Marathon Weekend

Knoxville’s marathon weekend snuck up on me.  It seemed like it was so far away!  As with most marathons, the day before there is a Health Expo and packet pick-up.  I have always enjoyed the expos… the booths with cool running gear, health food, and lots of people with similar interests as me.  Check out this funny t-shirt I snapped a picture of at one of the many booths…


After the expo, my husband and I hung out in downtown Knoxville for a while, killing time before the 1-mile Kid’s Run, where we were volunteering.  There’s always lots of interesting things going on downtown.  This weekend happened to also be the “Rhythm & Blooms” festival (part of our annual Dogwood Arts Festival), so I guess that explains the random pianos in the middle of Market Square?


And finally the main event.  After 2 bad months of training, sickness, and frequent business travel, I was totally planning to walk part or all of it, but a couple good weeks of training runs boosted my motivation.  Not only did I finish, I beat my best time and clocked in at 2:10 for 13.1 miles (half-marathon)!  I might have finished under 2 hours if I had not run out of steam around mile 11, but I was still pleased.  Those East Tennessee hills are killer!  I might even consider another one next year.  Below are a couple of pictures of my husband and I  the day before the race, volunteering at the 1-mile Kid’s Run at Knoxville’s World Fair Park.

After the race, I had a nice big Avocado Smoothie (yes, I’ve been a little obsessed with avocados lately) and relaxed outside in the sun.  This smoothie is a simpler version of the one I posted the last time – almond milk, vanilla yogurt, 1/2 avocado, honey, and ice.  That’s it!  Mmmm….


9 miles in 1.5 hours, all before work!  What a great way to start the day.  Today was my last pre-marathon run and I was flying (compared to my usual pace).  Not sure why my last 3 runs have been so good, after weeks of bad ones.  Perhaps it’s my carb-loading the night before?  My husband surprised me with dinner last night, which was very sweet, but mostly carbs — 1/2 burger, baked fries, fruit, sugar-free cake!  I ate it and worried about how it would affect me this morning, but it seemed to have helped.  I recall that the same thing happened on my last good run – a big, high-carb dinner the night before.  I usually eat a pretty light dinner with very few carbs, but perhaps there’s some truth to the theory about carb-loading the night before a big athletic event?  I’ll have to try it out this Saturday before the marathon!

I’ve been really enjoying my meals this week, although I’m quite hungry today after such a long run, so I’ll be adding a handful of almonds to my Veggie & Hummus snack!  The Tropical Salad was awesome yesterday!  I had no idea coconut oil could work so well in salad dressing:


The veggies with Athenos Garlic Hummus were also quite tasty, although I’m trying hard to resist the afternoon sugar munchies.