This Weekend, I… (Part II)

This weekend, I…

1. Ran my first 5k.

Now I’ve got a 5k, a 10k and a half under my belt. ¬†I do realize what this means, but I have to mentally prepare myself for that next big step before taking the plunge. ūüėČ

I have to say, running a 5k was one of the funnest events I’ve yet to attend. ¬†It was great being in a crowd of like minded individuals. ¬†It felt fun vs. feeling scary and competitive (although there were definitely some super competitive athletes at this event as well!)

Dad ran with me, and burned up the course with his pace of 7.3 minute miles. ¬†I ran my heart out with 8.? minute miles. ¬†It felt good to run for speed vs. running for distance. ¬†I’m normally a slow runner, but I like the idea of increasing my speed for future races.

The front runners finished with a pace of 5 minute miles which is absolutely awesome and absurd. ¬†I can’t even imagine.

Whole Foods was handing out free apples and apple cider which made for a delicious post-run snack. ¬†I also took a couple bites of Dad’s chili after the race. ¬†Delicious. ¬†It was nice and chunky with plenty of veggies and local grass fed beef.

We considered waiting in line for the locally dug potato fries (they seemed to be the hit of the day,) but the line was long and we were starving…

…so we mingled around for the free samples of breads and vegetables and things like that.

Check out these gorgeous heirloom garlic braids.  For those of us obsessed with all things garlic.  So pretty.

Later, we stopped off at Whole Foods for some more food (5k races apparently make me hungry.)

Dad made himself a roast beef sandwich by stopping in the bread department and asking for some lean roast beef at the deli.

I snagged a piece of dad’s baguette and got a little bit of this and that (kale, tempeh, 3-bean salad, and butter beans in olive oil) from the salad bar.

We also got some complimentary goodie bags complete with locally made strawberry and tripleberry jam.

Fun race, fun day.

I’m already planning another 5k for next month. ūüėÄ

2. Registered for a Masters Degree Information Session in November.
I’m still not really sure how I feel about this. ¬†But lately I’ve been thinking about going for my Masters Degree. ¬†It would be a big financial leap, but it might also be a smart career move.
I’m just going to start studying for my GRE exam, go to this informational session and take it a day at a time (while still applying for jobs in the meantime.)
We’ll see what happens with this one. ūüėČ

3. Had a cookout with the family.

Who cares that it’s 32 degrees outside?

Or that I’m wearing mittens and thick wooly socks and I can see my breathe when I step outside?

It’s never too late for a cook”out.” ¬†Complete with grass fed burgers, whole wheat buns from Trader Joes, onions and mushrooms (for the burger), root fries and side salads.

I wanted to try something slightly different than your typical “fry” so I baked up some root veggie fries, thanks to some inspiration from the cookbook Clean Food. ¬†I changed the seasoning options, as it’s easily tweakable. ¬†Go with what you like…the cooking method is no-fail.

Root Veggie Fries

  • 4 parsnips, peeled
  • 4 carrots, peeled
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder to taste
  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Cut vegetables into stick shapes.  Steam for 3 minutes.  Transfer to cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray, drizzle with oil, and toss with cornmeal and seasonings of choice.
  3. Broil for 5 minutes.  Flip.  Broil another 5 or until browned as desired (longer if you prefer them more crisp.)
Just like your typical french fries, these were delicious served with ketchup.  As much as I love potato fries, these really do make a fun twist now and then.
4. Recharged and reflected.
We all need “me time.” ¬†Time to just unwind and reflect and journal and sip a cup of tea.
I heart holiday teas.
QUESTION: What did YOU do this weekend?
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seeing the cup half full

Yesterday, I ate lunch at 3.

Last night, I skipped dinner and missed my night time snack.

This morning, I ate the breakfast of champions.

Oh yes, saltines.  And an orange, just to round it all out.

And then, for lunch, I had a dole strawberry fruit bar.

There is this¬†vicious¬†bug circulating around, making itself known to anyone and everyone who comes in contact with it (don’t worry, as far as I know, it’s not catchy via internet!)

