The first time

The last few days, I have had lots of first time moments.

– I had my first wheatgrass shot

– I ran a major race for the first time in the rain (wearing a shower cap) – more on that later

And

– I will be running my first relay race this weekend

This relay is no Ragnar, but is a 53 mile relay to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I was originally running on a 5 person ultra team but I found out yesterday that one of our members has to drop out for medical reasons. Hopefully our team can find a replacement but if not, 2 or 3 of us will have to divide up the 11 miles (bringing my mileage to a possible 15-16).

Needless to say, I am nervous about the whole thing but it is for a great cause and we will finish even if I have to crawl through some of the miles (we are Team Turtle Herders after all!)

Any tips for a first time relay?

Purity Moosic City Dairy Dash (aka the best race ever!)

This is the third year in a row that I have run the Dairy Dash.  It is a very flat course and they offer a 5k, 10k, or combo.  First of all, let me say I LOVE this race!  Then again, who doesn’t love a race that has ice cream at the finish line?

We arrived early to pick up our packets and when we got to the main area, we were delighted to see quite the spread.  They had juice, coffee, every kind of milk you could imagine, and donuts!  I caved and had a pre-race donut – which I am totally crediting for my PR…well either that or the fact that I knew there was ice cream at the finish!

I always hang out with my much faster friends until just before the race starts and then move back in the crowd to actually start the race – but not this time.  I was chatting with my friends when suddenly, the gun went off…no announcement, no prep, no National Anthem, nothing.  So I took off with my friends – what else could I do?  

I tried to stay to the right  because I knew I was going to need to slow down.  Unfortunately, being that far up in the pack I started off much too fast and was shocked when I realized I had run the first mile in 11:20 and was quickly slowing down so I tried to stay smart through mile 2 and stuck to run/walk intervals.  I hadn’t set my Garmin for intervals so my version of intervals went something like this – run to intersection walk past the cones, run to next intersection.  Mile 2 went by without much problem and I was still feeling good so I pushed through mile 3 and when I saw the finish line, I went for it! After I finally caught my breath I realized I had run my fastest 5K yet 37:52!

Post Race PR GlowImage

Now for the good part…post race food.  This is the only 5K I know of that has the following at the finish line:  Chocolate milk (whole and nonfat), juice, water, plain milk, ice cream sandwiches, nutty buddies, spaghetti, mac and cheese, and rolls!

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And finally, the awesome shoes that made me super fast!

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What is the best post race food you ever had?

Taking it back to the mat

I haven’t said much about myself except that I used to be a few sizes bigger and I like to run so I might as well start now.  I am an adjunct music professor at a university – which pretty much means I am overworked, underpaid, and have to maintain a large private music studio in addition to my work at the university just to maintain a lower-middle class lifestyle.  Quite frankly, I could probably get a job at a popular coffee chain, work less, get paid more, and even get benefits!  Unfortunately, I love my job so no coffee shop for me just yet.

The last few weeks of classes are winding down and every year around this time, my work life gets overwhelming and I have to deal with a lot of stress.  For me, this means I rarely get a good night’s sleep and down lots of coffee just to get through the day.  Adding to the stress, they have not yet turned on the a/c in the building (even though it is in the 80s) and my office is boiling!  Yesterday, I was so exhausted that I canceled everything scheduled in the afternoon (including my training session and my run) and went home and tried to take a nap.  The napping was unsuccessful but I did get to rest a little.  

I kept going back and forth as to whether I should go to yoga class.  I knew my body was tired but I also knew it was very tense.  I decided that a yoga class certainly couldn’t hurt and decided to go.  The class was tough for me but as the sweat started to drip and I focused on my breath, everything else went away.  I focused only on the practice, let everything else go and by the end of class felt so much better!  

I still had a rough night’s sleep but It was better than the last few and my body is still not very happy with me.   I keep reminding myself that I only have to deal with this kind of stress for a couple more weeks and until then, I will try to remember to stop and breathe.