Spring Cleaning: 4/15-21 WRD

A “big” jump in running for me (it’s all relative) and the first 4 x week in a while. I was so happy to be able to run in a tank and skirt finally; not so happy about the humidity.

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and wishing those who celebrate a Happy Easter & Passover.

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And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  2 miles + 1.5 miles easy while FTC Mentoring, Dogwalk
  • Tuesday:  3 miles with 6 x 30 sec-ish hill repeats
  • Wednesday: Yoga/Pilates (20 minutes), Dogwalk, Yoga Feet & Ankles (15 min)
  • Thursday: ST Arms (15 minutes), Pilates Core (10 minutes), Dogwalk
  • Friday: 6 Miles Easy, Dogwalk
  • Saturday: FTC Mentoring 2 miles, Runner’s Yoga (40 min), Dogwalk
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, Rest Day

Mileage: 14.5 (+3)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Monday
Got in 2 speedy miles before mentoring for roughly 1.5 miles. Got rained on a bit before the mentoring, but it was fine, and stayed dry during the mentoring run.

Hill repeats (didn’t need the vest really — again!)

Tuesday
It may have been windy, but it was finally a pretty day to run. I chose to do some hill repeats. Small, short hill repeats. They add up fast, though! Ran one mile. Stopped to stretch. Ran up and down a hill 6 times (almost .75 miles, as it turns out) & continued til I hit another mile.

Small break. Then finished up with one more mile — originally I was just going to do .5 mile but figured it’s a nice day why not go the whole mile. I felt tired & sluggish, but it turned out to be the fastest mile — all three were relatively consistent, though, surprisingly — even the hill repeats.

As seen on the run (well, after the run)

Friday
Holy humidity, batman! I got out far too late for this run. I decided I would take a walk break each mile for water. Well, that turned into longer and longer walk breaks and then multiple walk breaks per mile disintegrating into run/walk intervals for the last half mile (and that last mile was way faster than the previous two, go figure).

Beginners warm up with a “brisk” 5 minute walk

Saturday
We were threatened with rain and/or thunderstorms. What we got was hot & humid with a few sprinkles at the end, which worked out because today it was 25 minutes of straight running and that’s a big jump for these ladies. Later it poured buckets!

Pre-bath. Yup, he got me with that tongue!

Favorites of the week
The Spring cleaning refers to giving the dogs baths today. We’ve finally found Spring, so we could do it outside. They do not enjoy it, but they’re generally pretty good about it. Which is why small dogs are a favorite of the week — they may squirm away, but ultimately there is no escaping the inevitable.

Matzo Brei. I did not take photos this year. Search my site and some will come up. Essentially it’s french toast made with crumbled up matzo and it’s my favorite thing about Passover. I wish I could eat it ever.single.day. I’ve even been known to make it after Passover is over, just to use up leftover matzo. It makes great running fuel — for me anyway.

I hope whether you’re celebrating something today or not, that you to enjoy a nice day (or cozy up inside).

Talk to me:

Do you still do baskets even if your children are grown?

Still in Winter or has Spring found you, too?

What was your favorite run of this week?

Do you remember your first?

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Your first run, that is?

I don’t. Apparently I really don’t.

Fairytales and Fitness

As I was moving around running clothes — putting away some (not all) heavier clothes, bringing out more skirts — I happened upon an old journal. If you asked me when I started to run, I would tell you about 10 years ago. I would tell you I had never run a mile before starting to run 10 years ago. I was wrong.

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I ran a mile? In 1993?

Why journal? Because my memory sucks!
I have journaled, off and on, since I was a kid. I’ve kept some of them, gotten rid of some of them. This particular journal just happened to be on top of the box I had my skirts in for the winter, and it almost knocked me in the head as I got the box down.

Curious, I opened it and skimmed through it. There weren’t many entries in that particular journal. The journal was from 1993. 26 years ago.

