Archives

Urban Cow 5k

Happy Monday! (<-I think I was a little over ambitious I would get this post up…) I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was filled with relaxation, studying, and a 5k!

I had a low key Friday night.

Dinner: zucchini noodles (per usual) with marinara and mozzarella.

IMG_5859

For dessert, I made a little mini pumpkin pie in the microwave with the open can of pumpkin I had lying around. Cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin, maple syrup, egg whites, chocolate chips.

IMG_5861

My night ended on the couch with a chocolate milk stout, a romcom, and furry friends.

IMG_5862 IMG_5864

Saturday I spent studying a lot of the day in preparation for the week ahead, as well as running errands.

Lunch: same old weird salad, with beet chips.

IMG_5866

Last weekend, I decided I wanted to find something to do this weekend, so I looked up local races and found a PERFECT match. The Urban Cow 5k, a cow themed race.

IMG_0680_2

I drove into Sacramento to pick up my packet since I had a little time on my hands, and ended up hanging out at the nearest coffeeshop (ironically, Temple in Sac—Temple in Davis is my fav) and sipping tea with a GF blueberry muffin while I reviewed the immune system.

IMG_0681_2

On the way home, I made a very important purchase: 5 pounds of zucchini. I literally go through this in a week…

I think my grocery basket sums me up pretty well:

IMG_0683_2

For dinner, I had more zucchini noodles with my new batch of zucchini.

IMG_5872

I had another lazy night. I baked more healthy pumpkin bread with maple cream cheese, and watched a movie with more furry friends.

IMG_5873 IMG_5874 IMG_5882

Sunday, I was up early for the race! I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this. I’ve been running pretty regularly, but I wasn’t really 5k trained. I had done basically zero speed work since my last race. So I wasn’t even sure what to shoot for! (Not dying is always goal #1.)

This race was awesome because there were cow themed things everywhere.

IMG_5890 IMG_5892 IMG_5894 IMG_5888

When the gun went off, I found myself going out at a fast pace….comfortably. What?? I actually thought I might PR at that point. I felt really good for the whole first mile. My pace definitely slowed after that a little bit, but I also didn’t want to push myself to death.

Before I knew it, the race was over!

IMG_5895

(This wasn’t actually a PR, despite what my watch said!)

I did well for me, and with minimal training I was more than happy with that effort!

For our medal, they gave us cowbells! It was fun…until we were all walking around with cowbells!

IMG_5896 IMG_5897 IMG_5899

Naturally, I had to take advantage of the free beer. It wasn’t my favorite kind so I didn’t finish it, but FREE.

IMG_5905

I especially appreciated the cow puns around the beer garden.

IMG_5906 IMG_5907 IMG_5908 IMG_5909 IMG_5910

And guess what? I won a cow!

IMG_5914

I had to wait a WHILE after the race to pick this up, and my plantar fasciitis went crazy as soon as I stopped. Standing in line was SUPER painful, but worth it for the cow trophy! Next, I went to a nearby GF bakery, Pushkin’s, for donuts! The line was super long there was well, but again worth it!

IMG_5916 IMG_5917

I got an apple fritter and a chocolate cruller, and both were amazing!

The rest of the day was spent studying with dog friends, checking out a brewery for their big anniversary event, and having a Grey’s Anatomy viewing party of the newest episodes, which I can do now that I’m FINALLY caught up!

IMG_5918 IMG_0685 IMG_0689

My plantar fasciitis is definitely not happy after that race…I’m trying to be really good about icing and wearing my special sock at night! Now it’s back to studying for me. I have a special visitor this week, so it’s going to be a crazy one!

 

Pints for Paws+5K Race

How’s everyone doing today? I had quite the weekend (at least Saturday), and I hope you all had a great one as well!

Friday was a work day. I took the morning off of any workouts in preparation for my 5k on Saturday morning. Fresh fruit (watermelon and blackberries) for breakfast, with a flapjacked.

IMG_3843

I had my typical salad lunch. This salad featured blackberries, leftover lemon grilled chicken, and burrata cheese. Crackers and a banana on the side.

IMG_3844

Afternoon snack:

IMG_3845

Post-work, pre-dinner snack while waiting for my mom:

IMG_3846

For dinner, we tried out a local salad place that we just discovered. I got a salad with artichoke hearts, sundried tomato, feta, kalmata olives, chicken, pickled onions, roasted chickpeas, and roasted cauliflower (I added that). This was good, but in the future I would get the dressing on the side, since the champagne vinaigrette flavor was pretty strong!

IMG_3847

After dinner, we hustled down to San Jose to pick up my race packet for Saturday before it closed. My dad actually ended up signing up for the race at the last minute. He’s never run a race before, and since he ended up not having a soccer game that morning, he decided, why not?

The packet pick up was at a massive sports store, and I bought a ton of new and interesting bars. (See below.) Afterwards, I suggested we stop at Menchies on the way home.

IMG_3848

I got vanilla with fudge, and a little chocolate and mint with Nestle Crunch.

