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17.5, Goats, First Place

Thursday night, Dave Castro announced the workout for the Crossfit Open 17.5, surprising absolutely no one.

That’s right. I think pretty much everyone guessed that 17.5 would be some type of couplet with thrusters and double unders.

Thursday dinner: roasted carrots+spaghetti squash mac n cheese.

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Friday was a rainy day in these parts. Low key day, but I have to highlight a trip to Costco because one of the free samples was Ghiradelli bunny shaped caramels! So cute!
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Lunch was another Quick and Easy meal I’d like to highlight.

This salad is crazy simple, healthy, and delicious. It’s literally just lettuce with hummus as dressing, goat cheese, and an egg. This is one I’ve packed for lunch countless times, with just a microwaved. Of course, when the egg is perfectly runny and the goat cheese is higher quality, it is taken up a notch.

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Finally…17.5!

17.5 was simple: 10 rounds, 9 thrusters (65# for women), 35 double unders.

I figured the double unders would slow me down. My double unders can be pretty hit or miss based on the day, and they go downhill a lot when my arms get tired!

The other little interesting part for me was that my jumprope has a little wire sticking out the bottom, and if I whip myself a certain way, it cuts me. So sometimes I randomly start bleeding during double unders. Fantastic.

My only real strategy for this was to try and go unbroken on the thrusters for as many rounds as possible, with the goal of getting at least 5 rounds unbroken.

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^From our Facebook page.

This workout was definitely a gasser. I was breathing heavy early on, but nothing at least was too crazy heavy. I struggled with double unders early on. I came out the first set of thrusters way too tight, and had a lot of difficulty stringing together sizable sets. After a few rounds though, I started to find a better rhythm. I kept up my unbroken thrusters throughout all 10 rounds. I wasn’t planning on it, but by the time I got to rep 5 or 6 and wanted to put it down, it seemed like more effort to put it down and pick it back up than to just push out a few more reps. Also, I’m very glad it was 9 and not 10. Because I kept for some reason thinking 10 and then being pleasantly surprised to be none at 9.

About halfway through, all I could think was “f*** this.”

I didn’t start really REALLY gasping for air until the last round, but it was a short enough period of time (one round) that I figured, ehh who needs to breathe?

I finished in 19:19 Rx.

After watching and judging some other people, we had an end of the Open party.

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Barbells and beer. Nothing better. Semi-still considering changing this blog’s name, hah!

We have such a great community here, and it was a fun way to celebrate the Open.

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I thought I escaped without too much rope damage, until I was getting ready for bed and saw the tell-tale tiger stripes. Yeah. No blood though!

Saturday morning, I realized why having mostly beer calories for post-workout recovery was maybe not the best idea. I had some food at the party, but no real protein until about 3 hours after the workout. I woke up Saturday sore already!

For breakfast, I had another throwback yogurt bowl: vanilla Greek yogurt, pumpkin bread, sunbutter. This is always a good one.

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Saturday morning, we learned that my sister’s cat had somehow gotten out the previous night, and was missing. We spent a lot of the day Saturday helping out with that (with Chloe as well), to no avail. Thankfully, we got word early Sunday morning that he came home all on his own!

In between this, I spent a few hours driving down to Pescadero with some high school friends to visit a goat dairy! We had the pleasure of petting 5-6 day old babies!

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As well as some 1 month year old kids!

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And of course the ladies! We also had the opportunity to sample some really delicious goat cheese. Not only was there chèvre, but also really delicious ricotta and feta.

The drive down the coast is always beautiful!

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We made a quick stop at the beach at Half Moon Bay before heading home.

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Dinner was assembled in no time at all later that evening. We got precooked chicken stuffed with rice and broccoli as well as a kale caesar salad mix at Coscto, which I served with some of my fresh chive goat cheese on toast!

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A little later in the evening, I went back out with the same friends for some wine and a really confusing board game.

I was in bed nice and early Saturday night, so I awoke well before my alarm on Sunday for RACE DAY!

I did the Hellyer 5k, which I’ve done 3 times in the past. Fun fact: when I did this race last year, I had a broken foot. I just didn’t realize it yet. This was one of the early indications that something was wrong. It was also 2 days after Crossfit Open 16.4, which destroyed my lower back and I legitimately could not straighten my body. So I figured I should do better this year!

