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A Lil Recap for the Leesburg 5k

Disclaimer: I fully admit this race recap is cow poo but I just wanted an excuse to post these awesome pics from the race. 

The other weekend, I signed up for the Leesburg 5k at the last minute - mostly to see Elliot rock his age group, but also to run another race with my good buddy Tom (who I had so much fun running the Army 10 Miler with last year). 

I met Tom at the start, promptly after ignoring all of his directions for where to park, instead opting to follow Google Maps, which directed me to a small lot on the course route (because that always ends well right?). He greeted me with some sweet blue sunnies, courtesy of NOVA Plastic Surgery Center (I’ve seen weirder race sponsors…maybe). Naturally, Tom wore these sweet shades in addition to his normal sunglasses…because you know that doesn’t make you look like a weirdo :) 

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We immediately lined up near the back as both of us clearly knew this is where the party was at (cue the Jagged Edge song here). 

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I wish I had more to say about the race and the course itself but I don’t really remember much of it. I know we ran near a Roy Rodgers (didn’t know they still made those) and a school annnnnnnnnnd maybe a barn? I don’t know. It was pretty but I was mostly just having fun catching up with my friend again. 

Of course this is the same “friend,” who at the finish line, distracted me by saying, “Oh, hey look! palm trees” and then darted to the finish leaving me eating his dust. The picture below demonstrates just how mad I was with him about this… 

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Oh - and Elliot? He rocked it of course (as if there was ever any doubt). He finished 2nd in his age group because he’s awesome. He also got a cowbell. Ohhhh to be fast. 

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Running for Puppies Recap

This summer, Jerry suggested that we sign up for the Lost Dog 5k series. This is essentially a series of 4 races on the first 4 Fridays of August where 200 people run up and back on the W&OD trail in Arlington with or without their furry pals, all in the name of supporting the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation

This series was where I ran my first ever race (soooo many moons ago - aka 2012) and I immediately jumped on the opportunity to do the race again for a variety of reasons. 1) It’s for a good cause 2) Due to the low number of participants, it’s super low key and just…easy. 3) They bring puppies - enter exhibits A, B, and C:

I mean really… I die. 

Aside from the ridiculous amount of cuteness, these races were good training runs for Jerry, who is working up to his first 10k this November. He did amazingly well. The first week, his time was 32:55 and in the fourth and final race, his time was 30:30! Amazing. Mama is so proud.

Ja, Ja, Maniac!!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of running the 1/2 Sauer, 1/2 Kraut marathon, a delightful German themed race I first read about on the T-Rex Runner’s page (her story is by far more entertaining so if you haven’t checked out her blog by now, do it. NOW. Don’t worry, I’ll wait). 

Jerbear was supposed to join me for this race — he loves all things German so this was right in his wheelhouse — but I decided it was better to just go straight to Philly from my training class in West Virginia, rather than fight all the DC/Baltimore traffic on a Friday afternoon. It ended up working out for the better because I had no idea if I was going to do the half or the full. I was literally planning on making that decision at the last possible second…which I did (spoiler alert — I did the full). 

Even after getting little to no sleep the night before thanks to a bunch of dumbys running up and down the hotel hallways, I was super excited to put on my Maniac singlet for the first time. I went through a lot for that damn thing and damnit, I was going to wear it with pride. 

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I was a little nervous when I got to the start because I was all by myself. But another Maniac ended up asking me where the group picture was (which I guessed was by the start) and we started chatting. Then another Maniac joined and next thing you know I’m meeting a bunch of new people. I’m fine with running and being alone but it was incredible meeting them and hearing their stories. Bottom line… Maniacs are freakin impressive. 

For example, one Maniac was an 11 year old kid who has run marathons on every continent but Europe and Asia. So yeah, he’s already done Africa as well as Antarctica…twice. Lil f*cker. I joke. He’s doing it to raise money for a children’s charity. When I was 11, I could barely brush my own hair so good on ya, kid. Here he is getting his mack on with the ladies (one of which is the same girl featured in T-Rex’s blog…seriously, if you haven’t read it, do it. meow.):

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We all made it for the Maniac/Fanatic picture, but for the life of me, I have no idea where they might be posted. As the race was starting they began blasting super fun German music and I loved every second of it. You can check it out here: http://youtu.be/GgUBXUxgC24

The race was in Pennypack Park outside of Philly and the course ran primarily on a paved bike path along the water with lots of tree cover. This was crucial since it was pretty warm that day. If the whole thing had been in the sun, I probably would’ve died. Luckily the vast amounts of rain we had the day prior helped break a lot of the humidity but it was still fairly hot so I took it slow. The race had other fun touches such as folks dressed up in lederhosen and dirndls and they even had Uber Hans rocking his accordion on the course (all other races, take note - THIS is solid course entertainment): 

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The other side of this picture… 

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The best part about wearing the singlet was that other Maniacs and Fanatics would cheer you on, often with a “Yeah! Yeah! Maniac!” and as the course had very few spectators, it was a nice bit of encouragement and just made me so happy. 

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The course was an out/back double loop, which was probably the reason so many people ended up downgrading to the half. Because after tackling the tough (and super muddy) technical trail, including the dreaded Mount Cuckoo at mile 7, you’d have to be nuts to do it all again. 

Well clearly I’m nuts and since I felt good when I finished the 13, I turned around with the finish line a few feet away and headed back out there to do my second loop. A lot of people hate these types of courses and while I agree they can be difficult mentally, I actually found comfort in knowing exactly what to expect from the course for the remaining 13 miles. Sometimes I get anxiety during a race when I don’t know what is coming up. 

Even with knowing what was ahead, the second loop was by no means less difficult. Each mile felt like it took forever. I’d look at my watch after what felt like a mile and realize it’d only been a tenth of one. So demoralizing. I also starting getting increasingly dehydrated so I started lingering at each aid station to make sure I was getting enough fluids. 

Eventually I finished in a tad less than 5 hours and ended up meeting another Maniac, John, who was visiting the area with his wife and still had to drive home to Atlanta that day. Oy. Good luck my friend.

We made our way back to the German club, where they had some fun folk dancing going on but sadly I only got to see one dance before they stopped to do the awards. Since I had to get back to Virginia for Jerry’s bday celebration, I could only stay for a few of them. Luckily they did best dressed first. First place deservedly went to this guy (he did the full like that): 

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I hosed myself down with some baby wipes, changed clothes, and off I went back to VA. I very much enjoyed my first race as a Maniac and can’t believe I felt as good as I did after. Maybe I should run more races slowly. Anyway, I’m now looking forward to my Fall races more than ever and can’t wait to meet more Maniacs.    

Ich liebe Marathons. 

But what about your protein?

I’ve seen the following someecard before and it didn’t truly resonate with me until I went vegetarian. 

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"What about your protein?" "Are you getting enough protein?" "Where are you getting all your protein from?" Pretty much every single person I’ve come in contact with has asked me some variation of these questions. 

So, let me just put it to bed right now.

For starters, you don’t need as much protein as you think you do (check out No Meat Athlete’s recommendations for daily intake here). For my body weight and activity level, I need to eat about 73g of protein a day. 

Secondly, I track everything I eat with MyFitnessPal and I can tell you for a fact I get more than enough and even exceed the recommended limit on a regular basis — all by eating vegetables (which, surprise!, have protein), beans, eggs, almond milk, quinoa, Icelandic Skyr (there’s a buttload of protein in there), nuts, etc. There’s a great list of protein sources for vegetarians on the No Meat Athlete page. Check it out and be amazed by how much protein can be found in things that aren’t meat. 

So there you have it. Moving on. 

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