Running, Travel

Nashville Trip + Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

Nashville rock n roll half marathon

Happy Wednesday, friends. I’m back in the saddle this morning after a few days away in Nashville. We had the best time, so I’ll jump right into it.


westin Nashville

Aaron and I flew out Friday morning. We dropped the dogs off at the vet where we boarded them, and we were on our way. After a short 1.5 hour flight from Houston to Nashville – and a short Uber ride, we made it to our hotel. We stayed at the Westin Nashville, and I would stay there again in a heartbeat. It was a great location – everything was completely walkable for race weekend. We dropped our bags off and walked over to the marathon expo, which was held next door to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

country music hall of fame

I love a good race day expo, and this one stayed true to the city. There was live music – and a Dolly Parton impersonator.

Nashville rock and roll

I picked up my race bib. Side note, ladies – don’t let your husband chose your name for your race bib 🙂

Nashville rock and roll

After the expo, we headed back to the hotel to change so we could meet our friends for dinner. The reason we were in Nashville was to celebrate Richard’s (my husband’s best friend) birthday. For his big day, he wanted us all to run. race together.

city house

We made reservations ahead of time because we wanted to go to City House so we could carb load. Aaron and I ubered, but we also could have grabbed a scooter. Richard and Sarah took scooters from their hotel. We were staying at different hotels because I didn’t book in time – and Richard’s hotel was sold out. The food was delicious. Aaron and I split their cheese pizza and their gnocchi. Richard and Sarah each had a pizza. They brought Richard a birthday candle with his dessert .

After that, we headed back to the hotel to get some rest before race day.

Nashville Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

There were a series of several races, which meant that there were staggered starting times. The 5k and 10k started at 6:30. The half marathon started at 7:20. I was a bit worried about the start time, because it was supposed to be hot. And, a 7:20 start time meant starting in the sun. I lined up my race outfit, my pouch, hat, sunscreen and race day nutrition the night before the race.

half marathon

And, Aaron and I were up around 6 a.m. to get ready. I had a cup of coffee, some water and an English muffin (that I brought from home). Our hotel had a little breakfast bar set up in the lobby for people running the race, but I didn’t want to experiment with anything weird. My stomach was already not in great shape because I was nervous.

Nashville rock n roll half marathon

Sarah was running the 5K, so Richard dropped her off at the starting line and met us in our hotel lobby. Our hotel was just two blocks away from the start line. Then, we headed off to our start line. That was Aaron and I before the race. And here is Richard and Aaron.

Nashville rock n roll half marathon

We lined up in our queue, and it felt like forever before we actually started. As you can see, the sun is already out in these pictures 🙂

Aaron and Richard were going to run the full – but decided to drop down to the half when they found out how hot it was going to be. That meant that we all go to start together. It took about 15 minutes to get to the start line (I think about 18,000 were running that day), and we were off. Now, the first 8 miles of this race were hilly. There was a 900 foot elevation gain over the duration of this course, which is more than Austin and the Bearathon in Waco. This is the hilliest race I’ve run.

There were lots of water stations set up, and I alternated between water and gatorade. There were also sprinklers during certain parts of the course, and I ran through every one of those to cool down. It was going to be in the 80s that day, and I’m no stranger to running in the heat. I wasn’t exactly training for hills, so those took it out of me. But, going in to this race, I knew I wasn’t going to break any records – my goal was to have fun during my first distance race in about five years. And, I had the best time. I got out there, enjoyed seeing so many fabulous parts of Nashville. Some of my favorite parts of the course – around miles 10 and 11 (I think) were the tributes to our fallen soldiers.

Nashville rock n roll half marathon

I ate my skratch gummies around mile 8, and I just kept going. My body felt good – the only issue I had was some tightness around my knees after all those hills – around mile 11. But, I stretched them a bit and it didn’t become an issue. I crossed the finished line around 2 hours, 30 minutes. Like I said – I wasn’t breaking any records here, friends, but I’m darn proud of myself for getting out there again – in the middle of a busy season of work and life and finishing.

Nashville rock n roll half marathon

They handed out wet towels as you crossed the finish line, gatorades and water. The runners were losing lots of sodium due to the heat! Here we all are at the post-race party at the end. I got to see my husband cross the finish line, and I’m so proud of him for overcoming a hamstring injury to get back in the running game.

So, I would 100% run this race again. It takes you through some historic parts of Nashville like music row and many of their popular districts. Even though it was hilly, it was a good challenge. Now, I did hear many people comment about how humid it was – but to me – it felt great. But, keep in mind, I’m from Houston and our weather is incredibly humid.

Nashville rock n roll half marathon

After the post-race party, we walked back to our hotel to shower and get ready for lunch. I rallied (but not for long). We ate a delicious lunch at Sixty Vines – and then we all needed to take naps so we could be ready for Richard’s big birthday dinner.

oak steakhouse

After our nap, I was ready to eat again, so we headed to Oak Steakhouse, which was located right next to our hotel. Like I said before, the location was the best. We had the best dinner – and the best time recapping the race.

On Sunday, Aaron and I slept in, and we did a bit of sightseeing. We walked through the Country Music Hall of Fame, walked down Broadway, did some shopping, and we were back to the airport for our flight back to Houston before we knew it.

We had the best weekend running the Rock n’ Roll Nashville half marathon, and I would love to go back to explore the city some more. Thanks for reading along with me! Aaron, Richard, Sarah and I are plotting out our next race!


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