Monday, April 29, 2013

Derby Festival Mini Marathon Race Recap

Good Monday to you! What did you get into this weekend? I didn't do much...other than a little half mary. I should preface this by saying sometime last week I tweaked my back a bit but didn't let it bother me. I finished classes and was pretty much hanging out at home most of the week so figured I was in perfect race shape. My mom has also started walking and did her first mile last week with me and the pup and I was really excited about that! Since my pretty great 10 Miler I've been really looking forward to the mini and decided I was going to shoot for a 2:30. The first time I ran it in 2009 I did a 2:45 so if I could've been close to that time I would've been happy...but I would've been happier with 2:30...or 2:25 ;) Anyway, that didn't happen and now that I'm done sulking I'm less disappointed and can write a relatively decent recap. Now that that's out of the way...

Alarm went off at 5 am and I headed downstairs to wake up my pup for her morning walk. It was probably one of the hardest parts of the day since we've gotten out of our early morning routine. I ate my standard half  waffle with cinnamon raisin granola peanut butter and drank a little Nuun before heading out to pick up my mom and head downtown. Everything about the drive was uneventful which is the way I like my races to start. I parked literally right at the start, Corral F to be exact and made my usual two trip potty run. Autumn was also running but like a crazy person she worked the night shift before the race meaning 7 pm Friday night into 7 am Saturday morning with a race start time of 7:30 am. Crazy stuff right? So I hung around the start with my mom hoping she would make it in time to start with me (Corral E) but we'd talked about it beforehand and I was just going to start even if she was late and we'd meet up at the finish. I got her race updates sent to my phone so I'd know when she started.

 Waiting around at the start

Louisville Loves Boston 

I'll keep my comments about this pic to myself

It took almost 10 minutes to cross the start and once again I was a lonely Harlem Shaker since my sister hadn't made it down yet. She luckily only works about a mile away but walking a mile before running 13 still sounds pretty awful if you ask me. I sent her some words of encouragement and made my way across the start. I was really nervous at the line and wanted to stop in the loo again but figured it was just nerves. Well half a mile in I realized it wasn't nerves and I really did have to go for an unprecedented third time. I was so mad! I've never had to stop during a race so I was really disappointed but made a mad sprint to the first potty I found which was just after the 1 mile mark at the first water stop. A pretty remarkably awful twelve minutes later I was back out on the course and pretty much heartbroken that I'd never make up that much time. Around mile 4 I came upon my sister who had started almost 10 minutes after me. It sucked I'd lost the time but I was glad to see her and we trotted along together. Not long after I started getting some pretty intense back pain. In my stress from starting the race and the pit stop I had totally forgotten about my back. I kept running but by mile 5 the pain had tightened up my lower back and started into my glute. I finally let my sister in on the secret and she informed me of how much her knee was hurting. Once again we were a mess so with the time lost and the unidentified injury I abandoned my hopes of a respectable finishing time and we decided to be "those people". You know who I'm talking about. The ones who give high fives to bystanders and woo all over themselves. We were just going to have fun. And fun we had...sorta. We did the chicken dance just before the 10k split. We picked up some fun purple leis after mile 7 then headed into Churchill Downs which is always a blast. By this point we were quite a sad duo with our hobbling and such but were still trying to make the best of it. Watching the Derby horses workout and trying to avoid smelling the Derby horses working out. We came out of Churchill which always makes you feel like a celebrity because of all the people out cheering. We came up on the marathon split and were glad to be turning left this time instead of right like in 2010. We also saw our lulus! You may or may not be familiar but they've got their fun signs that look something like this (compliments of their Facebook page):


