you could purchase carnival food.  They also gave out lots and a variety of snacks to finishers.  The best part of the finish was the small cartons of chocolate milk (yes, I had 2, don't judge).

Though overall the race was really fabulous, there are a few places I think they could really improve.  The first is the water stops.  They were laid out well, but the majority of them gave out small bottles of water, which in theory sounds like a good idea, but didn't work out too well.  First you had to open them.  And it created twice as much work for the clean up crew as most people tossed the lids and bottle separately.  Second, they didn't offer a sports drink until around mile 10.  I could have used it much sooner.

The race (and company of course) was really good.  I'm a little sad I didn't get to see my training group finish the Country Music Half, but I'm sure they were all outstanding!  Now it's time for an ice (or maybe just cold water) soak and to head to Cincinnati for tomorrow's race!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon

*originally posted on

Can you feel the energy in the air in Nashville? Extra excitement is buzzing around town. In case you’ve been living under a rock – I mean in case you didn’t already know – this Saturday is the Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon.

Even if you aren’t a runner, you can find a reason to be excited about the race. It’s easily one of the top 10 road races in the country based on attendance. Over 35,000 of your closest friends will lace up their shoes to run. Many of those people will come in from out of state, which gives us a great opportunity to showcase our fabulous city.

If you are running the race – best of luck to you! It’s a great race and an awesome experience. Running a race is one of my favorite ways to see a city. If you aren’t running the race consider volunteering or cheering the runners on. Having participated in the half last year, I can say it makes a huge difference to those of us running to have people cheering along the route. If you are feeling creative make a sign, most runners welcome the distraction and enjoy reading your sign!

For the last 4 months I’ve been pacing a group of runners for Fleet Feet Nashville’s training program for this race. Every Saturday morning instead of sleeping in, we’ve been up early to train. This is going to be the first half marathon most of them will complete. It’s been a truly amazing experience to watch each of them grow and prepare for a goal as big as running 13.1 miles.

If you want to feel inspired or encouraged, find yourself a place near LP Field (the finish line) and watch thousands of people meet their goals on Saturday morning. Each of those finishers has been training for months. They’ve gotten up extra early in the morning or stayed up late at night to get in their miles. They’ve been training in both freezing and hot temperatures, the rain, the snow and the sun. No matter how hard or easy the race has been for them, you will see each of them break into a huge smile as they cross the finish line. The feeling in the air will be joy, exhaustion, elation, but most of all, accomplishment.

For more information on the race, road closures, volunteering, being a spectator and much more check out

Double, Double, Toil and 2 Fabulous Races

First things first, good luck to all the runners I've trained with for the Country Music Half. You all are more than ready. You will rock the race. I can't wait to hear all the details about how fantastic you did. I'm so proud of all of you! I wish I could be there to run with you or cheer you on, but I'll be there in spirit!

I'm not sure who thought it would be fun to run back to back half marathons, but I know I eagerly agreed. Today, I'm a little more must be nerves. Tomorrow, is the Derby Festival Minimarathon (I don't actually think of 13.1 miles as a "mini") in Louisville. Sundy is the Flying Pig Half Marathon in Cincinnati. There are about 10 people from our running group doing Louisville, and 4 of us will be going on to Cincinnati.

The goal for both races is survival! I've been giving myself a pep talk and reminding myself this is not the time to set a PR. And the best part is, I will add two states in one weekend.

Look for blog updates after each race!