Once again, Chloe came! She made a friend again, before even leaving the parking lot!

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Obligatory awkward stretching picture:

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Race ready!

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(Also, aren’t my shoes so pretty?? I got them for myself with graduation money, but they didn’t come before I left for my summer internship so now I get to use them!)

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I knew I wasn’t PR trained for this race, so I wasn’t even going to go there. I’ve been putting in some work, but the reality of it is I haven’t run as much as I probably needed to to be there, thanks to lots of travel, plus teaching spin 3 classes a week, plus the Crossfit Open. I decided to just do my best, but race smart. Negative splits, my friends! My original plan was to go for miles at 8:25, 8:15, and then 8:05 for an average of 8:15ish, but pushing the last mile more if I could. IMG_0032

My spectator! She spotted me on the course about halfway through and had a fit!

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My first 2 miles clocked in at 8:20, which I decided was just about right. Since it was a small race, I also didn’t think there was anyone in my age group ahead of me! During the middle miles (aka the rough part of a race), I thought about one of my training runs. It was really awful. It was 6am in Philadelphia (3am CA time) on a treadmill at the hotel, before I had to board my flight. The whole thing was sluggish and I didn’t enjoy it at all, but I didn’t turn down the speed. It’s the little moments in training you remember when it’s time to dig deep.

I picked up the pace for the last mile plus!

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The race course was changed due to some flooding, so they actually had to lengthen it a little bit. My watch did notify me of my 5k time though!

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And overall:

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I’m not sure if you can tell in this picture, but we have matching blue ribbons!

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The cherry on top was finding out I got 1st place in my age group! Gotta love these small races!

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As wild as Chloe was for the race and race festivities? On the drive home?

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After reading last year’s recap, I knew we needed to stop at the local gluten free bakery for brunch. My mom and I split a turkey avocado sandwich on foccaccia.

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As well as a cinnamon roll and a lemon poppyseed loaf. YUM.

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When we got home, my family and I iced our various ailments. My dad recently pulled a muscle, and I’ve been dealing with a wonky knee lately. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but my left knee has been sore lately. It doesn’t seem like activity I do hurts it, but it hurts when I bend it a certain way, off and on. It started after my long trip to the East Coast, and I think I might have hyperextended it a little bit by slipping on snow. Either way, it’s not a big issue but it get creaky on and off. While icing, we tried a Campfire Stout from Costco, which was basically S’Mores Stout. The verdict? Delicious.

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That’s all for this post, but look out for another quick and easy idea for tomorrow!

 

 

Blogmas Day 19: Santa Run 2016

I feel like this past weekend was ALL the Christmas festivities.

On Friday night, I met up with my friend for drinks at a new local restaurant, and we got a nice view of the big town Christmas tree.

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Saturday, I went to a morning spin class, and then my mom and I got fancied up to go see a local production of The Nutcracker.

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I haven’t see The Nutcracker in many, many years, so it was nice to see! Plus, it helped me get in the holiday spirit!

Saturday night, my sister threw a little Christmas party, so I broke out my new favorite sweater:

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I’m absolutely in love with it. Sheep on a sweater? With a pun? HECK YES.

My sister always puts quite the food spread, and this year she did not disappoint. Marinated pears with all kinds of cheeses, butternut squash mac n cheese, eggnog, mulled wine, tofu skewers, gingerbread muffins with apple bourbon buttercream, and pumpkin spice cannoli.

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We played games and hung out with her cat. I actually trimmed his nails too, as the vet assistant present.

Sunday afternoon was the Santa Run, aka the main point of this post! I also wanted to share what I ate before the race, given it was an afternoon race. I feel like for me, afternoon races are awkward for eating.

For breakfast, I had a persimmon and a Flapjacked muffin.

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And then for lunch, I had roasted butternut squash and chicken soup with crackers.

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Then, I got on all the proper Santa Run attire.

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This was my FIFTH year doing this race. Isn’t that crazy? I did it the second year it was done. It was actually my first (and fastest ;/) 5k all those years ago. Crazy!

Throwback to Santa Run Round 1:

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Over the course of several Santa Runs, I’ve learned a thing or two. Like how freezing it is waiting for the race to start. I decided if I was going to be obnoxious and wear shorts (it’s my right as a Californian), then I could at least break out my Missouri jacket, scarf, and gloves.

