Saturday, March 31, 2012

Winning and Losing

Life isn't always cupcakes with sprinkles, you know? There's good and bad and you need both to appreciate the great stuff that comes along. Here's some winning and losing that's been going on in my life lately:

Winning: I get to spend tonight with Kelsey in Knoxville! I'm heading up this afternoon and will be cheering her on at the half tomorrow as well as my friend Julie who is running her first full. So excited!

Losing:  I didn't win $540 million last night in the lottery. Such a bummer. I spent $4, you guys! But totally worth it because for two hours I got to sit around and plan what to do with my money. Islands were going to be bought. Vacations were planned. It was going to be awesome. Next time, right? I hear the odds are pretty good.


Winning: I have had a little more work this week than normal and I was really busy trying to meet some Thursday night/Friday morning deadlines. So when I was finished at Friday around lunchtime, I called it the weekend and just got started on the wine. Nothing says "work's done" like a cold glass of Sauvignon blanc and a movie on the couch!


Losing: Hip pain today on my trail run. Ugh. So over it and it definitely plays up more with lots of sharp inclines and declines.

Winning: Hip pain inside, Tim and I had an awesome trail run today! We covered 9.3 miles in 1:45. I'm so happy with that. Last week we had an average page of 14 minute miles and today (on the same trails) it was just over 11 minute miles. Boom.


Losing: Hate this. Just hate this slogan. Tim had never seen it before and was genuinely shocked. It's just bad.


Winning: After this morning's run we somehow ended up at Starbucks. Tim has this magnetic reaction and can find a Starbucks anywhere in the world. I don't typically get food there but they had a really nice lunch option: a box full of whole wheat tortillas, cheese slices, avocado, salsa, lettuce, chicken and coleslaw. And a little piece of chocolate for fun. Everything was really nice and it surprised me. Paired with a caramel light frappuccino = perfect.


I'm not the only winner today - the two winners for the Kansas City Color Run are Maureen Y. and Sarah F. Email me at gourmetrunnerblog@gmail.com for information!

Am I alone in my dislike for the slogan "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee"?
It's just terrible. Disgrace to the English language. Not to mention advertising companies. Anyone have any other bad ones? There's a great one here for People's Insurance (I think?) and the slogan is "We Do Stuff for People."

Ever play the lottery?
This is the first time since we got to America. I'm guessing we won't strike it rich through lottery tickets. I used to pick numbers for my grandma in England and it was so fun.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Very First Triathlon!

What, you thought the fact that I can't ride a bike means I can't compete in my very own triathlon at home? Well, it doesn't. Also ignore the fact that the largest body of water I've seen in a while is the bathtub. This triathlon was the real deal, folks.

First event: Biking
I know swimming is traditionally supposed to go first. So sue me. I did an easy bike ride (low-medium resistance) for one hour and covered 15 miles.



(Transition One: got off bike. Remarked on soreness of womanly places. Hopped on treadmill.)

Second Event: Running
When I get on the treadmill I always put the incline to 1% and then start the speed off at 6.0 miles per hour. I accidentally pressed 6 twice (so a 9:05 pace) and just went with it. My legs felt pretty weird after the bike, but completely warmed up and no hip pain at all. Pretty incredible, actually. I finished the 5k in 27:29 which is basically record time for me.



(Transition Two: got off treadmill. Made a peanut butter hot chocolate with milk, hot cocoa mix and peanut butter chocolate protein powder. Added whipped cream for, um...protein?)

Third Event: Swimming
Alright, fine. You got me. I actually just took a shower for this one. I guess I have a little more work to do before I sign up for that Ironman, huh?

Did you really think you were getting a picture of me in the shower?
Of the three sports in a triathlon, what is your strongest/weakest?
I would definitely say running is easiest for me. While swimming is tough, biking would be hardest since if it moves I'm bound to fall off of it. 

