Race Vermont 1/2 Marathon Recap

Last night Jason and I made an agreement after looking at today’s forecast.

Expected Weather Saturday, May 10

We agreed that if we woke up at 6:00 AM without an alarm and if it wasn’t thunder-storming, we would do today’s 1/2.  Well as expected, we both woke up at 6 and it wasn’t even raining!  So we put on our gear (I added a running jacket just in case it started to rain) and headed to Shelburne.

The race was organized by Race Vermont and they did a great job.  There were 153 registered runners so logistically it was manageable.  We got to stay inside the field house until the whole group of runners walked about .3 miles to the start line – which was just a guy and a timer – and when everyone was ready – he said Ready Go and we were off.

Registration was a breeze – the only bummer was I thought we got a regular cotton t-shirt with registration but it turns out you could buy a technical shirt for another $28.  Registration without the t-shirt was only $30, which included 4 water stations with Gatorade, use of the Field House’s showers, saunas, and hot tubs post race, and a lunch provided by Starry Night Cafe.

The course was through the village of Shelburne, Shelburne Farms, and along Lake Champlain.  It was a great combination of roads and trails – probably about 7 miles of roads and 6 miles of trails.  The course had a few long grueling hills but overall I would say a moderate course in difficulty.

I was very impressed with the quality of runners at the start line.  There wasn’t one person that looked like they weren’t a runner or would have serious trouble finishing the race.  From the beginning, Jason and I planned to stick together for the run.  We started in the middle of the pack and quickly caught up with a group that we ran the first six miles with.  Around mile 3 it started raining (fairly hard at times), and continued for most of the race with a few short breaks.  At six miles we decided to start pushing ourselves a bit harder, and passed about 20 people over the course of the next 3 miles.  At 9 miles we hit the last hill and knew we could over take the rest of the folks just ahead of us.  We caught up with the guy leading that pack and he said it had been quite a while since he had seen people ahead of him.  We plunged ahead and picked up the pace a bit more.  I was really wishing I had packed a goo around mile 10 – I was in desperate need of some fuel.  Luckily the race had a Gatorade stand around there and I took a couple of cups – such a saving grace.  Jason and I ran the next two miles continuing to push each other (Jason led for those miles and really was the one that pushed us to keep up our pace).  At 12.5 miles we hit the last Gatorade/water stand and could see the finish area.  Sadly there still were no folks ahead of us to try to catch (overtaking runners during the race is really the best way to motivate me).  We made the last turn and say the finish line.  They had created a small shoot for us to run through for the last .1 miles and as we entered it I saw our time – that helped provide the last needed boost to finish strong.

We finished in 1:43.33!!!!  I was really hoping to finish at 1.45 but didn’t really think it was possible.  Our average pace was 7.54 / mile.  I ended up finishing 7th overall in the women and 4th in my age division.  Jason also finished 4th in his age division.  We crossed the line as the 31st and 32nd finishers!

Volunteers handed us water after the finish and we quickly headed for our car to get warm clothes and change.  The lunch provided by Starry Night Cafe (which is an amazing restaurant) was great.  They had cornbread, vegan chili, fresh fruit salad, a quinoa veggie cold salad, and greens with balsamic vinegar.  Jason and I loaded up our plates and beelined for some comfy chairs.

The last runner crossed about 2 hours 36 minutes – and they quickly released the race results.  Overall this is a great race that happens twice a year – the next one is in November and we plan to sign up to do it again!

Have a great Saturday!  We are off to see a matinee of Iron Man 2.

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Eating a Full Lunch

A few days ago, I mentioned my struggle to eat a fulfilling lunch and how that was effecting my hunger for the rest of the day.  Again I am going to preface this with the statement that I don’t count calories and I don’t really feel the need to calculate my daily food intake, however, I do find analyzing my eating a different points of the year helps me understand what might be going on with my body.  I have really been focusing on eating a nutritionally dense salad or sandwich for lunch each day this week.  One key – I have discovered is making some grains and throwing those on a salad along with some olive oil and vinegar (or some other kind of nutritious dressing).

Today I made a spinach, tomato, broccoli, and green pepper salad (about 150 calories, 1 gram of fat, 8 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of protein), then added millet from my grain-off the other evening (another 155 calories and 1.5 grams of fat), and then topped it off with an olive oil – apple cider vinegar dressing (adding another 180 calories and 20 grams of fat).  My lunch nutritional total was: 450 calories, 22 grams of fat, 11 grams of fiber, and 13 grams of protein.   This lunch kept me full for 3 hours.

Sorry the salad was about 3/4 ate when I remembered to take a picture.  The millet was an excellent addition to the salad.  I crumbled about 3/4 a cup of it on top of the salad and it provided a great texture to the salad as well staying power.

If you want to find out more ways to beef up your lunchtime, Gena did a great post yesterday on making a lunchtime salad meal.

Today I’m not planning any exercise – resting for tomorrow’s 1/2 marathon.  The weather is not looking so good which means it is a possibility that I won’t run it. Rain = Unhappy Kristina.

Short and Sweet

Workout: 5 miles in 48 minutes.