At home, I couldn’t resist trying a new find, the Blueberry Quest Hero bar. I’m not a fan of Quest bars, and now I can’t eat any other ones because they all have nuts, but this was astonishingly good. I thought it tasted like a cake doughnut, and my mom thought it tasted like a Danish. Either way, I (surprisingly) recommend!

IMG_3849

Saturday morning I was up super early: 3:45am thanks to a certain orange kitty scratching at my door. I gave up on sleep around 4:30 and got ready for the race!

We arrived in San Jose at 6:45 for the San Jose Giants race! The SF Giants race is my favorite race ever. Sadly, I’ll already be in vet school when it happens this year, and since I’m not in the middle of finals like I have been the last few years, I jumped at the chance! (I might have to do the Sacramento race in the series next year! The Sacramento Rivercats are the Giant’s AAA team.) The San Jose Giants are our Class A team.

IMG_0006

We might be related.

IMG_0011 IMG_0015 IMG_0007

^Sponsor

IMG_0026

^Mascot El Gigante.

My dad and I didn’t really have plans to run together. He wanted to go around 7:55/mile, and for me that’s a solid NOPE.

IMG_3852 IMG_0036

And we were off!

I wasn’t sure how this race was going to feel, but I knew I’d been getting faster this season. I didn’t go out crazy hard. My dad took off in front of me, and when we passed at a turnaround about a mile in, I saw he was breathing a lot harder than me, so I should probably pick it up!

IMG_0048

We ran by the stadium (photos my my mom.) Some of the former SJ Giants, and current Giants’ greats!

IMG_0057 IMG_0058

About halfway through the race, I realized that a PR was possible if I pushed it a little more. Slowly but sure, I locked in to a faster pace.

We also ran through Happy Hollow zoo! The zoo smell was very familiar to me, haha!

With a mile to go, I thought I had a good chance if I could get a sub-8:00 mile.

Before I knew it, I was entering the stadium. I saw the clock as I entered the field at 24:xx and SPRINTED to the finish.

IMG_0080 IMG_0082

(I think this picture is hilarious because it shows off my massive blue bruise. I got pretty beat up at the vet this week and my legs were covered in bruises. The worst thing is that big one is from when Chloe came to the vet for her vaccine and was crazy excited to see me.)

IMG_3853

I made it!

IMG_0093

IMG_3854IMG_0095

Guys. I FINALLY PRed! I fastest 5k was my first 5k….4.5 years ago. I’ve been trying (on and off) to beat it since then! Since that first 5k, I’ve gone through numerous injuries, 4 years of college, vet school applications and acceptances, tons of major life events…and I FINALLY beat it! By 10 seconds, but I will sure as heck take it! Official time 24:49. The icing on the cake was I placed first in my age group! My dad placed second! Now I think he has the racing bug at least a little, and we’re trying to find a small race to do later this summer where we might both be able to place again 🙂

We explored the stadium a bit afterwards. It was super cool to see where a lot of Giants greats played!

IMG_3855 IMG_3858

I wasn’t planning on getting 8am beer, but….

IMG_3861 IMG_0098

They had Kona Longboard Lager, a great summer beer, so I got convinced to split it 3 ways.

On the way home, we made a necessary stop:

IMG_3863

Zest, the local gluten free bakery. They only make doughnuts 2x/week, and after seeing literally half of my instagram feed on Friday as doughnuts (national donut day), I had to jump on the Saturday morning doughnuts (plus, the chocolate ones sell out super early so I wanted to try them!)

IMG_3864

^That is perfection. Maple, chocolate, and cinnamon sugar. And a warm and gooey cinnamon roll.

IMG_3865

Back home, since Charlie woke me up so early, I forced him to help me nap. Cats are pretty good at that, as it turns out.

IMG_3867

For lunch, I was craving a Subway salad, but I made it work quickly with what we had on hand! Deli turkey, tomato, lettuce, grated fancy cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.

IMG_3869

Then, it was time for Pints for Paws! This was literally my ideal event. The Berkeley Humane society hosted a craft beer tasting festival where 100% of the proceeds went towards animals. Even better, the event was dog friendly! Of course Chloe came.

The event boasted 20 different craft breweries, with a couple of cider and wine places as well.

IMG_3909

We got classes upon entering. My favorite beer was actually the first one I tried: Apricot wheat from Pyramid.

IMG_3871 IMG_3883

Chloe met plenty of friends.

IMG_3873

Dogs. Beer. What could be better?

IMG_3875

^Berry beer.

IMG_3876

After the initial samplings, we quickly realized we would have to pace ourselves, especially because our first couple pours were extremely generous! Chloe took some breaks in the shade.

IMG_3879

After some initial craziness when we first arrived, Chloe was actually amazingly good. She was (pretty) calm, and was good with pretty much all the dogs and people she met. I think meeting tons of people and dogs at once was a really great experience for her socialization, and with so many new people, no one person was too exciting!

IMG_3889

^I tried Guiness lager, and it was really good and crisp! I actually don’t really like regular Guiness; it needs more fizz!