What do you think is harder - a 100 mile race or a full Ironman?
Hmm....I'm not sure about this one. I used to live in Kona so I saw how much effort goes into an Ironman, but I also think the mental struggle of a 100 mile run must be insane. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

And for Dessert I Had More Running

Running on trails last Sunday revealed my kryptonite. HILLS. Ironic, isn't it? If you don't know, my last name (thanks to that whole marriage thing) is Hills. Yet I hate them. Clearly I need to become more awesome as running uphill in order to live up to my new namesake.

Today I hopped on the treadmill for an 8 mile run. Every fiber of my being encouraged me to run at a 1% incline like I always do. I kept it there for a warm-up mile and from then on out, I ran the first half of each mile at a 3.5% incline. The second half was back down to 1 or 1.5% incline. The first one or two felt okay and then I was really struggling. Total stats:



Although my stats says I ran a 9:41 pace, most of the run was actually closer to a 10:00 pace for the first seven miles. The last mile of my run was like dessert. I felt like I really earned a super speedy downhill mile where I got to feel awesome and pretend I am fast so I booked it at at 8 minute/mile at 2% DECLINE.

Just for the record though, that will never, ever qualify as an actual dessert. Seriously, slap me if I ever say that running is truly dessert. Tonight's was hot chocolate with whipped cream. Amazing.


If you're married (or plan to get married in the future) did you /would you take you husband's last name?
I absolutely get why people don't. If I had multiple degrees or was more established in a career I probably wouldn't have, but it didn't matter much to me and I know it meant a lot to Tim. I didn't realize how much I would like it, to be honest.

Does the ambient temperature around you make any difference in your choice of desserts?
Not too much. If I want hot cocoa in the summer, so be it. Same goes for ice cream in the winter.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What Keeps Me Up at Night

Sleep is incredibly important to me. I hate those people who say they sleep 4 hours a night on a regular basis and can still be functioning human beings. If I sleep for 4 hours one night, I am able to do nothing but eat candy, drink caffeinated beverages, nap and watch reality television the following day. That's it. That's also reason #464 why I should probably hold off on that mom business. I am way too into my 8 hours a night.

Although I am in bed no later than midnight, well...ever, I still sometimes have a hard time getting to sleep. I wish I could tell you my thoughts revolved around important things like world peace, politics or religion, but they're not. It's a bunch of stupid crap that no one cares about. I mean, blog content. Yeah. Content.

Without further ado, the things that keep me up at night:

-What I'm Going to Eat the Next Day. Is that just so sad or do I have some company here? Sometimes I'm just drooling because I know I'll be going somewhere nice to eat the next day and sometimes I'm just meal planning or grocery shopping in my head. That's probably why I dream about things like this (both served on Saturday for lunch):

Bruschetta and sliced mozzarella topped with basil - served with lots of bread

Bruschetta = tomatoes, fresh garlic, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar left to marinate for 4+ hours.

Brownie Mess = brownies, chocolate pudding, strawberries and whipped cream
-The Geographical Accuracy of the Hunger Games. Duh. Doesn't everyone stay up late at night worrying about this? Ever since the I read the books I have been thinking about where, geographically, certain locations are found on a traditional map of North America. Visit HERE to see the map I think is most accurate. You know, for an fictional story about a post-apocalyptic world. Please visit the site to learn about what REALLY makes a nerd. For the record, you are not a nerd if you read a book that one time, can operate a computer or wear glasses with clear lenses. If you own a pocket protector then fine, you are officially a nerd.

Source
-Deciding if I'm Racist. For the record, I'm all kumbaya with multiculturalism and varied skin tones. Woot. However, I felt couldn't help but feel bad when I realized that all the Turkish people who came over for lunch on Saturday sounded like Borat at some point or another. Does that make me a bad person? I also let it slip that I had Turkish food in Athens once and they lectured me on how Greek people stole their cuisine. I may have forgotten that whole Turkish/Greek dispute. My bad.

So what keeps you up at night?
Um, did you read the post? Because it's that stuff. Also, grownup worries like money and work, but that makes for a significantly less interesting blog post.