Imagine my surprise to see myself writing about running. I knew that I had tried to run, on and off, for a while when we lived in TX, but I also knew it didn’t happen much and didn’t think I really was serious about it. In 1993, we had only lived there one year. I didn’t belong to a gym and I didn’t have a treadmill.

Yet I wrote about running a quarter of a mile . . . working up to one whole mile.

How in the world could I have forgotten that? How did I track it, anyway? I certainly didn’t have a GPS watch. I didn’t have a cell phone. I never went to a track. My best guess is maybe I was wearing a pedometer, but again — I have no memory of this at all.

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That “lake” in the background is Town/Ladybird Lake. There’s a wonderful path that goes around it. I walked many miles there — and apparently ran one. A very young Chester with Stevie Ray Vaughn.

I do have some fuzzy memories of trying to “jog” (that’s what I called it in my journal) at Town Lake (now called Ladybird Lake). Just a little. A whole mile? Apparently I blocked it out of my memory.

Do I remember the first time I really ran — and kept running?
Again, no. I know I had started to run, as a way to hopefully lose those last few pounds, while we lived in TX — shortly before we moved here. In 2009. I would just run occasionally when I walked the dogs: Chester and Lola were young, then, and they loved those extremely short intervals.

I remember I used to take them to a nearby grade school that had a round walking path. I’d put them in a down stay, and I’d run around that “track”. I slowly increased the number of laps I ran. I remember those “runs”.

My first run when I decided I would train for a 5k? No, I have no memory of it. I’m pretty sure it was on the treadmill. I know I did a lot of my training on the treadmill, but eventually I moved it outside, because the race was outside and I figured I needed to get used to running on the road.

Once I got serious about running, I started to keep running journals. I wrote about it on FB, but it’s not always easy to find old stuff on FB. Now I have this blog, as well.

Do you journal (online or actually pen to paper)?

Do you go back and read old entries?

Do you really remember your first run? Do tell!

Journaling keeps memories alive. A photo may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes you need those words to really remember what happened and what it felt like — Chocolaterunsjudy

Eat Live Thrive Diet (Book Review)

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I know that when I first started to run, I overate for the amount of calories I was actually burning — not intentionally, but it’s easy to do. Eventually I figured out how to train and not gain weight (for the most part).

I’ve noticed, though, that I can no longer eat as much running the same amount of miles. 10 years has put me firmly into menopause, and as our bodies change, so do our needs and our ability to burn off what we eat.

So what’s a curvy runner to do? When I read the description of Eat Live Thrive Diet (Amazon Affiliate link), or ELTD as I’ll refer to it, I was intrigued that it targets older women  — and is actually written by two women who are on the other side of 50 . . . and beyond. I mean seriously, look at the authors — I’ll have what they’re having!

Disclaimer: I received a pre-publication edition of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.

What’s in the book?
ELTD spends a lot of time on what and how to eat, obviously. It always touches on exercise and sleep. The one thing I didn’t realize when I requested this book to review: it also talks some about God.

The whole book is not about God, and it’s not preachy, but I wasn’t expecting it and as a person of faith who happens to be Jewish, I’ll admit I found it somewhat annoying. It may not interest you, either, but it’s a small part of the book and don’t let that prevent you from reading it. And I also appreciate for some people weight can be a spiritual issue.

Here’s a list of the chapters in the book:

  • Yes, you can eat, live, and thrive!
  • Making the program work for you
  • You are what you think
  • The power of self talk
  • Fat-burning diet trends
  • The eating window
  • The elimination phase
  • The discovery phase
  • The lifestyle phase
  • What’s exercise got to do with it?
  • The irreplaceable power of sleep
  • Beauty and the beast
  • Recipes

The “diet” is split into three phases:

  1. Elimination: removing problem foods completely for 2 weeks
  2. Discovery: slowly reintroducing the foods, one at a time, noting how they make you feel — once you’ve tried out one food, you remove it again as you go on to the next (I am still going through this phase)
  3. Lifestyle: fine tuning how to eat the rest of your life for your body

This isn’t a diet, despite the title, but more a deep dive into problematic foods that may be sabotaging your weight loss journey, and how to fine tune your diet (way of eating, not restriction!) to your body.

