Something weird happens when you sign up to do a trail race in a small city.

You actually have a chance of placing top 3 in your age group even if you are, comparatively, pretty slow.

Travis and I have been looking forward to doing the Love 2 Run’s 5k for Wounded Warriors for a few weeks. It was out first race together on a trail that Travis loves and it supports an incredible cause. Saturday morning we were up and full of energy! It was cute to see how Travis acted the morning of a race. He’s always a morning person but we were both more energetic and happier than usual.2014-08-16 07.17.52-2The race started at 8 a.m. and my main goal was to finish injury free. I’ve ran the course a few times with Travis and it’s challenging so I was worried I’d slip and hurt myself in the middle of marathon training. I didn’t have any real expectations on finish time since I’m running 40-50 miles a week now and not focusing very much on speedwork. I do one speed session a week where I run intervals at a 9 minute pace, but my prior 5k PR was done at an 8:15 pace.

I told Travis I’d be thrilled if I came in under 27 minutes. I decided to try and do an 8:40 pace and that’s almost exactly what I ended up doing. Travis has a little bit of a problem pacing himself so he gunned it at the beginning and ran the first mile in under 6 minutes! Travis ended up setting a PR with a finish time of 23:08 and I came in at 27:05.

The race didn’t use electronic timers on the bibs so we immediately went over to where the finishers were being organized by time and one of the guys was writing down the top 3 in each category. They came to Travis’s number first and he came in 1st place in his age group! This is the first time he’s placed and he killed it. About 20 minutes later we were still anxiously standing behind the guys watching them fill the form out and I could see them putting names down in my age group. I knew it would be close so I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I was thrilled when I saw I came in 3rd. This was our first race together, and the first time either of us placed!
2014-08-16 08.48.03After we finished creeping we headed over to the area where the awards ceremony was going to take place. 2014-08-16 08.54.50For a 5k the race perks were unbelievable. Most 5k’s I do you get a shirt when you pick up your packets and a banana at the end. That’s it. Our race bags had a shirt, gu, honey stingers, KT tape samples, a koozie, pen, and a pedometer. The post race treats included freaking frozen yogurt, and the usual oranges and bananas. I grabbed two of the yogurts. Probably not the brightest idea since I had to run another 5 miles after the award ceremony (in ridiculous Alabama afternoon heat – got to love marathon training!)

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The award ceremony was simple – just called our names up to get the medal. Since Travis came in first he also got a gift certificate for a free pair of swiftwick socks & some more gu (and he gave both to me. awwww.)

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After the awards they had some raffle prizes to give away. Everyone who raced had their names entered and one of the prizes was a 1 hour massage. If you weren’t at the award ceremony when they called your name they picked another. When the massage came up everyone wanted it and the first few names didn’t get called and suddenly …. while he’s chanting under his breath “call my name, call my name” … they call out Travis’s name! I told him I must be his good luck charm he had such a great day.

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2014-08-16 11.45.55For a girl who just started running two years ago, and whose first 5k was 31 minutes, I’m pretty damn proud of myself. Travis said we have to start working on speed more so we can start winning all the races.

Yeah, like that’s going to happen!

Have you even won a sporting event?

Workout Wrap Up

Saturday: 6 miles (11:10 pace)

Sunday: 12 miles (10:40)

Monday: 6 miles (10:50) + T25 Core Speed

Tuesday: 4×1200 (9:00 pace) total of 6 miles (9:40 pace) + PiYo Define Lower Body

Wednesday: PiYo Define Upper Body & Sweat

Thursday: 10 miles (7 @ 10:00 pace)

Friday: 6 miles (11:00)

Total Miles: 46

For the first time in months I went 7 days without a rest day. Normally I rest on Wednesdays but my PiYo DVD’s came in the mail on Monday and I was just so excited to try them out! I won’t do that again while marathon training as that tempo run on Thursday was rough.

