Happy 2013

First run of 2013

First run of 2013

Happy New Year! Hope you made it through the holidays. I always kind of look forward to the new year. Lower key than the end-of-year craziness, more time to run, fewer sweets to tempt me. It’s a time to focus on making oneself better and look forward to the year ahead.

What does this year have in store for you? What are your goals for 2013?

I am going to refocus on running. After a strong first half of 2012  running (Race for the Cure, my first 10k, my first 15k) I let myself slide. I am going to try and find more runs this year to keep me on track. I already have two 5ks scheduled for this month! (They are both fund-raisers, so if you would like to donate, please contact me.)

I don’t have any hard goals (but I’m up for suggestions or runs if someone is looking for a buddy), but as I start my second full year of running, I would like to increase the miles I ran overall last year. I figured I did roughly 375 miles this year, sharply decreasing my running in the second half. If I were to keep it up, I could surpass 500 miles this year (about 10 a week, very doable, even in the hot summer months).

My first 15k: The Boilermaker

Last week I competed in my first 15k race, The  Boilermaker. The Utica, N.Y., race is said to be the largest 15k road race in the U.S. and attracts elite runners from throughout the world.

Lining up before the race

This is a very large and well-organized race. In its 35th year, there were more than 15,000 runners. It took Bill and me more than 11 minutes from when the starting gun went off to when we crossed the start line. But we were off, not knowing what to expect for the next 9.3 miles.

I hadn’t trained as well as I would have liked, especially with the Florida humidity, rain and flat terrain making training difficult. I had never  run 9.3 miles before, only getting to about 7-something before the race. This was my longest and least-prepared race to date. Luckily, even if I wasn’t fully prepared physically, I was mentally and the people who put on the Boilermaker and the city of Utica were more than prepared.

The race was fun and the time passed because it was a new course with scenery much different from what I’m used to in Florida. And the race committee and city came out for the event, providing bands, music, dancers, supporters, water and popsicles along the entire route. It was really fun to watch and see so much involvement and support along both sides of the streets the entire 9.3 miles.

There were people and vendors everywhere at the post-race party.

I felt pretty good overall except for one spell of light-headedness around mile seven or eight. I had been running long enough I think I needed some food, so I would bring a gel pack next time. I had about the right amount of water, not too little but not too much to cause a side ache. But unfortunately both Bill and I realized we needed new shoes too soon before the race, and I felt it in my right foot and knees a few times. We ended a few minutes before my goal and I felt good at the end, so I was proud.

After 9.3 it’s time to rehydrate.

We walked to the after-party. Since the Boilermaker is put on in large part by Saranac Brewing Company, the party is behind the brewery and a post-race beer is in order. The blueberry white ale really hit the spot after a run when the sun was coming out. There was food, a band and lots of booths, but even though it was a large space, it was still crammed with people, which made it slightly less enjoyable. But it was fun to be a part of such a large, well-organized event for my first large race.

Short-term running goals

I wouldn’t rule out another 15k or longer distance at all, if I were more prepared. But for the rest of the summer my goals are to maintain running in the South Florida heat and humidity and work on improving my 5k time. I hope to add some weightlifting to my routine, too. When the weather cools in a few months I will focus on distance  again.

Friday links

I’m so close to running my 15k, my longest run to date. I’m kicked into high gear for training and nutrition. I thought I would share some of the best workout-related links of the week with you.

Friday links

How to ask for a beer in different languages. Spotted at Due South Brewery.

This week’s list is a bit drink-heavy, but it’s American Craft Beer Week (How have you been celebrating?) so I guess I have beverages on my mind. I checked out a new local brewery that just opened near my house, Due South Brewing; it’s good stuff! It’s nice to see people going for it, and I wish them well.

This week’s links:

A little slow at first, this is a fun video showing popcorn popping in slow motion. All I know is it takes longer to pop than for me to eat it! ;)

Friday links

  • Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo. Did you check out my beergarita (yum!) or, if you want to stay away from the cerveza, learn how to master the margarita, including variations, different types of ingredients and even a playlist.
  • It’s hard to keep up with all the food trends. If you are confused about the terms I say or what you are reading on these links, check out Demystifying Food Terms and Trends. It is a list of popular topics in the news now (pink slime; gluten; and the difference between vegan, pescatarian and vegetarian, to name a few) with links to the answers.
  • Secrets to a Better, Smarter Workout is an interesting read, especially if you read my posts as I get into running and are inspired. These are quick facts and myths about working out, many that I have learned while getting into fitness. And running and working out is way easier and more enjoyable than I imagined. Have you tried to get into running but hate it? How to love running.
  • The World’s 50 Best Restaurants were named this week. Have you been to any of them? I have not :(  but I’ve heard great things about many of the top restaurants.

And if you have made it this far, congrats, I give you Lewis Black’s report on Artisanal Foods that ran on The Daily Show this week, telling where your food really comes from. Very funny, but NSFW.