I liked the fact that ELTD isn’t a fad diet. The authors briefly touch on Keto, for instance, and why they don’t suggest it — which jives with my own personal opinion: it’s too hard to sustain and it’s not balanced.

They do encourage Intermittent Fasting, although a kinder, gentler version. They suggest that you work your way up to fasting 16 hours, starting with 12 hours (or less, if you’re not used to going a long time without eating) and slowly extending it over time — and only fast for 16 hours at most a couple of times a week.

I’ve dabbled in IF, but I didn’t find it did much for me. This time I found that IF coupled with the foods I eliminated plus a few tweaks to my nutrition in general worked well for me. I started running again, and unlike the last time, I didn’t notice an increase in appetite on the days I ran.

Did the weight melt off? No — but it’s not supposed to. Any loss over 1-2 lbs per week is most likely muscle loss, not fat loss — we’re prone to muscle loss as we age, so we certainly don’t want to do anything that will cause more of it! Slow and steady wins the race.

What drew me to this book
Let’s face it, there’s a ton of books out there about how to eat (most of them contradicting each other). Here’s a snippet of the book description on Net Galley:

A practical, science-based diet book that unravels the mystery of why women gain weight as they age and includes a sustainable plan to permanently lose the pounds and inches.

Almost all women who are fast approaching menopause — or on the other side — know that keeping our weight in check gets harder and harder with every decade. I’m on the other side, weight is often a struggle for me — so yes, a book aimed at “mature” women appealed to me.

Positivity
If you follow me for any length of time, you’ll find that I’m really big on positive affirmations, mantras, and meditation. I wasn’t always, but I have learned that our self talk is often the most important part of the process any time you want to change a behavior. The authors agree. 

In fact, they suggest “potty talk” — using a trigger to get you into the habit of doing positive affirmations. One trigger is when you’re in the bathroom. Much better use of your time than being on your phone, right? And your phone will stay dry (and germ free). There are several audio recordings from the author, as bonuses, that you can play during the different phases.

The book also has a lot of positive affirmations for you to use. Some of both the audios and the affirmations do invoked God or Jesus, but there are many that don’t. You are sure to find some to work for you — which is the point of the whole book, finding out what works for you!

Elimination Phase
The Elimination Phase removes foods that are problematic for many women for 2 weeks. There are three different levels:

  1. Level 1: Grains & sugar (the most common culprits in weight gain)
  2. Level 2: Also eliminate beans, nuts, and dairy
  3. Level 3: Let’s just say there’s a whole lot of food to eliminate

It’s suggested that you do some form of the elimination diet every change of seasons, and try the highest level at least once a year. I liked the fact that the first level wasn’t very strict. I had every intention of trying to cut out dairy, but then I found myself struggling to get in enough protein and really needed my Greek Yogurt!. I did cut out beans, even though they’re not on level 1. The authors say it’s fine to sort of mix and match between levels.

After just implementing a few changes even before I began and then following Level 1 + beans for 2 weeks, I lost a little weight, while reducing cravings at the same time. Did I feel my energy skyrocket? Um, no, sorry, no. I definitely noticed a flatter stomach and some inches lost.

Discovery Phase
After eliminating the foods you decide on, you begin to test your sensitivity to them. There’s actually a suggested order to test food. Each grain will be tested separately (in my case, rice, oats, quinoa, then wheat).

To test a food you will eat a serving of that food twice a day for three days, while monitoring how you feel and your weight. On the fourth day you will eat as you did in the elimination phase; the reasoning is that it can take a couple of days for a reaction to show up. Common reactions for each food group are listed, and it’s noted that a reaction just indicates you might have a sensitivity to that food.

