Month: April 2012

Not My Best Race: Run for Shelter 10k

A lot of readers and people in my life reach out to me to share the exciting news that they are getting ready to run their first race and to ask if I have any advice to offer them. And though I haven’t always been a runner by any stretch of the imagination, Saturday marked my 20th race – The Run For Shelter 10k, so I have quite a few races under my belt and consider myself relatively experienced when it comes to running races.

The first bit of advice I always give hands down is to pace yourself. It’s the traditional rookie mistake because it is SO easy to get caught up in the energy of the race itself and the people around you and excitedly start out too fast. The trouble with this is you can lose steam while you still have quite a ways to go, so it backfires.

I guess I should take my own advice.

On Saturday morning, I participated in my 4th 10k, and my goal was just to enjoy it without any particular pace in mind. I signed up for the race sort of randomly because there was a deal online for $24 registration and everyone should know that I can’t resist a bargain. Normally, I allow myself enough time to prepare mentally for races and get excited about them, but this one just sort of snuck up on me since I signed up for it so last minute.

On Friday night, I was freaking out about regular race stuff that I don’t worry about too much – what to wear, what to eat, what time to leave, where to park – and realized I just needed to calm down, set some clothes out, and go to bed. So, I did.

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The 6am wakeup call was made better by reminding myself I could take a nap in the afternoon, so I got up and got dressed almost immediately.

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I made some pre-race fuel, which looks pretty disgusting but was actually delicious.

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A toasted English Muffin topped with mashed banana with Chocolate PB2. After eating it, I made myself some coffee, and then was out the door and in my car by 6:50am.

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The drive to the race was about 25 minutes, so I made it to registration by 7:15.

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This race was on the small side, with just about 400 runners, so registration was a breeze. It was pretty chilly out that early in the day, so I was happy to be able to wait inside until go time, which was 8am.

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Once we made our way outside, it was the least crowded I’ve ever seen a start line of a race.

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People eventually moved up after some convincing, and before I knew it, we were off.

I guess I got really excited to not have to dodge people like I have in most races lately with so many runners, so I set off rather quickly. There was a pretty steep hill at the beginning (and consequently at the end since it was an out-and-back race), and I breezed over the hill and before I knew it, I was at the Mile 1 mark. I looked down at my phone, and saw that my pace was 8:02 for the first mile – way too fast for me.

I slowed down quite a bit, and I’m not sure whether realizing I went too fast for Mile 1 was affecting me more mentally or physically, but I felt like I ran out of steam right after that first mile. I decided to slow down a bit, and though the next couple miles were hard, I was able to get through them at a good pace.

    • Mile 2: 9:03
    • Mile 3: 9:17
    • Mile 4: 8:57

The turnaround was at the 5k mark, and it was a bit downhill at that point which is the reason for the 8:57 mile. After mile 4 though, I started crashing pretty hard. For the first time ever in a race (not at a water stop), I stopped to walk. I kept powerwalking and picked a landmark when I would start running again, but it was a real battle through those last 2.2 miles. I ended up taking 3 walking breaks in total and feeling like crap during the last part of the race. When I hit the hill on the way back towards the finish, I walked up it, and vowed to run the rest of the way when I reached the top, no matter what.

I was able to keep up a pretty good pace for the last part of the race despite the walking breaks, and the last miles looked like this:

    • Mile 5: 9:35
    • Mile 6: 9:26
    • Last .36: 3:16 (8:44pace)

Seeing the finish line never felt so good. As soon as I crossed it, I basically collapsed into the grass and sat there coughing, sweating, and feeling like ass. Not sure what I was going for with this post-race photo… Maybe “Thank God this is over?”

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haha.

The one redeeming thing was that everyone who ran the race got a free cake pop at the end, and I love me some free stuff, so it made me.. ecstatic.

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Seriously.

So while this was definitely NOT my best race, I managed to finish with a really respectable time of 57:24, or a 9:15 pace, which is especially great considering I took 3 walking breaks. I truly do appreciate how humbling running can be, no matter how long I’ve been doing it for or how much I don’t sweat a particular race. I appreciate how much my body does for me and the fact that I was able to complete 6.2 miles in under an hour. I am never going to master racing – there will always something new to learn (or relearn) about myself.

And this time, it’s stick to the basics – pace myself.

