Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Nachos: Without Geoducks, Please

They didn’t look like runners. All athletes had jeans, flip flops, backpacks, with their parents carrying big bags, and towels. None of them had their heads/ears covered. It was a cold day (34F/1C).

We, runners, don’t go to a race in jeans. We go already race dressed. If we wear something else is sweat pants to be removed prior to the race. We wear headband or ear-bands, or hats when is that cold. We don’t wear flip flops before the race, let alone at that temp. We always arrive with our running shoes.  And we don’t carry backpacks to the race. We normally keep the bags in the car to change after the race, or do gear check putting all the clothes in a plastic bag. Maybe we have lockers accessible? 

As this race was in Evergreen State College, I asked myself if college runners do it this way.  I parked my car, and followed a parade of athletes, dressed as described before. I followed the crowd. After walking about 200 yards, I saw a sign: Swim Meet. Oh, this explains everything. I confirmed with one athlete that they had a swim meet and all these athletes were swimmers. I was in the wrong place. For a moment, I felt that sensation of satisfaction. We, runners, are easy to spot. We have something in common, we dress different to other athletes.

I went back to my car, and drove around to try to find the half marathon place. Entered in a parking lot with 3 cars, and led me to nowhere. I drove around and around, and had the instinct that I was driving away of where the race should be. Turned around. There was nothing. How come organizers don’t put signs in college campus: Geoduck Half Marathon THIS WAY???

After about 5 minutes, I saw a guy that looked like a runner. He was walking and I asked him if he was going to the Half Marathon and if he knew where the registration area was. He answered he was also lost.   He was walking around trying to find the place. That was an affirmation, that signs would be needed. Duh! Maybe this race was originally ran by people from the College, and everybody knew where the race place was? But now the race is more popular and certainly out-of-town people don’t know the campus?. I continued driving, and saw a couple, that also looked like runners. I asked them if they knew where the packet pick-up was, and they said: No, we have no idea, we are guessing where to go. I parked my car, and followed the couple, who were also following another guy that was also guessing. Then I saw my friend Sharon, and she told me that they did also drive around and saw the swimmers, noticing they didn’t look like runners. Fortunately her sister is from the area, and figured out where it could be.

After finally getting into the registration area, the first thing I wanted to tell the organizers was Geoduck race organizers, please, put signs to tell people where the gathering area is. Well, I didn’t. No need to stress them with my complaint, especially when I realized I left my checkbook, and was short $8 for the registration. So, I kept my words, and shyly asked if they would let me register with the caveat that I would send an $8-check on Monday. They were fine. I let go, they let me in.

It was 8:10 am and it was cold. Race was scheduled at 9. I chatted with Sharon for a while, and went back to my car to kill the world (i.e.: turn the car and heater on). I stayed there until 8:50 am (turning the car off after it was heated, and turning it on when it got cold).

At 8:50 I went to the start line, jogged for 5 minutes and got ready for the race. It was sunny, but the run would be along evergreens so it would be pretty much shaded and cold. I kept my arm warmers, a long sleeve technical and my new thermo breath Mizuno (I have had this type of wool technical since I started running in 2007, it’s made of wool and it’s fantastic for our weather). Had gloves and hand heaters.

My plan, as usual, was to go by heart rate, and hold myself during the first half or the race. This time I divided the race in 4 phases. First 3 miles at 148-150, 3 to 6 @ 158-160, 6 to 9 @ 165-168, 9 to 12 @ 173, and the last mile with all I have.  The first miles had a light decline and seemed fairly easy.  I wanted to push the pace, but held myself back trying to control the pace. I felt I was going slower than I could go. I was tempted MANY times to push the pace, really, but I told myself that this was a trial, and I needed to make sure I followed it to learn something. Nonetheless, before mile 4 we had a very steep downhill to continue with a furious uphill. The HR needed to be accommodated to the course as I needed to climb that hill with some strength, and I did at my max 183. It was very hard. At mile 6 I picked up the pace a little and accommodated easily. At mile 7 I was strong going uphill, though I pushed the effort, I thanked myself for holding the pace during the first half.

The course had some miles repeated but not all, for example mile 4 & 9 were the same, but 5 & 10 weren’t, so during the first half we may have turned right when in the second half we may have turned left or continued straight. Who knows, with so many trees, it was hard to know where I was, especially not knowing the area. Mile 9 was a repeat of mile 4 and we got the same steep downhill to continue with the same brutal super hill. This time was another story. I barely could get 165 in this climb, and my 4th phase of the race didn’t go as planned. After the hill, it took me a while to recover. At mile 11 I tried to push the pace as much as I could and dropped the pace by 20 seconds, and by a lot more for the last mile (splits below).

I crossed the finish line in 2:12:45 for a 10:09 pace. I saw Sharon, who gently handed me water. I only got to tell her. I am glad I held myself back. I don’t know what would’ve happened if I would’ve gone crazy at the start.

Got 2nd in the division, got my ribbon, some pix, and ready to drive 90 miles back home for Super Bowl with hubby and a fabulous recipe of low calories nachos. I could've honored the mascot of Evergreen State College and the name of the race having them as part of my Super Bowl menu, but as much as I love clams, I pass on this type, they look simply disgusting. My Nachos: Without Geoduck, Please.

Mile 1 – 10:22 - 153
Mile 2 – 10:33 - 149
Mile 3 – 10:29 - 156
Mile 4 – 10:13 - 162
Mile 5 – 10:18 - 165
Mile 6 – 9:52 - 166
Mile 7 – 9:54 - 171
Mile 8 – 9:50 - 170
Mile 9 – 10:15 - 164
Mile 10 – 10:38 - 167
Mile 11 – 10:33 - 167
Mile 12- 10:12 - 175
Mile 13 – 9:25 – 180

Sharon goes for a brownie...
Not as high calories as regular nachos (I didn't say low calories nachos)


Petraruns said...

Okay I have to ask this. What the hell is a geoduck? Can you eat it? is it alive?

Nacho recipe PLEASE!

lizzie lee said...

Petra, don't they look horrible? Geoducks are clams. They can be kept alive. I have never eaten them for "obvious" reasons... their look. But I should dismiss that prejudice and try. They are supposed to be a delicacy....There are a few restaurants in Seattle that have them... Whenever I try them I will take a PICTURE for sure!!!

1) Corn tortillas cut in triangles, baked at 325 F for about ten minutes.
2) Shredded chicken breast: (cooked in a crock pot the night before, slow, with a huge onion, and a bunch of cilantro), salt and pepper. Shred the following day.
3)Pico de Gallo: A lot of diced tomatoes and onion (my ratio is 3/1). A lot of garlic (3-4 cloves), A LOT of cilantro (A LOT), salt, pepper, and the juice of half lime or lemon. Taste for more acidity, salt, pepper, etc...
4) Sliced black olives.
5) Mushrooms cooked with onions, salt and pepper (using cooking spray no oil)
6) Sour cream fat free
7) Reduced fat cheese
8) Avocado, smashed with cilantro, garlic and lime (or lemon)

As you see, the fats come from corn, chicken breast, olives, and, avocado (and cheese :) . Each portion had half avocado, so half of the daily value based on a 2000 calories diet.

After running the Geoduck, I could afford not half, but a whole one, and BEER!