Back in the Swing of Things

Ah, school.  Some things change and some…don’t.  One of the joys (ha!) of being a science major is that the work for every class looks something like this:

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You can’t tell me that Organic Chemistry textbook doesn’t look appealing!  You know it is.  I will gladly share! ;D

In other news, I am [still] loving the dorm that I am in, as well as my room, so that is a major plus!  And my roomie is wonderful, which makes me so happy.  Anyone who has had a bad roommate match-up before knows how much stress it adds to an already stressful academic year, so I am glad that I don’t have to worry about that! 🙂

In ankle-/running-related news, I am now *officially* done my PT-prescribed back-to-running program and ready to increase my mileage.  Still taking baby steps here, but I’m planning to focus more on speed and increasing my base so that I can begin to train for longer races.  I have big things planned for this year!

Step one was an interval run yesterday [5 mins easy warm-up + (3 mins ~7:55/mi pace + 7 mins ~8:45/mi pace)x2 + 5 mins easy cool down] and a tempo run today (warm-up + 3.6 miles at 8:30 pace + cool down).

Blurry trail shot - it was such nice weather this morning!

Blurry trail shot – it was such nice weather this morning!

I am keeping my training runs fairly easy right now but once I build up my base mileage, I plan to work on getting my race pace down considerably.  It is definitely challenging to maintain the delicate balance between keeping my ankle strong and healthy and rebuilding my running.  Always a work in progress!

I hope everyone has had a great week and I will leave you with this lovely quote, courtesy of my Yogi teabag. 🙂

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Who is training for a race right now?  What is your favorite type of training run?  I like interval runs and hill repeats (even though they suck!).

Weekend plans?



Frederick WDF 5K Race Recap

(Whaaaaat?  A morning post?  I must be going crazy or something… 😀 )

Yesterday’s race was quite the success!  I was focusing simply on finishing (preferably under 28-30 minutes) and planned to take it slower than I normally would in a race.  I was definitely running to compete (because I’m a naturally competitive person and it was going to happen anyway…haha), but I was also running conservatively because I like my shiny new ankle the way it is and didn’t want to overdo it. 😀

I also have a bad habit of riding high on the race adrenaline and coming out strong in the first mile-ish then burning out by the end of the race.  So, yesterday, I took the first mile pretty slow and gradually (then not so gradually!) picked up the pace throughout the race, leaving enough energy to really kick the last ~0.3 at the end.

Holy negative splits, Batman!

Holy negative splits, Batman!

Unfortunately, the race was not chip timed, so I got a little frazzled in finish-chute confusion and pulling the tab off of my bib, so I ended up stopping my Garmin a little late (it read 3.18 miles, 26:55).  I figured that my time was around 26:45ish.

After checking my official time, I found out that I ran a 26:42!!

It was a double-loop course (with a slight variation in the second loop), and (I think) this was around the beginning of lap 2.

It was a double-loop course (with a slight variation in the second loop), and (I think) this was around the beginning of lap 2.

It looks like I'm walking (I'm not).  Long legs + trying not to push my pace too hard = short stride and awkward photo.

It looks like I’m walking (I’m not). Long legs + trying not to push my pace too hard = short stride and awkward photo.

I think I was trying to fly, because those are some serious chicken wings!

I think I was trying to fly, because those are some serious chicken wings!

My mom has been running with me (well, we split up and run different routes in the same park) in the mornings and she also ran yesterday’s 5K!

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So photogenic!! I'm jealous...this is such a great photo. :)

So photogenic!! I’m jealous…this is such a great photo. 🙂

…And my powerhouse momma finished in 34:48!  After I finished, I had just enough time to grab a water, a chocolate milk, and half a banana before I headed back out to the finish line to cheer her on as she came down the last stretch.  And thanks to allergies, I arrived at that race with a voice…then I ran, screamed for my mom at the finish, and talked a LOT after the race…and I left without a voice.  Now I sound like a sixty-year-old man…NOT cute (but so worth it!).

Post-race picture!  (My dad took lots of photos of us...thanks Dad!)

Post-race picture! (My dad took lots of photos of us…thanks Dad!)

