Frostbite 15K (January 18, 2015)

IMG_20150118_135724_984I was hoping to run a race in January. One of my goals for the year is to run at least twelve races. Running the Frostbite 15K  felt like a good place to start.

Kurt and I waited to sign up until the last possible minute, though. We wanted to make sure the weather wasn’t going to be too terrible.

Wednesday was the last day to register online. The forecast was calling for 50 degrees and sunshine in Charlottesville, so we went ahead and signed up.

Then we checked the forecast for Richmond: 100% chance of rain. Oops.

Race Day:

Sure enough, about fifteen miles east of Charlottesville, it started to rain. It was coming down pretty hard when we got to the race. We were cold and miserable and not looking forward to running 9+ miles.

It was very nice to have a warm, dry place to hang out while we waited for the start, though.

IMG_20150118_082729_704The National Anthem was sung inside the school, then everybody headed out into the cold rain. A man (the race director? a random volunteer?) came back and yelled “Is everybody here?” “Yell if you’re NOT here yet!,” then he walked back to the starting line muttering “You all are CRAZY!”

Once I crossed the starting line, I settled into a comfortably hard pace. I didn’t really have a plan for the race, but had decided earlier that morning that I wouldn’t look at my Garmin.

Photo courtesy of Richmond Road Runners
Photo courtesy of Richmond Road Runners

By mile two, I was heating up and started worrying that I had overdressed. It was 45 degrees (I didn’t know that at the time; I would have guessed it was in the 30s…), but I had been wet and freezing at the start and hadn’t been willing to part with any of my layers.

I also suddenly felt very tired around mile two. I perked up some for the next mile, then crashed again around mile 4. My energy vacillated that way for the next several miles. Somewhere around mile 5, the steady rain turned into an absolute deluge. Surprisingly, this seemed to give me another surge of energy, but it also made me very cold. And then the wind picked up. I was suddenly very appreciative of all the layers I was wearing.

Photo courtesy of Richmond Road Runners

Looks like fun, doesn’t it?

Right around mile 7, I felt a sharp twinge in my right knee. I freaked out and backed off the pace, hoping that it wasn’t anything major. I’m completely paranoid about injuring myself again. I didn’t feel the twinge again, but the scare seemed to zap the last of my energy. The last two miles were a struggle.

I crossed the finish line and made a beeline for the building. I tried (and failed!) to open the bottle of water a volunteer handed me. My hands are completely useless when they’re cold. I grabbed my backpack and headed for the bathrooms to change into dry clothes. I was SO grateful to be inside. Once I was dry, I grabbed a piece of pizza and met back up with Kurt.

I ended up finishing in 1:20:48, which was about what I had expected, although I had hoped for better. I don’t think not looking at my Garmin made much of a difference in how I ran, but of course there’s no way to know for sure.

I was a little disappointed that I didn’t run negative splits, but I think that was mostly due to my freak-out about my knee at mile seven. My splits:

1. 8:28
2. 8:30
3. 8:26
4. 8:16
5. 8:29
6. 8:19
7. 8:53
8. 8:28
9. 8:45
10. 8:12

Individual results were emailed to each of us the afternoon of the race, which I thought was very cool. I placed 10th out of 41 in my age group.

Over-all, I was happy with the race. The course was great. I think on a nice day, it would be a pleasant run around some lakes and through some neighborhoods with just the right amount of hills to keep things interesting.

There were plenty of very nice and enthusiastic volunteers handing out water, cheering, stopping traffic and making sure we all stayed on course. I loved the hot pizza, but would also have liked a hot drink (read: coffee!) The race shirts were unisex, which means huge and unflattering for women. But I’ve pretty much given up on race shirts, anyway…

The results were up quickly, and I thought it was a nice touch to receive an email with my personal results. I also appreciated all of the great photos posted on the Richmond Road Runners Club Facebook page. I was definitely impressed with the RRRC and all of the volunteers who came out in such nasty weather!

The reset wrap-up

Today is the last day of my ten-day reset, which was an attempt to get back in the habit of eating healthfully.

My rules for the reset were:

1. No sugar or sweeteners of any kind
2. No processed foods (I ate some packaged foods, but went through the ingredient lists and made sure that I could identify every ingredient and that all the ingredients complied with my other rules.)
3. No dairy
5. No wheat

Prep for the second week:

Made a pot of chili I used this recipe from Oh She Glows. I left out the red pepper and celery because Kurt doesn’t like those. I also added an extra can of beans and a little cinnamon. To make up for the missing veggies, I added some of my famous spinach/kale mix to my bowl each night.
*I had to search to find a can of tomatoes that complied with my rules, but finally found some at Trader Joe’s.

Cooked oatmeal I mixed things up by adding mashed banana, vanilla, chia seeds and peanut butter.

Roasted potatoes Cut into one-inch pieces and tossed with olive oil and spices. I seasoned some with garlic and cumin to go with the chili and some with rosemary and garlic because I love rosemary. Kurt and I both ended up liking the cumin ones better, though.

