River Run 10K Recap

It’s Wednesday! Which was the day I said I would post my River Run Recap! It’s 11pm at night…but it’s still Wednesday. Nothing says second semester senior in the second last week of classes (specific, I know) like procrastinating everything…including blog posts, showers, and cleaning…

Anyways! To recap- I had no expectations going into the 10K. I wanted to finish, have a good time, not totally embarrass myself. And you know what I learned? I SHOULD have expectations! I should hold myself to a higher standard, because I was prepared and I wasn’t going to die and I had set really low expectations for myself because I didn’t want to be disappointed. I was pleasantly surprised, and should have been more confident setting goals!

56:34 was my official time for the event. I wanted to finish between an 1:00 and 1:10! That pace equals out to about a 9:12 per mile pace…faster than my five miler in training!

Alarm went off at 7am for the race to start at 9am! Coffee, banana, and small portion of overnight oats was perfect fuel. It was supposed to be rainy and cold so I had a horrendous time deciding what to wear- I was running a race. Who cares what I wear. I should have thrown on anything! We made it out the door and to the Start Line, and of course my running partner has to pee and I’m missing a safety pin and we basically lose our warm up time. We jog over the mass at the start line, listen to the national anthem, and we’re off!

We joked that we could use the first mile as a warm up anyways. Which would have been fine, until my right foot got pins and needles for the last two miles of the race. Something to do with my butt muscles being too tight and nerves and such- apparently I needed to do some lunges! The first 5K felt like a breeze- the neighborhood was super pretty, people were cheering us on from their porches, and the miles melted away!

And big shock…it didn’t rain. It wasn’t even cold. It was funny though to see the different runners- some in tank tops and shorts and others in full length leggings and head warmers. So what’s a girl to do? Sprint to the car and strip off layers of course! Thankfully we were parked right along the road and were able to strip a layer off without too much trouble :)

The second half of the race was definitely more difficult. AKA- hills. At this point I had been running the WHOLE time, and when we reached 5, 5.5 miles, and I was super excited to have run further than I had in years! But what did we find at mile 5.5? The mother of all hills. Seriously, this thing was five times the distance of that hill during the Warrior Challenge where the guy behind me puked. David is telling me to lean forward, we pass a couple walkers, and we’re almost at the top! Which is when I begin to cry a little. I thought I couldn’t breathe. I thought I couldn’t keep going. I thought my lungs were going to explode and there was no way I could take a single. other. step.

So I stood there. I was NOT going to walk. I cried for about the three seconds, and I kept running.

I caught my breath back over the crest of the hill, and David kept me distracted chatting away. By the end of mile 6 I felt like I was cruising again, and finished the race with a smile on my face!

So what’s next? Well that’s it for races I have scheduled this spring/summer! My running confidence has shot way up after completing those two races. So what now? A new squat max? A yoga challenge? I think I’d love to sign up for a 5K and run it for time…let’s get competitive about this now!

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Paleo “Oats” and April Eats

So with all the running hoopla (and ya know, school) that’s been going on I haven’t written about food in what seems like forever! A spring recap and summer preview might be in order to keep everything straight! What better way than to get a food post started than with how I’d love to start every single day: Oatmeal

Okay, so this post isn’t actually oatmeal. It’s oatless oats. A paleo version of my favorite breakfast food? Sure why not! Espicially with how popular my Overnight Oats post seemed to be! For the record, I do not eat strictly paleo, but I’m always down to try new protein packed recipes (plus when I saw Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers was giving it a try, I knew I had to!)

You’ll need:

  • 2 egg whites (I have made statements before about how I will never substitute eggs in a recipe because eggs are GOOD for you. While this is still true, I was concerned about how this recipe would turn out so I followed the egg white suggestion exactly)
  • 1/2 almond milk
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Banana
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together egg whites and almond milk in a small bowl. Eat half the banana, and mash the other half (very well!) Mix in the banana, flax seeds, vanilla, and cinnamon. Once well mixed, add to small saucepan and heat on medium low. Stir frequently! Heat until you reach whatever consistency you like- between 5 and 10 minutes. I like my oatmeal pretty thick, so I had mine on for a full ten minutes.

And that’s it! Take off heat and serve with whatever you would normally top your oats with. I ate mine with coconut (obviously), honey, chia seeds, almonds, milk, and a large mug of coffee. I’m surprising at the size of the portion I ended up with! I’m also surprised by how DELICIOUS it turned out! While it didn’t entirely taste like oatmeal, I looooove the almost cream-of-wheat type texture to it.

Would definitely recommend for those looking to cut back on grains! I doubt it would heat up well, so I’ll have to save it for days when I have a little bit more time in the morning, but I will be making Paleo “Oats” again guaranteed!

So Lauren, it’s the end of April! What else have you been eating?

Wow, great question! Here’s a quick food tour of what’s been going on:

Shrimp tacos from Smugglers Wharf in Cedar Rapids! I got mine grilled, but David threw a beer-battered one onto my plate at the bottom. They came with lettuce, cilantro, and this yogurt sauce that I don’t even know what was in it. Heaven. Will have to try at home!

