Krispy Kreme Challenge 2019

 

You guys.  I am not one for formalized bucket lists but for a very, very long time, I have wanted to do the Krispy Kreme Challenge.  To sum up: 5 miles, 12 doughnuts, 2400 calories.  Yes!  To benefit a children’s hospital in Raleigh, there has been a Krispy Kreme Challenge for the last 15 years!

Now, I am a big fan of fitness.  As a result, I have a fair number of beautiful people friends who, while very nice people, cannot imagine eating a dozen doughnuts.  Rather, they try to imagine and they cannot.  In smug, horrified tones with a thin veneer of being impressed, they say, “I cannot imagine eating a dozen doughnuts.  Really?  You want to do that? That’s…amazing.”  I stayed with two of these people when I went to Raleigh and what can I say?  We all bring something to the friendship table.

I also have a husband who is a huge believer in moderation.  He, too, thought the idea was interesting (read: repulsive) but I didn’t care.  This was my bucket list!  And what has been on it for years?  A race that, and I quote, “epitomizes the test of physical fitness and gastrointestinal fortitude.”

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Ha, ha. I hope this reads as tongue-in-cheek as I intend because I love my beautiful people fitness friends and my amazing husband.  Sarah and John used to live in Norfolk and now they live in Raleigh. I stayed at their house with their fun dog Cora and we had the best time!  We drank wine, hung out, and, on Saturday morning, Sarah and I ran the Krispy Kreme challenge.  Except that Sarah is getting married in April (to John) and didn’t want to think about working off the excess calories.  So she joined the fun run challenge, where you could eat as many or few as you wanted.  Lame! (But I understand.)

I, however, was in it to win it.  Well, not really since the winner runs it in about 26 minutes.  For real!  Even though it sounds like a total fat person’s race, there are a lot of very fit people who both run and eat very, very fast.  But, I did want to meet the challenge which is run 2.5 miles to Krispy Kreme, eat a dozen doughnuts, then run 2.5 miles back to the start in under an hour.  Now, while running away from a doughnut shop may seem antithetical to some, just keep in mind it’s all part of the challenge.

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Well, as you can see from my Finisher’s certificate, I did it!!  I would have been SO!PISSED! if I had eaten a dozen doughnuts and not made the time cut-off.

IMG_4296So, instead of gloating for the rest of the post on how amazing I am, I would like to point out some other weekend highlights.  We went to an awesome yoga class on Sunday at a local brewery.  The instructor was badass!  It was a great class with awesome flows and her individual practice, which I saw on Instagram, is insane!

Also, hanging out with Sarah and John was a huge highlight.  I’m actually missing their wedding (huge boo!) in April, but it means so much to me that I can keep up with friends even when we move away from the place where we met.  Cheesy but true!

Finally, if you, too, would like to be a KKC winner, I would like to share some tips I learned.  One, try to run the first half quickly but not so fast that your stomach feels queesy.  Two, I read a lot about stacking doughnuts but it did take me about 12 minutes to eat all of them so honestly, I wonder if eating one at a time and just shooting them down the hatch would have been better?  Three, bring your own water but only drink a very small amount.  Four, if you wear a costume, don’t show up too early because that’s when all the serious runners show up in their shorty shorts and conspicuous lack of costumes.  The costumed people seem to roll up about 15 minutes before the start.

The course itself isn’t bad.  A few rolling, very mild inclines so while not flat, it’s not that difficult.  And this is coming from someone who lives and trains (the running, not the doughnut eating) in a pancake-flat area.

Scandinavian Summer Days 8: Stockholm morning

After walking with SMS to the train station to take the Arlanda Express out to the airport, I went for a run Stockholm until it was time to head to the afternoon conference session in Uppsala.

I set out to for Tantolunden, an allotment park of small red cabins and gardens.  Nearby, there is a lake path along Årstaviken, an inlet off of Lake Mälaren.  It was a hilly run through Gamla Stan and the beginning of Soderhalm.  I took a few breaks for photos and, all in all, ran about seven miles.  I had just enough time to shower before it was time to check out of Downtown Camper and head to Uppsala.

