Sunday, May 17, 2009

Coach Hep 5k

I don't usually blog about every race I do. I do way too many and have all the t-shirts to prove it. So, I only blog about the cool or challenging ones. Since finishing up the spring half marathon season, I have been wanting to cut back on the running a bit. My legs are still sore from months of training and I kind of want a new challenge. Maybe something like a triathlon, although I cannot swim, so that may be a barrier. Anyway, this weekend was the Coach Hep Cancer Challenge. There are different categories of events, but I ran the 5k. It was a cool and rainy morning, but humid and I honestly was not in the mood to run. I looked at the course map and I knew it was hilly, but didn't realize how hilly until after the race started. The whole first 1.5 miles were completely uphill. It was insane! Thankfully, the whole second half the the course was the course reversed, so it was all downhill. Because of the hills, my legs definitely hurt and I didn't have the best of my 5k times, however I still managed to win 1st place in my age category! I have never done that before. Pretty cool! We got a plaque and a gift certificate for a Road ID, which are very cool and definitely worth looking into if you don't already have one. I guess getting older does have its benefits. :)

Overall time: 26:34.0
30-34 Age Place: 1/23
Female Place: 9/117

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Homemade Weekend

Last weekend was the first weekend in a long time that I didn't have anything planned. No races, no-out-of-town trips, no events to attend. Since the spring running season is pretty much over, I am not training for anything either. It was both refreshing to have no obligations and weird to not be out running. So, I started working on my to-do list. I did knock several things off the list, including a couple of recipes I have been really wanting to try. So, over the weekend, I made cinnamon banana cake, 2 loaves of cinnamon swirl bread, and homemade pizza dough from scratch (yeast and all). The bread is something I make often, but the cake and dough were new. Both turned out amazing. Definitely keepers (well, usually only the keepers make the blog)!

The banana cinnamon chip cake is sooooo good and good for you! I have been wanting to try this one for months. Seriously! I hunted around town and could not find cinnamon chips anywhere. So, I ordered them online. It felt really weird to be ordering baking goods online, but it turned out perfect (although I may have ordered a few too many bags of cinnamon chips if anyone needs to borrow some). I made two changes to make it healthier: I substituted egg beaters for the eggs and used whole wheat flour. It was amazing. There is no oil in the cake and it stayed moist for days. I ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The best was heated up in the microwave for 30 seconds paired with some vanilla ice cream. Oh, so good! I highly recommend this recipe. I think I will be making it as often!

My other endeavor was a new pizza dough recipe. Much like sugar cookies, I am on a quest to find a really good pizza dough. This recipe tops the list by far. I have tried many dough recipes and this was really good and really easy to make. Making dough from scratch can be time consuming. This went quickly and didn't require much work or kneading. I followed the recipe as stated, but I used my KitchenAid mixer with dough hook. I will say I used a little more flour than mentioned in the recipe. The bottom was crisp, and the sides were soft, not chewy. I want to make this again and see if it works as a calzone crust. We baked one pizza on a pizza stone and one in a cast iron pan. I think it turned out better on the stone, but that was "my" pizza. I will also be trying this one again! It is highly recommended as well!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lucy & Murphy Brave the Elements

It rained, poured, and flooded today. We got about 2.5 inches of rain throughout the afternoon. Todd was out-of-town and I had an previously scheduled engagement after work, so I left the dogs outside knowing it would rain, but knowing I couldn't leave them inside. There was no way for me to get home during the day. They were caught in the middle of monsoon-like weather and were muddy and soaked when I got home. Poor babies are probably traumatized forever. Lucy is so scared of thunderstorms as is it. She shakes and pants. She tries to get a close as possible and snuggle down or hide under something until the storm passes. I can only imagine her hunkered down under the deck today. Murphy, on the other hand, is oblivious to storms. I feel so awful, but there was nothing else I could do. Here is a pic of Murphy from when I got home. You can't see all the mud, but I think he face provides a good example of how dirty he was. I actually had to hose off all the mud, so he got even more wet before coming in the house. Lovely.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Indy Mini Race Report....Finally!

In my life it seems like Saturday mornings = another half-marathon. I think I went a little overboard this year and signed up for three half marathons in five weeks. Crazy? Yes! My legs are screaming at me to take a break. But, after all the hard work of training, the races went so well! I am very happy with how I did at each race. Here is another loooong race report about the Indy Mini, which was this past weekend. I ran with a good friend and fellow half-marathoner, Mandy. Skip to the end to read just about the race!

