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Exercise Log

Friday – 30 min. upper body weights + abs

Saturday – Jingle Bell 5K.  So fun!!  Met up with friends and we wore matching jingle hats & scarves that one friend had made last year.  The course was rolling and I was very focused on not destroying my still-puffy ankle so I didn’t PR.  My Garmin showed mid-26’s and the chip showed low 27’s.  However, the company was fab, the post-race snacks were excellent, and one of the girls in our group won first out of all of the women, w00t!  I can’t wait for next year. 🙂

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Thanksgiving 5K Race Report

I did our local 5K on Thanksgiving morning with 7,500 other people and their dogs.  It was a perfect morning for running – chilly but not unbearably so, clear, and calm.  The course was reasonably flat with mostly small hills.  Running through the quiet, peaceful downtown felt like running through a movie set. 😀  Or through residential Venice.  The only people along the 5K route were runners and their families & friends.

I arrived with about 20 minutes to go before the start.  I walked around to keep myself warm and saw this guy:

Yes, those are ties.

Once the clock hit 9am, they fired the gun and off we went.  Shuffle…shuffle…run!

It took a few minutes to get past owners with excited dogs who wanted to run criss-cross down the street and wrap themselves around light poles (true story).  Finally I was on my way, albeit a bit fast.  Around .6 miles I started to feel it.  Yikes!  My watch showed a 7:25/mile whereas my goal was to stay within an 8:10-8:30/mile.  I slowed down.

Suddenly, at mile 1.2, my ankle rolled.  No reason.  The ground was completely smooth.  I didn’t trip.  Maybe the muscles around my ankle were tired and simply failed?  It was a full-out, ew-I-think-I-felt-things-crunch ankle roll that left me seriously limping and wondering if I’d just broken something.  I pulled out of the crowd and over to the side to assess the damage.  Walk-limp, walk-limp, walk-limp.  I realized I was freaked out and in shock so I got a grip and told myself that I was okay.  Nothing’s broken.  I might not have to pull out of the race.  Can I walk on it?  Hmm…yes.  Okay, good.  Can I jog on it?  Yes.  Can I run?  Let’s try.  Yes, I can.  Okay, cool.  Go.

I got back into the mix and eventually revved back up to about a 7:50-8:00 pace for the rest of that second mile.

We hit a few small hills and one steep hill during the third mile.  Plod, plod up the hill. I took advantage of any downhills and was careful NOT to roll my ankle again!

The finish line was at the end of a straight-away so as soon as I saw it I locked my eyes on it.  Focus – you’re almost there.  Keep up your speed.  During the last .2 miles I continued to pick up my pace and sprinted in.

I actually remembered to stop my Garmin this time (first time ever in a race!) and was so pleased with the results.  I had beat my PR.  By a minute and a half.

Official chip time: 25:24.

W00ttttttt.  I killed my holy crap goal.

Final stats

554/2375 Total
(not sure why this total's not closer to 7500?)
24/161 Age Group
128/1155 Females
25:24 Chip time
25:42 Gun time
8:17/mile

My ankle was very sore and swollen for the rest of the day and felt really “off” the next day.  It’s a bit better today although not fully healed.  I will probably be off running for at least another 2-3 days.  I have a 5K that I’m doing with friends as a part of a team in two weeks but don’t expect to beat this new PR since I will probably have a newly-healed ankle.

My half marathon running plan is supposed to start on Monday although I will obviously be delaying it.

Yesterday a couple of my girlfriends invited me to join them on their road trip in April to do the Nashville Half Marathon.  I may do that instead of the Shamrock half, which would allow me to push off my training for a few weeks.  I hear this trip is a total blast so I’m leaning toward it. 🙂

Happy post-Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday.

10K Follow-Up

My official time was 55:28.  I placed fourth in my AG, missing third place by six seconds. Nerts!

A picture if you please.  See if you can spot the RoadID and Sports Beans!

10k

Tonight I made this recipe for the first time (I added fresh spinach and used chicken broth instead of veggie broth) and it was delicious, especially with half of a toasted and lightly buttered sprouted grain english muffin for dipping.  YUM.

Recipe and image from 101 Cookbooks: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/red-lentil-soup-recipe.html

Has anyone else tried Ben & Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Chunk ice cream?  Holy crap.  I am a true chocolate lover at heart and definitely not a big ice cream person but I make an exception for this one.  It is cinnamon ice cream with chunks of oatmeal cookie and dark chocolate and it is fantastically addictive.

Piles 1 and 2 are almost gone!

