My friend and I met up in Nashville to do the Country Music Half Marathon. She loves country music, and this is her favorite race. I tolerate some country music in small doses, but - as everyone knows - I'm a complete bling ho' and it's always more fun to race with a buddy.
The hotel offers a shuttle from the airport. I called, and a nice man picked me up. We got to chatting, and I just adored his Tennessee accent. I told him about my trip to North Carolina and how the honeyed words of the state trooper were so delightful that they took the sting out of being pulled over for speeding.
We got on so well that I even convinced him to go through the Arby's drive through so I could grab lunch! hee hee hee Every time I've seen him since, he's referred to me as "Speedy"! I told him that I'm only fast in my car!
After the expo, we visited the Grand Ol' Opry. Keith Urban just played there, and I recognized a few of the artists scheduled to appear in coming weeks. It was fun to wander around, soaking up the atmosphere.
And then in case that wasn't enough culture, we visited Cooter's Garage. YES! THAT Cooter! WA ha ha ha!
We raced today. Up at 4. Out the door at 5. Stuck in traffic at 6. Race started at 7. I crossed the start line at about 7:40. There were a bejillion hills, and they all seemed to be going up! I really struggled - this wasn't my best race. Nashville is an attractive town, and much of the race meandered through neighborhoods, where people set up tents in their yards, tables filled with goodies, and leisurely sipped drinks whilst watching us shuffle past. There were 30,000+ runners, and I was definitely near the back by the time I finished at 3:58.
It was way too hot for me. The temperature broke 80 before I finished, and it was intensely sunny. A woman near me keeled over and complained of "heart trouble". I couldn't see any medics or police nearby, so I jogged back to some Team in Training coaches I'd seen a few blocks back and told them what happened. They were great about calling the race people and running back with me to stay with her. I hope she was ok.
Despite my difficulties, there were some fun moments. A woman was "pole dancing" with a stop sign until a female police offier escorted her away from the course. Little kids cheerfully offered to turn their garden hoses on us, and a charity organization HULA HOOPED their way through a half marathon! The ladies - literally - walked and hula hooped - the entire way! Amazing.
I'm gimpy with blood blisters. My friend finished faster and with no adverse effects, so she's going to the concert this evening without me. I'm cooked! I'm in the hotel, watching "return of the King" on the telly, icing joints, despairing over my sunburn and admiring the newest addition to my bling collection.
(Mine's in the center - SWEET!)
13.1 miles, 29000 steps, 3087 calories burned, four new blisters - and one gorgeous medal!