This past Saturday was the Indy Mini, the world's largest half marathon. Mandy decided to transfer into the race and run it with me. I was excited to have a running partner. The race fills up quickly, so I usually sign-up in the fall on my own and hope that I will find someone to run with at the race. This is my third year of using that method and I finally got a friend to run with me! It is much more fun than running alone! We ran the IU Mini at the beginning of April, so we had spent a lot of the winter training. Because of a leg injury, I didn't run a whole lot right before the Indy Mini, though. Both Mandy and I had signed up to run the local YMCA Running Classic, which is a 5k directly followed by a 10k to get in one last long run the weekend before the race, but after the 5k I knew I couldn't do the 10k. My hamstring hurt too much. So, I only ran a couple of miles before about four days before the race. I was a little bit nervous going into Saturday wondering if my leg would be okay and if I had run enough to make it to the finish.

Race Expo
I planned to go up to pick up the race packet and catch a few minutes of the expo Thursday night before the race. It is about a hour drive up to Indy, so I left right after work with the intent of grabbing the materials and heading back home for a late dinner. However, Mandy decided to drive up with me at the last minute and we ended up having a blast. After we got the packets (where they would not exchange a size M for a size S shirt for me - boo), we headed through the expo. There was tons of cool stuff and we each bought an Indy Mini shirt and running magnets for our cars. We checked out booths on charity running organizations, athletic gear vendors, and other random companies. Got some free stuff, too, which is always good! I think we ended up at the expo for over an hour. After making a return I had to a downtown store, we grabbed dinner before heading home. We ended up going a little cross country after getting stopped by a train on the way home. After watching the train move forward, sit, and then back-up over and over again, we decided to find an alternate route home. Seriously, the train was crazy. We were just sitting there laughing while watching it go forward and then backward. Suffice to say, we didn't get home until 10:00pm after leaving at 5:30pm.

Race Day
I am not a morning person at all, so leaving at 5:40am was my least favorite part of the day. I actually got up around 5am to eat something and get ready to go. Apparently, I over pack on gear for every race I go to. What I can I say? I like to be prepared for any kind of weather with short sleeves, long sleeves, pants, shorts, capris, rain jacket, etc. I also pack a change of clothes for after the race, just in case. So, I think I ended up hauling three bags of gear up to Indy and only used my jacket to put on after the race. Oh, well! Anyway, once we got up to Indy, parked, and used the restroom, we headed to our coral starting spot. I started back with Mandy and almost as soon as we got in there, they took down the ropes separating the different corrals and we all started moving forward towards the start line. It was nice to start further up in the race this year, it definitely helped to avoid people walking. No offense to the walkers, but with so many people at the start, it does suck to get behind a group of walkers. It took us about 8.5 minutes to actually get to the start line from our starting spot and we were off! We maintained a really great pace for the first 10 miles. It was funny to see all the different things going on around us. I am such a people-watcher when I run. Guys were running off the course around mile 2 to pee in the bushes (must be nice as we women have to wait for the porta-potties). There was a couple running together. Her shirt said "Just" and his shirt said "Married." Too cute! She even wore a little veil. Around mile 7, a guy running in the race carrying a box of Krispy Kremes offered us some donuts. I don not know how people eat while running - crazy! The other new and cool thing this year is that they had a hot air balloon at the same time as the race. So, we rounded a corner around mile 3 and the entire skyline was filled with hot air balloons. I wish I had my camera for that moment. I may have to carry it next year. I could go on and on about the interesting things we saw on the way. The actual race conditons were near perfect! It was a cooler morning, but not cold. The sky was overcast until around mile 10, so the sun was not beating down on us, there was no wind, and the rain held off. I honestly don't think I have ever run a race in better conditions. It was amazing!

So, we were doing good and then we both hit a wall around mile 10. My leg really started hurting and Mandy started to get tired. I tried to give us a pep talk, but she wanted none of it. Seriously, she told me to stop talking. :) It was all good. I've felt that way before and she apologized fifty times over after the race. When you are running and you hit a point where you don't think you are going to finish, you just need to concentrate and block out everyone around you to keep going and make it through. I completely understand - been there, experienced that. After three slow miles (at least compared to our pace the rest of the race), we finally crossed the finish like at 2:04:29. The greatest part was we smashed the time we ran a month earlier for the IU Mini (2:08:58). After we got pictures and some free food, we headed back to the car for the camera. After running 13.1 miles we took the elevator up one level to the car. We hurt bad. Seriously bad. Both of us. Neither of us wanted to walk three blocks back to the post race party, so we got a picture in the parking garage and headed home. Despite being sore, we started talking about the next race. It doesn't matter the distance, let the running continue...

(Note the cool running magnets on the car - 13.1 rocks!!)