Arguably my favorite weekend of this semester, my three days in Nashville zipped by and I am still in disbelief over the outcome of the race! Nothing like our past two marathon experiences, this marathon was on a tremendously smaller scale and has plenty of room for improvement. However, my dad and I left our previous two marathon times in the dust and could not be more thrilled. Keep reading for my play by play of the marathon in Nashville, including the before, during and after:
Prep: We rose two hours before the race and started consuming calories almost instantly. Shoveling my mom’s granola balls down while sporadically stretching in the hotel room, I anxiously double checked that we both had everything we needed before ordering a ride to the race start.
Food: In addition to the granola balls, my dad and I both drank water mixed with Nuun and half of an orange juice ten minutes prior to the race. We both have found that our migraines come on stronger after losing salt, so plenty of electrolytes really was key.
Attire: Dressed in my go-to Lululemon What the Sport Short, Lululemon Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew shirt, and Nike Air Zooms, I stood out amongst a sea of Under Armour and old race shirt clad runners. We started out the morning in a bitter 30 degrees, so we showed up in cheap sweatpants and sweatshirts that we shed respectfully right before the race and the second we got too hot. Spandex and a light material long sleeve shirt was honestly the perfect combination for me and we are so lucky we had such beautiful weather.
Feeling: The first fifteen miles of this race I felt like I was on top of the world; full of energy, I was ahead of our already ambitious pace group goal, passing runners with ease, and triumphantly in front of my dad as well. But then came the dreaded wall you hear all runners talk about (and also probably think, what the heck is this wall you speak of?!). I’m speaking of an every muscle in your body feeling as if it can go on no longer, your brain losing any positive focus you previously possessed and the end not seeming to be achievable in any way, shape or form. Drudging through with what felt like 1,000 pound legs for way too long, I successfully popped out of this rut somewhere around mile 20. I had fallen behind my dad and caught up to him at the very end; we sprinted out the last .2 miles together and I’m proud to boast that I beat him.
Food: My dad and I wanted to focus more on nutrition this race, so we each brought along our own gu for the race. I STRONGLY recommend the chocolate peanut butter flavor and encourage you to run in the opposite direction of the fruit flavors. That is just a personal preference, but swallowing down a bizarrely textured food is already hard as it is, don’t make it worse by picking a painful flavor (it’s like when the dentist asks if you want flavored fluoride….just don’t do it).
Feeling: I think that flat out sprint at the end might have done me over. I’m feeling pretty dang well minus the throbbing pain that takes over my right foot with every step I take. Hopefully it heals quickly because I’m already getting antsy and want to go on a run again. Runners high, anyone?!
Food: I always expect to eat more than I actually do. After I receive key nutrients I lost during the race, my stomach decides to be done for awhile and I struggle to eat very much. Make sure to replenish certain nutrients as soon as possible, especially all those salts you lost and probably now see on your face! Check back on Friday to see what I specifically ate after the race.
- Participating in a well-known, large race is worth it for a full marathon. The course will be more visually appealing, the trail will be better marked, the sustenance will be much more frequent and the energy will be so beyond helpful.
- Pick a hotel close to the race. You will be so thankful when you can easily head back to your hotel afterwards.
- Don’t show up to a cold race in only the clothes you plan to wear during the actual race. I pitied all the cold souls shivering around us; spend the 20 bucks on a sweatshirt and sweatpants to toss to the side.
So all in all, my dad and I finished in four hours and seven minutes, placing 96th and 97th altogether. We have eagerly started looking to see when our next marathon trip can be and I’m growing impatient because I already want to get back to pounding pavement. Give Molly on the Move a peep on Friday to see what spots we hit in Nashville!