Weekend Fun + Fit Foodie 5k Fairfax Race Recap

Hey friends! I hope you all had great weekends! Ours was fun but very soggy – it poured all day on Saturday and Sunday. Bummer!

Friday was beautiful, though, so Matt and I took advantage and kicked off the weekend with a nice stroll and an al fresco dinner at Rustico. I love their market salad – the chew of the barley, the chopped lacinato kale, the crunchy fennel, the juicy blueberries – perfection. I got the large size and asked for salmon on top – enough for leftovers the next day too!

rustico ballston dinner salads

Matt and I also shared some of their truffled fries, which are phenomenal. Perfect crispiness. :)

rustico ballston fries

We spent the rest of Friday night cozied up on the coach with Netflix! We watched a documentary on the Barkley Marathons, which is an ultra-marathon trail race held in the mountains of Tennessee. It’s widely considered to be the toughest 100+ mile race in the world. Only 40 people are accepted to attempt it each year, and generally only 1 to 2 people – and sometimes 0 – finish. Totally insane. I first found out about it because of of my friends in my co-working office has actually done the race twice! He’s never finished but got really close this year – made it to the 5th (and final) lap before deciding to take an impromptu nap on the side of the trail. Lol! The race recaps on the website are fascinating/insane. One of the challenges of the course is that it changes each year and nothing is marked – you have to figure out navigation as part of the adventure. Crazy! Check out the documentary – it’s fascinating.

I had weird dreams on Friday night that I was running Barkley/lost in the woods, but luckily when I woke up I realized I “only” had to run a 5k. ;)

fit foodie race fairfax

Matt and I were generously offered bibs for the Fit Foodie 5k race in Fairfax on Saturday by my friends at the American Lamb Board. Thank you to them for having us! (Psst: want some lamb-inspired recipes? Try my Greek Lamb Burgers – awesome for summer grilling – and Slow Cooker Stewed Lamb and Vegetables – great for this gray/chilly weather.) Here we are rocking our fun “run with our flock” shirts pre-race!


We were bummed when we woke up to see that it was POURING out and that the weather forecast showed no signs of the rain letting up until afternoon. Rainy 5k it was! We hid inside until just before the race start and then headed out into the downpour to get ready to go shortly before the 7:30 a.m. start time.

fit foodie race fairfax

There were a lot of fellow bloggers in attendance at this race which was fun – we ran into Ashley when we first arrived and then hung out with Dorothy and Colleen in the corral while waiting for the race to start.

fit foodie 5k start

And we’re off! I hadn’t run a 5k in YEARS and my old 5k PR was the same pace per mile as the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler I just did last month, so I set out to race! My coaches told me to aim for around a 7:30 minute mile and then to pick it up depending how I felt. Unfortunately I forgot to turn my watch on until just before the race so the satellites didn’t pick up in time and the pace was off – oh well! I ran by feel instead and just focused on going as quickly as I could/keeping a pace that I knew I could keep up based on feel. It’s amazing how much my track workouts have helped with knowing what a maintainable/threshold pace “feels” like.

fit foodie 5k fairfax

After doing so many long races recently, it was pretty sweet to know I would be done after 3.1 miles! I’ll be honest I didn’t love this course – it was on not so beautiful highway/main streets and they had us in a small area so there were a billion really tight 180 degree switchbacks which always makes it hard to maintain pace. The other challenge, which was obviously not the race’s fault, was dodging all the massive rain puddles! The race series did a good job of having people at all the turns to make sure we knew where we were going and to warn us about especially large puddles, which was helpful. :)

Given the pouring rain I didn’t do a warm up before the race so it took me a little bit to get into the groove, but as the race continued I started feeling really good and picked up the pace more and more. Matt took off ahead right at the start but I ended up passing him about a half mile before the finish – he finished about 10 seconds behind me. ;) I don’t have my watch to confirm but I’m pretty positive I did some serious negative splits!

The finish area was another thing I didn’t like about this race – they have you do two laps of the finish line so that when you come back the second time to finish you have to cross over all the runners about half a mile behind you in the race in order to get to the side where you need to finish. This was not only super confusing (Matt finished on the wrong side of the course and as a result his finish time was messed up/didn’t register), but also frustrating because we were flying in and then getting caught up in runners going much slower than we were. Not a fan – they should fix this for the future.

I sprinted the last bit so I didn’t get a finish line photo, but I was really excited to see 22:something on the clock – a new PR by over 2 minutes! Wow! They had a computer right there where you could look up your official results which was cool. 22:24 and 7:13 pace – WHOA! Those track workouts are certainly paying off!