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Note that that was not my coffee because #zerocaffeinetolerance.

As per usual, there were tons of Santas.

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Finally, it was time to slowly strip my layers and line up. It actually wasn’t TOO cold in the sun and sheltered from the wind. Perfect race conditions.

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It was quite the sea of Santas!

And then we were running. I wish I was capable of not being competitive with myself in these races, but it is what it is. I went in with the goal of not dying, but beating my pace for the Turkey Trot. And I’ve discovered how fantastic negative splits are.

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It’s amazing to me how much stronger a runner I’ve become lately, through only running 3 miles twice a week. Which is pretty much all my formerly broken foot is ok with. Even hill running. I’ve hardly done any hills lately, but I tackled a giant hill by my house and it felt shockingly easy. It’s amazing how much other areas of fitness transfer to running. So injury prone runners out there, keep that in mind! You don’t necessarily have to run a ton to improve!

Before I knew it, I was crossing the snowy finish line.

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I was happy with my pace!
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Then, I sipped on chocolate milk while waiting for my sister and her fiancé to finish.

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My sister hasn’t done this race before, but we were able to convince her and her fiancé to join this year. We actually didn’t run together though, because she started later.

I want to use this as a little opportunity to talk about something really important that most people don’t take seriously enough: concussions. My sister had a really, really severe concussion in high school. It caused over a year of bad symptoms, as well as permanent memory loss for parts of her childhood. In college, she got 2 more concussions, although much less severe. The instances probably wouldn’t have caused such an issue if she wasn’t already prone to concussions after the big one, but 3 is the magic number in terms of severity. For athletes (she was playing Quidditch), after 3 concussions you need to stop playing contact sports, or you risk serious damage. If any of you out there play contact sports or know people that do, you need to talk about this. Why am I bringing this up now? While parking, we had to park on the 4th floor and go up some spiral ramps. For a normal person, this is not big deal. But it left my sister so dizzy she couldn’t sit up for a while. It took her over an hour to recover enough to run, hence why she started late. Concussions are really serious, and need to be treated seriously.

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After the race, we all snacked on tamales from the food stands at Christmas in the Park, the big Christmas display in Downtown San Jose, where the race finishes. This was a major requirement for me, since I’m a big tamale fan.

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We walked through Christmas in the Park for a little bit.

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We had a little time to kill, and 20% off drinks at a local pub with our bibs, so we stopped for some post-race beers.

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The next big event was Festival of Lights, a big light display in a park. We had to buy a ticket to drive through ahead of time and it was quite the sight!

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After the lights, we went to an Ethiopian place in San Jose, Walia. The injera, spongy bread, is made with teff, which is gluten free. At Walia, the injera is normally made with teff and barley, but you can request 100% teff for an extra charge, which we did. I honestly couldn’t tell you what we ate, but we got two orders of the vegetarian combo, plus a chicken dish.

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It was such a fantastic weekend, and really got me into the holiday spirit! I think the Santa Run is one of my favorite holiday traditions, and I was so glad I was home to do it this year!

Have you ever done a holiday race?

First Race Post Stress Fracture

Hi friends! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. I know I’m beat! It’s currently about 7:30 on Sunday night and my bed is calling me!

I got back into St. Louis Saturday night, just in time for an early wake up Sunday morning! On Sunday, I ran the GO! St. Louis Halloween race! When I first heard about this race, I really wanted to do it, and luckily somehow it fit my schedule, so I made it happen!

Thankfully the 5:05am alarm didn’t feel too terrible. (I also went to bed pretty early the night before…so. much. driving.)

Halloween is probably my favorite holiday. Sadly I’ll be out of town on actual Halloween, but you know I was going to dress up for the race. And if you know me, you probably know I was of course a baseball player. Before the race I munched on some apple cinnamon cheerios. They’re really good! I’m digging cheerios pre-workout right now for something easy on my stomach.

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Because I was out of town Friday and Saturday, I had to do race morning pick up but that went perfectly smoothly! The race was set to start at 7am, and it was still pretty dark when I arrived downtown.

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Then it was time to line up! The starting line offered beautiful views of the sunrise over the arch.

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I decided to run with my phone this time just because I didn’t really want to check it, so I actually got some pictures along the course!

