Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday: Gym/Track Day

Running on 5 hours of sleep a night is getting old! I need some R&R! Unfortunately, I don't see this happening until after the holidays. But, the lack of sleep, rather the reasons behind the lack of sleep, are all good, positive things that I welcome in my life - like studying until 1AM and then getting up at 5AM to strength train at the gym!
These are not problems, and I am not complaining,
but damn, I'm tired!

By 5:30AM, I was at the gym with wing-man. First, 50 push-ups and 50 sit-ups, then 100 bicycle crunches and two sets of side planks, holding each set for about 1minute and 15secs. Then, I concentrated on pecs with some dumbbell flies on a flat bench and dumbbell presses on an incline bench. I ended with some triceps kick-backs:
One arm tricep kick-backs. Employ your abdominals to
keep your hips and shoulders square!
Here's a little tip to eliminate, do away with - rid for once and for all - that upper arm flab that is so not attractive. After that last set of triceps kick-backs, your triceps should be fatigued, but don't stop - immediately grab a very light weight (I use 2.5lbs), extend your arm (as in above right) and, while your arm is extended, pump your arm SLIGHTLY up and down, while squeezing your triceps, for about 10 more reps. You will just feel your arm getting stronger and more defined!

By 8:30AM, I was headed to the track to meet my coach. First, I ran a 1mile warm up, six 100m strides and then started my training sets. I ran ten 200m sets at 45'pace with a 90' jog/rest between sets. My legs were very heavy at the end of those last few sets. I ran a two-mile cool down, stretched and called it a day! I had to get some work done. 

I got my eye on getting to bed before 1AM. After all, our muscles heal when we sleep, so the lack of sleep can really set a person up for injury.
Amen!
TRAIN SMART TODAY!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving @ The Ashenfelter

The Ashenfelter 8K Classic is a USTF Championship Road Race open to all sorts of runners, joggers and walkers! It is definitely the fastest race I run. 
Let's put it this way, 
I ran a 7'25" pace and I didn't even come in the top 10 for my age group! 

It is also one of the most fun races because it goes through my hometown and I know so many people who come out to run and cheer. This year was especially fun because my Sissy and my daughter ran in the race too! How cool is that? I am having an influence!

This was the first race for both of them! 
My Sissy was so proud of herself ...
My Sissy!
My daughter, L'il Red, has participated in the race/walk Run to Remember, but she has never run in a race this big (4.9miles) before!

Usually, L'il Red and her friends station the collection for Souls4Soles,
the shoe drive we hold throughout the month of November 
and on race day 
at the Ashenfelter Classic!

Soles4Souls Collection!
I didn't expect much from myself, this year. I woke at 5AM, the morning of the race with a migraine that was so bad, my whole body was shaking from the pain! The pain wreaked havoc on my stomach and made me so very nauseous. I quickly made some coffee and took 1 Advil. After 2 cups of coffee, I took another Advil and forced a tiny bowl of cereal down. It was awful. I had to lay down on the couch until the nausea and pain subsided. Then, it was time to prepare the turkey! I had 20 people coming for dinner!

Before the race, I washed, buttered, stuffed and seasoned that 24lb organic turkey I had sitting in brine for 14hours. Once that was done, I stuck the turkey in the oven and called to my son. I had him run over to the race with me. The cool air felt good against my terribly green face! I think that 1mile warm-up run really helped, though. I started to feel a little better.

We arrived in the nick of time ...they were already singing the National Anthem (I think all races should start with our National Anthem!). Mini-man went to relieve L'il Red from her Soles4Souls post, so she could run.

Twenty-two hundred runners lined up! I knew I wouldn't place, but I had my eyes on a mug: the top 100 male and top 100 female finishers received a mug. After the first 1/2 mile, I looked at my Garmin, only to find it reading "7:47". Coach wanted me to run 7:10-7:15. I knew I just didn't have it in me to run that pace - but darn it,
I wanted a mug!


