Thank you Nashville and the Country Music Marathon for hosting my birthday party on April 26th!!! It was pretty awesome to have 30,000 at my party!!!
Thank you Dad & Vanda for the Birthday e-mail, I was able to read it on my phone just before the start.
Thank you Rock for the great Birthday Text message, I read it about 2 minutes before the gun, of course we didn't start for another 30 minutes but knowing that you were thinking of me at that moment was awesome!!
Thank you Brenda, Gary, Kelly, Michele, Robert and Arland for training with me and being such great friends and for running a marathon on my birthday!! I love you guys!
Thank you Mother Nature for not raining on our parade.... the rain stopped just before the start and stayed away the rest of the day. We could have done without the sun BUT we are thankful for the cooler temps and no rain so I am NOT going to complain about the sun and heat later in the race... although it did get kind of warm!!
Thank you Bailey for the Text messages and the Birthday song left on my voice mail. I didn't hear the song until later but of course you know it made me cry!! Oh and by the way I read your text messages while in a port-a-pottie... multi tasking... ya know ;)
Thank you CMM for having so many port a potties along the course!!!
Thank you Jack in the Box for being open and having clean bathrooms!!!
Thank you to all the volunteers who did such a great job at all of the aid stations!!!
Thank you Nashville residents who came outside and set up your own aid stations along the way.
Thank you Nashville kids for all the high fives... some of you were outside for hours and we all appreciate it so much!! The crowd support for this marathon was pretty awesome!
Yes is it did thin out a little big after the 1/2 split from the full but I still thought it was awesome!
Thank you Andy's friends who included me in the birthday song you sang to Andy and the "other lady" me... during the first 1/2... I don't remember what mile it was, but it was pretty early in the race.
Thank you Michele and Kelly for running the first half with me. I had promised myself I would run my own pace and not let the excitment of the race and my desire to run with the girls make me go out too fast. I did a pretty good job of keeping a conservative pace and it made the second 1/2 of the marathon bearable! Kelly and Michele would get a little ahead but always within eyesight and then they would walk or slow down so I could catch up. We stayed together until after the 1/2.
Thank you everyone who shouted out great skirt!!
Thank you Bailey for the GREAT running shirt you had made for me. On the back it said "Annette is Rockin Nashville" and "My second first marathon"
Thank you Vicki for asking me why Nashville was my second first marathon. I heard other people read my shirt and talk about it to their running partners but you were the first person who asked me about it. Turns out that Vicki was from Chicago and understood immediately. We ran together for about a mile and I think at first we both thought we might get to run the rest of the race together, but she was too fast for me and I lost her at the next aid station. I did get to see her at the turn around during the last leg of the race, she looked great!!! Oh and she also was rockin a pink skirt!!
Thank you Rob for being my beacon... Rob was wearing a bright yellow shirt and we played leap frog quite a bit during the last 1/2. At some point we finally started a conversation and although we never ran together for very long it was always great to see his shirt ahead of me... well sometimes he was ahead and sometimes he was behind.
Thank you Nashville Cheerleaders!!!! There were ton's of cheerleaders from schools all over Nashville and they did such an awesome job. I wonder if any of them could still talk the next day???? You guys always seemed to pop up right when I needed you!!!
Thank you for the Down Hills... really the course wasn't as hilly as I thought it would be. I did hear a lot of people saying they wished they would have done more hill training... I was usually passing them while they were saying that!!!
Thank you Cabot for being hilly!!!
Thank you CMM for all the port a potties... oh did I already say that .. well it bears repeating and I know that Kelly feels the same way!! Unfortunately we both had to visit quite a few of them!!
Thank you stomach for never really causing me too much trouble... yes I did have to "use" the port a potties a lot but luckily it was never an emergency situation. I never had to stop in the middle of the course and cross my legs like I sometimes do during training runs!!
Thank you Cheryl for calling me around mile 20 and giving me so much encouragment!!!
Thank you Mom for being with me during part of the race.. it was mile 9, I knew you were with me when I suddenly felt like I was floating on air, and then when the breeze played with my cheek. You kept me going for a long time. I remember asking you to stay with me as long as possible, I said thank you Mom, but it's only mile 9 so don't leave me. I know you are pretty busy up there in heaven so you couldn't stay with me the whole race, but I am so happy for the time I did have. I miss you!
Thank you Body for not falling apart. I went into the race with a chest cold and a sore right calf/hamstring, and although I "felt" my leg the whole time and also had problems with my left foot the pain was never unbearable. There were also a couple of times when I had some coughing problems but they never lasted long. I do wish I would have had something to blow my nose on... that was a big problem!!! LOL
Thank you medical tents!! I had to stop somewhere in the first 5 miles to get some vaseline to slather on my chest. You should have seen some of the looks I got!!! I had applied body glide everywhere except to the area on my chest where my sports bra always chaffes me. Usually I don't feel it until later but becasue of the rain before the start I started off with a wet sports bra and I was really starting to feel it.
I also stopped at a medical tent around mile 17 or so to take to Tylenol. I have never taken anything during a long run or a race but the pain was starting to get to me.
Thank you Shannon for being in the exact right spot at the beginning of the finishing chute... I needed that extra bit of energy you gave me.
Thank you Brenda, Michele, Arland and Gary for also being there at the finish to cheer me in. I did finish really strong and it felt great to really run across a Marathon finish line. Take that Chicago!!! LOL
I could go on forever with the thank you's but I guess I should wrap this up. I had an awesome experience and could go on forever about it. I wanted to finish in 5 hours and I didn't meet that goal, but when I crossed the finish line I was healthly, I didn't throw up and I could still walk. Maybe that means I didn't put enough effort into the marathon but whatever, I am happy.
I did try to get a couple of Nashville Motorcycle policemen to give me a ride to the finish line. I asked if they would give me a ride but the policeman said it would be $50.00 and they were going the other way. LOL
I had so many moments with a lot of people on the course. I thanked Rob and Vicki but there were many more that would give me a shout out or run with me for a little while. All of those people helped me make it through this marathon and I wish I could thank them all personally.
The biggest thank you has to go to ARLAND... I love you baby and thank you for always supporting me and encouraging me. I know there have been times when you think I'm crazy but you never stop supporting me.