Friday, August 17, 2012

The Harborthon -- My First 5K!

I ran my first 5K yesterday. By ran, I mean I jog-walk-jog-walk-jogged it. Like my mom said – you have to start somewhere!

It’s not like I came in last place or anything. For someone who played tennis and softball throughout high school (meaning, of course, that long distance running was not a regular part of my day), I have to say I held my own. I’d love to keep up with the training and run more races in the future.

The race itself was a charity run to benefit the Camp Harborview foundation. Camp Haborview is a program designed for Boston-area kids and provides it’s campers with opportunities to build confidence, encourage creativity, and develop leadership skills (according to their website). From running around a majority of the camp grounds, I have to say it looks like an amazing way to spend the summer. The camp and race are located on Long Island—now, this is not the New York Long Island that I am from…it is actually a knock-off Long Island located in the Boston Harbor. But, hey, it was a nice island, so I’m not mad about the name.

I finished the race after 35 minutes -- which was great for me considering I was guessing I could do it comfortably in 45. Turns out, the course was a bit hilly -- something I didn't account for during my training. For the most part I trained on the treadmill with no incline or at Jamaica Pond (an amazing but not very hilly park near my apartment). The added challenge didn't deter me though! And there is nothing better than the feeling of making it to the top of the hill then flying down to the bottom.

Here’s my bib! So official. It’s hanging on my fridge. I felt like a 5th grader bringing home an A+ paper.

I wanted to quickly share my food regimen from race day.  Like I said, I am no professional runner/racer/or marathon guru, so I would encourage you to discover what kind of race-day diet works best for you. I also do not guarantee that this is going to in any way improve your race performance. However, for me, this meal plan left me feeling full but not bloated. I also felt sufficiently hydrated and energized (come mile 2, that energy is REALLY important).

Breakfast: 2 pieces of whole wheat toast (be sure there are no “enriched” flour products in your bread!) with all-natural peanut butter, sliced banana, and honey.

Mid-morning snack: fresh strawberries and blueberries, followed by a small bottle of low-fat chocolate milk.

Lunch: a whole wheat pita stuffed with black pepper turkey (this stuff is awesome), kale, romaine lettuce, hummus, and feta cheese. I had cherry tomatoes on the side (they always make the pita pocket bust…)

Afternoon snack: a black plum. And, ok, let me be honest. There was this huge ice cream social at my office. I had 2 scoops of coffee ice cream. With reeses pieces and some cherries. I WAS WEAK. But it was delicious.

Pre-race snack: Nature Valley Dark Chocolate and Peanut protein chewy bar.

Post-race dinner: cheeseburger and homemade potato salad (provided by b.good to the foundation).

Water: an estimate of at least 50 ounces throughout the day, 2 small cups (drank slowly) before the race, and 1 water bottle immediately after (again, sipped fairly slowly).

Have you run any races before? What’s your race-day routine? Any suggestions for improvement?!

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