During the race, I met a runner named Theresa. Apparently she ran track for her college (St Mary's?). She was so cute - strawberry blonde pony tail poking out of her hat and Emerald green knee high socks. With her peaches and cream skin, she looked as if she were the cover girl for Ireland! We were neck and neck, the whole race. At one point, I just couldn't resist, I yelled over to her, "You are so cute!"

At the end of the race, someone shoved a mug in my hand - I started to jump up and down and screamed," I got a mug, I got a mug, I got a mug!" I turned around and there she was, Miss Ireland! We were both jumping up and down, cheering with our mugs! It was so much fun! There is just so much positive energy at the Ashenfelter Classic! It is such a fun race!

After that, I started to run the race backward (going forward, but from the finish line). I wanted to find my daughter. She was about 3/4 of a mile back. Her face was bright red and she told me that she couldn't breath. I tried to give her advice, but she was not receiving what I was putting down: "Just ssshusssh, Mom!" Okay, Okay, I got it!

Still, she finished and I must say, I was so very proud of her! 
Great job L'il Red!

I was just so very thankful this year! Two people from my family joined me in a race! How great is that? 
This definitely made the Thanksgiving 2011 Ashenfelter Classic so very special! 

Me & My Sissy!
Keep running Sissy! She even said that she wants to do a half marathon with me! 
Go Sissy...
TRAIN SMART TODAY!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I missed a workout!

It's coming on Thanksgiving and I missed a workout!
OMG!
Yup, that's right - I was supposed to do 6X200m@45second pace with a 200m jog in between! I missed my 2mile warm-up and 1-2mile cool-down too! AND ...I am running in the local Turkey Trot race tomorrow.

I have some good excuses:
First: I had to give a presentation yesterday at 10AM. It went wonderfully, thanks, for asking!
Second: I had a HUGE exam on integration and metabolism of macronutrients and fat soluble vitamins. Damn, those hepatic portal vein questions!
Third: It was pouring rain!
Fourth: I still made it to the gym this morning (@5AM) for an upper body Strength Training session.
Fifth: I have 20 people coming to my house Thursday and I needed to bake my breads and pies!

I always make my breads and pies two days before Thanksgiving - what was Coach thinking when he assigned that track workout anyway. Hmmm? Take a look:

No this is not Broccoli Rabe, these are dates! 
For my date nut bread! Serve, of course, with
Organic Valley cream cheese. Say no to rBST! 

 My most coveted banana nut bread!
Don't you dare put cream cheese on this!
 I was going to try to do a low fat banana nut bread, but then I thought, "That would be stupid to try the day before the a large food holiday! Hello, girl, it's Thanksgiving!" PLUS, everyone was screaming at me that if I changed the recipe, they wouldn't eat it! Ha! It would still have sugar in it kidZ!

This is new - it's pumpkin bread. Talk about sugar ...this has A LOT! I also had to turn away when I poured a cup of oil into the mix. Yeah, I don't know - the redeeming factor was, it made the house smell SUPER TERRIFIC. It is full of cloves, cinnamon, ginger (which I ground fresh) and nutmeg.
Pumpkin Batter
The recipe called for three small baking pans, but it made four times as much! The loaves came out very colorful, though. You can't really get a good feel for the pumpkin color here (Go Beta-Carotenoids!). The recipe also says to let it sit for one day. I hope it tastes good. Maybe I should try a loaf on my little monsters tomorrow (morning) before serving it to my company. Yeah, let's get the kids, they'll eat it, they'll eat anything made with sugar!
Pumpkin Bread!
Unfortunately, I cannot claim that I made the Turkey cookies. I am just not that patient - nor am I that talented! Nope, these are Mom's Gingerbread Turkey Cookies! Look at that handwriting ...she cracks me up!
Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!

