Taking it in Stride – Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon

This past Sunday I set out to run my first timed 10k, and to say I was nervous would be an understatement. Early this year, my mentor at work invited myself, another RD I am fortunate to work with, himself, and a sweet woman he attends church with to join together as a 4-person relay to participate in the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. I never in my life thought I would ever be involved in such an amazing race! It felt like so long until it would actually happen, but then somehow, this weekend snuck up on me. Ha! In all honesty, I did go on several training runs and walks along with maintaining my strength training, so I felt as though ready or not, I was going for it!

Saturday morning we awoke to a beautiful but chilly day.

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I met up with my teammates to collect our race packet and to quickly drive between the start and the second checkpoint so that we could visualize the exchange of the timing chip. I was the first leg, so I was extra nervous that I needed to get us off on the right foot. heh heh

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Miss Ray wanted to get a selfie with her momma 🙂

 

Here Dale and I were practicing our race finish pose. Lol!

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Afterward, I met up with one of my best friends at Spero for lunch and to try their new nitro cold brew. They have just begun offering breakfast and lunch options, and my gosh they are amazing!

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Korean barbeque bowl complete with quinoa, slaw, and that deliciously smooth nitro brew.

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After shopping around at Target together, I fought the awful traffic all the way home to then enjoy this Earl Grey Pear Upside Down Cake with cashew butter. TDOT had closed three of our five lanes along the interstate, so it took two hours for a commute that usually takes 30-35 minutes. Phew. I made the mistake of forgetting to ask that the cake be first wrapped in plastic, so a great deal of the moisture was leeched out into the paper bag. This just means I’ll have to order another and eat it there. 😉

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My chosen race outfit!

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Our snazzy tee.

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For dinner, I made salad with alltheveg, mozzarella, and vegetable hummus plus a side of Fage plain 2%, banana, spices, and blueberries.

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For breakfast, I chose a light meal of cashew butter on Food for Life sesame toast, cinnamon sprinkled banana, and hot English breakfast tea. I really don’t know what variables were to thank for such a lovely run, but this will be my go-to pre-run breakfast from now on!

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All ready to head downtown!

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Matt was an absolute sweetheart and stood at the start so that he could see me off. He snapped this in-motion photo, and I love it!

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A sea of runners with one of my and my step-mom’s favorite color: highlighter yellow. 🙂

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I truly cannot believe my performance {not in any way tooting my own horn}. I stopped after a long hill that completed the 5k mark, and low and behold there were port-o-potties. I quickly used one and felt so rejuvenated and off I went again. I didn’t even stop to remove my outer shirt. My legs just wanted to keep going! No stomach cramps or pains. I’m beyond thankful. My route also was so pretty and took me through the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood along the lake. The elevation change was no joke at times but very manageable. I did make the stake of starting my app before I was under the starting line, so I really believe my time was just under an hour. 🙂

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This man made it possible. He drove my car from checkpoint to checkpoint and continued to cheer me on throughout the race. He was seriously my motivation – I couldn’t wait to see his face!

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Dale completed the fourth and final leg, and all three of us joined him. I was so full of energy and am grateful I also experienced his route. It took us through even more beautiful neighborhoods and even Market Square. Everyone hooted and hollered and really gave us sweet encouragement.

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Dale’s wife, Debbie deserved a medal for shuffling us to all the checkpoints! She captured this moment when Matt was anticipating our arrival at the finish. I love love this!

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Such an amazing feeling to accomplish something at this magnitude!

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A sweet friend saw me come through and kindly took and sent the next two photos to me.

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It’s mushy and sappy, but this photo taken by Debbie warms my heart. ❤

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Post race selfie, complete with my medal!

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Our kick-ass team! Irene has never been a runner, but she killed it! Lindsay is a phenomenal runner and wonderful motivator. She stayed with me until they blew the start horn, and it really calmed my nerves. Dale is our fearless leader and an absolute champ!

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Big smiles.

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Our stats for the last leg according to my Runkeeper app.

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Matt and I dined at Sunspot for lunch, and it hit the spot. Chips and salsa to start (on the house!).

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I chose the salmon over polenta with poached eggs, hollandaise, zucchini, and I added goat cheese. I saved half for today’s lunch along with organic arugula. My mouth is already watering for it.

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Matt chose their blackened salmon club on a gluten free bun.

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He also ordered their kale salad and substituted smoked paprika honey mustard to make the salad gluten free.

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We placed 62nd with an official time of 4:50:30.

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I have proudly displayed my medal on my framed MS diploma.

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My high school track-hating self would be astonished that at 27 years young, I pushed myself to run a 10k and that I *acutally* enjoyed it. Dale’s encouragement means so much! I always thought I had poor form, but this really uplifted me and made me feel great about my performance.

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Despite Matt suggesting I take a bath and a nap, I just couldn’t sit still. I did laundry, dishes, cleaned, prepped our lunches for today, and then I packed up our dinner to take over to his dad’s. He spent the rest of the afternoon working on his 240, so I brought dinner to him. 🙂 Plenty of vegetables, including a steamed vegetable blend complete with brown butter and balsamic sauce from Aldi. He and I loved this light meal.

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My dessert consisted of Fage plain 2%, clementine, spicy dark chocolate, peanut butter, and a locally made shortbread cookie.

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I signed up for the YMCA Tye Dye Dash 4k being held in one month, and I already have plans to again run in the Knoxville Marathon next year. You could say I’m now hooked!

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