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2013 Knoxville Half Marathon Recap

on April 10, 2013

Well the big day finally arrived, ready or not.  And I was not.  Well, not as ready as I should have been.  I knew I should have been training more, running farther.  My longest training run prior to the race was 6.5 miles.

I had been looking forward to this race for months.  I was determined not to let the lack of training or this sinus congestion keep me out of the race.

So I got up early, took my Mucinex-D before the race (which did not help at all), ate my oatmeal, and drank 1/2 cup of coffee.  I left the house around 6:40am to drive downtown.  I had a couple of friends who were also running the race, but we just agreed to meet in the corral.

before the race

The race started at 7:30am in downtown Knoxville, next to the famous Sunsphere.

sunsphere

There were over 5,000 people there for 3 different races – 5k, Half and Full Marathon.

crowd

The weather was PERFECT!  In years past, it’s usually cold and foggy or drizzly, but this year it could not have been more perfect!  It started out at 56 degrees and only improved from there.

The first 3 miles went great as we wound through campus onto Neyland Drive.  Just after turning left on Kingston Pike, I took a quick bathroom break.  There was a short line and I knew if I didn’t go then, the line would be longer at the next one.  I was feeling really good as we turned into Sequoyah Hills and ran the length of Cherokee Blvd.  I was happy with my 10k time at 1:01.  The 7-mile mark is just at the base of the Noelton Drive hill.  Imagine the tallest, steepest hill you’ve ever seen, and this one is taller and steeper.  My strategy going in was to walk the hill.  I even ate my GU while I walked up the hill.  Sure I could have run it, but then I would have worn myself out and there’s still 6 more miles to go after that!

I felt a jolt of energy at the top of Noelton Drive, as we turned left onto Kingston Pike.  I don’t know if it was the screaming crowd of people or the GU kicking in, but I got my second wind.  I was still feeling good as we entered the Third Creek Greenway, and when I saw the sign for 9 miles, I thought it was wrong.  I didn’t think I had gone that far yet.  I started smiling.  Only 4 more miles left.

And then WHAM!  I hit the wall.  Around the 10-mile mark, my knee joints were killing me.  I feared my IT band would start flaring up as it has in the past.  I just kept pushing through, but stopping to walk more frequently than I wanted to.

endomondo half

Those last 3 miles were pure HELL.  I even stopped looking at my watch.  I was no longer concerned about my time.  Going into the race, I wasn’t expecting to PR.  But I secretly wanted to try for it.  At this point, though, I just wanted to finish.  I just wanted this race to be over.  Why did I think I could run 13.1 miles when I haven’t trained more than 6.5??????

And then I could see the stadium in my sights.  There is no better feeling than crossing the finish line of a race!  And this race ends on the 50-yard line of Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee!  I’ve been in those stands many times, so it’s an awesome feeling to be on the field after such an accomplishment.

finish line

Only 3 minutes behind last year’s time.  How is that possible??  Now I’m thinking – just imagine if I’d pushed a little harder on those last 3 miles.  Just imagine if I’d had a few training runs at 8 or 10 miles.  With a tiny bit of additional effort, I could have beat last year’s time.

So then I started wondering …. when’s the next race??  How soon can I try this again?

Here are my split times:

Mile 1-  9:24

Mile 2-  8:48

Mile 3-  8:58

Mile 4-  11:42 (included the bathroom break)

Mile 5-  10:29

Mile 6-  9:33

Mile 7-  10.02

Mile 8-  11:36 (included the walk up Noelton Dr)

Mile 9-  10:25

Mile 10- 11:06 (it just goes downhill from here)

Mile 11-  12:10

Mile 12- 12:06

Mile 13- 11:36

race results

I’m always curious about what people are listening to while they run.   And I’m amazed at the number of people who didn’t have headphones at all.  For a short run, I usually let my mind wander and think about the things on my To Do list.  But for a long run, the only thing getting me through it is my music.

I spent a few hours on Saturday perfecting my playlist.  Here it is:

1. The Delta Saints – Company of Thieves

2. The Delta Saints – Death Letter Jubilee

3. The Delta Saints – Liar

4. The Delta Saints – Voodoo Walk

5. The Delta Saints – Swamp Groove

6. The Delta Saints – Boogie

7. The Delta Saints – Bird Called Angola

8. The Dirty Guv’nahs – Baby We Were Young

9. The Dirty Guv’nahs – Brown Little Bird

10. The Dirty Guv’nahs – Blue Rose Stroll

11. The Dirty Guv’nahs – It’s Dangerous

12. Big Head Todd & The Monsters – Resignation Superman

13. Zac Brown Band – Chicken Fried

14. Zac Brown Band – Make This Day

15. Matt Nathanson – Faster

16. Matt Nathanson – Modern Love

17. Beastie Boys – Make Some Noise

18. Beastie Boys – An Open Letter to NYC

19. Beastie Boys – 3 the Hard Way

20. Beastie Boys – Ch-Check It Out

21. Beastie Boys – Time to Build

22. Shinedown – Diamond Eyes

23. LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem

24. Kanye West – Stronger

25. Foo Fighters – Best of You

26. Switchfoot – Stars

27. Skillet – Awake and Alive

28. Shinedown – Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide

29. Shinedown – Sound of Madness

30. Kings of Leon – Sex on Fire

31. Halestorm – I Get Off

32. Slipknot – Before I Forget

33. Eminem – Lose Yourself

Yes, I realize it’s a WIDE range there.  Rock, Country, Metal, Rap.  But they all motivate me in one way or the other.   I made sure the harder rock songs kicked in around mile 7, which is when I would need a little more motivation.

I timed it almost perfectly.  Eminem sang to me during the home stretch, but then the playlist started back at the beginning and The Delta Saints brought me home.

after the race

I was so glad hubby was there to watch me cross the finish line.  And I don’t know if Little Bit understood what I had just accomplished but she seemed really excited for me.

endomondo app

As soon as I got home, I knew the best thing for me was an ice bath.  No, it doesn’t feel good.

ice bath

For dinner, we met my Mom, Aunt and Cousin at the Cracker Barrel.  My post-race dinner included spicy grilled catfish, fried okra and green beans.  YUM!!!

catfish dinner

And now that I write this 3 days later, I’m feeling really good.  I was really stiff the day after, but the DOMS are completely gone now.  Might even go for a run tonight.  (In the 85 degree weather)!

Question of the Day:  Which race should I do next????

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3 responses to “2013 Knoxville Half Marathon Recap

  1. Great to hear that your DOMS has gone after three days – I had it for weeks after my half eek! Well done for pushing through the race, not a shabby time at all and you were walking pretty fast when you did have to! I’m running a half on Sunday and I’ve massively undertrained so I think I’ll be taking your strategy.

  2. You finished so that’s something to be proud of. To avoid the bathroom break try to stop drinking an hour before the start. Drink all you want untill then, but then stop. Get in line for the porta potty and have a few ounces of fluid just before the race starts.
    That way your system has cleared most of the excess fluid and the fluid in your stomach will get sweated out.
    I’d also advise adding a long run to your training. Start with your 6.5 or so and add 10% each week untill you get up to 12 or 15 miles. Hill work is also a good addition.

  3. [...] 2013 Knoxville Half Marathon Recap I Could Save A Life… » Apr [...]

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