For the first time in about 8 years, my calendar of swimming, biking, and running events is looking very sparse. In past years, I've had a coach, a plan, and been registered for a multitude of triathlons and running events. Between trauma chiefdom taking all of my time January through March and then the anticipation of moving to Atlanta mid-summer, racing hasn't been a priority. Last weekend, however, I decided to change that and registered for the Charlotte Race Fest Half Marathon. Nothing like a well thought out plan to register for a 13.1 mile race six days before the event.
Race morning was a picture perfect spring morning with temperatures in the upper 40s at the start. I've typically been running three days per week with one of those being a 10+ mile run averaging about 8 minute miles. Speed work has been nonexistent. Two years ago I ran 1:38 here directly off a 2 hour bike trainer ride when I was in much better shape. Optimistically, I hoped for a similar time or a little closer to 1:35. Long story short, that wasn't in the cards yesterday and I finished 1:41 on a slightly long 13.3 mile course.
After an opening two miles at 7 minute pace, the effort felt too hard and I backed off slightly. Things went fairly well until we turned onto Sharon View Road just before mile 7. Miles 7 - 11 seemed to be a steady climb and included a winding paved path with no shortage of cracks in the pavement and low-hanging trees to navigate. I had high hopes for my caffeinated gel to re-energize my legs, but it just wasn't there. I saw a couple mile splits in the low 8 minute range during that stretch, but was able to pull it together to negative split the last three miles, including a punishing uphill finish.
At the end of the day I finished 5th out of 81 in my age group and top 8% overall. More important than results though was the fact that I spent a beautiful morning running the streets of Charlotte with some very fast friends. Congrats to Meghan and Theoden for your speedy races!
The weather has been absolutely perfect (minus the pollen) and I've been soaking up the sun and correcting my massive vitamin D deficit that was induced by 3 months of 80 hour work weeks.
Saturday afternoon we had a big ortho gathering for a crawfish boil - including 240 pounds of crawfish straight from Louisiana.
After an early morning on race day, Sunday was a morning of sleeping in, a mug of pumpkin spice chai tea, and apple cinnamon pancakes spread with peanut butter and topped with maple cinnamon apples.
I spent last weekend in Atlanta for some quality time with my family, including Grandpa who is fighting a battle with cancer. Although the reason for the visit was bittersweet, we managed to toss some happy times into the weekend as well.
Saturday we spent the day in Atlanta looking homes in the Dunwoody area where I'll be moving in a couple months and then had a cardamom latte at Dancing Goats Coffee Bar.
We had a wandering lunch starting at Ponce City Market and finishing later at Krog Street Market. In between we walked a few miles on the beltline to Piedmont Park to wander through the Dogwood Festival.
Lunch included baba ganoush, hummus topped with beats, pita, hand-cut french fries, and vegetarian dumplings. Earlier in the day we had started with a roasted carrot salad, a quinoa vegetable wrap, and tomato soup.
We met Royce and Erin for dinner at The Big Ketch in Roswell one evening. The baby count-down is now less than a week away! Anytime now Baby E, we are ready for you!
Backing up a little bit further to Easter, I was surprised be a thoughtful gift from the Easter Bunny after spending the holiday weekend working and away from family. The Adele CD is fantastic and I've been blasting it on high volume with the windows opened in the house!
Easter weekend breakfast post-call included a veggie and goat cheese omelet, strawberries, and a hot-crossed bun from a local bakery.
And, lastly, here are a few recent meals that were particularly noteworthy. Now that I have my late afternoons and evenings back, I've loved spending more tim in the kitchen.
|Soy-glazed brussel sprouts, beetles tips, and sautéed greens over brown basmati rice.|
|Citrus-marinated salmon, quinoa, and an asparagus caesar salad.|
|Roasted herb tofu, sweet potato wedges and mixed veggies.|
This little hyacinth plant was a spontaneous purchase a couple weekends ago at Fresh Market just after I had finished my last senior call of residency. I considered it to be symbolic spring and a return to a much more enjoyable work-life balance. I rarely ever have fresh flowers, but the sunshine coming in the window and these flowers put a smile on my face everyday.