Monday, November 30, 2009

Way Station Turkey Trot 5k Recap

I awoke to 45 degrees and calm winds Thursday morning.  Chilly and damp, but not rainy or windy so I was happy.  I put on a light running shirt, new long sleeved running top, yoga pants, ear cover, and headed for the start.

Unlike the Pink Ribbon 5k, the Armory wasn't open for the race, so everyone waited outside for the start.  That was where my dilemma started: yoga pants or no yoga pants.  I toggled back and forth for quite some time before deciding to leave them on.  I remembered back to the Urbana 5k where I was way too warm at mile 1.5 or so and was not keen to repeat that performance.  I could have gone without them since I ended up a little warm, but I would have been quite chilly at the start.  I just need to toughen up!

Prior to the race my last run was the Urbana 5k, so I had no expectations for my performance which was probably a good thing.  It allowed me to relax and just run, so I did just that.  I ran the entire race comfortably and ended up with a gun time of 34:17.  Apparently I had a non-functioning chip because I show up nowhere in the results (I even checked the men's results).  Estimating that it took me about 7 seconds to get to the pad, resulting in a 34:10 clock time, my results would have been:

AG: 62/111
Overall: 575/972

And that's all.  It was an uneventful, peaceful run that I was happy to participate in.  I guess it's now time to decide what I'm going to train for next...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Yummy Smoothies

When Smoothie King moved into College Park, I was a college student in love.  I probably drank at least one smoothie a month and cashed in on plenty of "buy nine get one free" cards.  I knew the menu by heart and made sure to mix it up so I wasn't drinking the same one all the time.  I made the occasional mistake of getting a smoothie larger than 20 oz (although I swore at the time that I had room in my stomach for it) and ended up in pain on the couch, but darn it was good going down.

I moved to Michigan and moved away from my beloved smoothies.  I suffered from withdrawal for a time, but found new addictions to satisfy myself.  Once back in the Washington, DC area I still wasn't near a Smoothie King, but I had been "sober" for a while so I didn't mind.

Within a few years of moving back I was living and working near a Smoothie King, so I occasionally wandered over and grabbed a drink.  The location near work has been visited the most, and the most disappointing.  One smoothie I bought was mixed so long that it was extremely thin; just like drinking water.  My most recent smoothie was so much ice that it wasn't satisfying at all, and it was that smoothie that turned me off from the store near work (I won't penalize the location near home unless they do the same thing to me).  When you're paying $5-6 per smoothie, it has to be made well.  When you screw up two out of about a half dozen of smoothies, that's not a good record.  So, I decided to open a new location in my kitchen.

Two frozen-then-thawed bananas, a cup of frozen-then-thawed strawberries, a half a cup of vanilla yogurt, two tablespoons of wheat germ, and a tablespoon of honey is my current favorite recipe.  I use a hand blender to mix everything together since it is more convenient and less clean-up than a blender.  I've also used frozen-then-thawed blue berries and POM Wonderful (helpful for thinning the smoothie when frozen berries are used).  I've made a smoothie almost daily for the past two weeks and have enjoyed tinkering with the recipe, and certainly drinking them.  Unless all the grocery stores close, I'm not sure that I'll be going back to Smoothie King.  My concoction is more delicious and much cheaper than what I could get there.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Urbana Wicked Fast 5k Recap

34:10.  Enough said.

It was 59ºF and windy (12 mph gusts) Saturday morning; better than the Pink Ribbon race.  I got to the race location well before the start and took my time doing my race prep.  I lined up at the start line, and when the gun went off, I was ready to run.

Around mile 0.5 (yes, zero point five) I developed a deep stitch on my right side.  I took some deep breaths and it faded away; I thought maybe my breakfast was talking back.  Around mile 2 I had some very sharp cramps in my shoulders.  I took about 10 seconds to walk and stretch my arms over my head, felt better, then picked the pace back up.  The cramps remained for quite a while after my quick stop, but from all the walking I did at the end of the race, they faded as well.  Around the 2.5 mile mark I was pooped and couldn't maintain my (already slow) pace.  I pulled up and walked for what was probably about 5 minutes, but felt like an eternity.  I finished out the last part of the race and went home with my head hung very low.  A Chick-Fil-A chicken breakfast burrito helped to ease a bit of the pain, but my disappointment was strong.

Did I fail to set myself up, or set myself up to fail?  Mentally I had one of the worse weeks I've had in ages, possibly ever.  I couldn't stand to be around myself because of my poor attitude, but I couldn't figure out how to fix the situation.  Usually that kind of attitude lasts a few hours at most, but this was several days.  I had no motivation to do anything; everything in my life suffered.  I don't know what put me in such a foul mood, but I'm certainly glad to be out of it, although I'm puzzled why I ended up like that.

All I can do now is start looking towards the next phase of training, whatever that may be at this point.  I have the Turkey Trot coming up on Thanksgiving, but I don't know if I should consider that another "A" race, or leave it as a "B" and call my fall season over at this point.  I'll have to figure that out soon.

Next race: Turkey Trot 5k on 11/26/09