In October of last year, I ran my first half-marathon. I loved the energy of the race, but my low iron and extreme allergies kept me from doing as well as I wanted. In fact, somewhere around mile eight, I figured that 10Ks are more my style.
Yet, less than three months later, I signed up for another half-marathon.
Even as I was finalizing the registration, I thought I was kind of crazy. Looking back, I didn’t even know what crazy was…
That’s because, about two months ago, I was surfing around on the Internet and decided to look up website of the Lawrence Half-Marathon that a few of my friends were interested in running. When I first read the information, I disregarded the possibility of running, because it was only two weeks before the Lincoln half-marathon that I was already registered for.
But, as I was going to sleep that night, I just couldn’t get the race out of my mind…
The next day, I called up my mom, who is also running the Lincoln race.
“So, I have this crazy idea,” I said as I went on to fill her in. Initially, she was kind of skeptical of the idea of me running two half-marathons just two weeks apart. But, if anyone would understand my relationship with running, it’s definitely my mom.
We ended the conversation with me making a decision — kind of. I planned on training to do the Lawrence half-marathon, but hold off on registering until I was 100 percent certain.
I went forward like that for the next few weeks by bumping up my long runs at a faster pace. Still, I held off on registering until last Monday when I had to make my decision — and I’m going for it!
Here’s my reasoning: Thanks to my running class, I’m well-trained. Also, unlike last year, my iron is in the normal range.
Finally, the fact that it’s two weeks before Lincoln is actually good thing. I would have been doing my long 10 or 11 mile run this weekend anyway, so I might as well tack on two more miles and get a shirt!
Now, all that there is to do is RUN!
Today, I’ve been taking it easy and drinking water like it’s going out of style.
It’s an easy thing to do when I take my “sippy cup” everywhere!
I did leave the house to meet up with one of my friends at the packet pickup.
I enjoy full-blown race expos, but they can get so crowded and chaotic. Considering this was held in the middle of HyVee, it was obviously much lower-key. I kind of liked it! We just picked up our tags and then got goodie bags filled with samples from the Health Mart (as if I’ve haven’t tried it all already).
I was happy.
Note: Clearly I was serious about the whole “taking it easy” thing. I didn’t even put on makeup.
But, I was even more happy about the technical t-shirts!
This is looking better than my last race already!
When I got home, I was craving a smoothie like no other.
Consumed: Smoothie with unsweetened almond milk, banana, frozen berries, peanut butter and xanthan gum. Topped with cottage cheese and vanilla almond crunch granola.
I had a cup of everything bagel-style pretzels on the side.
They were new-to-me and pretty good. But, the also new-to-me snack I had later in the day was even better…
Yum! I love me some Chobani AND mango — in combination they’re just perfect! For good measure, I topped it with some more granola.
Before dinner, I laid out all the gear I need for tomorrow. Yeah, it was kind of early, but I guess my excitement is a good thing!
Throughout time, I’ve definitely learned the importance of laying out everything I need for a race the night before. Nothing worse than getting frantic on race morning when you can’t find any socks!
Tomorrow’s forecast is looking pretty good, but the 7:30 start time is going to be a little chilly.That means it’s all about layers!
I’m also going to wear my water belt with a 50/50 mix of Powerade and water.
The belt is also helpful for carrying my iPod and extra Kleenex.
As if I needed another reminder of why it’s so important to have everything organized the night before, I realized that I had to find my watch and headband.
Check and check! Plus, as I’m writing this, I’m making a mental note to go set some Claritin out on my bathroom counter.
Edited to say that Dan, my personal pharmacist, recommended I take Claritin the night before to get the best effects!
When Dan got off work, we toyed around with the idea of going back to HyVee, where they were offering all-you-can-eat pasta for just $4. But, I figured that what you save in money you’d lose in taste and nutritional value.
Besides, I could make cheaper, tastier all-you-can-eat pasta at home.
I sautéed a stir-fry blend of vegetables in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once the vegetables were thoroughly defrosted, I added in some freshly diced onion. I continued sauteing until the onions were slightly translucent. Then I added some garlic and chickpeas. I drizzled everything with a little balsamic vinegar and seasoned it with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, I cooked a mix of whole-grain rotini and shell pastas. The rotini take two or three more minutes, so I added it first.When the pasta was cooked al dente, I drained it and reserved a little of the water.
Then I tossed the pasta with the vegetable blend and stirred in a few tablespoons of pesto. Finally, I topped the warm dish with some Italian-blend cheese.
But, the Italian meal wouldn’t be complete without some garlic toast on the side!
I spread a thin layer of buttery spread on whole-grain toast and topped it with some diced garlic and Parmesan. Then, I baked it for five minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Easy, breezy and good!
I took that x 2!
I love HyVee and everything. But, without a doubt, this was much better!
Now, Dan and I are settling down to watch “Double Jeopardy” and relax… Fingers crossed I’ll drift off to sleep at a good time so I can make my 5:15 wake-up call!
See you tomorrow with a race recap!
Question: What’s your favorite distance to race?