Today, I will make a pie that I did not get to yesterday, as well as prepare the turkey soup,  stuffing and some root veggies. I will also brine the turkey. Tonight, we will be setting up for the Soles4Souls collection at the local high school for the race tomorrow! It's so exciting. The street barricades are already out!

At the top of the street!
Can't wait!
This year, my Sissy is running in the race. This will be the first race that my sister is running in! Sissy has Crohn's, too! Her Crohn's is much more active than mine - so I am a little worried if she'll be okay. I am trying to get my son to run with her - he needs to cut a few pounds for wrestling season and running an 8K is a healthier way to cut weight as opposed to fasting/starving! I will post how it all turns out. 

Until then, Happy Thanksgiving. God Bless. Be safe. And ...
TRAIN SMART TODAY!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Long Sunday Run

Today, I took a study break and ran 12.6miles .....it was a much needed break!

I have a test on Tuesday in my Advanced Nutrition class. This is, by far, my favorite class this semester. I have learned so much more regarding nutrition and metabolism - it has really helped me put some more of the human puzzle pieces together!

So on this test, I need to explain my knowledge on the integration of metabolism - when your body uses carbs, protein or fats as energy. Trying to understand when we use fat as a source of energy, I stumbled upon an interesting fact about eating and competing. I have read, and blogged about drinking water, or some kind of isotonic beverage like watered down Gatorade, and that it should be consumed about an hour before a race. I just assumed that rule was the same for food. 
I was wrong!
"The timing of the final meal before intense exercise is crucial!" 
Eating too close in time to the start of an event will stimulate the release of insulin - this means you will have a reduction in blood glucose. You need that glucose to travel around in your blood to feed your muscles. This rise in insulin also prevents your liver from sending out glucose and free fatty acids(FFA), both of which are energy sources for muscles

In response to the low blood glucose and your liver's denial of sending out glucose or FFA, your body will use its muscle glycogen (sugar) stores -this could lead to early muscle fatigue. I think this is what happened to me at the Boca Raton PAL Half Marathon! I was dragging!

That final meal should be eaten 3-4hours before intense exercise so your stomach is empty. For long endurance runs, this meal should be high in complex carbs and low in fat. And if you take a couple of sips of some kind of drink, about 15-20 minutes before a race, make sure it is an isotonic or hypotonic drink - like water with a splash of gatorade (avoid fruit juice because it slows down absorption). This drink will provide you with a little extra glucose without stimulating the release of insulin!

So, today, before my long run, I followed this advice. I was a little nervous because I thought I might get dizzy or light headed from waiting so long after I ate to run ...but, I actually felt better, stronger and I was not dizzy! Half-crazed, but not dizzy! 

I was though very, very hungry after my
1/2mile cool-down and stretches!

Happy training and competing!
TRAIN SMART TODAY!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Food Facts Friday: Let's Talk Turkey!

I bought an Organic Turkey for Thanksgiving this year!

So why did I go organic - I know you are wondering .... Well, at first, I thought about getting a heritage turkey - a natural turkey, full of genetic diversity, no hormones or antibiotics, but I was afraid the Midget White and Bourbon Red varieties would not be enough for my 20 guests and ...I'm not a sadist - I didn't want to have make more than one bird. So, I went with a USDA certified organic, sustainable Broadbreasted White turkey.

This year, I wanted to buy a turkey that was not:
  • Grown on a factory farm
  • Fed antibiotics or treated with pesticides
  • Fed properly - without growth enhancers
Studies show: The healthiest meat comes from animals raised on pasture, outdoors, in a natural state. I didn't want to get a turkey from a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) where they cut off the bird's beak and give anywhere from 10,000-55,000 birds or more - their own area to live that is about the size of a piece of notebook paper!
Debeaked & Living in Fesces
P.S Don't rely on the words "Free Range", they are sometimes only words put on a label to get consumers to think the animal lived on a wide-open farm - they want to sell their product - that label means nothing! It's just like some cosmetic companies putting cancerous dyes in lipsticks and then running a breast cancer awareness campaign - they want you to think they are doing the right thing, so they can sell their product!