We hit mile 9 right after the marathoners hit their 18 and it was neat to watch some of them go by. As awful as we were feeling we just kept talking about how excited we are for our fall full marys. The 3:00 or 3:30 (can't remember which one) passed us and they were looking strong. I'm hoping to do my full in the fall in around 5:00 but we'll see how that goes. More importantly, we came up on 10 miles back near the chicken dancers but I was feeling a lot less festive. Autumn hung tough about a minute or so behind me and I made sure to check out where she was from time to time. Unfortunately my mad dash to the loo and back to the course plus all of my usual zig zagging added about a quarter mile to my race which sucked since I'd get to the mile markers after my mile Garmin beeps but I just kept trucking along. There were some frat guys out with beers that they weren't handing out and I'm pretty sure they hadn't been to bed yet from Friday...you know, just like my sister. Around the 12.5 mark I spotted my mom who was quite excited and told me my sister wasn't far behind. I kicked it into the highest gear I had to come in for a strong finish. All I can say is ouch. My back pain had made it's way into my hamstring, my IT band was acting up on the opposite leg, my hips were already sore and my feet were killing me (from kicking so much ass-phalt) but I ran as fast as I possibly could and am legit nervous to see the grimace in my finish line photos. I was so happy and proud to have finished but apparently I looked so rough that 2 (count em, two) volunteers ran out to me asking if I needed help. Luckily I've had meningitis so most pain on a 1 to meningitis scale hangs around a 2. Although my sister made me use my 1 to last summer's shoulder injury scale which put my pain significantly higher. I pulled myself through the finishing chute but hung around long enough to meet my sister. We were both so happy to have finished and happier to know we could finally stop moving. We made our way back to my mom and eventually made it back home. I managed a 2:59 which was disappointing but I do feel better knowing that without the 12 minute pit stop I might have done something like a 2:47 which isn't far from 2009 when I was at least 30 pounds lighter. All in all I really am proud of myself and the disappointment has subsided a bit.


I took yesterday off and my back is actually feeling a lot better today although I haven't tried to run. I did however try out a swim and it went quite well. I definitely need another half for redemption but not sure when that will be, probably not until I start training for the full. Now it's Derby week which means it's also triathlon season!


Friday, April 26, 2013

One Day More

Yes I made a Les Miserables reference. Yeah, I'm kind of obsessed. I don't judge you, you don't judge me. TOMORROW IS THE MINI! I am SO excited and I'm not entirely sure why. This is the last race of what I've deemed the "spring race season" but I just love it. It's really fun, it's in my hometown and the shirt is pretty cute this year. I also missed it last year because of my "I'm too fat to run a half marathon." mentality. So in my state of overexcitedness, and inspired by this post and this post by one of my faves Run Eat Repeat I thought I'd share with you some of my fitness idols. I have a lot so it's hard to narrow down but I'll do my best.
Pink. I'm obsessed with Pink in all ways so why should her tremendous body (even post-baby) be an exception?
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P.S. - Have you watched her video for Try? Or Glitter in the Air? Amazing feats of athleticism.


Kara and Shalane. Doesn't every runner (at least) love these two? They're so gracious and talented and incredible athletes. 
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In more runner news, Track and Field is packed full of bodies I want. Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross and Jessica Ennis.
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Last but not least are my triathlete idols. To bike like Caroline Steffen and run like Mirinda Carfrae would be a dream come true.
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So that's that. As you can see, I'm obsessed with athletes. I'm also obsessed with abs...and arms...and using the word obsessed. But don't fret! These are totally healthy idols for me because not a single one of these women follow some kind of fad diet or any unhealthy means of "getting skinny". They're fit as hell and the only way you get like that is with proper diet and exercise which is how I try to live my life. I'll likely never look like any of them but they give me a nice gauge of what I want ME to look like. And you can't blame a girl for dreaming ;)
Wish me luck tomorrow and feel free to let me in on your fitness idols! 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Long Time No See

Oh, hey guys. Did you know I have a blog? Yeah, easy to forget. Well my apologies for your new found abandonment issues but I want you to know that I'm back and plan to be in it for the long haul from now on. 

So what's been going on? As a runner and general human being I of course was shocked, stunned, horrified etc. etc. by the events of The Boston Marathon. But like so many others really don't have any words to address it and at this point I still think it's best that I just remain quiet. In happier news, I just finished my first semester of grad school! There are SOME in my life who do not see that as a huge accomplishment. Those people no longer have a place in my life because I think if you care about someone then you should at least fake care about what's important to them. Right? Right. Anyhow, I have some very BIG changes in the works right now but they're not quite ready to be disclosed. I mention that in a cheap ploy to get you to keep reading. Did it work? Well stay tuned because I'm super excited!

The single most exciting thing on the horizon for me is my trip to Peru! I'm going to Peru for a much too short 10 days with the university's Women's Center and will be sightseeing, eating and visiting a women's organization there that assists victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. I'm really excited about everything that goes along with the trip besides the cavity search getting back through US customs on the way home. I really didn't have a plan for this post (as you can probably tell) so I'm just going to show you some photos and call it a day. Sound good?

