Friday’s Five

a delish turkey day

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gorgeous white roses from my mom

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finally unsubscribing to all of those spam e-mails

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tuna’s bacon wrapped chicken jalapeño bites

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a whole bunch of second-hand magazines 

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Hope you have an amazing rest of the long weekend!

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Are you traveling? I’m going to get out the Christmas decorations!

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PRR Half Marathon Race Recap

We moseyed up to the start line with about 15 minutes to spare before the race. As we got in the pack at the start line, I realized how that we lucked out big time with the weather.

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It was such perfect temps for running that I didn’t even need my jacket.

This race was smaller than the first half marathon I did, which was kind of intimidating. Everyone walking around seemed like a serious runner with singlets and compression socks.

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Even though it was sort of an intense crowd, I still felt pretty good. I considered the race a success already, just because completing the training was an accomplishment to me in itself. So was getting to the start line healthy and injury-free.

After a few minutes of muffled directions, the excited energy burst when we all took off running.

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Most people started out pretty fast! But I’ve made that mistake before, and glued my eyes to my garmin so I wouldn’t get caught up in the sprinting.

Being on a home trail that I’d run on before helped make me feel more comfortable as I was reminded of scenery from some of my long runs.

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The race was an out-and-back route (marathoners had to run out-and-back twice!) all along the Potomac River.

Running a race in good ole’ DC swampland meant it was a super flat course. Good thing that was in compliance with my always-avoid-running-on-hills rule. The only time there was a increase or decrease in elevation was going over the locks in the canal.

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I can’t say enough nice things about the course. Even though it was six and a half miles down and back on the same trail there was enough variation that it kept things interesting.

The first five miles were fabulous. I felt strong and proud as I hit goal pace each consecutive mile that passed. It was fun to do the math in my head of how many second I was putting in the time bank to hit my PR.  By the time I hit the 5 mile mark, I was 80 seconds under my goal time.

Another cool thing was that there were two different races goes on: the marathon and the half marathon, all at 3 different time starts (7:00am, 8:00am, and 9:00am.) Someone was always at a different point in a different race along the same path. It made for fun people watching, especially because there was such a variation of runners.

My favorite are always the stand-outs: people that inspire you because of the awe inducing effort that humbles your own, despite how much pain you’re feeling!

You know, like the guy running in the opposite direction at the speed of light in a sling. NBD.

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I used these crazies as motivation while I silently counted the mileage to go.

About a mile out of the turn around I spotted my friend Sarah running toward me! That was probably the most energized I got the whole race. Whooping and clumsily high five-ing put a huge grin on my face that lasted to the turn around.

This halfway point was when I snapped back to reality. As far as I had just run down the river – I had to run back.

During miles 7 and 8 I struggled to keep up the pace. My stomach started bothering me a little bit and the grumpiness was beginning to fester. I pretty much gave up my goal time by mile 9. I was experiencing a dangerous combination of self-loathing and sympathy that almost made my brain explode.

I hit the wall, so to speak.

My pace was getting slower, and I couldn’t decide whether to dig deep and go for it, or cut myself some slack and try to gently get through the finish. I think my intent changed about every seven seconds.

Sometimes stubbornness is a good thing. But it can also work in negative bouts like it did in my head during the last few miles of the race. When it became apparent that I wouldn’t be able to hang on to goal pace and keep the GU chomps down, my stubbornness turned into feeling sorry for myself. I dropped down to a limp trot and cursed my body.

Also encouraging was the couple running at the same pace as me the entire race….who were picking up trash. Just runnin’ the same pace as the kind volunteers cleaning up the course.

I consciously decided to accept defeat and get over it by just appreciating myself. I tuned out the voice telling me I wasn’t good enough and just ran the last few miles without looking at my Garmin. You can’t get through something as hard as to running 13.1 miles and be mad at yourself. You have to pat yourself on the back and be proud that you gave it your best.

I think next race I may ditch the self-induced pressure just go zen the entire time.

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Sarah’s mom is the nicest and gave our boys lots of goodies to pass along to us. Tuna was waiting at the finish line for me!

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Half marathon #2, complete!

Potomac River Run Half Marathon: 2:34:07 (PR)

*please note some race shots are from backprint.com/tonyestradaphotography*

Pre-Race Eats and Stuff

I ate dinner a little later than planned on Saturday night before the race [PRR half marathon], but I tried to give it enough time to digest before going to bed. (Why is it always so hard to fall asleep the night before a race?!)

The theme was: plain and simple.

