Choosing this half marathon would fulfill three things: 1) It crosses Tennessee of the half marathon in every state list, 2) it is drivable from Indiana and 3) we get to me “new to us” family. My husband discovered he has a cousin in Franklin, TN which is super close to Nashville thus we would get to meet him & his family.
We left Indiana around 9:00am Friday morning. It was approximately a 4 1/2 to 5 hour drive. We hit some construction near the bottom of Kentucky but it didn’t really factor in to our drive time. It was more annoying than anything. It started raining as we approached Tennessee. This would be a theme for the weekend.
We found our hotel (the Union Station Hotel), checked in and then walked to the Expo, which took place at the Nashville Convention Center. As per usual, Rock ‘n’ Roll has a ginormous expo. And while I don’t need another technical shirt, I bought two (plus lets not forget that the race gives you one!), my husband bought a jacket, we got an event pin for our state map and a magnet. We hadn’t even left the Brooks section yet! Upon checking out of THAT section, we walked over & got our parking wristbands and then Kara Goucher was speaking so we walked over the stage area and listened to her for a bit. More walking around = more purchasing. We saw that Kara was talking pictures and signing autographs so we got in line. It didn’t take too long and she was super nice & gracious.
Across from the convention center is the Bridgestone Arena where the Nashville Predators play. Scrolling on their outside marquee was a list of upcoming concerts. Listed was George Jones. Oddly, he had died that morning. Someone needs to change that sign.
Back to the hotel to touch base with my husband’s cousin & we determined that we would meet at Applebee’s at 6:30pm. It wasn’t very far from the hotel and thank goodness for OnStar!
Dinner was nice and two of Brian’s children were able to come as well. But we had an early wake up call (and the kids got a little restless) so we said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel.
We were still trying to figure out what we were going to do in the morning about transportation. Although we paid for the parking upgrade that meant we had to leave super early. But…the forecast was for rain all day (this would NOT be a lie), so do we walk to the start line which was less than 2 miles away? But then how would we get back from the finish line. Finally we decided to suck it up and drive. The alarm was then set for 4:30am. Since it was going to be raining all day, I wouldn’t take a shower prior & only shave my legs.
We got to the parking area in plenty of time and at that point it was only drizzling. After some confusion about what we were suppose to do with our gear check, we got on a shuttle and headed to the start area. We waited in the Platinum area, cycled through the bathrooms and tried to wait until the very last possible moment to go outside. The rain was falling harder at this point. We had someone take our picture inside since I knew we would be soggy doggies by the time the race was over. The forecast was for 70% chance of rain the entire time. But alas, it was time to go. Good luck kisses and we headed to our corrals.
I have no picture of this race from along the course because it was raining so hard the entire time. It’s a shame too because it would have been a nice course otherwise. The hills were somewhat of a killer for me since in flat ol’ Indiana, I do not train for them. And of course, there was the rain. I wore my lovely black trash bag up until the 13 mile marker and then I went all Incredible Hulk and ripped it off before the last turn prior to the finish line.
I texted my husband to tell him I was done but he was already in the truck trying to get warm. He tried to come back in but they wouldn’t let him. So no finishers picture together this time. The winds had started to pick up too as I walked to the truck. I felt bad for all the folks still out there on the course, especially those doing the marathon. Getting out of the parking lot was a bit of a cluster but we finally made it back to the hotel. John showered first and wanted to stay in the warm water longer but he said it felt like it was running out. So yes, when it was my turn, the water was barely warm. Everyone in the hotel must have been showering at that moment.
We went down to the hotel restaurant for brunch. The food was good but our waiter was awful. It was then back up to the room for a nap. Later in the afternoon we walked over to the Country Music Hall of Fame for a tour. It was nice but I was tired so I’m not sure I enjoyed it to the full extent. There was a memorial for George Jones there.
Back to the hotel where we went down to the bar so my husband could reload on carbs (hee hee ) and then we waited on his cousin to get there. One of the craziest things this weekend was that we saw a post on Facebook that two of our friends that live in Kansas (I was just there last weekend but didn’t get to see them) were also in Nashville so we made plans to meet up with them too. Every now and then, the world can be a very small place. We went to a couple of honky tonks but we called it a night around 10:00pm. It had already been a very long day – even with a small nap in the afternoon. As luck would have it as we walked UPHILL back to out hotel, it started raining.
When Kansas meets Indiana in Tennessee.