Thursday, October 29, 2009

Knoxville gets less musical

I've been living in Knoxville for about three years now and one thing that I immediately noticed (and was surprised by) was the music scene. Even in the last three years since I have been here, a few new venues have sprung up thus attracting even more acts to the city to perform. People in and around Knoxville love their music, and being from Detroit, I definitely can appreciate that.

People in Knoxville love their music so much that the Knoxville News Sentinel erected (ha) the statue in the picture Downtown in the mid 80's as a way to pay respect to Knoxville's love of the arts. Next week this statue is coming down and it has surprisingly caused a little bit of a stir around town.

How does this relate to running? Well, in my 3 months living downtown, and running 3-4 times a week, I've ran by this statue every time and never noticed it. It was after someone told me where the statue was that I figured out it was right on my running path. And I never noticed it. So um.....yeah. I guess I won't miss it?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ain't nothing gonna break my stride

Yeah. I was riding shotgun in that truck last week. Luckily everyone involved walked away from the accident, the other driver got a DUI and both drivers need new cars. Not exactly what I would call a fun experience, but something that definitely reminds you that life is fragile and can end at any time. This is the other car:

Somehow I only managed to bruise my right leg pretty good in the accident. I definitely was sore a for a couple days after the wreck (from being jerked around at the moment of impact), but I was NOT going to let it get in the way of my training for Charlotte in December. The thought of "oh great...just something else to keep me from running..." did cross my mind on Friday when I was moping around and being sore. I forced myself out for a 5 mile run on Saturday, and I survived. It actually helped me break up the soreness (or maybe I am crazy...come to think of it, I know I am crazy...who are we trying to kid?)

That being said, I am 3 weeks into training with no leg soreness from my injury. I think I am taking well to this training schedule which I got from Marathon Rookie. Check it out if you're interested in running at all. It's a good site for sure, especially if you're a rookie to running (hence the name of the site...clever, eh?)

As my promise to you, I will keep this blog active through this training period. I PROMISE.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thunder Road (half) Marathon - Dec 12, 2009

Well hello again! You should know me well enough by now to know that I update this blog every few months. Don't get jealous, it's not like I am blogging somewhere else....I'm just not blogging at all. Sad, I know. I do enjoy writing and I do enjoy running so my intentions are in the right place. The intention of putting my ass in front of the computer in order to marry the two together to put together the splendor and greatness that is known as this blog just hasn't been there. My bad.

So now that we have the formalities out of the way (oh hey..haven't seen you in look this your new boyfriend? Awesome!....) you're probably wondering why there is a logo to a Thunder Road marathon attached to this post. Well, it's because I have signed up to participate in that event. I am going to run in the half - marathon in my first 'real' attempt to test out my injured (but recovering?) groin.

I really don't like the term 'half - marathon' by the way. I understand that the distance is one half of a marathon, but at the same time, it's a 13.1 mile race in itself. It's not something Joey Baggadonuts can roll off the couch and go run in tomorrow morning. It's a big deal, and shouldn't be minimized by calling it half of something else. Maybe if it was called 'The awesome distance' more people would run it and not feel bad? "Hey man, what are you training for?" Reply: "The awesome distance in Charlotte on Dec. 12"....doesn't that sound better?

In running news, I just completed week one of a 10 week training program for this race. The week was successful, meaning I made all my runs and didn't have any pain afterward. I randomly still have a weird ache after a run in the hip / groin / butt area that was originally injured, but that hasn't happened in a couple I might be ok? I don't's weird. You're weird. We're all weird. We'll see what my leg feels like after a ten mile run, which isn't on the schedule for another 4 weeks. If I can make 10, I will make 13.1. I promise.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I have some serious questions about the Ipod and how it shuffles songs

Maybe I am the only one that thinks the shuffle feature on the ipod isn't as random as I'd like it to be. I have 13,000 songs on my ipod and I should RARELY hear 2 songs from the same artist within 10 songs of each other, but it seems to happen all the time.

Anyone else notice this?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Does anyone else wonder this?

So when I am running, or walking, or driving, or hanging out on a bench in the mall, I see 'elderly', or 'old people' with modern technology - like an Iphone, Ipod, Blackberry, etc. and I wonder what motivated them to embrace technology and then furthermore, what songs are on their ipods and if they needed help figuring out how to take music off those vinyl albums and get them on their devices. (I hear the conversion is a bitch)

Surely I can't be the only one that wonders these things. I am also an advocate of driving tests after age 65. Maybe I am just a prick, but I kind of don't think I am alone on this topic.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Since I'm still paying for this URL, I figured I might as well use it.

