Sunday, September 22, 2013

Running 20 Miles

Becky found an event that is a 20 mile supported course for those with fall marathons.  It's called 20 Miler, and they've been doing this for at least the last few years.

It was down in Elk Grove, right by Chicago, and it had an elk preserve inside the park!  It's called the Busse Woods Forest Preserve  The course description let us know what miles that we would get to see them!

Yesterday morning I got up at about 5, had an egg and toast (from homemade bread - YUM), and of course my coffee!  I had packed everything the night before, including laying out my clothes that I was going to run in.  I am always glad I do this on the morning of.  It saves a lot of stress and worry, so I definitely suggest this for everyone doing any kind of race.

Becky picked me up at about 5:45 and it was a pretty uneventful drive down.  Traffic was obviously light so we got there in about an hour and fifteen minutes.

We walked up to get our packets right as the first wave went off - the 7 min milers - so we had some time.  We checked our gear and got in line with the 12 min pace group.  Our friend Marin caught up with us here as well.  She got there minutes before we took off.  I haven't seen her since my cousin's wedding (about 12 years), but we keep current on FB with each other.  She is running the Chicago Marathon, which will be her first!

The three of us ran together for maybe the first 2 miles, but Marin is quite a bit faster and took off.  We saw her a couple of times after when the course looped back.  Below are just some pictures of the trail.

The first 10 miles flew by.  We both knew we were going too fast, but with all of the other runners and energy it was so hard not too!  We kept to our plan of eating something every 3.5 miles and did our best to run 9, walk 1, but we kept missing the walking.

Half Way!

I lapped my watch at the 10 mile mark and we were at 2:04, which is a lot faster than we've been on training runs.  The last half I started to struggle a lot more.  The miles started to drag and the other runners were starting to get a bit sparse.

The course was beautiful and despite having several out and backs, which usually seem to make miles drag on, made it fun to see all the other runners go by and motivate me.  The day was also absolutely perfect.  It was around the mid 60's and sunny with beautiful, fluffy clouds.

Running by the elk was pretty cool.  There were a ton right by the fence of the reserve, but it was too dark and I couldn't get very good pictures.

Overall, the run took me 4:18, 9 minutes under my goal time!  I was really sore and walked right to the food and got my veggie dog (was super excited about that) and went to find Becky.

We stretched and ate and then had to shuffle back to the car where we changed before starting the drive back.

We stopped at the Oasis for some food, where I was cracking up at Becky's outfit.

She had on capri's, compression socks, and flip flops.  I, on the other hand, looked like a homeless person with my sweat pants, sandals, and two shirts.  Nothing I had on matched.  I just grabbed the first things I saw.  Thankfully no one got a picture of me!

I definitely have some mental preparation before I complete 26.2 miles, because after the 20, I don't know how I can go any further, I just know I will!

I was also pretty glad after I talked to one of the pacers that parked next to us.  Her first marathon was the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon, which is the one I'm running.  She said it was a great course and the end is a big downhill to Veteran's Park.  It gave me a little something to look forward to!

Two more weeks until the big twenty six point two!!

What's the fursthest you ever ran?  How was your first 20 mile run?  Any advice for a first time marathoner?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Banana Cake Recipe

I had the day off today, so of course I used the time wisely by getting up early to catch up on my DVR and pin things on Pinterest.  I came across this recipe for chocolate zucchini cake.

I didn't have the right amount of zucchini, so I changed it a bit.

Chocolate Zucchini Banana Cake Recipe

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup mashed banana ( I used 2 bananas and threw them in a blender)
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 bag chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the zucchini, banana, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until blended.  Add the flour,cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda and mix until smooth.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into a 9 x 13 cake pan that has been sprayed with oil or lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 35-45 minutes (mine took 45).

*This had a banana flavor to it, a little stronger than I had anticipated.  So, if just zucchini is used, it would be just like a chocolate cake.  It's very moist and delicious either way.

Maybe I shouldn't have eaten 3 pieces before heading to Zumba class, but what can I say?  I was watching Man vs. Food and that show always makes me hungry!   Hindsight.

What did you do today?  Are you trying to use up your zucchini?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Winner, Winner, Pancake Dinner

As predicted (by myself), I came out the winner for the pancake eating contest.  Before the contest started, my nephew asked what the prize would be for the winner.  Pancakes of course!  And the satisfaction of winning.

Here's a little video of the event.  It's a little blurry, but you get the idea.

I only had to eat 11 to win since my nephew stopped at 10, but I ate 20.  I must say, I felt a little sick while I was eating the last one.  But now, I could totally go for some pancakes.

He said we can have a pizza eating contest as a rematch.  I'm down with that since it will be after my 20 mile run!

When I got home, I took a nap and then went to my neighbors to watch the Packer game.  It was a good one, but too bad they lost.

What did you do today?

JoMo vs. Food

Yesterday was my long run - 18 miles.  That is the furthest I have ever ran!  And let me tell you, it wasn't so bad.  Yeah, I said it.  I wasn't that sore and today I feel like I really didn't run.  Trust me, I know how weird that sounds.

We ran later in the day and it had just stormed out, leaving it very humid and sticky.  It also resulted in bugs galore!  They were flying into us with a very strong force and flying around us everywhere!  And the gnats!  They were just landing on us and drowning in the sweat.  For some reason, I was just covered in them.

At around mile 15, we stopped at a gas station to get some more water and gatorade and Becky couldn't believe when she saw my neck.  I made her take a picture so I could see it (and put it on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook of course!).

It took just over 4 hours to finish.  My legs were a bit sore after.  I gave Becky a ride home, showered, and ate the leftover zucchini parmesan I had.  It tasted SO good!

I'm off to pancake eating contest against my 11 year old nephew.  For some reason he thinks he can out eat me.  He has no idea what he is up against.  I mean, I can out eat my husband.  I watch Man vs. Food and think about how I could eat that amount easily.  

What are your plans today?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

August Totals and September Goals

I'm about a week late, but I've been busy catching up on the RHOOC reunion special. I mean, it was 3 parts!  That took some serious time commitment!  Oh, and I was running a little...or a LOT!

I had my highest mileage month EVER!  August was just over 100 miles!  This has been a goal of mine for, oh I don't know, forever!

I want to keep my September goals pretty straight forward. 

1) Stick to my running schedule.  Exactly 4 weeks until the marathon!! 

2)  Bring lunch to work and make dinner...aka, plan meals and take my lazy butt grocery shopping!

All a girl needs.

3)  Get some sleep!  I have been working early, but staying up late.  I need more sleep to function a little better and reduce my coffee intake a bit. 

What are your goals for the week or the month?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Flu Shot and Free Starbucks

Today, was only a half day for me at work. It was even shorter, because I took some time to get a flu shot.

I forgot all about it until about an hour ago when my arm started aching! I couldn't figure out why until I remembered the shot! The same thing happened to me last year. It didnt get sore until hours later. 

On the plus side, I got a free Starbucks Americano for getting the shot, which I didn't even find out until after I had gotten it. Score!!

Tomorrow, I have 18 miles scheduled. I am excited and nervous to tackle it!

What are your plans for the weekend?