Nashville Pikermi: The Race

For those of your who dont know, Nashville wasn’t on the race calendar for this year. I was still bitter over my tornado crashed marathon turned 22.4 mile trail of tears (last year’s RR, if anyone is THAT bored). However, as more and more loopettes signed up, I said I was on the fence. In comes the devious, and now MIA, CK takes LA (the state), who messaged me to tell me to get my butt off the fence and sign up. I have a slight girl crush on her, so of course I said yes!

Fast forward to Friday:

My drive to Nashville was really uneventful. I drove to Charlotte Thrusday night to break up the trip and to hang out with my friend, Mr Zoom. Probably the only entertaining event was having to stop at 3 different Targets looking for brunette Barbies to play our missing Loopettes (Bratz are scary). Heads on a stick wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun and I didnt have time to make something (I planned on making sock monkeys) so Barbies were the net best thing 🙂

I thought I was running late the whole drive because I had completely forgotten that Nashville is on Central Time. Luckily, I was on time! My roommie, Megan Kate, and I arrived at the hotel around the same time. It wasn’t in the best area, but it didn’t matter – we were in Nashville!!!

The expo was super crowded but we managed to find SavageTXgirl and erhead easily (actually MK spotted Holly a mile away) since they were seated in the back row listening to Kara Goucher. I never take advantage of listening to speakers at big expos and I hadn’t planned on listening to Kara, but I’m super glad of the chosen meeting spot because she is OSOM! She’s super inspiring and I wish I could remember everything she said, but one mantra really stuck out that I want to share:

I’m not afraid. I was born to do this. 

After Kara was done, we stopped for a group pic:

aj1rafn, me (with Musictofeet, facing the wrong way), SavageTXgirl, Megan Kate (holding CK), and Erhead.

Holly, her friend Cecilia, and Eric went to stand in line for the book signing, and MK and I went to pick up our bibs, and AJ went to get far, far away from the wild and crazy Loopettes!

Unfortunately, MTF went missing some time between shirt pick up and MK and I hitting every freebie at the Expo. I’d like to think she found some hottie and jumped out of my purse and into his arms. But, we’ll never know. I heard some little girl was eyeing her at the Expo and I hope she found a good home.

MTF – Last seen holding my shirt tag!
Missing a Loopette, we went to meet up with NCathelete, Erinb, and Erin’s mother and sister for dinner. CK and I had a beer while we waited for our table 🙂

Like a good engineer, CK always wears safety goggles
Dinner was awesome, as all loopster meet ups are. Time passed really quickly and before I knew it we were saying our good byes. Not without a few pics, of course!
MK and I made a quick trip to Target to get a new MTF, before hittin the hay. We planned on taking the shuttle from LP to the start, which meant leaving by 5am to beat traffic.

ARG! Wake up was too early. But I put on my game face.

In the lobby the other chicks stared and stared at me. Correction, they were stinkeyeing me! I almost broke out the Barbies from my gear bag to really give them a show but MK and I were already running late and those girls were obviously the enemies of fun anyway.

We made it to LP Field in record time! Luckily we had missed the exit we were supposed to take and managed to just squeeze in with very minimal waiting. After two port-o-potty stops we waited for everyone by the Parthenon.

With Snowman79, we were friends on and I convinced him to join the loop.
As MK and I made our way to the corrals, I got a ton of compliments on my outfit and I started to feel better – for a big race there was a serious lack of costumed runners but people seemed to appreciate it. The start was waved but super crowded. MK went on ahead around the first mile marker but people passing kept complimenting my outfit and yelling “Go Cowgirl” I was having a blast.

By mile 3, the sun was higher in the sky, and I was starting to burn up – literally dripping with sweat like I was an hour into a spinning class or in a gartorade commercial. I’d take off my hat and fan myself occasionally, but that did no good. I was already hot and getting a little miserable with 10 miles to go. Arg. This was be a long race. I didnt remember the hills being that bad last year but the sun and costume and lack of shade magnified all the hills. I think I would have been just as slow on a flat course  because I wasn’t much faster on the down hills.

Somewhere into mile 7 I gave up and took a walk break. I grabbed a mimosa from a nice old man and said “eff it all.” Around mile 8 I opened up the costume and let it gather around my waist. Of course, I had opted for a black tank underneath but at least it was breathable. Eventually, my hat came off too. I was kicking myself. Yes, the costume was amusing, but it was at my own expense. I AM AN IDIOT!

I really gave up on having a good finish time by mile 3. My only goal, and I do mean only goal (I had even thrown out the goal to have fun), was to finish in time to cheer for the other Loopsters. Mile 12 I stopped to put back on my costume and reapply the mustache. IT was probably too early, as it was even more of a death trap/sauna than before, but the crowd went NUTS over it. I think the mustache was a bigger hit that the cowgirl outfit…but the combo made me into a celebrity. I let that wave carry me in.

Coming into the finish cute, I heard the announcers say “Check out the gentleman in the hat!!” “That’s quite a mustache” “I think that’s a lady!” “She’s a lady!!!!” You can’t hear them too well in the video, but you can kinda make it out. you can also see me runnning with the mustache 🙂

Official time was 2:27:25. No, that’s not a typo. 10 min slower than the Pikermi two weeks ago, in which I was fighting with my tummy the last 4 miles. 9 min slower than my half split at Shamrock. About the same as my half split at CMM last year.
It seemed to take FOREVER to get out of the chute and get my bag but I did it with time to spare. The plan was to hit up the 17.5/26 mile markers to cheer the Loopsters in. However, the moment I got to the 26 marker, a man went down. A woman, who I think was his wife, was trying to help him but he didn’t look good. I offered the cytomax I picked up at the finishing chute and my gu but he spewed them out. He looked really out of it and losing motor function. Wifey was trying to put his arm around her saying “you’re finishing this, even if it takes an hour.” It was just after 10 and he was already past the 26 mile marker (so he was on pace to finish close to 3 hours)…and I feel bad if I kept him from finishing but he looked in such bad shape, I ran down the block to ask the cops in the intersection to get a medic. They ended up taking him away in an ambulance.

By the time I got over to the 17.5 side of the street, the 4:30 group was passing by. I stuck around to cheer for about 15 minutes, but I was pretty sure I had missed all the loopsters. I saw Snowman79 running on the other side of the street and screamed but he didnt hear me. At that point I gave up on seeing anyone at 17.5 and went back over to the 26 mile side. I got to see AJ and NCathlete blow by me. NCathlete looked AMAZING and was rocking the look she was going for 😉

Not long after, I saw Megan Kate!!! She looked great and I knew she was on BO pace.  Awesome!!! Those few seconds were awesome!! It was like being at the end of my own PR marathon!

Literally seconds after cheering on MK, I got the text from MTF that she WON ner marathon. WTF? Really? And I got excited all over again. For such a big race, I met up with Holly, Cecilia, Eric, and the lovely Juanita pretty easily. We talked about how hard the course was, before leaving Juanita and Eric to meet up with AJ and Meg.

Post Race MK and I got awesome Burger and Beer lunch before going back to the hotel for a nap. We were gonna need it, as the night was pretty crazy…
Why yes, only classy beer while in Nashville!
Up Next – Nashville: The Party!!!

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