Going into this race, I had a moderate time goal but few expectations. It was my first race post-stress fracture and I was just so grateful and happy to be out there, healthy. Sitting in a car for 12+ hours the previous two days also gave my foot plenty of time to rest!

I haven’t really been pushing the pace or working on speed at all during my normal runs. I usually run between a 9:30-9:50 pace comfortably. I decided to step it up a little bit for the race, with a goal of hitting a pace under 9:00, which in the past has green pretty reasonable.

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I figured I’d go out around 9:00 for the first mile and see how things felt from there.

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One fun thing also about this race was that they had trick or treating stops along the course where runners could pick up candy!

Have I mentioned I love holiday races?

Before I knew it, I was kicking it up a little bit to the finish!

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I met my goal, but more importantly crossed the finish line with my feet feeling strong!

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And um, yes, I’ll take chocolate post-Halloween race!

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I don’t always drink beer and eat chocolate at 8am, but when I do it’s after running a race!

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What a great event! I hung around a bit to watch the last of the 5k finishers, and the super speedy first 10k finishers! It was a little chilly that morning (low 50s) but my long sleeve shirt is fleece lined 🙂

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Also, for some reason I thought this was too hilarious:

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When I returned home, I figured that maybe some real (read: not sugar or alcohol) food might be in order so I had a S’mores Flapjacked muffin. Still obsessed.

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I also face timed a little bit with my parents (and of course Yoyo. He likes to help with everything, including purring and sleeping on top of my arms as I type up this post.)

My morning ended up taking a little longer than planned, so I made a quick and easy lunch before heading out. It’s a little embarrassing how much I appreciate American cheese because “it’s not real cheese” and everyone hates on it. But it’s just so delicious on grilled cheese, or on a melty egg sandwich, like I had for lunch. This was a quick, lazy girl’s lunch. GF toast+microwaved egg whites+American cheese. Bam. I have the 2% (reduced fat) American cheese because I think it tends to hold up a little bit better and be a little more solid.

Since I didn’t drive enough the previous two days (LOL), I thought I’d spend my Sunday doing a little more driving, so I headed west to Purina Farms.

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I didn’t really know what Purina Farms was like or had to offer in terms of things to see, but I was hoping to catch some kind of cat or dog show. When I showed up, they informed me that the main part of the farms was closed until later that afternoon, but there was a competition going on that I could watch. Perfect!

Guys. this rocked my world. It was called UFli, and was a Flyball competition. I had literally zero idea what that was.

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I have found my calling (besides the vet stuff, obviously! My hobby calling.). This was basically a dog relay race. These animals were incredible athletes, and I just loved how serious and into it all the handlers (owners) were! Why have I never been involved in pet sports before?

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After a quick google search and watching for a while, as I understand it, Flyball is a relay race. In this event, there were 4 dogs per team. One dog would run and jump over 4 hurdles before grabbing a ball and turning around on a ramp, and running back over the hurdles. Once the dog passed the start line, the next dog would go.

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I have a new summer project. Sadly I’m not sure how receptive Chloe will be to this (she is an Aussie so she is somewhat built for agility!) but I have visions of one day training a dog to compete in this!

I grabbed a bag of Doritos for a snack. I could have gone with a healthier option, but I almost never eat chips so I figured, why not? I never have them.

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It’s really amazing how poor foods make you feel yucky. I didn’t have any specific issues, just felt a general ickiness. As someone who has been focused on nutrition for a long time, it’s a little hard for me to imagine how people can eat these foods regularly. I don’t mean that to sound like I’m the healthiest person eve,r or that I’m the food police, but it really is incredible how much people don’t realize how good they could be feeling.

On the way home, I hit up the grocery and found myself craving some serious veggies for dinner. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan by any means, but sometimes i just crave plant based meals. Dinner was a good one. I made a kale salad by massaging lime juice, olive oil, fresh garlic, salt, and pepper onto kale (yes, massaging makes a huge difference! It softens the kale a ton), and then tossed that with nutritional yeast. Part two was roasted sweet potato with copious amounts of ketchup. I have to say though, back in CA I almost always get yams not sweet potatoes (I haven’t seen them at the grocery here) and they’re far superior. You can’t beat that sweetness!

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I also had a probiotic drink.

