Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Am a Morning Runner

This past weekend I went to Sacramento to visit my friend, Carly to volunteer for an organization I am very passionate about, Girls On The Run (just click on the link and you'll see why).  The event was on Saturday morning, and the afternoon was to be filled with lunch, a stroll through midtown, a loop around the State Capitol, a visit to the Crocker Art Museum, followed by a drive around surrounding areas in hopes of finding a place that I might like to live someday, and completed with a glass of wine and a chick-flick I've been wanting to see since I read the book, Something Borrowed (cute movie, better read).

Whew! Busy day! Just thinking about it makes me tired all over again.

And, yes, even though I only live two hours away, I took some time for a couple tourist-style photo ops.

I love this bench in front of the Convention Center.  Look closely at what it says!  

Capitol building.  The front was being used for two weddings and a Quincenera, so I settled for a corner view.  

Backtracking just a bit... I arrived on Friday just after noon feeling like I could eat a cow; only I don't eat meat, so I settled for an iced coffee to hold me over until lunch time at 2:00.  We had a late lunch because Carly wanted to take me to happy hour at Dad's Kitchen.  It was featured on The Food Network's Diners Drive-In's & Dives, and if Guy Fieri says it's delish, then you better believe I'm going to give it a try!  


I am so glad I held out because everything was Uh-may-zing!!  I tried the organic Gold Rush Ale and it was just as smooth and delicious as I had expected.  I wanted to try one of everything on the menu, but clearly that wasn't an option so we decided to share the Veggie Burger (made with quinoa; a new twist on a veggie patty yet nothing short of perfection) with their beer battered onion rings as a side.  My mouth is still watering just thinking of those not-so-little slices of heaven.  We also ordered the Sauteed Mushroom appetizer which was so good that I drizzled the remaining garlic-wine sauce on my veggie burger.  And in case that wasn't enough food, we also ordered the Green Machine sans cream cheese (a veggie sandwich on focaccia), which we had to wrap up and take home uneaten because we were so full after sharing the mushrooms and quinoa burger.  I suppose the up side to that was that we had dinner taken care of and it was as equally fantastic as everything else we ate.  Seriously, if you're in the area, go to Dad's!  

After lunch we wandered around the area a bit and went to Trader Joe's to pick up some fixin's to make Scrambled Tofu Pita Pockets for dinner the following night.  When we got home it was time for a run.  Yes, a run.  Apparently half marathon training slipped my mind while I was soaking up all the deliciousness at Dad's and let me just tell you, it was NOT easy!  Less than a mile into it I started cramping on my left side and was instantly exhausted.  Two miles in and the cramping had switched to the right rib cage.  Then came knee pain, back pain, coughing and more exhaustion.  The combination of my poor vacation eating during the day, paired with the lack of sleep I was running on due to the previous 3 nights I had spent having cough attacks that followed a mysterious summer cold from the week prior, made for the worst run ever!  I was terribly disappointed in myself because I was such a train wreck, yet proud that I didn't give up.  I only stopped once to take this picture of the Sacramento River at sunset.   

We had planned to head out for 7 or 8 miles, but it started getting dark; and even though Sacramento is on the list for the top 20 safest places to live in the nation (one of several reasons I want to move there), we thought it was best to cut our run short finishing 5.12 miles in 57 minutes.  I'll be honest though, I was grateful for the darkness since I was such a mess anyway.  During my pity party; however, Carly pointed out that if I was able to hammer out 5.12 miles at just over an 11 minute pace then just imagine what I could do a) on my usual morning runs without a days worth of food and beer in me, and b) on race day which is still 5 weeks away.  That somehow seemed to put me at ease.

Note to self: You are a morning runner, Amanda.  Running in the evening after a day's worth of eating and energy usage is hard.  Avoid it at all costs; but if it must be done, remember that it is doable-- you're just going to be cursing yourself the entire time.  

I hope you all had a better run this weekend than I did!  


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