Sunday, May 28, 2017

Great American River Run 2017!

I set a PR in my half-marathon time today! I ran the Memphis in May Great American River Run Half and shaved about 8 minutes off my last best half-marathon time!

I went to bed way early last night for my 4:30 a.m. alarm since the race was supposed to start at 7 a.m. But I was awakened at 11 p.m. to a terrible, severe storm that knocked out my power. I could hear the wind outside whistling past my window, and when I got up to look outside, the massive, backyard tree was literally swaying in the wind. Scary! I later learned that the storm involved 90 mph winds that knocked out power to most of the city. We may not have power for a week, according to the utility company. 

All that is to say, when I woke again at 4:30 — still no power — I wasn't even sure the race was still a go. It was still lightning outside and raining very hard. But I checked the race's Facebook page on my phone, and they said it would go on as planned, just with an hour delay to clear the course of debris. I got ready in the dark, to lantern light. I toasted my pre-race bagel in a skillet on my gas range. And then I drove downtown, dodging downed trees in the streets.

Runners are a resilient bunch, so I wasn't surprised to see a large crowd downtown despite the weather. We all huddled under an awning at Beale Street Landing for an hour or so to stay dry until the race started, and thankfully, the rain let up right as the race began at 8 a.m. My feet were wet the entire race, but I managed to hold a faster pace than I'm used to running — for all 13.1 miles! 

But before all that, I spent the day before the race working on my nutrition and trying to make sure my race went off without a hitch. Yesterday, I started the day with the Buckwheat Pinole & Chia Pancakes from No Meat Athlete. These are inspired by the pinole and chia meals eaten by the Tarahumara in Born to Run, and they were amazing! You toast the masa and combine with buckwheat flour and chia seeds. So good!

My morning snack on pre-race day is always a fresh juice. Great to hydrate and get nutrients in at the same time! I grabbed The Green One Juice from the So Fresh Juice Truck at the Memphis Farmer's Market. This had green apple, lemon, spinach, kale, and cucumber. I had them add some ginger to help with any inflammation.

After the market, I headed over to the race expo to pick up my bib and swag bag. They held the expo inside Bass Pro Shops, which is gross. I really hated to see all those dead animals. Ugh. I did, however, enjoy posing in front of this faux magazine cover.

Lunch on pre-race day is always a big ole salad. I made the Co-op Tempeh Salad from No Meat Athlete. This is steamed tempeh with a mayo-based dressing, celery, carrots, onion, and kalamata olives. It's served over salad greens. I LOVE THIS SALAD. I'll definitely be making this again.

My afternoon snack on pre-race day is typically yogurt. I had some Drinkable Blueberry Cashewgurt by Forager with Engine 2 Rip's Big Bowl cereal and fresh blueberries from the farmer's market. YUM! Carbs! Probiotics!

I enjoyed that snack while watching a Netflix documentary called Finding Traction about a woman who set out to break an ultra-running record in Vermont. Nothing like a good running doc to get you in the mood for a race! After the film, I got to work on dinner — Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes, & Green Beans from No Meat Athlete. This was made with whole wheat pasta, potatoes and green beans from the farmer's market, and pesto made with fresh basil from my herb garden. So local! And very tasty. I had this with a slice of sprouted grain bread spread with coconut oil and fresh garlic from the farmer's market. Carb-loading is best. 

After dinner, I met up with some friends at 901 Fest in Tom Lee Park. This is a festival celebrating all things Memphis with local bands on multiple stages. I couldn't stay long since I had an early bedtime, but I always have one lucky, pre-race beer so I grabbed a Wiseacre Boomslang IPA. Here I am with Cassi watching Hippy Soul at the Beats Stage.

Then it was off to bed! The weather was so amazing when I was down at the fest. It's hard to believe such a crazy storm passed through only a couple hours later. But it did! And I woke up to that craziness. But the race went on, and I'm quite proud of how I did. 

Immediately after the race, I downed some water with electrolytes. And then I had my post-race beer — a Bud Light — and some chips. Man, those chips were quite possibly the best thing I've ever eaten. The weather was in the 70s this morning, and I was sweating out chunks of salt. I'm a salty sweater! Nothing tastes better after sweating out so much salt than potato chips and beer. 

I had a protein bar in the car on the drive home. I expected my power would be back on when I got there, but alas, it was not. I had plans to meet up with friends post-race for pizza at Midtown Crossing. But the restaurant is across from my house and also was without power. In fact, most restaurants were without power, so I canceled my friend plans and headed to Arkansas to eat dinner with my parents. We got pizza at Uncle Maddio's. I got a vegan cheese pizza loaded with every veggie they had, plus tofu!

After dinner, my mom thawed out a Daiya Cheesecake she had in the freezer. She served it with fresh strawberries that she cooked down with sugar. So good! And I feel like I earned that pizza and cheesecake!

I'm still at my parents' house now, using their internet. But I'm heading home in a few, and I doubt I'll have power for several days. Memphis Light, Gas, & Water is estimating that it could take a week. They've called this the third worst power outage in our city's history. Soooooo ... all that is to say, you may not hear from me for a few days. But I'll be back as soon as the power returns! Until then, life will be like camping — inside my house. Ha!


vegan peace said...

I've always said runners are a resilient bunch. I always have so much respect when I see runners out in all kinds of horrible weather. That's dedication! Congratulations on improving your time, you should be very proud!
That pizza looks seriously amazing, and the cheesecake with strawberries, drool.
Good luck with the power situation. I hope it takes less than a week, it's so frustrating to have no power!

Christine @ Run Plant Based said...

Congrats on the PR, that's awesome! And the food looks great, especially the pizza.

Susan said...

Well done on the PR! Especially under such circumstances.
I hope the power is back on soon!! At least you have a gas stove.

Anni Rorke said...

That cheesecake is out of this world tasty! I had a sample at Oslo Vegfest and was really surprised how tangy and silky it was. Amazing how things progress :)

Sarah said...

Congrats on the 13.1 miles and congrats on smashing your personal record! That is so amazing and seriously so inspiring. I'm sorry that you do not have power, that is really awful. I guess on the bright side (pun intended), it is light pretty late now so you should have some decent sunlight until the late evening.

That cheesecake looks seriously incredible! Vegan cheesecake is at the top of my to do list :) That pizza also looks incredible and I bet it was the perfect post race meal.

Good luck with the power, I hope it comes back sooner rather than later! said...

Congrats on the PR! It looks like your race fuel was totally delicious and the pizza afterwards looks great too.