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Nice picture and good place to take a break at the top of the hill!
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One of the allotment gardens
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Looking up from the lake path to the cabins
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Artsy?
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Near the cool part of Soderhalm.  I will visit again!

 

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Approximate route

5 Tips for Your First Duathalon

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Today I participated in my first duathalon!  It was a lot of fun and it may be the beginning of multi-sport events.  I liked the pacing and strategy behind planning a fun but competitive performance.  So here are five tips from a completely unqualified amateur.

  1. Train for the race.  Yes, because I like to say obvious things!  I’ve been working out a fair bit lately and I just went out for the fun of it, but this may be something I train a little more seriously for in the future.  Today, it was a hot, sunrise race that I really had no business participating in since I haven’t run a lot since my Memorial Day marathon and I just hopped off the couch and ran 10 K- biked 20 K- ran 5 K.  Phew!
  2. Winning a medal is awesome!  I won 3rd place in the 30+ women’s age group.  Yeah!  Also, it was cool that all of our times were better than the respective placers in the 20-29 year old age group.  Old ladies rock!
  3. Hydration is important.  I had a little handheld bottle which I’m really glad I had.  It was 80-90 degrees during the race and again, I’ve mostly been an air-conditioned gym rat this Summer.  We were all so sweaty!
  4. If an iguana ends up on the sidewalk and scares the shit out of you, causing you to jump and scream, “AN IGUANA!!!” someone in her car will see you and laugh.  Loudly.
  5. Know how your bike works.  I rented a bike and didn’t realize until I was going up a hill that I didn’t know how to shift.  This was a problem.  Fortunately, a very nice woman who I was trading places with during the run stopped and helped.  She ended up not doing well because she rented a mountain bike and not a road bike, so she was way slowed down.

Boston Marathon 2017 Recap

The Boston Marathon was a dream experience.  Seriously.  My love for running is renewed and I am so happy.  I feel so effusive that if I kept typing, I’m sure the average (sane) person would think, “Is she for real?”  Yes!  There are some reality checks in this recap so I promise, it is a balanced perspective with several highs and a few lows.  Also, I don’t know why I’m finding it now, but this article has the best mile-by-mile analysis of the course itself if you want a more “objective” overview.

Ok, but I’m going to stick to Marathon Monday.  I slept until 6:45 and then I was awake!  My training partner had noted the day before that, as Wave 3, we didn’t have to get on the buses until 8 a.m.  Sweet, sweet sleeping in….yeah right!  Too excited!

We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard downtown, which was about a 1/2 mile from the bus loading area.  I went to the Hilton around the corner, picked up to Starbucks, picked up Jyotsna and then headed over to Charles St.  Jyotsna had a gear check bag, which was about a 1/4 mile in the other direction on Boylston St.  The gear check was very smooth, both drop-off and pick-up since at the finish, you just kept walking ‘till you reached your stuff.  The Adidas plastic bags were fairly thick and had drawstrings, making them pretty secure.

We both had our little plastic baggies approved for the start line area/Athlete’s Village in Hopkinton, filled with snacks and water.  There were freebies in Athletes Village (Clif, Gatorade, bananas, water, sunscreen) but we felt better having our own stuff, especially our breakfast of choice.  There were donation boxes for castaway gear which filled up fast because, unfortunately, it was very warm.  Very, very warm. 

Oh, the weather.  Forget heartbreak hill, the weather was the heartbreak.  The average course temp was 74 degrees and I know!  It makes me sound like such a whiny baby to say it was hot!  But I once read that in long-distance running, a runner should dress for 20 degrees warmer because that is how it feels.  I would definitely agree with that ballpark estimate.  Continue reading “Boston Marathon 2017 Recap”

Bay to Breakers 2016 weekend

This past weekend was amazing and packed with fun events.  There was even a special bonus on Monday (teaser alert!).

Pretty Mountain View Garden- not ours though!

