I am a runner, although I haven’t run since last weekend. But, last weekend I had a blast running. I’m not very competitive, but I have been known to work really hard to beat my time in half marathons. Runners call them PRs (Personal Records), and it’s fun when you break them.
I ran the Women’s Running Magazine women’s half marathon in Nashville last weekend. I ran it last year with three friends that were virgin half marathoners. That was a blast to see people do something really challenging that they’d never done before. We vowed we’d come back in 2012 with some more first timers. It didn’t pan out that way, but three of us, Jill, Shelly and myself came back to run it again.
I had not done any speed work or hard training this year due to other life priorities, so I decided early on that I would take pictures, talk to people and just enjoy the party. That’s what those big races are – moving festivals. They have live music, fun spectators, people running in costumes, great after parties and lots of food and beer. Runners are fun, and we like to party.
I love this women’s race for a couple of reasons. When you get over 4,000 women together to do something, it’s always fun. We support each other more than compete with each other, so it’s a very supportive and uplifting environment. Plus, we like to dress up. There are costumes, to be sure, but women see running clothes a whole different way than men do. We like colors and wild-looking stuff. So, it becomes another avenue to express yourself and your fashion sense.
This particular race has a 5K and a half marathon, so really anybody can do it. If you can walk a 5K, you can be part of the party. Last year, we even had a friend that didn’t run. She came to support us, and it was great to have somebody traipsing all over the race course helping us out and cheering us on. We missed Ann this year.
We shopped Friday night and had an early dinner at a mediocre restaurant. I bought a fabulous pair of Lucchese boots for half price. They had about 50 pairs of samples in my size for half price. Lucky me, only about 6 pairs of these exist, so they are practically one of a kind. I slipped them on my feet, and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Love those freaking boots! I wore them with shorts on Saturday. When in Nashville, …….
After a nap in the afternoon after the race, we, of course, went shopping. Franklin is not too far from Nashville and has some great boutique shopping. I spent a few bucks on a cool new dress for the winter. Then, we dressed up and went out in Downtown Nashville for dancing and listening to live music. Rippy’s was recommended to us as the place to go, so that’s where we headed. As soon as we walked in the door, there was a table full of middle-aged men sitting there with a bucket of beer and smiles on their faces that smacked of drinking all day long. We started chatting immediately, and Jill leaned over to me and said, “Sharon, these guys are part of a group of 30 Detroit fireman here for a bachelor party.” I said, BINGO…put your purse down.”We danced all night. It was a blast.
I’ve never been so present for a race since I wasn’t worried about speed. I stopped and talked to spectators, chatted with other racers and slowed my pace to enjoy the sights and sounds. Enjoy the pics….gals…join us next year??