How many hours of sleep do you get each night on average?
8. It basically varies from 7 hours and 45 minutes to 8 hours and 15 minutes. I am nothing if not predictable.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Getting Dirty with Two-A-Days

I wish I could be all intense and say I did two workouts today but in actuality I'm not sure if that's even true. Did I work out twice? Oh yes. But they were separated by a mere twenty minutes. I did, however, change running shoes and running partners. Ergo, two-a-days. Thank you.

First up was eight miles with my friends Julie and Daniel. We did 8 miles this morning at 7 and it wasn't anything amazing. I worked hard to keep the pace around 10 minute/miles but when it's only 8 miles it doesn't feel quite like a long run, you know? Marathon training messes with your head for good. I'm not sure if I'll ever be the same.

Post-run I grabbed Tim and we headed to some nearby mountain biking trails for another run. I absolutely loved it!


I know I just look like I'm sleeping in that picture, but I really did enjoy it. Plus I wore an old shirt from a trail race so I could look legit. I think I fooled the other runners on the trails.

We ran 6.2 miles in longer than it took me to run 8 miles on the road but it was infinitely harder. I had to work HARD to run 4-5 minutes at a time and then stumble up the hills. It was an ego check for me big time. I always think of myself as the better running partner in my marriage. (Sorry Tim, it's true.) Today I was rudely reminded that on the trails he kicks my butt and I really struggle. Regardless, it was fantastic. Is there anything better than running downhill on muddy trails? Best feeling ever.

Proof I wasn't on the treadmill.
Any guesses which are the shoes I wore for my first road run and which I wore for my 6 miles on the trails?

Anyone watch or follow international rugby? In Hong Kong the Rugby Sevens are basically the biggest party of the year. It's such a good time and lasts the entire weekend. This year I missed it so much. Luckily Tim caught some of the games on TV - although it wasn't the same as being there. Plus, my handsome little brother played in a rugby game right in the stadium! The younger boys who play in Hong Kong get to play early in the morning before the international teams actually take the field. Here he is (on the far left) with some of his friends/teammates and one of the New Zealand rugby players:


He won his game! So proud of him. He's the coolest kid I know and I'm proud to be his sister. Go Robert! :)

Do you follow rugby? Ever played?
I didn't know much about it growing up but I played in college for two years. My position was hooker - yes, that's the official title of the position and no, I never heard the end of it. 

Ever work out twice a day? I can't get my head around it. 
This is basically a no. Mostly because I refuse to shower twice a day and you would definitely notice if I didn't.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Turning Down Chocolate and Red Wine - Scandalous!

So tonight I saw Hunger Games. Yes- me, your mom and six million others went to the theater today to catch the movie of the year. I want to talk about it nonstop to everyone but I realize that there are three people who haven't seen it yet so I won't spoil it. But...don't bother reading the rest of my post. Just so watch the movie. It's so good that I had to pee for the last 90 minute of the film but REFUSED to get up and go to the bathroom. No way I could leave. 

Post-movie Tim and I couldn't really agree on a dinner place so he got a burger and I got a salad from Panera. I know, I know - I got a salad. But it was kind of awesome. Plus I got a weird berry tea that is kind of like crack. Delicious.


I missed the memo about having to buy a cool shirt in order to attend the Hunger Games movie. I guess I'll be team Ralph Lauren. He must have been one of the tributes that died right away? Anyway...Thai Chopped Chicken Salad. Spicy peanut sauce, cilantro, chicken breast, roasted carrots, roasted peppers and edamame.


Salad for dinner on a Friday night was a little too virtuous so I was ready for something more indulgent. Red wine and chocolate sounds good, right? How about together? Not so much. Has anyone ever tried this before? It boggles.


This morning I had one of my favorite workouts of late - a circuit workout with Tim. I spin for ten minutes while he runs, and then we do ten minutes of : push-ups, planks, crunches, teasers, side crunches, tricep dips, bicep curls and back rows. Then repeat times three. I'm always exhausted at the end but having Tim watch me makes me work harder.

I don't know if those arm workouts are working but tonight I could barely stir the batter for the brownies I made (in the oven...smell so good) so I guess it's doing something.

