Tag Archives: rock n roll nashville

Back in Action and Awards

I’m back in action!  A rough run on Saturday had me staving off more until today but thanks to the weather, things got shuffled around a bit.

After fighting a little with both of my ankles over the weekend I reevaluated my schedule and Sunday night decided my legs were feeling well enough to stick with it.  Until I read the week’s weather forecast.  A predicted high of 27 on Thursday.  While I don’t mind running in frigid temperatures, it would be my first genuinely cold run of the season and I didn’t want my final long run before Rock n Roll Arizona to suffer because of it.  Luckily I was able to adjust my training schedule to accommodate winter.  Here’s what the week will end up looking like:

Monday – Strength training
Tuesday – Rest  Shakeout run with 2x 200M strides
Wednesday – Interval Work
Thursday – Long Run (10 Miles)  Rest
Friday – Shakeout Run  Long run (10 miles)
Saturday – Race Pace Run (4 miles+)
Sunday – Heavy lifting

My legs were beaten up after a heavy dose of front rack walking lunges Monday and the shakeout ended up being exactly what I needed.  It was a day earlier than I had planned on running again but a short jog before heading out let me know my ankle would be fine.

I’m happy to be running pain free again and am even happier to have received some cool awards.  They’re awards I earned in 2014 but I waited to share until they all arrived.

My age group award from the Heart of Ghent 10k print with a plaque commemorating my 10k PR.  It was very hard to photograph with my phone!awardsRock n Roll Series Heavy Medals!  Rock Encore and Triple Crown earned for Rock n Rolls in Nashville, Virginia Beach and Las Vegas.  The Triple Crown is HUGE!


What cool awards or medals did you earn in 2014?  How do you decide if you’ve recovered enough to run?

Rock n Roll Nashville 2014

Rock n Roll Nashville is also known as the Country Music Marathon and, to date, its 15th running was one of my favorite race experiences.  It came on the second morning of my 2014 Road Trip to Nashville, the rest of which you can read about here.  I was excited for the race, which was really going to be my weekly long run, and a training outing, rather than a leg rock n roll nashville 2014exhausting race effort after my PRs at the Shamrock and in Atlantic City.

A 5am wake up call got the day rolling, and I dressed in my Lululemon running tights, a bright orange tank top, the half zip, long sleeve top my number was pinned to, my Feetures race day socks and my good old runners while drinking down my race morning GPS E2.  Lauren’s mom met us at the house, and Doug drove us as close as he could to the Start.  The morning wasn’t quite as cool as I had expected when I walked out the front door, but I prefer being warm to being cold, so I left my outer layer on.  I thought about taking it off just before Doug dropped us off at 6:10, but we were rushed out of the car and my opportunity evaporated.rock n roll nashville

The race was scheduled to begin at 7am, and our 6:15 arrival to the Start area meant we had plenty of time to relax, snap a photo and use the restrooms.  There were two large banks of Port-a-Potties right near us, and we made for the line.  The potties were facing the street, and we could see the 5K start line roughly 300 meters away.  The 5K started at 6:45, 15 minutes before the half and full, and while we waited in line, along with hundreds of others, a police officer rode by on his motorcycle telling us we needed to get off the race course.  What?  There was a general sense of ‘yeah, right’ and ‘hahaha’ from the crowd as no one was about to give up their spot.  We were in and out of there before it became a serious problem, but this was a case of pretty poor planning.

A leisurely walk to the Start and we each went to our own Corral.  I walked towards Corral 2, which I moved up to so I could get away from traffic, and did a few jump squats to wake my muscles up one last time.  I chatted with runners around me, listened to the Nation Anthem and noticed that the first gun sounded at 7:01.  I was off just past 7:02 on the course’s lovely downhill start, but quickly forgot the pleasure as I continued into a series of hills that made me wonder how my quads would feel in a few miles.  Just past the Mile 1 mark, we ran through the bowels of the Music City Center and my watch lost GPS signal.  Great.  I wanted to run an extra three tenths of a mile, but not more than that, as I needed 13.40 miles to complete my weekly mileage.  Popping out on the other side, my signal restored and I started to get into a groove.  My legs were still shaking off both the car ride and a lot of walking on Friday, and I could feel a little lactic acid build up (uh-oh) that luckily dissipated halfway through Mile 2.  By Mile 3, I actually started to feel good, then almost immediately, I started to get hot.