My First 10K – Race Report

The day started out with a 4:15am alarm.  Way too early. Showered, changed into several layers as I wasn’t sure how the weather would turn out, made breakfast to go, kissed D goodbye, and was on the road at 5:30.  In the car I had a sprouted grain english muffin with natural pb and ab along with a few Laughing Cow cheese cubes and water.

The drive was dark and rainy but uneventful until I had almost reached the North Carolina border. A flashing sign warned me of high winds.  All of a sudden I was surrounded by fog so thick I couldn’t see past my headlights.  I dropped my speed by 20-25 mph and hit the flashers. Then the rain, which, until that point, had alternated between light and manageably moderate, started pouring sideways.  The wind whipped around my car and the roads looked like they were swimming.  All of this while it was pitch black outside and I’m driving through mountains with a bunch of semis and a severe drop-off on one side. For a brief moment it occurred to me that a race wasn’t worth the risk.  Just as I started to consider pulling over for a few minutes, the fog cleared, the rain died down, the winds stopped, and life was good again.

Those events had gotten my heart up pretty well so by the time I pulled up to the race I felt practically warmed up.  I had 30 min. until the race started.  I went and picked up my packet.  Not the best swag but, hey, the race was only $20 so I really can’t complain!  The skies were overcast and drizzly with temperatures around 65* F.  It was pretty windy, too. Aside from the occasional downpour and gust, it was very comfortable running weather.  I wore a performance t-shirt, shorts, sunglasses to keep the rain out of my contacts, and had a Hammergel and Sports Beans tucked down my sports bra.

There were maybe a couple hundred people there?, most of whom looked like decent runners.  We all lined up and hit the ground running while hitting our Garmins as the gun went off.  Right about this time it also started to rain.

I haven’t looked at my Garmin splits yet but I know my first couple of miles were a little too fast despite efforts to control myself.  I felt really good.  I remember being glad I had my sunglasses as it kept raining.  However, I also remember that they fogged up a lot.  There were several hills in the beginning of the course but after about a third of the way through, the course flattened out and was great – smooth and even with lot of clearance on the pavement.  The course was also very well manned by volunteers and police and there were plenty of drink stops.

Miles three, four, and five were spent focusing on maintaining my pace but allowing some slowing if necessary to keep my energy.  I had a few Sports Beans around 3.5.  I was also taking a brief walk break about every mile or so.  It continued to rain off and on.

Toward the end of mile 5 I picked up my pace and tried to hold it all the way to the end.  I started to falter as I rounded the corner. I’d like to go back and tell myself to keep pushing it because I was seriously almost there!  Finally I saw the finish line and maxed out all the way to the line.

I could tell my hips and thighs were a little trashed afterward. Did some easy jogs, stretching, and walking for about 20-30 min. while getting drenched in the on-again, off-again rain.  I had some water and a banana.  It seems my stomach does best when I get something simple like sports drink, beans/gel, a couple of cookies, or a banana into it immediately after a race.  Let it digest and recover for a while, then eat a larger meal later.

By the time I headed back to the car, I was absolutely soaked to the bone…and realized I had no towels in the car.  However, I did have a ShamWow that my mom gave me a while back.  Yes!  I shut myself in the back of my RAV, toweled down with the ShamWow, put one of the seats down for more room, and changed into dry clothes.  So glad I had extra socks and shoes.  This is a lesson to always bring a backup set of gear to a race in case something fails/breaks/gets wet!

Of course, to spite the horrible weather driving down, the trip back home was absolutely gorgeous.  October in the Blue Ridge is breathtaking.


I don’t know my exact time but I think it was in the low 55’s (forgot to hit my Garmin again at the finish line.  I’m so bad at that game.).  Not my preferred goal, but at least I hit my realistic goal again.  I really enjoyed that distance.  I’d like to try something longer in the future if my joints can handle it but I made it through the 10K distance and would love to do another soon.

One thing I have noticed – I am more sore now after 55 min. of running than I was after 1.5 hours of triathlon.  It’s definitely not a gentle sport!  I have had a couple of black toenails for a while now and they were pretty painful after the race.  I finally got up the courage to do something about it.  I won’t go into details but let’s just say a sterilized needle does a lot of good.

So there ya have it.  The last of my races this fall.  It’s been a remarkable year. Two 5K’s, two triathlons, and a 10K in a matter of a few months.  I did not expect to be here after battling patellar tendinitis for most of the year.  However, rest and attentive care really do work. 🙂

wasn’t worth it for

Carbo Loving

A couple of pictures from the race this weekend:

samtri2

samtri2b

My new New Balance 1225’s have arrived!

I’m heading to the gym for weights tonight but plan to break them in tomorrow with a 2 miler indoors (new shoe test run) followed by 4-5 outside.

