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!
Matt and I also shared some of their truffled fries, which are phenomenal. Perfect crispiness. 🙂
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. 😉
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.
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.
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.
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? 🙂
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.
Back at home a little while later, Matt whipped up a yummy brunch for us.
Sauerkraut, fried eggs, and avocado atop toast with a side of bacon. Plus some of my farmer’s market strawberries! Hit the spot.
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!
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.
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?