Monthly Archives: February 2010

Race Day, Baby!

What an AMAZING four days in Florida.  They literally flew by, especially today…which was race day!  We started with an extreeeeemely early wake-up call at 4:00am.

My personal race ritual is a small-ish carby “snack” to get something in my stomach.  In this case, it was half of my Pumpkin Muffin from Fresh Market, witha a smear of AB

It was then time to gear up, and head out!

We headed out in the somewhat chilly Tampa morning air towards the race!  We were a bit nervous at first, because the traffic was a bit backed up.  Kim being a native Floridian knew just the right back roads to get us just feet away from the starting line…which was INSANITY.

This was my first experience with what I would call a “big” race.  My first half marathon, The Haunted Half in October, was TINY compared to this bad boy.  What was so odd was the race “starting” and us not even crossing the start line until about 6:00 minutes in.  Totally bizarre.  Another frustrating thing was that for literally the first two miles, we were WALKING it was so congested.  It was really hurting our time, and stressing me out.  I was totally ready to maintain/beat our previous time of 1:46…but this was going to be a doozy.  Also…by mile *2* my knee started to hurt….bad.

I was in complete panic mode because I knew I had 11 more miles to go, and it was going to get 10,000 times worse.  The problem is in the left side of my left knee, slightly below my knee cap.  It starts out as a dull sharp pain, but progresses into a jabbing pain which if not stopped, totally messes with my stride and time.  I had to honestly put ALL my weight in my right knee, and run with my left knee/leg sideways.  I probably looks utterly ridiculous….but it was working somewhat.

Around mile 3 it finally started to clear up, and Emily and I maintained an 8:00/7:45 minute per mile  pace with the use of my trusty Garmin.

Don’t let the grin fool you…..I would have given up the rights to my first born child at this point to make the knee pain go away.

Luckily, beautiful scenery…an awesome running buddy…and some good tune-age distracted me from the pain somewhat.

At this point (around mile 5) I had a system developed.  I would run with the majority of my weight on my right foot for about a mile…or until my right hip started killing me due to the stress.  At that point, I would switch to a normal stride, and just live with the left knee pain.  This was I got a little break from one type of pain each time.  It SUCKED….hardcore.  But I could live with it, and was somehow managing to maintain our 7:45/8:00 pace.

I have never had to push myself so physically.  Knee/pain of any kind definitely adds a whole new dynamic to running.  I knew I could do it though, and I didn’t want myself or Emily down.  We were on pace and it felt great (mentally, that is.  😉 )

We were almost there, 11 miles.  2 to go.  I knew I could do ANYTHING at this point…and when I saw this random guy’s shirt…it was on.

I don’t know if it was reading that slogan, or having a kick booty final song, but I went into full out SPRINT…knee about to bust.

WE MADE IT!  I literally almost buckled down, and my knee had had enough.  I DID IT!!!!!!  I was so worried, but we were able to almost match out previous Half time, and with it being so congested at first…I was beyond excited!

Shortly after, Kim joined us…and rocked it as well!  Go Krucker!!!!!!

At this point, I literally had to HOBBLE to the car, but I didn’t care…I had done it!  Free food helped ease the pain. 😉

Once we made it back to the car…and to Kim’s house…we still had time to explore before out flight left at 6:30!  I was VERY sick to my stomach for about two hours, and literally just sat around and did nothing.  I didn’t even want to eat which is extremely rare for me.  😉  I have decided it is the Gu’s mixed with me NEVER taking water from the water stations.  I think it dehydrates me so much, that my stomach goes into major cramps.  It has happened before, but this time it was even worse.  It was totally worth it, though…check out the sweet medals!

Totally worth all the pain.  I swear!  Once my stomach FINALLY settled down, I grabbed some oatmeal from Starbucks:

Also…a beautiful Florida day, and a glorious beach never hurt either.

Perfection.

The munchies finally started to kick in on the way back to Kim’s to pack and get ready to leave:

Emily and I also participated in what can best be described as a pack of hyenas dis-assembling a small African gazelle.  It went un-documented but included:

  • Various handfuls of cereal
  • Leftover stuffed shells
  • Biscotti
  • Iced Coffee
  • Lemon Loaf
  • Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies
  • Vanilla Wafers
  • Hummus/Pretzels

That’s just a taste…but it’s all I can remember.  This happened shortly after:

Nah….she’s not dead.  She’s just in a food coma.

It was then time to LEAVE.  Sad and depressing times followed as we made our way to the airport, and flew back home.  It was nice to see familiar faces at the airport, we even had a SIGN!  I felt like a celebrity!

Sweeeeeeet!  😀  I love my little Trey!  He is basically my son, the same one I would have given up had the knee pain go away.  On second thought, I think I could even endure the knee pain to see this face daily!

What. A. Weekend.

Had an absolute blast, and ended today on an extremely high note.  I came home and fixed a quick dinner.