My eating has been rather interesting over the last month or so.  Normally I try to strike a pretty good balance of proteins, fats, and carbs although I have a natural sweet tooth (really, I’ve had my DNA tested and one of the things it showed was a genetic tendency to favor sweets.  Technology these days!) so my carbs are always a bit higher.

However, as I upped my workouts a bit to prepare for my races my appetite for carbs skyrocketed.  They were all I thought about and my body couldn’t get enough of them. I usually tried to focus on complex carbs, although I always have a combination of simple carbs and proteins right after a workout for recovery/rebuilding purposes.

My carb cravings are still higher than normal although a wee bit better since I eased up from heavy workouts a week ago.  It concerned me for a little while as I wasn’t too kosher with the idea of packing on a bunch of weight but my weight remains the same despite reduced activity and I feel better afterward.  That tells me that my body probably just needed the extra fuel!

Today I’ve had:

Breakfast

– sprouted grain English muffin with natural apple butter

– 3 Laughing Cow cubes

– mug of coffee + skim milk

– water

Lunch

– water

– sips of D’s Coke

– calzone with broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, mozzarella, parmesan with tomato sauce

Snack

– small snack bag full of pomegranate seeds

– 2 squares Lindt 70% cocoa dark chocolate

– peach

I’m feeling pretty good right now.  I may be borderline low on carbs as I leave now to hit the gym – can’t tell yet – but I doubt it will be too bad since I had that nice carby calzone at lunch.

I’d love to hear about other athlete’s experiences with balancing their food needs with increased activity.

My Second Tri: Sprint Tri Race Report

Splits & Rank

Swim – 437 meters
6:36 – 5/30 age group

T1
3:49 – 7/30 age group

Bike – 12.4 miles
55:38 – 24/30 age group

T2
1:15 – 10/30 age group

Run – 3.1 miles
28:33 – 8/30 age group

Overall: 1:35:50, 13/30 age group

I achieved my realistic goal so I guess that means my expectations were just right.

I wish I had pictures to share but both sets of batteries I’d charged beforehand were dead by race morning.  Gr!

PRE-RACE

Saturday morning I woke up at zero o’clock and drove 3.5 hours to the race site.  I arrived just in time for the pre-race meeting.  Afterward, I did a quick swim in the pool to get familiarized with the flip turn distances and practice under-lane-line flip turns.  Then I picked up my packet, ate a late lunch/early dinner, drove the bike & run courses (was exhausted and decided to save energy by driving rather than riding the course) and called it a day. I’d heard rumors about a hill on the bike course and people were not kidding.  Holy crap! It was 1.5 miles of up and I was scared.

I stayed at a friend’s place that night.  Race morning I was up at 4:40 am. Shower, swim suit, warm-up suit, breakfast (sprouted grain eng. muffin, almond butter, banana, water) and a small cup of coffee with skim milk.  I ate/sipped on the way to the race.  I arrived just as transition was opening and got great parking and bike rack spots.

I racked my bike first, then got my timing chip, went back to the car for the rest of my stuff to set up my transition,  and braved the cold (it was in the low 40’s and freezing) long enough to get marked.  I knew I wouldn’t want to do a pool warm up on race morning which is why I scoped out the pool on Saturday, so Sunday I briefly jogged around the parking lot with some strides and just tried to stay warm.

One of my transition neighbors reminded me to put on sunscreen so I ran back to the car at the last minute for that.  Finally it was time to strip down to my swim suit and head inside to start the swim.  Transition buddy and I checked out the swimmers ahead of us while we waited. Some probably should have been seeded further back but they were almost done by the time we got in so it was fine.

RACE

My strategy for the race was simply this: save it for the hill, then recharge for the run.

We left 15 seconds apart in the pool, which was a 50 meter pool snake swim (down and back in one lane, under the lane lines, down and back in the next lane, under lane lines, etc.). I took it out easy in the swim and focused on keeping a steady pace rather than going all out as I did in my first tri. It felt awesome. During the last 100 I passed two people.

Hopped out of the pool and tried to keep an easy pace as I jogged to my bike. Long transition around the building dripping wet in 43 degrees running on cold pavement. Made it to my bike, quick pat dry, then decided to put on my lined warmup jacket for the bike. Good decision, wrong piece of clothing. I need an unlined biking jacket for this type of thing. My wet arms got caught up in the liner and I got all tangled and wasted probably 40 seconds. I was also distracted by nervousness about the big hill climb looming ahead of me. Finally got sorted out and booked it out of there. Had one Shot Block in T1 and one early into the bike with a few sips of water.

