Hoboken Party With Purpose 5k Recap

I’m happy to announce that yesterday’s race was awesome. Sure, it was hot, but it had cooled down some from the daytime high of 92, and there was a breeze coming in off the river. The event was well-organized and ran smoothly. Chris and I lined up towards the back end of the giant 1300 + pack of runners, because we had no clue what to expect from ourselves. We waited during all the announcements – which drove me nuts, just start the race! – and then the gun was off. We were so far back that we actually stood around and slowly walked to the start line for a good minute and a half. Thankfully, the race supplied handy pacing chips that we had in our shoes so that we got our real time. I bounced all the way to the start – I was so excited.

Here are my stats:

 Overall time: 29:43.30; mile pace: 9:33

My goal was to hit 10 minute miles, so I was happy to see that I came a little under my goal pace. Also, my own “secret” goal (it was in my head, but I didn’t want to say it out loud) was to run 30 minutes or under, so I’m happy I was able to make it under my goal. Sure, it’s a long cry from my pre-injury pre-twenty high school cross country days, but this is a new me and it feels great to be running. Let’s call this my new-me PR.

I felt great during the first mile. I was smiling like an idiot, because I was finally running a race. If you’ve been reading for a while, you may remember that back in January, I was in physical therapy and my doctor said that I may never be able to run outside. Now, I was running a 5k!!! I smiled my way through the first mile, and made myself keep a slower pace. I really wanted to run faster, but I am not used to pacing and still unsure of the distance, so I held back. Mile 1 came and went and the only snafu was when I almost drowned when taking a sip of water at the hydration stop. Instead of gulping it like a normal person, I snorted it through my nose and had a fun little time sputtering along as I ran.

Mile 2 was harder on me. The route at this point was directly in the sun, and I could feel myself overheating. I was unable to speed up like I had planned, and I even slowed down some, but I kept on going. After passing Mile 2, there was an open fire hydrant to run through (cold water = life saver). The water was just what I needed to get back my energy. With only one mile left and feeling refreshed, I ran my fastest mile during Mile 3. It was great to come around the last turn and hear people cheering. I ran the last straight away fast and finished with a smile on my face.

Overall, the 5k was a great experience. It was the best outside run for my knees yet, and the heat didn’t bother me that much. The biggest take away for me to work on is understanding my pacing. I finished with more to give, which is wonderful in a way, but it also means that I can go faster next time. I hope to run another race in late August/early September, and in the meanwhile I’m going to start working on pacing.

I wasn’t the only one who finished the 5k last night. Chris also achieved our goal of running the entire race! I was so proud of him – he’s not a runner and is picking it up for the first time. We started together, but got separated from the get-go, so I was so excited to see him at the finish line. Go baby go!

My friends Lauren, Michelle, and Frank also ran (the real-runner friends I mentioned), and they were rock stars. Lauren and Michelle both placed in our age group! I was super proud of them. Personally, I was just so happy we all got to run a race together (instead of me cheering on the sidelines like me knees are prone to make me do).

Happy happy day!

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T Minus 3 Until 5k

It’s well into the 90’s today. But, at least it’s not raining! That means that come 7PM, Chris and I will be meeting up with our real-runner friends (oppose to us that are still runners-to-be or in-the-making or something) in Hoboken for the Party With Purpose 5k .

Last year's race

Oh gosh, I’m getting nervous!!!!

Rain in the forecast

Tomorrow is supposed to be my Chris and my first 5k together. Only the weather forecast is calling for thunderstorms! Are 5k called off for thunderstorms? I’ve haven’t been training in the rain …

Hopefully the weathermen (and women!) are wrong, and tomorrow will be lovely. I’m planning on prepping tonight with lots of stretching and positive thinking. Also, I’m going to create a Race Day playlist. 3.1 miles isn’t long, but it’s a enough time to get a few motivational songs in. I’ve never raced with headphones in, but I’ve seeing that I won’t be so much racing as trying to finish, I think the headphones are alright.

Which brings me to my goals for tomorrow’s race. Chris and I have one small goal for our first race: don’t walk. If I can run the whole thing, even if I am cruising at a snail pace, then I will feel that my goal’s been met. This will be hard for me, because I have only ever run a race for place and time. Sure, it’s been years, but I know that competitive person is still in me. I have to allow for people who’ve been running for longer to go ahead of me, and I can’t mind that my pace is super slow. My biggest fear for the race is that I’ll go out fast and die halfway through. It would be a really sad way to go.

