Hot Chocolate 5K Chicago: Race Recap

I did it! My first 5k in years and my fastest 5k since the fracture/injury.

I couldn’t make to the Expo, so I had my packet mailed to me ahead of time (I actually heard the Expo was smaller this year compared to years prior). So, I still got to lay out my #FlatJane the night before, complete with my bib:

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On race day, finding the corrals was a bit confusing. But, the race itself ran smoothly. The announcer said there were 45,000 runners between the 15k and the 5K!  (I did the 5K). LOTS of runners, a bit crowded… Definitely chilly!

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It was below 40 degrees this morning in Chicago, and my poor Garmin watch literally froze. So I just ran not knowing time, pace or distance. I felt good though. No pain.

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I started out feeling great until at least the half-way point. When I started feeling a bit winded, I slowed down a little. There were some walkers in wave 1 that you had to weave around, but it was manageable. That small incline just before the last 1/4 mile of the race was a struggle, but not too bad.

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Post-race, the band was fun. I thought the lines to get our hot chocolate would be mayhem with so many runners, but it was organized by line number and I had no wait! And even though I’m not a big chocolate fan, the finisher’s mugs were yummy!

I would definitely recommend this race.

Week 8 Recap

Monday

I did this week’s long run on Monday as a solo morning run: 4 miles straight without walking (my longest distance during this training so far!), complete with 2 inclines on each of the 3 laps. My “bad” foot did go numb from mile 2.7 to 3.9 then the tingling just disappeared. Weird. Still feeling proud of myself for getting to mile 4. The weather was nice and cool, which helped.

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Tuesday & Wednesday –  Rest days. Mostly because I worked back-to-back 13-hour shifts.

Thursday

A quick 2-mile run at home on the dreadmill while watching Grey’s Anatomy, after my 3 back-to-back 13-hr shifts. Another run was scheduled at 8am the next morning, plus my foot went numb, so I didn’t wanna overdo it.

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Friday

Sluggish morning run. I was so beat, but we did it! My foot also went numb again for the last mile which is getting annoying. But hey, it’s another 3 miles in the bank. Not stressing over one tough run.

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Then, later that day, I headed to the airport for my trip to the Bay Area.

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Saturday & Sunday

Having a ball so far in California… lots of good eats. Saturday was Sam’s Chowder House (beautiful views of Half Moon Bay) and today, we went to Brenda’s French soul food restaurant. I skipped my hills workout today after we walked nearly 4 miles up and down San Francisco’s hills (my Garmin says it was the equivalent of climbing 28 flights of stairs). I’ll make it up tomorrow (Monday).

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Dessert at Sam’s Chowder House

Week 6 & Week 7 recaps

Week 6 Recap

After the 5k run on Wednesday, the 20th (see the post here), I finished off the week with two additional runs.

Thursday

I had a nice afternoon solo run. I was scheduled for 2.75 miles, but I took a pee break after the first 4 minutes and my Garmin can’t pause. So, it’s broken into 2 entries! I kept an average pace of sub-12, complete with a few inclines… and I didn’t feel like I was gonna die! #Progress Maybe I took today’s shirt literally. 🙂

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Friday

A short Happy Friday run with a running girlfriend: 2 miles. I’m getting faster!

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Week 7 Recap

At the beginning of week 7, I took a brief hiatus to recharge and vacation in Atlanta. So, I only got 2 runs in before the end of the week.

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Monday-Thursday (Atlanta)

I also took a break from low-carb on my getaway, and enjoyed some good eats! In particular, some great seafood gumbo at Pappdeaux’s and the best strawberry cheesecake at Sage Woodfire Tavern!

 

Friday

My first full day back in NJ, we did a slow and easy 5K distance, catching up on life.

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Saturday

After a lot of self pep talking this morning, I got out on the track for 5 miles of speed work with run-walk intervals. My overall pace was faster than my normal running time (including walk breaks), which shows me that I could probably be running faster.

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Up to 5k distance & mug recipes

Despite not getting much quality sleep last night — my Garmin says I got 48 minutes of deep sleep and 5 hours of light sleep — I pushed myself to meet up with a girlfriend to run 3.1 miles at Liberty State Park this morning. This was the fastest pace (12:38min/mile) I’ve held for more than a mile off-treadmill in the past 6 weeks!

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The skyline was still beautiful today, even with the overcast. But, I could’ve done without side-stepping the geese poop on the trail!

I’ve also become interested in these microwave mug recipes I’ve been seeing lately. I tried this one recently, but made a few tweaks to keep it low-carb. I used low-carb wheat bread, and regular eggs (I didn’t have egg whites). I also skipped the banana (carbs!), so I topped it with strawberries and blueberries. It came out pretty yummy!

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Florida Day 7: my first Fartlek & my alma mater

Today, I ran my first Fartlek (if you don’t know what a Fartlek is, read this).

Also, dictionary.com says:

fart·lek ˈfärtlək/ noun
  1. a system of training for distance runners in which the terrain and pace are continually varied to eliminate boredom and enhance psychological aspects of conditioning.