Then you’ll move on to testing the next food on the list, but you won’t add back in the food you just tested previously until you have gone through all the foods you want to test. Basically, that allows you to test each food without muddying the waters by eating the other eliminated foods.

The Discovery Phase allows you to find out if you react to certain foods — and how much. You may find that there are foods you really just need to eliminate from your diet altogether, while there may be other foods that are fine for you occasionally.

My Thoughts on the Discovery Phase
I discussed this book with Mr. Judy, and he liked the fact that the authors take a quasi-scientific look at food. He pointed out that the testing phase is probably not long enough; I agreed with him. I also know that weight fluctuates naturally on its own, so if you do have a gain you can’t always attribute it to a certain food.

I gained weight one day when I was on that day in between testing foods. My guess is it was much more about the fact that I’d run 5 miles the day before, which can also cause a temporary bump on the scale.

Normally I do not weigh myself every day, and for some people, this can be triggering. For years I didn’t even own a scale. Mr. Judy bought this scale; I had never used it until reading this book (and don’t plan to be using it once I’m done testing).

I found the “data” from reintroducing foods coupled with monitoring how I felt and my weight fascinating. I know some people have no desire to spend that much time and thought on food, but it’s interesting to me. I calculate the discovery phase will take me about 2 weeks, so that’s a month before getting into the Lifestyle phase, the phase that is about tweaking your food so that you can lose and then maintain your weight.

So far I haven’t really found anything that truly seems to be a problem for me. After  eating beans and the one day off, I did find I gained a pound. I believe that that simply means that I don’t need to eat beans twice a day every day, which is not something I did anyway — not a true sensitivity. I didn’t really expect to find sensitivities. I think some people, if they’re willing to do the work, might be surprised by the results.

Eat Live Thrive Academy
If you’re wondering what happens after you finish all the testing, or you feel that you need support, you might want to check out the Eat Live Thrive Academy here. It’s a monthly paid site with a private Facebook group for more support.

The authors, Danna and Robyn, are active on the site, answering questions, commenting, posting FB Live Videos. They also hold live coaching calls within the site. I haven’t had time to attend one live, but I’ve watched some of the videos and there’s definitely interesting information.

You can download a digital version of the book if you join. Membership happens to be discounted this month. I joined using my own money. I haven’t yet made up my mind whether or not I want to stay a member, but you can cancel at any time. It seems a very nice, supportive group. Right now the other resources at the site, aside from the coaching calls, are rather sparse (recipes — the same ones in the book, a few exercise videos, and worksheets and guidelines for moving through the different phases), but my guess is that there will be more with time — or maybe not.

The price is very reasonable and it’s discounted during the month of April (I have no affiliation with them).

Who is this book for?
Older women who find that they are struggling to maintain (or lose) weight. Whether that’s because they’re not eating a healthy diet, or eating a healthy diet but have not pinpointed healthy foods that are sabotaging their efforts. Also for people (not just women) who think they may have food sensitivities.

Final Thoughts
I will not lie: the discovery phase is time consuming. I wasn’t testing a lot of foods, but since you test every single grain separately, each one for three days — yes, it adds up. And you need to keep track of how you’re feeling and your weight every day (which could be a trigger for someone with an eating disorder).

I didn’t find the elimination phase at all difficult, except for going out — but I did go out to eat once a week, as we usually do.

I enjoyed the recipes from the book, but if you’re a vegetarian — you’re SOL. Pretty much completely; I’d love to see a vegetarian option! I personally would also like to see some sample meal plans. Each recipe has a suggested category (breakfast, entrees, desserts, etc.) and also is tagged by which level it is appropriate for. I’d love to see just a few sample meal plans to see how the authors suggest you put it all together.

This is not a weight loss plan, although the aim is to eventually get to a weight you’re comfortable at — and can sustain. It’s about tailoring your diet to work for your body. I am always searching for ways to do that! It’s about finding the right foods for your body. Yes, you may have to change the way you eat, but if you’re not getting the results you want, it’s worth it.

