Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Post long run shake

I love a good, cold shake post long run. It helps cool me down, as well as refuel and rehydrate my body! Here are the ingredients of my favorite post run smoothie:

1 small banana
1 spoon of almond butter (love the brand showed as it contains chia seeds!)
1 cup of coconut milk
1 scoop of Juice Plus+ complete (vanilla or chocolate, both taste great!)
1 cup of ice (I use the chipped ice setting on my fridge, it blends better in my Magic Bullet)

optional: I add in the contents of the vineyard, garden and orchard blend capsules. Added nutrition!

Blend and enjoy!

Of course, most any good protien smoothie blend will work. I like Juice Plus because it's a plant based product. If you have any questions about Juice Plus, just leave a comment, and I'll get back to you!


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Best Damn Race - Orlando and Doggie Bones 5K

March 5-6, 2016

I had such a great time at the Best Damn Race Safety Harbor race, that it didn't take much for Carolyn to talk me into signing up for the Orlando event, even though it's only a week before the Sarasota Half. I figured I always talk her into races, I guess I should let her talk me into one every now and then. :)

We decided to stay in Orlando the night before the race, since it's a good 2 hour drive from Sarasota. We still got up early race morning, though to drive the 10 miles to the race. We got a parking spot in the Library garage, where it seemed EVERYONE was trying to park! The race start/finish area was just a couple of blocks away, so a perfect spot to park. We walked over, got our bib and goodie bag and then had some time to just hang out before the start of the race. Duncan Donuts was there with donuts, coffee and hot Chocolate. Pretty nice set up! We got a pre race photo, hit the porta potty, before heading to the corral. There was only 2 ways to get in the tough way was from the back, which most people seemed to be doing. We decided to go in from the front. So much easier! Plus, our pacer was pretty far forward, so we didn't feel like we were in the wrong spot. The national anthem was sung and we were off!

Right from the start, I felt my breathing was not right. I wasn't going fast enough for it to be so hard to breathe! I knew within the first mile that this was going to be a tough race, but I would just push through as best as I could. The first couple of miles had a lot of brick road. It wasn't smooth brick but the old kind that was very uneven. I had to watch my footing and slow down during each of these sections. The course winds back and forth through the neighborhood near downtown before we get to a small airport at mile 4. We have to then run on the side walk for a couple of miles. At least mile 5 is around a pretty lake. Miles 1 to 6 - 8:16, 8:25, 8:29, 8:30, 8:37, 8:48

I am finding it harder and harder to keep up a decent pace. Each mile is gradually getting slower. My hamstring is STILL bothering me, but the bigger issue is not being able to breathe well. I've got lots of mucous in my throat, which I try to spit out. By mile 10, when I eat the second half of my bag of Honey Stinger chews, I have to stop and walk. I can't eat, breathe and run at the same time. I keep the walk short. I stretch my calves, then start running again. The stretching helps a lot. With about half a mile left, my calf is cramping again, so i stop and stretch it. I couldn't run it out! The stretch helped again. I was able to add a little kick to the last stretch to the finish line. Miles 7 to finish - 8:45, 9:07, 9:03, 9:14, 9:54, 9:00, 9:08, 1:03

Finsih: 1:56;23, 4th in age group!

Doggie Bones 5K and Pedal for Pups 15 mile bike ride

Wasn't planning on running this, but I got talked into it. Since the 10K is in the MTC racing series, most runners would be running that event. I figured I could take it easy with the 5K, no pressure. Race morning, I started off with Gina. We start off on the island at Benderson Park. There is a steepish hill right away, to get you up to the bridge and then on the main road. We take a right, heading south on the east side of the lake. Gina continues on as we reach the turnaround. I was so happy to be heading back, even if it had to be in a strong wind! I got to see some friends running, so I got to do a bit of encouraging cheering before I passed by the end of the group. Since the 5K was a smaller race than the 10K, It felt like I was out there on my own. I could see about 5 people a ways ahead of me. I did get passed by a woman, with a mile to go, but I didn't have it in me try and keep up with her. I loved taking that last left turn to head down the hill and then straight to the finish. Always makes for a fun/fast finish

Finish time: 26:40, second in age group!

I hung out after the race, to cheer in runners. When Gina came in, we grabbed our bikes then got in line to head out with all the other 15 mile riders.
It was a pretty nice ride, just windy out. We had to stop at many traffic lights, but I managed to unclip, without falling, at each of them! The bike ride felt good on my legs. Flushed out the tightness a bit.

What a great weekend of racing!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Gasparilla Race weekend/Gina's birthday weekend!