The purpose of this was to avoid an upset stomach of any kind on race morning. In order to reduce fiber intake I ate regular old pasta instead of whole wheat, and added green juice instead of a salad – which a good way to get nutrients without all the fiber!

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I wish I could wake up as easily every morning as I do on race days.

Even though I wasn’t hungry, I forced down a banana and a Clif bar as we made our way to the race. It is def just as important to eat breakfast on race day – we have to make sure our bodies have good fuel to work as hard as we want them to!

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I loved that the race was SO close – about 10 or 15 minutes away.  [Thank you to Tuna for waking up before 7am on a Sunday and being my chauffeur. :)] 

The weather turned out to be pretty darn perf for mid-November: high 50’s, low 60’s. It was a little wet on the trail down near the river, but really nice overall. No rain, no sun, no wind.

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Shortly after we arrived I found my friend Sarah and her mom and we took a skinny arm photo shoot. Gotta get the before shot.

preracephoto1And then we started running…..

Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

PRR Training Week 12: Taper and Race Playlist

Taper week is my favorite…most likely because the longest run on the schedule was 3 miles. 🙂

It was the last week before the PRR Half Marathon! That meant I was nervous but couldn’t use running to get the nerves out. I’m okay with that though – I had a little extra time to plop on the floor and do important things like foam roll while watching trashy reality TV.

Thank goodness my apartment gym has a treadmill that works and all I had to do to get in the handful of miles is to go downstairs and hop on the treadmill. This is quite convenient with daylight saving time making it dark out super early.

The 2 mile run on Wednesday evening was at race pace (11:26) and gave me a chance to listen to some music on my iPod shuffle and contemplate what to put on my playlist for the race.

Here’s what I’m going to be running to on tomorrow morning!

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Week #12 Recap

Monday: 3 mile run

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 2 mile run, race pace

Thursday: 2 mile run

Friday: rest

Saturday: stretch and foam roll

Sunday: 13.1!!!

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What is on your current playlist?

Is anyone running a race this weekend too? What are you running?

Shrimp Fried Rice

New recipes haven’t happened lately since we have been busy settling into the new apartment.

I was out running errands one evening and came home to the amazing sound of sizzling soy sauce.

Tuna had cooked us up some restaurant-style shrimp fried rice! Not only did I immediately start shoveling it in to my mouth from the pan, I nodded in approval as Tuna attested to its legitimacy because it was from a blog.

When I said I should take some pictures for What I Ate Wednesday, Tuna said “I already did!”

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups frozen peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed

Directions:

Preheat a large skillet to medium heat. Pour in sesame oil.

Add onion, peas, and carrots and cook until tender.

Push veggies to the side, and pour beaten egg mixture onto its spot on the skillet.

Scramble the eggs. Once cooked, mix in the eggs with the veggies.

Add the pre-cooked rice and shrimp to the skillet.

Add soy sauce and stir for a few minutes until hot. 

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Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting WIAW!

PRR Training Week 11: Race Goals

Week 11 of a training cycle is the calm before the storm. The last stretch before the race.

Because I needed that extra boost of confidence last week, I was determined to do all of my runs: no skipping allowed. (I have kind of had a little problem of skipping my runs during this cycle.)

Saturday’s long run made me think a lot about what my goals are next weekend at the PRR Half Marathon.

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12 miles is almost as long as the distance we’ll run next week: 13.1.

I know it’s going to be painful, and I know will be a lot of hard work, but unlike my first half marathon last Spring – I think I can do it. On the longest of the long runs I only took 2 quick pit stops at the same out and back water fountain to refill my handheld and was totes fine just putzin’ down the trail for 2+ hours. 

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During the run I thought about what my goals for the race are. Last time my big thing was to not walk and I didn’t have a time to base anything off of.

I still run embarrassingly slow, so I don’t have a ridiculous time I’m trying to hit to a real race time I NEED to get or die. I’m just going to be running along, trying not to be last.

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But I also would like to take pride that I <hopefully> gotten a teensy bit faster hoofing my booty down trails I wouldn’t have been walking on a year ago.

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Half marathon time to beat: 2:36:32, 11:57 min mile

Goal race pace: 2:29:59, 11:26 min mile

Week #11 Recap

Monday: cross 🙂

Tuesday: 3 mile run

Wednesday: 3 mile run

Thursday: 5 mile run

Friday: rest

Saturday: 12 mile run

Sunday: rest

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What is your next goal race pace?

Are you running a race soon?