B1G race recap

Early this morning, my sister, a couple her/our friends and I ran the Big 10 (B1G) 10k in downtown Chicago. I’ll get into the race details in a second, but first I must share our pre-race prep (because it’s crazy!).

Friday night we had a “pasta party,” which I know is unnecessary for a 10k. I also know that carb-loading the night before a race doesn’t do much for your endurance (you should start a couple days before, not the night before!), but we thought it would be cute anyways… and it was :)

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Plates and plates of pasta later, we snuggled on the couch to watch some Sex and the City because we are girly and needed a comedic distraction from our pre-race nerves. We were just starting our second episode when…. we found out that one of their best best friends got engaged! Lots of screaming went down along with loads of excitement!!!!!! That was probably the most perfect distraction for pre-race nerves.

Fast forward to race day. We were out the door by 6am headed to the race. We didn’t do much cardio warming-up because there was literally no space. That made me anxious because it takes me at least 2 miles to feel good, but I did some high knees, butt kicks and jumps in hopes of warming-up my heart a tiny bit. We did have room for a good stretch though and then we spent the rest of the time pumping each other up!

I think about 87% of the runners had no idea what it meant to be in a corral, so that was kind of a mess.

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The entire race was a passing game. I was thinking the entire time about making moves through/around other runners because the starting corrals didn’t work at all. I guess that kept it interesting, which was great because the course wasn’t. Chicago is a beautiful city, especially by the lake, but we were led through 2 parking garages. Who wants to run though a dark, dirty, wet and smelly parking garage? Uh not me. The second garage was so dark that I couldn’t see my feet. Hazzard? The water/gatorade stations weren’t well placed throughout the course either. There was one after 1mi, another after 3.5ish mi and the last was at 5mi. I feel like having a station at 1.5mi, 3mi and 5mi would have been a better set up. Finally, I’m pretty sure the course was longer than a 10k. When 6.2mi hit, the runners around me were all talking about how they thought the distance was incorrect like I thought too. I think it was probably closer to 6.5-6.7mi total. That’s cool with me, but event coordinators please tell me beforehand so I’m not sprinting 800m at the end.

That was a lot of complaining, but the race was a lot of fun. So much B1G spirit! It was cool to see everyone representing their schools with the giveaway tech shirt. I definitely felt the B1G bond between us all :)

Big congrats to these 2 cuties for finishing their FIRST 10k!!!! They killed it!

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Next up: Chicago 1/2 Marathon :)

 

A little bit of therapy

I’ve been laying super low for the last how many ever days since my last post. My back has been so jacked up (I’m sorry, I complain about this way too much), so I’ve been pretty mellow with my workouts. I’m not going to lie; it’s bringing my spirits down.

Well, I finally decided to do something about it. Action is way more efficient than sulking. I treated myself to some therapy via food and nature. Anyone else agree that these 2 are extremely therapeutic?

I spent probably 1.5 hours this morning experimenting with a new dish that takes 10 minutes to actually make. I made a vegetarian style “hash” with a balsamic reduction. I always hear the food network people talk about “hash,” but they all call different things “hash”. I actually looked up what a hash is because I was a little unclear. Basically, a hash is a combo of potatoes (or any starch), protein (usually meat) and at least 1 vegetable (usually onion). You cook it in a skillet (usually) and can add whatever seasoning you want. Like I said, I went the vegetarian route.

Here’s what I did:

I used a sweet potato instead of a regular potato and diced it into large pieces. I boiled those for about 4 minutes just to soften them up before putting them in a skillet.

I had a big skillet going on high with a little bit of olive oil. I drop the onions first so they could caramelize and look all pretty (they’re a little selfish and need a couple minutes to themselves in the pan before letting their friends in). Then I add each veggie one at a time, let it cook for a little and then add the next one. I always start with the densest veggie first (after the onion) because I know it will take the longest to cook through. Usually it’s the potato, but since I boiled those beforehand, I chose a different veggie. Once all the veggies are in there, I turn the heat down to medium and let them do their thing. I like to leave the lid off the pan so the veggies have a little bite to them, but you can put the lid over them if you want them to steam a bit and soften up. There’s really no time minimum or maximum for this one, because it all depends on your preference. If you like your veggies more crunchy/soft, just leave the pan on the stove until the veggies are to your liking.