Time to Face the… Weight Gain

Since sometime towards September/October of 2011, I’ve been struggling with my weight, which I’ve mentioned on here quite a few times. As a Weight Watcher employee, you are required to submit your weight once a month, and I somehow managed to sneak by a couple months without doing so, and then it was the holidays, and then I got in unofficial trouble from Weight Watchers for not adhering to their guidelines. It was much less that I gained weight that was getting me in trouble, and much more that I was pretending I didn’t and not doing anything to fix the situation.

Well, since then, 5 pounds turned into 6 pounds turned into 10 pounds turned into…

16.8 pounds that I have to lose to get back to goal.

16.8 pounds. I’ll let you soak that in for a minute.

Now this is scary for quite a few reasons:

1.) It proves just how easy it is to justify weight (re)gain for me. I remember back when it was just a few pounds convincing myself that I could take care of it so easily that it wasn’t even worth focusing on. Well those few pounds have doubled and quadrupled, and now I find myself in place I never wanted to be again.

2.) I haven’t been THAT bad. Seriously. I’ve definitely been more lenient in the last several months than I was when I was losing weight, but I still packed my lunch and brought it to work almost every single day, ate a ton of fruits and veggies, drank my water, etc. I’d have a few splurge nights during the course of the week, but it wasn’t like I was eating out of control every day. That’s scary because I can’t even imagine where I’d be if I was paying no attention at all.

3.) I’ve been exercising quite a bit! Last week I worked out 5 times, this week I’m set to work out 4, and I just ran my third half marathon last month and PRed! This goes to show me what I already know about myself… the focus of weight loss for me has to be mainly on the food. I can’t make excuses for what I eat constantly because I am working out.

4.) I’m back to where I was when I restarted Weight Watchers in Dec 2010. Perhaps the most troubling part of it all.

I was supposed to be submitting my weight weekly since I got into unofficial trouble, but as I posted on my Attune Foods Blog, the pressure from wanting to lose the weight, combined with the pressure of having to do so for my job as a Leader was backfiring. Instead of facing the music, I tried to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t as bad as it was.

That was, until yesterday.

I had an official “Weight Conference” with my boss at Weight Watchers. Now let me emphasize… Weight Watchers has been EXTREMELY supportive in my efforts to get back to goal. My boss has asked me again and again what she can do to help and support me. It has been my own fault for not taking advantage of the resources at my fingertips and ignoring the problem.

After dreading this meeting with my boss, I walked out of it feeling refreshed, renewed, and refocused.

I am ready to do this. Again.

My new plan of attack:

1.) Weigh in on Tuesday morning EVERY SINGLE WEEK. I run a Tuesday morning meeting at the WW center, so this means I will have no excuse not to weigh in. Before, I was weighing in on Thursday or Friday (when I did), and I would artificially lower my weight by running beforehand, so I was always working to get back to my post-run weight and it just was not working. I’m hoping that weighing in earlier in the week will help me be a bit more focused during the weekend.

2.) Post my weigh in results on here, as well as weekly/monthly goals, as needed. I need the accountability,

3.) Track everything, even if it isn’t pretty. I started this on Tuesday, which included a night out for dinner/drinks and a 15 PointPlus cupcake. It was worth it, though, and I still have 32 extra PointsPlus (beyond my dailies) and whatever else I earn for activity this week.

4.) Step down from Leading meetings (temporarily) if I haven’t made any progress one month from now. If I haven’t lost a little weight, I know I need to take some time to focus on myself. This is a personal decision, not a WW decision. My WW boss is heavily discouraging me from doing this, but I know myself and my needs best.

5.) Forgive myself. Perhaps the biggest part of it all. Rather than being hard on myself, I need to just accept that I am where I am right now. It doesn’t define me or make me a bad person, it’s just what it is. A number on the scale. It happens.

Simple in Theory

In today’s Weight Loss Wednesday post over at the Attune Foods Blog, I discuss why, though the concept itself is quite simple, it’s so difficult for me to lose weight. Even though I have done it before and am in the process of doing it yet again, it’s never quite as simple to execute as it is in theory.

with my niece claire

Click on the pre-weight loss photo above or the goal weight photo below for a peek at the main reasons standing in the way of me getting back to my goal weight.

Beth Klein Washingtonian

These photos are solid visual reminders of where I do and don’t want to get back to.

Please join in the discussion over on the Attune Foods Blog!