Chocolate red wine = awesome combination or gastronomic travesty?
Blech. Just no. What's wrong with a glass of red wine with chocolate on the side? WHY???!

Do you wait for brownies to cool before cutting and serving? Be honest. 
 Never. I hate that they put that on the box. I have to ate least scoop out one corner with a spoon while the rest cools.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Juice Cleanses: Miracle Diets or BS?

After my half marathon on Sunday I took three days off from any and all workouts. On the first day, I reveled in laziness and felt great. The second day I was itching to work out. By yesterday it became clear that exercise is a necessary part of my life. I'm so glad I took a few days off as a chance to mentally and physically rest, but today I was so ready for a run. I hopped on the treadmill and felt like I could run forever. Maybe I need to create a new training plan where you run for ten miles, take three days off and repeat.

Anyway, I ran ten miles. When I was done...I wanted food. Not juice. Not anything green and liquid. Food with protein, carbohydrates, fat and solidity. I read an article about juicing a day or two ago in Time and the whole idea has been in my head ever since. (P.S. Do you think I'm smarter now because I read Time? Don't. I flip through any one of a giant stack of magazines when I'm in the bathroom.)

The premise of the article is that although juice cleanses make you FEEL healthier, it doesn't actually, you know...make you healthier. So then what's the point? I guess I really don't get it. I'm not sure if juicing is actually supposed to taste good, help you lose weight or just be penance. Here are some quotes I found especially interesting to read:

Source
"Drinking only juice for three days or more doesn't do much but put the individual in an uncomfortable position." -Dr. Leonard Bielory, Rutgers University

On juice cleansing: "The concept has no basis in scientific support." -Dr. Benneth Roth, chief gastroenterologist at UCLA Medical Center

Even BluePrint Cleanse, a company that sells juices for cleansing, says of its products: "We don't make any claims. It's just juice."

I have no problems with juice. None at all. In fact, one of my favorite drinks is orange juice with a little champagne mixed in there. Sadly, there was nothing in the article that detailed the benefits of a mimosa cleanse. Bummer - I could get on board with that.



Personally, I have no issues with having a juicer, drinking vegetable juices or pretending that kale is liquid. Do what you like. But I'm not sure if I buy into the idea that people are SUPPOSED to be consuming only liquids. Or only fruits and vegetables.

So-what's your take? Should juices EVER be your entire diet? Should they be a supplement to a healthy diet?
I don't know of any reason (outside of medical reasons like an upcoming surgery or colonoscopy) why a person would need to avoid solid food. I think juices can be a GREAT way to add vitamins and nutrients to a diet, although personally I would prefer to just eat the items whole. 

What are the reasons you think people TRULY go on juice cleanses? More energy, to lose weight, nutrition, etc...
Maybe I'm just awfully judgmental, but I think a lot of people choose juice cleanses as a way to lose weight. Which is fine (as long as you're getting enough calories) but I don't know how sustainable it is. If you are going that route - own up to it. Don't tell me it's because you want a heightened sense of smell.


If you want to read the article yourself, you can find it HERE. If you only drink green juice and think I've got it all wrong, feel free to post any links leaning the other direction in favor of juice cleanses. I'm not an authority on the figure by any means!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I May Regret This Very Soon....

If you follow me on Facebook, you already know the big news. For me. The news probably won't affect your life in the slightest. But back to me.

Last night I was talking to Tim about the idea of tackling an ultra marathon and wanting to get back into trail running. Out of the blue, he says "I could do that with you." I nearly peed right there and then. We talked about some local races but it was clear that one stands out as the perfect choice for us: the Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K.

Maybe I'm looking at this all wrong, but I'm viewing it like a really long hike. With an elevation chart like this, I don't expect to be running all that much:


In strange opposition to...every other race I've ever run...I'm more excited about the training than I am about the actual race. Tim and I used to run and hike on trails all the time in Hong Kong and it's something I really miss.