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My herbs from the Farmer's Market, Sweet Basil, Parsley, Chives and Purple Basil

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My new runners!

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Storm rolls in

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Storm rolls out

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A lovely spring day

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Papa John's 10 Miler Race Recap

Oh heeeeeyy guys. Guess who forgot she raced on Saturday? Do you wanna know how it went? No? You should probably stop reading then. But before I recap can I just say how tiring racing is? I raced the 5K, took the week off, then the 10k, then the 7 mile Run the Bluegrass, then the 10 miler. Shew! I know I'm not fast or anything but I'm beat. Glad I now have almost 3 weeks until my next half so I can chill out a little...aside from the 25K bike ride  I may or may not do on the 20th. I've never done a real ride before other than the Mayor's Hike, Bike and Paddle back in May when I first learned to ride and that was like a kid's ride really. Seriously. A family ride. Awkward. Anyhow, on to the race.

I woke up pumped for this race. The 10 miler is my absolute favorite race ever! The course is never too crowded, it's got some hills strategically placed right at the sweet spot of this distance, the weather is usually gorgeous and you get to finish on the field inside Cardinal Stadium. What more could you ask for? Only my mom was available to come with me so there aren't many photos since she's not much of a photog but it's always nice to have someone available to come with.

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People kept walking in front of me and I couldn't stop laughing at how mad my mom was getting...

This is quite a boring report because it's ease is what makes it my favorite race. Parking is easy, there are tons of bathrooms (this time mine still had part of the sanitation ribbon on it!) and there's enough space that it never feels too terribly crowded as you wait around. This year it was also the same day as our Final Four game so there were lots of drunken overly excited spectators and guys in speedos and body paint. 

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We go mad hard in the Ville

I started kind of close to the front but off to the side like normal and was surprised to actually be passing people. I tried to go out easy knowing I had a long way to go and that my legs were tired from 7 miles uphill in Lexington. I did my first mile in 10:48 or so and was happy with that. Unfortunately I got a little overzealous and did miles 2 and 3 in the 10:15/20 range and they came back to bite me as I did the hilly miles 4-6. I did a little more walking than I would have liked but I wasn't feeling any real pain and I was glad. My legs were tired but not hurting. Once you pass the mile 6 marker it's downhill out of the park and then a straight flat shoot to the stadium...until mile 9. Mile 9 has a monster hill but it's not long, just steep. After that it's just into the stadium but it's an excruciating last mile because you can hear all the excitement and see the stadium. It's still worth it. I finished oh so slightly faster than my January (flat and fast course) 10 miler which was 1:53:59.

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After the race there was no second breakfast because I just wanted to go home. My plan was to lay on the couch for the rest of the day.

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My plan for lazy lasted for about an hour and a half. Then I just got up and back to work. Womp womp. But all in all it was a success. I was definitely sore and still am so I took Sunday off but then I did something really crazy yesterday...I swam! Say what?! Yeah, apparently I still know how. Good to know. 

P.S. - A big Congratulations I think for my good pals at Team Awesome for their engagement. Read all about it here. I promise it's much more interesting than anything I post ;)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Who is the Vegetarian in the Ville?

I do believe I have a few new followers thanks to my very first giveaway hosted by Kaliwood. Everyone join me in congratulating our winner, Mika from Fort Lauderdale! Say, Mika, is the weather better there than it is here in the Derby City? We're actually going through a tiny spurt of good weather right now before the tornadoes roll in so I can't complain. But back to the point, I answered a little survey today to give you all a little peek into who I really am. Hopefully you'll all learn something and feel free to answer some of these yourself in the comments. I'd love to get to know you too!

1. What are you doing right now?

Aside from blogging and not doing the things I'm supposed to be doing, I am "carb loading" for my 10 miler tomorrow and pretending that I'm watching The Expendables on SpikeTV because it's a good movie and not just because I like to look at Jason Statham.

2. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

Hmm...that I'm not sure about since I really don't use my ipod too much anymore these days. But my favorite song right now is Just Give Me a Reason by my favorite lady, P!nk.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpQFFLBMEPI&w=560&h=315]

3. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?

Actual activity would probably be cycling. I don't hate the trainer as much as most people because I do a lot of homework and watch stuff while I'm on it. But most things I do inside I don't mind doing outside. Including sleep. Just keep this decent weather!

4. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Dishes. I hate washing dishes. You'd think I'd find a place with a dishwasher by now but I'm not that sharp.

5. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?

Haven't we all? Probably the biggest thing would be not doing as well on the LSAT as I had hoped. At the time I was devastated. It was literally my life plan to become a lawyer and I had been thinking about law school since high school. Not doing so great on the test which turned my second choice schools into reach schools was really hard on me. Looking at my life now I'm so glad I didn't choose law school because I really think I would've been extremely unhappy. I love anthropology and I'm so glad that my life was shaken so hard back in 2009 to lead me where I am now. Ask me again in 10 years when I have debt and possibly no job though. The answer might be different ;)

6. When was the last time you were nervous?

Oh boy. I'm a Nervous Nelly! I'm always nervous about something! I was nervous driving this morning because my check engine light was on. I was nervous my dog would fall coming down the stairs after her bath. I'm nervous about the big game tomorrow. I'm also nervous about the 10 miler. Whew, let's just stop there.

7. Do you wear contacts?

Yep...how's that for a random question?

8. What color shirt are you wearing?

RED!!!! GO CARDS! It was proclaimed as "ware" red day today in the city and I literally saw people in red EVERYWHERE. Louisville is so awesome.

9. What book are you reading now?

Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks. Yeah...

10. What is the farthest you have been from home?

Greece for sure, but I'm not sure which city in Greece was the farthest so we'll just leave it there.

11. Whats the next planned event you're looking to in your life?

I'm looking forward to a lot! Which is really exciting! Tomorrow's race and game are the most immediate but I'm also looking forward to finishing this semester, my first "grown up" Derby party and going to Peru.

12. What was the last thing you ate that you really shouldn't have?

Probably my mini pizza for lunch. But it's all in the name of carb loading. And in my defense, I tried to eat a salad but it was gross so pizza was all I had on hand ;)

13. If money were not an object, what would you do with your life?

What's really great is that I think I'd be doing what I'm doing now. Just in a more extreme way. I would for sure go to school and learn everything I wanted to learn without worrying about how to pay for it. And I would travel which I plan to do anyway but I'd do it now. And often. 

14. Are you always early or terminally late?

Early bird, guilty as charged. I wake up like 3 hours before I have to be somewhere and I don't even do hair or makeup like most women so I literally just get up and get dressed. And then I leave for everywhere 1 hour to 30 minutes before I have to be there. I have a problem. It's a compulsion.

15. Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

Gabrielle Union because I'm obsessed with her. Not as obsessed as I am with P!nk but pretty obsessed.

So there are 15 answers to 15 totally random questions for you. Want to answer any? Do it in the comments! Or better yet Ask me More! I love answering questions...most of the time and if I know what you want to know I'll be able to actually write things you'll care about. 

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Me and my sister when we were itty bitty

 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fruit and Nut Energy Bars!

Two days in a row?! I must be swamped with schoolwork to be blogging so much. Anyhow, remember when I said I'd start posting recipes? Maybe not. Maybe I never said it? Well here is a recipe for any of you interested in making your own fruit and nut bars. I am trying to move away from my pre-packaged foods so I've been working hard at finding recipes for things I like that don't take too long and that I can eat on for more than one day. Oh and anything that saves me money is good for me! 

I originally found this recipe here so I don't want you thinking I'm some kind of culinary genius but I did edit it just a bit to make do with what I had. Here's what you'll need:

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  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup dried raisin/golden raisin/cranberry medley (got mine from Trader Joe's)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (I use pulp free for cooking/baking)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt (I have no idea what this is for)
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • Shallow Aluminum baking pan (the ones you get in the baking aisle of the grocery store)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Wax paper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a baking pan with aluminum foil. I forgot to take a picture of this step so just use one of those throw away aluminum pans you get in the baking aisle at Kroger, make sure it's a shallow one. Line it with foil and make sure the foil is taller than the sides of the pan. You'll use the foil to help you take the bars out.

Combine the almonds, dates and other dried fruits (you can use whatever you'd like but make sure you keep the dates because they play a big role in holding everything together) into a food processor or in my case, a Ninja! And pulse until coarsely chopped.

