I ditched my poncho to swap for one of those tinfoil blankets that you always see people wrapped in at the end of races. I’m guessing that they probably do a great job of keeping people warm in normal conditions, but in downpouring rain, it didn’t do a heck of a lot.
I didn’t really have anything to do after the race but I felt like it should be more of a climactic experience so I did stick around for a bit to see what would happen. I grabbed the free beer that was allotted to me as a registered runner and gulped that down under a tent that had tons and tons of racers squeezed into. I bought a couple extra “Run Now” bracelets. I checked out the merchandise. And then I was freaking as cold as I could handle and went to find the shuttle bus waiting area to get back to my hotel.
I made some friends on the bus. Because that’s what I do. And realized what a small world it is as both the friends I made had connections to the places I had recently traveled or will be traveling. Small, small world.
Returning back to the hotel, I have to say again, how amazing the staff at the Courtyard Marriott Vanderbilt/West End in Nashville were. They had towels, water, and Gatorade waiting for runners as we returned back sopping wet to the hotel. They were just incredible.
I was so cold returning to my room, I first hopped into the shower and just warmed up. I then finally sat down and basked in what had happened and what I had just accomplished. I had just had the MOST fun running 13.1 miles in the rain and had achieved a goal I’d had for months. A goal that previously had been so far off my radar that it wasn’t even fathomable as a goal.
I texted, tweeted, and made phone calls to return messages and let people know I finished. When I am happy I am the friendliest person in the world. This is how I ended up chatting with the housekeeping woman who had come in to clean my room for a while. I asked for her help as to which picture from post-race I should post to Facebook. The one of me in my poncho? Or wrapped in the tinfoil blanket?
She voted tinfoil blanket, which is why I posted this pic to Facebook. Although now that I am looking at them on the computer I think the poncho one is cuter? I dunno. I'm vain.
But you guys... I have to say... you are AMAZING! 117 "Likes" and 21 comments. I honestly don’t know how to put in to words how incredible it felt to continue to see the amount of people who had “Liked” my photo increase. And read your congratulations. You all made me feel so loved.
And something also amazing that really surprised and excited me was receiving a tweet from someone who let me know she reads my blog. Someone I’ve never met before and who lives in a different state as I do, felt connected enough to send me a message to wish me good luck in the half marathon. To me, that is incredible!! Receiving that message just added to what was already an insanely satisfying and emotional day.
I met up with M and J after relaxing a bit and was so so ready to eat my face off and have a beer or two. The rain was pouring again as we walked to a restaurant so yeah, I got soaked again for the second time in the day. It was nice being dry for those few hours though! The place we went to lunch has the most amazing nachos that I could have eaten entirely as my meal. Yum.
And the beers weren't half bad themselves.
|Picture of success!|
I also apparently also didn’t realize the extent of the rain while I was actually running. I made a comment about the heavy rain along the lines of, “At least it wasn’t raining this hard while I ran!” and they both stared at me and said, “Uhh what are you talking about? It was raining just as hard while you ran!” Woops. Rosy colored glasses, maybe?
I wore my race medal the whole day as we went from bar to bar and restaurant from restaurant checking out the downtown Nashville scene.
I was so excited and proud of it and proud of what I had accomplished that morning. The high that I was on was the most incredible and amazing thing I had ever felt in my life. I felt like I could do anything and be anything and nobody could hurt me. It was so fun to bar hop and just relax and enjoy Nashville. M and J were incredible friends to have with me and I just thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed the night.
Two of my favorite places we went to were first a bar called Legends, where they had great live music where we danced a lot and Elvis impersonator!
And later we went to a bar called the Wild Horse Saloon that had line dancing lessons and a great atmosphere. We had a really fun time.
Untilll.... we went to go home and saw that the rain was downpouring YET again. After trying desperately (along with the rest of the city) to get a cab, we tried to book it back to M & J’s hotel. Unfortunately my legs were shot at this point in the night and I just couldn’t run any more. I waddled/hobbled my way through torrential downpours (no exaggeration... we were getting flash flood warnings to our phones.) I felt like I had barely been dry for the entire day at this point.
My bed never felt so cozy that night but I had a hard time sleeping. I think it was the incredible adrenaline and excitement and pure happiness that was all throughout me at this period of time. It had been an amazing, amazing day. I kept thinking of how proud I was of myself and getting choked up. I kept thinking of the whole morning as being another life. It had happened to someone else. It wasn’t my accomplishment and I had just been an observer. But no, it was all mine. I had done it and achieved something that was really extraordinary for me. And nobody can ever take that away.
I know I’ve done some really great things and achieved things in the past that are hard for a lot of people -- losing weight for example. However, this feels different. Maybe it is because losing weight is something I always knew I could do. I’ve had varying success at losing weight since my earliest days of middle school/high school when weight became an issue. Managing my weight has been something that I have fought with, worked on, and achieved varying success with over the years. However, running a half marathon wasn’t something that was in the “achievable” category for me. It was in the “that’s for someone else” category. Not even attainable or reachable by myself. I always knew I could lose weight if I set my mind to it. I never knew I could be a runner.
And I feel I can confidently say at this point. I am. I am a runner. And one who is so, so proud. Proud to be able to say that. Proud of the running community I am a part of. Proud to be associated with such dedicated, persevering people. And mostly, as well as most importantly, I am seriously so so, inexplicably and truly proud of MYSELF. XOXO.
P.S. I plan to buy this pic, so please don't copyright sue me. K? Thanks.