So yes, let’s hope for: 1) good weather 2) good pacing 3) and a good overall race for Chris and I! Hopefully, I’ll have a race to tell you about soon!

New Exercise Plan

Next Tuesday, Chris and I are running are first 5k together! I’m scared and excited at the same time. I hope it goes well! I also hope that my knees continue to hold up. In an effort to make sure I don’t end up back in PT, after our 5k I will take some time off from running outside. Instead, I will get my cardio work outs on the treadmill. The treadmill is softer on my knees, so hopefully that will keep me fit and healthy.

However, running outside gives me a thrill that running on the treadmill lacks. That being said, I’m looking for ways to stay motivated in my work outs. My current idea is to begin weight lifting. I’ve never been a fan, but I’m learning how important it is to lift weights. I’ve starting researching how to begin weight lifting, and it seems that there are lots of great books out there specifically for women.

So I ask you: what weightlifting book do you recommend? The most important thing would be something that provides alternatives for exercises such as squats. Since I have bad knees, I cannot do that motion. Suggest away – I would love to start in the coming weeks!

Kicking my own butt

As promised, I trucked through my 3 mile run last night. I didn’t head out until 7:30 so it wasn’t sweltering, but it was still pretty hot out. The heat definitely took a toll on me, and though I ran a little less than I did on Friday, I felt a lot more was taken out of me during the run. When I got home, I forced myself to do some foam rolling and then plopped on the couch. I would’ve been content spending the entire night without moving off of it – I was that exhausted.

Finally, around nine, I convinced myself that I needed a good dinner. Does anyone else often eat dinner past 8:30 or is it just a me-thing? I went for quick and easy, because it was late and Chris was working late. Also, because the couch was screaming at me for leaving it. I baked a piece of salmon that I seasoned with lemon juice and garlic. Will it cooked, I broke out the Trader Joe’s frozen asparagus risotto and heated it up. I combined both and paired with a glass of 3 Buck Chuck. The risotto was so good – it didn’t taste like freezer food at all!

While eating dinner, I started in on a new series for me American Dreams. Netflix kept suggesting it, so when I found Season 1 on Amazon for $10, I decided to pick it up. I’m two episodes in and so far so good. I especially love the historical aspect of it and how big events are intertwined with the characters lives.

What’s one thing I failed to do last night? Make Chris a birthday cake! His birthday is today and though I bought all the ingredients, I was too exhausted to bake last night. That means tonight I’ll be baking a cake and cooking dinner for my birthday boy.

Which brings me to: Happy Birthday Chris!

I love birthdays, and can’t wait to spoil him tonight. I’ve been itching to give him his gift ever since I bought it last week. Let’s hope he loves it!

Good reads, good workout, good dinner, good day

I was busy busy busy yesterday. After work, I ran home to grab returns and headed off to the library. Chris currently is into Mad Men, so I picked him up Season 2 and picked myself up a new book. The book I just finished, The Principles of Love, is a young adult novel about a 16 year old girl starting at boarding school. Yes, I’m a 26 y/o with a ivy league degree, but I still love me some young adult fiction. Some y/a novels captures life moments so much better than many adult novels. Do you know what I mean? This book was particularly good at capturing the main character’s emotions, and I’m excited to read the next book in the series. Plus, the book is set at Hadley Hall, so how could I not read it?

A school named after me? (photo by Chris's sister)

Pilates was great yesterday. My instructor has been slowly upping the difficulty level, and yesterday’s class was really demanding. I felt a little Cirque du Soleil with some of the moves we were performing. It’s actually super fun doing these new crazy moves. I sweated more in Pilates last night than I ever have before (sweating = sexy). My teacher waited to the end to point out that we did the whole class without taking any breaks for the first time. I hadn’t even noticed, but I guess that explained the pile of sweat on my mat (sweating = still sexy).

I came home to Chris busy making dinner (swoon). Here’s a look at my plate:

Mock chicken sandwich, corn on the cob, and sweet potato fries.

The Morningstar mock chicken breast made a yummy sandwich when I added some relish and lettuce to give it an extra oomph. The corn on the cob hit the spot, as always. The only disappointment was the sweet potato fries. I was really hoping they would be stellar, but they turned out to be mushy. Next time I’ll make my own instead of buying them from the freezer section.