This weekend will be my last here in Alabama. I’ve been up here for about two weeks staying with Travis since I had time off between semesters. It’s been amazing to be able to see him every day and I don’t know how I’m going to transition back into only seeing him on the weekends. Thankfully, I’ll be so busy with my usual blog, writing, training and teaching 5 classes this Fall that I will have lots to do to keep busy until the coveted Friday night!

Running on post has been a struggle, but I’ve finally found routes that I really enjoy. The sunrises here are incredible.

Rucker1I love how run-friendly the post is. All the drivers are extremely cautious and move way out of their way when they see me coming. Other runners, usually military, always say hello (I can’t count how many times I’ve been called mam this week) and they have a great track for doing speed work on. I ran this loop about 6 times yesterday for my 10 miler and got to watch all the soldiers doing their PT. I also got to see my baby driving by on his way to work as I was hitting the 7.2 mile mark and it was just the motivation I needed to finish strong!
After that run I came home and had the best breakfast ever. I’ve been obsessed with Udi’s GF bagels with onion and chive cream cheese. I received this Vega recovery accelerator to try months ago and figured after a 10 mile tempo run it was the perfect time to use it. The taste was great! I put it in the blender with some water, ice, and half a frozen banana so it was about 125 calories. It’s supposed to:

  • Replenish energy and electrolytes
  • Reduce inflammation, muscle, and joint pain
  • Support immune system function
  • Reduce recovery time

Since I’ve only used it once I can’t really tell how effective it is. The reviews for it on Amazon are incredible, and I’ve had many people tell me on Twitter they swear it helps cut down recovery time. At $1.50 a serving it may be something I invest in when classes start to use after my 2 hard runs each week.

BreakfastDinners this week have been super simple. An omelet and roasted veggies. Travis and I both love roasting up huge pans of veggies to have on hand for the week as it’s such a simple way to make sure your getting your daily veggie quota. I’ll cut up two giant bins of them (pictured below) and roast up a pan at a time at 450F for about 30 minutes. I’ll drizzle some olive oil and salt on them while they are on the pan before I put them in. Our favorite veggies to roast are asparagus, broccoli, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, brusslel sprouts, and broccoli.  The USDA suggests adults get 2-3 cups of veggies a day and we hit that goal usually with just dinner. VeggiesMy shakeology arrived last weekend so I’ve been having one a day usually with lunch or as an afternoon snack. I will be doing a full review of it (and the PiYo program) next week but for now I love the vegan chocolate flavor way more than the strawberry, it keeps me full for about 4 hours, and I have noticed a significant decrease in my cravings!
ShakeologyI’ve spent a lot of time this week getting ready for my Fall classes. I don’t care how old I get I will always geek out when new school supplies start to hit the shelves. I love organizing and planning (and have a post coming Monday that talks about that!) While staying with Travis I spent most mornings working on the blog/freelance work, and after a 7th Heaven lunch break would spend the afternoons getting my syllabi ready and preparing my lecture slides. I can’t wait to meet my students!
deskTomorrow morning Travis and I are running out first race together. It’s a trail 5k in Dothan and if I’m being 100% honest we are both secretly hoping to place in our age groups. I really have no idea how fast I’ll be able to go since I’m in the midst of marathon training and just ran 46 miles this week, but I’m going to give it my best and hope all of the fast 30-34 year old females decided to sleep in this weekend.
Remember the killer Theragesic Giveaway I hosted earlier this month? Congratulations to the winners!  Julie Brew Finlayson (Grand Prize winner) and Bert Ruiz & Katie Walsh (Runners Up.)

I’m actually sad that this post has to end because it means the next post you will likely see I will be writing it from Pensacola and my summer break is official over.

I will console myself by looking at fall scented candles online at Bath & Body works and daydream of cute Fall boots and sweaters, and cold cuddle weather.

What are your weekend plans?
What do you look forward to most about the Fall?

