Despite the snow on the ground here in Pennsylvania, spring is in the air. I can tell because I FINALLY had an active, productive weekend! The cabin fever I get throughout the winter is gradually lifting. Thank goodness. It’s about time.
First things first– what I like to call “running season” started this weekend for me! I look forward to running season all winter long. It really makes the last part of my winter seem to drag on and on.
I ran my first 5K of the year on Saturday! It was freezing outside in the morning (see above), so I wasn’t exactly overly-excited about running the race. But I signed up for it, and it was my first planned one of the year, so I forced myself out from under my warm, cozy blankets and into my running clothes. I’m sure glad that I did! The air was cold–my lungs were burning and my chest was extremely tight by the third mile. But the sun was shining bright in the sky and Billy Idol kept telling me to “come on <come on>, come on <come on>” in my headphones (Mony Mony!), so I pushed ahead to the finish line. I ended up cutting off about two minutes from last year’s time at the same race and fell short of my all-time PR by about 35 seconds. I got third in my age group out of twenty-something contenders (it was a small race). So I was pretty pleased.
This is the first race I’ve run since starting a Paleo-type diet, so I wasn’t sure how well my breakfast would fuel my run. I ate egg whites mixed with a banana, almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and stevia (okay, that part isn’t exactly Paleo– but I was close!).
My meal definitely got the job done! I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t need to load up on grains before a race (I usually eat toast with peanut butter). I felt less sluggish after eating my egg white concoction than I normally do during a race. I’m thinking I might make this my pre-5K meal from now on.
Afterwards, I was starving, so I will admit that I threw my Paleo notions out the window and ate at Panera Bread with my running friends. We always find somewhere good to eat after races to re-fuel. I don’t get down on myself for doing that every once in a while, especially after a tough race.
I spent the rest of my day on Saturday cleaning and relaxing. Fun times.
On Sunday, I woke up early to do some strength training before my weekend long run. I trained my back briefly (only for about a half hour– I didn’t want to tire myself too badly for my run). Everyone has a body part that they like to train, and for me it’s my back– back day is my favorite!!
After my brief strength training session, I made myself the same pre-race breakfast as on Saturday. I tested it out on a short race; now I wanted to test it out on a longer run.
I met my brother and a family friend for an 8-mile fun-run. Normally I wouldn’t encourage running distance the day after a race, but all three of us signed up for a 10-mile race next weekend, so it was important for us to log some miles. We took it easy, though. We walked when we felt like it, stopped to talk to a friend, and explored some new areas. Although it was cold and gray outside, we had a great time! We were initially planning to run on a flat trail, but decided to take it to the roads instead. The hills and pavement definitely made our run more challenging, but the challenge was welcomed.
I regret to report that my Paleo breakfast failed me on my longer run. Around mile 5, my legs started feeling very heavy. I forgot my energy gels in my car, so I had nothing to replenish myself for the last three miles of our run. It made the run tough, but it was a good lesson learned– I’m better off sticking to grains & carbs to fuel my long runs. Looks like I’ll be picking up some Ezekiel bread before next Saturday’s 10-miler.
Yesterday was also meal prep Sunday, so I headed to the grocery store after our long run to pick up my “supplies.” I’m pretty sure the Wal-Mart cashier MUST have thought I have a thing for yams. I had three large bags full of them. Then again, maybe I do have a thing for yams, haha.
I spent a few hours in the afternoon prepping my food for the week. I’ll let ya know in a later post what all I’m eating this week.
Disregard the butter in that pic– I swear it’s not mine!! =)
Now that my big, productive weekend is over, it’s back to work for me… I hope everyone had a fun, productive weekend as well!! =)