2 wheatabix, plus Almond Butter, Strawberries, and Almond Milk.

I ate this in 5 seconds flat, and am ready to collapse immediately.

Do not ever, for one SECOND second guess yourself, mind, or body.  It is amazing what the human mind can and will do in despite of hardships that are presented to it.  Push, crawl, kick, scream, DIG your way to get what you want.  It may be a very long and hard journey, but it will ALWAYS be worth it.  Always.

This quote sums up the day:

Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond the pain.” -Saint Bartholomew

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We DID IT!!!

posting from the phone….but we did it!!!  My knee is literally about to pop in half…..and we were  totally congested for the first 2 miles…but we did it in about 1:48:00….and I am ecstatic!!!!  More later!!

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Well, here goes nothing.

This is my last post before I run 13.1 miles for the second time ever!!!!!!!  Eeeeeeeek!!!!!!

We headed over to Kim’s brothers house where his wife had the perfect pre-run carb fest for the runners!!!

The “Greek” salad was about as legit as it comes.  She is Greek!

Enough of that green nonsense.  GIVE ME THOSE CARBS!

Pure, un-adulterated carb festival IN MY MOUTH.

Sometimes I think a long run is just an excuse to eat like a maniac and feel justified about it.

Stuffed Shells, Greek Salad, Potato Salad, and a hunk-o-bread the size of Rhode Island.

Sugar was also required in the form of an amazing strawberry/banana/angel food cake Trifle.

Wipe up that drool.  Thank you.  IT WAS AMAAAAAAAAAAAZ-AH-EENG.

Spent some cuteness time with Kim’s nephew Ryan…

And then promptly sped home to attempt sleep.  Wake up call is 4am, so we can get there by 5…and race at 6:00am!!!!!!!!!

*freakout*

Ok…..just gotta breath.  I hate these pre-race nerves!!!  What do you guys do to calm them? I swear that last 10 minutes standing there waiting to start is the worst. 10. minutes. of. Tyler’s. life.

Well, ready or not…it is time to do this thing.  I am hoping for the best with the knee, and prepared to push through the pain and rock this bad boy OUT!

The OCD in me had to prepare my outfit…complete with my new FITNESS pack (ok…it is totally a glorified fanny pack) which I can carry my CAMERA in.  If I am feeling froggy, there will be IN RACE pics!  Score.

See you guys at the finish line.  😉

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Almost time for 13.1!

We just picked up our swag bags!!!!  Check out all the goodies that we got in our bag (there may have also been some purchased items.) 😉

(tee hee hee)

I was slightly excited.

Let’s rewind to breakfast this morning.

Florida fruit anyone?!?!

Fresh fruit plus homemade lemon/banana bread.  Yes, PUHLEASE!  Gotta carbo load right?!?!  And c’mon, you know there was oatmeal involved.

Check out this spread!

My delicious portion:

Then it was off to the expo!!!

We had to get nice and pretty.

…and hydrated.

And we saw WATER!  Yay for the ocean!

Then it was time for the expo, which I think is the exact moment that Tyler entered shopping mode.  Shopping mode is a no-holds-barred crazed rage that is reminiscent of a lion stalking it’s prey.

Yes, I am.

It’s free stuff timeeeeeeeee!  *girl squeal*

Nothing like a free snack to get me through my spending spree.

They had this awesome wall with ALL the racers names on it!

Guess whoooooooo?

BAM!  Instant celebrity status…even if it was only centimeters long.

I was seriously in my own little world.

Look at the views we got to see today!

Arrrrrrrgh matey!!!  (first and last Pirate joke, I swear)

We went to a little local place for lunch…

I think I was able to find the ONLY veggie item on the menu:

Veggie burger goodness with FRIES!  I never get fries.  This is a special occasion, however.  I do have a small love affair with fried spuds.

On that note, it is time for massive amounts of delicious Cherry Coffee, and to Kim’s brothers house for a delicious homemade Italian pre-run FEAST!  So excited.

I AM SO PUMPED GUYS!!!!!!!  I got some new knee tape that I will be trying out on the ole knee, and I am still going to push to beat my last time of 1:46:00…..c’mon knee….it’s just 13.1 miles.  You can dooooooooo it!!!!!

Peace out yall!

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That’s it…I am moving here.

Hello again from Florida!!!

Check out this dinner spread Kim’s amazing family had prepared:

We had this delicious spread which included an amazing fruit/spinach salad, as well as HOMEMADE mac and cheese.  It was heavenly.  They also had grilled chicken, which I substituted with my leftover Eggplant from lunch.

It was awful, TERRIBLE.  😉  I think if I wasn’t in the company of other human beings, I would have promptly grabbed the plate and licked it clean.  Common courtesy prevented that……..barely.

It was then time to head to Fresh Market!

Insert the biggest citrus fruit I have ever seen in my life.  Welcome to Florida, I suppose.