February 20-21, 2016

Last year, we celebrated Gina's birthday in Tampa, by running the Saturday Gasparilla races, the 15K and 5K. This year, Gina wanted to run the Lime challenge, the 15K on Saturday and the 8K on Sunday, but also toss in the 5K for fun. Our plan was to drive up early on race morning, run the two races, and party all afternoon. Stay up in Tampa, then run the 8K on Sunday morning.

We left Sarasota at 4:15am on Saturday morning. It was going to be a long day! We wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get into the expo, get our challenge jacket and bibs, check bags and get to the starting line. We made it up there in speedy time, arriving just after 5 am. I managed to find the convention parking garage, which was the closest, and get in there before it filled up. We sat in the car for a bit, since the expo didn't open until 6. Once we were able to get in the expo, the lines we both got our bibs pretty quickly before heading to the jacket table. We were to find out they were out of smalls! The jackets (unisex sizing) were running big, so they had let people change sizes the day before. We filled out the form to have our sized mailed to us, then headed downstairs to get ready to check our bag. We made one last bathroom stop, before heading out to the start line, a couple of blocks from the convention center. We just had a little time to wait, before we heard the national anthem and then we were off!

My goal for the 15K was to come in as close to last years 1:17 finish time as I could. I knew that beating that time was probably not going to happen because of the issues I've been having with my right leg. I felt pretty good for the first half of the race, but then my right hamstring and hip started to hurt. Gina had caught up to me just before the half, so we ran a bit together, before she pulled ahead. I tried to keep her in my sights, but managed to loose her completely by mile 7. I managed to finish strong with a 1:18:58 time. 9.32 miles Just good enough to pull off a top 10% in age group finish! Splits- 8:16, 8:12, 8:18, 8:26, 8:38, 8:31, 8:31, 8:51, 8:33, 2.38

Gina and I met up in the finish line area, then headed over to the bag check. We had enough time to go to the car, so we took our stuff there, put our 5K bib on then left the bags in the car. We had about an hour total to hang out. We decided to go ahead and get in the starting coral. I'm glad we went in early. We got pretty close to the front before it got really crowded. The 5K is the largest of the 4 races. There are over 14,000 runners/walkers! We got to see Meb Keflezighi and Shalane Flanagan on the announcers podium. Well, we could sort of see them, they were far away! We heard the announcer say that the two famous runners would be at the expo later, so Gina and I decided we would try and make it over to hear them talk later. Once again, we heard the national anthem and we were off!

The only goal I had for the 5K was to finish in a decent time! The race was so congested right from the start, even though we had started pretty far forward. I pulled ahead of Gina and managed to stay ahead for the entire race. Not one of my fastest times, but not bad considering the down time waiting around after the 15K. Finish: 26:16. Another top 10% in age group finish!! Splits - 8:18, 8:19, 8:29, 1:00
Wendy, me and Gina

Me, Cindi and Gina having fun at the after party!

Shalane Flanagan, Cindi, me, Meb and Gina!

After the 5K, we headed back to the car to change into sandals and grab our little backpacks. Since I can't have regular beer, I had brought a little cooler of gluten free beer in a cooler. I have a big, insulated mug which holds two beers, so I poured the beers into that, then we walked over to the food area to grab some food, before walking over to the after party. It was packed! We stood in line to see if we placed in our age group for the races, we did, and received our special mugs. We found Wendy, who was also celebrating her birthday! She and I hung out while Gina went to stand in line for her beer. After Wendy left, we found Cindi, then the 3 of us hung out for a few hours, enjoying the music and the fun atmosphere. After a few beers, we had lunch, where Derrick joined us, then we walked back to the expo to catch Meb and Shalane give their talk. We made it just in time! We got photos and autographs before doing a little shopping at the expo. Finally, at around 4pm, we made our way to the hotel, where we were able to check in. After showers and a little rest, we decided we were to exhausted to go to ybor city for the Chocolate festival or for a movie, so we had dinner at the hotel and were asleep by 9 pm! We had one more race to run in the morning! :)

Sunday morning: We got to sleep in before a race! The race started 3.5 hours after the half start, so we had plenty of time in the morning to get ready and then walk the couple of blocks over to the start of the 8K. Once we got going, Gina and I stayed together for a bit, but I quickly realized that drinking all those beers the day before was going to make this 5 miles tough! I had my GoPro with me, so I took a bunch of photos with that and just enjoyed the last race of the weekend. 8K (5.02miles) finish 43:19. Splits - 8:28, 8:25, 8:38, 8:45, 8:52, 0:09

Love these races! May be back again next year. :)