Thursday, May 31, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals: May 2012

Another month has passed, which means another Foodie Pen Pals post. This is the second month I have done the program, and I can't thank Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean for starting this! I love exchanging food with other bloggers and making a box to send to someone else (More specific details about the program are on her blog).

Okay, on to what I got this month! ;-) My box was from Beth at In Search Of... The box came on a day when it was crazy at work. So, when I got home and saw it, I was super excited! Here's what came:

  • Cinnamon Pita Chips. I never had pita chips before. I finally opened the bag on Monday, and it was love at first bite. I had to put the bag away to keep from mindlessly eating them (I was watching Glee at the
  • Sea Salt Caramels. Beth mentioned in the note she sent that they were made a few miles from her house. Love these too!
  • Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter. I never heard of it, and I can't wait to dig into it (especially on my waffles in the mornings)!
  • A Justin's peanut butter bar. I love Justin's peanut butter, so this is another treat I can't wait to try!
  • A Two Degrees chocolate peanut bar. I never heard of this brand, and may try this one morning with some yogurt as a light breakfast.  
This was the second month I've done this, and the second month I love what I got. I can't wait to see what June brings!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spring Into Summer 5K (Middletown, NJ)

Today was THE race. As in, the one I signed up for over three months ago, and have spent the last 10 weeks training for.

Last week blew my expectations out of the water with a 35:11 finish. I was hoping to get below 35:00 today. How did I do? Well, keep reading, and you'll find out! ;-)

Anyway, I needed to pick up my bib, shirt, and (so-called) goody bag (turned out to be nothing but flyers =P) since I couldn't get there last night. I got to the school that was hosting the race around 7:30, picked up my stuff, and sent it home with my sister after she pinned my bib on me. Like it or not, there was no turning back now!

I knew this race was big, but compared to the one I ran last weekend, it was HUGE! There were at least three times the participants, plus they had a one miler before the 5K and kids' races after. 

This race implemented B-chip timing, which meant the timing chip was attached to the bib. Awesome. I would know my official time and didn't have to worry about a tag as well as a bib. =)
After I was all set, I just tried to stay loose since excited nerves hit me about two days ago. The national anthem was sung around 8:05, just before the one miler started. The one miler was fun to watch. It was a lot of kids, and it was so ADORABLE!

Once the one-milers ended their race, it was time for the 5K racers to line up. Since our time didn't start until we crossed the mat, it really didn't matter where we were positioned. I kind of ended up in the middle of the pack. It was so packed at the start it was crazy! After we got started, it took me about 20-30 seconds to hit the start mat, due to the crowding. I didn't start my watch until I crossed the start mat, so I don't remember exactly how long it took me to get up there.

I hit the first mile in 10:43, which I have to admit was a little below what I was aiming for. I really thought I could get a sub 10:00 mile, but then I realized that this was only my second race, and my second in two weeks.

Right after the first mile marker, there was a water station (Nice!) and I had to walk through it. I'll eventually figure out how to "drink and run" while running on the road! ;-)

After that, my pace seemed to dip a little, but I kept going. I did have to take a few walk breaks, but I knew I could still finish under 35:00. Mile 2 was a blur, but I do remember the second water station. Mile 3 wasn't as much of a blur, but I do remember seeing the turn into the track where the race ended. However, I did not anticipate having to complete the race on 300 yards worth of track. =P

Best part: All the little kids who were holding out their hands to high-five the runners as we came in. Such an adorable moment. =)

I slowed down a little, but was able to sprint out the last few yards. My second 5K was in the books!

When I crossed the finish line, my clock time was 35:26. I then stopped my watch and it said 35:01. However, I knew that neither was my official time, since I didn't officially start until I crossed the mat.

About five minutes later, I got my official time: 34:56.11! BOOYAH!

Okay, I know that I only beat my goal by a few seconds, but considering I was doing this a week after running a 5K, and that it was only my second race ever, I was very happy with that time.