With rain hijacking the last few weekends we finally had the type of weekend that epitomizes the gorgeous Spring weather in Florida. I was able to spend some time hanging out with a friend on his front porch and this photo just about sums up how perfect it has been outside. He has an incredible garden and I actually pulled those carrots myself to dip in some homemade humus! Mint in the water was also taken straight from the plant. I wish I had the patience for gardening.

2014-04-10 15.33.25-1Friday afternoon I walked around downtown for a while waiting to meet a friend at Seville to pick up our packets for the Navy Federal 5k. I had a lady bug land on my hand and hang out with me for a while. They are a sign of good luck so I’m expecting something magical to happen soon. 2014-04-11 16.23.16

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I signed up for the race a few weeks ago on a whim with the fantastical notion that I may actually be able to place top 3 in my age group. My goal pace was 8:30, which is nowhere near fast enough to place in most races, but the last 2 years the top 3 in my group had paces hovering around 9 minutes! So, I went to be crossing my fingers that no one fast in my age group felt like running. Either way it was going to be Christina’s first race so I was looking forward to seeing her cross the finish line and hopefully love it enough to want to do it again.

Race morning came and I was FULL of nerves. My heart-felt like it was in my throat. I met Christina and we formulated our game plan. I was hoping to finish with enough time before she crossed the finish line to run back to her car and grab my cell phone to snap some photos of her. The race was extremely well-organized and family friendly. We started on time and before I had a chance to have a total nervous breakdown I was on my way. I had a group of marines running in formation behind me and that helped to keep me going. I felt pretty comfortable running between 8:15 and 8:30 and I just kept telling myself “It’s only 25 minutes!” I ran strong to the finish and ended with a brand new PR of 25:28 (8:12 pace.) My very first 5k in October of 2012 was just over 31 minutes. It’s amazing what 18 months and hundreds of miles can do!

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I kept running so I could make it to the car and back in time to catch Christina. She was aiming for a 12 minute pace so I was shocked when I saw her crossing at 33 minutes! She crushed her goal time and as we were sitting in the lawn scarfing down bananas and oranges she looked at me and said, “Yeah, I’m addicted.” #Success

I ended up coming in 8th in my division out of 44 so I’m trying to focus on how awesome that is instead of sulking that I didn’t place. The girl who came in 3rd finished 45 seconds ahead of me, so there were a lot of speedy 30-34 year olds out there this year! The first place female in the age group behind me finished 15 seconds after me. Damn if I wasn’t just a bit older! I’m already looking forward to running a few more 5k’s with Christina this summer and really focusing on speed work after my marathon this month.

2014-04-12 08.49.50-2That afternoon I met up with my parents at Roly Poly for lunch. They were in town to go to a quilt show and we all love eating at Roly Poly. I didn’t realize it until I read the recap for my first 5k today that we had Roly Poly the day of that race as well! I’m thinking this should become tradition. 2014-04-12 12.13.22I met up with Christina and her friend for dinner to celebrate her first 5k. We went to Jaco’s downtown which has the best views of the sunset in town. I had a delicious Portobello dish with pesto risotto and creamy tomato sauce. I had to muster up the little bit of class I have to not lick the plate clean. 2014-04-12 19.13.36-2

Sunday I woke up early to do my long run before heading to my parents house in Fort Walton for an early Easter BBQ. My legs were pretty sore from the 5k Saturday so about 2 miles into it I decided not to do the 16 I had planned on. At this point (two weeks out from the marathon) ‘training’ is essentially done, so I had zero heartburn aiming to do 13.1 miles instead. I still did a hilly course and managed to keep a 10:36 pace. Not bad for tired legs!

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This week is my last week teaching classes in person at UWF for the term. This class gets out early as my students will be turning their final papers into me a week from today. I’m hoping to have them all graded before Dad and I hit the road to Nashville on Thursday. It’s nice having so many things to look forward to. Life. Enjoying the anticipation.

How was your weekend? 
When/Where is your next trip?