Saturday, September 22, 2012

On the Run: Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo 5K & 10K - 2012

Last Sunday I did Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo - one of my favorite races of the year.  Actually now that I do both the 5k and 10k I should say it's two of my favorites!  I love it in part because it was the first race I ever ran so I like to see each year how much faster I get.  (In my 5th year running it my finishing time has dropped by 10 minutes - woot woot!)  I also love that it's fast and flat and not too crowded, which gives me a fighting chance at placing in my age group.  And although I sometimes get flack from other vegetarians and vegans for supporting the zoo, I firmly believe they do good work for the animals and treat them with care and respect.  The proceeds from this race benefit the veterinary hospital at the zoo, which I think is a good cause.  So really, what's not to love about this race?

The weather last weekend was absolutely perfect racing weather - sunshine, blue skies, cool temps, and a gentle breeze.  By my standards, Brian and I were a little late getting to the race so I jumped out on the service drive before he pulled into the parking lot and ran to the starting line.  I got there just in time for the singing of the National Anthem and then we were off.  Initially my goal was to use the 5k as a warm-up for the 10k that was to follow.  However, I had a lot of adrenaline going, started out strong, and before I knew it I was at mile 2.  With only another 1.1 miles to go there was really no point in slowing down.  Plus, the faster I ran the more time I would have between races to switch bibs and stand in line for the port-a-potties (I didn't have time to go before the 5k, remember?).  So I just went for it.  And when I crossed the finish line and saw the race clock I was so happy I ran the way I did.  I raised my arms and gave out a loud, "Wahoo!"  I'd never run so fast in all my life.  I'd gone balls to the wall.  (I actually shouted that to Brian when I finished.  Sorry parents.)  And I still had another 6.2 miles to run.  Oh sh*t.


Vanilla Chia Pudding (this recipe, minus the cocoa), banana

Runaway Train / Soul Asylum
Take Me Away / Wild Belle
Michael Praytor, Five Years Later / Ben Folds Five
Mama's Room / Under the Influence of Giants
Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin' / Mayer Hawthorne
Felt / Garbage

After such a glorious 5k I was super pumped about the 10k.  I started out way at the front again and from the get-go I was moving at a pretty good clip.  I wasn't really passing anyone yet but people weren't passing me, either.  After only about a mile, however, my mind started telling my legs they were tired.  I started thinking about how fast I'd just run and how far I had to go.  Even though I badly wanted to place in my age group I started to tell myself it was okay if I didn't.  But both races together are only 9 miles and I easily run 7 and 8 miles a couple days a week.  And this is race day!  Get a hold of yourself, I thought!  haha!  Anyway, I knew it was all in my head so I picked a person who was just a little ahead of me to catch up with, keep pace with for a while, and then eventually move on ahead of him or her to the next person.  I find that's the best way to keep pushing myself to run faster and faster in a race.  Keep running down the next target.  Oh, my strategically planned playlist worked great, too!  I got lots of cheers from volunteers along the course - and even some high fives - so that made it fun and was also highly motivating.  I finished strong again with a one second faster per mile pace than the 5k.  I couldn't believe it!  So just when I thought I couldn't run any faster . . . I did!  Woot woot!



Teardrop Windows / Benjamin Gibbard
Don't Stop (Color on the Walls) / Foster the People
Strange Times / The Black Keys
In the Clouds / Under the Influence of Giants
I Feel Better / Gotye
You Called Me / Mayer Hawthorne
Runaway Baby / Bruno Mars
Mountain Sound / Of Monsters and Men
Dynamite / Taio Cruz
I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor / Arctic Monkeys
Blood for Poppies / Garbage
So Good / B.o.B.
Princess of China / Coldplay & Rihanna
Uprising / Muse

I ended up placing 1st in my age group in the 10k and 2nd in my age group in the 5k - with new PR's to boot!  The medals are identical except that the 1st place is gold on the back and the 2nd place is silver. 

And check it out - I made the Leaderboard for both races!  Smile

Next up: The Brooksie Way 1/2 Marathon - Sunday, September 30th

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fall & Halloween Soaps from Cellar Door

Last Saturday I ran my fastest 10k ever.  As I mentioned in my post about the race, my initial motivation to run fast was the new Fall and Halloween soaps waiting for me from Cellar Door Soap Co.  Yes, I was pouring on the speed for soap!  (And for a 1st place medal, if possible.  But that would be icing on cake!)

So, without further ado, here they are!  First off, let me tell you about the Fall Collection.  As you can see there are 5 - Apple Jack, Apple Wood, Pumpkin Butter, Lavender Pumpkin and Chai Latte.  Although it's pretty hard to choose a favorite, if I had to pick one I think I'd say the Apple Jack.  It's has a very strong apple scent with a hint of orange and spice to it.  The Apple Wood, on the other hand, is a little more subtle and sweeter.  

My second favorite is probably the Pumpkin Butter, which has both pumpkin and apple scents.  The Lavender Pumpkin surprised me.  I am not a big fan of lavender so I wasn't sure how I would like it but this one is amazing!  Smell it and you'll agree.  I think this will be the first hand soap for us.  Last but certainly not least is the Chai Latte.  I'm sure you've had a chai latte drink so I don't have to describe how this one smells.  Wait a minute - I've never had a chai latte!  So in case you're wondering, this one has cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, and (since it's Fall) pumpkin.  Mmmmm!