Now, I realize sustainable farming practices do not guarantee that each bird will have at least four feet to live, but now that I have established some contacts, I can verify their sustainable farming practices. I have contacted several local farmers who offer USDA organic poultry and they are passionate about sustainable farming practices - these farmers will get my $ votes!

I also did not want to buy a turkey that was treated with pesticides (how else do you get rid of unwanted insects or rodents in a poultry house?) or fed antibiotics. It has been recognized by the WHO that overuse and misuse of antibiotics in food animals is the number one source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria affecting humans, today! Whether they are sick, or not, poultry can be fed up to 4 different antibiotics in their short lifetime!
Watch out for the up and coming,
new and improved SUPERBUG!

This year, I also wanted to make sure my turkey was fed properly. I wanted to rule out any chance of growth enhancers (echem, hormones) or any "synthetic" food additives. It is also not uncommon for factory farmed poultry to be fed animal protein, beef by-products - even blood. If this feed - animal protein, blood or beef by-products - came from an animal which was fed hormones, your bird is being fed hormones!  Sustainably fed USDA Organic poultry eat organic grasses, greens, grains and insects. I'm sure you have recently seen the eggs boasting Omega-3 - that's because some farmers mix flax seeds (full of omega-3 fatty acids) into their grains.

Lastly, I didn't want a turkey that was submerged in a "chill bath" full of disinfectants like chlorine dioxide. These disinfectants can combine with organic matter (the actual turkey meat or wastes) and give rise to disinfectant by-products (DBPs). In the USA, DBPs are chemicals associated with rectal, pancreatic & bladder cancers!

And one more thing - I wanted to pull my hand out of what I call "the arsenic-loop". This is when feed containg arsenic is fed to poultry, which then gets passed to their manure, which is then used to fertilize crops - spreading arsenic, contaminating our fruits, our vegetables, our ground water and oh, yeah, 
YOU!
I will let you know how my organic turkey turns out! 
This year, I will cook my turkey knowing that my bird grew in a healthy environment, in a way that did not stress out the bird or our environment,
or the employees who raised it,
or my 20 guests who will eat it!
TRAIN SMART TODAY!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Track Workout

It was cold and damp on the track today. It's the kind of weather that makes you feel  more tired than you actually are. The leaves are quickly dropping here and it seems that winter is coming our way.

It was hard to get out of bed this morning! This semester has been exhausting! I am looking forward to wrapping up this semester! 13 credits is a lot for me to juggle!

So, today on the track, I did a ladder. First, I warmed up about 1.3miles, which was a slow go! Then, I did 6-100m strides, at about 20seconds each. Then I had to run 100m @6:20pace, 200m @6:30pace, 300m @6:38 pace and 400m @6:56pace. It was tough - I must have trained too hard at the gym this week. I felt a little nauseous pushing myself to make those times. It felt good to run the 1.5mile warm down and stretch.

Tonight, I am definitely going to take it easy and use the foam roller, drink some tart cherry juice shots and try (the key here is TRY) to get to bed before 11PM!

TRAIN SMART TODAY!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Soles4Souls Collection!

Collecting for Soles for Souls: 2011
It's that time of year again, folks!
We are collecting for Souls4Souls. 
What a great feeling to be able to do something positive!

Last year, we collected over 860 pairs of shoes! This year, we hope to have the same success!

We set up the collection boxes at the local high school, my favorite running store, Fleet Feet, and Murdoch Shoes, my favorite place to buy Uggs!
Murdoch Shoes, Ugg Paradise!
Bloomfield, NJ
The collection will culminate at the local Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot Race, The Ashenfelter Classic. It's such a great way to spend Thanksgiving: run in your local turkey trot race, collect some shoes for Soles4Souls, give thanks and enjoy some cranberry mold, potatoes (good carbs!) and a little turkey!

