Happy First Day of Fall! The cooler temperatures (and the abundance of pumpkin flavored goodies and soups!) have me super excited for this season! Today, I don’t have 7 tips for you, but I have a lot of fun stuff to recap (and giveaway winners announced at the end!). To make myself feel better about going off the blog schedule, I’m going to put my rambling thoughts in a list of 7 anyway :). Enjoy!
- Race preparation: When I was putting together my Fall racing calendar, I knew I wanted to run the Tour de Fleurs 20K. Given the timing, I planned to take it as a tempo run rather than a “real race” and just enjoy the experience. I thought about my tips for preparing for a race, and I chose some of them to follow … I ate my regular pre-race-day dinner, and hydrated well on Friday (even avoiding the wine we served when we had friends over Friday night, and letting Kevin take over the late-night bar scene, which I knew was a good idea when he stumbled into bed just a few hours before I had to get up on race morning!). I did not include extra rest/ taper, though: I did a speed workout on Wednesday, and did my regularly-planned runs on Thursday and Friday. I did this since I wasn’t treating Saturday as a “real race” … it’s sometimes useful to get an idea for where your fitness is even on tired legs. For breakfast on Saturday, I ate a Van’s gluten-free waffle with peanut butter, a few banana slices, and cinnamon, which is always a great pre-race meal for me.
- The race itself: It was a gorgeous day (66 degrees at the start!!!), and I love the racing experience, so I had a blast. To me, there’s nothing better than getting out there in the morning and running alongside so many different kinds of people, all going after the same goal. The Tour de Fleurs did a great job of having plenty of water stops, and the course itself was around White Rock Lake, which I have run several times, so it was comfortingly familiar. There was a mix-up in both the 10K and 20K, which resulted in the leaders being directed the wrong way and running a shorter course. My super-talented (and hard-working!) friend Enoch won the 10K, and was very gracious about the mix-up, even though it threw him off a bit. (By the way, since I’ve been warned by seasoned bloggers to disclose everything that I receive for free on the blog, Enoch received a few free entries to the race and was generous enough to give me one of them, so I did not pay for my race fee).
- The results: I set a goal of keeping an 8:00/ mile pace for the 12.4 miles. (For reference, to set a new half marathon PR, I’ll need to run 7:35/ mile for 13.1 miles). I’m still not very good at keeping an even pace, so my splits were a little bit all over the place, but I ended with an 8:03/ mile pace, which I was happy with! I am looking forward to a lot of races in the Fall and Winter, so I have plenty of time to improve. I happily added my race bib to my giant stack … since I only hang my marathon and half marathon medals but still want some kind of memento from each race, I keep all my old race bibs in a closet. It’s a great way to look back at all the racing experiences I’ve enjoyed!
- Flowers: Kevin bought me a beautiful bouquet of roses to kick off our celebration of our 10 year anniversary (even though our wedding anniversary is the “real” one, we still like to celebrate the anniversary of the day we started dating, too!). Flowers aren’t always practical since we both travel 4 days per week for work, but they make me SO happy, and sometimes little indulgences like that are worth it for the joy they bring to your life.
- Farmer’s Market: Speaking of traveling, I got word that I will get to work from Dallas this week, which is so indescribably amazing! I was so excited to get to spend a week at home that I rushed off to the Farmer’s Market, another one of my favorite little indulgences. The way I see it, it’s a win-win: I love going there, exploring the fresh produce, and asking the farmers about their growing process, I get to support local Texas farmers, and I load up on healthy and delicious produce. Think I can tackle all of this by myself in a week? I have no doubts :).
- Dinner: We went out for an amazing dinner at Ocean Prime in celebration of our 10 year anniversary. I thought about my BDD Rule for eating out, and decided that this was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to throw caution to the wind. I still passed on the bread (sourdough is not my favorite) and the dessert (only because we were SO full by the end!), but I had my fair share of drinks and indulgent food to make up for it! Check out all of this delicious-ness! We started with a chilled shrimp cocktail… …and then shared a delicious salad with Granny Smith apples, goat cheese, walnuts, a sherry mustard vinaigrette, and cracked pepper. For my main course, I chose the special, which was wild King salmon grilled on a cedar plank and served with eggplant, red pepper, zucchini, and a balsamic glaze (pretty much my perfect meal!). Kevin enjoyed the filet mignon … …and we shared some steamed asparagus and truffle fries (doing it right for a celebration dinner!). Everything was absolutely delicious, and we hardly left anything on our plates when all was said and done. Check out this comparison of the first picture we can find of us (around November 2003) vs. last night! Do you think we look the same or different?
- Quest Giveaway winners: Finally, thank you for your entries in my Quest Bar Giveaway. The winners are below – if you’re a winner, send me your address and I’ll pass it along to the nice folks at Quest! If you didn’t win, I hope you still get a chance to try Quest Bars. And stay tuned, because I have 2 more giveaways lined up – coming in the next few weeks!
So tell me in the comments … What did you do this weekend? What’s the last delicious meal you enjoyed?