Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Long weekends are never long enough

I wish that work and fun could trade places so I could have more fun and work less. Unfortunately, the reality is that I have bills to pay and sometimes fun is expensive, so I guess I'll have to keep working to support the activities in my life that I consider fun.

The long weekend was pretty nice. As I mentioned last week, I was beginning to feel the effects of some serious overtraining, so I took a few days off from working out. In addition to needing rest, I figured my iron deficient blood was probably part of the reason I was so tired. Thursday on my way home from work I stopped at Whole Foods and picked up a nice grass fed organic rib eye steak and brought it home for dinner. I seared it on both sides and cooked it to a perfect medium pink inside, just simple salt and pepper to season it and it melted in my mouth. It was delicious!

Friday was the longest day EVER at work. Fridays before a long holiday weekend are usually pretty painfully dull. There wasn't much work to do and it was really quiet. Back in the day when the company was smaller and less corporate, management use to go around on these types of days and tell everyone to leave early. Not anymore. Now we have to stay exactly 8hrs no matter how little work there is to do. Stay busy or pretend to be busy, work-life balance is a nice to have idea they talk about but don't really encourage. I miss the good ole days. I finally escaped and was free for the weekend! I didn't really do much right away, I was just happy to have 72 hours out of my corporate slave shackles. Rest and relaxation was the highest priority.

Saturday morning I attempted to sleep in and made it to about 6:00am. I lounged around for most of the morning and then I got dressed and headed into Boston to pick up my race packet for the Run to Remember Half Marathon. I walked around the expo for a bit and just enjoyed a little people watching while I was there, I mean I had already paid for parking so I might as well hang out for a bit right. Once the novelty of freebies and creepy clown watching (not making fun of people, there really were creepy clowns there) wore off I left. On my way home I stopped at the mall and then Trader Joes. I got some cute new running skirts at Lululemon and stocked up on peanut butter at Trader Joes.

Once I made it home, I did some of what I do best during rest time - baking. One of my friends is doing a body building competition next weekend and has been on a really strict diet in preparation for it so I promised her I would make her cupcakes to enjoy after the competition. I wanted to make sure the recipe I had was good so I made a practice batch. Just plain vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting and all natural sprinkles. I used stone ground whole wheat flour and organic eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla. Once they were done I recruited my neighbor Annie and her daughter Janelle to taste test them for me. They approved. I tasted one too and I have to admit, they are really good.

I went to bed early so I'd be well rested for the race the next day. Sunday I got up early and got dressed, packed my fuel belt, and drove into Boston. Even at 6am it was already just over 70 degrees out with 80% humidity. Not my ideal running conditions, but I wasn't expecting a PR or anything crazy. I never 'race' the Run to Remember. The course is totally flat and probably could be a PR course for me, but for some reason I HATE it. It's a long out and back on Memorial drive and it starts and finishes at the Seaport World Trade Center. It's always hot and humid and I almost always bonk at mile 9 of the course, but I still register for the race every year.

I decided right from the beginning that I was just going to go easy and just enjoy running for 13.1 miles. The first 5 miles my legs felt a little heavy and sluggish, but then something clicked and they suddenly remembered, "oh yeah, this is what we do". I found my stride and got comfortable. For the first time out of the 4 times I've run this race I didn't bonk at mile 9, quite the opposite, I picked up the pace. I found my friend Scott at mile 11, tapped him on the shoulder and said "come on let's finish strong" to which he replied "you're passing me, you little B*$&%". That made me smile. I kept it up and finished strong like I said. I didn't PR, but I finished exactly in the time I was shooting for, 2:10, and I felt great! That was the best part. My energy and motivation had returned, hopefully my speed will be following soon. I recovered with some Mix1 Mango all natural protein drink (it's awesome - try it!) and headed home for a shower and a nap.

Monday, Memorial Day, my plan was to get in a little active recovery on my bike, then I got a text from my friend Cherie inviting me over to hang out by her pool. I merged the two ideas and biked to her house. It felt so good to get on my bike. I made it to her house in really good time too. I thought it might take me close to an hour to get there taking back roads and not knowing exactly how far it was, but it ended up being only about 8.5 miles and it only took me 30minutes. I helped Cherie make some fruit salad with her son Mitchell (who happens to make the best cup of coffee in the world). Kim and Bill and Ryann joined us shortly after we finished the fruit salad. We all cooled off in the pool as the day heated up. It was a great relaxing day just chillin' with great friends. I biked home around 4:30 and hit up the grocery store before retiring to my couch for the evening and setting my alarm clock for another work week.

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