Tag Archives: Half Marathon Training

The Jack Daniels Oak Barrel Half Marathon – I Conquered Whiskey Hill!

The Oak Barrel Half Marathon has to be one of the best races I have ever run!  Don’t get me wrong, it is a tough course and Whiskey Hill is no joke, but the race itself is spectacular!

I knew it was going to be an early wake up call (4:00 am!) so I got all of my race day gear ready the night before.

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We got there early and scored a parking space right next to the starting line and the port-a-potties.

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I am pretty sure we were the first group at packet pick up too!

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The race itself was beautiful!  The entire race is run in the country and in April, the trees are blooming, and the fields are covered in yellow and purple flowers.  There were lots of photographers on the course (I can’t wait to see the photos) and the volunteers working the aid stations were so kind; they really demonstrated southern hospitality.

I think my favorite part of the race was actually Whiskey hill.  As you start up the hill, you are in the middle of nowhere, and the race has set up a stereo in the woods playing banjo music.  Then, as the hill really starts to get steep, there is another stereo blasting “Highway to Hell”…it was awesome!  I got to the top and looked down; all of the runners kind of looked like zombies.  They were slowly climbing this really steep hill, pumping their arms straight out, with looks of pain on their faces.  I kind of wish I had taken a picture…then again, that would have been a little evil.

There are not as many cheer stations as other races, but instead, there are people sitting on their front porch, or on the back of a pickup truck, waving, and giving you soft spoken words of encouragement.  At mile 11 you could begin to hear the drumline that M had set up at mile 12.  At this point, everyone was tired and the simple sound of drums in the distance got everyone excited again!

I had been dreading the final mile because it ran along a kind of ugly highway but to my surprise, the final mile flew by!   The traffic in the open lane was moving really slowly and everyone had their windows down waving and yelling words of encouragement to the runners.

At the finish we met up with some half fanatics

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and Ivette did a happy dance

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and best of all, I conquered Whiskey Hill!

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This Week’s Training

The Countdown: 450 down, 1,744 to go

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 4 mile trail run and Yoga Class
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 3.5 miles
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Oak Barrel Half Marathon
Sunday – Rest


Whiskey Hill, a little speed work, and a big announcement!

Oak Barrel is comming up this Saturday and soon I will once again come face to face with Whiskey Hill…Dum, Dum, Dum.  I mean, the thing has its own facebook page and posts things like “I love ruining your spring” and “Pain! That is all.”  I am both super excited and a little bit intimidated.  Since its time to dig deep and say grrrrrrr, I have been deciding on my race day outfit and I think I have made a final decision!

race day outfit

M, is also going to have her high school drum line set up a cheer station at mile 12 and made a bunch of signs last night!  I can’t wait!!!!

In other news, my winter speed training group has its final meeting tonight and it is supposed to be another windy one.  We will be running a mile time trial in….wait for it…20+ mile per hour winds!  This will be the third super windy speed session so I should be used to it by now.  I can’t wait to see if I have improved my time this go round.  I will make sure to report back tomorrow!  I also found out that the running store will be offering another “speed session” this summer too!  Sign me up!

My announcement:

I think I have finally decided on a full for the fall.

And the winner is….

The Seven Bridges Marathon!

Time to start working on a training plan.