Operation Homefront 5k PR (18:35)

Where to start with this 5k race recap?  I’ve been chasing the sub 19 5k dream for the last year or so.  My only other sub 19 minute 5k was at the Allen Stone Run Swim Run last year and it was absolutely perfect conditions.  Since then I had been running 19:05-19:10 for 90% of 5k’s I did.  If it’s hot, humid, hailing, good course, bad course, lots of turns, flat or hilly…I have run between that time frame. I honestly needed this race mentally to get me back on running track I think.

As I had said in my training post on Sunday last week did not exactly feel the greatest for me.  I honestly felt like dirt the majority of my runs and nixed so many workouts for no reason other then I didn’t feel like it. Two days before this race I ran a long run of 15 miles, which normally before any race I’m targeting I’ll take that day off.  So after I decided that was a good idea, I let go of any mentality that this race would be that great.  Why did I run that 15 miles?  I hadn’t had a longer run in a while and marathon training was more important to me then a 5k.  Though I had never on my blog, since running a 20+ minute 5k, I had given up on them.  I had let my self doubt win.

Friday before the race I worked 10 hours and got home at 8pm.  I had to go to bed early (basically within 20 minutes of getting home) because the race start was at 7 but was also about 45 minutes from my house.  I woke up at 4:45 after about 7 hours of sleep and dad and I were off.

While doing a 2 mile warm up, my legs felt heavy and I was holding about a 9 minute mile.  I was not happy and just hoping it wasn’t a repeat of the Allen Stone Run the previous week with a 20 min+ 5k.  The race was smaller for our area (around 200) and it started with the director yelling “Go”.   They attempted to give us directions at the start but I had no idea what they were talking about and prayed that I could just follow someone else.

So with the Go we all charged the race and went.  During the first mile, I was 4th female overall.  My legs had started to somewhat loosen up.  I began to pass a couple of the females and by mile 1, it was myself and one other female stride for stride.  It didn’t feel as though I was going as fast as I was..the way my body felt I would have predicted it to be a 19:30 5k.  Anywho the other female and I maintained our stride for stride the entire race.  (mile 1 5:33).

The second mile the other female and I were pushing each other hard and I began to feel the effects of running 15.5 miles two days before.  I felt like my legs were stale but I didn’t want to fall behind so I kept pushing them hard.  My breathing was fine but legs were heavy.  We hit the 180 turn at the beach (if you kept running you would be on sand and then into the ocean…) and I hit the second mile at 6:11.

Mile 3, I really had to dig deep and I wasn’t hurting but I also didn’t feel tapered or great.  I kept telling myself you need to push it because today you aren’t going to be able to kick.  Today your legs do not have that much energy and you don’t have that much energy.  The third mile was a 6:09 and in the last 100 meters the other female took off like a missile. 

But it didn’t matter to me because we turned and I saw the clock was only at 18:25.  I nearly became fueledbythesaps and was about to cry I was so happy.  I was finally going to run a sub 19 minute 5k again after a complete junk week of training.  I immediately was on cloud 9 before I finished (good thing I finished) and finished in 18:35, second female and 5th overall.

As least I got a swell medal and remembered to take a photo.  Proper blogging technique!
As least I got a swell medal and remembered to take a photo. Proper blogging technique!

I immediately went into a cooldown because I had work later and didn’t have time to get in miles later.  During my cooldown, I didn’t feel bad at all and just chatted with various people along the course and brought home one of my closest friends Ashleigh’s mom to the finish who also PRed (we need to take a photo in real life so you know I don’t make fictional characters up).

So my final thoughts about this race.  It’s great to have a 5k PR, but I think I can do better (as most people say after a PR).   I ran 15.5 miles two days prior and still didn’t feel 100% awesome during the race.  It was, however, a fast course and also it was decent weather (more resembling early fall).  So with good weather and a good course I was able to PR on tired legs.  Maybe I’ll find a fast 5k in Texas that I can 30 second PR as well.  It seems all my PR’s come from races I have no expectations or am untapered for.  This one and the Nike half are two that come to mind.

Questions for you:

What type of tapering do you do for races?

I normally take two days off before and then a normal run the day before…

What goal or dream are you currently chasing?


Black Bean Waffle

Black Bean Waffle Recipe

Let’s see here; I’m currently trying to waste as much time as possible by writing up another waffle recipe.  I’ve wanted to try black bean waffles for a while but never gave in.  It’s fun to make a plant-based waffle. Plus black bean waffles are easily made gluten-free.

I had heard from countless sources that black beans enriched the cocoa in brownies, and I assumed that was going to work well for waffles.  Spoiler: it did! 

Since I recently got a new magic bullet for my birthday (the black edition…the only big advantage for me is they have bigger cups LOL), I thought it would be easiest to try making black bean waffles.


