Over the last few years, a few of my friends and I have spent one weekend a year getting together to run a race (which may include anything from a 5k to a half marathon) and to just spend some quality time together. We basically use this ‘running weekend’ as an excuse to get together, have girl time, and flat out have some fun! This year, our 4th Annual Girls Running Weekend took us to Nashville, TN to participate in the St. Jude’s Rock n Roll event! Oh boy, were we excited!
We have had this epic girls trip planned for a solid 10 months. Knowing how busy these Rock n Roll events are and how fast hotels and registration fills up, I knew we had to act fast in order to find a great location to stay (for the best price too!) and the lowest fare possible for race registration. Therefore, I headed straight to Airbnb and started to browse for locations around the start and finish line area. After doing some pretty heavy research I found a spot that looked perfect. Only a mile away from both the start (Broadway area–for those that don’t know it’s the hot spot downtown with all the bars) and finish line (Nissan Stadium). We had a fantastic view of the river and this condo even had a pool! Did someone say pool?! Sign me up! Needless to say, I booked the condo as quickly as I could since these steal of a deals go quick. In the end, we had managed to snag a great condo to stay in a perfect part of town. We got lucky. I mean, check out that view!
Once we rolled into town (did I mention it was an 8 hour drive for me and a 14 hour drive for my friends?!), the first thing we had to do was go to the Nashville Music City Center (convention center) to grab our race packets. From personal experience (running numerous rock n roll events), I highly suggest going to packet pick-up on Thursday to beat the crowds of people showing up from out of town on Friday who then go to packet pick-up. No waiting in lines and we were able to sail thru the whole process of picking up our bib numbers, shirts, concert tickets, and beer wrist bands. We even had enough time for a photo opp.
After packet pick-up, we dropped off all our luggage at the condo, got ready and hit the city for some sight-seeing! I was so excited to get out there and explore Nashville and see all the glory that the city has to offer. A few of my bucket-list items were to travel to Nashville, to participate in the RnR Nashville half marathon, and to see the bluebird cafe. Unfortunately, due to some medical reasons I had to drop down from the half marathon to the 5k event. I think that just means I have to travel back to Nashville again some day to run that half marathon! AND maybe next time I’ll get lucky enough to snag some tickets into the Bluebird Cafe.
Outside of running, the girls and I did a lot of sight-seeing, museum tours, and of course bar-hopping. A trip to Nashville wouldn’t be complete without bar-hopping downtown on Broadway, right?! Another iconic spot to see in Nashville worthy of your time are these angel wings in The Gulch neighborhood! So beautiful! There was another smaller set of wings that kids and pets could use. I’m very tempted to photo shop my dogs into that picture with the small wings. #crazydogmom
The amount of bachelor/bachelorette parties we saw were ridiculous. We met one crazy bunch from Canada on a trolley tour. Let’s just say the two times we met and hung out we were being told that we were too loud and rowdy. That doesn’t sound like us does it?!
I will say, if you are in Nashville, I highly recommend seeing a few museums that are there. A couple of my favorites was the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and The Ryman. Sadly, we didn’t have enough time to see The Grand Ole Opry, so hopefully I can add that to the list of activities for the next trip back to Nashville!
Saturday morning, race morning. Early morning alarms are going off and we’re all trying to find time in the bathroom. Story of every runner’s life on race morning.
(Racing Tip: always take with you extra toilet paper to the start line. Most of the time the porta-potties are out of toilet paper and therefore you won’t be stranded when you really need some, if you know what I’m saying).
A couple of my friends and I head out the door to the 5k start line in which two of us will be participating in. It’s always nice having a small cheering squad for you on the sideline and always very much appreciated! My other two friends were the only ones brave enough to take on the challenging half marathon course (lots of hills!). We did, however, get blessed with beautiful running weather this year compared to years past. So we will take it!
To be completely honest, I have zero recollection of the 5k race course. I was too preoccupied with looking down so that I wouldn’t trip over anyone, step in a hole, or to watch for others who cut you off. Proper running etiquette is a big thing for me (I’ve been running competitively for 16 years) and I get quite upset when someone doesn’t pay attention and either stops immediately in front of you and/or in the middle of the road. Please, please if you have to stop and walk, get yourself to the side of the road without running into anyone and then stop and walk once you are to the side of the road. Remember, runners are in the middle of the road and walkers are on the side/edge of the road. With that being said, the whole course is a blur but the only thing I can say that I remember is that the last stretch to the finish line was all downhill. Just the way I like it.
Overall, I loved being a part of a ‘running crew’ who took on Nashville and in my opinion conquered Nashville. I’m excited to see where our 5th Annual Girls Running Weekend will take us next. Any guesses?!