Rock n Roll Half Marathon Nashville : Race Recap

I can summarize my trip to Nashville in two words: running + eating! What could be better, right? 

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If you read my last post, you know that I was nervous about running the Nashville Rock n Roll Half Marathon because the course promised to be hilly and I am not a fan of hills! Plus, my friend was running it too and it was her first half marathon, so I was nervous I wouldn't be able to support her like I wanted to. Well, to make a long story short, we rocked that run! I felt strong throughout the entire race, which I was nervous about due to the hills. Plus, I paced my friend and we made it right under her goal time! I was so happy I felt good running those hills and it was proof that you have to trust the process.  I made it a point to train hills and it paid off! 

My flight to Nashville was super early in the morning, but it gave us the opportunity to grab some yummy lunch at Husk when I arrived and still make it in time for packet pickup afterwards! As usual, the process was smooth and easy.  There were all the usual, easy to follow signs and awesome volunteers.  The actual expo didn't seem as big or as busy as some other cities, though.  I didn't mind this, as we don't stay too long at the expo.  We got our beer wristbands for our free post-race beer and picked up our parking pass, that I prepaid for online.  Since we were driving ourselves in the morning and this was my friend's first experience, I didn't want her to feel overwhelmed with having to search for parking and deal with the traffic too! It was a great option and one I think I will use again for sure if I plan to drive and park for a race and not get dropped off.  

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After checking-in to our hotel and relaxing for a bit, it was time for our carb loading dinner! I traditionally have pizza before a race so I looking for some Yelp suggestions and found Slim + Husky's .  The reviews were amazing and it did not disappoint! They have local, fresh, ingredients and all the pizzas are made to order.  They also carry local craft beers, which is also part of my carb loading dinner ;) 

Like I mentioned above, the race itself was amazing! It was fun and we enjoyed the music, the scenery, and all the folks who came out to cheer us on! Running through some of the neighborhoods and seeing the residents making a morning out of it reminded me of the vibe from the San Diego Rock n Roll Half Marathon last year.  They too were out cheering us on, drinking mimosas, and even handing out drinks and snacks to us runners too! 

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After the race, we spent our day exploring some of the neighborhoods and of course, eating some delicious food to celebrate our race finish!  I highly recommend this race for it's fun atmosphere, challenging course, and who doesn't want to enjoy all the Nashville has to offer both before and after the race!

Rock n Roll Arizona Half Marathon | Race Recap

Earlier this month, I ran the Rock n Roll Arizona half marathon for the first time! I chose to run Arizona because it was close enough to drive there from home plus it advertised a flat course.  My training was not great for this race.  I missed most of my long runs and just managed a few short runs in the weeks leading to the race.  There was no real excuse for missing them other than I was feeling lazy and made up all kinds of reasons why I couldn't run.  So yea, going into this race I was not feeling too confident and was just hoping I would finish.  

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With a race start time of 7:50 am, I didn’t have to wake up too early in comparison to other half marathon start times, so that was a really nice perk! The weather in the morning was brisk but I knew that it would warm up quickly so I wore a running skirt and t-shirt, plus my new favorite Rock n Roll trucker hat that I picked up at the expo on Saturday! 

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The first 8 miles of the course are not very scenic.  You're running through industrial and business roads and such so there aren't many spectators either.  I was also going really slow, which didn't help and I never really found my groove.  Since it's a Rock n Roll event, they did have bands and DJs at about every mile and of course the aide stations and port-a-potties were plentiful.  It did hold true to it's advertised flat course, though, and there were no major inclines.  Once we got to Papago Park, the scenery changed and it felt so good to run through some nice desert scenery and see the iconic Arizona saguaro cacti.  This was also the only part of the course that had a slight incline.  But, it was a short out and back section so getting to run a little decline was nice too.  It was right around mile 10 that I started having some major discomfort on my left heel and then also on the outer right side of my foot, from heel to pinky toe.  I pushed along and tried to ignore it since I still had 3 miles to go and figured it was probably time for new running shoes.  

