Friday, March 27, 2015

Tennessee 2015: Mar 22-27

Sunday, Mar 22:
Flew out to Nashville early in the morning.  Started the day by re-visiting the Parthenon and the campus of Vanderbilt, which I visited five years ago, when I did my post-college / post-injury comeback race of the Country Music Half Marathon.    In my old races, when I was still relatively new to it, I'd remember details about every mile.  Everything would be remarkable.  Nowadays, I remember less about each particular mile.  Perhaps I could conjure it up if I wanted to, but maybe the details are less remarkable after you've seen them repeatedly, or maybe I'm more able to get into the zone and just focus on how my body is feeling.

After that, I headed to lunch at M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers.  One of my goals for the trip was to have BBQ, and they had a couple of my favorites, all in one dish: BBQ pulled pork over Sweet Potato Fries, with local beer bottle caps to add to my collection.

After that, I browsed a Whole Foods.  It's odd... I like to visit Whole Foods no matter what city I'm in, if I get a chance... I've been to NY's, Chicago's, and now, Nashville's.  I'll be adding Boston to that list next month.

After that, I headed to Percy Warner Park, which the internet suggested as a good trail running spot in the Nashville area.  I had contemplated just hiking it, earlier in the day, since I had already had three days in a row of running.  However, I couldn't resist doing a run there, especially since my Running Log for this year comes with a page with a map of the world, where you can pinpoint places where you've run.  I'm not sure yet how much international travel I'll get to do this year, but I'm certainly getting a good spread of North American cities (Los Angeles, Montreal, Chicago, and now Nashville).  Each had been pretty spectacular and unique for the city.  This park was good for what is was, which was a local park.  There were lots of trail networks within the park, and to avoid confusion or trail-hunting, I stuck with the most straightforward, largest trail, which happened to be a horse trail loop around the perimeter of the park.  It ended up being about 6.5 miles (I was expecting 8).  It was rutted from horse shoes and pluff muddy in some sections.  My once decent-looking shoes got pretty coated... there was no avoiding it.  The sights weren't spectacular (no waterfalls or stunning vistas), but the inclines/declines were pretty reasonable... challenging, but not too slowing.  It would be nice to live in that area, and to be able to take advantage of that trail often.  It did epitomize the area (woods, mountains), like the Parc-du-Mont-Royal in the snow epitomized Montreal, and Griffith Park with the Hollywood Sign and the Pacific Coast Highway Beaches epitomized Los Angeles and Lakeshore Drive and the Magnificent Mile with the Bean epitomized Chicago

After that, I checked into the hotel before heading out to the Grand Ole Opry, for a repeat of my first Nashville trip.  I visited the first time right after the half marathon, so walking was a bit hard then.  My legs were pretty tired this time, too, after 4 days of running in a row (2 days in a row used to be a big deal to me).  It was fun to re-visit, and it made me miss my Dad, since he had accompanied me during the first trip.  I facetimed him while I was there, though.

Rested on Monday.  Had more BBQ at "Judge Bean's" in Brentwood, TN.  Had brisket and pulled pork, with "Cowboy beans" and green beans.  Delicious.

Tuesday, Mar 24:
9pm treadmill run.  6.0 in 49:32, 8:15 average at 2 degrees of incline = 7:55 effort.  The run went surprisingly well and easy.  I had nearly decided to bike, instead, so I'm glad I went for the run, so that I could one of my weekday runs out of the way.

Wednesday, went out to Printer's Alley in downtown, which is known for restaurants and live music.  We stopped at Bourbon Street for Cajun food and Blues.  It was great, and it was another item to check off the bucket list... live music from artists trying to make it in Nashville.  Gil Gann was fantastic, able to play a wide range of music, with lots of feeling.  He's funny and entertaining, when he interacts with the crowd.  At one point, a random old white guy "Jersey Mike" asked the support guitarist if he could play along on the piano, and they let him, and it turned into an impromptu jam session.  The three of them were able to play together as if they practiced together all the time.  It was awesome to watch.

Thursday, Mar 26:
4.3 in 35:10, 8:11 ave @ 2 degrees incline = 7:51 effort.  Wasn't sure if legs would wake up enough to manage a run, but they did, once I forced them to run at 6am.  It ended up going pretty easily, although I stopped 0.7-1.7mi earlier than I could've gone, since someone came in and looked like they wanted to use the treadmill next.  It was ok, though, since I did some arm weights afterwards.

Friday, Mar 27:
55 min strength session in the hotel room, in the morning

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