2010 NYC Half-Marathon Recap and Cook’s Mission Entry

Daily Creativity: Taking lots of race photos!  Also, I’m working on a fun, self-reflective guest post for Sophia that involves lots of creative writing.

Race Report: 2010 New York City Half-Marathon

This was my second half-marathon and my first New York Road Runners race.  It went really well!  I shall share my thoughts in a timeline format and then put a pile of pictures at the end!

5:45. Ugh, I hate waking up early.  Banana chia vanilla oats are the only thing getting me out of bed right now.

6:00 Shovel down oats and a few sips of green tea; read good luck notes on blog.  Rush out door.

6:15 Meet up with other members of my school running club.  Walk 2-ish miles through CP and watch the sunrise.

6:50 Do another half mile or so easy jogging.  Go to the bathroom.  Go to the bathroom again.  Wait behind extremely enthusiastic Team In Training girls who are worried they won’t make the three hour cut-off.

7:10 Enter my corral.  Why are there so many corrals?  Seriously, I must be half a mile back from the start.

7:15 Fidget with my bib.  Fidget with my amphipod water-belt.  Fodget with my gel/shot blox.  Fidget with my cell phone.

7:40 Hmmm.  Weren’t we supposed to start already?  Oh, there’s the gun.  Awesome.  Lots of nervous energy.

7:47.15 Cross start line.  Must remember that I am 7:15 back from the clock.

8:05 Mile 2.  Crap, I went out too fast — I am running 8:50 miles.

8:15 Gatorade endurance formula is actually pretty good.

8:25 I should really do more hills in my training.  I should really get a garmin that works.  If I had a garmin on Harlem Hill, it would probably tell me that I am running 14 minute miles.

8:32 Dear Aid Station Volunteer: It is so kind of you to wake up early on a Sunday morning to hand me cups of gatorade.  But please, dear God, please, do not enthusiastically shout “you’re halfway there” when I am at mile 4.8.

8:40 Six miles already.  Not bad, but I’m feeling dangerously tired.

8:45 Ready to be out of CP.  Oh!  There’s two members of the running club.  One of them has a serious knee injury and the other has never run further than 13 miles before.  Maybe this means I should pick up the pace.  Or I could stop comparing myself to others and focus on me.  Gah, why can’t I just run.  Therapy has made my over-analyzing habit even worse.

8:50 People who cut you off on tight turns suck.  I should not have to stop suddenly so that you can squeeze past me.

8:58 Out of CP.  At last.  Running by Carnegie Hall is fun.  Running through Times Square with tourists trapped behind barriers is really fun.  Evil tourists.

9:10 Almost to mile ten!  The music on this course is good but too infrequent.  I feel better than I did at mile 6?

9:15 The West Side highway is so nice and flat and straight.  Me likes.

9:22 Must stay with girl in pink Danskin shirt.  She’s been floating near me all race.  You.  Can.  Do.  This.

9:30 This is painful but it’s so damn flat that it’s doable.

9:33 I like water.

9:37 I’m pretty sure I only have to run a ten minute mile here and I’ll beat my PR…

9:40 800 meters to go, people are actually here cheering.

9:43-something.  Done and done.  If I’ve calculated correctly I ran a 1:56 something.  This would be good.

9:45 Walk through shoot, get awesome silver cape thingy that I have wanted for my entire life (aka heatsheet), food bag, etc.  Walk a mile or so to cooldown.  Head to post race festival, drink hot chocolate, get a sweet 10 minute post race table massage.  Run into random person from hometown.

My official time was 01:56.18, which is 2:26 faster than my first half-marathon.  I’ll take that!  No mile splits, but my average mile pace was 8:53.  I’m really proud of myself for this race!  Yay!

The rest of my day has been pretty chill; eating lots, readings for school, visiting with friends, blog catch-up, sitting on my bed doing absolutely nothing, napping, and hydrating.  Fun times.

I put together a recipe for Mae’s new blog, Cook’s Mission.  It is super cool — she reveals new secret ingredients every week and then bloggers put together recipes and submit them for votes.  This week’s ingredients are pretzels and apricots.

White Chocolate Cinnamon Apricot Dipped Pretzels

40 grams white chocolate (2/5 of a standard sized bar)

1 tsp cinnamon

4 dried apricots

10-15 thin pretzels, or whatever type of hard pretzel you prefer

In a double boiler (I used a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water) melt down white chocolate with cinnamon, stirring frequently.  Finely chop apricots, or use a food processor to get very small pieces.  Lay out pretzels on a flat plate or pan.  When chocolate mixture is creamy/smooth, remove from heat.  Dip one side of each pretzel in mixture and coat thoroughly.  Lay flat on pan or plate.  Sprinkle with a few pieces of dried apricot.  Repeat until all the ingredients have been used up.  Place in freezer or fridge for half an hour.  Remove from plate and enjoy!

Head on over to Cook’s Mission later this week to vote for my recipe, or whatever recipe you like best 🙂

This is becoming a marathon of a post (bad pun intended) so I’d better stop now.  I ate some tasty things today, so I’ll share some more food things with you tomorrow evening.  Happy Monday everybody!

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Long Run Eats!

Today’s Mini Goal: Wash my sheets.  I HATE doing this because I only have one set, but it definitely need to be done.  Ick.