Soles4Souls is a Nashville based charity that collects and distributes shoes to people in need, world-wide. In fact, they have distributed shoes to over 127 countries. Can you believe that over 300,000,00 million children world-wide live without owning a pair of shoes?
You know, as amateur athletes - especially endurance runners - we blow through a couple of pairs of shoes every year. Well, don't throw them out, host a Soles4Souls collection at your next local race - you will be protecting so many people, especially  children, from nasty foot borne diseases. So clean out your closets and
TRAIN SMART TODAY!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Food Facts Friday: Super foods to the rescue!

Recently, I bought some "Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Raisins". They caught my attention because I've been reading some articles about "Super Foods".

Basically a super food is a food that can help:

  • lower your cholesterol
  • contribute to increased energy levels or
  • reduce your risk of diseases, like heart attacks (#1 killer of men & women in the USA) or cancer.

They include:
Organic Dark Cocolate Raisins
Mmmm, mmm, mmm!

  • Dark Chocolate: (Yeay!) Loaded with antioxidants, and if consumed with a cocoa content of 60% or higher - it can help lower blood pressure! Still, you haft make a mental note that dark chocolate is usually packaged with fat and calories, so we can't be too SUPER here.
  • Fruits: Blueberries & Apples (both of which are on the dirty dozen list so look for organic) and Oranges are packed with Vitamin A and C, potassium, antioxidants and phytoflavanoids (work like antioxidants to stabilize free radicals). I think of free radicals like tiny, itty-bitty hydrogen bomb explosions that can go off in our body and cause damage (like inflammation or changes to our DNA) in our arteries and cells. The idea here is that these fruits help reduce the potential for these little explosions and in turn reduce the potential for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  • Fiber: FruitsVeggies and Whole Grains. Fiber can help reduce cholesterol (it helps your body rid fat and bile from your intestines), provide a lasting energy supply and help with satiety. The recommended daily amount of fiber is 14grams per 1000calories consumed. Make a commitment to yourself - Don't eat any grain that is not a whole grain! And make sure you have your Five-A-Day!
  • Soy: I have touted the powers of soy before - as well as the need to buy organic soy. I mix ORGANIC soy nuts with organic dates and dried chic peas, it's a tasty treat full of antioxidants and the phytonutrient genistein (which helps control blood pressure and vasodilatation). Soy can help lower cholesterol, increase your ability to focus and help increase energy levels, too!
Organic Valley Eggs!
  • Omega-3: This is an essential fatty acid, which means our bodies cannot make this type of fat. Figures, right? We are so good at making fat - except this kind which reduces inflammation and lowers our risk of heart disease, cancer and arthritis! Yupper, the only way to get this fat into our bodies is if we eat foods with Omega-3 fats (or supplements - but remember, your body only absorbs about  70% of supplements vs up to 90% when packaged in whole foods). Foods high in Omega-3 include the fatty fishes - salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel. Don't like fish? You can find Omega-3 in eggs. I recently bought Organic Valley Large Brown Eggs with 25mg of Omega-3 in each egg! Omega-3 can also be found in flax seeds and walnuts. Hmm, maybe I should make some organic dark chocolate covered walnuts and put  them out with desert on Thanksgiving...
  • Calcium: Besides being important for bones and teeth, calcium can aid in weight loss. You should consume about 1300mg of calcium per day. This is about 2-4servings of dairy, like milkcheese or yogurt. If you are not a big fan of dairy, 12 almonds will give you 62mg of calcium (who can eat just 12?) - maybe mix them with some apricots (4 gives you 117mg of calcium), 100g of sardines will rock your calcium needs by providing 500mg and 100g of tofu will provide you with 510mg of calcium!
It's great to know these super foods so you can incorporate them into your diet. I hope they help you to....
Train Smart Today!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Great Track W/O


I had a great track work out today! I asked my coach where he comes up with these work outs ..."I make 'em up". He cracks me up! I have an image of him with a piece of paper listing our names on the left side with workouts listed on the right side - all custom designed to reach our fitness and running goals!