 
So I guess now we should probably start running a lot. I've briefly looked at some training plans but I don't think I want anything that goes over 20 weeks. That leaves Tim and I with a couple months to build up his base a little and give me some more practice on trails. We are also going to need to get used to running together again. Here are a few of the problems we'll have to deal with:

-I'm bitter and jealous. It makes me angry that I have to work so much harder just to keep up to his pace.

-I'm also kind of bitchy when I'm stressed. (Read: long runs or races) I may or may not have yelled "I hate you!" when Tim told me to push through on a trail race a couple of years ago. My bad.

-Tim needs to increase his base mileage over the next few weeks.

-We're going to have to deal with training for a race over the summer in Georgia.


Do you run with your significant other? Why or why not?
Honestly, I really do love it. But I can be a difficult running partner. Luckily it's been a while so maybe Tim has forgotten how difficult I can be. 

I know there are a lot of you who have run ultras and run a lot on trails - what accessories are absolutely necessary?
I'm thinking things like hydration packs....or anything other newfangled things I clearly need to spend my money on.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weekly Workout Recap and More Free Color Run Race Entries!

Last week I ran two different races, which was a first for me. I read about people who build up for races for eighteen weeks and while I admire their determination - I just want to run more races. It's fun. It's exciting. It beats sitting home and watching reruns, you know? Here's last week's recap:

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: Ran 7 Miles
Wednesday: 30 Minutes of Spin, Upper Body and Abs for 40 minutes
Thursday: Ran 4 Miles (Including a 2 mile race!)
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: Ran 2.5 Miles
Sunday: Ran Half Marathon in Atlanta!

Total Running Mileage = 26.6 Miles. I can totally pretend I ran a marathon now, right?

Since the half on Sunday I haven't done anything remotely physical. I'm at that stage where my calendar is completely free and clear. Sadly, the Colorado Ragnar Relay that I was signed up for changed their dates so our team couldn't make it work. So I have no races planned and I feel a little lost. I know I can just, you know, run. I get that. But I feel more motivated if I have some kind of a goal. I've given it some thought and here are the things I would love to achieve over the next year:

-Run another marathon (with adequate training). I would love to run the same one as I did last year, Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon. It will sell out soon so I definitely need to make a final decision in the coming weeks.

-Get faster. There's no doubt that since last November (my first marathon) I have gotten slower. I have had a couple of minor injuries and digestive troubles but I know that's not entirely to blame. I need to get comfortable pushing myself, running hills and GOING OUTSIDE TO RUN. The treadmill is just too comfortable for me.

-Consider maybe, possibly, (I swear I'm not crazy) running an ultra. Stop shaking your head. I'm serious. Here's the thing - I'm not good at pushing myself with speed. But I love being on my feet. When I finish a long run, I enjoy walking around for a few miles afterwards. And sometimes after a while I'm even ready to start running again. I would be interested in finding some kind of ultra where I could push my limits. Also a bonus would be a lenient course cut-off because I know I won't be able to finish a 50k in 5 or 6 hours.



Since I want everyone and their mom to get to run more races - here's two more free race entries to the Color Run. This week the entries are good for the July 1st encore race in Kansas City. Here's how to win:

Leave a comment for each entry. Nothing is mandatory, but each will increase your odds of winning.
+1: Like the Color Run on Facebook
+1: Like the Gourmet Runner on Facebook
+1: Blog, Tweet or post of Facebook about this giveaway

I will pick the winners for this giveaway on March 26th and midnight and reveal the winners the following day! EDITED TO ADD: I will extend the deadline by 48 hours because there was some confusion on Facebook on entry.

What are your long-term fitness goals?
I would like to be able to run an ultra at some point. Preferably alone, as strange as that might sound. I enjoy being on my own and having the option to run/walk whenever I want to. 

Any advice for me? Feel free to include advice like "getting faster and ultra training are never going to happen at the same time" because I'm kind of afraid that's true. 
I'm definitely worried that I can only have one or the other. If that's true - I pick distance. I'm much more comfortable with longer workouts than harder workouts.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Publix Georgia Half Marathon Recap

Today was my first big girl race. I have only ever run trail races, small town races and even my marathon had less than one thousand finishers. Today there were close to twenty thousand runners doing the Publix Georgia full and half marathons and I will admit I was kind of freaked out.



