30 Before 30 #15: Run A 10k

If you had told me a year ago I'd be running a 10k, I would've been SHOCKED!! Running a 5k had been on my yearly goals for a good three years before I even started Couch to 5k. No I don't know what took me so long! LOL After my first 5k I definitely knew I'd want to do a 10K and eventually a half-marathon. I am still currently completely disinterested in a marathon. I rule nothing out for the future but for now... yeah...

To the 10K! Friday night I picked up my race packet with my number, the shirt you see to the right (ain't it cute?? Of course I don't like the orange on it but since I'm a Florida Gator I happened to have some orange ribbon) and gobs of advertisements and coupons from sponsors. My favorite? Free Chick-fil-a Chik-n-minis!!!!! That place has my favorite fast food breakfast. Those buttery biscuits! Yes, Lord! Evidence of your will and your way!

When I walked in to pick up my packet just 15 minutes after packet pick-up started, the line was wrapped around the gym. INSANE! Then someone said that was the 5k line and the 10k line was over there... aka the table with one person in line. Yes! I felt so proud walking over there! But when I left, despite there being well over 100 people in and around the school, not one person greeted me, or said hello. The sign out front says all welcome, this is a Catholic school and my participation directly helps your cause. OPEN YOUR MOUTH. People not speaking to me is my BIGGEST pet peeve when I'm spending my money. And most of all, this is my fourth race. I'm used to the excitement from volunteers. It's usually a very festive atmosphere. This was not. But I chalked it up in part to chaos and kept it moving as I got my race gear together. I laid out my outfit including the green socks with the shamrocks you can't see and reviewed my race morning preps.

Me and my sister!
I'm always crazy amped the day before a race and have a terrible time sleeping for more than a few hours at a time so I skimped on sleep a little the night before to make myself more tired. I know that's probably bad but... IT WORKED! I actually slept! The next morning I got dressed and my sister was here!!!! Yay! It was her first time seeing me run and we were both excited about it! Rashan was much less excited. He's been to all of my races and hates waking up early (I feel him on that) to do it and standing around waiting for me to return (he should always be happy to wait for me!!!). He was quite salty about it. Side eye to that dude.

This race actually had food available before it started and INDOOR BATHROOMS!!! I'm delighted to never have experienced a race without actual bathrooms! I realize that as I enter larger races this will change but I will rest on my porta potty-free running laurels for a while. Back to the food. I couldn't finish my oatmeal that morning because it made me feel queasy. So I was glad to note there was a ton of food there! I had a bagel portion (probably 1/5), an orange slice and some (intentionally) watery coffee. I need that to enter my pre-race fuel list. I felt AWESOME during the race!

I planned to pace myself for at least the first half, then push for the last half and almost sprint for the last mile or so. I paced myself pretty well. The course was an out and back AGAIN (every race I've been in now) so I got to see all of the early people pass me. I also got to see who was behind me. I had passed two women around mile two. They were behind me, a couple and that's it. A man SPEED WALKING with walking sticks passed me around mile two. My goal remained during this race NOT to let him beat me. Now I could tell early on my Runkeeper app was about .3 of a mile off but I did not estimate how much that distance discrepancy would throw off my pacing.

I originally wanted to come in under 1:19:00 but as long as I came in under 1:23 (my previous longest 6.2-mile run while training), I decided that would be okay. While I was excited about this race, I felt like my training period was off, I didn't know enough about the 10k distance. And my former running partner, who though I need a break from training with, I like racing with, told me three days before the race that she wasn't doing the race anymore. ????? I blamed both of us for that poor training but really more myself. It's my responsibility to prepare myself to run the race I want to run. I'm still upset about it. I thought I was over this race but writing about it is bringing it all back.

The whole race I was smiling and waving at people as I passed them. It made it really fun to race! Unlike the people at the front of the pack. They were so focused they looked angry. Please make me stop running when it stops being fun. I understand being focused. I can be focused for free. I race because it's fun. Around 4.5 miles in, the cutest little girls came out of their house cheering and offered me water! So cute! They buoyed me up! Especially since this was where I saw a guy who stone-faced me. A COURSE VOLUNTEER did not smile, wave or in any way acknowledge me. He was one of multiple. Y'all. These were HANDS DOWN the worst course volunteers I've ever encountered. There were some great ones. The lady right after mile five was AWESOME! My favorite all day! The timekeepers were great. There were others. But I passed multiple people who looked annoyed to be there. YOU'RE A VOLUNTEER!! I DIDN'T MAKE YOU COME OUT HERE!! Twas bad.