It’s not a fad diet, it doesn’t eliminate any food group (unless you truly find you have a sensitivity to it), and it connects mind, body and spirit.

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

Not running down goals: 4/8-14 WRD

Still running, but not presently running down any running goals, if you get my drift.

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and lots of healthy-minded bloggers — there are many ways to stay active.

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And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  1.5 miles easy while FTC Mentoring, Yoga Backbends (50 minutes)
  • Tuesday:  ST + Pilates Legs (20 minutes), Dogwalk, Yoga (15 minutes)
  • Wednesday: Yoga Hips (55 minutes), Dogwalk
  • Thursday: ST Arms (15 minutes), Pilates Core (10 minutes), Dogwalk
  • Friday: 4 TM Progressive Miles, Dogwalk, Yoga/Pilates Fusion (30 minutes)
  • Saturday: FTC Mentoring 2 miles + 3 easy, Studio Yoga (1 hr), Dogwalk
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, Raking

Mileage: 11.5 (+1.5)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Monday
This was my third running day in a row, although granted two of them were just easy running with the FTC group, but yesterday was my race. Slow & steady does it. The forecast rain didn’t appear until we finished, which was a big relief. Although I forgot that I ran on Saturday, just a tiny bit. It’s fine, still not training for anything, just enjoying the run.

Friday
It was a raw morning, so I opted for a progressive run on the treadmill. I thought it would be easier than a steady run. I also wanted to try to run all 4 miles. I don’t know what happened, but at about 2.5 miles I just had to get off and walk a little — and then again in about another half mile. I was feeling kind of light headed. I did finish it up, but man, this run kicked my booty for some reason.

First time running with Running Buddy D in a long time!

Saturday
Ran with a variety of our lovely FTC ladies for a couple of miles, then ran with Running Buddy D for another 3. She’s just home from Bucharest, where she ran a 10k! Finally a warm day, which was sort of unfortunately for all the runners running a new local half (including Darlene @ Myfirst5k.

It was actually warm enough to eat outside (even with that ominous cloud in the background)

Favorites of the week
Sorry Midwest, but I’m totally glad that Spring blizzard missed us. We had a lovely Spring day yesterday. I ran in a skirt. Mr. Judy grilled some burgers (I made myself a salad) and we were able to eat outside.

More & more daffodils every day (and the dogs looked in every direction but at me)

Spring is just about ready to pop, finally — I saw my first daffodils this week and the forsythia is almost beginning to bloom.

The stop at the Apple store was a tiny bit frustrating — I had made an appointment, but it seemed they just took people in the order they signed in, or so it seemed — I was right: it was the battery — and that’s mostly why there is a lack of photos this week.

We bought the phone refurbished. I now know that the battery should have been glued in — you could feel it moving around, but we’d read that that wouldn’t be a problem. Apparently it was, as from the moment I got the phone the battery drained really fast. It was my first iphone, and some research said it wasn’t abnormal for that model. Apparently it was, though, because with the new battery it definitely doesn’t drain as fast. I *think* they may have fixed another issued I’d been having too (connecting to wifi).

It wasn’t that expensive and it’s like I have a new phone!

To all those running down goals at Boston, may you have fair weather & good times!

Talk to me:

What flowers did you notice this week?

What do you like to do when you aren’t running?

Ever mentor other runners?

Are you a Sugar Burner?

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Or a Fat Burner? Does it even matter?

That’s the $64 million question, isn’t it?

Fairytales and Fitness

Sugar burners rely on sugar for that quick energy burst: think refined carbs, gels, beans, chews. Sugar burners tend to have a quick burst of energy and then a crash (hello, mile 10 slump in a half!).

Fat burners are also called fat adapted, as they believe that they are burning fat for fuel, basically by eating much less carbs: think Paleo, Atkins, Keto. Fat burners claim it helps them to sustain their energy and bring mental clarity.

