We departed Tallahassee late in the afternoon Thursday without a plan for the night. Meaning we didn't have hotel reservations for that night, we were just going to drive until Allison was too tired to continue driving. Yep, that's about as far out of the box as you can get for this type A chick! We made it to Hoover, Al and found a lovely Hampton Inn to stay in for the night.
Friday morning we made our way into Nashville, arriving just as the Women's Running Series Expo would open for the day. We knew the expo would be small but we'd see several of our favorite vendors. Our first taste of Women's Running Series was awesome. It took 10 minutes to get our bibs, shirts and swag bags.. that's remarkable! Way to go WRS! Once we were all checked in we were off to shop. We saw our friends from Lift Your Sole, Fellow Flowers and Bondi Band. Once we were done visiting the expo we took off to explore Nashville. We had a great afternoon and evening, so much fun that we were in bed by 8:30pm. Woohoo - party animals! HA! (keep in mind, this was in central time so our bodies felt like it was 9:30pm)
Checked in and ready to run!
After a few hugs and well wishes we made our way to our corrals. Being the speedsters they are, Allison and Shannon headed for corral one and I took off for corral four. I had a goal of finishing this race at or under 2:30 so I met up with the pace setter for this group. The race started promptly at 7:00am. We ran through some beautiful areas of Nashville including Music Row, Vanderbilt University and Belmont University. If I hadn't been so focused on getting my personal record at this race I would've snapped a few photos down Music Row, but I had a race to run! I really enjoyed seeing all the beautiful homes along the route and it was fun to have the homeowners out cheering us on, too!
As I mentioned I started out running with the 2:30 pace group; however, I was moving a little faster than their pace so I went on with own my pace. I wound up catching the 2:15 pace group and ran about 6 or 7 miles with them. My girls even stated they were excited to see me with that group on the out and back portion of the race, yes we gave each other cheers! I took a walk break at the 10 mile marker and slipped behind the 2:15 group a bit. During that break I received a perfectly timed call from my usual pace buddy Erin, she and I chatted for a quick few minutes then I was off to find the finish line! Yes I say find because I was beginning to think that race would never end, haha. I didn't beat myself up too badly over the whole break though because I needed a quick refuel before heading to the finish. As I rounded the last turn I realized I was well under my goal of 2:30 and my heart started pounding! I crossed the finish line at the 2:20 chip time, 2:18:30 official finish time! The best part was looking up to see the BadassBabes jumping and down with excitement then looking over to my left to see Ashleigh-Anne and Matthew also sharing in the excitement. There were tears and laughter all around because all three of us had beaten our goals. The past 4 months of training and eating mostly right had paid off! Thanks to the Hughes' for these awesome finish line photos:
We left finish line area to meet up with the Hughes'. It was so great to see them and to give Ashleigh-Anne a little surprise. We had each worn her initials on our bibs during the race. These little patches can be attached to anything she wants as a little reminder of this fabulous day! Her own little souvenir from the race, she was super excited as you can tell from this picture:
After a little time visiting we were off to get eat cookies provided by Publix and celebrate a great race! We had just conquered so much that we deserved a little party time!
Check out these awesome medals!
We all agreed, we will run more races with the competitor race group, especially Women's Running Series races. They did everything right! Every expectation that we had going into the expo, the race and the after party where exceeded!! Not only were they well organized they were extremely polite, even when we had a little question they answered us precisely. And let's not forget the medal, the spur on the back of the boots is actually a charm. This was a nice touch to an awesome event. Bravo WRS - Nashville!!
Love the Charm!
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring more of downtown Nashville, as I said before there will be another post of our non-race related adventures later this week!
Up next on the training calendar is another road trip with the girls to Panama City Beach for the Girls Inc Run for the Treasure Half Marathon on October 12th. This run is taking place in the midst of the PCB Pirate Festival so we have race outfits to match the theme!
I would be remiss if I didn't a word of thanks for all the support leading up to WRS Nashville! I couldn't have met my goal without the help of some special people, most of my husband and son! Scott didn't blink an eye when I announced my training schedule would switch to mornings to avoid running in the hot afternoons of summer in N. Florida. He knew this would mean I would need his help with getting Riley to school, etc... I know the schedule wasn't easy but Scott and Riley made it work. Riley didn't like it at first when I wasn't home to get him read y for the day. However, he might have learned to enjoy the mornings a little bit during after all! Thanks Scott for all your support and teaching Riley how to show that support as well!