Lake Anna Sprint

I completed the Lake Anna Sprint on Sunday. My time wasn't specatular, but a good time wasn't my goal. Keeping my heart rate in Zone 2 was my goal. This was my training race for the Mooseman Half Ironman, & I wanted to practice everything as I would in a Half Ironman.

Overall, I added about 10 minutes on my time. However, I did walk a significant portion of my 5k due to a sharp pain in my foot (left over from the Cherry Blossom 10-miler). Since I've had hip issues over the last 6-8 months, I thought the hip might have something to do with it. While jogging lightly, I placed my hands on my hips to assess. One hip was dropped - go figure. I realigned myself, & the foot pain went away.

About the hip pain:
Kerri has been amazing on fixing my hip. I have considerably less pain & am much stronger than I was 3 weeks ago. We'll assess me on my bike on Friday again & make some minor modifications that should help.

That's all the good news. There is a little bit of bad news, though, regarding the Mooseman Half.

I'm concerned about pushing myself for the Mooseman Half. If I had a perfect race, I will finish the Mooseman Half in about 7 hours & 15 minutes (excluding transition time, bathroom breaks, fitness breakdowns, etc.). That's 45 minutes short of the cut-off time. To me, that's a little too close for comfort - especially for a hilly course & just coming off an injury.

I've requested to change to a relay option where someone else would complete the bike portion of the race. I preferred this option to downgrading myself to the Olympic distance. I will still push myself to complete the half marathon & the 1.2 mile swim, & I think this is an acceptable alternative.

We'll see what the race director says. If he says yes, I'm making him something tasty as a thank you - no doubt about it.

I may decide to race the Patriots Half in September, but we'll see how things progress. It's the week before the Nation's Tri, which I already have an obligation to race.


Total side note: I love city dogs. They know that they can get the attention of anyone on the street & use it to get extra pettings. It's always great to take an evening stroll in the neighborhood & give some canine lovin'. I love city life.


Macaroni & cheese.

On Friday, I made a killer macaroni & cheese. Here are the details:

2 lbs. macaroni
4 blocks of various cheeses - shredded to fill 4 sandwich bags. (maybe 1.5-2 lbs?) (i used a smoked gruyere, a gruyere, an irish cheddar, & a "filler" of Cabot 50% fat cheddar.)
4 tbs. butter
4 tbs. flour
2 shallots, minced (onion would do too, but shallots are less harsh)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tbs. stout beer
6 slices of bacon, cooked & broken into pieces
3 cups of milk
1/2 c. breadcrumbs
fresh parsley or cilantro or other herbs if you're feeling fiesty

Cook & drain pasta. (Personally, I like it pre-al dente for any baked pastas. It's less mushy that way.) Place pasta in baking dish.

In a saucepan, heat butter. Add flour after butter is melted. (Note: should be equal parts flour to fat in a roux.) Stir continuously until flour & butter are combined & flour is cooked. 2 minutes, maybe?

Add minced shallots & garlic.

Okay - & I'm not so sure, but I may have screwed up with adding the shallots & garlic in at this time. Officially, I might've had to add the shallots & garlic to butter before making the roux, but hey... that's why cooking is an art. It's forgiving.

Cook shallots & garlic in roux until aromas are delicious. (Or until the shallots are partly translucent & garlic is, well, not burnt.)

Add milk. Stir. Add cheeses. Stir until combined & cheeses are melted. Cook for another 2 minutes or so. Add cooked bacon pieces. Add beer. Taste. Add more beer or seasonings (e.g. pepper, cayenne, etc if you want/need. I didn't add any except maybe 1/4 tsp black pepper).

Pour over the waiting pasta. Top with breadcrumbs. Let it hit a 350 oven until bubbling. 15 minutes, maybe? Top with garnishing herbs (parsley/cilantro/etc.).

Then, yum.


Beijing 2008.

I received a letter in the mail with the Olympic insignia on it.

Before I opened it, I thought to myself, "If they have my name & my correct address, then they surely are smart enough to find my racing times. Why would the Olympic committee of the USA want to contact me?"

Oh, they're watching me because they know any minute that I'm going to break out of my 13-minute mile pace & become the fastest woman on the planet.

Orrrrrr..... they want money.

Either way, I get a nice fleece with the Olympic insignia on it if I act now.


Cherry bomb!

Remember? Remember at the end of last year, I was running 11:30s down to nearly 10:30s?

Those were good times.

I could easily say that I was a middle of the pack'er. Now? I'm a back of the pack'er.
How much did my speed fall while being injured (& lazy)? Check out my time for the rainy & cold Cherry Blossom 10-miler:

2 hours. 9 minutes. & 39 seconds.

That's an average of just under 13 minute miles... of very little walking... & on flat terrain.

Although I think the time is absurdly slow, I'm still proud of myself. I completed my first 10 miles at the Cherry Blossom 10-miler.

I should note that my time would be much more slow if I hadn't been running with Frank from my team. I think I would've walked a little more to keep my heart rate down.

At the end of the race, we sprinted to the finish line. I egged him on, & we both tried to beat each other to the finish line. It was exhilirating!! My heart rate went to 207 - I was seriously pushing it!

So, all in all - It was a good race. I definitely milked my time out on the course. :)


Blatant self-promotion

So, on an early Sunday morning, you're thinking to yourself, "I could just sleep in! I've got nothing better to do."

But, NO! I say. There is something better for you to do.

What's that?

Well, come on out & spectate the Cherry Blossom 10-miler! It'll be a rip-roaring exciting way to start any Sunday well before 8am. (The race officially starts at 750am for the fast guys.) The cherry blossoms, no traffic allowed on the roads, & 17,000 of your favorite pre-stinky runners - nice!

Still not convinced?? Well, let me tempt you further... yours truly will be running in this - my very first 10-mile run. I'll be in the PURPLE corral, which is for the *ahem* "turtle" runners.
Since the race director is adamantly adhering to the cut-off time, yours truly will also be jumping over barricades & teasing the Sweeper bus all the while.

Purple? Sweeper buses? Barricades? Watching people run for 2 hours (or MORE)?!! Oh, the SUSPENSE of it all!! Consider it better than coffee!

See you there!