I am not a coach, a nutritionist — you know the drill. These are just my own thoughts.

Am I a fat burner?
Oh heck no. Consuming 20 gms of carbs a day — seriously, how do you even do that? Fat burners typically report higher energy (I wish!), less cravings, and the ability to go a long time between meals — some days I do go a long time between meals; and some days I’m just inexplicably hungry. And hangry.

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In fairness, that’s my post race treat, not pre race (or during!)

Am I a sugar burner?
I usually do rely on sugar for fuel. While I may make some of my own, in general I’m consuming chews and simple carbs for fuel when it comes to running.

Who am I?
I think I fall somewhere in between being a sugar burner and a fat burner. I’m careful about sugar, but it has a way of creeping into my life, which causes me to crave more of the sweet stuff, which in turn causes the scale to slowly and steadily creep up.

I am not afraid of fat — healthy fats like almond butter, avocado, butter (yes! in moderation), coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, whole eggs. We need some fat in our lives, for certain vitamins, to keep us feeling satisfied — but again, the question remains: how much is too much? And the answer is it’s going to vary from person to person.

Most of my carbs aren’t refined (potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa, oats), but the truth is that an excess of anything in our bodies is going to turn to fat.

How to put the damper on a sugar burner
Here’s the interesting thing: I am still working my way through the Eat Live Thrive Diet book (Amazon Affiliate link, hoping to have a review out soon — maybe next week). It is not keto, but it does suggest that most of us that struggle with our weight are probably eating too many carbs — even if they’re unrefined carbs.

I’m always open to exploring, so while going through the elimination phase, I was still running (a little — including that 5 mile race you can read about here) — without eating any grains. I was still getting in plenty of carbs, though — but I was eating less carbs than normal. In addition to no grains, I was also easing up a bit on the fruit (which also helped me to eat less carbs).

Where did my carbs come from? Fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables like butternut squash and carrots, sweet potatoes (occasionally), greek yogurt, protein powders, and a tiny bit of honey or maple syrup. You’d be surprised how many carbs you can get in your diet without ever consuming a grain. I have to admit I was!

So what did I eat for breakfast on race day? I made pancakes with half a banana, a scoop of protein powder, and some egg whites. Which seemed to work just fine. I had meant to bring a snack with me because I knew I’d be going 3 hours between breakfast and the race, but I forgot it. It might have helped with the whole energy thing towards the end of the race but maybe not. Again, we’ll never know.

I did find it interesting that when I embraced this change and eliminated some foods (temporarily); that are problematic for many women, my cravings for sugar did, indeed, go way down and my overall feeling of being full went way up. I could eat less calories — even when running — and still feel satisfied.

Unlike my initial return to running after my last half, I did not have a spike in hunger on the days I ran (read my thoughts about runger here). I almost never dealt with rungries at all.

What is the perfect diet?
It’s highly individual, is what it is. What works for you in your 20s will almost definitely not work for you in your 50s, unless you have really good genes. What works for me may not work for you. I personally believe that carbs are not the devil, that we do literally run on carbs, and cutting out an entire food group is never a wise decision (unless it’s based on real health issues).

Have you ever heard of sugar burners vs fat burners?

Which do you think you are?

Have you found your perfect way of eating?

I don’t think that we need to become fat adapted, but I do believe that most of us would benefit from less carbs in our diets. What carbs we do consume should be *mostly* unprocessed (there’s always room for a few fun foods!). We don’t need to fear fat, either. Sugar . . . that’s a different story. — Chocolaterunsjudy

Delmar Dash Race Recap 4/7/19

I’m not sure what it is about the Delmar Dash that always brings snow with it. The date seems to be always changing — it used to be in March, and I know some of my slower times were due to snow and ice on the road. Thankfully there was no snow on the ground this year, but there was snow and sleet on Friday night.

