Chuck Norris Never Ran a Marathon

Laura and I at the start

The morning of the Country Music Marathon came faster than I anticipated. The last week was crazy due to making our baby announcement and then the storms that came through Alabama. I was only able to squeeze in one last short workout on Tuesday and then just hoped for the best.

Throngs of people ready to run


When my friend Laura asked me if I wanted to train for the Country Music Marathon, I said sure. I had no idea that two months into training I would be pregnant or that I would go ahead and run the race at 12 weeks preggo {my doctor has been very supportive of my training and I would not have done it if I hadn’t already been training}.

We made it to Corral #1 (the official start) by 7:30 AM


Saturday morning I was up bright and early – probably just nerves. Daniel and his sister and I were headed into Nashville by 5:45 and had no problem finding a parking spot close to Vanderbilt and the start line. I was really shocked at how many people were there. I knew that there would be over 30,000 runners, but I wasn’t prepared to see so many people gathered in one place.

The starting line


I met up with Laura and her dad in Corral #24 {pace time 2:30} but we moved up to Corral #23. The race started in waves that were 1-2 minutes apart, so it was actually around 7:30 before our group left the starting line.

Running through downtown Nashville. Image via.


I was really surprised at how emotional I felt, even at the beginning of the race. I was there and doing this run with all of these other people. It kind of took my breath away. It might have also been the baby hormones talking…

Image via.
I stuck with Laura and her dad through the first mile and then they picked up the pace and I settled into a comfortable jog with the 2:30 pace group. I managed to stick with this group until mile 9.

Country Music Hall of Fame. Image via.
Daniel and Emily were there after mile marker #4 to take pictures and cheer me on. It meant so much to me to see them. Daniel actually came on the course and asked me how I was doing and gave me a kiss. They were there again around mile marker #8.

Laura and her dad close to Belmont.


Some of the hills in the first half of the race were pretty hard for me. I started walking the hills after mile #3 because my hill running was so slow and walking allowed me to lengthen my stride and really swing my arms. I think this is the only reason I didn’t have hip pain by the end of the race.

Me at about mile #4.


My brother snuck into the race right after mile marker #6. With his long legs, he was able to walk while I ran at my ridiculously slow pace. He really encouraged me, especially at the end. I am so glad he was there. When I started to feel sick from fatigue after mile #11, he talked me through it. When I needed to walk, he hung with me. He even held my hand for a little while when I was really hurting.

Me right after mile #6.


After mile marker #9 I slowed down a bit and sometime after mile marker #10 I was in the 2:45 pace group. I hung with them until mile marker #11, and then I finally had to walk. I walked until about mile 12.5 and then I found the energy to run the last 0.5 miles across the bridge to the finish. You make a right hand turn after the bridge to the finish line and I literally sprinted to the end. It felt amazing.

My brother Mark and I after mile #8.


Emotionally I thought I was going to break down and cry every time there was a band playing or whenever I saw all of the spectators with their signs of encouragement – the funniest one I saw was “Chuck Norris Never Ran a Marathon.” I gave high fives to countless numbers of little boys cheering on the racers. At the end I thought I would sob through the finish, but I managed to hold it together.

The finish line.


At the finish there were so many people I found myself very disoriented. Thank goodness I had my cell phone or I would have never found Daniel and Emily or Mark. Daniel missed my big finish, which was a bit of a disappointment, but I am so glad he and Emily were there throughout the race. 

Daniel and I after the race.


At 12 weeks pregnant, I ran a half marathon at 3:08:01. That is a slow time, but I am still proud of it. I have never been a runner and this is a huge accomplishment. I can now mark #45 off of my life list.

Mark and I after the race.

We walked across a pedestrian bridge to get back to our car.
Daniel and Emily walked 7+ miles in order to see me throughout the race!


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