Add orange juice and salt and pulse until it all starts to stick together. Then add the sunflower and pumpkin seeds just to the point that they're mixed in. Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan.

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Yep, totally looks like birdseed

Use your wax paper and hands to press the mixture into the pan so it's flat and even. Bake for 15 minutes then cool completely before cutting.

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I used my handy dandy pizza cutter to cut them then I wrapped them individually in wax paper and foil and set them in the fridge. They were exactly the grab and go snack I needed and I've made them twice. If my version of the recipe didn't make any sense feel free to click the link above and see how a real pro types it out. Enjoy :)

 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Run the Bluegrass Rookie Run Race Recap

Evening, Friends. I've got to be honest with you, I'm completely overwhelmed at this point. I know I go back and forth a lot on my emotional roller coaster and I hope you're all holding on. Less than 4 weeks left in the semester and I have only 2 more full books to read, countless articles, two 20+ term papers to finish, another smaller paper, oh and I have to figure out how to survive over the summer since I quit my job. Not a good day today. On the bright side I'm at least doing well in school which makes me think maybe this wasn't the worst idea I've ever had. But I digress. Let's get racing!

I was super pumped to be racing with my sister since it feels like we've been separated for years. We drove to Lexington Friday late afternoon to get to the expo. Because of construction they gave us a detour which I printed out beforehand and we didn't have any trouble really. Once we got there, things were kinda weird.

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ImageWe walked in and were handed a plastic bag presumably for goodies (even though they did virtual swag bags) and started walking around. Not long after we started browsing we noticed a lot of people just standing still. Apparently we were supposed to wait in a line that literally wrapped around the entire venue. So we turn around and walk back to the entrance at the end of the line. Irritating, but we were still in good spirits.

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After roughly forever we make it to get our bibs and off we go. But don't worry, there was another semi-imaginary line we didn't notice so we turned back around and got in the second line to get our tshirts which were back at the entrance. Oy vey. Eventually we did manage to get our stuff but the alarming factor was that no one was particularly friendly. We were our usual excited and chatty selves and aside from us, some vendors and a few non-natives it was really quiet. Not my normal expo. We got our stuff, spent a few bucks then left. We stayed in a hotel about 10 minutes away and I met up with a friend for pizza (carb loading...ahem) before heading to bed. It was a late start so it wasn't too bad that I stayed up late watching March Madness (GO CARDS!!!!!!!!!). We left about an hour early which was good because we spent over 40 minutes trying to go half a mile because of the construction traffic. It was full on chaos and disorder which you know I do not do well with. Luckily my new car gets tremendous gas mileage. When we finally got to the gate there were a few volunteers directing but there were a few more chatting with each other so I just turned and parked in the first spot I saw. Not sure if it was legal. We put some pep in our step, stopped at the potties and headed to the start. Luckily we were only doing the 7 miler so we weren't in an early wave. It didn't end up mattering much because they delayed the start 15 minutes since everyone was in traffic. We were in Wave K so we started walking and looking up at the signs. Wave B...Wave E...Wave R...Wave L...wait...what's going on? Yes, you read that correctly, the waves were not actually in alphabetical order. WTF? We found some ladies who also had green Wave K bibs and they told us they were just waiting until the Wave got to them since it was pretty far behind the start. We followed their lead. They were nice...but still quiet. Do people in Lexington not talk excessively like in The Ville?

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Off we went at exactly 9:27 am. Less than a mile in we hit our first hill...then another...then another. And my legs were already tired. Word of wisdom, don't PR a 10k and one weekend later attempt a fast, hilly 7 mile run. Particularly when you're trying to also PR in a 10 mile race the next week. I make a lot of bad calls if you haven't noticed. We decided to treat this like a training run for the mini and not go hard. Just run, have fun and work some hills. Oh! And take pictures! I finished in 1:24:48 which averages a 12:07 mile. I'm actually really happy with that! Especially on hills with pre-tired legs. And stopping for pictures along the way. I'm glad we did this race but honestly, it was a bit of a clustermess. The logistics were just not so great and it was a weird crowd. Maybe just more serious runners than I'm used to but that really took a lot of the fun out of racing which was unfortunate. There WAS a medal however which is a plus and the shirts are really nice. Now just recuperating for the 10 miler Saturday and trying not to crack under school pressure. Enjoy some photos of the beautiful bluegrass that is indeed the pride of Kentucky.

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