Temperatures rose much more quickly than I had expected as the sun climbed, and coming to the 5k mark, I debated whether or not I should power through the next 10 miles with it on, or, since this wasn’t really a race, just pull over, take it off and move my number to my tank top.  Fear of heat stroke won, and I stepped to the course’s side to take care of it.  Short breather, I tied my long sleeve top around my waist and hopped back onto the Rock n Roll Nashville race course.  There wasn’t a timer at the 5K mark I could see (officially 24:37), but I knew the time on my watch was right, even if I had to add 0.1 to how far it told me I had gone, and I was happy with my slower pace, especially accounting for my stop.  Only a training run, and a hot, hill filled one at that, I was content to take things easy.

The next 10 miles were full of rolling hills and fun.  I have to admit, I didn’t pay much attention to the Mile marks as I passed them, which was unusual for me (running is fun!).  I did, however, take note of the rolling hills that made me groan a few times.  My legs had settled in and felt good powering through them as I maintained my training pace after the 5K mark.  Coming to the peak of a quad burning quarter mile climb, however gentle, to see another one coming right up behind it became common through Miles 4, 5 and 6 and made me glad my strength training was paying off.

At the 10K mark, I again couldn’t see a timer, but my watch read 6.15 miles (which I added my 0.10 to and officially crossed at 48:41).  I had picked up the pace a tiny bit from the 5K mark, and in spite of not knowing what the second half of the Rock n Roll Nashville course had in store for me, picked it up more at the halfway point.  I knew, no matter what, I was going to survive, and just kept reminding myself to have fun and enjoy my destination long, training run.

I ran through a mister past the Mile 8 mark, which felt amazing, and noticed my watch read 8.06 miles (8.16 really).  Another mister at Mile 10 was exactly the thing I needed to keep my run on track, and when I crossed it officially at 1:17:16 with 10.08 (10.18) on my watch, I took the race’s remaining turns wide.  At Mile 11, I stopped for water and a calf stretch (thanks, hills), it was only a training run, and I didn’t see any reason to fight through any sort of pain and risk an injury, however slight.  The second half of the Rock n Roll Nashville course was much more neighborly than the first, and I knew I had definitely run a negative split when I saw the Mile 13 flag.  A right turn and downhill Finish, I  crossed the line, officially and by my watch, at 1:41:19 and 13.21 (13.31) on its face.  I jogged a cool down minute to get that 13.40 and called it a day.

I was very happy with my weekly long run, especially on the hilly course and had one of my most fun races to date.  Each mile featured a band, as usual with Rock n Roll races, and I’d say 10 of the 13 were playing something with a least a hint of country in its sound.  I can’t recall whether it was at Mile 2 or Mile 3, but that band had a female lead singer and was blasting out Ready to Run by the Dixie Chicks, which I thought was pretty dead on with 10+ miles to go.  Other course support, including police, water station staff, cheering fans and boomboxes sounding out Eye of the Tiger was wonderful for all 13.1 miles.  Had I been racing, the lack of timers at the 5K, 10K and 10 mile marks might have bothered me, but this time I was OK with it.  By the end of my long training rock n roll nashvillerun, I had side-fived a group of Boy Scouts, without missing one (!), cheered a few fellow Phillies fans, sung along with the bands to the best of my ability, stayed relaxed and actually had an altogether good time, all of which made for a fantastic race.

Walking through the Finisher chute, I received the usual overload of Rock n Roll goodies, including a very heavy medal.  As Doug and I walked to Broadway Brewhouse, we stopped so I could return my long sleeve top to my now chilly, sweaty body and slide on a light, unrestrictive pair of flip flops.  When we resumed walking, that well built medal was banging against my chest so hard, I took it off and looped it through my backpack.  Lauren met us there after her Finish, and we celebrated a pair of good runs.  rock n roll nashville

Then it was off to lunch at Rock Bottom and afternoon naps.  Wanting to avoid the evening mayhem on Broadway, the three of us went to the new, trendy Gulch area and selected The Pub for our celebratory meal.  A fun atmosphere, The Pub serves English food and has a huge bar that’s home to a wide selection of drinks, including my favorite bourbon, Bulleit.  Our server, Morgan, was adorable and helpful, and each of us thoroughly enjoyed our meal and, of course, our cheese cake and cookie sundaes.  Honestly, what would a celebration be without ice cream!

With a completely successful day in the books for both runners and support team members, or member, we made for our rental and hit the hay ready to sleep in on Sunday morning.  Rock n Roll Nashville was an entertaining and enjoyable experience I’d love to repeat in the future, especially if I get to eat at The Pub again.


Have you run the Rock n Roll Nashville?  Are you looking to in the future?

Road Trip Nashville 2014

I’m back!  Nashville was a blast.  Visiting the city to run the Rock n Roll Nashville Country Music Marathon, and not set a PR, was exactly what I needed to keep my ‘running is fun‘ mindset.  I had a great race, stay tuned for the recap this week, got to explore a new and exciting city, and, of course, any road trip is always fun.

