Nashville Country Music Marathon and BYEEE! :)

Happy Monday! 🙂 I’m ready to tackle this week because NEXT week I’ll be living it up on the beach in Miami!!! Can we say #yoloyoloyolo? Did you just leave me for that belligerence? Then YOLO to you!

Ok, f’real, here’s what went down this weekend. Nashville Country Music Marathon is what went down. The end.

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Yeah, we all know I’m not that short winded. Come on. Here we go.

I wasn’t excited about this race. I just had a pretty lame attitude leading up to it. I had some awesome training runs and I don’t ever doubt my ability to finish something that I start, but I just wasn’t amped – not at all.

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Compared to the Seattle or Georgia marathon, I was alarmingly apathetic toward the marathon. When I crossed the start line, I wasn’t really feeling it. So bizarre for me – but I was already sweating and I let heat affect me like crazy. I even called fitnesscrEATures BEK at .5 miles in (HA!) and chatted with her about how I just wasn’t into it.

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It’s probably all in my head. I don’t know. Anyway, I chugged right along at a slow, slow pace. I knew with my attitude being where it was, I had to be patient with my body.

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Miles 1-11 the marathoners and the half marathoners all stayed together. That was pretty cool because there were SO MANY half marathon runners – which made for an exciting vibe. I just wish I had felt it more.

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At mile 8, my boyfriend met up with me on the bike and I pulled out my headphones and said, “Babe, I’m OVER this!” He told me afterward that he didn’t know how to respond – by telling me that I had 18 more or not… Ha, he didn’t respond, so that was smart on his part. He rode with me the entire duration of the race. I can’t even begin to describe how crucial his presence was. He stopped at a gas station and brought me Gatorade. He gave me strength and belief that I could finish.

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The course itself was gorgeous. The rolling hills were on point with Atlanta hills, if not a bit smaller. I saw a man wearing the Georgia marathon shirt and afterward we compared the two marathons and agreed 100% that Nashville is a much better course. MUCH better. 🙂 I only wish I had been feeling it more.

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I let my attitude really impact my performance, along with the heat that I have not trained in at all. The group of people I was pacing with were on a walk/jog schedule and I’ve never seen so many people walking during a marathon. I was more than happy to walk jog to the end.

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To be honest, my goal was to beat my last marathon time – 4:40. That’s my goal for every ‘big’ race – just improve from my last time. I knew my training would allow for that, definitely. But after the first few miles, I just sort of let that goal go. I just wanted to finish, and be done with it.

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I know that a lot of this doesn’t sound super wonderful, but it really is. I’m happy to have experienced something to teach me that I’m not invincible and that I can be challenged in ways I never knew possible. I was so so happy when I saw mile marker 25 that I ran so fast to just finish.

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I didn’t hit my goal but I finished and I am happy and proud. I have never worked harder to complete a task and that’s a testament to my adoration toward running. I would absolutely do this race again if it was guaranteed to not be hot outside! And hell, I have the Chicago marathon on the agenda this year, so there’s still another opportunity to PR! In the end, I finished in 5:07:43 – 27 minutes slower than my PR. Wow. As shockingly different as those two numbers are, I worked harder for this medal. I’m happy it’s over and I’m ready for Chicago, ha!

As for the BYEEEE in my post title, I’m traveling for work Tuesday-Monday (yeah, I’m going to be miserable and I sacrificed my weekend, BOOOO) so I’ll be MIA. And then I’m going to MIAMI on Thursday (BBM2014) so I may check in, I may not. We shall see how this chick feels.

One more thing about marathons: ALL.THE.FOOD.

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Hand cut fries + fried pickles.

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Red velvet, triple chocolate, banana, coffee, and cookies and cream cupcakes.

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Crab cakes + French fries (so that makes twice in one day!).

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Breakfast buffet on Sunday morning. I’m always insatiable the days after a long run!