This morning I had promised myself I would get up early and go for a run. Chris wasn’t able to join, because he had to be at work extra early, so when the alarm went off I just couldn’t find the motivation to get out of bed. I hit the alarm and ended up falling back asleep and having one of those dreams where I am back in high school, forgot to study for a French test (it’s always French or Math), and thus end up bombing it. The sleeping-in guilt was talking loud and clear. To make up for missing my run, I will brave the heat and go out tonight. For now, I’m busy hydrating.

Are you a before or after work exerciser?

Let Freedom Ring

My Fourth of July weekend was all sorts of fabulous. Let’s recap, shall we?

Friday: After work, I forced myself to run a 5K. I wanted to make sure I could do the length, since Chris and my first official 5K race (since I was in high school) is coming up soon. It wasn’t so bad! My biggest issue with the run was pacing myself. I went out too slow most of the time, since I was scared I couldn’t make the distance, and then ended up finishing with a lot more to give. I guess over time I will remember how to pace myself? When I ran in high school, I was able to autopilot whatever time I sought, but that skill is long gone. I guess there could be worse problems.

The run paid off. I already proved I will run for pasta. Well, I’ll also run for Mexican. Chris and I meet up with Lauren and her BF for Mexican food. It was finally good real Mexican food, none of that fancy NYC Tex-Mex that drives me nuts. We shared guac to start (fresh-made at our table = awesome), enjoyed sangria (BYOB wine and they do the rest), and I polished off my entire veggie burrito plate, rice and all. I paid for that with a food coma, but it felt so worth it at the time.

Insane amount of Mexi food.

After dinner, I watched my new obsession HGTV, and Chris and I fantasized about buying property all over the world. Julian Alps, I’m coming (one day) to you! We ended the night watching She’s Out of Your League. Good concept, but meh movie.

Saturday: Woke up early for a Saturday (before 9AM = early on the weekend) and headed down to my brother’s place near Princeton. Hadley meet bro’s adorable pup that he rescued last month, Rider, for the first time. At first Rider was timid, but Hadley showed him the ways of the good life. By the end of the weekend, Rider was all play all the time.

Hadley and Rider playing tug of war.

After introducing the pups, we took them on a hike that lead to a pretty waterfall. Hadley was even brave enough to follow us into the water, but then freaked out a little (water and kayakers are Hadley’s two big fears). Even with lifeguard Hadley (I swear he thinks that water is dangerous and only he can save us from it), it was a great way to spend the afternoon.

The evening was spent in New Hope, PA. My brother’s GF recommend an awesome garden restaurant there that offered American, Italian, Thai, and Mexican food! We all choose Thai, and I had my first yellow curry. Very yum. Dinner was followed by walking around the cute town, the bro and his GF trying out chocolate covered bacon, and then we all ended our food fest with ice cream. Homemade ice cream is always a good thing.

Teddy bear shaped rice with my yellow curry.

Sunday: Sunday was supposed to be a beach day, but it was raining. We slept in and then headed to a famous Princeton pancake spot, PJ’s Pancake House. We ate at the counter, which made me feel like a kid, so I went with that feeling and ordered a chocolate milk. It really hit the spot.

Chocolate milk goodness.

My egg white veggie omelet with a side of pancakes was huge. I ate two of the pancakes, but failed to eat the rest. Next time, I must remember that my eyes are bigger than my stomach (sometimes).

Too much!

We spent the rest of the afternoon food shopping (outside of NYC = real super markets) and playing lawn sports when the rain finally let up. My parents joined us for a pizza party at night and supplied a strawberry shortcake. Yes, this weekend was a fattening fest.

Monday: We were up early to head back to our apartment. Chris and I spent the rest of the day prepping for our Fourth of July party. We are lucky to have a view of the Macy’s fireworks from our apartment terrace, so we invited over friends to share in the festivities. It was the first time I saw the fireworks live (something I’ve always wanted to do), and it was really great to be able to do so surrounded by friends both old and new. All in all, it was a wonderful weekend.

Let freedom ring (they looked better in person!).

Now it’s back to eating healthy. Today so far = chobani kids yogurt with honey bunches of oat cereal for breakfast and a TJ’s frozen Indian meal for lunch. Some fresh sliced strawberries and blueberries are coming up soon for a snack. You know what, healthy is yummy, too!

How did you spend your Fourth of July weekend?