I was going to give up running. Well, not really give it up — I guess technically I was going to give up doing 5Ks because (a) I hate the intensity of having to push myself WAY out of my comfort zone for 25 minutes; (b) they’re too short and feel like a waste of $25 race entry fee; (c) I don’t like training for them (back to the intensity thing); (d) and I get way too caught up in my performance. In 2012 I had reduced my 5K racing and had increased my half marathon and 10K racing. My plan for 2013 was to do a couple of 5Ks that are near and dear to my heart, do a few distance races, do a few obstacle races (which are awesome), and focus on weightlifting.
Life had other ideas — or rather, my friends do. I was at a fundraiser for my kids’ school and met a neighbor who runs. We’ve seen each other out running but have never actually met. He had met my husband last year and knew our last name from race results. He asked my husband if he was related to me, and my husband was like, uh, yeah, that’s my wife. So what do runners do when they meet? Talk about running of course! Another friend who has started running recently joined our conversation, and one thing led to another (over a few glasses of wine) and we ended up agreeing to do the Rover & Clove Hillsdale 5K together.
Since I haven’t been 5K training, and since it was St. Patrick’s Day and I married into Irish, I figured it would be a good opportunity to run in costume. My husband’s response to the announcement that I was going to run in costume was, “Oh, no”. But he tells our kids all the time “don’t worry what others think” and “make your own fun” so this kind of falls into both categories.
Unfortunately, the weather was cold — about 30 degrees — so I had to opt for the long-sleeve shirt instead of the cute St. Patrick’s Day fake tattoo sleeves I was planning to wear with a tank top, but the rest of the outfit worked out OK.
My son and his friend decided they wanted to do the 5K too, but since both had playoff soccer games later in the day I told them they could WALK, not run.
I met up with my friends before the race. It was one friend’s first 5K, and unfortunately, she had a stomach bug the week leading into the race so she ended up walking most of it, but that’s OK. It’s good to get the first 5K out of the way so you know what to expect!
My neighbor asked me what pace I was planning to run, and I told him I hadn’t been training so probably low 8 minute mile range. He said he’d try to keep up but not to slow down if he couldn’t keep up.
Suddenly the “gun” went off and runners were off. It was really congested at the start (as usual) with some walkers toeing the line up front (major pet peeve) and of course the requisite little kids who sprint for about 100 yards and then stop deadstill. But pretty soon the crowd thinned out and my neighbor and I settled into a good pace. I knew the hills came up late in the race, so I pushed the pace to 7:45 the first mile (yeah, I’m evil). Of course we slowed down in the next couple of miles due to the rolling hills, but it wasn’t so bad. My neighbor was able to hang with me, and we crossed the finish in 25:25. Not bad for a hilly course and very little speed training!
We walked back to find the rest of our group and got them to the finish, plus I ran into another friend who was walking with his kids.
Honestly, I actually enjoyed this race! Go figure, I actually enjoyed a 5K and didn’t keep thinking, “Why did I think this was a good idea?” I think 2 things helped: (1) the temperature was nice and cool; and (2) I was running with someone else an didn’t want to let him down.
This was our group — my neighbor, me, my son’s friend, my son, my friend who ran her first 5K, and her 2 younger boys — 3 of the boys in the photo are hers!
We hung around for race results, and I was 12th female and it looked like 3rd or 4th in my age group, depending on how they do awards. Awards can be done several different ways, and it depends on the race director’s choice as to who gets awards. I was surprised to find that in other parts of the country, there is a whole separate category for overall Masters winners! Wow, they don’t have that here in NJ! Anyway, rather than hanging around in the cold I looked up online and saw that they gave an award to male and female overall first place winner and then age group awards in 10 year categories after that. Most races give awards to top 3 male and female overall winners, then to age group winners. So seeing that they were doing the minimal version of the awards, I was 4th and decided to go home. But today I got a phone call from the race director saying there was a mixup with the results and I was actually the 3rd place winner in the female 40-49 age group so she’s mailing me my award. Cool.
Now for yummy food. I don’t measure anything, so whenever I make something it can be a bit different each time. Putting spices in anything means I dump a bit in, stir it, taste it, dump more in, etc. But here’s my yummy paleo chili recipe.
1 large zucchini grated
1 onion diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 large pepper diced
2 lbs ground beef (preferably grass fed) browned
2 x 28 oz cans of crushed roasted tomatoes (organic)
Brown the ground beef in a skillet (pour off the grease if using conventional ground beef, but if using grass-fed keep the fat). Meanwhile, sautee all the vegetables in a bit of coconut oil until vegetables are soft. Add meat and vegetables to a large pot; add the 2 cans of crushed tomatoes; add the spices to taste. Let simmer on low for 45 minutes, stirring often. I generally put this on to simmer while weightlifting — after a few sets, I stir the chili. My kids really like this, and they don’t miss the beans which they never loved anyway.