Uh, well, celery was 99 cents at Hy-Vee, so I’ve been that annoying girl that every dislikes because she’s always eating celery…

BUT it’s been awesome in EVERYTHING! Yes, including smoothies. I’ve been using frozen berries, frozen spinach, celery, water, and stevia in the mornings to make a green juice type smoothie! It sounds weird, I know. I’m not much of a juice person though (cough cough coffee), and I’ve been loving this blend.

 

Uhh, why is your oatmeal pink? I came home the other night and was absolutely craving a baked good, like a danish or a scone. To improvise, I made a small bowl of oats with chia seeds, vanilla protein powder, milk, and a spoonful of sugar-free strawberry jam! It was warm, fruity, filling, and tasted like carby baked goodness, without the hassle.

When I posted this photo to Instagram, Brueggers even commented on it. That’s how good the new Riviera bagel sandwich is from Brueggers, with a fresh egg, prosciutto, brie, and an asiago parmesan bagel!

I also made Black Bean Brownies yesterday, from Chocolate Covered Katie! They were good, but I’m not giving them their own post because I can’t rave about them a ton like I’d like to! I would recommend if you’re on a stricter diet, but I’ll probably go with something a little more “real” next time and just not eat the whole pan (kidding…kind of)

Any favorite dish you’ve had this month? I’ll be getting in some type of recipe post before finals- stay tuned!

Back Squat Max Squat

Sometimes you accomplish more before 7am than you will for the rest of the week. Sometimes on a crappy, rainy, Monday morning, you reach big goals.

Today was max testing day on back squats! Yes, yesterday was my 10km. I’ll have the recap for you on Wednesday! (Don’t worry- it went really well!) I can be such an nut job when it comes to lifting. I love how lifting makes me feel, what I can achieve mentally and physically, and the confidence boost first thing in the morning. And back squats are my favorite. So last week when we entered a new training cycle, and we saw testing was today, I could think of one milestone and one milestone only- squatting 200lbs.

I am not talking about leg press, I am talking about plates-on-a-barbell squats. The plan was to start at 80% of our max (my current max was 180lbs) and continually go up by 5%  for one rep until our strength coach told us to stop, due to bad form or too slow. Once we hit 100% it went to 103%, and then it was completely up to his discretion after that. For you math geniuses out there, yes, 200lbs was closer to 114%. No matter. I planned on smiling sweetly and asking nicely.

I hit 185lbs with (relative) ease and was told to jump directly to 195. At this point, I don’t believe in lactic acid- I believe my legs are full of concrete. I complete 195lbs and get permission to attempt 200lbs- YAAAY! We’ve been doing back squats now for half an hour, only a couple swimmers and divers are left still max testing, and the mens team is patiently waiting to get into the weight room. With our strength coach on one side and our strength intern on the other, I took the bar out to the hooting and hollering of my team mates and complete one, slow, painful rep. Successfully.

It took me seven sets of one rep to get there. I didn’t attempt beyond 200lbs. I got all the way down to parallel before I started to come back up (or my strength coach wouldn’t have counted it!) I had full confidence in the two guys spotting me in case I got into trouble. Halfway up I felt like I almost got stuck, and had to recruit EVERY muscle in my lower body and core to finish the rep.

It seems almost silly that one rep on a back squat completely made my week- but I am so so proud for reaching that milestone! For those that are wondering, yes I am sore as all heck from the run and the squats. I may or may not be able to function for the next 48 hours or walk at fast speeds, but was it worth it? Absolutely.

Hope your week kicks off strong too! (Hahahahahaha that was such a terrible pun. I couldn’t help myself.)

Any big or little goals you want to accomplish this week?

That 5 Miler

So in my 10K “Training” post I was DETERMINED to run five miles the next day in order to “prepare” for my 10k this weekend. 6am rolled around and I got out of bed right away, but surprise surprise I moved way too slow getting my stuff together. It turned into “well if I leave right now I could do 3 miles” “If I leave right now I could skip class and make 5 miles” “If I leave right now I can sprint a mile and that’s basically the same thing right?” Gah! I agonize. That determination remained though so after a couple classes and two practices, I skipped the 4pm hot tub social and hopped on the treadmill! Wet bun from the pool and all! (No swimsuit though, I did manage five minutes to put on a sports bra) I even wrestling another team mate to come with me and I scored a treadmill next to an elliptical for her. Score. Low and behold, 50 minutes later…

Time, distance, calories, pace. I wanted so badly to hit 5 miles in under 50 minutes, as my average pace including a two min walking warm up was always just above a ten minute mile. To get FIVE miles under a 10 minute pace was a huge accomplishment for me! This was just what I needed for the weekend. It was such a confidence boost to set a running goal and achieve it with the 10K on the horizon. I walked at 3.5 to warm up, and then started running at 6.2. I gradually increased my speed throughout the whole run till I finished the last three minutes on 6.8! To get through the whole workout with no walking breaks and negative splits felt awesome!