Around mile five, I caught back up with walking man. He was always in view but I just closed the gap in mile four. When we hit the five-mile mark, I passed him. It was awesome! I almost thanked him for pacing me but thought that might come off as rude. At this point I was sprinting. My version of sprinting. I felt GREAT! When I got near the 6 mile mark, there were lots of people cheering so that was cool. But then there were others who turned their backs as I passed. I kid you not. HORRIBLE PEOPLE!!!! But right after them, I passed another woman. I felt a little bit bad about that because I could tell she was struggling and I knew it would only make her feel worse. I started to say something but thought it would sound bad. IDK.

After that I saw Rashan, my sister and her friend. They were cheering me on so that was fun! I love seeing my people at the race! Then I saw I the finish line clock was getting close to 1:21:00. UGH!! But I felt great so I was actually kind of okay. I just wanted to get under 1:21:00 so I pushed even more. I was pretty sure I made it so I was cool when I crossed the finish. I walked to get my legs back (your legs feel SO WEIRD after long runs) then got some food. All the Krispy Kreme doughnuts were gone by this time. Jameil wept.

Then I looked at my Runkeeper. Y'all. Why did this app have me thinking I was averaging 12:28/mile when I was actually averaging 13:04/mile!?!?!? I didn't even realize it until I saw the times posted online. I knew I felt great for the first 5 miles and that I was obviously holding back and pacing myself but 13:04?!!? I wanted to cry. With the way I felt at the end of the race? I bet I could've shaved off 2 minutes, maybe more. And my unofficial time was 1:21:01. UGH!!!!!!!!!! I consoled myself thinking the official time would be different because I didn't start right when the gun went off. You let the fastest people get at the front. So I hung back a little. EXCEPT it was a gun start. Everybody gets the same start time marked as the time the gun went off. AND NO ONE TOLD US. What!? Can you tell me the point of having chip timing (tracking my finish time) if everyone gets the same starting time???? How does that create official timing??? I can't describe to you how annoyed I am by that. I need every future race to be specific. It's so OBVIOUS that I wouldn't have even thought to question it.

Post-race, I like to hear the fastest runners. Most races announce the three fastest male and female. This race announced the fastest three males and females in every age group from 10 to 70+. In multiples of five. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!? It took AT LEAST 45 minutes. The only reason I stayed was for the door prizes which they said you had to be present to receive. There were some FANTASTIC prizes. $100 gift certificates to running stores and expensive restaurants, travel vouchers. It was great. But then the woman drawing decided to look at a list of names and pick the first one that her eye landed on. Then they announced that because so few people stuck around, if you knew someone you could get their prize for them. A group of women got 4 prizes for people they knew. TOTAL CRAP. Of course I won nothing. I was so annoyed by the overall experience that I wrote a letter to the organizers. They offered me free registration for next year's race. I'll accept it, already praying in advance I'm not here this time next year and will kindly hope to never see any of those people again.

To shake off that awful, awful experience, I almost immediately found another race. My next 10K is April 10th in Cary, NC near my sister. I WILL come in under 1:18:00. I've done a lot of research. I will get what I want. Here are some things I learned from researching and from my own experience.
  1. I feel great when I get a tiny bit of food in me within 30 minutes of the race. I'm sticking with a piece of bagel and an orange.
  2. Gummy worms don't work for me. Just one spiked me WAY too much in a bad way.
  3. 10Ks are hard to pace because there's so little room for error if you start out too slow.
  4. I MUST write down my projected times for each mile. My app won't be an issue if I have my hits worked out ahead of time.
  5. Most importantly: get in the game. Train the way I want to to be READY, willing and able to race.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 135

1) Did my first 10k this weekend!!! Wheeee!! I'll post about it later in the week but here are a few details: okay finish, good food, bad hosts and terrible awards ceremonies. The organizers really put a terrible taste in my mouth. It was bad enough for me to write a letter to the organizers.
2) I keep my windows open during the day and you should hear me vetting the people looking at the apartment behind us. "Small baby? Nope. The walls are too thin." "Is that a cigarette?!? What do I need to tell you to get you to leave???"
3) We have a large closet... but it seems like it's shrinking. I got this apartment before we lived together and it falls far short of our joint needs. Dear job, I've put in my applications. I'm waiting. Are you calling? XOXO -Me
4) Where is spring!?!? I don't want us to already be in the 80s!!! :((((((
5) I tasted that Dorito taco at Taco Bell. Meh. Even for fast food. I'm a foodie but sometimes I dig my fast food. This was not their best effort. Their healthy tacos are actually pretty good if overpriced in relation to the rest of their menu.
6) This is currently my favorite commercial:

Cracks me up EVERY TIME!!!!! LOLOL
7) I think my neighbor leaves her tv on when she leaves. And still her dogs GO NUTS when she leaves the house. There was actual howling today!
8) I read that skipping is  good alternative form of fitness when training for a run. Can someone tell me where a grown woman who lives in an apartment skips without having people point and laugh??? Doesn't exist.
9) I would've never EVER watched "Family Guy" w/o Rashan. Did I say ever? I don't like adult cartoons. I guess I should say I didn't like adult cartoons. It cracks me up now... sometimes.
10) In case you were wondering, coffee still makes me crackish. Whatever I had Sunday was so strong that even after I diluted it with water to make it cool enough to drink, I was INSTANTLY awake and excited. Twas. NUTS.
11) Somebody go make me some breakfast.


Small Talk

Me: *Places sponges on counter*
Family Dollar Guy: Hm. Got some new sponges, huh?
Me: I don't know.
FDG: You don't know?!?
(Overlapping speech)
Me: I don't come here often enough to know whether you have new sponges.
FDG: They yo sponges, ain't they??
Me: *blank stare*

We must have a conversation about my sponges??? And a basic one?? But why?? Obviously I'm buying new sponges so.... Please just ring me up, sir. Tell me this is not the worst kind of small talk.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 134

1) Cough drops are disgusting. I hate the smell of them even more than the taste.
2) I saw The King and I for the first time this weekend. Not a fan. The songs were overwhelmingly meh. The story was boring. I usually love musicals. Not this time.
3) It is official. I am a stan for pasta. I don't even need meat in it anymore. Mmmmm
4) Ran my 3rd 5k on Saturday! It was very small but quite festive! There was a dj and I learned how to do the Wobble! The race course? There was a BRUTAL incline at the end. I was hoping for more but I shaved 3:18 off of my December 5k time. I wish it was more but I'm starting to need to change my training schedule. My mind and body are getting bored. And my hips are starting to hurt. That said... I LOVE RACING!! My first 10k is next week. The week after that, things change.
5) I can be so bratty. I boycotted a post-race "brunch" in part because it was misnamed. There's NO breakfast food on Saturday at this place. I mentioned that for people who might be looking for breakfast food, it's not brunch, it's lunch. Response: It's at 11 so we're calling it brunch. I'm like, really? Do you know what brunch means? What the "br" is for? If I'm eating out in the morning, I need my eggs. ESPECIALLY after a race. Plus this place cooks a lot of things I'm very good at cooking at my own house. The menu doesn't excite me. In lieu of going there, Rashan and I tried this hole in the wall and had an awesome breakfast for two for what would have been the price for one of us at the "brunch" place. Win-win!
6) Project Runway All-Stars might have killed the entire show for me. I can't stand the judges. ESPECIALLY THE HOST. And I don't even care who wins anymore.
7) I went to a ladies brunch with the girls from my old program yesterday. It was delightful! More please!
8) Remember how last week I wanted some info? I got some IMMEDIATELY on one of the jobs. It was a no. And I felt and still feel quite zen about it. No New Hampshire? I'm cool with that. I'm making follow-up calls on the other outstanding ones today. Wheeeee!
9) Whenever I blog about being in a horrible sleeping pattern, I sleep better that night. Is it that I need the release? IDK but leggo! (I really think I fixed it by running. I always collapse after races. I'm also amused that I've done enough races to have an "I always" to go with them!)
10) I want to go dancing! Hmmmm! Ooh! I know someone who's always looking for someone to go to salsa with her. Yes! I'm on it!
11) One of my smoking neighbors moved out after just a few months over there. Let's all pray we get new non-smoking quieter neighbors no time soon. Aaaaand go!


Goals: March 2012

I need these goals in my life! I feel so untethered and useless without them! I also need at least three new 30 Before 30 goals. Help! So far I've run over 75 miles this year.  Wow... that sounds crazy! I've been KILLING my book goal. I wanted to read 45. I'm well into my 18th book of the year already! Love it!

