Just as I couldn't go and leave you without a sweet potato recipe before I left, I also couldn't leave without a recap of the race! I mean for WEEKS now I've bored you with my training schedule and times and so to just leave for a week without any details on the BIG DAY would be like foreplay without the climax, and I'm just not the blue-balling type (I've got a little Donna in me today, I guess).
So let's see, where to begin. The picture above is me after the race was over. But that is not where the story begins. Instead, the story begins at 5:45 AM which is when I woke up to my usual breakfast (oatmeal, an egg, and an english muffin). I had some issues sleeping the night before from nervousness but after a cup of coffee, I felt fine. By fine I mean not sleep-deprived but still nervous. It didn't help that it was thundering and lightening outside. BUT weather.com claimed it was supposed to clear up by 7, so I closed my eyes, clicked my ruby slippers three times and prayed for blue skies.
My cab picked me up at 7 and I arrived at the Seaport World Trade Center in South Boston at 7:20. Plenty of time to hit the ladies room twice, stretch, check my bags, hide a Gu energy gel in my sports bra, and make myself sufficiently nervous/hyped. We lined up by the start at approximately 7:50. I chose to stand with the 9:30 min/mile people since I figured it would be best to start off slow and then settle into whatever pace my body deemed appropriate. I could have sworn I was standing right next to Tina of Carrots N Cake, but I wasn't sure it was her so I didn't say anything. And now that I've looked at Tina's blog, I realize it WAS her. Oy, I should have just said something, oh well. There's always next year. ;).
The race started pretty much on time but I was kind of in the back so it took a while to get to the start time. I was so excited as I passed. This is it, I thought - it's showtime! The first few miles were slow for me but I actually speeded up as I went along, with my fastest miles being towards the end. I grabbed a gatorade slurp at the first water station (mile 4) and that fueled me for a bit. I started to hit a bit of a block around then, when my knee started irritating me. I just kept on trucking though, trying to focus on my music. It worked and soon I was in a zone. My speed really started to pick up around mile 7/8 and I knew I wanted to keep it going to reach my goal of an average 7mph pace, so when I got hungry around mile 9, I pulled the Gu gel out of my sports bra and slurped it! That definitely gave me the extra push I needed. After mile 11, I could tell things were going well when I kept passing the people around me, with energy left to spare. I was so proud that I was going to do even better than I intended. Then, hearing my name as I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:48:54, a pace of 8:19, and finishing 1010 out of 4033 males and females, and 158 out of 1088 females aged 19-29 was absolutely priceless. If you had told me a year ago that I was going to run a half marathon, I never would have believed you and so I am just amazed that I have come this far. Now I can't stop thinking about how I can't wait for the next one!
A huge part of race preparation is in what you eat the night before (i.e. carb loading). I knew I wanted to eat pasta (DUH - no brainer) and also thought I kind of wanted some stuffed pasta (ravioli or tortellini). But at the same time, I wanted the dish to be simple to ensure that it wouldn't upset my stomach. Where does one go for simple - Real Simple magazine! I found a recipe for Ravioli with Roasted Eggplant on myrecipes.com, but replaced the ravioli with tortelloni since that was what appealed to me at the supermarket. It was perfect and so easy. It obviously filled my glycogen stores up as well!
Spinach and Ricotta Tortelloni with Roasted Eggplant
Serves 2, adapted from Real Simple
9 oz tortelloni (or ravioli)
1 lb eggplant, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed and diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 cup parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the eggplant into dice, toss with garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes, and roast for 20 minutes, tossing once (at 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, cook the tortellini. When everything is done, mix the tortellini with the eggplant and parmesan.
I am submitting this to this week's Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted by Sara of I'm A Food Blog.
Alright guys, its official - I'm off to the Bahamas with a 6:30AM flight to Florida in the morning. I will miss you all dearly but I will be back on Friday to catch up. Don't forget me while I'm gone!