I went for a run with a few co-workers during our lunch hour today.  It was actually quite nice – besides staring at my computer and looking out the window dreaming about being outside – we headed out to a path that runs behind UVM and through a neighborhood that I didn’t know existed.  The five miles felt good and was a great way to breakup the day.

Now I’m heading to a friends how for a bbq – hopefully the weather cooperates.

8 Miles

Workout – 8 miles in 67 minutes.  It has hot and the road was crowded. But we made it 🙂

Saturday Jason and I are running a 1/2 marathon in Shelburne, VT.  It’s a little race (probably 150 runners) through rural roads and along the lake.  Registration fee was $30, and you get a lunch prepared by Starry Night Cafe and a race t-shirt.  There are spots still available if you are interested in running it.  Race Vermont is organizing it – along with some sprint triathalons and a few other races over the next few months.  One great thing about living in the Northeast is that outdoors races happen all summer and fall long 🙂

Since the marathon, we’ve run two or three times a week, pretty much however long we felt like.  It’s been glorious but I have definitely noticed my body losing muscle and I miss the release running gives me.  While I haven’t consistently trained for this 1/2, I’m hoping it will have the desired effect of kicking my butt into training.

Yoga Happiness Update – I have decided to postpone my 30 day challenge. My heart, body, and head just aren’t into it right now.  Right now I just need to be honest with myself and not force the practice.  I will still practice but not every day.

Now – come on folks brag a bit.  Do you have any planned races or exciting runs coming up?

A Little Sweet and A Little Tart

Today I deviated from yoga – I couldn’t work myself up to go to a class and honestly I just really wasn’t feeling it.  So instead I got home from work, walked the dog, and popped in Physique 57’s Classic 57 Minute Workout dvd.  I bought the three pack of dvds mid-marathon training in hopes of introducing some cross-training.  That never happened and today seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it on.

I have been looking forward to trying Physique 57’s workout since Kelly Ripa began to croon all over the media about the workout.  While I certainly understand that this is probably not how she appears in real life – who wouldn’t want to work towards those arms or abs?

According to the website “Physique 57™ is a focused and proven cardiovascular program of isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches. Physique 57™ tones your seat, abdominals, thighs and arms; strengthens your legs and back; and improves posture to produce a beautiful, sexy body. Our interval training sets use your own body weight for resistance, and through dynamic exercises your muscles are targeted and overloaded to the point of fatigue, then stretched for relief. We call our process Interval Overload – overloading the muscle to create long, lean sexy muscles.”

From my research, I knew this was the kind of video I would want to do in the privacy of my home when Jason was out.  Here is sampling of the workout that Kelly showcased on her morning show and taught to Anderson Cooper – (aren’t they the cutest?)

Seriously – thigh dancing?  It was not something I wanted others to witness.

First – the workout.  I was really impressed with the intensity of the workout.  My legs and arms were shaking at times.  While I had to psych myself up for a few of the moves (i.e. the aforementioned thigh dancing), overall I thought the video went by quickly and kept me engaged the whole time.

Tanya, the instructor, got on my nerves a bit.  She was a little too over the top for me.  Some people probably will appreciate her enthusiasm and jokes.  I think after a few more times though, I should be able to lower the volume and put on my own music to drown her out a bit.  I’m sure she is a perfectly lovely person but she isn’t the kind of trainer or instructor I respond well to.

I’ll definitely doing the workout again.

Another thing that was a little sweet and a little tart….

Rhubarb Bread

The concept of this recipe came from How It All Vegan – but then I adopted it to my needs.  I sadly missed photographing the preparation process.  I mixed flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and a tbsp of ginger in one bowl.  Then I added an egg replacement (or you could use an egg), brown sugar, 1/2 cup of canola oil, orange juice, 2 cups of rhubarb, and 3/4 cup of sunflower seeds – I finally chopped both the rhubarb and sunflower seeds prior to adding to the mixture.  I folded the mixture together until it was “just mixed.”  Then baked it in a bread pan (oiled) at 350 degree for 45 minutes.  I started checking it around 35 minutes with a toothpick but it didn’t come out clean until the 45 mark.

My sous-chef obviously was very engaged in the cooking.

Great Vermont Grain Cook-off

I’ve been reading Thrive – The Vegan Nutrition Guide by Brendan Brazier the last few nights.  While I disagree with the author on the our overall food philosophy – he seems to believe food is only to fuel our body for activity – I do like all the information he shares about food and affecting recovery from exercise.  I have noticed that my eating of lately has varied quite a bit day-to-day – it seems like one day I’ll have a “great” food day and then the next I’ll be craving fatty or unhealthy food.

Last week, I was definitely off and had a few days when I got home from work and couldn’t muster the energy to even cook a meal.  Obviously, something was off in my diet.  So after consulting a few friends, I decided to record my food and drink intake for a few days; using livestrong.com to track it all.