I guess I had visions of being trampled by thousands of angry runners who were upset I snuck into their corral but it turned out okay after all. The race began at 7am in the dark which was another first for me. I got into Corral H which was clearly marked and may have started dancing. Come on - they were playing LMFAO before a race. I got pumped and started the shuffle to the start.


Since it was my first race of this size I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get across the start line but it was about 7 minutes so definitely not bad at all. I made friends with the runners in my corral and we prayed that no full marathon runners would cross the finish line before us. (I was spared - I think the winners started coming in a good ten or fifteen minutes after me, thank God.)

The temperatures at the start were almost 70 and I was drenched by mile one even though it was still dark. Thankfully most of the course is shaded and I was really only in the sun the last two miles or so. As for the elevation of this course: there is no flat. Really, I promise I'm not exaggerating. On the plus side there are definitely a lot of downhills to balance out the uphills. 


Toward the end I was praying for a flat piece of road but it was either up or down the whole way. Most runners around me were able to maintain a pretty steady pace the whole time so it was definitely me who just needed to be stronger.

Highlights of the Course:
-Great crowd support. Groups of neighbors came out to cheer and it was a fun atmosphere. 
-A lot of people who were clearly still out from their Saturday night before were cheering us on and pretty entertaining to watch. 
-Water spray stations to cool runners down (twice on the half marathon course).
-Water/Gatorade nearly every mile and Gu in the middle. 

As soon as I crossed the finish line I started being handed stuff and I liked that. I ran out of hands because I basically took anything that was being passed out. After my medal and (ice cold) water and chocolate milk I grabbed a cold towel full of ice water and then found Tim for a regulation post-race shot.


Do you see that, chocolate milk people? I'm shilling your products. Send me awesome places now, please. Thank you. After I downed my drinks I got a bag of food (the sponsor was Publix) and I thought it was a good haul post-race: cookies, M&Ms, banana, pretzels and granola bar.

For all of you people who are secretly hoping I was sick during this race - I was ok! I started feeling bad every time I started pushing it up a hill so I ended up walking maybe 10 times to catch my breath every time I felt sick and I was fine. I decided early on with the heat and hills just to take it easy and I'm so glad I did. Final time/ranks as follows:

Chip Time: 2:20:12 
Division Place: 188/385
Sex Place: 2454/5113
Overall Place: 5337/9123

I think that puts me solidly in the middle of each category. I can do average so incredibly well!

I had to check out of the hotel early this morning so I just headed back to the room and showered after the race. I wish I had stuck around because the whole post-race party looked like a lot of fun. I had my own party after all because Tim and I went to Ikea. I managed to find somewhere comfy to relax, don't worry:


The alleged reason we went to Ikea was to look at rugs and blinds but really I just wanted to eat lunch there. They have these amazing veggie wraps and I get one almost every time I go. Today, though, I was really needing more than a veggie wrap. Solution? Get two meals. 


Veggie wrap on the left and salmon, mashed potatoes and vegetables on the left. Perfect. Tim had pasta which is such a waste to me. PASTA IS CHEAP - eat it at home! 

Oh, I should also say - the tech tee and the medal are both the best I have gotten from a race. The medal is heavy and clearly that means I am a better runner. It makes sense in my head.

Do you prefer big or small races?
I've always said small races but now I want to say big ones. As long as I am staying close by and can walk to the start it is really ideal. 

Would you rather pay for cheap race with no extras or pay a little more for a nice tech tee, medal, snacks, etc.?
I would still probably pick the cheaper races because of budget but I certainly like the perks!

TL; DR (Atlanta, Baby!)

My apologies in advance for writing this mammoth post. Feel free to skip it and head to the next one specifically about my race today. I just feel like I had a bunch of stuff to say and I know my mom will read it. Probably. Mom?

