Over the weekend, I hauled J up to the small town of Kingsport, TN about 2 hours north of Knoxville for the Haunted Half Marathon. Maybe it was wearing a costume, maybe it was the late afternoon start time, maybe it was the cooler weather, but this race was fantastic for both me and J. Me, because I got myself a new PR and J because the starting line was right near a bar that was serving cold beer and playing all the college football he could handle. J literally watched me start, got to watch some football, eat some wings, and drink some beers while I ran, and came back out to watch me finish.
And me? Well this race touts itself as “wicked fast” and it indeed was. Freakishly so. I actually kept looking at my watch to check that the time was right. And not only was it blissfully, WONDERFULLY, cool but I actually ran the race like this:
Race: Haunted Half Marathon
Where: Kingsport, TN
Date & Time: October, 27th 2012, 3:00 PM
Weather: 58 degrees and overcast. I couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather, especially considering the 3 days leading up to the race were in the 80’s…
Race Time: 2:02:20 – New PR!! 9 seconds shorter than my previous PR (at the Country Music Half)
Worst Mile: 12 – one of the fuel stops along the route was out of water by the time I got there and I needed some pretty bad. I started to become light-headed around mile 12 and was forced to walk on an off throughout.
Fuel: Not enough…I had a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, a pear and a kids Clif bar before the race. I was expecting some Gatorade along the route so I didn’t keep any gels in my shorts. Due to the aforementioned light-headedness, I definitely could have used a pick me up to help me through that last mile.
How did I feel: Pretty good! I was rocking a sweet lion outfit and the weather was perfect for a good long run. Due to some lame personal mistakes (not adequately fueling up, and failing to tuck a gel in my pocket), I obviously could have done a bit better.
Best part of the race (besides the finish): Running through the downtown area and seeing dozens of kiddos in costume (little kid’s in costumes are the best), of course the costumes of my fellow runners, how wonderfully flat and fast the course was, and the free massage I got at the end
Worst part of the race: The course was two loops in which for about a mile and a half, we ran past a chemical plant of sort which smelled kind something awful. This was followed by a tour of Kingsport’s water treatment facility that smelled equally delightful. When you are breathing hard, every breath counts and you sure don’t want to be smelling some putrid chemical what-not.
Weirdest thing I saw: To say that I saw Captain America, about a dozen Super Women & Men, an assortment of fruit, pirates, and enough zombies to start an apocalypse would normally be pretty weird, so I’ll stick with that.
Final Thoughts: What kills me about this race is I actually PR’d. I PR’d while donning a lion costume. I PR’d and I actually stopped to walk for about 2 minutes. This leads me to believe that this course not only flat as a pancake but also slightly downhill because I can’t figure out how it flew by so damn quick.
This is the interesting part however: I knew my time. I knew that if I pushed myself I could make it under 2 hours. But for some strange reason, I still walked. I walked because I was starting to feel dizzy, and to me, that’s worse than a cramp, or sore muscle because it leads to fainting and I’ll be damned if I was going to faint with a tail on.
Am I disappointing I didn’t break 2 hours? Mildly. I mean it would have been nice. But am I beating myself up for walking? Not for a second. Next month’s race, is a different story. We’re shooting for under 2 here folks, so I might actually get out and do some legit training before then. Plus I won’t be rockin’ a mane, I’ll be sure to carry appropriate nourishment, and it will probably be a lot colder. Bring it.
I’ll leave you with this: