Eglin Gate-to-Gate Race + Birthday Celebrations

Friday night I decided to go ALL OUT and went to Publix to grab my three favorite 'treats' (by treat I mean $$ treat not caloric.) I'm just crazy like that sometimes. Popchips, sushi & arctic zero. Sushi is my usual pre-race dinner, and if I could afford to I'd get arctic zero and/or popchips daily. 2014-05-23 14.43.41I went to bed pretty early Friday night, which is totally not unusual for me, but this time I had a good excuse. My alarm was set for 4:30 a.m. so I could drive over to my parents house in Fort Walton by 6 so Dad and I could drive to Eglin Air Force Base together. Last year was the first time I ran the 4.4 mile Gate to Gate run and I really loved the course. It's an interesting distance to run - I can't go all out like I would with a 5k, but it's still a short enough distance that I could push myself pretty hard. 2014-05-24 06.55.33 The course is one giant loop (it used to go from one gate to the base to another, hence the name) and is infamous for 'puke hill' just after the 4 mile mark. It's pretty flat the entire way but there is very little shade the first half and I was sweating more 10 minutes into this race then I did for my marathon in Nashville. My last 5k pace was 8:15, and I've been running 9 minute miles on some of my tempo runs lately, so my goal was to hold a 9 minute pace and come in under 40 minutes. My unofficial time (based on my garmin) put me at 39:39. That's almost 5 minutes better than last year!2014-05-24 09.26.42

The pain in my lower leg was okay until the last mile. I'm pretty sure I brought this on myself for not replacing my Mizuno's quicker (they had about 500 miles on them) and doing to much speed work last week. I've been icing it 2-3 times a day and will be easing back on the pace a bit.

I was happy I was able to run into my friend Rachael who ran the race last year as well. She's lost 40 pounds since the 2013 race and took 25 MINUTES off her time. If there was an award that day for 'best PR improvement' she definitely would have won.

After the race I hung out at the parents house most of the day. I spent about an hour trying to clean the carpets of my car. I was not very successful and they are still ripped up so I can shove fresh newspapers under them daily to absorb the remaining water. I also did two weeks worth of laundry and ate a ridiculous amount of food. Hey - birthday calories don't count (even thought it wasn't my birthday.)

My brother's birthday is Tuesday but we celebrated early since I was in town. I found this appropriate card and the message I wrote inside pertains to their family cat who hasn't pooped in his litter box in years. 2014-05-24 09.48.40 2014-05-24 09.50.07We grilled out for lunch and I had two of my favorite things ever; Mom's bombass carrot salad and marinated grilled veggies. I threw a boca burger in on the side for some protein to fill me up otherwise I would have eaten 3 pounds of those grilled veggies.

Josh requested cupcakes instead of a cake so Mom made these. 2014-05-24 13.47.38Don't let the look on his face here fool you - he is not above birthday cupcakes. 2014-05-24 13.47.57I ate three. Mom made me feel better about it by saying the cupcakes you buy in bakers now are like 3x the size of these regular cupcakes so I kind of only had one.

I also watched some of this classic 90's flick. I can't believe Mom bought it on DVD. Reason #247 why she is awesome. 2014-05-24 11.44.00 While I was there Dad came across this photo of me taken near my heaviest. I was so self-conscious very few pictures of me during this time exist, and I had completely forgotten about this one! I think I actually put on another 5-10 pounds after this before I reached my highest weight of 170. 2014-05-24 11.48.11Finally, I snapped this photo of Salem looking like he stayed up partying to hard with the catnip. 2014-05-23 11.33.13-1I'm not sure what I will be doing today since I have the day off. I'll probably work a bit on the site, maybe write a few posts, do my virtual Memorial Day 5/10k run for Vacation Races, and binge watch Xena.

What will you be doing for Memorial Day?