Chloe is a pretty unique looking dog, and I think nearly everyone at the festival (we were all dog people!) wanted to say hi to her! This picture basically sums it up:

IMG_3891

I really enjoyed tasting so many different styles and types of beer. At some point, my dad and I were splitting the sample, or pouring out the extra of the ones that weren’t our favorites.

IMG_3896 IMG_3893

We also talked to a few people for a while and had interesting conversations; one was a parent of a recent UC Davis Vet School and another was a couple who had Aussies. Apparently Aussie and Cocker-spaniels get along well. These two just sat like that for quite a while!

IMG_3895

I enjoyed trying different ciders as well; everything from traditional apple to sour cherry, pear, and pineapple.

On the way out, of course I had to stop in the kitten adoption trailer and say hi. Look at these beauties!

IMG_3898 IMG_3899 IMG_3901 IMG_3902

And on the drive back:

IMG_3903

I was actually pretty hungry when we got back despite all the beer, and I requested dinner from our local Mexican place. I got my favorite chicken teriyaki tacos, and ate the insides.

IMG_3904

Dessert was a bowl of Halo Top with a couple of Trader Joe’s snicker doodles crumbled in.

IMG_3905

Thanks to an early morning and a big day, I found myself struggling to stay away before 8pm, so I was in bed around 8:15 and it was fabulous. I woke up Sunday morning feeling quite refreshed!

Also, I can’t explain it but somehow the beer seemed to helped my tendonitis! My Achilles was surprisingly good during the race, but started to tighten up afterwards. It was pretty sore walking to Pints for Paws, but the beer helped the pain go away. The funny thing though is even the next day, my Achilles was FAR better than it should have been; hey, I’ll take it! Beer for injury recovery? Why not!

Sunday was low key and productive. I started with a gym spin class; it’s different from the other classes I go to in that it works based on percentages of your threshold, which you find during the first 3 minutes of the ride. It’s cool because it’s all computerized; it determines a number for you, and then the screen displays percentages, and you go off those percentages.

After class, I headed over to Peet’s for a decaf iced latte and some forced time finishing up a write up for my advisor on what the vet school interview process was like for me.

IMG_3906

I spent the rest of the day partially relaxing, and partially tackling the confusing and extensive medical requirements for vet school. I tried to stay off my feet because oddly, my stress fracture foot was a little bit sore today. I’m not worried at all, but it’s been a while since it’s done this so I was a little surprised!

Finally, for dinner, we made my Sweetgreen copycat watermelon and feta salad.

IMG_3911

With a side of roasted rosemary purple potatoes.

Saturday was literally the best day: 5k PR in the morning, beer and pup festival in the afternoon. BRING ON SUMMER!

What’s your ideal day?

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.

IMG_2646 IMG_2647

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!
IMG_2649

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.

IMG_2643

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.

17504602_1111769758969923_6235603063868287223_o

^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.

IMG_2652

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.

IMG_2655

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.

IMG_2656

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!

IMG_2657 IMG_2660 IMG_2670

As well as some 1 month year old kids!

IMG_2672IMG_2659

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!

IMG_2677

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

IMG_2679

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!

IMG_2680

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!

IMG_2682

Obligatory awkward stretching picture:

IMG_0013

Race ready!

IMG_0016

(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!)

IMG_2688

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!

IMG_0050 IMG_0052

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!

IMG_0072

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!

IMG_2689

And overall:

IMG_2690 IMG_2692

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

IMG_0087

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

IMG_0088 IMG_2694

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

IMG_2697

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.

IMG_2700

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

IMG_2698 IMG_2699

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.

IMG_2703

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.

img_1129 img_1130

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.

img_1132 img_1135

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:

img_1137

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.

img_1140 img_1142 img_1143 img_1144 img_1145

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.

img_1147

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

img_1148

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

img_0002

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:

65055_478814745502646_1478914243_n

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.

img_0005

Note that that was not my coffee because #zerocaffeinetolerance.

As per usual, there were tons of Santas.

img_1150

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.

img_0007 img_0010 img_1154 img_1157 img_0024

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.

img_1158

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.

img_0049 img_0055 img_1160

I was happy with my pace!
img_1161

Then, I sipped on chocolate milk while waiting for my sister and her fiancé to finish.

img_1164

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.

img_0073 img_0077

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.

img_1169

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

img_1168img_1172 img_1173 img_1175 img_1178 img_1180

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.

img_1182

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!

img_1184 img_1186 img_1188 img_1191 img_1192 img_1193 img_1194img_1195

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.

img_1198

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.

img_9870

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.

img_9868 img_9869

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

img_9874 img_9879

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.

img_9884

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

img_9889

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!

img_9891

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

img_9897 img_9895

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

img_9898

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

img_9903 img_9904

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 🙂

img_9910

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

img_9900

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.

img_9914

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.

img_9917

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.

img_9918

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?

img_9921

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.

img_9925

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.

img_9926

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!

img_9928

I also had a probiotic drink.

img_9927

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.

img_9929

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?