So, it’s pretty easy to get busy or uncreative. I would say I’ve done a good job at both lately, but I’m going to give this thing a go again. The idea here is to provide good material that others will care about reading, right? Easier said than done. I could go on and on and on about how the grass grows in front of my place or I could document paint drying. I don’t even need to paint anything. But I would do it for you, the people of blogland. The problem is that I don’t think you’d really care about that all too much, and in reality, bad content is worse than no content. Maybe mom did know what she was talking about when she told me that 'if I didn't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all'?

Do people really want to read about my daily runs, and how mundane they are? Well, I don't think they are mundane, but I don't see how they are interesting to anybody else but me. So we'll see. Knoxville is really an interesting place and I have run in some interesting places and have seen some interesting (and probably not legal…) things while running and that’s the kind of thing I’d like to write about. That’s my pledge to you, the people of the blogosphere. It’s like a campaign promise, so I guess that means I don’t need to keep it. Bonus. As the URL suggests, this is and will continue to be a running blog. I think that focus is going to become a looser and looser interpretation of the majority of the content put into this blog, but I figure since the name of the friggen thing is ‘Knoxville Running’ I should probably talk about Knoxville and Running. Not in that order necessarily either.

I do enjoy running, quite a bit to be honest. I feel like lately I’ve met a lot of people through one thing or another and most people that ‘know’ me don’t know everything. Some people only know me as a runner, some people only know me as a Media Professional, and others only know me as an asshole. My goal here is to really get out there that I am a running media professional asshole. If I'm not getting that across effectively, that is what the comments are for. I am going to use this as my soapbox and personal space to speak my mind, so if people read it (and they will, this thing is pretty awesome already) they can know more about me without having to actually talking to me ever (oh, the joys of modern technology). I’m kind of kidding on most of this stuff, but if there is truth in everything that is said, than I must mean some of it. That’s deep (that’s what she said)

I’ve run 3 marathons and plan to run more, hopefully #4 will be this fall. Running has some obvious health benefits, such as stress relief, muscle growth and allowing me the privilege of eating Taco Bell 3 times a day. That last one was a joke. Kinda. As long as my body allows, I will be a runner. You can join me in this running endeavor if you are so inclined, find me on facebook and we’ll make it happen. Running in groups is always better than running alone.

Still trying to figure out exactly why I run marathons. It's a big commitment and it's not easy, but I love the challenge. I think I just figured out why I run marathons. (I’m not going to delete that previous sentence; this blog has an ‘Open Door’ policy.) A couple years ago I got back into running because I do enjoy it and it lets me eat whatever I want (especially Taco Bell multiple times a day. Am I kidding? You’ll never know….) More to come. Maybe. Tomorrow? It’s a date.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Knoxville Marathon - 3/30/08 RACE REPORT

The title of this post could have been something creative and memorable like "a tale of two marathons", or "the irony of the number 22" or "this one was for the team" but I couldnt pick a favorite so, much like my other marathon report, I left it plain and simple. Deal with it.

The marathon is an event that sucks every drop of life out of you, so the couple of days before the race, you don't want to go and do anything that will drain energy from you on race day. So, I didn't. I went to the expo, drove my parents around the course and went and saw "run fatboy run" the day before the race. I actually didn't run at all the week before the race--I was sick with a viral infection until literally the day before the marathon. Marathon day was the first day I'd felt ok in two weeks. This race day was completely different than my first marathon day. It went a little something like this:

4 am: Wake up......coke zero and shower. Coke zero gets the bowels moving, showers make me clean. 4 am might have been a little early to wake up, but I wanted to make sure that the whole bowel thing was taken care of by 7 am when the race started. (it was, btw, for those at home keeping score)

5:45 am: Head down to the starting area, to meet up with everyone. My family was in town from Michigan, my sister-in-law Sonya was running the half marathon (see pic), and I had my covenant health marathon team homeboys and homegirls to hang out with before the race. It took about 45-60 minutes to get parked and everyone together. Stretching was very limited, it was more just socializing and trying not to think about what's coming.