Simple Curried Chicken Salad Recipe

This week is pretty hectic for me with a lot of obligations both before and after work, so I wanted to come up with a quick and easy recipe that could last a few days for lunches.  When I saw leftover cooked chicken in my fridge on Sunday afternoon, the idea of a healthified chicken salad dawned on me and I got right to work.

I love chicken salad with lots of mix-ins, but when you get it at a restaurant or premade at the grocery store, it’s usually LOADED with mayonnaise and that translates to it not being very good for you. The version I came up with uses Greek yogurt in addition to light mayo, so it’s just as creamy and delicious as store-bought, but has just a fraction of the fat and calories.

I love the addition of different fruits and veggies to the mix to bulk it up and give it some texture, so I used red grapes, celery, and cilantro, but feel free to experiment with different combos and let me know how they turn out!

Curried Chicken Salad

    • Prep time: 10 minutes
    • Entire recipe yields 3 generous 1 cup servings, at 4pts+ each
    • If you’re following the Simply Filling Technique, this recipe will work if you omit the mayo and replace it with more greek yogurt

Ingredients:

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    • 1 and 1/3 cup diced white meat chicken, cooked and cooled (182 grams)
    • 1 cup red grapes, sliced in half
    • 2 stalks celery, diced
    • 1/3 cup cilantro, rough chopped (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons light mayo
    • 1/3 cup nonfat greek yogurt
    • 1 tsp curry powder
    • salt to taste

Directions:

First, prepare the dressing. Combine the mayo, yogurt, and curry powder in a bowl.

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Stir together until it’s uniform in consistency.

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And then that’s done.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, grapes, celery, and cilantro.

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Add the dressing to the bowl, and stir until everything is well mixed and combined.

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Add salt to taste at this point – I used about 1/2 tsp.

And that’s it! This chicken salad holds up very well in the fridge, and has 3 generous 1-cup servings at just 4 pts+ each. I had one serving in a toasted pita for lunch immediately when it was done.

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And it was DELICIOUS. The textures from the grapes, celery, and chicken mean that each bite is slightly different, and the dressing is thick and creamy and coats everything well. This could be great on a sandwich, in a wrap, on top of greens, or just eaten straight with a fork.

Enjoy!

Weekend Highlights

1.) Savings at the grocery store always make me giddy. This week’s bill went from:

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to:

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With the store savings and a coupon I had! Almost 40% off the bill – woohoo!

2.) On Saturday, I got a manicure/pedicure with a new-to-me color that I am LOVING. The place I go to has a great deal for $35 for both, and I love for my nails to look good! The color is OPI Pamplona Purple and it is a little lighter than it looks in the photo below.

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3.) It rained for a lot of Saturday night/all day yesterday, so I got to use my new clear bubble umbrella for the first time this weekend, and it really is the best. It makes the rain way less dreadful, and keeps both me and my purse both dry! It’s kind of crazy how much I didn’t mind going out in the rain yesterday because of it.

4.) I got two awesome workouts on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday I did a 5.25 mile run outside in about 50 minutes, and then I biked the same distance back home. On Sunday, I did 45 mins of hill walking on the treadmill (3.8 mph with incline up to 10.0) and then a full body strength training workout. I’ve started LOVING powerwalking on an incline as cross-training, and it burns almost as many calories as running does (~400 in the 45 mins)!

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5.) One night out and one night in – my ideal weekend. Friday night I was exhausted so I came home, cleaned my whole apartment and then laid down on the couch and watched Submarine on Netflix. It was a quirky independent film that was quite entertaining and funny, and I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something new to watch. Saturday night I went out for dinner and drinks with some friends, and it was a blast. Perfect combo!

6.) And the most exciting highlight from the weekend – I got a NEW BIKE!!

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I have a hybrid bike that I got just about two years ago, but I really wanted to get a road bike and have been thinking about it for quite some time. On Saturday I went to a vintage bike market to see what they had, and my eyes were immediately draw to this bike. I rode it around the parking lot and was surprised at how different it feels from my hybrid – leaning forward to grab the handle bars feels SO awkward at first! It’s definitely going to take some getting used to, but I am SO excited to own a bike I love so much!

And that’s all I got!

Share a highlight from your weekend!