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Despite my morning chocolate, I wasn’t ready to skip my evening dessert. I’m at the point where I really don’t have a problem nutritionally with having a post-dinner dessert. It’s not worth fighting the cravings, and I tend to make relatively healthy choices. Today’s dessert was the final serving of my pint of vanilla Halo Top (I can’t wait to find the new flavors!) with some GF snickerdoodles crumbled in, and a little whipped cream. These were the GF Aldi cookies, and they were probably my favorite cookie to put into ice cream thus far.

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I was hoping to have a more productive evening, but honestly after some early mornings and long days, I’m beat! I did manage to pack a sandwich for tomorrow (I had to do it tonight because I’m using frozen bread that has to thaw) and of course used that opportunity to snack on some sunflower seed butter and homemade raspberry jam on bread. That combo never gets old, I swear!

Overall, it was such a fun day, but I think I’ll sleep well tonight!

Have you ever watched a dog show or event?

16.4, Goats, and a 5k

Hello friends! It’s been a little while, and I have lots to catch up on!

Let’s start with 16.4. I did it Friday night at my home Crossfit, and while it was a lot of fun, OOF. That was Friday night. It’s Tuesday morning now. Will my lower back ever be the same? Still TBD.

16.4 was a 13 minute AMRAP of 55 deadlifts at 155#, 55 wall balls (14#), 55 calories on the row, and 55 hand stand push ups. Obviously, I can’t do handstand push ups. I figured if I made it that far, that would be fantastic enough, so I decided to do Rx. I wasn’t sure how far I would make it into the workout, but got after it!

155# on the deadliest normally would be considered a comfortable but very heavy weight. But I’ve hardly done deadlifts at all in a while, so I was a little nervous. I started with sets of 10 and then did sets of 5 around 20 reps, and smaller sets at the very end. More than anything, my core was giving out on me! Definitely something I need to put some more work into. After the deadlifts, I stumbled over to the wall for wall balls. The ball actually felt SO light when I picked it up after deadlifts. That being said, I DEFINITELY struggled with the wall balls. They’re hard enough without 55 deadlifts in the recent past! In addition, I don’t normally do wall balls to a 9 foot target, and was prepared to get no repped. Which definitely happened, but not too much. When i felt like my reps were declining, I broke up the set to avoid wasting energy on a no rep. That being said, this was such a struggle. I couldn’t even do sets of 10, and by the end a set of 5 wasn’t even happening. However, my home box has a Crossfit games Masters athlete, and she was right there with me coaching me on. When a games athlete tells you to pick the ball back up, you pick the ball back up. I think I got to the row around 9:30. Luckily, rowing is sort of one of my strengths. I used the first minute or so as a “recovery” since I was sucking air from the wall balls, and then picked it up, busting it out at the end. I ended up finishing the 55 calories at 12:59. I’ll take it!

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I was BEAT afterwards, but SUPER happy with how I did. I was actually the only non-masters female athlete to do this workout Rx at my box! But my core and hamstrings were done. Anytime I bent down, it took all the strength in the world to come back up! I went in the first heat (because I don’t like to see how painful it is) and stuck around for about 4 more heats, watching and cheering.

So, 16.4 done, 165 reps!

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(And check out this adorable corgi cheering us on!)

The next morning was a REST day. I legit could not bend over.

That afternoon, I went to a farm with my friend to see baby animals. Unfortunately, we seemed to be a bit early in the season, but there were some young goats!

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Afterwards we made a mandatory froyo stop. Cake batter and chocolate with chocolate chips for me!

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Dinner was another tortilla pizza, this time with grilled peach, chicken, gorgonzola, and balsamic.

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Sunday morning was race day! I ran the Hellyer 5k for the 3rd time. Unfortunately, I woke up feeling even more beat up from 16.4 than the day before. Ouch. Lower back was still not functioning.

We brought Chloe to the race, and she made another puppy friend.

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It was a chilly, but luckily the forecasted rain had not yet begun.

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^Me attempting to stretch my back. Back still feeling rough. OUCH.

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So apparently when you put your bib on with two jackets on over it, it comes out kind of crooked. Oh well.

I was hoping to approach my PR in the race, but out of the gate I knew that wasn’t happening. Some days your just don’t feel right, so I decided to just not die and do my best on that day. The race was Alice in Wonderland themed, and there were quotes printed out throughout the course which I thought was a fun touch.

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But overall, I’m happy with it!