My fellow runner friend Lauren joined Doug and I on the trip, and Lauren’s mom and sister were also heading to town from Indiana to run (walk) with us.  The drive from Virginia Beach nashvillewas close to 11 hours, including a few stops and two traffic jams, but the scenery through the mountains was pretty and we arrived earlier than expected.

We stayed at a wonderful vacation rental and upon our arrival, the owner filled us in on the local scene.  The three of us got ready to go see what Nashville had to offer, then walked to the nearby Italian restaurant Bella Napoli Pizzeria so Lauren and I could get our carb load on.  After a scrumptious meal, we called a cab and prepared to take on the town.  A walk down bustling, live music filled Broadway led us to Honky Tonk Central, where we stepped into the three story, crowded, energetic and loud bar for one adult soda.  Tired from traveling all day, we were in the mood for something a bit quieter and found Fleet Street Pub on Painter’s Alley.  We drank imported beer and played nashvilledarts for a few hours before heading home.  It was a wonderful first night in Nashville.

Friday morning we eased into the day, then made our way to the Expo.  I picked up my number and swag, then moved up to Corral 2 before exploring the exhibitors while Lauren shopped for shoes.  The expo was crowded as expected, but we both breezed through packet pick-up and only got caught in the crowds once we entered the exhibitor area.  The massive Music City Center is an impressive affair, and as we left, we met up with Lauren’s parents for lunch.  We had lunch at Rock Bottom Brewery on Broadway, which was as yummy as always, then went to check out the Country Music Hall of Fame.   The Hall of Fame was very interesting, and I learned a lot I didn’t know about the history of nashvillecountry music and how it’s helped to shape landscape of American music as a whole.  Naps and showers followed, then Lauren went to have dinner with her family, while Doug and I noshed on Mexican inspired offerings a Taco Mamacita.  Another delicious meal, good service paired perfectly with the fresh and unique food.

Once we all returned home, we pinned our numbers to our race attire, packed our gear bags and hit the hay.  A 5am wake up on Race Day kicked off my Country Music Half Marathon, but my next post recaps the race and our post-race activities, and I don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll skip to Sunday morning.

A leisurely wake up, we packed the car and started to head home.  We  dropped Lauren off at nashvillenashvillethe car her family had left for her outside of downtown then Doug and I took a detour to The Hermitage.  A stunning property, neither of us knew much about it.  We walked through the Mansion, Museum and grounds while learning the Hermitage’s story and a bit more about the Jackson family.  Here we are in Rachel’s beloved garden, and on the right is where both Andrew and Rachel were laid to rest.

After arriving home Sunday night, I was glad I had Monday to recover.  It was a wonderful weekend, full of friends, running and history in a great city.  I certainly recommend a visit to Nashville when you have the opportunity, and be sure to check out Broadway, The Country Music Hall of Fame and the Heritage while you’re there.


Have you been to Nashville?  Would you like to go?  If you’ve been, did you enjoy it?

Rest Week Begins

It’s Rest Week.  A great performance (new PR!) in the Rock n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon and a tough Eagles loss left me ready for seven days without breaking a serious sweat.  Spending the weekend in Philly was a blast and it’s always nice to see Mom and Dad.  My left knee was stiff and sore this morning, but after moving around a bit it loosened up just in time to hop back in the car and head back to Virginia Beach.

I arrived home with enough time to unpack before teaching a cloudy evening Boot Camp.  After Boot Camp a light dinner accompanied a DVRed viewing of Boardwalk Empire and I’ll be hitting the hay early tonight for more Boot Camp in the morning.  Tomorrow’s early Beach Boot Camp is set to be both chilly and very windy with 20 mile an hour winds being called for, so I’m looking forward to another day bundled up in a fluffy hoodie.  Working out usually follows Tuesday morning Camp, but I have this week off and won’t be lifting any weights at all.

Rest Week means there will be no Tuesday Two a Day, but a short, easy pace two mile recovery run tomorrow will get my muscles back in gear.  I’ll spend the rest of the morning with my wonderful clients and then finish up my official review of yesterday’s race.  I’ve already started working on my schedule for 2014, and with 47 states left on my Running All 50 States list, want to get a few more crossed off.  I’m currently registered for the Shamrock Half Marathon in March, but I’ve already crossed Virginia off the list.  To take care of Tennessee, South Carolina and Delaware, I’m leaning towards adding the Rock N Roll Nashville in April, the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon in October and Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon in December to the calendar.

Have suggestions for my 2014 calendar?  Let me have ’em!