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And that, my blogging peeps, is what I did this weekend. Ran and then ate. And reflected a lot. All good stuff. So I’ll catch up with all of you as soon as I have a free moment after my travels! My work traveling means no free time at alllllll. UGH!

How was your weekend?

Was this post just way too long and annoying for you? I feel ya.

What’s something that was extra challenging for you recently?

P.S. A special shout out to that hawt girl Amanda for introducing me to the “Bachelorette Party” Pandora station. Hellz ya that powered me through some mileage on Saturday! 🙂

P.P.S. Another special shout out to all my support from all my friend IRL. <3<3 You all know who you are – those who texted me and wished me luck… All my love. ❤

It’s Marathon Week!!

Welp! This Saturday is it! My third marathon! I can’t wait!!! This week will be filled with nerves, excitement and mental preparation! I’ll be hydrating like crazy all week long and remaining on my best behavior! 🙂 WOO! CAN.NOT.WAIT! << I mostly can’t wait because I don’t love running in this heat that’s rapidly approaching and as soon as the marathon is over, I won’t need to run outside if I don’t want to! 🙂

So backing up a bit… This weekend was filled with lots of food and lots of activities, per the usual. Saturday morning at 5:30 am, I met up with a friend for a 10 mile run. It was POURING but we did it anyway! We saw tons of deer along the trail which was totally adorable.

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This is one of my favorite places to run because it’s full of rolling hills and is so majestic.

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Right after I finished that, I met up with Mollz and some others with my man for a 5K in downtown.

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The reward at the end was a free beer! Yep! WOOOOO!

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And by then, I was starved, so naturally, I loaded up!

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After resting up and running errands, my boyfriend and I went out to celebrate a special occasion and we absolutely indulged in an awesome dinner!

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Yesterday was spent with more indulgences – a la Easter style! There were delicious treats everywhere and this girl didn’t hold back #yolo

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What do you do to prepare during race week?

Will you run in the rain?

What’s your favorite post race meal?

Race Nostalgia

In honor of the most bodacious and wonderful day of the week, I wanted to inject some fun into the blog. I’ve had some awful race pictures and I’m darn proud of them when they happen, but then they are soon forgotten.

What reminded me of all these hidden treasures, though, was when my boyfriend asked me to see these pictures a few weeks ago and I dug them all up. Let’s start from my first race ever, shall we? I’m digging these wildly inappropriate for running headphones. Needless to say, those suckers are long gone (I only got rid of them about 6 months ago and that’s because they broke. Not because they weren’t totally awesome and conducive for running!).

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My fellow crEATure and I ran our first race together (and first race ever, actually) in April, 2012. How cute are we with our matching shorts? It was a 10K and we came in just over an hour. Back then, we were the happiest girls alive when we finished. It was adorable. I also used to love running in cotton T’s. Not anymore.

Then, we ran our second race ever together, a half marathon, in October, 2012. I think I struggled, what do you think? 🙂 HA!

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See, Rebekah looks like she’s got her eye on the prize and I just look like a dead baby bird. She actually had to drag me to the finish line, she rocked it out like crazy. I made it to 6 miles and crashed and burned and relied on her continual jogging to stay alive. I knew I could do it, I just knew it would be slow. Slow it was my friends, slow it was. In case it wasn’t clear how crappy I felt, here’s one more (a huge LOL every time I look at this!!!!):

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Next up, my marathon. Could I look any more snarky/pissed off here (I promise I’m not in real life!)? And also, if you want to know and are even paying attention – that was my first pair of Nike Tempo shorts and they are officially my good luck shorts. I always race in them (real races) when I want good luck. I promise I own a lot of these shorts! I just love my purple tempos!

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Am I even jogging or am I actually walking? Who will ever know…

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Haha, this is actually a decent picture that I’m surprised even happened….Kind of looks like I’m flying! But I still look evil, don’t I?

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And I guess as soon as I cross the finish line, I’m just about over it, judging by my face. I see a troll-ish look in my face. Delightful after a 15K.