After the race, there was a ton of food. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and all sorts of other stuff. I knew I couldn't stomach any of it that early (I finished just after 9:00), so I got a sampler cup of Rita's cantaloupe ice (which was really good) and a cup of mango yogurt. I tried to eat a piece of a bagel, but I knew I couldn't after the first two bites.

This was another race that I would love to do again next year. Organization was top-notch for a local race, they had chip timing, and the atmosphere was amazing! I could do without the barbeque food at 9:00 in the morning, but that's just me.

I think I'm taking a week off of outdoor running, then who knows what the summer has in store! Once again, thank you all for the love and support!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Titan 5K (Keansburg, NJ)

It's official! I'm a 5K finisher! Blew my goal time out of the water too (by nearly 5 minutes)!

As I wrote on Thursday, I signed up for this race on a whim. I thought that this was one of the craziest things I've ever done, but at the same time, I'm glad I did it!

My wake up wasn't super early (7:00), since the race wasn't until 9. Excited nerves hit me this morning, but I still managed to eat a bowl of Multi-Grain Peanut Butter Cherrios with skim milk (my usual pre-run fuel).

They didn't have packet pick-up yesterday, so I knew I would need time to get my stuff before the race. It turns out I was considered a pre-registered runner (despite registering a day and a half before), so I did get my shirt (see pic above) and a bag full of all sorts of stuff, most of it Army related, since this race was benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.

After I got my stuff, I ended up going back to my house to drop it off, since there was no gear check or anything (didn't think there would be), so that was my warm-up walk.

Once I got back, I was just mingling until about 8:50, when we lined up. There was no specific order for faster/slower runners, but they did tell those who were walking the whole thing to go toward the back. Still ended up kind of close to the start though, since it was kind of a small race:

(Sorry for the bad quality. This one was on my cell phone and its crappy camera =P)

Next thing I knew, the national anthem was sung and we were off!

I crossed the start line after about 15 seconds, and was off. The course was flat and fast through residential areas. There were a few locals around to cheer us on, which was awesome! =)

There were no mile markers, but there were volunteers from the Keansburg High School baseball and softball teams there holding up signs where we needed to turn. The turnaround was down by the boardwalk and surprisingly, there was a water station (Awesome!). I hit that point just short of 18:00, and it was then I knew I would finish under 40:00.

I did have to take a few walk breaks, but I ran most of the race, and next thing I knew, the high school was back in sight, and it was less than a half mile to the finish line. I finished as strong as I started, and crossed the finish line at 35:11, just less than 5:00 less than my goal time!

After the race, they had water right at the finish (Score!) and all sorts of food in the school cafeteria. All I had was a cinnamon raisin bagel with some cream cheese. I wasn't about to go for pasta or subs at 9:45 in the morning (and didn't think my stomach would enjoy it either).

I have to say that this was an awesome race. It was well organized, lots of support, and it was for a good cause! There were even some soldiers there, which made it even more awesome. I can already say I will be running this again next year!

Thank you to everyone for your love, support, and encouragement over the last two months! It meant a lot! I can't wait to do my second 5K next Saturday (This one being the one I originally signed up for)!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Last Minute Race!

Hi, all! Writing to you tonight with huge news:

I entered the Keansburg Titan 5K for this Saturday, kind of last minute entry. This Saturday will be my first ever 5K.

Note: I probably wouldn't have entered this if I wasn't already training for a 5K, which I was (The Spring Into Summer 5K which I entered is the 19th).

I only found out about this a few days ago, during one of my training runs in Keansburg. I went past the high school and saw a sign for it. It was in the back of my head all week.

Tonight, I took the plunge and signed up. Last minute I know, but I figure I'm familiar with the area, since I've done at least half of my Spring Into Summer 5K training in that area. Plus this way, I can get some race adrenaline out. It is crazy, but at the same time, I'm so excited!

Now, to put together my playlist and figure out what I'm going to wear...

Peace out!