Black Bean Waffle Ingredients:

2/3 cup flour
¼ cup dark cocoa (I used Hershey’s cocoa personally)
½ cup pureed black beans (done in my magic bullet)
½ cup milk (water, almond milk, even coconut milk)
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil
1 tsp baking powder
*I did not add additional sweetener

Black Bean Waffle Directions:

  1. Pure black beans
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl
  3. Add wet ingredients (including black beans) together and mix in a separate mixing bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the black bean waffle ingredients.
  5. Pour waffle batter into waffle maker and wait.
  6. Once ready, take out of waffle iron and serve with toppings of choice including maple syrup, chocolate chips, or whipped cream.

While these won’t be as pretty and golden brown as a regular waffle, they do appeal more than many other types of waffles. I enjoyed how dense the black bean waffles were and the fact that I didn’t use sweetener.  They tasted more like a big dark piece of fudge than anything.  I couldn’t taste the black beans at all, but maybe that was because they were pureed right into there.  It’s nicer healthier version that you could use a waffle staple in the mornings.

I thought about not pureeing the black beans and just having them as little surprises when biting into the black bean waffle then realized that might be a bit borderline weird. (I’m kidding)

Question for you: Have you ever used black beans in a recipe?

Rewriting NYC Marathon Training Week 5

I had written a rather lengthy blog post about changing my training and why a sub 19 minute 5k would probably not happen this training cycle and I was fine with that.  From Friday until Sunday, I had been (and am) working 10 hour days each day.  Needless to say when I signed up for a local 5k at 7 am 30 minutes away, I had somewhat regretted that in the midst of all of the work.  I toyed around with doing it but ended up deciding that I would do it.  (That is what happens me when you actually pay for races).

But anyways, I feel like my only summer goal of conquering a sub 19 minute 5k again is achieved and I’ll recap the entire race later in the week.

I have quite a few races coming up in August which I’m excited for (and will serve as speed workouts anyways).

July 30: Memorial Scholarship 5k (6:30pm start)

August 10th: Mud Run Obsticle Course Race (with dad…”fun race”)

August 17: Strider 1 mile race (my only track race ever)

August 24: Either ECSC 8k or Patrick Henry Half Marathon

August 30: Rock and Rock Half Marathon VA Beach

So that is quite the varying distances.  So with all that excitement this was a very mentally challenging week for me, but it was also a very productive week.  Which is surprising because every day was a constant battle of should I run or should I not run.

Monday: 11 miles (8:10 pace) after going shopping with mom
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: 12.5 miles
Thursday: 15.5 miles at 8:38 pace
Friday: 11.2 miles at 8:52 pace
Saturday: Operation Homefront 5k (18:35 PR!) total miles 12.28
Sunday 13-15…I haven’t decided.
Total: 75ish


I’ll be the first to admit this week was a hot mess as far as training goes.  Running wise, I had honestly felt really lazy and down on myself for the last two weeks.  Between both jobs and just life in general I hadn’t wanted to do speed work.  Monday I didn’t feel like running prior to going shopping with mom, then changed my mind around 5pm when getting home.  I decided to just not run on Tuesday because my GI system was off.  Wednesday I would have normally decided to do speed but I didn’t feel like it.  Thursday I did a long run (because two days before a race that is a good idea) and then Friday was a decent easy run.  Friday was the first day that my GI system wasn’t screaming at me and I didn’t feel completely bloated.  Then Saturday I randomly PRed in the 5k.  So with that I had a surprisingly good week of training.  I got in my miles and PRed, which is something I haven’t done since my 10k in early May.

Training next week:

I hope to be more consistent but I’m actually going on a minivacation to Long Island to do that open water 2 mile swim that I do with my relatives.  I hope I don’t drown but it’s more of a family reunion then anything else.  I honestly could care less about the swim (as long as I don’t die) but I love to to see them.  I’ll work training around that and see where it goes.

Questions for you:

How has your motivation been lately?

Do you have family reunions?

Honestly seeing my two uncles this weekend is about all we have.

Running in the Heat is Fun

I’m not sure if I’m the only one who realized this…but this summer has been terribly hot.  Not just hot, but humid too.  My hair resembles an afro 99.9% of the time.  I won’t pick it out 99.9% of the time.  My level of frizz in the hair is just the descriptions I like to use…you could very well just say it was a cold winter and now it’s a hot summer.

If you are training for a fall marathon…hey that’s me, then you probably should be logging some miles right now in this miserable heat…hey also me.  Instead of complaining or telling you to stay hydrated and slow your pace, I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing to not pass out on the side of the road while also logging some miles.  While staying hydrated and slowing down your pace are clearly important I think I’ve read entirely too many posts on that and I’m sure you probably have too.

