The Gobbler 5K

The Gobbler 5K was actually on December 1, which makes this post only 2.5 weeks late. Whoops, I guess I’m a little bit of a procrastinator. Sowwy.

This race in particular is really special to me because I ran it last November and it was my very first race. Basically, you can blame The Gobbler for my race addiction ūüôā

The race started bright and early at 8:30, one day I’ll learn to stop planning things on Saturday mornings and actually sleep in. One day.

It was a pretty chilly morning but  not too terrible for December in the mountains, I hate running in the cold and my feet and hands were a little frozen at the start of the race, but they thawed out some after a few minutes. The cold air was a little rough on my lungs but I was feeling pretty good otherwise.

The course kinda sucked because it started with a sharp right turn and we had to stick to the sidewalks. That’s my one pet peeve about Boone races, there are only so many (relatively) flat running paths in the city and most are main roads so they can’t be shut down, which is understandable but starting 260 people on a sidewalk creates some really frustrating congestion. There was also one KILLER hill about 2 miles in, we actually ran down that hill last year so it was a little mean to reverse the course and make us run up it this year. I told myself it didn’t matter how much I slowed down as I tackled that best, but I was not allowed to walk, once I start walking I lose momentum and I struggle to get it back, luckily I was all to power through and I took that hill down.

Photo on 2012-12-01 at 14.56 #2

I finished in¬†31:30 which was actually probably closer to 31:00 since I started way back in the crowd at the starting line. Definitely not a PR, but I wasn’t expecting it to be and I’m pretty happy with 31:00.

Last year I finished in just shy of 37 minutes, that means I’ve dropped 6 minutes off my time in the past year and I think that’s something to be pretty proud of. Sometimes I have a bad run and get a little down on myself and then I remember a year and a half ago I couldn’t even consistently run a full mile, and since then I’ve run numerous 5K’s, an 8K, and a 10K and that’s something to be proud of. Not to mention last year I’m pretty sure I would have never made it up that hill!

I’m never going to be the fastest runner and I may never place in a race but I’m completely okay with that. Running is a constant challenge for me and something that has never come easily for me, but that’s one of the reasons why I love it. With every milestone I reach and every second I knock off my PR, or every step I add to my PDR I’m filled with an immense sense of pride with what my body can do. And I hope that my running continues to grow in the next year.

Oh and I forgot to mention the best part about The Gobbler is the cobbler at the finish line.

They even had gluten-free! I enjoyed a bowl of blackberry gluten-free cobbler and it was really delicious. Definitely a winner as far as finish line foods go!

What was your first race?

What’s the best finish line food you’ve seen? I think the cobbler wins that one, but the Stickboy goodies at the Mayview Madness 5K were a close second!

Black Saturday 5k and Weekend Shenanigans

Black Saturday 5k

Last Saturday I ran in Appalachian’s Black Saturday 5K. I had a 2-mile run on my training plan for Saturday so I figured why not bump it up another 1.1 miles? Good choice.

Bonus was the entry for the race was $10 for students. I like. My wallet likes too. Why aren’t all races $10?

The race went along with Appalachian’s Black Saturday. Even though I’ve been at App for four seasons of football I still don’t understand what Black Saturday is. All I know is that it’s a home football game and everyone where’s black, and usually at the end of October, except this year. I don’t think there’s much more to it than that. So what do I where to a Black Saturday 5K?

Neon green, because I just can’t seem to play by the rules.

Going into this race I definitely wasn’t trying to PR, I just wanted to enjoy my run in get some miles in. Mission accomplished. It definitely wasn’t a speedy race, but it was still nice.

The race started at 8AM on a COLD Saturday morning. You should all know by now how much I hate the cold, luckily I warmed up pretty quickly as I started running, but I still like to be a whiney little wuss. I got to break in my new long sleeve shirt from Old Navy though, which I ended up really loving (and it had thumb holes!). FYI highlighter yellow/green wasn’t my first color choice, but I’m not picky when things are on clearance. Plus I won’t get hit by a car in it.

The course was a big loop around campus, aka the flattest part of this little mountain town I live in. It was a small race (like everything else in Boone), with about 150 people, so we were stuck running on sidewalks. I don’t usually mind sidewalks too much, except that race basically started on one, even in a small race that’s not an ideal situation. The first half mile was pretty congested, but after that the crowds started to thin out a little and it wasn’t too bad after that.

I always forget how much harder it is to run at elevation, especially compared to last month’s Triangle Run/Walk For Autism 5K.

I realized I need to start taking my phone with me when I run so I can snap pictures of priceless moments like having to side step a pile of hair extensions on the sidewalk. Someone had a fun Friday night.