I made it through an exhausting, but satisfying, 15 miles this morning!  Glad it’s done with.  Now tomorrow I only need to do ten.  I basically looped around lower Manhattan, running through a ton of different parks — Riverside North, Riverside South, Hudson River, Battery City, East River, finally ending up at Union Square.  My legs were definitely dragging the last few miles, but I felt pretty good for a majority of the run.  Not enough fuel, perhaps?  It wasn’t one of those runs were you feel like you’re flying, but there were clear moments when I felt strong and fast, and in the moments when I felt sluggish I still tried to push myself.  Long runs are probably my favorite type of run — I take a looonnggg time to “get going”.  Usually I only start to feel warmed up after about three miles and start to feel good around five or six.  I ran track my first few years of high school, and the only time I ever beat any of my running partners was at the end of a hard workout.  I have a kick.  Even then, as a fourteen year old, I knew I wanted to run marathons someday.  I guess it’s kind of cool that now I get to follow through on a long-time dream!  I’m reaalllllyyyy hoping to get into the NYC marathon.  Pray to the distance-running Gods for me!

I was curious to notice what/how much I ate today, so I documented everything.  I am trying not to be judgmental.  I genuinely just wanted to know what I was putting in my body after such a big workout.  I have always enjoyed running, but for a long time I used it as a control mechanism (i.e, “I can eat x amount of food if I run x miles”).  I think I have a pretty healthy relationship with both running and food at this point in my life, but it hasn’t always been this way.  I haven’t really talked about my relationship with food on the blog much because, honestly, I have been a bit afraid.  But after reading everyone’s stories and feeling like I’ve made some genuine blog friends who won’t judge me (hi EE!  hi Stef!), I feel like, being that this is sort of a food blog, maybe I should talk about this!

From the time I was fourteen or so until I was about nineteen, I hated my body.  It got worse when I started college (I was 17), and came to a point where I woke up every day dreading looking at myself in the mirror.  I used many coping mechanisms; mostly I just punished myself by staying in my room and crying all the time.  I was not one for self-injury or a clear eating disorder, but I undeniably was injuring myself emotionally and had disordered eating.  I think the point when I realized I had a serious body image issue was (roughly) the fall of 2008.  There was one week when I only let myself eat one thing each day — an apple, for example, or a mini muffin.  I still drank some things (milk, orange juice, tea) to get me through my workouts, but it was horrible.  For the next eight or ten months, I would go through days or weekends where I deprived myself, but I made up for it the rest of the week; I never lost weight and was always irritable.

Now, if I feel like I have either eaten too much or too little on any given day, I get anxious and upset.  Sometimes I get so hungry on long run days and I am afraid that if I respond by eating a lot (even if it’s healthy, whole foods), I will gain a lot of weight overnight.  So I decided to simply notice what I eat today and make no judgments about it.  I want to make sure I have plenty of healthy, nutritious foods, and I also thought it would just be interesting to have a record of how much I need to eat on a long run day.  So here goes!

Pre-run banana and mid-run mojo bar.  I can’t eat a full breakfast before running, and I have found that a plain banana is perfect.

Cup of pear cider at the farmer’s market (I had finished my run there).  Delicious!  Also had a random smoothie sample from TJ’s.

This was easily one of the best brunches of my life (weekend brunch, by the way, is my favorite meal.  Especially after a long run!)…

So what is this giant pile of deliciousness, you ask?  French toast!  I started with two pieces of fresh cinnamon raisin bread and dipped them in a bath made with one egg, chia seeds, cinnamon,maple syrup, a splash of milk, and coconut oil.  I cooked them in a bit more coconut oil and threw some apple slices in the pan to caramelize up a bit.  When all that was done I plated it and topped it with a bit of maple-vanilla yogurt, almond butter, more cinnamon, and a sprinkle of random trail mix.  Definitely not a low calorie brekkie, but this was a brunch.

Afternoon snackage: more trail mix and a forkful of pb for good measure.  I honestly was not that hungry in the afternoon at all.

Chocolate raspberry sticks, pb filled pretzels and half a container of chocolate milk also made an appearance in my day!

Dinner was a side salad of spinach, yellow pepper, carrots, and mushrooms with a GIANT chicken quesadilla, buried under that lettuce.  I also had a vitamin water “zero” which was on sale at the pharmacy.  It was good but way too sweet.

Don’t know if you can read that label, but it says it has electrolytes.  It was also sweetened with stevia, which is cool.  For the record, the quesadilla was takeout.  For some reason I absolutely had to have mexican food tonight, and this hit the spot.  Chicken-y, cheesy deliciousness.  Mmmmm.

I will probably have a bowl of cereal and some chocolate(s) later on,but didn’t want to wait to blog.

So there you have it.  My long run eats.

I’ll also show you my TJ’s loot since I totally haven’t talked about food enough in this post.

I’m the proud new mama of a jar of TJ’s almond butter with flax!  I can’t believe I just said that I was the mother of a food item.  Oh well.  It shall produce many happy food babies.  I also procured some Greek yogurt (fyi: their brand is usually relatively cheap), peanut butter filled pretzels, mixed dried berries, macadamia cashew trail mix, and chocolate raspberry sticks (noms all around).  What’s your favorite Trader Joe’s item?

Okay.  Food talk over.

Hope everyone is having a fun weekend!  What have you been up to thus far?