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Next up, classy pictures of my belly hanging out and about.

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Not super attractive, slightly trashy, and it looks like I’m about to grab myself. Cuteness, indeed.

My favorite, though, has to be the one my beautiful bestie Mollie took of me from behind. It’s not technically a professional race photo, but it’s as bad as one so I’m going to share it! My fat a$$ over there….My sweat over there…. Bleh.

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So, I hope you guys have a fabulous weekend, racing or not! Enjoy your time away from the regular work week. I know I will! I am super excited about my weekend plans!!! Woooo!!!!

What distance was your first race, or what will your first race distance be if you haven’t run one already?

Do you sign up for races with friends?

Do any of you beautiful people out there not have a bad racing photo? I’d love to see it if you do!!! Ha! 🙂

Meghan

I RAN A MARATHON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes. That was a belligerent title. But COME ON, I ran 26.2 miles yesterday and I live to tell about it – that’s worth all those exclamation points, right? 🙂 Let me recap the Georgia Publix Marathon for you!

The Health and Fitness Expo was quite overwhelming – it was a huge crowd full of ambitious people and tons of vendors. It would have been a lot cooler had I been less nervous. Oh well. I still ended up buying a headband for the race day, impulsively!

Check out some of the action at the expo:

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I have never had my name on my race bib before, it made me feel special and it also was adorable that throughout the race all the people passing out water and snacks would say, “Come on Meghan, you got this!” It was personal and adorable.

I got up on Sunday at 5 am to stretch and get ready. My nerves were present, but not in full force, which was perfect. It was just enough to foster a healthy excitement instead of an intense fear. Plus it was great that I was with my boyfriend and two solid running friends! Remember Channing? We ran together a couple of weeks ago. She ran the half and I was SO happy to have her with me for the first part of the course.

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We even matched and got to watch the sun rise together. It was romantic, to say the least. Once the race began, we turned our music up and kept a solid 10 minute/mile pace – just where I wanted to be to be able to finish a marathon.

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The course was a tour of a few neighborhoods in Atlanta. I thought it would be a great race because of the constant change of scenery – and it was certainly that. However, if you view the map, you can see how high we climbed during the race – over 1,500 feet. When I tell you that race beat me up and left me out to die, it really did. The hills were non-stop the entire time. If I got any sort of downhill (I got really excited about this) it would be canceled out almost immediately with twice as much incline. All I can say is, I finished, and I finished strong. My goal was to do it around 4:30, but I didn’t come anywhere near that. I’m 100% okay with it though, considering that with thousands of elite runners participating, only 18 qualified for the Boston Marathon. That just goes to show JUST HOW TOUGH this course was.

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Yes, yes, it’s very slow. But again, I will TAKE it. Heavens it was SUCH the challenge. I can hardly walk today.

Post race, I stretched it out like crazy.

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And clung tightly to this bad boy:

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Yep. I ran a marathon.

I also had the BEST cheerleaders/support I could have possibly had – from all the texts and calls wishing me good luck to all the people telling me congratulations, it made all the difference in the world. At mile 22.5, Mollie and Nadir caught up with me and ran a part of it with me. That was a crucial moment, because I thought I was going to die at that point but their encouragement brought me back to life and revitalized my desire to finish strong.

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Yep. Best. People. Ever.

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And when I finally got around to ensuring The Senator got his fair share of daily exercise, I was too lazy to do anything other than throw the ball for him.

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Look at his floppy little tongue. Such a good Senator. 🙂

If I shared all the things I ate with you folks, you’d be mortified. Let’s just say both Willy’s and Taco Mac were a part of my day. Whoops! I guess I’m allowed since I burned about 3,000 calories. Marathon Shmarathon, I got this! Now I’m amped to travel for another one – considering I heard that this was one of the toughest in the country, I think I can hit that 4:30 goal this year in another state.

-Meghan