Never Thought the Day Would Come

Not to sound overly cocky, but I really know my stuff when it comes to reading food labels. I’ve heard other people say they’d been fooled by misreading a nutrition label many times, but I always thought they just weren’t looking carefully enough or just weren’t as label savvy as I am. Modesty at its best.

Well my friends, I am sorry to say that the day has come where I got completely fooled by a food label. And the culprit?

Fresh Express Salad Kits.

Specifically, this one:

Source.

On my way home from work on Wednesday, I stopped by the grocery store quickly to grab a few things because I completely ran out of salad greens and bananas – two essentials. I tend to buy food (and everything else) based on what’s on sale, and as I was eyeing the bagged salads, I noticed that the Fresh Express Salad Kits were on sale for Buy One, Get One Free.

I’d never tried them before, but decided that could be a great option for a quick lunch since it came with everything I’d need it the bag. I flipped over several of the bags to check out the nutrition info, whipped out my iPhone, and plugged the info into the Weight Watchers app to see how many PointsPlus it was.

I figured I’d eat the entire bag for lunch, and noticed the Pear Gorgonzola Kit had 2 servings in the bag. I plugged the nutrition info in there and realized it was 7 pts+ for the whole bag – not bad at all.

Source.

I checked several other bags that had 2 servings in them, but they would have a lot of fat or a lot of carbs so I knew they’d be a bit higher in points. Then I found the Salsa! Ensalada Kit and doubled the nutrition information on the bag and realized it had just 5 pts+ for the whole bag – score! I decided to get that one plus the Pear Gorgonzola one to have for lunches and at just $2 a pop with the sale – it wasn’t too shabby.

So I decided to go with the Salsa! Ensalada for lunch yesterday, which had romaine, Mexican cheese, tortilla strips, and salad dressing. I decided to punch up the protein with ½ cup of black beans for some staying power, and that turned out to be a great idea. The salad was absolutely delicious, almost too good with the creamy dressing, cheese, and tortilla chips to be as PointPlus friendly as I thought it was.

After I got back to my desk, I decided to double check the nutrition just to be sure, and it was a good thing I took a second look. Though the bag was the EXACT SAME SIZE as all the other bags, this one had 3.5 servings as opposed to just 2 like the others. When I replugged in the information, it turns out the bag had 10 pts+ instead of 5pts+ for the entire thing.

How is it possible that two bags that are the exact same size and by the same brand have 2 versus 3.5 servings? This seems like a clear case of a food manufacturer trying to make their product seem healthier than it is by saying there are more servings in the bag, which translates to less calories, fat, and carbs per serving. It’s not the end of the world because 10 pts+ isn’t THAT bad for an entire bag of salad, especially when you compare it to nutrition information from a similar salad you might get at a restaurant. That said, it’s still pretty frustrating!

Have you ever been fooled by a food label before?

Part Two: SXM Recap

So as I mentioned yesterday, my vacation was VERY low key and relaxing. We ended up spending almost all of our time on the beach, at the pool, or at the timeshare and cooked every meal at home except for two lunches out, and one time ordering carry out pizza. The thing that was great was that even though we were cooking most meals at home, we were using a lot of French groceries and things you can’t get in the states, like these crepes:

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They come in the pantry section of the grocery store and are unlike any crepes I’ve ever tasted. We had three different meals with them and each was better than the next. The first one was a fried egg with ham and cheese folded into the crepe, with mushrooms sauteed with butter on the side for dinner. The second meal was egg and cheese wrapped up in a crepe with tropical fruit on the side. And the last was scrambled eggs with goat cheese and smoked salmon. Heaven.

The funny thing about the packaging was that was noticed on MANY of the packages of food we purchased, there were lifestyle recommendations on the back.

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The bottom language loosely translates to, “Water and physical activity are necessary for your body and your life. Try to drink at least 1.5 liters of water and exercise at least 30 minutes each day.” Something similar was printed on the back of several packages of food we bought, even cookies and other pastries that suggested they should be infrequent treats, and eaten with vegetables on the side. Ha!

The best meal we had out by far (not that there was much competition) was at this place on the French side of the island called Grand Case. They have local women who have these huge grills that cook ribs, chicken, and steak, along with more sides that you can count that are called LoLos. Our favorite one is called Rib Shack (creative, I know).

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For $9, you get a HUGE plate of ribs, with rice and beans, green salad, coleslaw, and fried plantains.

