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2013 Knoxville Half Marathon Recap

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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Friday Fun – Pizza, Friends and Live Music

I’m a week late in posting this.  But better late than never, right??  Well, last Friday night my favorite band, The Delta Saints, was playing at Barley’s.  I had been looking forward to this night for two months!!!

greek pizza

Our friends Kara and Remington  joined us for some pizza and beer before the music started.

k and r

Their pizza is so good.  Definitely one of the best in town.  Hubby and I split the Greek.

me and hubs

And split a pitcher of the Sam Adams Winter Lager.  YUM!!

the delta saints

The band didn’t start til almost 11:15pm.  Which is really late for this old timer.  Good thing I drank a Red Bull before dinner!!  🙂

the delta saints 2

I absolutely adore their music.  His voice, their sound, the lyrics, the harmonica, the bass, the drums.  So much talent in one band.  I seriously can’t get enough.

And live?  They ROCK!!  If I could quit my job, follow them around and become a groupie, I totally would.

If anyone is keeping track, this makes the fourth show we’ve seen of theirs.  We were introduced to them in Feb, 2012 when they opened for The Dirty Guv’nahs.  Then they did a free concert in Market Square in October when they opened for The Black Cadillacs.  It was there they told us about the CD release party at Exit/In in Nashville, so we had to go.  And finally, back in Knoxville at Barley’s.  I’m not sure when I’ll see them again.  Looks like all of the Spring tour dates are in Europe.  Hmmmm…. wonder how I can work that out!?!  🙂

the delta saints 3

Their latest album, Death Letter Jubilee, was just realeased.  (Of course, I’ve had my copy since Nov 30th when I purchased it at the CD release party in Nashville.  It hasn’t left my CD player since.  Actually, that’s not true.  There was a week or two there that I swapped it out for the previous album, Bird Called Angola.  But I have seriously been blasting the Saints religiously for the last 2 months).

I’m not sure I even have a favorite song anymore.  I love them all.

Especially the title track, Death Letter Jubilee.  Check out their new music video HERE.

the delta saints 4

They played for a good 2+ hours.  We didn’t get home til after 2 o’clock in the morning.  And I was totally wired.

If they come to a city near you, I highly recommend you go see them now.  Do it soon while they are still playing in small venues.  These guys are going to be huge.

Question of the Day:  What band have you seen the most?  And if you could be a groupie, who would you follow around??

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Last Things Thursday – 12/20/12

I have been a terrible blogger lately.  I’ve also been a terrible Elf this week.  I’ve been doing my challenges, but I haven’t been taking any pictures.  This week had great challenges, too!  (I’m referring to Elf4Health challenge sponsored by The Lean Green Bean and Nutritionella).  For example, I made these wonderful Chicken Enchiladas with Spinach for dinner.  But I never took a single picture to document them.  Best part was – the kids loved them!!  So I’ll definitely make them again soon.  They were delicious and I even used the low-carb wraps instead of flour tortillas.  You couldn’t even tell!!

Ok, so I figured I needed to lighten the mood after my Debbie Downer post yesterday.  And I like this ‘last things’ survey so much that I may just make it part of my weekly routine.

1.  Last song I listened to:

I’ve been looping The Dirty Guv’nahs new album in anticipation of the concert on New Years Eve!  Can’t wait!!

Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies

Source

2. Last workout:

Sadly, it’s been more than a few days since my last workout.  This week has been so busy I haven’t made time for exercise.  Although, I know as soon as I do, it will improve my mood drastically.

3. Last Instagram pic:

mickey christmas

my daughter, of course

 

4. Last food I ate:

As I said above, the last food I ate was the Chicken Enchiladas with Spinach.  But I didn’t take a picture of it.  The last food I photographed was my breakfast on Wednesday morning at our work Christmas party.  There was a full buffet of pastries, biscuits, hasbrowns and more.  Instead I was very good – only ate eggs and bacon with a side of fruit.

breakfast

5. Last thing I pinned:

This totally cracked me up.

Pinned Image

6. Last text message I sent:

It was actually a response to my 7-year old’s teacher.  She told me to make sure he didn’t eat breakfast on Friday because she would bring food.  I asked her if I could make anything.  She said she was brining donuts.  So I offered to bring a healthy option …. Cuties!

7: Last blog I visited:

Besides The Lean Green Bean and Nutritionella’s site so I could check was the Elf4Health Challenge was today, I also checked out Nutritiously Plated.  She just posted a few really good looking recipes like Gingerbread Waffles and Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes.  I’m going to have to try those out soon!!

8. Last TV show I watched:

We were catching up on the DVR last night and watched the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother.  We love that show.  I am so sad to hear that this is the final season.  Although I am glad we’ll finally find out who the Mother is!!  Anyone want to take a guess???

But what about that ending on Monday??  Any one else see it??  LOVED IT!!!  So sweet!  Though, I still don’t think Robin and Barney really go together.  Whatever.  “NOBODY ASKED YOU, PATRICE!”  lol

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Weekend Recap: Concert, Pancakes and Cleaning

I had been anxiously awaiting this weekend for a few weeks.  Ever since we saw the Delta Saints in Market Square and found out they were having a CD release party at Exit/In in Nasvhville, we knew we had to go!

