This post is a few weeks late – but I wanted to give a re-cap of my most recent vacation/race in Nashville, TN! It was my first time in Nashville, as well as my first “destination race” and I would have to say it was a slamming success! Here’s the rundown:
The Food: Both myself and my running buddy are gluten free/dairy free, and I have a few other things I have to avoid as well. Travelling with a limited diet can be challenging, but with careful planning it can be done! It helped to have a friend looking for the same restaurants as I was. We started out at Margaritaville in downtown Nashville, where they had advertised a gluten free menu. The service was marginal, the food was worse and the prices were astronomical! I was hoping to at least get a good margarita out of the deal, but it was a yucky, corn-syrupy blend that mostly tasted like water. Not the best way to start out a trip. We were able to find a great Mexican restaurant called the Rose Pepper in East Nashville where we enjoyed some delicious gluten free veggie fajitas. We cooked our own pre-race pasta party complete with rice noodles, shrimp and veggies. It was great to have a house with a kitchen to cook in while we were there! Out post-race meal was Chipotle, and we topped off our restaurant hopping with an awesome little place called “The Pfunky Griddle”. They had gluten free pancake batter, and a celiac safe griddle for us to use at our table! Our entire group had a great time cooking our own customized pancake breakfast. Besides restaurant eating, I had packed my traveling staples: breakfast cookies, sunflower seeds, Enjoy Life Sunbutter bars, homemade power bars and some protein muffins. Of course we brought our ritual pre-race breakfast of protein pancakes as well. All in all, safe food was easy to find and we felt great!
The Fitness: Running through a new city is one of the best ways to experience it. The race was the Rock N Roll Country Music Half Marathon – so the city was jamming! There were over 30,000 of us participating in the race, and it was so fun to be a part of such a big, well run event. The course was hilly, and the weather was humid and hot, but I had a fantastic race. I finally had a race where I felt like I had trained exactly how I had planned, was well prepared, and the luck of perfect body conditions on race day. I beat my previous half marathon time by 5 minutes, so I was very pleased with the results. In our group, the 4 girls ran the half, and the brave boyfriend to tag along finished his first full. We all had a great time!
Other Fab Stuff: I love Nashville. I’m a country girl at heart, so hearing country music coming out of each restaurant and dive-bar downtown made me one happy girl. We had just enough time to take in some tourist sites, do some shopping and explore some nearby neighborhoods. I met some new great friends and can not wait for my next chance to visit the Country Music Capitol. Next time I have to hit up the 3-for-1 boot sales!