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Even Harper, who isn’t nearly as into food as his Klein genes might make you think, LOVED them.

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Yum.

Outside of that, we also picked up some pastries from the bakery a few times during our stay, including fresh croissants a few mornings. My favorite pastry from the trip though was this amazing meringue!

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It’s just a plain meringue, but is decorated with nuts and a little chocolate (and food coloring apparently). It was SO good.

We also had a lot of salads at home, at least one a day, mixing regular greens with endive for a base, and making them “fun” with beets, avocado, tomato, tuna, turkey, and various other salad toppers.

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It felt good to balance out the more indulgent meals with salads, and reminded me I have to get a little more creative when I have salads at home because they can be satisfying, too.

Outside of the salads, we did a good amount of exercising too, which I was happy about. On Monday morning, Wendy and I went for a run outside, covering about 3.1 miles in 35 minutes. It felt good to explore the island a bit on foot, and it was pretty breathtaking looking over my shoulder and seeing this:

beach

Besides the outdoor run, we went on a 30 minute powerwalk on Tuesday morning, and then used the gym on Thursday morning where I did a 30 minute tempo run on the treadmill. Outside of the traditional workouts, we were also active and walking around a lot during the rest of the trip so I was really pleased with the amount of activity I got in on the trip.

As you get older, there’s so much less downtime you get with your family, which is something that is so easy to take for granted when you’re younger. Now, I get just a day off from work for major holidays, and almost all of the time spent off from work is on the commute to and from wherever I am going! So without getting TOO sappy, it was really awesome to get to spend some QT with my sister and her family, since it’s such a rare treat.

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And even though I was only there for a couple nights, I think the worst part of leaving a place like that is not knowing if/when you’ll ever get to go back. Fortunately, one of my closest friends is getting married in St. Maarten in July of this year, so I’m going back in just a couple months!

Do you have a vacation coming up anytime soon? Where to?

Part One: SXM Recap

Hi! Sorry for the extended/unannounced blogging hiatus! After I posted the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler recap, I had a super busy week and then got a major allergy attack later in the week that left me out of commission for a couple days. Then all of a sudden it was time to leave for vacation last Sunday!

I went to St. Maarten for a quick four night trip with my sister Wendy, her husband Justin, and their son/my nephew, Harper.

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They own a one bedroom timeshare, so get to vacation there every April, and I was lucky enough to be invited along this year! I’ve actually been to St. Maarten several times before because my parents also own a timeshare on the island so I used to go a lot growing up, but it had been many years since I’d been.

In case you don’t know too much about St. Maarten, it’s an island in the Carribbean that is half French and half Dutch, and though their timeshare is on the Dutch side, we spent a lot of time on the French side of the island as well. It’s a pretty low-key island with gorgeous beaches, great food, and friendly people, and I absolutely love it.

As soon as the plane touched the ground last Sunday, I was SO excited to soak in the view.

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My sister picked me up from the airport, and as soon as we got to the apartment, I immediately changed into my bathing suit without wasting any time.

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We had a low key lunch at the timeshare, and then decided to go for a walk on the beach once the sun was setting.

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It was absolutely gorgeous and I was SO happy to be there. I really tried to enjoy every second I was there and make the most of it since I was only there from Sunday – Thursday, and I think I did a good job doing just that.

On the day I arrived, it was a bit overcast and raining, but for pretty much the entire rest of the time I was there the weather was amazing. We spent a lot of time at the beach across the street from their timeshare, Mullet Bay.

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As well as a ton of time at the pool chasing around this little guy, who’s favorite trick by the time I was leaving was to toss himself unassisted into the pool.

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Luckily we had a 3:1 adult to kid ratio, so he was in good hands.

I also spent a TON of time reading and read three great books while I was there. Can you blame me with the background?

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The books I read were Holes, A Stolen Life (the Jacyee Dugard memoir), and the first Harry Potter Book (not the first time, but it had been a while!). All three were awesome, quick reads, with the middle one obviously a bit deeper/more serious than the other two.

Because we had a baby on the trip, it meant we were up and moving super ealry in the morning, and also in bed early at night. The latest I was up was about 11am – it was amazing! I felt so well rested and relaxed when I was leaving, though I wasn’t quite ready to leave when the time came, as I’m sure you could have guessed.

Do you prefer vacations that are more action packed or more relaxing?

