Tag Archives: Nashville Striders

The Final Countdown

One week from today, I will run my first marathon. Four months of training, blisters, sore muscles, frozen hair and laughs will hopefully all pay off on April 26th. I can’t wait to cross that finish line.

Life has been busy and since this little blogging project is a sub-hobby of a hobby it must take a back burner to more important things, such as the 10 babies I delivered in the last week and coloring Easter eggs with my littles. But alas I wanted to document my last few long runs, for posterity’s sake in case I never do this again.

18 Lonely Miles

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I ran 18 by myself. To make the distance slightly more palatable I  broke it up into smaller chunks. I started in Sullivan Farms and ran 3 out and back into Ellington Parkway. Then I stopped back at my car, dropped off my headlamp (I had to start at 5:30) and picked up my iPod and fuel belt. I don’t normally run with music, but with 18 miles alone I needed a little help. I hate ear buds, so I ran with my 1985 walkman earphones. I looked ridiculous, but Katy Perry helped me through those last miserable miles.

I then ran through Polk Place, up Lewisburg Pike and through the Carnton Plantation. Running past a Civil War Cemetery at sunrise was phenomenal.

20 miles in Nashville

Christina, Abby, me, Shannon, Andrea and Deanna ready to run 20 freaking miles

Christina, Abby, me, Shannon, Andrea and Deanna ready to run 20 freaking miles

Twenty miles was the longest run of our training. The idea was pretty daunting so once again we teamed up with Nashville Striders who organized the course. We ran from Centennial Park to LP field and back, running most of the first half of the course. It was one of the only runs where all 6 of us got to run together.

I love running through down town

I love running through down town

Twenty miles was a challenging distance, but once again our legs took us further than we thought they could.

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 The Tulsa Run

Tulsa is my hometown, where I started running.  Running in Tulsa is wonderfully nostalgic for me, so when I realized I would be traveling home for a wedding a month before the race I was tickled to get to a run a long run on the River Trails in Tulsa.

Riverside Park Tulsa, OK

Riverside Park Tulsa, OK

With over 20 miles of beautifully maintained trails with regular water stops and bathrooms and a separate trail for bikers, its is the perfect city for runners and bikers. I got to catch up with some old friends and literally take a run down memory lane.

Running with friends in Tulsa

Running with friends in Tulsa

I am truly jealous of the park system in Tulsa. I was on such a running high after my 16 miles there I came back to my parents house and declared that we we’re moving back to Tulsa. However, my bubble was then burst when my husband informed me that this would involve us having a long distance relationship.

The Final Countdown 

For the next week I’ll carb load, neurotically check the weather and hopefully get some sleep. The weather forecast is looking hot,which makes me nervous, since we have only been training in cold weather. At least our matching t-shirts for the race are short sleeves.

back of shirt

back of shirt

If you see us on the course next week, wish us luck!

Anyone have any advice for us first timers?

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14 Miles on Sore Legs

As a OB/GYN, my life is rather unpredictable. I can’t really tell my patients, “Hey hold that baby in for another hour, while I log 4 more miles.” This week was one of those crazier weeks at the office, causing me to miss one of my runs and reschedule a crossfit workout to Thursday.

In addition to work’s stress, this weekend’s impending 14 miles long run was haunting my thoughts all week. It would be the farthest I ever ran.

My Thursday WOD (workout of the day) was insane. It included 100 wallballs, 75 burpees, and a new exercise that KILLED my quads called ‘little man in a tree’. I hate that little man. Luckily, I had Friday as a recovery/rest day.

When I took my first step down the stairs on Friday, my quads nearly buckled out from under with me. The pain felt like a  thousand tiny daggers were stabbing me in the leg. I was not injured, merely sore. So stupidly sore that I had to walk down stairs side ways.

I realized, in the famous words of GOB Bluth, “I’d made a huge mistake.”

Friday I hydrated, carb loaded and stretched to get ready for the big run, reassuring myself I would feel better by the next morning.

My Favorite Card Loading: Breakfast for Dinner {My kids loved it too}

My New Favorite Carb Loading: Breakfast for Dinner {My kids loved it too}

Long Run: Bongo to Bongo with the Nashville Striders

I was hobbling Saturday morning, but the long run was still almost perfect. After weeks of running circles around or neighborhood in the freezing dark, we got to run 14 miles in 45 degrees through the heart of Nashville.

Nashville striders organizes training runs for the Marathon, complete with water stops and signs. It was great to simply show up and run and not have to worry about the course or getting lost.

Shannon, Me and Abby (Christina was still in the car)

Shannon, Me and Abby (Christina was still in the car)

The course was 7 miles out and back from Bongo Java in East Nashville to Bongo Java in West Nashville. My legs were really sore and tired from the beginning. I was hoping they would loosen up in a few miles. While the sharp pain with each stride went away at about three miles, they felt sore the entire time.

My favorite stretch was running past LP field right after sunrise. It was light enough to dodge the road kill, but left over shimmers of pink and orange were still peaking over the horizon.(this picture does not do the view justice).

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Shannon leading the pack past the new Nashville convention center

Shannon leading our pack past the new Nashville convention center

The energy of running with the crowd (and also lots of goo) really helped me get over my tired legs and the mental challenge of running further than I’ve ever gone.

Even though it was an official race we still had a huge crowd com,e out to cheer us on. {sure, the said the were trying out for the Voice, but we know the truth}

We had a huge crowd come out to cheer us on! {sure, they SAID that they were trying out for The Voice, but we know the truth}

The course took us through the heart of downtown, so there was always something to look at, distracting us from from the fact we were running so far.

Abby and Christina

Christina and Abby

Running downtown The girl in purple is NOT me.  Though she kinda looks like me circa 1994.

Running downtown. The girl in purple is NOT me. {Though she kinda looks like me circa 1994.}

The final 2 miles were the toughest. Last weekend when we did 12, and I remembered how tired my legs were. I wondered how I could do another 2 on top of that, especially since my legs felt like crap. My friend Shannon is the training for her fourth marathon (the rest of us are newbies) and had the best advice. She encouraged me the the last mile always feels like your legs are dead, no matter if you’re running 10, 15 or 20. So much of it is mental, just push on through. The last few miles were also ridiculously hilly, but her words kept me going all the way back to the coffee shop.

We got back to Bongo Java and cooled down. I’m so thankful for them letting us use their facility, they even provided free coffee (that I accidentally poured in my water bottle as I was still in my post run delirium).

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It is socially acceptable to stretch on the floor of a coffee shop, right?

We made it ALL 14 miles. The farthest we’ve ever been. It really helps that we are doing this together. Honestly, 15 next week doesn’t seem quite so scary now.

My kids insisted since we had "breakfast for dinner" we should have "spaghetti for breakfast"

My kids insisted since we had “breakfast for dinner” we should have “spaghetti for breakfast”