Next up is the Halloween Collection, which also has 5 - Once Bitten, Zombie Repellent, Pumpkin Head, Witches Brew, and Wolfsbane.   My favorite BY FAR is Once Bitten.  I'm surprised that I like this as much as I do because it's a cherry-vanilla soap and I am generally not a fan of cherry-scented things.  But oh my is this amazing!  Does the vampire theme make me love it too?  Maybe a little.  

I can't decide if I like Zombie Repellent or Pumpkin Head better.  I think they tie for second favorite.  Pumpkin Head mixes pumpkin and cinnamon so it's spicier than the Fall pumpkin soaps.  I really like this one!  Zombie Repellent has a musky woodsy scent but it's not overwhelmingly spicy.  I would consider it pretty neutral.  Just a great soap with a kick-ass name.  Last up are Witches Brew and Wolfsbane, which I think are both a little more gentlemanly.  Witches Brew has balsam and patchouli and Wolfsbane has anise and herbs, giving it a subtle licorice scent.  Brian will smell very nice.

There you have it - 10 new soaps added to my collection!  (Yes, I bought 10 bars in one day.  No judgment, please.)  I can't wait to use each and every one of them.  If you have a chance, check out Cellar Door Soap Co. and see what Fall and Halloween soaps are left.  They're going fast!

BTW, my niece now calls me "Auntie Soap!"

What is your favorite Fall scent?

Monday, September 3, 2012

On the Run: Run Like the Wind 10k 2012

On Saturday I ran my 3rd Run Like the Wind 10k.  I'm so glad I discovered this race!  It's close to home and parking is easy.  It's on Labor Day weekend when the gym is closed so I don't have to miss Boot Camp.  It's a cheap race to enter and you still get a tee shirt.  Perhaps best of all, though, is it's small, making it easy for me to place first in my age group.  Well, it was easy last year and the year before but this time I had to fight hard to stay reigning champ.  Which is why I'm so proudly showing off my 1st place medal above.  Let me tell you the story.

I didn't intend to set any records when I started out.  Did I want to finish first in my age group?  Yes.  They were giving medals to the top three, however, so even if I was second or third that would be okay.  (But deep down did I really want to be first?  Yes.  Yes I did.)  But if I'm going to be completely honest with you, at this point my biggest motivation to run fast was that we were going to the Plymouth Farmers Market after the race to buy the new Fall and Halloween soaps from Cellar Door Soap Co.  I kept thinking that the faster I ran, the sooner I could get to my soap!  (I need a tee shirt - "Will run for soap!")  So I started out too fast and I knew it but I figured I would slow down later on if I needed to.  I was feeling great, the weather was perfect, and it was only 6 miles total.  So I went with it.

As I neared the turn-around, I started to realized that there were not many girls ahead of me.  In fact, there were 3.  But they looked like they were all in my age group.  Uh oh.  I knew I had to take at least one of them.  So I sped up and pretty quickly was upon one of them.  Then she and I passed up another girl so we were two and three.  My plan was to stay with her until the end, conserving my energy just enough so that I could pass her up at the finish.  I hoped maybe she would even tire out and I could pass her up before the end.  No such luck.  She gave me a real run for my money!  If it wasn't for her there was no way I would have run as fast as I did.  I even have a sub-7:00 mile 4!

Just when I didn't think I could keep pace with her any longer, we rounded the last curve and saw the finish line.  She either sped up or I dropped back - I'm not sure which.  I just know that the distance between us increased a bit for the first time.  Then as we got closer she got a little too complacent with her imminent victory and that's when I made my move.  I put on one final burst of speed and pushed past, finishing ahead of her by ONE SECOND!  (I excitedly asked Brian if it was as thrilling as watching the Olympics but he said no.  Wah-wah.)  She and I high-fived and congratulated each other on a great race.  I know I wouldn't have run so well without her and I'm pretty sure I pushed her, as well.  Oh, so I was the 2nd female and 11th overall.  Wahoo!

After I finished I grabbed my banana (perfectly ripened - another Run Like the Wind plus!) and my 1st place medal.  By the way, last year they gave out magnets so this is an upgrade!  Then I went to get my soap.  10 bars.  Hey, I earned 'em!  (And needed 'em, too!)



Vanilla Chia Pudding (this recipe, minus the cocoa), banana

Out on the Road / Norah Jones
Pickin' Up the Pieces / Fitz & the Tantrums
Call Me Maybe / Carly Rae Jepsen
A Long Time / Mayer Hawthorne
Right Back Where We Started From / Maxine Nightingale
Uprising / Muse
I Don't Feel Like Dancin' / Scissor Sisters
Hooked / Mayer Hawthorne
Hang Loose / Alabama Shakes
Punching in a Dream / The Naked & Famous
Where Have You Been / Rihanna
Everyone I Know / Lightning Love
Good Time / Owl City (Feat. Carly Rae Jepsen)
Over Here, Over There / Dr. Dog

 Next race: Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo 5k and 10k - September 16th

Happy Labor Day!