6:45 am
: One more trip to the potty and it's go time. Between the lines at the bathroom and the crowded starting area, I got settled in right at 7 am. Before the race, my goal was to break 4 hrs. I can't get any closer to the front than the 4:15 pacer. He's a friend of mine and training partner anyways, so I'm totally fine with that. Like jerks, we talk through most of the national anthem. Call me a terrorist.

7:00 am: Race starts. I'm an idiot.

Miles 1-3: Why am I an idiot? Well, I am running with the 4:15 pacer for the first mile, and my one mile split was 9:16. I freak out and speed up for miles 2 and 3. Mile 2 was 7:29 and Mile 3 was 7:45. This is why I'm an idiot, miles 2 and 3 were WAY too fast for what I wanted to do, when mile 1 was actually about the pace I should have maintained until about mile 20 where I theoretically would have sped it up.

I feel really good running, and my homies from knoxlife church ( were at the water stop at mile 2.5. They even had signs for me, I felt special.

Miles 4-6: These were run through the rich part of town, Sequoya Hills. The neighborhood is kinda hilly and difficult, a loop with the largest hill on the course. Miles 4 and 5 were run in around 8:30, still too fast, and then mile 6 was sub 8 minutes. I feel really good and realize I am running at about a 3:35 pace. That would have put me in the top 50 overall--crazy.

Miles 7-10: This is where the spectators completely disappear for the first time. We are running on some of the greenways in Knoxville--not real hilly or anything, just a paved trail going through some woods. Nothing too exciting, really...other than my time at this point. When I completed mile 10, my overall time was 1:22....that's a 3:30 pace.

Miles 11-14: You see this pic? I am rocking out and feeling GREAT at the 11 mile marker. First time I see any family, which I find out after the race is my own fault because they got to the mile 3 marker at about 26 minutes like I should have been, but I passed mile 3 at 24:30. My bad. The thing about this stretch of course was the hills, and it took you through the area where most of the University of Tennessee students rent big, old houses. So the houses were kinda crappy and NOBODY was out because most of the residents in this neighborhood are just going to bed at 8:30 Sunday morning. 2 things about the 1/2 marathon split off:

1. I went from running with 30 people to running with 5 people once the half marathoners finished.
2. My 1/2 split was 1:48--I'm starting to slow down. Still on a good pace, but I'm starting to tire a bit.

Miles 15-18: After the half marathoners finished, there weren't very many runners left on the course. There weren't many spectators, either. This part of the course was run through an old neighborhood and it was also where the 3:45 pacer passed me. I was still running, but my miles were more in the 9:30 neighborhood than they were in the 8:30 neighborhood for the first half of the race. I started taking more water and powerade at the water stops, and also walking through the stops to ensure I'm getting everything in my mouth.

Miles 19-22: Running proceeds, cursing begins. In my defense, I crashed at mile 15 during the first marathon. Here it took me until mile 22 to finally throw in the towel and walk beyond the water stops. My times were slipping and 4 hours is starting to become less of a reality. Muscles were really starting to ache and tighten up. Miles 19-21 were right around 10:00, mile 22 was 12:58. ugh.

Miles 23-finish: I really hit the wall during mile 22. 22 was the number I wore in basketball and football growing up, and it's still my number whenever I have an option to choose one. So there is a little bit of irony here. Also, the last 3 miles were sparsely populated with spectators, which didn't help me at all. I was running, but barely. I was finished. The 4:15 pacer, my training partner, passed me right at the end and was jokingly talking trash to me. I probably had a 45 minute 'lead' on him at my farthest point in the race, this was totally an example of the tortoise and the hare. My mile times in this last stretch were anywhere from 11:50 to 13:56/mile. My chip time was 4:14:16, and that is a PR (In the pic, you can see that I was partying across the finish line.) A week from now, I will be happy with this time. Right now, a day later, I still feel like I should have broken 4 hours.

Learning Experience: START SLOWER!!!!!!!!! I had a mile split of 7:29 and a mile split of 13:56. That is a glaring sign of inexperience, and something I don't ever hope to duplicate. I burned 3180 calories. I didn't realize you burn that much during a marathon.

I am so proud and happy for everyone who ran Sunday. My Covenant Health homies all did great, as did my training partners and sister in law. After the race I was sore and cranky, but really happy and glad that the race was over. I am still sore today, and probably will be tomorrow too. I really had a good time and will probably run this again next year. I am leaning towards the Kiawah marathon in December as my next attempt to come in under 4 hours. I CAN DO IT!