I finished in 31:55¬†not at all speedy, but that’s okay! I was think back to a year ago when I ran my first 5K and finished in 37 minutes, so I’m proud that now I now consider a 32 minute 5K slow.

Weekend Shenanigans

My family came to visit this weekend and it was so good to see them again. It’s been about a month since I last saw them so we had lots of catching up to do!

They rolled into town around 11 and we headed out to lunch. A little early but I was hangry after my race. We had lunch at one of my favorite Boone restaurants, Coyote Kitchen.

 

I got an Isabella burrito: “Rice, black beans, sliced spinach, grilled tempeh, caramelized onion, pineapple, fried plantains, and chipotle cream cheese” with cranberry chipotle salsa,¬†minus the tortilla, and sub sweet red vegan mayo for the cream cheese please.

This meal was so stinkin’ good. I mean, everything I’ve ever eaten at Coyote Kitchen is good, but this might take the cake. The combo of the sweet pineapple and plantains mixed with the spicy-ness of the salsa was AMAZING. I was so full afterwards but it was SO. WORTH. IT. I love you Coyote Kitchen.

After lunch we hit up the outlet mall, or basically the whole reason my mom came to Boone. We got some ridiculous deals at Gap and left with a 2 new pairs of pants (including a green pair!), a snazzy new cardigan, compression capris for $12(!!!) and a blue workout tank. I also got an early Christmas present of new boots (man-made, we don’t do leather over here) because for some reason all of my winter-appropriate shoes decided to fall apart.

Once we were thoroughly exhausted from out shopping adventure I took them back to my apartment to hang out for a little bit before dinner. Dinner was also a tasty meal, I took my family out to Black Cat Burrito (I’m sensing a theme here‚Ķ) another of my favorite Boone establishments (which I’ve mentioned lots on the old blog, a quick search shows 8 different posts, can you tell I love Black Cat?).

 

I ordered a Satay it to Me Softly “tofu in a spinach wrap stuffed with broccoli, carrots, carmelized onions, a spicy thai peanut sauce, cheese & rice”¬†minus the tortilla and cheese, one day I’ll go to a restaurant and order something off the menu with no changes. Some day. I’ve ordered this lots and it’s very tasty, I’m a sucker for anything with peanut sauce, and broccoli. I need to switch things up and try out some of their other burritos, but this one is so good, if it’s not broke why fix it? Variety is dumb. Kidding.

Sunday was pretty laid back. I put some air in my car tires because they were getting low, chores like this make me feel like such an adult, gross.

Sunday evening I had a meeting for the University Rec employees and since it was the last meeting of the semester we had a potluck to celebrate! Yay, I love potlucks! I made my mixed bean and sweet potato chili¬†and these 4-ingredient peanut butter cookies¬†because I’m an over-achieving potluck-er.

These cookies were scary good. Seriously tasty gluten-free cookies should not be this good. It’s a little criminal.

I’m happy to report people liked the food I brought! I’m never sure because my tastes are so different from most people so it makes me happy when other people like my food.

I spent the rest of Sunday night watching Breaking Amish with my neighbors. Not ashamed. Those Amish kids are crazy.

What did you do this weekend?

Do you have any races coming up?¬†I also signed up for this 5k on December 1, and I’m volunteering for the High Country’s Girls on the Run 5K the weekend after that!

Does your school have any weird sports traditions? I think almost every school does!

Triangle Run/Walk for Autism 5K & New Running Shoes!

Last Saturday I ran the Triangle Run/Walk for Autism 5K while I was in Raleigh for fall break, and while I didn’t PR I came close!

The morning of the race made it seem like the race was going to be a total flop, but surprisingly I had a lot of fun. First of all it was fall break, I love running races back at home because they are much bigger and better organized than Boone races, they should be too because Raleigh is at least four times the size of little old Boone, but I was in full on fall break mode and waking early Saturday morning just made me wish I could sleep in instead. Secondly, I woke up with a cold and was not feeling too awesome. Gross. The cold was pretty much isolated to my head, so I was determined to still run.

I don’t know why I always have to take a selfie with my bib number, just go with it.

Luckily I sucked it up and headed out to the race. The race was held at Moore Square in the middle of downtown Raleigh, actually the start line was only a block away from the 8K I ran in March! I love downtown races because there is so much to look at on the course, and there’s something really awesome about getting to run down a street that is usually packed with traffic.

The weather was pretty perfect for running too, sunny and a little chilly. Warm enough for me to freeze because I am a cold weather wimp, but cool enough that I barely broke a sweat. AKA perfect.

