I’m 27 today!!! And I’m gonna
partay chow chow like it’s my birthday!
In lieu of a birthday post (which I will save for tomorrow) I am going to instead share yesterday’s eats, as well as my offish results from the San Francisco Nike Marathon…I actually have plans for today that don’t involve working or blogging 🙂
By now, you all know I love running. I ALSO happen to love my readers (which is a simple and very understated way to put it, but for now it will have to do). So, when a certain commenter (ahem, Caitlin)
stroked my ego and asked me to write more deets about last weekend’s race, I was happy to oblige. Well, next thing I knew, my response to her comment was half a mile long, which made me think, maybe I have more to say on the subject than I originally thought. Now, the LAST thing I want to do is bore you all with an “ode to running” manuscript. SO, if you have no interest in what I’m about to share (or think I’m full of myself), please scroll ahead.
Consider yourself warned.
My time was 1:43:43 which averages out to 7:55 minute miles. Considering the hill factor, I was quite pleased with this. For comparison’s sake, last month’s half marathon time was 1:42:07 which is a 7:47 minute mile pace. I’m not a robot, I swear! I was a little bummed since I was trying to beat that time, but that was before I realized that I would be climbing 75 degree inclines for miles on end.
As an avid runner, I consider races to be the pinnacle of the sport for me. It’s not just the path getting there (training, pushing myself, etc.) but it’s also the thrill of competition AND simultaneously of camaraderie. When I’m running I feel surrounded by others who all share this passion for lacing up our sneakers and putting our best foot forward, time and time again. At times it seems annoying to sacrifice sleep or socializing when training, but during races, it all comes to fruition and I feel a bond with others who made similar decisions to get to that place. Crossing that finish line. WOW. There is NO better feeling!
Throughout the race I felt AMAZING. Sure there were moments in which I was exhausted (aforementioned hills), but the crowds were so supportive, and I truly felt strong and in shape and prepared for all 13.1 miles. Never once did I feel like I couldn’t go on.
In terms of my training, I’m not what you would consider a model athlete. I don’t follow any organized plan, I have never done any research on how one is “supposed” to train, and I have no clue if the miles I log leading up to races are what’s recommended. I’m pretty sure I could improve my time if I made racing more of a priority, but I have a job and a life and I consider running (not racing) my passion. So, while I like being timed, and competing, I am also happy with my more mellow approach to events such as the Nike half marathon.
Additionally, running that early in the morning is usually NOT my cup of tea. In fact, most days I work out in the afternoon because I prefer to eat lunch (for energy) and allow time to digest before getting physical. I have heard that you are supposed to train in “like conditions” to the race for which you are training. However, for me, that would mean 5 am wake up calls on my days off of work, which in my book is NOT cool. So I basically disregard that out of comfort. I am NOT a morning person. I require ample amounts of coffee to make a sentence coherent. And for that reason I will NEVER EVER share my race photos (they are SO horrible). Shockingly enough, I went to bed early before this race (10:30 pm is early for me), and got nearly 6 hours of sleep, so I felt pretty alert for it being 5 am. Side note: due to the insane winds, my eyes were tearing the entire race long (no joke, I had streaks all down my cheeks), but it didn’t really even phase me…I only discovered it when I took a (rather scary) look in the mirror on the ride home with my sister. Oh, and then I saw the photos on the Nike website…anyone know how to burn virtual pictures? These MORE than need to be confiscated.
