Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Do Declare

September to be 10K Race Appreciation Month. To honor this occasion, I participated in another one this weekend (sans stroller).

The 10k race M’s family helps organize was on Saturday. M left for NY with Emily earlier in the week to work with the volunteers and start setting things up, and I joined them later in the week.

Friday's mission

We invited a good pilot friend of ours to visit NY for the weekend and run the race too. I was happy to have him as my traveling companion on Friday afternoon because we had to get creative with our travel plans. What should have been an easy direct flight to NY quickly changed, and before we knew it we were scrambling to get on any flight headed north of the Mason-Dixon. I’ll spare you the gory details, but in addition to a flight, our trip included paying for a pricey car service and taking a 2 hour train ride with 3 different connections. Instead of getting to NY at 2pm, we got there at 11pm. Once again proving there’s no such thing as a free ride.

But we made it.

A little short on sleep, my day started at 5am with a quick breakfast of PB toast and Powerade Zero. Then we were off to stage the race.

The banner hanging summit


Before the race, a small memorial near the starting line was dedicated to M’s late dad and uncle.

Disclaimer: Parts this post were purposefully left vague. If you’re interested in stalking me, I’m sure you could triangulate my identity. However, to respect the privacy and safety of my family, I prefer not to simply hand out that info.

5,600 runners and walkers showed up. There were some big names here.

Mohamed Trafeh (a top finisher of this year’s Peachtree Road Race, and 3rd place in the NYC 1/2 marathon) won the race in a time of 29:22. Magdalena Boulet won the women’s field with a time of 33:59.

My race strategy (or lack there of) got me in trouble. Strategically, this had to be the worst race I’ve run in a long time.

To put it sucked. I was over eager and pushed the first 3 miles too hard, a big mistake since that’s also where the most difficult hills were. The split for my first mile was 6:32. Did I mention over eager? By the time I hit the 4th mile marker, I was just trying to hold on. I can’t wait to see what a hot mess I look like in the race photos.

I finished in 46:13. That’s a little over a minute and a half faster than my time from last year (my first race after having Emily). Despite my lack of training over the summer I managed to improve my time, but that’s only 11 seconds per mile faster than the pace of my last half marathon in March. Boo. FWIW, it's known to be a difficult course.

So here's the deal, my new goal is to run a 10k in under 45 minutes before my 30th B-day in a few months.

We wrapped up the weekend by watching the parade downtown.

Can she stay this small forever?

Chip time: 46:11
Pace: 7:27/mi
Overall: 344/ 4700
Gender: 57/ 2039
AG: 15/274

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Strollerderby Saturday : Another 10K Race Story

Actually, I could have raced this one solo because we had a special appearance from this man!

At the last minute, M got one of those rare calls from crew scheduling saying the first day of his trip was being removed from his schedule. We don't ask questions, we just say thank you.

I had prepped myself all week to run with the kiddo, so I stuck with the plan. I wanted this race to serve as one last tune-up before I run a real 10K race by myself this weekend.

Ready to get my run on

Buzz, the Georgia Tech mascot, was working the crowd at the starting line. Emily wasn't amused.

Buzz running away after making Emily cry

Funny side story:The guy who won the race wasn't very amused by Buzz either. M said it was hysterical to watch. As the lead runner was coming down the final stretch, Buzz started running alongside him, attempting to hold his hand across the finish line. The flustered runner began swatting and swerving to get away from him.

The race started on New Peachtree Road (not to be confused with Peachtree Rd which runs directly parallel to it, and later turns into Peachtree Street when it reaches midtown). The start was a little tricky with two sharp 90 degree turns within the first 800 meters. The crowd was still tightly packed at that point, and I had to come to a complete stop more than once.

We eventually ended up on the other Peachtree Rd, and it was a straight shot through town from there. Traffic was whizzing by us in the opposite lanes, so we had to be careful to stay within the cones. I had to do a lot of bobbing and weaving for the first couple miles to work my way up from the back.

This course was significantly easier any other race I've run in Atlanta. There were a few rolling hills the first couple miles, but the last 4 miles were a gradual descent to the finish line.

I can see the finish line. Only 100 meters to go.


We finished with a time of 48:25, our fastest race yet!

We don't have a Dunkin Donuts near our house anymore. Seeing the orange and purple boxes sent me into a temporary food trance. I went a little crazy at the refreshment table.

Um yeah. I didn't eat it all. I swear. Not even half...

Ok, maybe close to half....

But M was happy to help me out.

It was another fine morning in the ATL.

Gun Time: 49:11
Net Time: 48:25
Pace: 7:47/mi
Overall: ??
Gender: 44/384
AG: 8/73

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I can't get enough of these cookies. I just wish they weren't so easy make.

Only 5 ingredients ya'll.....

Runblondie26's Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies:

1 cup Reduced-fat Skippy creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup canned pumpkin <-----my secret ingredient
1/2 tsp baking soda

Microwave the PB for a few seconds to soften it up. Then dump everything else into the bowl and mix.

Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 mins. Drop in rounded teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet coated in nonstick cooking spray.

A melon baller worked perfectly

The dough doesn't expand much when baking, so flatten the cookies with a fork (helps to spray it with nonstick cooking spray too)

Bake at 350* for 12-14 minutes.

Let them cool completely before trying to remove them, or you'll have a crumbly mess.

Hot outta the oven


FYI: I specified Reduced-fat Skippy creamy peanut butter because I know it works. You'll have to experiment with different brands. I tried Marantha Natural PB first, and the dough turned into a runny mess in the oven. Peter Pan Whipped PB wasn't so great either. The cookies turned out much too crumbly.

And I'm sorry if you're still suffering from the canned pumpkin shortage. The cookies will still turn out lovely without it, you'll just lose the benefit of the pumpkin's extra fiber and vitamins.

Monday, September 6, 2010

U.S. 10K Classic

If you've been following for awhile, you know I had an unexpected health set-back in the spring, basically washing out the rest of my spring and summer running season. I wasn't looking to race this weekend, as I'm far from being in racing shape yet.

I was cruising last week, day-dreaming about what races I'd like to run this fall, and stumbled across the ad for the U.S. 10K Classic. Shut the front door. It said....

Jogging strollers ALLOWED!

That's unheard of for a race this size (12,000+ runners). Even it if meant walking parts, I couldn't pass it up the opportunity to participate.

It was an early morning for us. The race was 45 minutes from our house and we had to be there before they closed the roads at 6:45.

5:15 am I made your standard runner's breakfast to eat in the car.

6:30 am Car parked and unpacked.

Miss E fueling up on string cheese before the race

Sheesh, this racing stuff is exhausting

Ok, these guys have me beat. That's some load to tote.

7:15 am The sun is up. Almost time to roll. Streeetch it out.

7:40 am Sky divers parachuted in during the National Anthem.

7:45 am On your marks, get set, GO!

A view from the back of the pack

Our gun time was 53 minutes and change. I was in the very back with the other baby joggers at the starting line, so my chip time should be a little better.

The first of many hills looming on the horizon.

The course was not for the faint of heart. The hills were only moderately steep, nothing ski jump crazy, but they were looong. The worst kind, especially when you're pushing 65lbs of toddler + stroller. Not gonna lie though, I still love the look on people's faces as we push past them on the hills. It's gives me the adrenaline to keep going.

I did walk the final 100 meters up two of the longest hills. Totally NMS, but I need to start back somewhere.

The top 1,000 finishers got medals, so Team Blondie was somewhere in the top 1,000. Probably like 999 :) Pretty sure we were close to the cut off.

Phew, time to refuel

The swag bags and post race refreshments were generous. For a race this size it was extremely well organized. Two thumbs ups for the U.S 10K Classic.

Now we wait for our pilot to fly in so we can do some grilling. Happy Labor Day to ya'll!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What's Up Buttercup?

The Blondie family has been on the move the past few weeks. More weddings, a baby shower, and trips with M to exotic destinations only served by regional jets.

Scranton? Peoria? Shreveport you ask? I can assure you we went to some places even more fabulous than those. *wink*

And I need to brag on the hubby a bit. I wanted this dress to wear to one of the weddings, but felt guilty spending the money on myself. He went back to the store the next day and surprised me with it.

Still sporting the dark 'do.

There's plenty more running/health related content coming to you again soon. Don't give up on me yet.

Tomorrow we'll be doing something that hasn't been seen 'round these parts in quite a while.....Racing!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

This Made Me Smile

Where have I been lately? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

Just popping in for now to say hi, and to thank Alison from 26 and 2 for the Cherry on Top Award! If you haven’t stopped by her blog yet you really should. She makes us runners look like sissies (cause she’s one kickass triathlete).

Thanks for making my day!

Now I must answer some questions and pick 6 other recipients for this Sweet Reward!

#1 Answer this question: If you could go back and change one thing in your life, would you, and what would it be?

Hmm, I can only pick one?

I wish I could go back to the start of college and choose a different course of study. I started off as an art major, decided it wasn't for me, then switched to computer science the 2nd semester of my sophomore year. A logical shift because they're so similar, right?

I’m a left-brained thinker, so honestly it was a much better fit.....but in the end, not my cup of tea either. Can’t say I’ve ever had an IT related job since graduating. I wish I had pursued teaching instead. I can picture myself teaching high school History or English, and I’d love to be coaching the track and cross country teams too.

#2 Pick 6 other people to pass this award to, and then let them know that they're winners.

Stevi @ Going the Distance
Brittney@ Life in a Holding Pattern
Christina @ Christina Runs
Jaime @ The Jogging Stroller
Britt @ RunnerBelle
Emily @ Frank’s Beans

#3 Thank the person that gave you the award.

P.S. If you'd like to chance to win a sweet Garmin 310Xt check out DC Rainmakers contest. All he asks for is a comment.