Roasted broccoli I dump a bag of frozen florets onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Fresh would probably be better, but frozen tastes fine to me and I’m all about saving some time.

Baked apples This is one of my fall favorites. I wanted something that felt kind of like a treat, which these do! For the filling, I mix some oats and chia seeds in a bowl with a ton of cinnamon and a dash of mace. I sometimes add walnuts and raisins, but didn’t this time.

IMG_20141115_143659_070Then I core the apples and fill them with my oat mixture.

IMG_20141115_143208_906 I place them in a glass baking dish and add about an inch of boiling water (and some more cinnamon) to the pan. I baste the apples with the hot cinnamon water, then bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Most recipes call for cooking them much longer, but I like them crunchy. I’ve had some come out mushy (either because I unknowingly started with mushy apples or because I overcooked them). When that happens, I mash them up and add them to my oatmeal. I don’t like to eat them on their own unless they’re still crunchy. I eat them just like I do a raw apple. They make a perfect post-run snack.

Baked tempeh I cut it into cubes, tossed it with a little olive oil and cumin and popped it in the oven while the apples were cooking.

IMG_20150103_180007_989Broccoli, tempeh, cilantro and lime bowl.

Sliced peppers I wanted something different to go with my hummus.

IMG_20150107_120638_799Over-all, I would call the reset a success. I’m feeling much better and craving healthy food instead of cookies and ice cream. Having said that, I’m ending the reset a little early. Kurt and I are going out for dinner tonight. I know that I could find something on the menu that complies with all of my reset rules, but I don’t want to. I ran very far in 17 degrees this morning and I want to eat what I want to eat. I don’t intend to go crazy (or even order dessert) but I would like a bun on my vegan burger and maybe some sweet potato fries.

The reset (so far…)

It’s day four of the official reset, but it’s actually my sixth day without sugar. I’m a little surprised I’m still alive 🙂

Actually, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m definitely less bloated (most of my pants fit again!) and my eyes aren’t puffy. I haven’t had a headache and I think I’m less irritable.

I miss my dark chocolate, and I really wanted a huevos wrap from Whole Foods after my (freezing cold and wet) sixteen mile run yesterday morning. Over-all though, I haven’t been feeling deprived.


Last weekend I did some food prep for the week. I roasted some broccoli and beets, baked some sweet potatoes and boiled eggs and edamame.

I stocked up on fresh and frozen fruit and veggies. I’m not much of a cook, so frozen produce is a must for me. I think I might actually enjoy cooking if I didn’t have to work. I love eating good food, but just prepping basics for the week takes more time than I’m generally willing to spare on the weekend. I bought garlic and lime thinking that I’d make some tahini dressing for salads. I put some of the lime in my coconut water for my long run yesterday. The entire head of garlic is still sitting on the counter. It’ll probably go bad before I do anything with it. And I love garlic.

I wasn’t very clear about my rules in my last post, but basically I’m eating only whole foods and foods that contain ingredients that I recognize and could find at the grocery store.

I was happy to find that my favorite veggie burgers made the cut, AND they were on sale at Whole Foods. Score!

IMG_20150103_114703_541IMG_20150103_114719_334The hummus I bought was questionable. It contains citric acid. I looked it up. It’s a preservative that occurs naturally in citrus fruits. I considered making my own hummus from scratch, but decided to let it slide. It seems pretty harmless and I’m already spending plenty of time in the kitchen.

Here’s a look at what I’ve been eating:


Oatmeal or quinoa (cooked on the stove and made with unsweetened cocoa powder, mashed, over-ripe banana and a splash of vanilla extract.) I make a pot and keep the leftovers in the refrigerator. I get my chocolate fix early in the morning!


A pre-baked sweet potato reheated in the microwave with pumpkin pie seasoning and a spoonful of peanut butter. This is one of my staple winter breakfast foods.


an apple, orange, grapefruit or banana

If I’m particularly hungry, I’ll have some mixed nuts, too.

Lunch and Dinner

A bowl full of broccoli, edamame, avocado and chopped hard-boiled egg. I just kind of threw this together and was amazed how delicious it is! I ran out of broccoli after a few meals and substituted a mixture of frozen spinach and kale. I just pour a bunch of the frozen stuff into a glass storage container the night before to thaw. When I’m ready to eat, I grab the container, add some edamame and stick it in the microwave for about a minute, then add the avocado and egg (and a little salt and pepper.)

IMG_20141231_121718_740Beets (I’ve been choking these down. Not my favorite. I usually like beets fine, so I’m not sure what I did wrong. Maybe they’re just not a stand-alone food.)

Popcorn (cooked on the stove in olive oil)

Veggie burger in a soft corn tortilla (I said I was only cutting white flour, but I decided to eliminate wheat entirely.)

Refried beans and frozen (cooked) spinach in a soft corn tortilla with avocado and cilantro.

