PR’s in Nashville to Cannolis in Boston

Spring is in the air! And I can feel summer creeping around the corner! The weather is gorgeous, and I couldn’t be happier. It is nearly impossible to be feeling down when the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the weather is warm, and its the perfect time for RUNNING. Lets talk running.

Last weekend I finally visited Becca in Nashville, TN! She is my friend from home, and she goes to Vanderbilt University (well, went, she just graduated, the lucky duck). Unfortunately for me I left the nice weather home in CT and brought the rain and clouds, but it was still a good weekend non the less. What made it even better though, was that we were running the Rock n’ Roll Country Music Half Marathon together!! I love love love the Rock n’ Roll race series races. So many people, so well organized, good music, pumped up atmosphere, its a PR breeding ground.

When I got off the plane, Becca picked me up and we went for a 3 mile shake out run and headed into downtown Nashville to the race expo to pick up our gear. And get the obligatory expo picture —->

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2:03 was not our finishing time 🙂 Race morning, we woke up bright and early, ate our respective breakfasts (pb, banana, and toast for me). Of course, it was pouring rain, so donning trash bags was completely necessary. 20130430-094315.jpg

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It was a good look. So. THE RACE! I was not too sure of how it was going to go for me. I had not been training too hard, just doing normal runs, one speedwork session a week, and getting in a long run on the weekends. I have been focusing on biking and swimming also since my triathlon is fast approaching (GAH). Becca warned me that the course is super hilly, and given the fact that it was pouring, I was just looking to go in and run a good, pain free race and enjoy running through the city of Nashville with Becca. Well. You know how that goes. Your in the race, heat of the moment, adrenaline pumping, crazy runners sweating and spitting all around you, all plans for the race fly out the window. Oh, it was on.

Becca took off speedy at the start, and I was worried I wasnt going to be able to keep up with her for long. Our second mile was 7:37!! She glanced at her watch and goes “oh wow, that was really fast” and me huffing and puffing “Yeah… we really should slow down”. Mile 3 comes along, and I spot the 1:45 pacer! We had plans to find him at the beginning and run with him, but those plans kind of died and washed away in the downpour. By now the rain had lightened up, and I honestly dont even remember realizing it was still raining. My eyes were glued to that pacer sign and I was off. I lost Becca somewhere between miles 3 and 4, and stuck with the pacer group for a good distance. Around mile 6 or 7, I started fading, and thought I would have to drop back from the pacer group. But I did not let myself. And thank god I didnt. Racing really is a true test of what your body is capable of. Mind over matter. The Gu that I took at mile 6 finally kicked in, and at mile 9 it was like someone lit a fire under my butt. I was off! Seeee ya pacer group!

I flew through the last 3 miles, and when I glanced at my watch and noticed that I might actually have a chance of coming in under 1:40, that spark was struck even more. I channeled my inner voice and my idol bloggers and their speedy times, and basically sprinted the last mile, in order to come in under 1:40. My final finishing time: 1:39:00. ON THE DOT.

I am still in shock. 7:34 min pace!! Who am I?? Where did this come from? 19th in my division and 95th female finisher. Wooooo. I attribute this speedster in me to once a week speedwork, more cross training (swimming and biking), and more frequent leg weight lifting. I try to do legs about once or twice a week, and I really felt a difference skiing this winter and I think it is making my legs a lot stronger, so I was able to fly over those hills. And hopefully all of this strength training is preventing injury! 20130430-094339.jpg

Becca did great and finished around 1:46. It was pouring at the end of the race and we were freezing, but so happy for our PR’s. This view is supposed to be the best view of the city of Nashville, when it is sunny I suppose. Oh well. Next time Nashville! 20130430-094346.jpg

Country bumpkin curls and boots, along with our race medals. It was a great night out at the country bars to celebrate. 20130430-094357.jpg

And the adventures did not stop with my flight home! Cleo was awaiting for me and we had a fun date night in Boston 🙂 Walked around the seaport and enjoyed the beautiful evening, and strolled on down to the North End to pick which restaurant would supply our hearty Italian feast. It was a difficult choice. So many options! If I lived in the North End, I would make it my life goal to eat at each and every one of those cute little Italian restaurants. I would be a big girl. 20130430-094409.jpg

We finally settled on one called Florentine Cafe. I highly recommend it! The gorgeous flower boxes and the windows open like doors to the streets caught our attention, with cute little tables all mushed together all European like. We ordered martinis, and were served with delicious warm bread and oil for dipping. Oh how I love Italian dinners. My gorgeous date and her meal:

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Cleo ordered some amazing, creamy tortellini dish and I had some spicy noodle dish with shrimps, mussels, and lobster tail. Yummm. And of course, no trip to the North End is complete without the purchase of a mouth watering cannoli from Mike’s Patries. I was too full to eat this baby, but have been nibbling on it for dessert over the course of the week. 20130430-094442.jpg

In other news, I have had some great runs this week! I took Monday off to rest the legs after the half marathon, but Tuesday I did 2 miles after swimming (Triathlon training!) and then 5 with Sarah, and Wednesday Jen and I had a great and steamy (it was almost 80 degrees!) 8 mile run, complete with many hills including Horsebarn. My legs are sore and exhausted, but I managed to get in 4 miles this morning, since its my last run before my wisdom teeth surgery tomorrow 😦 I am kind of looking forward to a weekend of relaxation and being a bum. And attempting to study… since… oh, ya, next week is finals week and all.