I enjoyed running across Mill Ave. Bridge.  Not only is it a pretty view, but it’s also close the finish line and by then, my right foot was really hurting!! Once we crossed the river, spectators were lined up all along the finish line area and cheering us on for the last stretch! That’s always my favorite part of running a race!! I also really liked that they had big screens at the finish line to view the runners coming in. 

The finish line festival at Tempe Beach park was really nice too! There was plenty of grassy areas (albeit the grass was dry since it was winter) to sit and stretch.  The gear check trucks were clearly visible for those picking up their bags.  There were food trucks lined up to for hungry runners!  I sat and stretched for a bit, then went over to get my free beer!! I listened to the headliner, Everclear, for a bit.  I was happy it was a band I knew and listened to from the 90s! 

We couldn't stay too long since I had to make it back to the hotel to shower and check out! By the time we got to the hotel, my foot was really hurting and I was having a hard time putting any pressure on it.  The next day was the same, a significant amount of pain and not able to walk on it.  I was concerned, so I went to an urgent care, where they did an X-ray.  The x-ray did not show a hairline fracture but the Dr. on staff still thought it was this since hairline fractures don't usually show up in x-rays and based on my symptoms. He gave me an ugly ortho shoe to wear to keep my foot from moving too much when I walked and said to wear it for 1-2 wks and no running for 4 weeks.  It's been a week since my visit and my foot feels great.  No pain at all! I've ordered new running shoes, but I'll stick to Dr's orders and won't run just yet.  It's going to be hard but I want to make sure that I don't injure myself again.  I'm doing Pilates and upper body workouts that are non-weight bearing on my leg, but I can't wait to get out there and run!!!! Have you ever been sidelined from running? How did you cope? 

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Run Laughlin Half Marathon Race Recap

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Earlier this year, I was contacted by the Run Laughlin race director and asked to be part of their ambassador program for their race.  In return for promoting their race, I was given 2 race entries for myself and a friend PLUS 8 race entries to giveaway! Although I was given this race entry, my review and opinions are my own. 

This was my 2nd year running this race.  I ran it in 2015 and really enjoyed the course, you can read my review HERE.  The course for 2017 was slightly different, so I was looking forward to comparing the course.  I also was excited because this was the hubby's 2nd half marathon and I was looking forward to running together for part of the race and and seeing him cross that finish line! 

The race began at the high school and had us do a loop around the track.  The higher elevation of the school, meant we got some great views of the mountains around us! After the track, it was a steady uphill climb for the next 3 miles or so.  Not the best start to a race for me, but at least it was at the beginning and not the end! Like the saying goes, "What goes up, must come down!" and the next 3 miles were gloriously downhill and fast! I knew that we'd get another uphill section as we ran towards the dam and across the bridge and I took it slow and steady because that section was out and back so it was going to be a nice downhill after the turnaround.  The last portion of the race was along the river.  It was pretty flat with a few slight inclines, but nothing major.  Of course, after 10 miles, any slight change uphill can feel like a mountain! I kept pushing on that last mile and was really happy with my time! I beat my 2015 time for this race by 1 minute and finished 2017 strong! 

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I really enjoyed the course and the smaller race size, after having ran a lot of bigger races this year.  The volunteers were all super friendly, even though a lot of the aid stations were running out of cups for water! Thankfully, I run with my Nathan's hydration pack, so this didn't affect me.  The other not-so-great- thing about this race was the fact that they ran out of medals.  It was such a let down to cross the finish line and not get our finisher medals.  According to the new race directors, it was a problem with their supplier. I will say, they have communicated with us and are in the process of mailing our medals and even got the suppliers to engraving our name and finish time on the back of our medal at no cost.  It's been 2 weeks and we're patiently waiting for them to arrive.  

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In the meantime, I'm working on my race schedule and goals for 2018! Can't wait to share them with you next week! Tell me, what are your health and fitness goals for the new year?