Saturday Tim and I drove to Atlanta after a few hours of work and managed to time it perfectly with the end of the St. Patrick's Day parade. Not my finest moment. Turns out parades and city traffic don't mix well. Aside from that last mile which took 45 minutes we were fine and arrived at the oh so swanky Days Inn in Downtown Atlanta. Just kidding, the hotel was pretty crappy but for $70 and a five minute walk to the start and finish I'll deal with it.

Because we were later than planned I basically sprinted to the expo - totally unnecessary. There was no line at packet pick up and no line when I went to the solutions desk (to switch from the full to the half). YES. That was my biggest fear about a race of this size and it was totally fine. Then I caught sight of the Cho-Mobile giving out free Greek yogurt:


Heaven. I met up with Lindsay from Chobani who hooked me up with some yogurt to take home. Being the genius I am, I accepted a bagful and then realized we didn't have a fridge in the room. No problem - I just tossed them in the room's rubbish bin and kept topping it up with ice. Not letting my Cho go to waste. 

Here's Lindsay and I with Julie who stopped by to say hi and ran the half today:


Tim and I met up with Suz and Allan and we headed over to the first restaurant outside of the convention center. My kind of people. None of this walking around saying, "no really, where do YOU want to go?"

I swear we didn't tell them to stand in a manly way.

Me and Suz
The restaurant we went to was TacoMac which (apparently) is known for having over 130 beers on tap. I had a sip of one. Happy St. Patrick's Day, indeed. While the guys were pondering the extensive beer list Suz and I were actually more exited about the big coke machine. Have you seen one of those before? It serves over 100 different types of soda and I was such a tourist. At least I asked the waitress politely if I was allowed to take photos. She laughed - which I took as a yes. 

Bloggers in Action
I ordered a pulled turkey burger with coleslaw and sweet potato fries. Next time - skip the burger and just order three orders of fries. They were amazing.


Post meal we walked around to find the start corrals. I get a little obsessive about being late to races so I wanted to know exactly how long it would take to walk. It was five minutes. I overestimated by roughly 30 minutes. 

Any guesses what I did on St. Patrick's Day in Atlanta after the sun went down? If you guessed watched reruns of Jeopardy on the hotel television then you are as sad as I am and should try to get out more. 

Do you show up to races with plenty of time to spare or 2 minutes before the start?
If it's me on my own then I basically help them set up, it's that early. Tim makes me wait and show up a reasonable time (usually so he can sleep in longer.)

Sweet potato fries or regular?
Stupid question. No contest. Remember those SAT vocab questions? Well, here's one for you:
Q: Sweet potato fries are to regular potato fries what champagne is to: ?
A: Boxed wine. Really, really old boxed wine.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Tale of Two Photographers & Atlanta Meetup Details

I've had my fair share of bad photographs. By "fair share" I mean roughly 99% of the photos of me running look hideous. Apparently I run with both feet on the ground, eyes closed and hunched over for most races. Pretty sexy, if you ask me.

Yesterday's race got captured by two photographers from the local newspaper. Although they were taken a second or two apart they tell two completely different race stories.

Exhibit A: Powering through the finish. Looking strong. Vomit, me? Puh-lease. I rock at life.


Exhibit B: Death. Exhausted. Weird leg thing going on. Strange rat tail that I swore was just a regular braid at the beginning of the race.


Pretty amazing how two photos taken at the same time can convey such very different things.  Also - what's the deal on stealing race photos and putting them on your blog? Typically I feel guilty but these photos aren't for sale (just used by the newspaper) so I guess I feel okay about it.  Feel free to tell me if I'm wrong here. 

So I have a fun group of people getting together tomorrow at the Publix Atlanta Marathon and Half Marathon Expo! It's at the Georgia Congress Center in Building A and is completely free to the public so anyone who happens to be in Atlanta should come. We'll be meeting at the Chobani display at 4:30, giggling, taking excessive amounts of photos and then stuffing our faces at a restaurant nearby. How can you resist that? No need to be a blogger or runner. Just be human. Please, please be human. 