The upside is it’s a flat and fast 5 miles. This year I noticed that there were quite a few nice/slight downhills in the race.

Packet Pickup
Packet Pickup is in the gym of the school the race finishes at. It’s always easy. The race shirt was again short sleeved and ran large but I prefer larger to too small. It’s was also a nice burgundy color this year.

There are massages before the race, as well as after, although getting both seemed a bit greedy to me so I just stuck with my dynamic warmup. No warmup mile; I knew a 5 mile race would be challenging enough considering my lack of training.

I didn’t bump into Darlene @ Myfirst5k until just before the race.

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“Sprinting” to the finish (photo courtesy of Darlene & yes, I knew she was taking my photo)

My Race Plan
There was no goal, other than to finish feeling decent. I knew it would not feel easy. Heck, most weeks in the last month I barely ran 5 miles total!

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:26. Actually faster than last year. I don’t regret it; I knew I’d be running out of steam later in the race. I started near the beginning, as it’s gun time, and I knew most of the runners would be passing me, which they did. Chasing runners helps me to run faster, and in this case I think that was fine.
  2. Mile 2: 10:59. Not too shabby with a walk break around mile 1.5 for water.
  3. Mile 3: 10:48. So the first 5k went pretty well and then . . .
  4. Mile 4: 11:33. . . . Every year I slow down this mile, but I took two walk breaks for water, so that I wouldn’t have to walk my last mile (and I didn’t). However, this is exactly where I lost a potential PR. Oh well, I never really expected one anyway.
  5. Mile 5: 11:03. The longest I’ve run in the last month was 3 miles. No joke. Most runs were maybe 1.5 or 2 miles. At least it was faster than mile 4! The sun had also come out, and yes, I was just a little overdressed; always so hard to figure out those transitional runs between seasons.
  6. Last .04: 10:04. Usually I can sprint way faster than this to the finish. Definitely a lack of endurance due to a lack of training.

55:16 — Official Time
11:04 Average Pace
(my Garmin shows 10:58 for average pace due to the slightly long course)

Previous Years:
2018: 54:36
2016: 55:17
2015: 56:09
2014: 57:37
2011: 57:12

I actually feel I did much better than I had a right to — I knew I was way undertrained going into this race, but I also knew I could do it. My one concern was whether or not it would set me back in my recovery from the lingering whatever I’ve got; I probably feel about 90% right now.

I chose to run the race except with three walk breaks to drink some water — I am a thirsty runner, even though I was very well hydrated pre-race. I was roughly 30 seconds off of my PR. kind of wish I’d pushed just a little harder those last 2 miles after I saw that! I mostly ran by feel. So still having a speedy race (for me) was the cherry on top.

Now would I have chased down that PR using run/walk? We’ll never know. Run/walk intervals have helped me enormously, and I’m not saying I won’t revert back to them at some point. The point of using them from the start, rather than starting when you’re tired, is that they actually will help delay the onset of fatigue. They work great for fueling and taking photos, too.

So what’s up next for me? Dunno!

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Now there’s a look. I would regret the vest by mile 3 . . .

The weather & dressing
This was probably the best weather I have ever had for this race, and I’ve run it six times. Mid 40s. Little wind. Partly cloudy to start, although the sun did peak out around mile 3.

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My “Big Dream” for this race was to finish feeling decent

I went with my Pocketopia Capris, Wonder Wool Long Sleeve top, and Toasty Vest from Skirt Sports. I eventually regretted the vest — I unzipped it almost all the way, but I felt too warm. I know it would have taken me a couple of miles to warm up in just the Wonder Wool Long Sleeve but you finish right in front of the school where you store your stuff so it would have been fine (I just would have been majorly cold at the beginning of the race). I don’t really think it made a difference to my time.

I  wore my blister running shoes from Savannah (read about that race here), as they will now be known. No blister. Not shocking, it was just 5 miles and really nice weather. The shoes are probably coming to the end of their life.