Cherry tomatoes.


whole fruit
(One of my favorites: frozen [thawed] raspberries topped with sliced banana or mango

spoonful(s) of cashew butter
Most nut and seed butters have added sweeteners. You need to check labels.

IMG_20150103_132730_238carrots and hummus

mixed raw nuts

Eating Out

Kurt and I ate at Qdoba Friday night. I failed to check the ingredients beforehand, but figured it wouldn’t be too hard to find something that mostly complied with my Reset rules. I ordered a veggie burrito bowl with pinto beans, grilled peppers, guacamole, Pico de Gallo, Salsa Roja and romaine lettuce.

IMG_20150102_173320_871Once I got home, I checked the nutrition information.

Everything checked out fine except the Salsa Roja. It contains modified cornstarch, corn syrup, xanthum gum and artificial color (Titanium Dioxide). Yuck! If you’re ordering salsa at Qdoba, stick with the Pico, Roasted Chile Corn, or Mango.

Fuel for long runs

I drank coconut water and ate some dried (unsweetened) dates and apricots during my sixteen miler on Saturday morning.

I’m avoiding dried fruit other than during long runs, though. Too much like sugar!

Running through the years

Writing my 2014 Running, Races and Events post made me very curious about how 2014 compared to other years in regard to running and racing. Luckily, I’ve been using the online log at Runner’s World since 2010, so it was pretty easy to go back and do some comparisons.



1,306.1 miles

Races: 7

Marathons: 1
Half Marathons: 1
Ten Milers: 1
10Ks: 1
5Ks: 3
Fun Runs: 2 (not counted in total)

PRs: 0

Cycling Events: 1 Century

2014 mileage graphI hurt my knee in July and sprained my ankle in December.



Total miles run: 1407.9

Races: 13

Marathons: 1
Half Marathons: 3
Ten Milers: 1
10Ks: 1
8Ks: 1
6Ks: 1 (I’m counting the Tacky Light Run as a race here, because I actually ran it in 2013.)
5Ks: 5

PRs: 3
Valentines 5K (23:08)
Charlottesville Ten Miler (1:22:32)
Gallop and Gorge 8K (38:11)

2013 mileage graph


Total Miles Run: 1043.3

Races: 9

Marathons: 1
Half Marathons: 2
10Ks: 1
5Ks: 5

PRs: 1
Steamtown Marathon (3:52:34)

Triathlons: 1 (Walnut Creek Sprint)

2012 mileage graphI spent the first few months of 2012 trying to get over an IT band injury.



Total miles run: 748.47

Races: 7

Half Marathons: 2
10Ks: 1
5Ks: 4

PRs: 1
Richmond Half Marathon (1:44:53)

Triathlons: 2 (Culpeper International/Olympic distance and I Love the Tavern Sprint distance)
Other: 1 (Muddy Buddy: run/bike/obstacle race)

The first few months of 2011 were spent cautiously coming back from a metatarsal injury that had kept me from running at all for the last FOUR months of 2010.

2011 mileage graph


Total miles run: 1125.4

Races: 4

Marathons: 1
10Ks: 1
5Ks: 2

PRs: 0

Cycling Events: 1 (Tour de Valley Metric Century)

Other: Muddy Buddy

I was on track for record-breaking mileage in 2010, but was seriously derailed by a foot injury. The injury happened not long after I started training for the Iron Mountain 50 Miler.

2010 mileage graph2010 is as far back as my Runner’s World log goes, but thanks to Athlinks, I’m able to piece together most of my running history. If you run races, and haven’t checked out the Athlinks website, you might want to! It tracks down all your events and stores them in one place. Pretty cool. It doesn’t always find events in different states, so sometimes you will have to find and add your own events. Also, if you have an often misspelled name (or if your handwriting is terrible, like mine is) you will have to look up your race results and then type the misspelled name in to find and collect your results.

athlinks*The earliest race that Athlinks found for me was the Johnny Kelly 5 Miler in Hyannis, Massachusetts in 2001. I was 25 years old and finished in 46:56. I’m pretty sure I had run at least a couple of local 5Ks before that, although there is only one 5K that I actually remember doing for sure.

*I have run races in Colorado, Massachusetts, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maine and Washington DC.

*My first Half Marathon was the Charlottesville Half Marathon in 2006. I have run fourteen half marathons.

*My first Marathon was Marine Corps in 2007. I have run six marathons.

*The Charlottesville Ten Miler is the only ten mile race I’ve run, but I’ve run it four times.

A photographic look back:

My First half marathon, cotton t-shirt and all (Charlottesville Half Marathon, 2007)
My First half marathon, cotton t-shirt and all (Charlottesville Half Marathon, 2006)
After our first marathon (Marine Corps 2007)
After our first marathon (Marine Corps 2007)
Run at The Rock trail race, 2008
Run at The Rock trail race, 2008
Muddy Buddy, 2009
National Marathon, 2010
National Marathon, 2010
Richmond Half Marathon, 2011
Richmond Half Marathon, 2011