Loved the race medals – aren’t they pretty? :)

fit foodie race medal

I ran into fellow bloggers Brittany and Alyssa post-race – loved seeing them! Brittany got a new PR too. :) Way to go girl!

healthy living bloggers

Since this race was small we were able to park for free right nearby (awesome), and Matt and I had planned ahead and packed a bunch of dry, warm clothes. After changing and grabbing lattes, we wandered around the post-race area. There were all sorts of healthy brands and local restaurants giving out samples – fun! Wish the weather had been nicer but it was still fun to check them out.

fit foodie race series

fit foodie race after party food

Back at home a little while later, Matt whipped up a yummy brunch for us.

post run brunch

Sauerkraut, fried eggs, and avocado atop toast with a side of bacon. Plus some of my farmer’s market strawberries! Hit the spot.

ballston farmers market strawberries

We spent the rest of Saturday doing some laundry and work around the house before heading out to a friend’s party in Dupont. I didn’t get any pictures but it was fun to see our friends! Sunday was another rainy day – I considering meeting my track buddies for a run date because I knew they were all meeting up, but decided my body wanted sleep more. A rest day felt nice, and I was kind of over running in the rain. ;)

We had lunch at my aunt and uncle’s on Sunday with family in honor of my grandmother’s 93rd birthday (wow!). Our contribution was a big salad – I used the kale and greens I bought at the farmer’s market on Thursday. To make the kale more delicious and less bitter, I massaged the salad dressing into the kale leaves the day before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Then, shortly before leaving the house I added in the lighter greens (which would have gotten soggy overnight, unlike the kale) and carrots. I threw on a little more salad dressing right before serving too. The dressing was a mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, pure maple syrup, lemon juice, and dijon mustard – really good combo!

simple massaged kale salad

Given the crummy weather, after lunch we stayed indoors and relaxed, doing some reading and a bit of packing for our upcoming vacation. We were sent home with some of the chicken leftovers from lunch and ate them for dinner on Sunday with the addition of some 90 second brown rice, black beans, and the remaining salad leftovers.

easy leftover chicken dinner

The first part of this week is going to be crazy busy because Matt and I leave for our big summer vacation on Thursday morning! We’re off to western Canada for a hiking adventure and can’t wait. I’m planning to take a real break and not work while we’re gone, so I’ve got a lot to pack in before we leave!

Have a great day my friends – stay dry out there!

What’s the rainiest run or race you’ve ever done? Any fun/crazy stories?


  1. 1

    Congratulations on such an amazing run! While unfortuantely I didn’t feel as well as I did when I ran my 10k last month, I ran my most recent 5k in an 8:59 pace, which I was thankful for. Lovely eats, and that medal is really cute!

  2. 4

    Congrats on your pr!! Yes- track workouts can really make a difference. 5ks are tough… I signed up for a few this summer and although they are over quickly, I think I prefer the longer distances because they don’t hurt as much. :)

  3. 6
    Roadrunner says

    Impressive race! Well done!

  4. 7

    congratulations on the PR! I’m bummed I missed seeing you there! I didn’t love the course either but maybe if the weather had been better it could’ve been more enjoyable.

  5. 9

    So great seeing you! Great work on that PR. Now I’m just jealous I didn’t get some homemade brunch a la Matt afterward. :) Hopefully I’ll get to see you at something fun soon!

  6. 11

    Hey Anne
    Congratulations on your new PR! Ive been following your blog for a couple months now and love it! Every night I’m looking forward to reading the latest post :D You’re so inspiring and your recipes are amazing. I cant wait to try them all.
    Unfortunately a few of the products you are using in your recipes are not available here (I am from Germany). Do you have any suggestions what products might be similar here or can be substituted? Maybe someone else had this issue before?
    Greetings :)

    • 12

      Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words, Luisa! :) I’m sorry to hear some of the products aren’t available there – what sort of products were you interested in that you couldn’t get there? Happy to provide some substitution suggestions if I can!

      • 13

        Thank you for your reply! Well for some products I have already figured out how to get them which took me a little bit of hunting. For example peanut butter that has no added sugars. We basically only have one kind of peanut butter at the common supermarket here. Crazy right :D
        But some of the things I am still missing is Kale, Ive been using spinach for everything but you can only get it at certain places and it gets old and doesnt have the same benefits. Pumpkin Puree is a big thing. Ive been buying pumpkins and making them into puree myself, then freezing it. The problem is pumpkins are only sold in the fall and I have a tiny dorm Freezer. Also corn tortillas, chocolate chips (for baking) and chickpea flour. I mean some things you can obviously make yourself. Like chopping up chocolate into pieces but I was wondering if you maybe have some other followers who are from not in the US and have brought anything to your attention. :)

        • 14

          When I was living in Europe I always had trouble finding pumpkin! Some international stores would carry it. You can use wheat tortillas instead of corn tortillas in any of my recipes. Regarding kale, spinach is definitely a good substitute and also very nutritious! For chickpea flour, unfortunately I don’t have a good substitute recommendation since it would change the recipe a lot – I’m sorry!