Bowling balls I tell you, bowling balls!!!!!

They even had FREE coffee.  This wasn’t just any coffee.  Check out the flavor, and prepare your mouth for moisture.

They also had the oddest chocolate I have ever seen.

Bacon. Chocolate.           I’m gonna let everyone think about that for a minute.  Go on, I will wait.

…..

..

.

Ok….back to goodness:

Plus the rarest dried fruit out there….dried Kiwis!

Then it was off to Publix!

Where I ran into my dear friend…

We finished grocery shopping (sad!) an headed to a fun harbor at Tampa Bay!

What a night.  Seriously best day ever!!!!!!!  I cannot wait!  Tomorrow morning I have a huge pumpkin muffin from Fresh Market to look forward to, as well as some fresh Florida fruit!  So stoked!  We also may do some shopping.  😉

G’night from down south!

P.S., how friggin cute is Kim’s nephew Ryan?!?!?

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Florida Sun!

Ok, I am totally moving here.  Look what I woke up to

I think it became officially Florida when there was an ORANGE TREE in the backyard.

Look at this view!!

I am moving here.  It’s official.  We are staying with Kim’s family…and they stocked up on yummy organic food just for us.  Total love!

Oatmeal and toast it was!  I topped the oatmeal with the Almond Butter plus my homeade trail mix.  It was a mix of Kashi Strawberry Fields, Raisins, Soynut Trail Mix, and the LAST of my Dark Chocolate Covered Edamame Beans

Even in Florida I can make a mean bowl-o-oats.

Oats, Eziek, Smart Balance, Coffee.  YUM!

We hung out for a while and before we knew it.  Lunch was calling.  (ok, maybe we slept in slightly.)  😉

We were then off to have a lunch at one of Kim’s favorite local Italian places…

We started carb loading for the race a little early. 😉

They had tons of tasty looking options..

Grilled Eggplant….yes, please!

This combo was absolutely amazing.  The melty cheese, pesto, peppers, and eggplant made a fantasmic combination!  I love these little local places.  Emily was in full force blogging and carb-loading as well.

After lunch it was time for stereotypical Florida tourist fun!

All I was missing was a Hawaiian shirt, big floppy hat, and fanny pack.  I am seriously in love with this weather!

Did I mention I was a major tree hugger.

Oh yes, I am rocking the flip flops.  Took a while for my feet to re-adjust to them!  It was like a body trying to reject a virus!  Don’t worry, it eventually caved and accepted the open toe-ness.

Snacked on my favorite while waiting on dinner…

Now we are back at Kim’s house waiting for a delicious dinner (I smell it wafting in my room which is a clear sign that I need to be tracking down the whereabouts of this amazing odor.)

We are going to do my favorite activity post dinner.  GROCERY SHOPPING!  Publix and Fresh Market are on the agenda.  Hey you Clearwater/Tampa peeps, where else do I need to go?!?!

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FLORIDA!!!!!!! I heart thee.

I made it!!!!!!!!  This one is going to be short and sweet, because quite frankly….I am on the verge of collapse.

Between the packing and craziness, I was able to throw together a scrumptious fungi-lunch!

Covered this baby with some Laughing Cow Swiss..

Twas a baked mushroom beast.  Yummy!  Paired it with some of my favorite wheat crackers, and some spicey steamed brussels (red pepper flakes are your FRIEND, people)

Dessert was equally yummy.  Good ole Attune to the rescue.

I packed, re-packed…evaluated my packing…then packed some more.  I am anal about having everything I need, and in order.  The furry animals didn’t want me to leave.

😦  Sad times leaving them!!!

I headed to Johnson City to teach my KidFit class, and then rushed home for a quick dinner.  I was craving carbs…

2 Kashi Waffles covered in a diced plum/apple.  I made a “sauce” by combining equal parts Almond Butter, Greek Yogurt, and Peach Jam.  So good.

Once that was inhaled, I finished packing.  How does a blogger boy with limited space still pack nutritious goodness?!?!  Hide it in a shoe, obviously.

(I swear I managed to cram 13 bars in one shoe.)

Christie came over to take us to the airport!  I can’t believe it’s finally time!

And the best driver I could ever ask for:

Our plane arrived!!!

I was terrified.

Luckily once we got above the clouds…and it was snack time…I was back to being happy.

This handful times about 5…plus one of my new favorite bars!

The good thing about being with health junkies….plenty of snacks to share!!!!

Suddenly the plane anxiety dissipated as soon as the Trader Joe’s Pretzel Thins came out.  Funny how that happens.

Before I knew it, we had landed!  GROUND, glorious ground!

I made it, I made it!!! *jumps*

I cannot wait for tomorrow!  They have oatmeal here waiting for me (LOL) and I saw a Publix literally 5 minutes from here.  Tyler is going to be verrry happy this weekend.

Have a good one bloggies!!!!

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