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For my little fancy sounding balsamic reduction, I poured 1 cup of balsamic vinegar and ¼ cup of brown sugar in a saucepan. I brought it up to a boil and then right away put it on low. Then it’s just a waiting game. I let the liquid kind of evaporate and thicken into a sauce. It takes a little while (25-ish minutes), so I would recommend starting this before starting the hash. I did it the opposite order and my veggies needed to be reheated by the time I was ready to eat, so learn from my mistake!

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And then, my 1.5 hours of work disappeared into my tummy :)


That took care of the food therapy, so I followed up my kitchen experiment with a long, leisurely bike ride. I actually remembered to put on sunscreen, so that was a victory. I’ve been using BARE Republic mineral sunscreen on my face and it’s amazing. Once you squeeze it out of the bottle, it vanishes from cream to almost like a dry powdery substance. It instantly fuses with your skin and doesn’t feel like there’s anything on your face.

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I got mine at Target, but you can order online too. Here you can read some more about it!

I also gave into wearing one of these things to hold my phone and other important stuff. It’s made of spandex, so it stretches an insane amount and fits a ton of junk. It looks dorky, but it’s actually extremely useful.

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An hour with Liv was a great idea (I renamed my bike Liv). The purpose of my ride was to enjoy life, not to sweat buckets, and this mission was accomplished.

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I’d call my day a pretty awesome therapy sesh :)

What’s your favorite kind(s) of therapy? Cooking, cleaning, working out for me!

You know you’re a runner when…

I woke up at 4:45am today and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t fall back asleep. I don’t ever wake up at this time, so I knew this had nothing to do with my body clock. I wasn’t super worried about anything either, except the fact that I couldn’t fall back asleep. The only other thing I could think of was that I must be hungry. I can’t sleep when I’m hungry. Apparently my body needs fuel to lay stationary under 3 blankets.

I really didn’t want to get up and go downstairs to hunt for food that’s appealing at that hour. I was so snuggly in my bed and I didn’t want to get up. I gave it another 15 minutes before I gave into the hunger. Only a runner would wake up needing food to refuel his/her body.

This little kitchen excursion got me thinking about all the other things that tell the rest of the world that we are runners. I played a game with myself finishing the rest of this sentence: you know you’re a runner when… It was very stimulating at 5am.

Here’s what I came up with:

You know you’re a runner when…

  • you wake up in the morning starving (every day of my life)
  • you’re always thinking about your next snack
  • (to go with the above) you always carry snacks with you

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  • you blurt out the words “I’m hungry” in a conversation with anybody at any time
  • you always feel the need to buy a new pair of running shoes
  • (to go with the above) people often ask you, “How many pairs of running shoes do you actually have?!”
  • (to go with the above) you keep an “emergency” pair of running shoes in your car
  • you find it challenging to pick out an outfit for any occasion that isn’t working out
  • you give into buying/wearing dorky running gadgets

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  • you start to think your gps watch matches everything

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  • you get genuinely jealous when you see other people running outside through the car window
  • you feel that having access to a track is a gift from Zeus
  • you have at least 1 weather radar app on your phone so you can obsessively check the weather forecast
  • you log your miles and actually go back and read your entries

Clearly, I used a lot of higher order thinking during my breakfast time.

When I look at these, I realize I make runners out to be quite nerdy and crazy. You’re lying to yourself if you can’t admit that at least 3 of those!! However, when I thought about this sentence stem later in the day when my brain was functioning, I came up with some less nerdy ideas…

You know you’re a runner when…

  • you always strive to do more than what’s expected of you
  • you have mega amounts of focus
  • you’re resilient to obstacles that may set you back
  • you can quickly change your negative attitude to a positive one
  • (to go with the above) you find a way to make disappointments into new, better opportunities
  • you can appreciate runners who are faster and stronger than you and not feel bad about yourself for it (Emma Coburn and Cory McGee you are better than me and I still love you both)
  • you’re confident and proud of yourself for what you do

 

 

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In all seriousness, runners gain some irreplaceable qualities through doing what we do. The running way of life translates from our running shoes and sweaty clothes to everything we do. Most of the time, we aren’t even aware it’s happening. Running makes us all silly people, but it also shapes into some pretty tough and driven people too. Don’t mess with us, we look like weirdoes but we’re stronger than you think :)

 

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*Your turn!!

Finish the sentence: you know you’re a runner when…

Silly answers required :)