        • 15

          Luisa – you’ll find different brands of peanut butter in supermarkets. The choice is not as wide as in the states, but it works. Alnatura (sold at DM, Edeka) has peanut butter made from nothing but peanuts.
          I buy kale at the farmers market (regular Wochenmarkt). Pumpking puree is a bit trickier, but I have found it in regular supermarkets (Edeka). For chickpea flour go to an Asian supermarket and look for “gram flour”. I am also fairly certain that store carrying organic products (DM, Reformhaus) sell it but I suppose it would be more expensive.

  7. 17

    Speedy 5k well done!

  8. 19

    Nice work on your PR! Have fun on your vacation. Since I live in Calgary I might be a little biased, but this part of the world is so beautiful!

  9. 21

    Congratulations on your run. Sorry about the rain. The weather always has the last word.

  10. 22

    oopf, that’s a rough weekend. i HATE rain but i’ve managed a few drizzly races. i don’t think i could do a pouring 5k D: but great job on the pace!! you’ll have to do another race to see how you do in good conditions ;) now i just wish i knew of a race around here with that many vendors!!

    • 23

      Thank you! I’m so over the rain – although in terms of racing, I’d choose rain and chilly over blazing hot anyday. :)

  11. 24

    Congratulations on the PR! I agree though on the route, they changed it up from last year and this was definitely not great. It took me forever to get in to a groove as well since they had such a narrow start. At least the medal was nice! :)

    • 25

      Thanks, Maris! That’s interesting they changed the course from last year – it was better before? I do agree the medal was lovely :)

      • 26

        It was a bit better, still winding and crossing over itself, but the beginning of the route was much more open and the finish was not so confusing. Hopefully they’ll change it again next year!

        • 27

          Yeah, I hope so! I have no idea why they thought crossing over the runners behind you before finishing was a good idea…

  12. 28

    Nice PR – that’s awesome!! The rainiest run I’ve ever suffered through was during my first half marathon training…I was 5mi from home and the skies randomly opened up and POURED the whole rest of the way home. Nothing worse than soggy socks for 5mi.

    • 29

      Oh man. It poured on us at mile 2 of my first marathon (Richmond Marathon) – having wet feet for long runs is the worst!

  13. 30

    Congrats lady!! It was so great seeing you and Matt at the race. We need to hang out again soon!!

  14. 32

    Congrats on your 5K PR! I ran the St. Michaels Running Festival Half-Marathon on Saturday – how horrible in the rain! It poured the whole time. My time improved from last year, but I’m not sure it was worth the experience! Last year, the racers were allowed into the St. Michaels High School to use the locker rooms, so we could change after the race, but this year they didn’t. A total bummer, since I was soaked after the race and quickly cooled down to what felt like freezing temperatures! The things we do for a race!

    • 33

      Oh man – I ran the DC rock ‘n’ roll half marathon last year in the pouring rain and we were FREEZING after — during the race it wasn’t so bad but after was terrible, so I feel you! That is a bummer you couldn’t use the locker rooms when you really needed them. Way to get out there and crush it regardless, though!

  15. 34

    wow thats so impressive that you did that in the pouring rain–major props to both of you! :D Looks like a yummy food weekend! Its still dreary in PA too–when will it end?!

  16. 35

    Hi Anne! I remember you mentioning in a past post you’re heading to Banff for vacation this summer. I’m from Edmonton (a few hours away) and HAVE to recommend the Bear Street Tavern and adjacent Wildflour cafe when you’re there- they’re my personal faves!! Congrats on your 5k and look forward to more posts. Love your blog!!

  17. 37

    Congrats on your race, that’s such a huge improvement in the 5K! Speed work is everything, right? This looks like a super fun event and I’ll need to keep it on my radar for next year, hopefully! And the medal is gorgeous!

  18. 38

    Happy Birthday to your grandmother and congratulations to her!! 93- not bad ;) She’s the cutest :)

  19. 40

    My husband and I really enjoyed watching the Barkley Marathons. I added it to our list when I originally read this post, and we finally got around to watching it last night. Thanks for recommending it! :)

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