Anyway, I ran a two mile warm-up and a two mile cool down - I am only supposed to do a 1mile cool down - but it was so nice out and I have been stuck at my desk/computer researching, writing reports and studying - I needed some more time to unwind.

The track work out was a recovery track work out  - I didn't have to push past a 7'mile pace. It felt good. Coach had me do three sets of repeats where I ran 2min30seconds and dropped down 30seconds for each repeat until the last 30seconds. The first set I had a 30second walk between repeats, the second set I had 20second walk between sets and the third set I had a 10second walk between sets. It was a nice pace and I felt pretty good.

I finished with some plyometrics, crunches, ab work, lots of stretches. Since this work out took about 2hours and 45minutes, I was so happy that I thought ahead and snuck half a peanut butter sandwich on toasted whole wheat panella into my track bag! It was the perfect ending to a Great Track W/O! You just gotta bring water and a snack if you are training more than one hour, especially to ...
TRAIN SMART TODAY!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fun in Florida: Post Boca Raton PAL 1/2 Marathon

Florida was a great treat after that freak
October Snowstorm in NJ
It was great to go down to Florida - I got to see my Dad and Step-Mom. They are hysterical - they say that everyone around them "old". Mind you, they are only in their 70's!

The weather was truly enjoyable - especially after spending a week in my 50*F house 'cause we had no electricity!We stayed in Ft. Lauderdale. When we arrived, we had fun walking up and down Las Olas Blvd.! This one cheese store was so cute! I wonder if they really sold "whey cheese" - usually the whey is removed in cheese making. Whey cheeses are brown cheeses and ricotta cheese - they include the whey, which is the part of the milk serum that contains lactose (a good to know for lactose intolerant peeps, since it is often used as a food additive).
My kinda "Recovery" Place!

After the race, we went to Miami for some interesting people and car watching. A must go: The Clevelander in South Beech! I was sooo good - I only had one drink! Okay, my stomach dictated that one!
Wing-man and Mini-man at The Clevelander!
Only in Miami are these old cars restored and kept in prime condition. In NJ this car would be destroyed by the snow and 1,000 of pounds of salt they pour on the street!

More people watching ....
Can't really see the Drag Queen Strutting her stuff in front
of this restaurant - she was pretty entertaining
- as was the guy in the pink shorts on the left!

Next stop ...of course, The Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. Lots of walking around Miami after my Boca Raton Pal 1/2 helped to "milk" all that lactic acid out of my sore, stiff leg muscles.
What do you do to help your muscles recover after running a race?
TRAIN SMART TODAY!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Boca Raton PAL Half Marathon

Mini-Man, Me and Girlfriend!
The Boca Raton PAL Half Marathon was hopping! 

I picked up my packet the day before at the Runner's Edge store in Boca Raton. You have to get there before 12Noon to pick up your packet! It was a good thing I called - I wanted to see when the store closed and when I could pick up the packet. That's when I found out - the two didn't sinc. They had packet pick-up until 12PM - and they weren't kidding. I was shopping for a light jacket (none on sale) and stayed a couple of minutes past 12PM. That's when I heard a person come in looking to pick up their packet - they were shocked to find that the packets were already on the truck, loaded for the next day's race. Thank goodness I called before we got on the road to check out the University of Miami for Girlfriend! You really need to pick up the packet before the race because the race starts at 6:30AM! This was the earliest starting time of any race I have ever run!

The next day, we got to Spanish River Park at about 5:45AM. It was dark and it started to pour rain. Yes, we, Wing-man and the kiddies woke-up and came out to support me!
I DID tell you that the race started at 6:30AM! 
I swear I did!
Wing-Man realizing the race starts at 6:30AM
You have got to be kid din' me, Mom!
Girlfriend, so not happy to way-up at 5:30!
Thanks guys! I love you, tons!

