We tried and for a long time were successful at avoiding the Candy Crush Saga addiction. But temptation finally got the best of us and hubby and I have been sneaking in levels here and there. Hey, it’s a fun game and the levels are short and sweet for when you just need to focus on something else. But Miko is not thrilled at having to compete with Candy Crush for attention.
Lucky for him I’m stuck on a level and taking a break from it.
And I’m thrilled today even though I’m in pain after yesterday’s half marathon because I pulled off a serious PR yesterday coming in under two hours, my official chip time was 1:58:47!
That’s considerably better than my past half marathon times and I was a happy sweaty mess.
Based on the performance of my long training runs, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. And the race got off to a rocky start for me. This is my fourth year running the Urban Cow Half Marathon and each year the race seems to get bigger and more popular having about 6,000 runners this year. We arrived on what we thought was early enough, but ended up parking 6 blocks away from the start line and rushing in. I had 15 minutes before my race wave started and there was no way I’d get through the insane outhouse lines, I barely moved 10 feet in 10 minutes! Still a good 20 people back, I had to bail and head to the start line with 4 minutes to start and hope I could hold it until the first bunch of outhouses on the course.
Running a mile while having to pee badly is not fun! But thankfully there were no lines at the first cluster of outhouses since I was running like a mad women to get to them first and I was able to get in and out quickly. Still that threw me behind my targeted pace and I was pushing it and darting around slower runners for the next 3 miles to catch up to and eventually pass the 2 hour pace runner.
Somehow I was able to stay well ahead of the 2 hour pacer until mile 11 when my intense pace really started to catch up with me and I needed to work in smaller and more frequent intervals. I ended up struggling through the last 2 miles taking an interval until 2 hour pacer caught up to me, then running hard until I was well ahead, taking another interval, etc. But, it worked!
I’m pretty careful about what I eat before a half because running for hours with an unhappy stomach is not fun, I’ve been there! Quinoa has always been a good pre-race dinner for me with a lot of fiber and protein that doesn’t leave me, uh, bloated the next morning. I loaded up on a huge plate of Curry Tahini Quinoa the night before and had the leftovers for a simple post-race lunch.
It didn’t fail me and that’s a good thing!
Another thing that helped me improve my pace was using a treadmill for most of my maintenance runs and a couple of long runs. I know that probably sounds awful, but having that option is a life-saver when it’s too hot or windy. And it helped me set a target pace and force myself to maintain it consistently and get more a feel for a faster pace when free-running outside. I enjoy running outside, but tend to run a little slower while enjoying the views. Working in treadmill runs was a good balance for me. And going straight to the gym after work to burn off work stress to a good playlist was therapeutic.
When I wasn’t stuffing myself with quinoa this weekend, I was enjoying kale salad with a simple basil avocado dressing I whipped up.
Creamy Basil Dressing
- 1 avocado, seeded and scooped
- 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup water
Place all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend to a smooth and creamy texture. Use as a dip or dressing. Makes 4 servings.
It’s simple, but creamy and tasty with a tangy, pesto-like basil and garlic flavor.
And coats a kale salad nicely.