This bug wouldn’t “bug” me so much, if I didn’t have a half marathon to run on Sunday! ¬†However, in spirit of always trying to stay positive, I made a list of some reasons why being sick might be a good thing. ¬†Bear with me.

(1) I could have been attacked by that mean Jack Russell Terrier today on my run.  Imagine running the half marathon with a dog bite!

(2) I could have been sick on Sunday and not today, which would basically mean an automatic forfeit!

(3) I could have been on the brink of getting injured and perhaps taking today off from running (and walking) was just what my body needed.

(4) Mentally, I’ll be well rested and itching to run by Sunday.

(5) Maybe , as with many things in life, this is a blessing in disguise.

Sometimes I need to let out some steam. ¬†Sometimes I get downright mad and upset. ¬†Sometimes I have to throw a tantrum and shout¬†“this just isn’t fair!”

But usually—mostly always—I feel my best when I remember to look at the positive side of things.

QUESTION: Does staying positive come natural to you or do you have to work at it?  I most definitely have to WORK at it!

half marathon: mental preparations

I have this thing about wanting to check out the race locations before I actually step foot at the starting line.

I realize that this won’t always be realistically possible. ¬†Say, for example, if I ever do the Disney Half Marathon. ¬†Or if I run out of country (wouldn’t that be a amazing?)

But.  For now.  It works.

My mom and Pepere came along with me to check out the route, and we made a whole day out of it.

(Thank you, Pepere, for coming and for treating us to lunch!! ūüėÄ )

Field Green Salad with Pecans and Feta Cheese

The reason I do these sorts of mental pre-race trial runs is that I want to feel calm, collected and completely prepared at the start of the race.

I like to feel ready for whatever comes my way: hills, rocky terrain, and any stand-out mile markers.  I like to feel ready for whatever might potentially be thrown at me.

Just.  You know.  Ready.

As I drove through the route, I mentally pictured myself running over the rolling hills. ¬†And then we reached the second mile marker and I realized that the rolling hills kept rolling¬†up, up and up. ¬†Every time we reached the top of a hill, I thought for sure the terrain would level off. ¬†But it didn’t. ¬†It didn’t. ¬†The hills kept climbing.

And then, slowly—over time—that crisp mental image that I had of myself (you know,¬†I strangely looked like Kara Goucher in my imagination…weird) became a fuzzy blur.

And then, before I knew it, we were all laughing and cracking jokes about the entire route, in a good natured, completely necessary kind of way.

Pepere declared that he would bring the stretcher.

Mom said we didn’t need to check out the rest of the race because we already knew it was all uphill.

And I stated that at least there were plenty of benches along the route in case of an emergency.

So, I didn’t quite look like Kara Goucher in my dreams anymore. ¬†But I did look like me. ¬†And that’s more than okay. ¬†Because on Sunday, I’ll be laying everything that I have on the line.

The injury that held me back from my half marathon goals last year. ¬†The first run that I ran after being injured (more on that later!) ¬†All those late night runs—and those weekend long runs!—with dad, as we trained our way from running 3 miles to 12.3. ¬†Those moments when I didn’t feel like running. ¬†And those moments when I didn’t want to stop.

All of it. ¬†It’s all going to be right there with me at the starting line, urging me on.

I will put my heart and soul into this race, just as I put my heart and soul into my training. ¬†I’m not looking for the perfect results. ¬†Or that perfect time. ¬†

I’m looking for the opportunity to prove to myself that I can. ¬†I will.

I find this incredibly hard to believe, but…

…six more days and counting!

QUESTION: Have you ever trained or prepared for something really big? ¬†Did you feel ready when the time came to lay it on the line? ¬†I prepare a lot for formal presentations and things like that, but I never feel as prepared as I would like!! ¬†However, with running, I have always felt pretty good. ¬†That doesn’t mean I don’t feel ridiculously nervous and anxious. ¬†But as long as I put in the time and the effort, I like to view the race as the final step and opportunity to enjoy all of my hard work! ūüėÄ