The race started off great, The first half of the course (an out and back) was downhill so I pretty much just coasted the whole way, my legs were feeling really good and I probably started off faster than I should have, but I was feeling so good I couldn’t help myself (: I did start myself a little farther back at the start line than I should have. I’d rather underestimate how fast I am and weave through people, then over estimate and get trampled (an let’s be honest, passing people gives me a little ego boost), and I put myself especially far back since I wasn’t feeling too hot, so I spent the first half mile passing the walkers/kids/jogging strollers (except for one beastly mom who sped past everyone, good for her!), but I eventually caught up to people closer to my pace.

The second half of the race was a little tougher, the course was a gradual incline, nothing crazy but it starts to get to you have 1.5 miles, and the sun was out in full force. I definitely slowed down a little, but I was still feeling good.

I finished in 30:42,¬†my PR is 30:41. I was 2 SECONDS from a PR! I feel so good about that time considering I had a cold. One day I’ll break 30 minutes! And I was greeted by kids with KIND bars at the finish line. Yes please.

I love that even though I’m running hardly ever, I’m able to keep up my speed and endurance. Maybe this will be motivation to go for a run more often? Hopefully. I still love running, but I’ve been craving some variety lately. I’ve got my eye on a race a the beginning of December so maybe I can manage a PR then? PRs are fun, but I definitely race for the experience, not the time.

And as bonus after I finished the race, my parents took me to buy some new running shoes! I asked for a new pair for my birthday, you should know that my birthday is in April, so they were a little late, but that’s okay. My current pair are pretty worn out, I wear them for everything (bad I know), and I’ve never actually been fitted for running shoes, so I knew it was time to invest in some good shoes.

We went to Capital Run Walk a specialty running store that actually sponsored the 5K I had just finished running, so I got a 20% discount (yay bargains!). I really loved this store, if you live in Raleigh and need anything running related check them out! The staff was so nice and helped fit me and shoes and was really patient with my indecisiveness.

I ended up with a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12. They are comfy and purple and beautiful and I love them. I found out I was actually buying a size too small and that I pronate so I need a supportive shoe. I guess that’s why they say it’s important to get fitted for running shoes. I haven’t actually tested these guys out yet (I’m trying to save them for actual running instead of cardio classes) but I’m excited to try them out!

What’s your next race?

Mayview Madness 5K

Last Saturday I ran in the Mayview Madness 5K in Blowing Rock, NC.

It was one of the toughest races I’ve run, but also one of the most beautiful courses I’ve seen.

Take a look at that climb. The first 2 miles was uphill. Made me glad I didn’t check the race course before running (: But let’s back up some.

Saturday morning was cool and in the lower 60s, basically perfect running weather. I got my start times a little mixed up (I was super prepared for this race if you couldn’t tell), so after picking up my chip I got to watch the kid’s 1-mile run, I usually miss out on the kid’s run in most races so it was fun to watch one! Those kids are awesome, you could not have paid me enough to run a mile at that age. I think they all ran faster than me too, which is a little sad.

The 5K kicked off at 8:30 and I immediately wanted to give up. The course had a short deceptive downhill start before starting the 2 mile climb uphill. Ouch. I’ve been doing a terrible job of running the past couple months, I can probably count on one hand the number of runs I’ve been on since August. Not even an exaggeration. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it all the way through the run, but I was determined to try.

Mission accomplished.

I did have one gorgeous course to distract me though. The course wound it’s way through Blowing Rock (a tiny ritzy little town filled with rich retirees and HUGE mountain houses). Past lots of ginormous mountain houses and beautiful views of the mountains. I wish I ran with a cellphone or a camera so I could have snapped a picture

Just picture something along those lines. Gorgeous right?

Well I huffed and puffed my way uphill, and pretty much wanted to jump for joy when I saw the course take a downhill turn, except I didn’t have the energy for that. After the first part of the course I felt like I literally coasted the last mile to the finish line. Not a bad way to end a race.

And I finished in 31:55!¬†Not fast, but given the course and my general lack of running lately, I’m dang proud of it.

At the finish line I was greeted with a table full of Stick Boy¬†baked goodies and Bald Guy Brew Coffee. I couldn’t resist the Stick Boy spread of free cookies, scones and cinnamon rolls, but I was good and stuck to half a cranberry white chocolate pecan cookie because I was trying to be nice to my tummy. And you better believe I got my fair share of Bald Guy coffee (after hydrating with water first!). Free delicious coffee and baked goods? I think more races should follow suit (:

Overall it was a tough race, but I really enjoyed myself and I’m proud of how I finished! I don’t know if this is a race I’ll be able to do again (because I’m graduating this yearrr!!!), but if I get the chance I definitely would!

