I accidentally almost ran a half-marathon

Yeah, I almost ran a half-marathon today, 11.01 miles, completely on accident. I’m going to let that sit there for a second.

To put this in perspective, it’s more than I’ve run in the last 20 days COMBINED.

I ran over 11 miles when the original plan was to run 3, maybe 4. But I ended up at Percy Warner Park, which is where I ran a few weeks ago, and saw a sign that said “5.8 mile loop.” Crap, I can’t say no! Problem is, that’s the last time I saw any sign that said “5.8 mile loop.” I totally blame lack of signage for what happened this morning. It’s definitely NOT because I made 2 or 3 or 15 wrong turns.

Needless to say, I had plenty of time to come up with more things to write about! And in the 10th mile I saw 2 horses. That was the highlight of the morning, for sure. The owners let me pet them and they were beautiful, majestic, and I was really wishing I had 4 legs right about then. Although I would’ve passed on letting someone sit on me.

Here are a few screen shots of my ill-advised run…

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Percy Warner Park trail run

One of the best places to walk/run/hike in Nashville is Percy Warner Park. And there, a well-known location is “the stairs.” A friend of mine and I met there a few days ago and that’s where our trail run started. Let me just tell you, this is no walk in the park, if you’ll pardon the expression. It’s a rugged, tree-rooted, crops of rock-infused path rising to hundreds of feet from where it starts, then back down again. Here’s a view of the stairs, courtesy of Expedia. The hiking trail starts at the top of the stairs.

Expedia image of PWP stairs

image from Expedia.com

We saw some interesting things: Conan the Barbarian (or Outlander?) huffing it around the same path we were on, then saw him again sprinting up the stairs. He literally looked like a modernized caveman, but hey, he was running hard, so more power to him! We also saw a lot of people out to enjoy the beautiful weather we had that day. Then, the pinnacle of sights, a breathtaking view of downtown Nashville. A picture wouldn’t even do it justice, so you just need to go there yourself to see it. In the pic below, it’s the red peak point to the right of the gray 1 mile marker. It’s stunning.

By the end we both were exhausted. We’d climbed a total of 626.6 feet in elevation! My friend suggested as a way to finish our run, a sprint from the flag pole area up to the first wall (you can kind of see the wall in the picture above). Sooooooooo we went ahead and did that 3 times!

We’re crazy. Running with company is so much better than running alone, if only for the sake of having someone there to suffer with you. But I appreciated our conversation, and how he and I often find ourselves running side by side in the race of life, too. Here’s our course from that day…

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-Out of the Wilderness

Soaking up the rain and the sun… all in a weekend

Yesterday and today could not be more different. Both amazing in ways I made a point to appreciate. Saturday was rainy and cool. I love running in the rain so I took my running dog Asia to Percy Warner Park in west Nashville. Lots of slipping and sliding (me) and chasing squirrels (her) but we finished the 4.5 mile run safely and exhausted. It was everything I hoped it would be!20150314_175713 20150314_175728 20150314_175738 20150314_175807 20150314_175814 20150314_175827 20150314_175843 20150314_180047 20150314_180106 20150314_180112 20150314_180134Sunday, no clouds. Heat. Cool breeze. Piper’s favorite kind of weather. Mine, too. So we both soaked it in and got some vitamin D in the process. It was everything I hoped it would be!20150315_131313 20150315_135811 20150315_135959 20150315_140140 20150315_140231 20150315_140244 20150315_140308

20150315_140334-Out of the Wilderness

The Three Star-Spangled Banner: Nashville

As our nation celebrates it’s independence on July 4th, I’m celebrating the city I love. Those that live here understand there’s something special about Nashville that makes us proud to live here.

With verse one and four of our National Anthem, here’s a tribute in pictures to the great city of Nashville, Tennessee.

sun setting over 2 Rivers Greenway.

a lone tree on the shore of Percy Priest Lake.

O say can you see, by the dawns early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,

Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight.

fans crowd together for 4th of July fireworks, downtown Nashville.

O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,

steps at one of the entrances to Percy Warner Park.

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

flyover at LP Field.

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!

hot air balloon floating over middle Tennessee.

Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n rescued land

a church in downtown Nashville.

Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!

statues downtown.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

*All photos were taken by Ben Wilder*