So…I totally suck at the bike. No lie. Suck. My lack of confidence doesn’t help either. I got passed by a lot of people and struggled to maintain speed over even the small rolling hills. Halfway through the bike I turned left and there it was.  The monster hill.  I’d never done anything like it and was pretty terrified. I stretched out my legs, switched to granny gear, took a deep breath, and went for it.  Head down, one step at a time, just keep pedaling.  I focused on getting through only what pavement I could see under my front wheel. I got passed by people who spun easily and looked like they were out for holiday.  I did pass one older guy.  W00t! Finally, finally the top was in sight.  A man jogging by promised I was almost there and he was right.  Elation!  I’d made it up that hill without stopping and with zero flats.

After that I relaxed and enjoyed the race. It was time to have fun with this. I made my way back to transition, racked my bike, dropped the helmet and jacket, grabbed race belt and my Garmin, and headed out in my swim suit and shorts. At this point it was about 55 degrees and perfect for running.

My feet were still frozen from the bike so I was running on blocks of ice for the first mile or so. I had some aching in my shins so I did a brief walk break after mile one. That helped a ton and everything felt great after that. I chugged along trying to keep a good pace and enjoyed the pretty neighborhoods and chats with people passing by.

I walked through the water stop, hit the turn-around, headed back toward the finish line – holy crap, I’m almost done and I sort of don’t want this to end.  It’s too fun. I passed a girl in my age group on my way in.  Once the finish line was in sight, I sprinted for all I was worth all the way to the end.  As I stood there panting I swallowed some happy tears.  I knew the bike had been slow but I’d gotten through that hill.  The run had been lovely.  The swim had felt great.  I was so pleased with how everything turned out.

After I got my race chip cut off I remembered to stop my Garmin. It said 28:44. My official split was 28:33.  Seems like my race split should have been faster because I started the Garmin before I left T2 and stopped it well after I finished?  Looking at the Garmin stats, I was in the mid-27’s when I hit 3.1 miles.  Not my fastest, but not bad.

POST-RACE

Cool-down jog and stretches, then found some water and snacked on Oreos.  Love!  I didn’t sit down for at least an hour afterward to avoid stiffening up. I did have a little bit of soreness later in the day but none since then. My recovery from this race has been faster and much smoother (no nausea this time) than the one from my first tri.

I found out later that both people I passed in the swim, a teenage girl and my transition buddy, a 26 y.o. guy, won first place in their age groups. If my bike was where it should be, I think I would’ve had a shot at my preferred goal.  At least I know what to work on this winter, right?

Thinking back on the finer details, I’m making a mental note that my nutrition was just right.  I had no cramps and no light-headedness. My pacing was much better this time, also – perhaps too good. There was a lack of urgency in some parts. However, with this slightly longer course than my last tri it was fun to be able to depend on endurance rather than speed. I think I want to do a longer race.

All in all, it was a fun race, great course, very organized, well-staffed.  I can’t wait for my second triathlon season!!

My First 5K

Two or three days after my tri last week, I still had the race bug so I signed up for a local 5K the following weekend (this past Saturday). My first two races as an adult in less than a week. I think I was a little nuts.

5K Race Report:

27:01
23-29 Rank: 5/13
Overall Rank: 153/239

I tossed and turned most of the night before. For breakfast I had a sprouted grain eng. muffin with nat. pb and nat. apple butter plus a cup of coffee with skim milk and a gulp of Gatorade. Little bit of water on the drive up and hit the bathroom at the Arby’s down the street before I entered the park. I was feeling a little lightheaded as the start neared so I popped a Shot Blok about 15 min. before it started. I warmed up with a 10-15 min. jog on pavement and grass, plus stretching. Very nice weather.

This was my first 5K that I’ve run (walked one in June). I was told by numerous people to make sure to pace myself in the beginning. I did throughout mile 1 and felt awesome by the time mile 2 came around. However, I sped up too soon then and suffered from about 1.75-2.6. I sort of subscribe to the Jeff Galloway method of using walk breaks for injury prevention and keeping yourself juiced so I took several small walk breaks including one through the water stop. I had some side cramping at one point but it worked itself out. Sprinted into the finish, although I would like to have been able to pick up my pace earlier than that. I finished 1:45 away from 3rd place in the AG.

After the race I did some light jogging, lots and lots of walking, and stretching. I avoided sitting down for about an hour after the race to keep my blood pumping and joints moving. I won another door prize – this time a stainless steel water bottle.

I loved this race. Loved the chance to pace myself even if I screwed it up a bit in the middle. I can’t wait to work on my pacing and do another running race, either this distance or a bit further.