On Friday, we picked up our keys to the new place and did our walk-through.  The house is absolutely lovely.  The property manager spent two weeks between the two tenants fixing up the place- and it had already been quite nice!  There’s new paint, completely clean interior, new recessed lighting and a backyard drought-resistant landscaping, aka, mostly gravel.  SMS and I love the place and are so happy!

SMS moves rocks.  Literally.

Saturday was a little less glamorous as we rented a truck, bought and picked up a couch on Craigslist and moved SMS’ stuff from storage to the his new garage!  We met a neighbor building an electric go-kart and overall, we’re looking forward to our new place.  It was really a very lucky find!

Beautiful SF day!

After moving, I headed up to the city to pick up my Bay to Breakers bib.  The expo was pretty cool and absolutely mobbed.  Thanks to the power of Facebook, I messaged and met up with two friends from San Diego.  We belonged to the same book club and they are so much fun.  They had originally come to San Francisco for the Spartan Race but when they heard B to B was going on, they signed up for that too.  I was so happy to meet up with CL and Beth!

This is how I will take my coffee from now on!

Plus, we met up at The Buena Vista Cafe, famed for its Irish Coffee.  The cafe has been on my “SF List” and through serendipity, I ended up there with two great friends.  The coffee was delicious and I highly recommend.  Well, actually, there’s a caveat because we actually went to two places with Irish coffee.   The second was one that Darren, SF native, knew about called the Gold Dust Cafe.  Here, hidden in plain sight among the tourist traps in Fisherman’s Wharf, is San Francisco’s “best and cheapest” Irish Coffee.   Unlike the Buena Vista with its white-tiled, bright interior, Gold Dust is more lounge-y with lots of crushed red velvet.  Both are awesome and really, can you ever have too many Irish coffees? Yes, I’m sure the answer is actually yes but if you have two spaced out over a few hours, you should be alright.

Yummy shabu shabu!

After leaving CL and Beth, SMS and I met up for a late shabu shabu dinner at Shabuway in Mountain View.  It was pretty tasty and brought back good Japan memories!

The Ladies!

 

Costumes from Bay to Breakers
More Bay to Breakers photos!

The next day, I met up with CL and Beth for Bay to Breakers.  They were actually fairly hungover thanks to several Irish Coffees (see above) with more drinking after that.  But they rallied like champs!  We jogged/walked the race and had an amazing time.  There were so many people with costumes to see.  It was an incredible event and I’m so glad I did it.  I’ve been wanting to do it for years and since this is the year I live here, I made it a priority.

Costumes included: a group of chickens, men in Franzia boxes, a Pintrest-worthy homemade rocket pack, male Disney princesses, oompa-loompas, many Princes with a heavy “Purple Rain” contingent, a few David Bowies, old naked people (not technically a costume) and so many more costumes that it was hard to remember them all.  It was costume overload!

I wore my Japanese fuzzy monster costume from our Amazing Race days.  I’m glad I had something because I would have felt out of place in normal running clothes although there were many people in just that.
Andytown

After the race, we met up with SMS and headed to Andytown Coffee for a Snowy Plover.  Oh man, that drink is so delicious.  Since it’s been awhile on the blog, I’ll remind the reader that a Snowy Plover is espresso, Pellegrino and whipped cream.  Delectable!

Then we headed out to Lale cafe in Inner Sunset.  It was very good and best of all, no line for brunch!  I got an egg scramble with a homemade English muffin, which was delicious.

After brunch, we dropped CL and Beth off at their house and went to Glass Key Photo where SMS sold a camera.  It was a cute shop with a lot of old cameras.  We headed home and relaxed for the afternoon.

Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires

That evening, we went to Mountain Winery for a John Prine concert.  He’s an excellent performer with great songs, although I want to listen to some of his older recordings since his voice was a little clearer when he was young.  The opener was Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires.  They were excellent and a new-to-me find.  I also want to seek out some more of their work, which shouldn’t be hard since Jason Isbell is a very well-known performer in his own right, even though I hadn’t known about him before the show.

The venue was absolutely gorgeous.  It was also so cold!  There was a mountain breeze and the temps were in the low 50s/possibly high 40s.  Yuck!  We were definitely not dressed for it.