Another honorary mention… today marks my LAST DAY EVER OF COLLEGE CLASSES. EVER. Wow. 4 years gone by just like that! I will probably do a long post after graduation with a ton of reminiscing. But it has been some of the best, most rewarding, life enhancing, empowering, and inspiring four years of my life. I have done so many amazing things and met so many people who I love and treasure so much today. I am so thankful for everything that has happened to me! Off to give one final presentation…. LAST CLASS EVER. WOOHOOO. I am a tad excited. See ya when I have no wisdom teeth!

My Body Is Not Built For Marathons

New Update in the Hip Flexor Department: I am currently on a running hiatus :(. There will not be a marathon for me anytime soon in my future. Here is the low down on the past few days. When I left you, I had just tried running on it at the Hyannis Half Marathon, felt pain, so decided to take a week of rest from running. Last Sunday, tried to run again, and felt pain a mile in. So that was when the waterworks started, and I knew that something serious was up. I went to physical therapy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, where they heated it, massaged it, stretched it, electrocuted it (just kidding), did everything in their power to try and relax the aggravated tendon, but to no avail. The guy there is great, and was confident that he would have me running, but my hip seems to think otherwise. He referred me to an orthopedic surgeon to have an x ray done to make sure there was nothing seriously wrong, and the x ray came back confirming this, which is a good thing and something I should be happy about.

So both the PT guy and the doctor said it is up to my discretion whether I choose to run in D.C or not. I definitely cannot do the marathon with this hip pain, so if I do choose to run, I will be dropping down to the half. Argh. How aggravating. At this point, I would not even mind doing the half, I love running for 2 hours rather than 4, I just want to be able to do it PAIN FREE! I am resting the hip today, Friday, and Saturday, and attempting the Putnam 5k on Sunday. It will be my test run, to assess my pain tolerance and if I could bear to run with the pain for 13 miles. The doctors said there is not a chance that I could seriously tear anything, so I am able to run on it, I am just worried that it will not get better for my races in April (Fitness Women’s Half Marathon, Rock n Roll Nashville Half Marathon). What a mess. I seriously hate this. Yesterday I was depressed and let myself cry, today is a new day and I am going to take my aggravation out on the weights at the gym and then enjoy the weekend with my friends.

Its funny how much this is getting to me. Running is such a little thing, but such a big part of my life, as this is showing. I am lost without it, and have zero motivation to do anything. You do NOT want me to tell you how many classes I have skipped this week (0 Mom, dont worry….). But really, this not being able to run thing is doing serious damage to my already bad case of seniorialreadyhaveajob-itis. I totally just made that up.

Ok I will stop boring you with my hip woes, thanks for bearing with me while I vent! I will let you know how the Putnam 5k on Sunday goes, and I have another PT appointment on Monday. Pray for my hip flexor to chill!

Now what would this blog post be without food? made a big batch of Quinoa Taco Salad the other night, and have been eating it with my meals throughout the week. I love quinoa, it is so versatile and tastes good mixed with almost anything!

Quinoa Taco Salad: 

  1. Cook up a big batch of quinoa, I used 1 cup dry and 2 cups of chicken cooking broth
  2. Combine with tomatoes, drained black beans, avocado, cumin, garlic powder, salsa, and anything else your mexican heart desires! I just threw it all in a bowl, no exact measurements, just for taste.
  3. Best served hot or cold!

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For weekly pizza night with our beloved Trader Joe’s whole wheat dough, we topped it with pesto, fresh mozzarella, olives, sun dried tomatoes, and spinach. Yum. Always a winner. 20130307-092852.jpg

And just because I miss her and she is on a cruise right now sailing somewhere in the warm Caribbean, here is a picture of Becca. I am supposed to be flying to Nashville at the end of April to run the Rock n Roll Nashville Half Marathon with her, so lets pray that my hip decides to heal and behave by then. That is a whole month and a half away at least! PRAYPRAYPRAY. This was taken when we ran our own little half marathon on the morning of Christmas Eve. I miss her and winter break and running. 20130307-092925.jpgI am doing a killer elliptical, bike and leg workout at the gym later today, ill post it later!