Was the race well run?
Always well run, and this year was no difference. Parking fills up early, so get there early unless you want to hunt for parking. The free massages are always a nice touch. The course is well marked, and there’s ample support on the course. The AG awards were cranberry colored pint glasses — I would’ve loved one, but this races brings out speedy runners: I would have to shave 20 minutes off my finish time — no exaggeration! — to earn one. Never gonna happen!

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

 This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Nice weather racing: 4/1-7 WRD

I’m still not running a whole lot, but so far, knock on wood, it’s going fairly well. Of course I typed this sentence the day before my 5 mile race — I may sing a different tune after that (cause it’s been a month since I’ve run that far, even easy, much less racing).

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and lots of healthy-minded bloggers to share how I keep active. Congratulate both Kim & Deborah on finishing the Cherry Blossom 10 miler (lucky dogs!).

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And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  2 miles easy + FTC Mentoring
  • Tuesday:  ST (20 minutes), Dogwalk, Yoga (15 minutes)
  • Wednesday: Easy 3 miles, Dogwalk
  • Thursday: ST Legs (15 minutes), Pilates Legs (20 minutes), Dogwalk
  • Friday: Dogwalk, ST Abs & Core (15 Minutes), Yoga Abs (20 minutes)
  • Saturday: FTC Mentoring (walked with an injured runner), Yoga for Abs & Glutes (30 minutes), Dogwalk
  • Sunday: Delmar Dash 5 Miles, Yoga (40 minutes), Dogwalk

Mileage: 10 (+4.5)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Don’t let the bright blue skies fool you — it was seriously cold this day!

Monday
Still riding the no walk runs — still short runs — this one was surprisingly speedy (for me). Weird.

Then another 1+ miles with the group, still not a whole lot of running but they’re up to 3 minutes running for part of it.

Wednesday
Finally a beautiful day — too bad I totally forgot my phone (as in left it at home) so sadly no photos to share. I headed up to the trail by the river, the really short one, but I was only looking for 3 miles.

For the first time in a really long time, I was overdressed, and although my plan is still to just run without walking and see where it takes me, I had to stop after 1 mile because I was broiling. I took off my jacket and wrapped it around my waist.

3 miles seemed like such a long way. The last mile . . . I was dragging. I had initially thought about putting in some strides but quickly nixed that idea. It’s been almost a month since I’ve actually run three miles! I was very surprised when I looked at my splits later to see that it was my fastest mile.

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I didn’t actually have big dreams for this race — just to finish!

Sunday
I stalked the weather and finally signed up for a 5 mile race on the last day of online registration — weather looked great for running — and it was! I’ll recap it on Tuesday, but met up with Darlene and got my free massage. In an odd twist of fate, both Darlene & I had the same massage student. We were wearing the same Skirt Sports print, although I was in capris and she was in a skirt — the woman thought I had come back for a second massage (hello, did she notice all the gray hair?).

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Mr. Judy captured Bandit waiting for me while I was out racing

Favorites of the week
Second try from Butcherbox will be Flat Iron Steak tonight; I’ll let you know how it turns out. This time Mr. Judy will grill it (on a rare nice day). If you use my link here, I might get something (we’re not exactly sure what).

In another weird twist of fate I briefly ran into Running Buddy J (who just got back from FL last weekend) when we went out to dinner. We were seated in booths with our backs to each other, but I could hear her talking and realized that was her so we said a brief hello (she was with friends, so I didn’t want to intrude).

You know what wasn’t a favorite? The snow/sleet we got on Friday. Thankfully it had melted by the next day. And the fact that my phone refused to turn on after the race, but would come on when plugged into the charger when I got home — showing 100% battery. It will only stay on when plugged in at the moment, although I still have some debugging to do. It might need a new battery. Always something.

Talk to me:

Any synchronicity going on in your world this week?

Is there a race you do that always seems to have bad weather?

If you’re in training-mode, how’s it going?