So, we waited in the car for about 10 minutes, before the rain stopped. Then, I started to jog and warm up. Before I did my sprints, I wanted to use the bathroom - this was the only race I have ever been to that DID NOT HAVE ANT PORT-O-JOHNS! What were they thinking?

Anyway, after the potty-line that was 15 women deep - I did four 100m sprints to wake-up my fast twitch muscles. I felt the humidity hanging on me - it was going to be a hot race. I was not prepared - I thought it was going to be about 65*F. It was probably hotter than 72*F. Good thing it was windy - the race runs along the A1A Highway and the ocean breezes were strong. In fact, in some parts of the race, the wind made it difficult to run.

At the start of the race - they sang "The Star-Spangled Banner". 

I love starting races with "The Star-Spangled Banner"! I always pray for our service men and woman who serve our country so unselfishly to protect our freedoms. There is no better time to say a heartfelt prayer for them than standing at the start of a 13.1 in another state with hundreds or thousands of strangers, all running in this great country - because we can!!

The race started and I was hanging in there - about 7:30'/M pace. But about 3-4miles into the race, I did not feel strong. I felt very tired and my legs felt heavy. At about mile 5, I had to stop and walk. I got very dizzy. The runners on the course that past me were all so nice - they kept asking if I were okay. I felt nauseous and my stomach started to act up. Crohn's can be seasonal and for me, November is my worst month. The two times that I was hospitalized for Crohn's were both in November. And the last couple of weeks have not been fun. I guess the stress of losing power, rolling my ankle, having a midterm and two papers due this past week also did not help. Oh, well. I turned off my iPod and just tried to concentrate on pushing it out as best as possible ...a lot of praying, meditating and mantras! When I stopped, I focussed on who was around me. I saw a man with a blue and white shirt and for the next 8 miles, my goal was to try to catch up to him. I did ...and at mile 11, I passed him! Still, I was really tired.

This race seemed to go on and on. Last year, I ran the New Jersey Sandy Hook Half Marathon - it was a flat race, too. These flat races can be a little monotonous after awhile. It must have especially felt that way for some people - one of the race volunteers sent some people 1.8 miles out of there way! OMG - I would have been livid! The race directors really did a great job of holding it together! They were apologetic, calm, cool and collected! They must have felt awful for those people! I know I did.

I was happy to finish! My stomach was shot!
Boca Raton PAL Finish
The breakfast party was well run. Mini-man stuffed his face with pancakes, Girlfriend had a mini-muffin and I gobbled up lots of orange slices. I was really Jonesing for some coffee - their excuse, "No Power". I say their sponsor, Mr Coffee, should have had a generator percolating some of that great coffee! I can hear my Wing-man, "Should you be drinking coffee? It's not good for your stomach!" Aah, the race started soooo early, I had to go without my morning coffee - maybe that's why I felt tired!

Still, I took first for my age group at 1:41:14.
Isn't that Fire Truck DJ Booth so cute!
Not my best time ...one day I will break that 1hour and 40minute ceiling!
Fake smile, I want COFFEE!
Thank you Boca Raton PAL. I've got to hand it to you  - you really handled the mix-up with all those runners that ran an extra 1.8miles very well! No one should be discouraged about this - I encourage signing up for this race, the prizes at the end were incredible: Multiple $100gift certificates, lots of free Asics Sneakers and Six Month Memberships to a Masters Swim Club (which I won and gave to a mom who was standing by me with her children - I thought the kids would love that!). I was super impressed.

Well, my ankle did not hurt - at all! I guess that tart cherry juice worked! Off to Miami for some interesting people watching, unique cars and some protein to rebuild those leg muscles ...
TRAIN SMART TODAY!

Girlfriend's favorite pic of the day ...Florida Spiders are huge!