Overall, I would say the race was very well organized and lots of fun!  The course marshals were very encouraging and helpful, the water stations seemed to be running smoothly (I didn’t stop for water), and the volunteers were friendly (and there were a lot of them!).  Being a two-loop course with a slight variation in the second loop, the course had the potential to be confusing but was actually very well marked and staffed to prevent any mishaps.

However, as I mentioned briefly above, I wish that the race had used chip timers.  The finishing-chute situation was a little funky and overwhelming, but luckily did not seem to affect the accuracy of finishers’ times.  Additionally, the double-loop course caused a little bit of congestion when the faster runners started to lap the slower runners/walkers.  

There were also raffle prizes (based on bib numbers) – about 25 of them! – which was really cool, and the age group winners’ medals were very nice.  The post-race experience in general was upbeat and fun, even if a little drawn out. 🙂

Out of all of the runners, I placed 43/329, which I would call a win since I am definitely not 100% yet!  I finished the race not feeling very tired or out of breath at all, which was both frustrating and encouraging: I know I could have run faster, but I know it was a good thing that I didn’t, since I am still recovering; however, it did make me happy because I know that as my ankle continues to get stronger, I can push my pace more and hopefully bring my time down considerably!

Overall, both my mom and I enjoyed our experience at the Frederick Women’s Distance Festival 5K.  Schedule permitting, I will definitely run this race again next year…hopefully a lot faster. 🙂

Today, I ran an easy 3.5 miles at 8:53 pace to stretch my legs out and give them a break after yesterday’s race.  I wasn’t sore at all this morning, but I didn’t want to push the pace to give my legs a nice little break.  There are plenty of other days for speedier runs. 🙂

In other news – because this just NEEDS to be talked about – how did I NOT KNOW that mini-bananas are a thing??!!

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I saw them at Wegman’s the other day and it kind of blew my mind.  What a genius idea!  Bananas, snack-size-ified.  Except…who would want to eat a little teeny banana when you could eat a banana the size of yo face? 😀  But I did want to buy them just because they were so adorable!

Did anyone else run a race this weekend?  How did it go?

Tell me three things you did this weekend. 🙂

Has anyone ever tried mini-bananas??  Sorry, I’m just obsessed with those adorable little fruits! 😀

What I’ve Been Up To…and BIG NEWS!

Hey there!  Remember me? 🙂

Sorry that I’ve been MIA for the last…month…?  Summer has been in full swing and is keeping me nice and busy!  I’ve really missed Muffins though, and I am glad to be back. 🙂  Here’s a little peek into what I’ve been up to while away from da blog:

– Eating plantains the size of my face.

photo 1 (16)– Spending time at the BEACH!!

photo 3 (12) photo 2 (16)(I know, I know.  They’re not pictures of the actual beach…I am kind of the WORST at taking pictures.)

– Enjoying one of my birthday gifts.  I absolutely love them!

photo 2 (17)(Other gifts included an iPod Shuffle and a Garmin running watch!)

– Lots and lots of running (of course). 🙂

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– Post-run breakfast dates with the best momma ever!

(That, folks, is what happens when I tell my mom to smile while she's chewing her food.  Sorry Mom!)

(That, folks, is what happens when I tell my mom to smile while she’s chewing her food. Sorry Mom!)

– Cooking and eating lots of tasty food…

...which included teaching myself to poach eggs (a fantastic decision).

…which included teaching myself to poach eggs (a fantastic decision).

And, lastly…BIG NEWS!!!

I am running a 5K this Saturday!  Yes, THIS Saturday.  Three days from now.  (More specifically, the Frederick Women’s Distance Festival 5K.)  I am SO excited to be back at it and actually racing!  Of course, I will be taking it easy and listening to my body during the race so that I don’t push it and re-injure my ankle.  This race isn’t about time, or medals, or placing in my age group – it’s all about the comeback.  I will just be happy to finish. 🙂

I am now officially back to the blogging grind, so make sure you stop in here on Muffins and say hello!  And stay tuned for an official race recap this weekend following the 5K.

What have you been up to this week?

Is anyone else racing this weekend?  What are you running?