It was a really quick trip.  We didn’t even leave Knoxville til 5pm on Friday, and it’s a 2-1/2 hour drive to Nashville.  Thankfully, you gain an hour on the drive over when you cross from Eastern to Central time.  We had planned on eating at a local place called the Tavern, which came highly recommended by a friend who lives in town.  Unfortnately, by the time we dropped our stuff at the hotel and made it to the Tavern, it was 8 o’clock central time.  The concert started at 9pm and there was an hour long wait at the Tavern.  I’m sure it would have been good, but we couldn’t miss the concert.

saki

So we ended up at a little sushi place across from the Exit/In, called Samurai.  I ordered Saki, of course!

drinking sake

My first sip of sake

Unfortunately, my phone was acting a little crazy.  So I didn’t get any pictures of the sushi.  Nor did I get any pictures of the opening band, The Black Cadillacs, who are also from Knoxville!  But thankfully it decided to work again when I wanted a few pics of the Delta Saints …

the delta saints

This concert was so totally worth the drive!!  They killed it!!  If you’ve never heard of the Delta Saints, you absolutely have to check them out.  They totally know how to rock…  New Orleans style.  A mix of blues and rock, very soulful rhythm.  And oh my goodness, Ben can sing!!!

delta saints

the delta saints 2

You need to listen to this video…  A Bird Called Angola.  And check out their new album with ‘Liar’ and ‘Death Letter Jubilee’.  They are my new favorite band!!

signing my name

Me signing my name on their sign

We found a deal on Expedia for this place called the Hotel Preston.  It ended up being a very cool, contemporary place.  I would totally go back there.

hotel preston

Despite the way the neon sign looks, the room was really nice.  We were up on the 10th floor and enjoyed the views of downtown Nashville from the room.

hotel room

We didn’t have much time on Saturday morning before we had to head back to town to pick up the kiddos.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go shopping or get breakfast.  Food won.  After a late night out, I wanted pancakes.

line for pancakes

Do you see that line out the door??  That’s the wait to get in.  And it was consistently backed up ALL morning!  People were standing in line for over an hour ….  to get PANCAKES!  I figured they must be pretty good so we decided to wait as well.

pancake pantry

pancake menu

I chose the Sweet Potato Pancakes.  They were the BEST pancakes I’ve ever eaten!!

sweet potato pancakes

sweet potato pancakes

And yes, that is a spoonful of butter on the side of the pancake.  I watched them as they spooned it out of these large buckets to put on every plate.

See the Batman building?

See the Batman building?

We hated leaving Nashville.  So much fun.  I think I could totally live there.

cleaning out drawers

Sunday, it was back to reality.  It was time to clean the house.  I’ve been meaning to do this for several weeks, and it just so happened that the #Elf4Health challenge this weekend was to clean out your closets.  I basically pulled everything out of my drawers, put back in the things I wanted to keep and then whatever was left on the floor was going to Goodwill.  That took most of the day.  It feels so good to purge!  I highly recommend it.

Click HERE for the Elf4Health calendar for the coming week.  If you’re not already signed up, you still have time to get in for next week.

nutritionella

I’ll leave you with an Instagram of the sunset I took this weekend.  The sky gave us beautiful sunsets on both Saturday and Sunday night …

instagram sunset

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Weekend Recap: Music and Rest

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who posted with their own homemade remedies on Friday!  I’m not sure what worked, but I am feeling better now.  I had planned on taking it easy all weekend.  But then I found out that a band I really like was playing a free concert in Market Square!!  I couldn’t pass it up.  These guys aren’t in Knoxville very often and I didn’t want to miss it.

We were first introduced to The Delta Saints in February when they opened for our beloved Dirty Guv’nahs.  They were really good, so we downloaded a few tracks and started following them.

the delta saints

My favorite song is the brand new one, Liar.  The album hasn’t even been released yet.  But you can get a FREE download from their website HERE.

the delta saints

Other really good songs are: Swamp Groove and Momma and Bird Called Angola.  Check out their You Tube channel – they can jam!!

the delta saints

Me with the Delta Saints, minus one

We love to listen to LIVE music.  As you might recall, we saw The Dirty Guv’nahs in Market Square not too long ago.

Brooklyn Octoberfest

There were still 2 more bands to play after them, so we headed over to Blue Coast Burrito for some grub.  We sat outsite while we listened to the second band.  It was freezing!!  Good thing I had beer and hot salsa to keep me warm!!

Blue Coast Burrito

We ordered the fish tacos, but I didn’t take a picture of them.  They were super disappointing.  Kinda soggy and wrapped in not one, but two corn tortillas.  I think Marlin & Rays still has the best fish tacos around!!

That was Saturday.  Despite my fatigue, I am soooo glad we went!!

I didn’t do too much on Sunday, I tried to take it easy and rest up for a busy work week ahead.  Although, I did manage to get a brisk walk through the neighborhood in.  It was super cold.  Okay, it was like 55 degrees.  But for this summer girl, I’m never ready for the first cold snap.  55 felt like winter!  Brrrrr.

Bring summer back!!

I’ll leave you with a sunset pic from the weeekend!  That is unretouched.  And, taken from my crappy phone!!

Have a great week, everyone!!  🙂

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