 

 

 

 

Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure 2012 5K

This race was by far my favorite race I’ve ever ran. I have never felt so inspired and moved ¬†in my life.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early at 5 am (ugh) for a 7 am race time. 20,000 people were expected at the event. Crazy. Luckily my mom (who is amazing and got up at 5 to go with me) and I got to the parking lot early and didn’t have to wait for a shuttle.

Got my pink on!

After checking in and picking up my number, my mom and I walked around to the different sponsor booths and picked up our fair share of free swag. The free stuff is secretly one of my favorite parts of racing, I can’t help myself.

The race started in front of Meredith University and looped through downtown Raleigh. The course covered several rolling hills, nothing crazy steep, but they felt pretty killer towards the end. Especially the last uphill stretch before the finish line. I was huffin and puffin up that baby.

The best part about the course was that the neighborhoods along the course had their houses decked out to support the cause. There was a house with balloon boobs and tree full of bras. I loved it. Every neighborhood needs a bra tree, just sayin. There was also lots of volunteers and spectators around every corner cheering us on and blasting music, so awesome for them to do that so early in the morning.

But the best part of the race was by far the people. The survivors, the amazing tributes to friends and family and celebration of life in general. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I felt so inspired and invigorated through the whole race because of it. Seeing 20,000 people come together for one cause is truly a moving experience. I even teared up several times, I’m a huge sap, but it would be hard not to find the whole thing very touching.

Stolen from WRAL

Oh and there was a man in a huge pink tutu. I would laugh but he was fast! I need to bust out one of my old ballet tutus at a race soon, that would be a sight.

And oh yeah, I PRed. Boom. My chip time was 30:41. That’s a 1:30 improvement over my last timed 5K! I didn’t hit my goal of a sub-30 5K but I’m happy with it regardless. I didn’t do any speed training (or much running in general) before this race, so hoping for a sub-30 was a little ambitious, but now I’m only 40 seconds away!

I would do this race again in a heartbeat. I can’t wait to do it again next year. It’s definitely a new favorite!

Race for the Cure 2012

Race for the Cure 2012

Ran a 5k and helped fight breast cancer, all before 8 am. Great way to start the day!

Recap soon! Shower now.

Autism Speaks U 5K

This race was rough. ROUGH. I’m fairly confident in my ability to conquer the 5K distance, I’m by no means fast, but I can usually finish 3 miles without feeling completely miserable. This race definitely challenged that.

The race was held at the Greenway, a few miles away from campus. The location was pretty good because, the paths were clear and pretty flat for the most part, something that can be tough to find in Boone.

I checked the weather before heading out to the Greenway. The forecast called for it mostly sun and 60 degrees. Lies. When I got to the race location is was around 40 degrees slowly becoming more overcast.

Image

Dreary and stinky weather

I’m the worst runner in the cold. I don’t deal with it well, and I don’t have a lot of cold weather running gear because I generally run inside when it’s cold, so the weather definitely threw me for a loop. I wasn’t expecting it to be as cold as it was, and that really messed with me.

When the race started I couldn’t feel my feet. That is a miserable feeling, and it took about the first mile for them to regain some feeling. On top of that, my nose was running faster than me, probably also due to the cold. It didn’t start until I started running but once it did it would NOT stop. Once I wiped my nose it started running twice as fast. Gross.

On top of all that about halfway through I got a really terrible side cramp, one that wouldn’t go away no matter how many times I tried to focus on my breathing or stretch it out. By the end of the race I was stopping to walk every few hundred yards to try to get the cramp to subside. It didn’t.

Everyone has good runs and bad runs, it just sucks to have a bad run during a race, when you’ve paid to be there. The whole event was still a lot of fun, but it still just stinks when you feel horrible. I think if I had been better prepared weather-wise things would have gone a lot better, which I guess is kind of my own fault because I really misjudged the weather. At least now I know better for next time.

The Autism Speaks U 5K was a pretty small race, with about 120 runners. There wasn’t an official clock, which was a little disappointing, though a girl I crossed the finish line with was keeping time with her RunKeeper and said we finished between 30 and 31 minutes. Which is amazing considering my PR 5K time was 32:14 with no walking. It would have been nice to see my actual finishing time.

This race did give me the confidence that I’m close to my goal of a sub-30 5K. I’m looking forward to new races and even though this one kinda sucked for me it’s makes me want more excited to run a better one! I’m already on the prowl for my next race, I’m considering the Tom Moore 5K, the Sticky Bun Run, the Capital City Classic 10K¬†and North Carolina Roadrunners Club 10K. But I haven’t decided yet.

Autism Speaks U 5K

Autism Speaks U 5K

It was a rough one, but I got a new PR! (Full recap coming later!)