Today’s Fartlek was a basic one:
1-min easy run, 1-min hard run
2-min easy run, 2-min hard run
3-min easy run, 3-min hard run
then repeat x 1.

I have to admit — it was really tough toward the end. My after face tells the story:

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As you can see from my pace chart below (Look at that heart rate climbing!), in the second half, my hard runs weren’t very fast, and my easy runs were almost walking. I hit my second wind at the 20-minute mark and tried to kick it up again for that last hard run. But, I have to admit, I was wiped afterwards.

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Maybe it was the weekend at the amusement parks, or the heat and humidity on the run, but as soon as I got back to the house, I knocked out for at least an hour — in my running clothes. I don’t even remember laying down or falling asleep!

I did regain consciousness eventually, and kiddo & I drove to my alma mater and copped an NSU window decal. Hard to believe I finished medical school almost 11 years ago.

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We stopped for lunch down the street at one of my fast food favorites from when I lived down here: Pollo Tropical. The salad greens were a bit dry, and corn does have some carbs (I gave my roll to kiddo), but I enjoyed it.

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Now, kiddo and I are waiting for our delayed flight to take off. I enjoyed my time with my friends and godchildren, and sad for it to end, but it will be good to get back home as well.

Wheels up soon…

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Florida Days 5 & 6: Water parks & Magic Kingdom

We finished off the weekend at Seaworld’s Aquatica Water Park and Magic Kingdom.

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I did OK with low-carb over the weekend… lots of salads, at least until last night’s dinner at Bonefish Grill (yum!). I had seared ahi tuna for appetizer and lobster tail with scallops and double vegetable instead of the other carb-y sides.

did have a small piece of Mom’s funnel cake today at Magic Kingdom which was DE-lightful!

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Unfortunately, I missed doing my squats last night. But, given the fact that I walked about 9-10 miles between the two days and walked 20 flights of stairs according to Garmin (all of those tall water slides!), I honestly don’t feel so bad.

Tonight, I’m slated for 85 squats, plus 85 sit ups and 40 pushups. Tomorrow, starts week 3!

 

 

Florida day 3: Reflection, motivation & new shoelaces

Since today was a non-running day, I spent time with the kiddo (a few pics from the Museum of Discovery and Science below), and then the Godkiddos after they got out of school. It gave me time to reflect on what I’ve been doing well so far, and what I could potentially do better with this post-injury half marathon training.

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Things I Need to Work on:

Motivation

I’m hitting the point where I am progressing (and it IS getting easier), but not as fast as I would like. And it’s playing tricks with my mind. I caught myself having thoughts like, “If I’m winded at 1.5 miles, how on earth will I ever get up to 13.1?”

I know I need to get the Negative Nancy voice out of my head, but post-injury, and with the extra weight I’m carrying around, training this go round has been quite humbling.

A friend suggested that listening to audiobooks may be my problem. She suggested I “put on some gangsta rap and handle it!” OK — got it. So, during yesterday’s run, I put my “Get Money” playlist on shuffle, and I think it did do a better job at distracting me from the aches than the audiobook (I ran the longest I have since beginning training!).

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Years back, I would forget I was running while listening to “The Help” and “Eat, Pray, Love,” so I may try audiobooks again when training gets a bit easier. Right now, I guess I need a little “gangsta rap” and ‘get money” in my runs. 🙂

Foot numbness

I had some foot numbness again yesterday, after not having any for the past two runs. Yesterday it wasn’t numb in the usual areas, but over my big toe and inner foot this time.

At our last session, my massage therapist suggested that I try different shoelace patterns if the injection didn’t resolve the matter. So, I found this site which does a great job at displaying ways to lace shoes based on different running (foot) ailments.

I went with the “wide feet in general” option which skips a few holes. We’ll see if tomorrow morning’s run is any better.

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Aches (ugh!)

Between the 65 squats last night and yesterday’s 2-miler, mixed with the fact that I couldn’t do my normal post-run soak, I was pretty achy today — in my “bad foot” and the anterior muscles in my “good leg.”

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As a result, in between each outing today, I did some major massage — both with my hand and the massage roller — using the Elemis Musclease Active Body Oil. I am thinking I should have massaged this much yesterday immediately post-run as a means of preventing today’s discomfort. Let’s hope tomorrow feels better.

Things I think I’m Doing Well:

Diet

I have done a great job keeping to low-carb in the face of traveling, temptation and being surrounded by junk food. Tonight, I wanted the Bananas Foster so badly at Dave & Buster’s but I thought about how sad I would be if I got on the scale next week and didn’t see any loss, and decided the pie wasn’t worth it.

Going Slowly/Rehabbing

I think I am doing a good job at going really slowly in training to avoid injuries. I am working hard at strengthening my foot/ankle, and listening to my body along the way. Going slowly is also helping me not feel like a failure — if I really went out there and tried to run 6 miles right now like I used to, I would be disappointed and humbled pretty quickly, and it would probably mess with my head. Slow is better right now.

>>What did you do well this week? What do you want to work on for next week?