Meeting internet friends in real life - weird or awesome?
Both. So strange to hear someone's voice when you only know their written word. But awesome because it feels less weird to say "my friend..." if you actually met them. 

What's your take on race photos used in blogs?
It doesn't really bother me at all but I guess I always feel guilty if the picture is for sale and I screencap it for free.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Didn't Vomit! (And Two Winners!)

So I guess you guys guilt tripped me into running the race today. I'm kind of bitter and hold you all responsible for my blah race. On the upside I didn't vomit. I repeat: I DID NOT VOMIT!

Since I had a few hours to kill in Dalton this afternoon I hung out in Kroger reading all their magazines. Suckers. I also had a bathroom photo session. I totally get why people do them now. Total boredom.


Then I tried on a ton of clothing at a TJMaxx and felt like a thief going into the dressing rooms with a backpack. Luckily I'm pretty harmless looking. Panera let me hang out for a couple of hours and read and it was actually pretty awesome. It poured with rain in the afternoon and now there are thunderstorms, but for the race? Perfect.

So...2 mile race. Showed up. Ran just under 2 miles to warm up. Felt awesome. Started the race. Fast. Awesome. First mile under 8 minutes. Felt barfy. REFUSED to let vomit leave my mouth. Walked. Sprinted. Vomity mouth. Walked. Repeated that the for the entire last mile. My pace for the race:

Can you spot the three don't puke breaks?


Thankfully with a race of 300 I still managed to get second in my age group with 18:48. Thanks, women aged 20-24 for staying home and being lazy. Appreciate it.



Also up: the 2 winners of the Atlanta Color Run race! They are:




Congrats! Send me an email at gourmetrunnerblog@gmail.com so I can let you know how to get your free entries!

Would you rather PR in a race or win an AG medal?
PR, definitely. I probably say that because so many of the races around here are small. I have to say though - I was really disappointed with my time but once I got a medal I was pretty ok with it after all!

Have you ever won a great door prize?
Today I won one (a local running club glass) and my two friends did too - pretty awesome! 

Cast Your Vote to Decide My Fate

That sounded so dramatic, didn't it? I feel like it was very Hunger Games-esque. I may just think that because I'm so freaking excited for the movie next week, but whatever.

Here's the deal: I signed Tim and I up to run a 2 mile St. Patrick's Day race tonight at 6:30 about 45 minutes from home. Then I figured out that Tim has to work this afternoon and won't be able to make it. No big deal, I'll run on my own. Big girl panties and all.

Except...we have this car:


And that's it. Yep, we are a one car family. Since I work from home and Tim works part time it works out for us about 99.9% of the time. The exception, of course, being today. The only possible way for me to run the race right now is to be dropped off somewhere in town, hang out for four hours and then walk to the race.

No big deal. I can just bring my laptop and do some work in a cafe and then walk over to the race before it starts. Except the weather will look like this:


It's March. Please explain the mid-summer thunderstorms to me ASAP.

So here's where you come in. I'll list the pros and cons of a) going to the race, and b) skipping it. You vote in the comments.


Attending the Race:
I'll feel badass.
I'll get to hang out in Panera for 4 hours and people watch. (I'm sorry, I meant "work.")
This will be my first chance in several months to run a really short race and test out my speed.
I'll undoubtedly get soaked and need to wrap my computer in garbage bags so it doesn't get wet.
The more it rains the more my chances improve for an AG award in an already very small race.
I'll get a chance to wear the festive socks I bought from Target.



Skipping the Race:
I'll have wasted the registration fee ($20)
I will be at home, dry and comfortable.
I'll face the wrath of angry bloggers who think I'm a wuss.
Who cares? Again, home, dry, comfortable.


So, what's it going to be? Cut and paste one of the following into the comments with your reasoning:

"Buck up and don't be a wuss! Race in the rain."
OR
"Stay home! You don't need to prove anything. Wear the socks for fun!"

Once it gets a little closer to race time, I will compile all your answers and then....

Make up my own damn mind. I'm a grown ass woman, you guys.