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I also had the pleasure of meeting blog reader Rina; we’ve been trying to meet up for a while now, so this was a pleasant surprise!

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Rina is super speedy and placed second in her (our?) age group which is awesome! It was good to finally meet you Rina!

After the race, my family and I (and Chloe) stopped at a gluten free bakery near home for brunch. We got some baked goods to share (cinnamon roll and blueberry lemon muffin), and my mom and I split a chicken and avocado sandwich on foccacia!

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It was a busy weekend!

Check back in tomorrow for some more food details though—so nice to have the freedom of a kitchen!

Guadalupe River Run Round 3

It’s crazy to me that this is the third year I’ve done the Guadalupe River Run 5k. It’s crazy to me that I’ve been around long enough to do a lot of the races I’ve done so many times!

This year’s race was a blast. Apparently in 3 years I finally learned something about pacing! I’ve been doing my average runs faster lately, and with last Sunday’s 3 miler, I had a better idea of where I might be on the pace.

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I guess Luna bars are my current pre-run breakfast! I also had a few crackers because I didn’t think this would hold me over quite sufficiently.

I was a little worried about going South on Super Bowl Sunday, but traffic ended up being fine, and I arrived with plenty of time to pick up my bib and wait around.

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Also great was the fact that the weather was absolutely perfect. It had been really cold earlier in the week, but today we were treated to 70 degree temperatures. When I ran this race 2 years ago, it was cold and soggy.

Then and now:

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Also sidenote: my mom came to the race with me today and was my photographer. For the past 3 years or so, I’ve done a lot of similar races. My mom uses iPhoto streaming to get me the pictures. At this point, we have a number of labeled streams going. However, she doesn’t use the streams for what they are! These photos went in the Turkey stream, despite the fact that we have a Guadalupe River Stream. Present in the Guadalupe River stream is Easter from last year, despite the fact that we have an Easter stream. The Easter stream includes half marathon pictures. Photos from Napa over Thanksgiving? Logically they could be found in EITHER the Napa or the Turkey stream. But nope—they’re in the Wedding Dresses stream.

*Sigh*

The race actually started a bit later than I had thought, but it felt so nice to just be outside enjoying the beautiful weather!

Finally, it was go time.

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My original goal pace had been 8:20, but after hitting 8:22 last weekend without dying, I was shooting to maintain 8:15-8:20. I was very comfortable for the first half of the race, but I didn’t let myself speed up because I knew I would regret it.

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Overall, because I wasn’t totally dying for the most part, I was having a grand old time!

The race course was…interesting. It goes through a park, and weaves back around a lot. We cover some of the pieces of the trails multiple times, from different directions. I think there was a little mishap with the finish. Everyone finishing around me I think was directed unintentionally to cut a corner, so the race ended up being quite short for us!

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This is just a fun run, so I really couldn’t care less! Given I had my pace on my watch, I was able to calculate the time I would have gotten had the race been full length, and I’m happy with where I am! My pace was 27 sec/mile faster than last year, and I believe faster than I was 2 years ago, which was the closest I had gotten to PRing.

I won’t even show you my watch or time because it’s sort of comical, but my pace was 8:11. That was good enough for me to snag second place in my age group!

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Winning beer glass! Given everyone who finished around me had a short course (near the end they started figuring it out and sending people the longer distance), I think it’s still fair because we all ran a short course!

The best part of the race? Their slogan is “Earn your guacamole at the Guadalupe,” and this year, they actually passed out guac to runners post-race!

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So cute, and I love that idea! They also had Noosa, which they were quite generous with. My breakfasts are looking pretty exciting this week!

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After the race, we stopped at Panera for brunch/lunch like we have the past 2 years. I got a half Fuji Apple Chicken salad, my favorite!

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On the way home, we stopped at the Farmer’s Market because I wanted a Gluten Free baked good, but they were out of the only one I wasn’t allergic to—darn! Instead, we stopped in a Natural Foods store where I found some other good options 🙂

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After cleaning myself up, napping a bit, and doing some homework, I settled in to watch the Super Bowl with plenty of 5 layer dip and tortilla chips, and possibly some of the other gluten free goodies I picked out. I was rooting for the Panthers, but that wasn’t happening today!

Also—my favorite commercial was definitely the Honda commercial with sheep singing Queen AND an Aussie. <3 ruminants

What was your favorite commercial?