Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shamrock 5K

This morning I ran my third 5K and I’ll admit, I’m addicted.  I really enjoy racing.  I love coming down the home stretch knowing that no one has passed me the whole time, that I’ve just conquered 3.1 miles, that I am strong and healthy and fit.  It’s a great feeling.

Jack and I had a 6:30am wake up call that came WAY too soon.  We rolled out of bed and into the kitchen to eat breakfast before grabbing stuff and heading to the car.  Thankfully I had already packed everything I would need for the whole day last night so my bag was waiting, all full, by the door.  This left me free to focus on food alone while all drowsy and semi-conscious.  I toasted up two slices of wheat toast, slathered them with chocolate peanut butter, layered on banana slices, and finished it off with a honey drizzle and chia seeds.


It was a delicious sandwich though I didn’t feel great afterwards.  I felt slightly sick on the hour drive to the race.  I figured it would go away so I paid attention to the road, blasted Fall Out Boy music, and admired the hollows of fog on the side of the road to take my mind off my funky stomach.


When we arrived at the race, Joshua pulled in not a minute later and we picked up our race shirts and bibs together.  We thankfully beat the line but that meant that we were ready before most of everyone else so we walked around for a bit.  It was a tad chilly, around 55 degrees, so I slipped on my Asics tech t-shirt to run.


Joshua and I headed to the start line in stride and a few minutes after the scheduled start time, the race began.


Sadly, the start wasn’t corralled at all so the walkers and slower crowd ended up in front of all the runners.  Joshua and I had to weave our way in and out for a significant portion of the first 500-1000 meters.  Thankfully I had a killer starter song on my race playlist so I was content rocking out to a remixed version of “Eye Of The Tiger” while I  bobbed and weaved my way to the front of the pack.

The course opened up towards the front of the crowd and I took off.  I hit my stride and just powered through. If you remember, my tummy was all out of sorts and then to make matters a bit worse, I had an awful pain in my left ribcage area pretty much the whole race.  I was stubborn though and didn’t let it slow me down.  I figured it would quit when I did…past the finish line.


And quit it did.  I think I passed under the arch around 26 minutes but I don’t have my official time just yet.  Afterwards, I grabbed water and basked in my runner’s high for a bit.


Joshua finished roughly 30 seconds behind me and snagged a water as well.  We also had cookies because let’s be honest, there was no way I was running in a Shamrock race on St. Patty’s Day and not having a shamrock cookie.  No way!  I loved every single, post-race bite.


I also had a banana for some real nutrients.  While we snacked, the race coordinators were compiling times for the awards ceremony.  Due to the Army Games philanthropy event the three of us needed to get to, we couldn’t stay for the awards (which were supposed to be at ten but got pushed back until well after 10:45) so I have no idea if Joshua or I qualified for any.  We have e-mailed to find out so I’ll let you know when I do!  P.S. Big thanks to the race photographer of the day: Jack!  He’s such a good cheerleader!


Speaking of Army Games though, that’s where we were off to next to continue our physically oriented St. Patrick’s Day.  We decided to stop for food first though and grabbed pitas.  I had a black bean patty wheat pita with grilled red/green peppers, mushrooms, and red onions.  I also had spinach, tomatoes, pickles, feta, and dijon mustard.  Jack got a Philly steak (with double meat), assorted veg, swiss cheese, and dijon as well.


Both pitas were stellar though I will say this was the first time I had the black bean patty and I am a fan.  I really enjoyed its deeply smoky flavor.  The salty feta didn’t hurt either!


With full bellies we parked the car and walked to Army Games.  My ex-boyfriend is the founder of this particular philanthropy event (which benefits PTSD programs for vets who have returned home) so his parents and brother come down and field a team each year.  This year his parents really didn’t want to tax their older bodies so they enlisted us “youngins” to rock it out.  Funnily enough, we were the only co-ed team listed in the competition so the ladies bowed out and we morphed into a five (or six depending on the event) person male team to go against two fraternities.

The first event was an obstacle course that comprised of 10 pushups, army crawling under a rope, and an inflatable maze thingy.  Our boys dominated and were the only ones do to REAL pushups!  Some of the events suffered from cheating/cutting corners all around but I can say that we played by the real rules as much as possible.


With four points on the board, we moved over to tug-o-war.  The six boys dug in and won their first bout and then for the second round we fielded five boys and still kicked the fraternity’s butt.


Our third event was the relay race.  There were four legs to it: leap frogs, under the legs, wheel barrow, and piggy back.  I think we won all of them but, due to some cheating, we may not have without protest.  At this point though, we had 12 points and were handily in the lead of the two fraternities.


The last event was the grenade toss which, again, we may or may not have won.  Don’t worry, the grenades weren’t live!  You were worried weren’t you… *giggles*


Regardless less though, we triumphed.  We think next year we might recruit some more women and field two teams!


Like I said, winners!

After the Games concluded, we walked over to a late lunch at a brewhouse just off campus.  Jack and I weren’t terribly hungry so we split the pretzel burger (with a black bean patty subbed for the hamburger) with cheddar spread, fried onion rings, tomato, lettuce, red onion, and pickles.  I got waffle fries and he got coleslaw on the side.


While I initially balked at the idea of splitting (I seriously love the food at this place) it was the right call in the end because I was stuffed in the end.  Man, the cheddar spread was my favorite part by far.  It was incredibly salty and delicious and I’m pretty sure it should be bottled and sold separately.  I would jump on that!

Jack and I headed home after everyone had finished eating.  It was hard to say goodbye after seeing everyone for only a short time.  I miss my ex and his family a bunch.  They are such great people and my “God family” too.  [Read: My ex’s parents are my God parents and therefore he and his brother are my God brothers.]  Like I said, it was hard to only get to hang out with them for a few hours.  I’m glad we did though.  It was worth it.

On our way back into town, Jack and I stopped at my natural foods store to pick up awesomely priced bulk items.  I loaded up on three kinds of oats (steel-cut, rolled, and bran) along with TVP and raw wheat germ.  I ended up with a complete restocking of my pantry (we’re talking over a pound of all the mentioned staples) for only $8!  Love it.  I use oats, in all their various forms, and wheat germ a ton in breakfasts so I save a ton of money by buying in bulk and I’m looking forward to checking out TVP as another vegetarian protein source.  My nutritionist mentioned it and I’ll say, it’s hard to beat 80 calories and 12g of protein.  =D

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I have a date with lotion for my face (I got a bit sun-burned in the beautiful 55-78 degree sunshiny day) and Jack for a showing of Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix.  He hasn’t seen it yet…I figured that needed to change…well actually, he saw it playing on ABC Family and mentioned he had yet to view that particular installment and I went right to my DVD collection and pulled it out.  Alright group, I hope you had a great St. Patty’s day (or maybe yours is still going since it’s not even 9pm yet) and I’ll catch you tomorrow with a post about the remainder of my spring break and a great trip down memory lane.  See you later!

Questions: What is your favorite philanthropic cause?
Have you ever tried TVP?


  1. Sounds like a fun way to spend St. Patrick's day! Congrats on the race!


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