wiaw: opening day

The baseball season kicked off a little over a week ago, but the season didn’t officially begin in St. Louis until Monday.  Opening Day for the Cardinals is pretty much a holiday in St. Louis.  People call in sick, have special celebratory days at work, all sorts of fun stuff to celebrate the day when our beloved Birds are back in town.  And I was lucky enough to get to go this year!

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I’ve never been to an Opening Day before, but as a big Cardinals fan, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go when my friend Tina asked me to go with her.  And anything to extend my weekend just a little bit longer.

I have to admit, my eating was all sorts of bad on Monday, but I’m only human.  I don’t eat perfectly all the time – far from it really – and that’s OK.  Sometimes special occasions come up or you’re in a place where you are so hungry, you just eat whatever is around.  That was pretty much how my eating on Monday went…

I got to sleep in a little bit since I took the day off of work, so I took the opportunity to get a good run in outside!  The perimeter of my parents’ subdivision is almost exactly 4 miles, so I added one of my favorite running loops from high school onto my 4 miles to make it an even 6 miles.  I ate a half a banana with peanut butter pre-run and of course had a smoothie post-run.

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I dropped MacKenna off at the sitter and made a little pit stop at Sbux for a skinny vanilla latte.

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I met up with Tina and her daughter and one of her daughter’s friends (both of whom are my volleyball players) and we headed downtown.  Our first stop (after walking about a mile in the pouring down rain) was to the brand spanking new Ball Park Village.  Of course, with the rain, it was totally packed inside, so we really only got to get a good look at it before we walked another mile in the pouring rain back to the car to do a little tailgating.

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Like I said, by this point, I was completely starving (it was about 12:30) and all I had was a protein bar in my bag.  Luckily, Tina had some chips in her car that I munched on and of course, no tailgate is complete without a beer (or two).

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We headed back to the stadium (another mile in the pouring rain) for the game around 2 PM.  The rain finally stopped around 4:30, so I made my way to finally get something a bit more substantial and to meet up with this pretty lady…

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Katie and I live so close but we hardly ever see each other!  And I got to meet her absolutely gorgeous daughter Allie.  We caught up for a few minutes and then I headed back to my seat with a huge mound of nachos with cheese sauce, salsa, jalapenos, and sour cream.  It was delicious, but my phone died right after I swiped the pic with Katie, so no picture of the deliciousness that ensued.  I gobbled up every last bite.

Thankfully, after being cold and wet for hours on end, the Cards made it worth it and beat the Reds 5-3, although Trevor Rosenthal made me a bit nervous at the top of the 9th inning.  I got home just in time to put MacKenna to bed, which made me never want to go to a night game again!

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Matt had been at a track meet all afternoon, so we made a quick dinner of quinoa, cheddar, and veggies with some tortilla chips on the side.  And some unpictured Reese’s Pieces that I was more than happy to eat.

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It was a great way to start off my week!  Of course, all that junk killed my tummy for the next day and a half, but I’m feeling much better now.  Like I said, I’m only human.  Everything in moderation, right?!

Posted in St. Louis, What I Ate Wednesday | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

tweaking the way i race

I’ve run a sub-20 5K three times now.  (Wow, that’s a lot of numbers in a row – you didn’t get lost did you?)  The last 2 times I ran a sub-20 were completely unexpected.  Both of them have been within the past year and I have been training hard in order to hit those sub-20 times.  So, I have actually started to think it isn’t all about how I have been training.

It’s about how I race…

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I have run A LOT of races.  More races than I can even keep count and at pretty much at every distance I can think of:  1 mile, 5K, 5 mile, 10K, half marathon, and marathon, just to name a few.  I always try to go into each race with a game plan because as any runner knows, you are really trying for that PR every time – even when you say that you are just running for fun.  My game plan has always been:  start out conservatively, pick up speed, and run my fastest pace at the end of the race.

However, after my last sub-20 about a month ago, I’ve started to rethink the way I race.  At this point in my running career, I feel like my training is pretty solid.  I know exactly what I need to do in order to increase and maintain my speed.  So, I know that my racing is the thing that needs to change.  And since I actually timed myself with splits and all during my last sub-20 5K, I was able to get an idea of what I do during my races that can help me in future races.

Let’s just say my game plan has completely changed.  My race last weekend really was the thing that made me rethink going out at a comfortable pace.  I’ve run races going out too fast and it has kicked my butt at the end of the race, especially in half marathons and marathons.  But, I feel like 5Ks are different and I am missing out on using the beginning of the race to my advantage.

With that being said, there is still a fine line between going out fast and going out too fast.  I think that is where I will really have to work out the kinks and start timing myself on my races.  What is going to be the best pace for me to continue to race at a sub-20 pace?  Which means I’m really going to have to start timing myself during my races and playing with my pace a little bit.  It’s going to take some time and some tinkering, but hopefully I can figure it out and possibly adjust some things I do with my training.

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I won’t lie.  My next goal really is to be a sub-19 5K runner, but at this point, that’s kind of a far-fetched dream.  But, I have to take some steps to make that a reality, and tweaking my racing is part of it.  I guess that means I need a new goal race to train for…

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this + that

I have so much to say yet nothing to say at the same time.  Does that happen to anyone else?  So, I thought I’d do a little this + that to end the week.

1. I got to see one of my childhood idols speak on Wednesday.  I could care less about the winter Olympics, but I absolutely LOVE the summer Olympics.  Track, swimming, running, gymnastics… it doesn’t get much better.  The most memorable Olympics by far to me was 1996 in Atlanta.  I was obsessed with the gymnasts, and my favorite gymnast was Shannon Miller.  How could you not love her and her classic 90s bangs?

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(Image Source)

Well, I got to hear my childhood idol speak on Wednesday at the national Society of Health and Physical Education conference (formerly known as AAHPERD).  The conference was in St. Louis and I was lucky enough to get to go to one day of it – and I chose to go Wednesday because I was able to hear Shannon Miller speak.  I loved hearing about her passion for providing opportunities for kids to be active and healthy.  She currently works with Polar Heart Rate Monitors to promote their products for healthy living.  She was charismatic and absolutely gorgeous!  I still want to be her…

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2. It’s officially tornado season in St. Louis.  I’m secretly a weather nerd, although I wouldn’t say I’m extremely knowledgeable about weather, but I do love to follow the track of storms etc.  But, I absolutely hate spring because of the tornadoes.  Luckily, we no longer live in a house with a basement that floods (we got that fixed before we sold it, don’t worry) and we have comfy couches to sit on when there is a warning and we have to go to the basement.  Plus, if Matt’s not home, I’ll at least have my parents to keep me company.  I still hate how nerve racking they are.  We’ve already had a few touch down just in the past day.  No fun.

3. As awful as I felt during my race this weekend, I’ve been having a great running week.  I finally realized why my race was so awful last weekend – I hadn’t really had a day of rest in 2 weeks!  I rested from running, but with moving, I walked over 20,000 steps both days of our move.  So, my rest day was anything but!  I’m feeling much more well rested this week and runs that I felt horrible doing last week have felt so much easier this week.  REST IS KEY!

4. I have the most hilarious two year old.  She has quite the personality on her, but my favorite thing is when she sings.  We still need to work annunciation, but we’ve got a good start…

Have a great weekend guys!  We’re off to choose flooring for the new house tomorrow and see one of my dear friends get married!  It should be a fun weekend!

Posted in Life | Tagged , , | 2 Comments