Race Recap – Across the Bay 10K

Last Sunday I joined over 20,000 other runners to run across the Bay Bridge. It was the first time a run has been held across the Bay Bridge, so it was exciting to participate in their inaugural event!

11-15-14 016

I picked up my shirt and race number the day before. I love the design of this shirt!

11-15-14 017

 I headed up bright and early on Sunday morning before the race. Coffee and a banana served as a quick breakfast in the car on the way! Usually I eat more than that before a race, but it was too early to think about that.

We parked nearby and took a bus across the Bridge since we were starting on the other side. I thought this part of the morning would be chaotic, but it wasn’t at all! They had more than enough buses for all of the runners, and staggered our start times so we weren’t all running at once. I lined up with many other runners behind the start line, and only waited for a few minutes before beginning. It was just long enough to snap some pictures, use the bathroom, and throw off my fleece jacket to donate.

11-15-14 036

The first two miles of the run were a gradual uphill climb. It didn’t feel that steep to run up since it was so gradual; mile 2 was still my favorite though since we started to run downhill at that point. The course continued on a downhill slant for the next couple of miles, before tapering off and staying pretty even for most of the duration of the race.

11-15-14 043

I do wear a Garmin watch when running, tracking my pace, distance, and total time. I try not to look down at it too often, I try to just run and look at my mile splits later to see how I did. If I were to look down at my watch every few minutes or even seconds to make sure my pace was consistent, that would take the fun out of running for me. The point of running for me is that I’m not thinking about it; my best runs are always the ones where I get out there and think about everything but running the whole time. If I start thinking about how fast (or slow) I’m going, how much longer I have left, how cold it is, etc. I lose my motivation a whole lot faster. So the moral of that story is I don’t look at my watch much when running!

I did glance down around mile 1.5 just to see how far we had gone. Alright, I can do this. Three songs later, my watch still said 1.5 miles! Well, I’m either running in circles or my watch isn’t working. I tried to restart it, but it didn’t seem to be working so I just ignored it and kept going! Even though I don’t look at my watch too much, I still like knowing that I can look down every so often to check my pace. Since I couldn’t see my pace, I had no idea if I was running 5 minute miles or walking (OK, so I’m pretty sure I wasn’t running 5 minute miles even without having my watch to verify that…) but I still had no idea of my pace.

11-15-14 044

Obviously I was going so fast they couldn’t track my pace….

I actually liked this though because the focus was only on running then; not my pace, not my time, not how many miles I had left. It felt refreshing to run across the bridge with so many others, looking out at the beautiful scenery, and just enjoying being on a run.

11-15-14 063

My official time was 56:34. I’m ok with that, especially because I didn’t train and have barely run this fall. The school year has kept me busy and it’s been hard for me to find time (or energy!) to work out since going back to school. 11-15-14 057

This was probably one of my favorite races to date! Running across the bridge was such a different course than most races, so the time seemed to go by faster. Looking out over the water, seeing reflections of the sun glistening over the surface, was beautiful and definitely made the run more enjoyable.

11-15-14 047

After the run, they had lots of tents and venues set up where you could purchase food, clothing items, and drinks. I stayed for awhile, talking to family and friends that I saw. Of course lots of pictures were taken!!

11-15-14 031

11-15-14 060

You can sign up to get on the wait list for next year’s Across the Bay 10K here: Race sign-up. The official date has not been announced yet, so that is the only downside to pre-registering now. I already signed up the day after and am already looking forward to next year!

Let’s Chat!

Did you complete the Bay Bridge run?? If so, I’d love to hear your take on the race! Feel free to share in the comments section below.

If you didn’t participate, what’s one race you’re looking forward to next?

Fall Favorites

You won’t have to scroll through your Instagram or Facebook pictures for more than seconds without seeing pictures of boots, leaves, pumpkin picking, Starbucks lattes, and scarves – it’s no surprise fall is in the air!

11-2-14 127

However, I jump right on this fall loving bandwagon too, so today I thought I would share some fall recipes I’ve been loving lately with you.

Soup is one of my favorite go-to dinners in the fall and winter months. Why? I’m glad you asked! It stores well in the freezer, is easy to prepare, and it a simple way to pack lots of veggies and other good- for- you things in! Most recently I’ve made kale and white bean soup, and butternut squash soup. I didn’t create the recipe for either one of these but loved them both.

Tuscan Bean and Kale Soup

11-2-14 068

This simple soup from Earthbound Farm combines their frozen kale, white beans, carrots, celery and onion. The preparation time is almost minimal – just stir in the ingredients with vegetable broth and let it simmer until it’s hot. Does it get any easier than that!? Pick up a bag of their kale next time you’re at your local grocery store and try this soup out; the recipe is given on the back of the bag.

Butternut Squash Soup

The past few times I’ve been to Panera Bread, I have ordered the Autumn Squash soup. Creamy, flavorful, and filling describes this soup. Just looking at this pictures makes me want more now!

11-2-14 155

First of all, with a name like Autumn Squash Soup, I knew I had to try it since we all know I like am slightly obsessed with all things fall. I loved it the first time I tried it, and have gotten it again several times since. I figured I could easily find a similar recipe to make at home that would be healthier, too! After looking at several different recipes online, I came across this one from Eating Well. I tweaked it a little bit based on the ingredients I had on hand, but I was happy with the end result!

This recipe was slightly more involved than the last, but just as delicious. I bought the butternut squash whole, so roasted it in the oven until the inside was soft and the squash could be easily cut in half. Once it was cooked all the way through, I used a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the squash. I combined it with the other ingredients in the soup and let it simmer until blended together well.

11-2-14 097

Here’s where it gets a little more involved than the last recipe: when the soup is hot, there are still chunks of butternut squash in the soup. This soup is supposed to be smooth and creamy, so the solution?? Pour some into the blender while it’s still steaming hot, put a towel over the lid, and stand back as far as you can while still holding the lid, hoping hot liquid doesn’t come flying out at you. And it worked! I can already tell this soup is definitely going to be a staple in the coming winter months.

11-2-14 095

Pumpkin Banana “Ice Cream”

Ice Cream when it’s cold outside!? Well, this “ice cream” is so good you will want to eat it year round, I promise! Just make sure you peel and store your bananas in the freezer first before using them.

Directions:

Combine 2 frozen bananas, 1/2 cup of pumpkin, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and enough almond milk to get everything moving in a food processor.

11-2-14 081

Frozen bananas and almond milk are always the base for this cool, creamy treat, but you can add pretty much any other ingredients as well! I oftentimes add cocoa powder for a chocolate version, cherries, or peanut butter. All delicious! If you’ve tried this before, what are your favorite flavor combinations?

Apples

I can’t get enough of this crisp, fresh, fall fruit! I have been eating 1-2 apples every day this fall. Yes, really! My endless search for an apple orchard to pick apples this year has continued; I can’t find any places around here. If you know of one nearby, let me know!

11-2-14 134

I traveled to Michigan a few weeks ago to visit my older sister. It was such a nice treat to spend an extended weekend with her. We visited an apple cider mill and got a chance to see apple cider being made from scratch, and tried it just after it was pressed. Very cool to see!

11-2-14 136

11-2-14 139

What are you loving this fall??