After three or four days, I noticed a trend.  My breakfast was typically oatmeal with banana and soy or almond milk, then I had a morning snack of an apple, and then lunch was either a salad or veggie sandwich.  Then I didn’t eat again until I came home from work (around 5:30 or 6).  Which means typically my breakfast and morning snack were around 450 calories, my lunch went down to 250 / 300 calories, then I didn’t eat for 4 or 5 hours. Since I am still fairly active (even though I’m not marathon training), all the calorie calculators were suggesting I get around 2,000 calories a day.

Just to get this out there – I apologize if this discussion is disturbing to anyone.  I don’t count calories or usually even worry about what I eat. However, I do believe that if you are feeling less energetic or under the weather examining your eating habits can help detect and underlying problem, which might not be an illness but just not great nutrition.

Using an average day, I was getting less than 40% of my calories (and that was the same with fat and protein – actually those were closer to 35%) with most of the day gone.  I typically go to bed around 10 or 11 – which means that I had 4 hours to eat 60% of my daily fuel…. certainly this was less than adequate for me.

Hence – why I spent a good part of the last few days reading a few different nutrition books.  Thrive spoke to me the most out of the books I was reading. Brendan is a professional triathelete and understands how what you put into your body can help determine your energy and strength to engage in sports or exercise.

Brendan discusses the correct way to fuel before exercise (no matter the length) and then how to refuel your body post-workout.  I learned quite a bit – like despite popular thought, he suggests you should not eat protein right after a workout.  Protein directly after a workout prohibits your recovery – a protein rich meal should actually be about 1.5 to 2 hours after the workout.  Directly after a workout, Brendan suggests a simple carbohydrate.

I would love to hear if anyone else has the book. What did you think? I’m certainly not adapting to the 12 week meal plan but I’m going to try to keep his fueling thoughts in mind as I plan out my pre and post workout eats.

The book led to my idea this evening – trying out some new grains.  I realized one way I can increase my calories and nutrition at lunchtime is to add some grains to my salad or wrap.

The Contenders:

from left - millet, amaranth, buckwheat

Amaranth

Amaranth is high in calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C; and it’s composed of about 17% protein, as well as consists of 8 percent fatty acids.  Additionally, it has three times the fiber of wheat flour.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat provides calcium, has high levels of vitamins B & E, and contains 8 amino acids – it is considered a good-quality source of protein.  Buckwheat is high in fiber. 1 cup of cooked buckwheat groats contains over 4 grams of dietary fiber.  It may surprise some people to learn that buckwheat is actually a fruit even though it is commonly thought to be a grain. Buckwheat is a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb.

Millet

Millet is highly nutritious, non-glutinous and like buckwheat and quinoa, is not an acid forming food so is soothing and easy to digest. In fact, it is considered to be one of the least allergenic and most digestible grains available.  The protein content in millet is very close to that of wheat; both provide about 11% protein by weight.Millets are rich in B vitamins, especially niacin, B6 and folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.

I cooked them on the stove to their specifications (in Thrive)

  • Amaranth (a 1:3 ratio with water for 25 mins)
  • Buckwheat (a 1:3 ration with water for 20 mins)
  • Millet (a 1:3 ration with water for 35 minutes).

I also made some super simple but amazingly delicious marinara sauce (smitten’s kitchens recipe that Heather first introduced me too), steamed some broccoli, and sautéed collard greens with a little earth balance.

Grains post cooking - from bottom clockwise: buckwheat, amaranth, millet

The verdict: Buckwheat was by far my favorite. It was light and slightly nutty but wasn’t heavy or soggy.  Millet was okay – it’s definitely a good alternative to whole wheat rice, couscous or quinoa – might actually give my morning oats a run for their money some morning.

NOW I have no clue what amaranth was supposed to come out as but my turned into a gelatinous goo that was not appetizing to look at or eat.  DID I DO SOMETHING WRONG?  I am really disappointed because Thrive called for adding it to salads and other lighter meals.

It was great fun to try out these new items tonight – more trials might be on the way.

On the yoga front – I did a Dave Farmar 90 minute class from home.  It was hot and sweaty.  So delightful.

I’m out like Seacreast to watch Gossip Girl.

Yoga Happiness Day 3

Well Saturday (and day 2 of yoga happiness) ended up being a wash.  I don’t know what came over me Friday night but I rarely drink heavily and I guess Friday was a splurge.  Saturday I did yoga for about 5 minutes – to Jack Johnson.  I pretty much just did Sun Salutation A twice and then one Sun Sal B.

Sunday was a whole different story.  I woke up refreshed and ready for the day ahead, hang over gone.  I headed to a gym around the corner from my house and did a 90 minute Ashtanga Yoga Class.

Ashtanga Yoga is defined by six specifics sequences, always done in the same order.  The movements are connected to specific breathing techniques – hence why it is referred to as a “vinyasa” yoga.  While I love the instructor that ran the class, I am not a big fan of Ashtanga.  The specific repeated sequences is a little boring to me.  And I prefer a more flow vinyasa class (where all poses are connected through a flow).

Any who I got my yoga mojo back with the class.

Thunderstorms are expected in Burlington today.  Very exciting 🙂  I love a good thunderstorm, too bad my dog doesn’t.

Happy Monday!