I’m taking part in the Runner’s World third annual holiday running streak by pledging to run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.
Running to the Finish
This is the first time I’ve done the holiday run streak, and I’m really looking forward to it as I’ve taken a solid running break since my marathon. Too often the holidays get used as an excuse to put off getting in shape until the New Year. This is such a great way to stay fit – and maybe even get fitter – even through holiday parties and extra sweets.
Last Wednesday I ran my first-ever track race at the DC Road Runners Track Championships as part of the Bring Back the Mile Tour. It was so much fun and made me sort of wish I’d run track in high school, although I wouldn’t want to give up all the great softball memories and friends I have either.
Rocking my Oiselle tank and distance shorts with CEP compression socks.
Ian and I drove up to the track about an hour early so I could get signed up for my heat, watch some of the earlier races to see how things were done and get a full warm-up in. My coach gave me a goal time of 6:30 so I ended up signing up for the under-7 minute heat. After my warm-up I was feeling good and made my way toward the start to wait for them to call our heat. I was pretty surprised at how nervous I was for a one-mile race… I mean I’ve done 26X this multiple times.
Once the starting call was given the nerves were gone and the adrenaline was pumping. It was such a rush and I loved every second of it. I jumped out quick so I wouldn’t get tied up with others near the start and led almost to the 200 mark before the speedsters in my heat took over. I spent most of the race in 4th place. Clocks were set up at the 200 and 400, but somehow I managed to instantly forget my splits. Ian’s pictures gave me a pretty good idea though, and it looks like I ran my first and last laps the fastest with the 3rd one being the slowest.
During lap four I moved up a little and ran with fellow DC Running Coach teammate Michelle. We dueled our way down the final straightaway to the finish. I felt like I was flying. Obviously my pace was nowhere near the elite heats that would go later, but it was still a pretty quick mile for me! We crossed the finish line at almost the same time. They gave me third in 6:21, but to be honest, it was a pretty close call and probably could have gone either way. The pictures are great – we match each other step for step to the finish.
I’m really loving the shorter races lately and being on the track with people cheering and seeing you run the whole way was a blast. I’ll absolutely look to do another one of these soon.
Have you ever run a track race? What did you think?
Super Bowl Sunday is usually synonymous with parties, overeating and indulgence. Despite being a Bills fan and facing many years of disappointment on this day in the 90s, I still look forward to it. You can find healthy Super Bowl party recipes all over the Internet, but I figured I’m still going to eat a ton of food today, so I might as well start the day off with a great workout so I wouldn’t feel guilty. I torched some calories with a 7-mile run to start the day followed by an intense body ride spin class. Bring on the snacks!
Ian and I decided to hang in and watch the Super Bowl at home. I didn’t have a huge rooting interest this year. I hate the Ravens because I dislike Ray Lewis, so seeing the Niners win would be OK. On the other hand, I was also so happy the Ravens beat the Patriots and felt a little compelled to root for the almost-local team that I wouldn’t mind seeing them win either. I’m glad it turned into a good game after looking like it would be a blow out. My favorite commercial spots were the M&Ms, Clydesdales, Oreo, Taco Bell and the one about farmers. Let me know your favorites in the comments!
We made a great Super Bowl spread to enjoy during the game. We started off with a guasacaca (I can’t say this without giggling. Try it, it just sounds funny.) recipe we found on Serious Eats. It’s an avocado salsa that Serious Eats describes as “the Venezuelan answer to guacamole, but with a brighter, tangier flavor.” Ian describes it as “if smooth salsa and guacamole had a baby.”
Next we put our brand new crock pot to work to make a chicken chili. The Hamilton Beach crock pot came with three different size crocks we can use with it: 2-, 4- and 6-quarts. For this recipe we went with the the 4-quart pot. The apartment smelled amazing all day as our chili slowly cooked. We didn’t have quite enough chicken for what the recipe called for, but we had some extra andouille sausage from another meal, so we added a bit of that giving it a nice little kick. It tasted even better than it smelled and we had enough for a few days of leftover lunches!
We wrapped up our Super Bowl spread with a delicious dessert – Peanut Butter Caramel Cupcakes. I found this recipe on a blog I came across a few weeks ago and they were simply amazing. The frosting reminded me of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, and drizzling caramel sauce over the top just put them over the edge. I brought the rest to work or I would have eaten all of these. So good!
Cupcakes! In the process of adding caramel.
PB Caramel Cupcake
It was a fun Super Sunday filled with great food. Hope you enjoyed your Super Bowl parties and snacks! What was your favorite indulgence from this year’s Big Game?
Last night I headed out to Falls Church for Tri360’s clinic: Big Goals for 2013 Panel. Tri360 is a new triathlon store in the area that I’ve wanted to check out for awhile, and it’s very cool. The space is awesome and they’ve got a great assortment of bikes and gear for all three disciplines as well as a service area for bike repairs and maintenance.
I’ve been biking a bit lately since I haven’t been able to run and am really enjoying it. I haven’t done a triathlon in years, mostly because I got frustrated with the fact that I’m not very good at either the swim or bike portions. I’ve been thinking about giving it another go though when I get back into running, so I have some other outlets to keep me from overdoing it on the running right away.
Tri360 put together a great panel of professional and elite triathletes, an elite cross/mountain biker, an Ironman finisher and a swim/run coach resulting in some really good advice and an info-packed discussion. They talked about setting realistic goals based on your fitness level and time to train to avoid burnout and set yourself up for your best chance at success.
The panelists reminded us that goals don’t just have to be about your finish time or place, but can focus on other things like improvement and attitude. It’s also helpful to have training goals and to document your progress so you can look back and see how far you’ve come. Set your goals based on what’s right for you, not based on a competition with someone else – especially if you’re not at comparable fitness levels.
A big theme of the night was achieving balance between training and the rest of your life. Family, friends and work shouldn’t suffer because of your training. Having family or friends that don’t participate in swim, bike and run with you can be really beneficial – sometimes you need to “step out of the bubble”. They also talked about remembering to have fun and the reasons why you do this. If you’re not having any fun then what’s the point.
I really enjoyed the clinic and loved the store. I’ll definitely be back!
Other than the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon, I’m still planning out my race goals for next year. Let me know what your big goals are for next year in the comments!