Despite the sense of accomplishment, the run was still a toughie. It was a struggle to start out. I’ve never been one for running mantras or mantras at all, but I just had to keep repeated to myself “your legs are not tired.” Even though they were, in fact, slightly fatigued. Could have been the four hours of diving that day, or the four hours of diving the day before combined with dead-lifting reps at 160lbs. Maybe had an impact.

The run also taught me the power of music. It was around the 28 minute mark when the “I’m bored” and “just walk for a minute” thoughts popped in, but thanks to my Songza app Britney Spears jumped in with a perfectly timed “Work B*tch” to get me through the slump.

The last 2 things I learned in those 51 minutes is that it IS possible to run with my practice schedule. It’s not a morning or bust kinda thing, but a find time kinda running routine. I’m always reluctant to run after two diving practices, but you know what? I can. Also, those hard-core runners are right. The first few miles are the hardest. It’s always a theory I’ve rejected due the fact that I only ever run a couple miles at a time, but the rumors are true! There is a threshold, and your body will settle into the run!

Wish me luck tomorrow folks! David and I are bib numbers #149 and #150. No pic of the bids though, I know the River Run is no Boston Marathon but I’m not risking anyone stealing the photo!

Day In The Life

So I figured I would be lucky number three! I’ve seen two different posts about “A Day in The Life,” the first from Taylor Yates and the second from Her Campus. Why not get in on the fun I thought, as it’s a post I’ve been brainstorming for a while! Some things are the same every day- like coffee, diving, and eating while I walk. But here’s a look at what a typical day would look like for me this semester!

  • 5:10am Alarm goes off! Stumble to coffee machine.

  • 5:35am Out the door for weights! If I leave before then I’m too early, and if I leave after the 35 I get anxious I’m going to be late. I never am. It’s a seven minute walk.

  • 6-7am Weights! Love lifting with my team. I’ll head home after for a second cup of coffee and breakfast (Morning Joe)

  • 8:30am First class of the day. (The Nature of Evil, blsdfuibg). The days we lift from 7-8am, I get up around 5:45am and pack my stuff for the day including breakfast so I can head straight to class!

  • 9:30am Sport Business Practices class. That’s more like it

  • 10:30am-12pm First diving practice of the day!

  • 12pm- Mad dash to the shower, get dressed, eat what I can in the locker room and the rest on the way. Eating in class can be so awkward, if I’ve got wrappers or tupperwares, it looks like I live out of my backpack (oh wait) (I do)

  • 12:30am Microecon. Meh.

  • 1:30-4pm Second diving practice of the day!

  • 4pm Sit in the hot tub for as long as I can. Think about dinner. Decide I am turning into a prune and head for the showers.

  • Sometimes I have a night class from 6:30-9pm. Last semester I had three, this semester I only have one! With practice time taking so much out of the day, sometimes they’ve just got to be done. Next semester my class schedule is awesome, with nothing over lunch for potentially the first time ever, but I do have one night class from 7:30-10:15pm (How is that even offered??)

  • Dinner- better be planned ahead or I’m about to eat everything in the apartment.

The better part of the evening is spent doing one of three things- homework, napping, or fro yo with the girls (honestly, it must happen too often). I like to chill around dinner, catching up on social media, blogs, and my room mate. After that I try to get in as much homework as I can before 9:30 or 10, and the night almost always ends with a Skype date!

Clearly you can see why I find menu planning an absolute necessity. There is nothing that bugs me more than having to spend money on food when I’m out and about, which is why my backpack always looks like it’s about the explode!

I will leave you with some inspiration from a coffee napkin

What’s the best part of your day? And what else would you like to see me write about in regards to my routine?

 

 

10km Training?

In four days, I will be running my first 10km race in about six years. I figured since I’ve only written a few times about running, I’d create a little something to let you all know how training (“training”) has been going! It’s been unique- to say the least.

So how I have been getting ready for the River Run 10km?

  • Run 4.5 miles 4 weeks before the event. Feel really good about it (Warrior Challenge anyone??)
  • Run two ish times per week after that
  • …for about 3 miles each go round
  • Get REALLY REALLY sick. Get such a good cold you get winded walking to class too fast, and you can’t walk up stairs without hacking up a lung. Live off of tea and drugs.
  • Don’t run for 9 days straight.
  • Get really bad blisters from playing soccer in flats over Easter (like so bad they bleed later. tmi?)
  • Check the weather obsessively. Then check your closet to make sure you have at least five options for race morning (rain? Really Iowa?)
  • Three days before your race (aka, tomorrow morning), plan on running five miles.
  • Eat boatloads of pasta. You can call it carb-loading
  • Take Saturday as your rest day. Because the previous non-running days you had the plague- that doesn’t count as rest.
  • Plan on max-testing your weights the week before. Nothing like a little mental challenge running on dead legs.
  • Just to add a little anxiety, wait on max-testing your squat till the Monday after your race. I am attempting 200lbs, stay tuned.

Cross your fingers and pray for nice weather! Any last minute race advice would be much appreciated. I’ll be stocking my house with coffee and bananas for the weekend, but that’s actually nothing new.

Note, I do actually feel fine about it, but it’s definitely unorthodox training! I’d recommend following a real, concrete, training plan!