Anyway, I've based my March goals on my year goals and my 30 Before 30. Here they are!

1) Cook at least 3 repeat recipes. I already subconsciously remembered I wanted to do this and repeated two more recipes this year than I ordinarily repeat (meaning 3 since I MIGHT repeat one recipe for every 50 I try. No really...). Cauliflower soup was one of them. Rashan called it delightful. Wow! I definitely want to repeat Giada's turkey, sun-dried tomato & feta meatloaf. One of my favorite dishes ever!
2) Run a 10k! I love that I'm doing this! It's also on my 30 Before 30 so WOOT!
3) Attend at least two church services. Bible study counts.
4) Finish transcription for a short.
5) Research and compile information for my professional website.
6) Find somewhere to volunteer.
7) Cook at least 3 Tyler Florence recipes. I want to finish cooking my way through this book!! Some of the recipes are prohibitively expensive but you'd better believe the second things go on sale I'm ON IT!!
8) Write a syllabus.
9) Edit our wedding video.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 133

1) I stayed up this morning looking for the snow showers we could possibly get. Where are they??? Hmmm??? (I refuse to watch the local news as they prepare for snowmaggedon AKA an inch that won't stick.)
2) I ran with a large group for the first time yesterday... WOW! So cool! Too bad it was a joint effort of two groups in the area who generally run separately. They're too far for me to regularly drive and vice versa. :(
3) I had to break up with my running partner because she wasn't trying to get faster anymore. I felt like I was dragging her to pace every run. So draining. We had a talk about it and agreed to run separately... but she hates running alone so after less than a week I already feel her trying to reunite. And it wasn't a true break because we still see each other for group runs twice a week. We just don't run together the rest of the week. But she still texts me several times a week. I need a break from her. :(
4) I have been on a dessert kick for the last few months. I've never been a sweets person. Even now if you give me a choice between appetizer and dessert, I'm picking appetizer. Salty snack or sweet one, salty, please! But there's been some sort of trigger lately and I'm going NUTS! I bake something at least once a week and it's gone in less than 3 days. We've had brownies, ginger peanut butter cookies & lemon bars in the last three weeks. It's taking everything in me not to go eat the last lemon bar right now.
5) I finally used the electric citrus juicer we got for the wedding and OMG! I love it so much that after I juiced what I needed for the lemon bars, I juiced all of the limes I bought on the spur of the moment. LOL Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do with 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice. Lime bars??? Margaritas??
6) I need a friend trip. I haven't seen most of my closest friends since my wedding. They're all spread out and I miss them!
7) I know a girl who's a historical re-enacter here. I tried on all of her 1800s hats this weekend and wanted every single one!!! Oh how I wish we lived in a time where people still wore hats daily!
8) I'm in the waiting period for most of the jobs I've applied for and I'm so, SO ready to know something. Something like the two I want most also want me the most! Regardless, I know God's preparing me AND my future employer!
9) Is anyone still playing Words with Friends??? I need some more opponents! Jameil1922
10) Rashan reaches for me in his sleep. He pats in my general direction until he finds me, confirms I'm there, then goes back to sleep. How cute is that?!
11) Psst... I ate the last lemon bar...


Movies 2012: Weeks 6-8

I tried to squeeze in a bunch of the Oscar nominees ahead of the awards show last week so you'll see that reflected. Almost caught up with this year's movies! Phew! I still need to watch more docs. I see a doc-filled week in my future.

Week 6: February 5-11, 2012
22) Happy, Happy. A Norwegian film about an absolutely delightful cheerful housewife (Agnes Kittlesen) in a loveless marriage to her high school sweetheart. Things go awry after an encounter with a new urban neighbor. The loose story line felt unfinished and odd toward the end. But I would love to see more from Kittlesen. She was like a Norwegian Audrey Tatou. 3.2 stars
23) Project Nim. A documentary about a chimpanzee raised like a human for a scientific experiment then abandoned. You could tell from the beginning how naive and self-indulgent his handlers were and that this could never work in the long term. A really difficult film to watch and I don't even consider myself an animal activist. I like animals and believe they should be treated ethically but I don't get too crazy about it. The humans were definitely the less sympathetic characters. I enjoyed the aesthetic of the film and the graphics worked very nicely. 3.8 stars
24) Tree of Life. Brad Pitt and Sean Penn star (I mean that loosely as they only sporadically appear) in this film about a man searching for the meaning of life by looking at the childhood of the brother he lost at a young age. Sigh. Indulgent is the best word to describe this. Many other reviewers like the word pretentious. Definitely an art house film. One that people will love to say they loved because of the look and the idea that there is a deep, underlying meaning. Beautifully shot, painfully slow, excruciatingly long. Mayhaps Tree of Death would have been more apt? Metaphorical to the exclusion of dialogue and inclusion of the beginning of time. Pass. I feel so indifferent to this film I don't even know what to rate it. 1.5 stars
25) Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy. Zach Braff and Dean Cain make appearances in this independent film about a group of gay male friends commiserating on love. Amusing. There were even appearances by Andrew Keegan and Nia Long. It was amusing to continually recognize people. 3.5 stars

