Monday, March 21, 2011

Scraped up knees and 5k race report

I am what a normal person would call "clumsy" and/or "klutzy." It always amazed me that in high school, I was able to NOT trip over every hurdle when I ran them for track. In my 4.5 years in Philadelphia and running the city's sidewalks and paths, I have not had the easiest time staying on my feet. Luckily, I had only fallen and scraped myself up twice. That was until last Friday while running with Back on My Feet. It was early in the morning, mind you (around 6 am, to be exact). That still doesn't give me a good excuse for falling. I just do not lift my fet up enough when I run and when my toe caught the lip of a slightly uneven sidewalk, I just ate it. The worst feeling was mid-fall when I knew what was about to happen was going to hurt a lot. I felt embarrassed because I didn't know the guys I ran with too well, but they were very sweet when I fell. I did feel like a BAMF for the blood dripping down my legs after it, though. A few days later and my knees and hand are very tender. This stinks because I was really hoping to get some yoga in today. If I put any pressure on my right hand at all, it screams back at me, so it seems like no yoga for a bit. Bummer. 

In the fight Rebecca v. Philly sidewalks, my knees and right hand lost.
Luckily, my injury hasn't stopped me from running, although I am a bit nervous about falling again. This past Sunday, I ran in the Get Your Rear in Gear 5k/10k race that started near the Philadelphia Art Museum. As a runner training for my third and fourth ultramarathons, speed is not something I work on often. With my new, lighter running shoes, I have found it a lot easier to run faster. I don't know if it is physical or if my epiphany, but I have been running faster lately. When a co-worker asked if I wanted to do the race, I was super stoked to test out ma speeeeeeed. 

Sunday rolled around and I was really excited. I aimed for a sub-23 minute 5k, which I chose based upon recent runs. It was chilly and windy, so I made sure to wear warm running gear. I took SEPTA (Philly's subway, but no one calls it the subway) to the closest stop to the race start, then ran about half a mile to the race start as a warm-up. 

Soon, the race officials were calling everyone to the start. I was getting nervous, which was weird! I kept telling myself it is only a 5k, nothing as important as my marathons or ultras. Finally, the gun went off at 9:30 and it was go time. I seeded myself closer to the front, but I did find myself passing people pretty quickly. My first mile split was 7:09, which was faster than I anticipated. The course was flat as a pancake, so it was easy to go fast. I kept telling myself the race is super short, so any pain or shortness of breath I felt would be worth the good time. 
Will I be a turtle with all of the ultra training?!
Around the halfway point (and turn-around point as it was an out and back course), a guy near me started to run away. I thought, "Oh heck naw," and stuck with him. I then passed him and thought, "Let me start picking off people ahead of me to pass." This was a great strategy and I was able to keep passing tons of people. At one point, a runner on the first half of the race saw me passing a group and said, "Yo go, girl!" What a great boost of confidence!

I ended up running a 21:39 5k (6:59 min/mile pace), 36th out of 1014 overall, and the 7th overall woman. Eeeek, it was really exciting. Though I don't foresee a 5k in the near future as I need to focus on my ultra training, it was great to change things up a bit and see that even if I am training to run loads of miles, I can still have some speed. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Exciting Week

I haven't blogged in over a week and it's due to me actually being super busy with work and running. As I said, I went to NYC last weekend to go to a Major Lazer and Miike Snow concert. That was realllly fun, especially because I got to see Diplo, one of the DJs in Major Lazer. As a fellow Philadelphian, it was really awesome to finally see him after years of wanting to. One of my bffs, Meaghan, also came into the city for brunch on Sunday, which was awesome. I was very happy to see her, which rounded out the awesome weekend.
You can DJ for me any day, Diplo <3
The most exciting part of this last week? I started volunteering/running with Back on My Feet. Back on My Feet is an amazing charity and organization started by Anne Mahlum in Philadelphia in 2007. She used to run by a homeless shelter during her morning runs and became friends with the guys in the shelter. She knew how running gave her confidence, so she thought why couldn't running help the guys in the shelter? After they come run for enough time, BOMF helps them work towards driver's licences, GEDs, jobs, and eventually places to live. My 24 hour race is BOMF's largest event in the year. I feel passionately about what they do, so I have been loving finally volunteering with them. I get up early to run with some guys at a shelter near my apartment, as well as other volunteers. I have no problem being up at 5 am to run when I know it is with BOMF.
I will leave you all with the delicious dinner recipe I just cooked. I have been wanting to make these Baked Black Bean Taquitos for a few weeks now and I finally got around to doing so today. These taquitos with a side of sauteed kale made for a perfect dinner.
They were crispy and creamy without a fryer in sight, nor are they chock filled with chemicals like the ones you find at 7-11. John was hoping I'd throw some meat in there, but with none defrosted, beans it was. He really liked them and agreed they were great, even meat free. Yummmmmm. 

Okay, I am happily going to bed soon. With all the running I've done this week (43 miles, 20 of them today), my bed is calling me. Happy week, everyone!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Review of 2/3rds of "End of Overeating" and impromptu NYC trip

I have been terrible about blogging. I haven't had much food in the apartment, therefore haven't had fun dinners to write about. I am going grocery shopping, so that will not be the same next week!

Ultramarathon training has been going well. I have been getting in all of my runs and have also been doing yoga once a week. I haven't been keeping up with my core, but I will be working on that. I am getting in my 18 miler tomorrow bright and early. Why is that? John, Joey, my mom, and I are heading to New York City! Mom IMed me this morning asking me if I wanted to head to NYC with Joey and her and that John was invited to. Why the heck not?! I hadn't serious plans other than my run, so I'm stoked! We have a noon bus to NYC tomorrow, so I'll have to get up super early to get in my 18 miles. It is totally worth it. I'll bring my camera and hope I can upload pictures from the trip!
*sigh* I <3 New York!
I have been wanting to read The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite  by Dr. David A Kessler for a long time. He used to be the head of the FDA, so he knows his stuff. I am only about 2/3rds of the way in, so my review won't be a full one, but I am loving it already! I find myself eating so much when I am not hungry, overdoing it with portions, and eating a lot of sweets and empty calories. The book is broken up into different sections, including one focusing on the physiological changes due to salt, fat, and sugar we consume, a section on how the food industry creates foods that get us hooked on them, and further sections on breaking the cycle of overeating. 

So far, it has been really interesting. I have tried to be more conscious of my eating, but it hasn't all be successful (part of the gig to stop overeating includes falters because that will happen). Just yesterday, out on a work field trip, I had a bagel at 11 am. At noon, they had lunch for us (crazy, right?!). Instead of diving into the sandwiches while I was not hungry, I instead had some salad and a bit of bread. I also happily avoided any of the sweets they had out (minus the strawberries...those are healthy!). I felt really successful in the hopes to stop overeating. Today, I failed a bit with eating a bit more candy at the office than I hoped. It's all good, it is part of the process. I can't wait to finish it, though!

Great read so far

Okay, with just 30 minutes left until the weekend, I am excited! Can't wait for the fun weekend ahead! Happy weekend everyone!