Monday, May 2, 2011

Nashville Country Music 1/2 Marathon

Saturday was my final double digit long run before I seek revenge with a little thing I like to call 26.2 miles aka The Cleveland Marathon.  Shortly before last year's Cleveland Marathon my friend Deb came up with the crazy goal of running a 1/2 marathon in all 50 states.  Since we all know that distance runners can be a little crazy sometimes, I loved her goal and immediately agreed to working towards it!  The Country Music 1/2 was our 5th state.  The other states we have completed so far include Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas.  This weekend's 1/2 fit perfectly into my training schedule and I got to spend a long weekend with my best friend so it was a win-win situation!  Normally my goal in a 1/2 marathon is to finish in under 2 hours however Nashville was going to be played out differently.  In talking with my friend Dave, he suggested I run marathon pace, enjoy the scenery, the music, and the spectators along the course.  In other words, soak it all in and remember the course as opposed to just being focused on the clock.  We flew into Nashville Thursday evening and headed out for some dinner, came back to our hotel, and decided we would do a little shopping Friday morning and then head to the expo a bit later as Kara Goucher would be there at 3.  I was very excited about this as I just purchased her book and I was looking forward to meeting her and having my book signed.
Kara Goucher

Getting my book signed

Deb getting her book signed

Signed copy!!

We did a little bit of shopping at the expo, met Kara and had our books signed and then headed to Amerigo for dinner.  We had some yummy pasta and a drink and headed back to the hotel to get ready everything ready for the morning.  As I pinned my back bib,which I purchased from races2remember, to my tank top I thought about the fact that I was also running my 13.1 miles for my "Uncle" Joe.  He was recently diagnosed with esphogeal cancer and is currently receiving chemo.
Fast forward to Saturday morning and we are up at 5:30 AM to get ready to head to the start.  Nikki made it into town Friday night and her family would be giving us a ride to the start line.  It worked out perfectly because we didn't have to take the shuttles and get up really early!!  Little extra sleep is always nice!!  As we are in the truck heading to the start line, I realize I had forgotten my Garmin in the hotel...FAIL...pace blind running here I come.  I had told Nikki that I planned to run marathon pace so I would probably be by her for a lot of the race but if it bothered her I would run elsewhere.  Since Nikki had put her finish time down as 2:15, we all started in her corral.  While waiting for the race to start we talked to a few people and got a quick picture taken and we were off.

Before the race
After about a quarter of a mile or so I asked another runner what pace her Garmin had us at.  She mentioned we were running 10:27 pace and then told me to feel free to ask her anytime throughout the run.  I settled us into a pace and then we relied on Nikki's I-phone and the clocks on the course for timing.  We held pretty steady at 10:00 minute mile pace for a vast majority of the race.  As the heat increased and the hills greeted us, our pace slowed ever so slightly to just over 10:00 minute miles.  Nikki did a great job and mentioned that she enjoyed running with me because it felt more like a training run than a race.  I had told my cousin I would text her when we got to mile 12.  As I got my phone out to send her a text, she sent me one asking how we were doing.  I let her know where I was and mentioned that I would be done in a little over ten minutes.  I figured out where she and "Uncle" Joe and Dalton were and moved to that side to finish.  As I ran towards the finish line I had my eyes peeled for them.  I didn't see them and I crossed the finish in 2:12:45.  Right after I got my medal my cousin called my name and I walked over to them and immediately hugged "Uncle" Joe and couldn't stop crying.  He told me I shouldn't be crying and that I should be walking.  Through the tears we took some great pictures!  All 13.1 of those miles were for "Uncle" Joe! 

Trinity and I

Dalton and I

"Uncle" Joe and I.  I couldn't hold back the tears.

Happy to be done

13.1 for you "Uncle" Joe
Nikki finished less than a minute behind me and was able to find me right away.  After talking with my family for a few more minutes they headed home and Nikki and I headed back to the fnish line to watch for Deb.  At this point I realized I still had my armband on and quickly took it off but it was too late...I have a nice tan line there.  I also realized my sunscreen fail by the end of the race because I had some nice red shoulders which could have been avoided had I remembered my sunscreen but of course it was back in the hotel with my Garmin! 

State number 5 complete
We headed back to the hotel and showered and headed to The Cheesecake Factory for Lunch with Nikki and her family.  After lunch Deb and I went back to our room and took a nice long nap.  Saturday evening we met my cousin for dinner at The Capitol Grille.  It was delicious!  We finished up the evening by stopping at Coyote Ugly...all I can say is was quite an experience....definitely good people watching!!

Sunday morning we packed everything up and headed to breakfast at the Pancake Factory where we waited in line for an hour for a table.  It was totally worth the wait.  The pancakes were delicious and the hashbrowns were to die for!!

Yummy chocolate chip pancakes
We arrived back in Cleveland last night and I am ready to finish up my training.  I have a date with a starting line in less than 2 weeks!  Bring it on Cleveland....

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!


  1. great job, and I totally would've cried the whole race. love that you ran for uncle joe

  2. Great race and cause girl! So excited for your redemption run in Cleveland! Looking forward to finally meeting you!

  3. Great race :) I would love to run a half marathon or even just a race in general in all the states.

  4. Way to go Jodi!!! Nice job!

  5. Go Jodi! What a great day for you!

  6. Watch out Cleveland!

    What a great report--I look forward to taking it easy in a half this summer, taking pictures, running with friends. What a different feel over racing...

    When you start looking at your races in Oregon and Washington, let me know. I've got all kinds of thoughts and (unsolicited) advice!

  7. Great job! Loved reading your report!

  8. Great job! I got a little emotional reading your post... its wonderful that you ran for uncle joe!!

  9. I am super jealous that you met KARA! I love her. I am hoping she will be at an expo that I am at one day so I can get her autograph, picture and say hi

  10. So happy for you! Glad you liked your Back Bib as well!!

    Molly from