Giveaway info is at bottom of post
On Friday, I signed up for the 10k at the Salmon Chase. Immediately after which I walked over to Chicory Cafe for some coffee and beignets.
Arriving to your table fresh and dusted in confectioners' sugar, these have to be my favorite doughnut thing of all time. Light, crispy outtards and chewy-fluffy innards.
what I wanted from this race
Going by the first four miles from the 15k two weeks ago, I knew I could hold sub-9 minute miles for the first four and if I couldn't get myself to overcome the pain I'd drop back to around 9:20s like I did then.
Then I got sick. Just a cold that has since mostly gone away, but it zapped my energy and there was no way I was going running since I had that nasty cough. Since that meant I hadn't run in a week I figured a) this means I'll be well-rested, b) I can't lose that much fitness in a week anyway, and c) I'll be racing in practically new shoes. They ("they" being the running experts) suggest not racing in shoes you haven't broken in, but for many shoes the break in period isn't very long, and I can tell these shoes are the best I've worn yet. More on that later, though.
I get to the race, which starts at 0730 in front of the College Football Hall of Fame, and it's pretty chilly, around 57° and breezy. Only to have the start time delayed by five minutes. Just five minutes longer. I'm sorry, but there are a few course complications, so we'll begin in five minutes. Then there was the stupid playback voice over the loudspeaker, "The race will begin in juuuust a feew minutes. Just a feeeew minutes until the start of the race." I swear he sounded like Horacio from CSI: Miami, and I pictured the voice tilting its head down, lowering his shades, and telling me, "The race will begin in juuuust a feeeew minutes."
Eventually the race starts and off we go. The course was similar to the Sunburst 10k in that it went along some of the same roads and paths. And the hills. Don't ask me how I liked them hills. Anyway, the course went along the river and it was nice, and the mile splits were clearly marked with Army dudes calling out the split, which I thought was pretty cool. And I hope they were in the Army, otherwise I'm going to sound like a moron.
My first split came in around 8:06, which I wasn't quite expecting. Second was around 8:12, third back at 8:06, the fourth I messed up but I think was just under 9, and the last two were close to 9:25. I still feel like the part of running I have to work on is talking myself through the pain and continuing to push myself. Probably why I backed off was that I couldn't draw a deep breath since I felt like I needed to cough, but the only way to cough would have been to stop so I didn't.
Here is my finishing kick. And see the clock? My chip time came it at 53:33, which is a personal record and a 5th place in my age group!
Now about the shoes. I had a coupon from the Blueberry Stomp for the New Balance store so I decided to see what they had. The guy who helped me, Kurt, was very informative and explained why I probably wanted to veer from a stability shoe and directed me towards the New Balance 800, a shoe designed for midfoot strikers. He also felt that given my size, the trainer would hold up against a decent amount of mileage. It felt different, obviously, though it seemed like a good idea and I went with it. I couldn't really tell much from the 2 runs I put in prior to the race since the first one resulted in a walk of shame back to my house since it was just when I got sick, and the second I was coming off the sickness and felt weird, although the shoes felt fine. There was only a small adjustment period, going from a shoe with a built-up heel to one where it was designed for the way I run was a bit different. Also, shuffling in these shoes is a NO. You can really tell when you aren't running with proper form, but I like that.
You know what the absolute bummer is? NEW BALANCE IS GETTING RID OF THE SHOE. That's correct, folks. I called the store and the guy said they'll be getting the 801 in next month and he can't even order the 800s any more. And New Balance only offers frees hipping for orders over $99. The difference, he said, was that this new and supposedly improved shoe is cut out more like a shoe and will have more support under the metatarsal.
The post race snacks were excellent, and once again I didn't grab enough. If I had my bag with me I'd have really made out well. But I grabbed Sun Chips (great flavor, though I think "Hot House Canned Salsa" would have been better), some Effin Crackers (which were really Elfin Crackers, think Animal Crackers but in a cannibalized Elf shape -- I was about to say 'tiny Elf', but that's redundant, like saying, "What a small hobbit!" I misread the label and swore they said Effin Crackers, which made sense since I thought what I was grabbing was a bag of jelly fruit slices, so Effin Crackers they remain), and a popsicle that I wrestled with opening the slippery plastic covering for what I swear was five minutes. There were also doughnut holes, but I wanted that popsicle. I worked for it and earned it, damn it!
Walking back to Chicory Cafe for hot chocolate (which was meh, unfortunately), and corn crab chowder which was a bit spicy, not too thick, and altogether yummy. It came with a roll, no crackers.
And now what you've all been waiting for! I picked up my favorite flavor of coffee from Chicory Cafe to give away to one lucky person.
This Coconut Supreme flavor is so far one of my favorites I've tried. The flavor is really good, reminiscent of toasted coconut almost, and a little sugar and cream actually enhance the flavor. Equally good black, I have no doubt. This is an 8 oz. bag of whole beans.
Chicory Cafe procures their beans directly from a micro-roaster in New Orleans, and they also make sure their coffee comes from the source of where it's supposed to come from -- the fridge. It's also Fair Trade.
If you would like to try this, leave a comment telling me a) your favorite coffee, b) your favorite time to drink coffee, and c) your email address (or you can email me if you'd rather not leave it publicly -- address is on the sidebar). Entries close at 12:00 PM EST on Friday, the winner will be determined my random selection and announced shortly after.
US residents only, please