If you had asked me before this trip, I would have said action packed. I tend to be go-go-go all the time, so it’s hard for me to just sit down and not be doing anything. This trip though, I seriously felt like I finally got a BREAK from everything and was able to recharge like woah. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Take Three: Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Recap

On Sunday, I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler for the third year in a row and walked away feeling like a million bucks and with a new PR! I love the strategy of running a half marathon a week or two before a 10 mile race because the 10 miler feels really good after you’ve done 13.1. I remember two weeks ago seeing the 10 mile marker when I was running the Rock n Roll Half and thinking “In two weeks, seeing that means I’M DONE!”

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I know a lot of areas don’t have many 10 mile races, but it’s my favorite distance and I’ve run quite a few!

The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler also holds a special place for me because it’s the first double digit race I ever did, and the course is flat which is never a bad thing.

I woke up at 6am on Sunday and had all my gear laid out the night before.

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That “9:00” bib in the middle is a tag for the Gold’s Gym pace groups, but I didn’t end up wearing it. My approach for this race was just to run at a pace that felt good and enjoy it. The race is SUPER crowded (20,000 runners!), so it’s pretty tough to go as fast as you want, especially during some of the narrower parts of the course and the turnarounds.

After getting geared up, I made my go-to prerace breakfast:

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A blueberry bagel thin with peanut butter (regular creamy Jif this time!) and a smashed banana. It never disappoints.

After that, I got all geared up:

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And once again did another race no-no. I just bought those arm sleeves at the expo the day before the race and wore them for the first time on Sunday. That said, I LOVED them and want to get at least one more pair. They are great because they keep you semi warm, but are airy enough since your shoulders are out. I also think they look cool, though that may be a stretch.

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I ended up biking to the race start since it was just 1.5 miles from my apartment, and that definitely turned out to be a great decision because it was easy to get in and out. I immediately got in line for the porta potty, because the lines were insane.

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I was so glad I did, because shortly after I got in line they basically doubled in length and I was able to get to my corral just in time, which was even more crowded than outside the porta potties.

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Before I knew it, we were off! I’ve been using this new app I got called Runmeter GPS for my iPhone, and I LOVE it. You can see a link to my race course with paces here, but the app is really great because I always have my iPhone with me anyways when I run, and it seems relatively accurate. I ended up eating two GUs – one at Mile 5 and one at Mile 8 – and also got water at every single water station. I walked through the last water station, but kept running through all the rest.

Around Mile 6, I started to struggle mentally. I was having a battle with myself because I wanted to stop and walk, but I knew physically I was able to keep running. And then I remembered something Caitlin said to me after she rocked the hell out of the Rock n Roll Half two weekends ago. She started off around my pace when she started running (10 min/miles) and just ran the half two weeks ago in 1:53! I asked her what her secret was, and she said she was working on being more comfortable with being uncomfortable.

I honestly never thought of that before, and it obviously depends on your goals for running, but if you want to get faster, you have to make yourself realize that sometimes you won’t be comfortable when you are running. I have always wanted to be faster, but also wanted to make sure I felt good/not pushing it during runs. Saying that over and over to myself really helped me to dig deep and be able to push through.

And I am not going to lie – the last mile was HARD. Once I passed the 9 mile marker, there was a 15k marker that felt like it was at least a mile later (but was obviously only .3 after that). Then there were 1200, 800, and 400 meters to go signs, and each one felt further away than the last. I actually slowed down a bit because I was feeling totally depleted, but as soon as I got a glimpse of the finish line, I booked it for the strong finish.

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I didn’t know what my exact time was, but knew I’d finished close to last year but perhaps a little quicker. I headed home and made myself food to eat immediately.

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Chicken + Apple Sausage, Scrambled eggs, 2 kiwis, and a bunch of mini bell peppers. Seem too healthy for a post run meal? Don’t worry, that was meal 2 of 4 that day. I also went on to have this:

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake (from The Cheesecake Factory), which was TO DIE FOR. Layers of regular cheesecake mixed with pb cups, gooey caramel, and chocolate fudge cake, all topped with a delicious fudge icing, plus peanut butter icing on top, and chocolate shavings pressed into the crust. Holy deliciousness.

And then I found out my official time:

1:34:19 – a 9:26 pace and 13 seconds faster than last year.

But hey, a PR is a PR, even if it’s only a few seconds! Woohoo!