I start my outdoor runs between 5:30-6:15am every day (including weekends, unless it’s a race…this isn’t so much that I enjoy waking up that early on weekends but mostly because I normally still have to work).  If I sleep past that, you can bet a run is probably not happening.  It’s too hot to start a run right now for me personally at 8 or 9..that and I have work at 9…so that’s easy enough.

I also do loops around my neighborhood so I can stop at my house and grab water versus holding it.  The only thing I’ll hold is in my phone because I like to listen to music on about half my runs.  The other half I’ll run sans music (mostly because I eat up my data streaming Pandora).  I’m more of a double, triple…ect loop kind of person instead of out and back or one giant loop.

I also do run on the treadmill occasionally.  On days I’m outside with work, the last thing I want to do is run at 95 degrees.  I want the cool breeze of the fans built into the treadmill, some trashy tv and to zone out.  So that’s what I do.  Unlike winter where I logged morning 10 milers on the treadmill for close to two months (YAY Upstate NY weather), right now I’m logging maybe 5 milers in the afternoon.  Generally shakeout runs.  I’ve logged a few longer 10 milers on the treadmill but not too many this summer since I’m still paranoid about when I overtrained two summers ago on the treadmill and got a stress fracture.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t complain that the weather is miserable, but what I am saying is that it is miserable everywhere for everyone and I think (including myself).  Everyone is tired of training in the heat.  You can make adjustments to your training to fit in runs where it’s a bit cooler or better weather.

Questions for you:

How do you beat the heat? 

What is your favorite season?

I’ll probably complain about all of them.  Just kidding, I don’t think I’ll complain about winter this year…just summer. In my defense, I spent 5 years in -30 degree winters and those same 5 years in 100 degree summers.  I was the opposite of the typical old person migration.

Allen Stone Run-Swim-Run Race Recap

The Allen Stone Run Swim Run has the most importance to me.  It was the first race I ever took first overall and it will always be hard to not compare myself to that. Allen Stone was a fallen Navy Seal, and this race is always well put together and a tribute to the fallen Seals and Seals in our area.   I’ve had so many different experiences from it.  Winning the race completely, DNFing because I developed a stress fracture…having a good strong finish…then this year…not having a great finish but not being injured either.

The night before I didn’t sleep that well.  I was nearly shook awake by my alarm when I normally wake up at the same time (5:30).  Dad and I drove to the race and were a little late…they were reading off names of fallen Seals and so we had to wait longer to get our bibs (respectable).  We got our bibs around 7:40 and for the 8:15 start, I did a 2 mile warmup and headed down to the beach.

The 1k run on the beach

Once the race was off, into the 1k run on the beach we went.  People were elbowing each other and pushing and shoving.  It was like post collegiate cross country.  I tripped and fell flat on my face.  Not a fall but fell and nearly got trampled.  The rest of the 1k was uneventful and I just did what I knew I was strong at and ran…I ended up tying with the first female into the water.

The 1k swim in open water

Which shocked my entire body.  The water, a cool 62 degrees due to upwellings sent my body into literal shock.  I was very close to saying no way.  I’ve had hypothermia before and even during my favorite race, it would not be worth it to me.  I allowed my body extra time to adjust to the water and then started swimming.  After that, I felt okay but the currents…being kicked in the face several times and my general unenjoyment of swimming kept it from being that fun.  The swim seemed to take forever and seeing the orange buoy was a glorious moment in my life and I headed into the transition area to change and start the 5k.  (Incase you wondered I was 16th female getting out of the water.  Yes 15 more females passed me).

If I looked any cuter a shark would have come up and gave me his number
If I looked any cuter a shark would have come up and gave me his number


I tend to be rather calm in transitions.  I don’t rush because then I’ll get flustered and be slower.  Off I went.  I think it took me roughly 1-2 minutes to take off my goggles and cap, put on a shirt and socks and shoes and get out of there.  Seemed good to me.

The 5k on the boardwalk:

The run started off really slow.  My legs felt like literal jello and they were freezing.  I was defeated when my watch was reading a 6:30 pace on flat ground.  I shouldn’t have been since it was windy and I had just ran and swam…but it is what it is.

As the 5k progressed, my legs started to feel better and better.  My miles progressively got faster (6:39, 6:37, 6:10).  I ended up passing 10 of the females and getting 6th overall.  My final time for the 5k was 20:10 and an above 20 minute 5k will never really be something I’ll be overly thrilled with anymore.  Not every day can be your day and not every race can be your race.


To give you an idea of how physically cold to the bone I was, I finished the 5k run in 85+ degree heat and was shivering from the swim. 

I think part of the reason I was upset about this race was because this race does have a lot of emotion for me.  I’ve won, I’ve lost, I’m injured…I had high expectations for this race and although it wasn’t a goal race it’s still no fun to not have a good race there.  I’ll move on though and have a good race another day.  I’m still due for a 5k PR eventually.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite race of all time?

Racing in cold or hot? 

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