Week 7: February 12-18, 2012
26) Exporting Raymond. A documentary about the creator of the series "Everybody Loves Raymond" trying to export the hit show to Russia. Of course there are many moments where ideas and some humor are lost in translation. Some are funny, some are drawn out way, way, WAY too long. This entire film would have been much more interesting if it happened in 20 minutes instead of over 90. There wasn't enough new material to prevent it from becoming boring, repetitive and redundant. 2 stars
27) What's Your Number? Anna Farris stars as a woman who figures out the number of men she's slept with and decides she needs to cull her exes to find her husband. So she enlists the help of her cute, promiscuous neighbor. You know exactly where this movie's going before it even begins. That doesn't stop it from being enjoyable at turns. It's also rather unbelievable at times and Rashan found it a bit sexist. (He's great.) 3.3 stars
28) Colombiana. Zoe Saldana stars as an assassin determined to hunt down the men who killed her parents in front of her. Awesome thriller! Ignore the Brits making all kinds of American accent faux pas. Quite enjoyable! 4.5 stars

Week 8: February 19-24, 2012
29) I Don't Know How She Does It. Sarah Jessica Parker stars in this film about a married working mother struggling to juggle it all through a sea of sexism, somewhat inept childcare, judgmental mothers, etc. SJP's character was pretty useless. The best and more interesting characters (played by Olivia Munn and Busy Phillips) were ancillary to the story line. One reviewer mentioned the caricatures created of all of the women in this film. So, so true. And really to the detriment of watchability. Didn't enjoy this film.  2 stars
30) How to Die in Oregon. This documentary follows people considering and fighting for what they call "death with dignity": the ability to choose when you will die. Though it really only shows one side-- those who are wholeheartedly behind the idea of allowing the gravely ill to choose when they die-- it shows that side really powerfully. You see those who are angry, others at peace, sadness, joy. All of the emotions that come with any life-altering decision. Really, really moving film. 5 stars
31) The Loving Story. A documentary about the interracial Virginia couple who fought to remain legally married in their home state. A sweet story told mostly as a compilation of materials (audio/video recordings, photographs) culled from other sources. Because the Lovings were both deceased at the time of the film's creation, there was a distinctive past-tense feel. There were questions I'm sure the filmmaker had, some that were palpable, that will never be answered. There were a few present-day interviews from their daughter, a few friends and the attorneys who handled their case but there was still something missing. It didn't feel like we were getting any new information. 3 stars
32) Urbanized. This design documentary explores aspects of urban living worldwide through dozens of experts in the field. If you're a design or city planning or landscape architecture student, I'm certain you will see or should see this film. If  you're interested in those fields or any like it, you will probably like this film. I found it rather boring. It really seemed to lose its way when it came to Stuttgart, Germany. This bizarre segment was only tangentially related to the rest of the film. 2 stars
33) Another Earth. A teenager becomes obsessed with the idea of a second Earth, in many ways identical to the first. This obsession leads her to cause a fatal accident. She strikes up an unlikely relationship of sorts with the man whose family she killed in the crash. Weird. Rashan enjoyed it moderately. I did not. Things that should have been explained more were left out. Things that did not need further explanation were expounded upon. 2.4 stars
34) Moneyball. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill star in this Oscar-nominated film about the underdog Oakland A's baseball team. We follow the pair assembling a rag tag band of cheap players to take down some of the richest teams in baseball; teams that should statistically blow them out of the war. I didn't expect to like this movie but I really did! It was fun and dare I say it? Heartwarming. I just said it. 4 stars