Anyways, as far as my mental state during the race was concerned, I wasn’t paying attention to mile markers until about mile 6. In past half marathons I have done (this was #3), I have had a WAY more trying time. Psychologically speaking, it can be hard to ignore the mile markers and not keep a count down going in your head, so I really heavily on music to entertain me for such long hauls. This race, however, had so much going on on the sidelines that I was pleasantly distracted and the first half of the race flew by. The crowds were amazingly loud and cheerful for 7 am. There were live choirs, bands, bagpipes, free style and street dancers, and people with cow bells and clappers. It was crazy. Miles 7-9 were almost all hills, though, so I was really digging in and focusing. Not on the distance really, but more on trying to keep up my pace and not fall too behind (because I felt like I was running at a stand still)!! Throughout these miles there were also awesome crowds, including people with trays of orange slices (don’t mind if I do!), Luna moons and mini-bars, halves of bananas, and of course water. I think I got more orange on my chin and sleeve than actually made it into my mouth (but really, I was so nasty, who knows what was sweat and what was orange…). Around mile 10 I felt like I was home free…the time and miles flew by. We were in Golden Gate Park by that time, so there weren’t really many major hills left. Next thing I knew I saw the finish line. What a sight that was to behold!! My goodness, there is no better view. As I crossed it I burst into a smile (I know this based on the race photos). I was so elated to be done and to have accomplished such a feat. Each and every person volunteering for Nike (from the tuxedo clad man handing me my Tiffany’s necklace to the teenage kid offering me a towel) said “congratulations” in such a sincere way, it made me really proud of myself and all the other runners.
Here’s the breakdown of my time over the 13.1 miles:
5K – 24:07 10K – 48:38 15K – 1:13:37 (ummm, steady much?)
Moving on to the FOOD now.
Thinking I wouldn’t need it, I set my alarm for 10 am as a back-up. Boy was I wrong! I don’t actually remember turning it off, but when I finally came to consciousness, the clock said 11:00, so clearly something happened there.
I broke the fast with coffee and donuts.
For the record, I only bit into this to show you
the texture my hideous cuticles…I popped the rest in my mouth whole. Averie’s raw vegan chocolate donut holes and macaroon blondies were the BEST way to start my day. Granted I haven’t had real donuts (or holes) in ages, but these were pretty authentic. They had a more “bread-y” inside than I was expecting and they weren’t super sugary. Who knew a light donut could exist? The macaroons were just as amazing as last time I had them. The coconut was perfectly balanced with the rest of the ingreds, and they crumbled in my mouth. So good.
A bit later I got my fruit fix, while perusing the latest NY Runner mag and some trashy tv.
Look famil? I added some of my ‘fu fest leftovers to some quinoa and topped it with soy nuts. I like multi-texture dishes, so this fit the bill perfectly.
Maxed out soy intake – check! After
digesting playing catch up with the tivo, I decided to hit the gym. It felt great to get back into the routine, but weird because (a) I had nothing to train for, (b) my iPod was is still broken so I was tune-less, and (c) the gym was eerily empty. With the NYC marathon coming up soon, it’s very rare to find a gym with open machines, but I guess the weather was nice enough that people took to the streets instead. 7 miles later, I headed home sweaty and high on endorphins.
I had a snack of
home-made ghetto pumpkin butter (WF canned pumpkin, NuNaturals vanilla extract, cinnamon, WF vanilla protein powder, and Xagave agave syrup) with apple slices. Not gonna lie, I was pretty pleased with this poor man’s version of pumpkin butter, especially because (unlike the canned versions), this one didn’t have enough sugar to send me into a diabetic coma. Success! After this snack I headed off to my hot date physical therapy appointment. I cheated on my regular PT because my spine was in desperate need of some man-handling (and he’s only avail on Mon/Wed).
On the way home I stopped at WF for some basic groceries, and then got home to prepare dinner.
Here’s the arame seaweed soaking (ironically it is ON the stove, but only because there was nowhere else to put it). After 15 minutes, it was soft and ready, so I drained the water, and added in the rest of the Tokyo seaweed salad. The excess oil and vinegar from the packaged salad coated the arame that I made, so in the end it was a less saturated dish.
On the side, I had some vegan sushi. You’ve seen me eat this several times before. It is actually my go-to meal before races because of the perfect ratio of carbs to fat and protein, and it is very easy on my stomach. I love brown rice in sushi and even more, I love TVP in sushi. I wish more sushi restaurants went with vegan options aside from simple avo and veggie rolls.
How amazing does this look!! I think I am in a seaweed rut.
Dessert was fruit. What else?
OK! I’m off to celebrate my birthday 🙂