Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday, Georgia ING Half Marathon!

     So yesterday was the long awaited and pain stakingly trained for day. Saturday I spent the whole day resting (with the exeption of going for a light walk in the sun) and drinking about 14 cups of freshly juiced OJ! For my dinner juice I deciede to experemint in creating a new green juice, and boy was it ever delicious! I did this in order to rest and cleanse my internal systems while still carbo loading for the race.

Salty, Sweet, and Sour Green Juice
- 1 medium Pineapple
- 2 small Gala apples
- 2/3 stalk of Celery
- 1 medium Lime
- 4 leaves of Dinosaur Kale

     I turned in around 9:30 that evening and depite my anxiety for the coming morning, was able to fall asleep rather quickly. However, I must have subconciously been paranoid that I would accidently oversleep and miss the race because after fallin asleep, I woke up periodically every hour with the overwhelming urge to check the time. LOL! My fears turned out to be unecessary, as my alarm clock went off precisely at 4:40 on Sunday morning.

     After getting up I managed drink a quart of water, shower, get dressed in my racing clothes (with my racing bib firmly in place), and my gear bag packed in time to leave. Since it was early in the morning and the race was taking place in downtown Atlanta, where the roads incredibly difficult/dangerous to drive on if you are still a novice driver (like me!), my mom was kind enough to drive. 

     We departed and approximatly 5:30 (a little bit later than originally planned) and while my mom drove, I polished off the rest of my pre-race breakfast. I know some people advice against eating at all before a half marathon, but I've always experienced some serious blood sugar problems when ever I have tried to undergo intense exercise without atleast some form of fruit sugar in my system (e.g. shakes, weakness, and dizziness). So for breakfast I blended 4 ripe medium bananas with 4 medjool dates (no water) into a pudding. It was light enough that it wouldn't bog me down during the race and blended for easy digestion/quicker assimilation, while still giving me my much needed glucose energy.

     We arrived at the race around 6:10 and parked in a parking garage about 1/4 of a mile from the ING racing area. The walk was a good warm up, and helped me manage my adrenaline jitters from my nerves. The ING racing area had a Gear Check tent, Information tent, Result tent, and plenty of porta potties (haha)! A little tip for any runners new to half marathons, always make sure to have plenty of time before the start of the race to wait in line to use the facilities because let me tell you, 18000 runners, most of them wanting to use the facilites at the same time as you do, equals long lines.
Needless to say I made it to the starting corrals just in the nick of time as the race started just a couple minutes later at exactly 7 o'clock. 

My mom managed to take a couple of photos of me heading towards the starting line.
(My Bib number: 17437)


     The whole race was so much better then I expected it to be. I started training for this half marathon mostly due to boredom. I wanted try something different so I could challenge myself. I just didn't expect this half marathon to be so much fun! I also didn't expect to preform as well as I did. Despite all my training, I still hadn't been able to run for more then 20 minutes before having to slow down to a fast paced walk to catch my breath. But on Sunday morning, as I broke into a run upon crossing the starting line I kept on running for 10 miles non-stop without any problem! The last three miles I only had to walk about a total of 5 minutes (mostly so I could rehydrate).

     The hours and pavement just seemed to flow by, and before you know it the finish line was in sight! When it was over I actually cried a bit when it sunk in that I, Amanda Jane, had just completed a half marathon! A year or two ago if someone would have told me that I would have done this, I would have though they were nuts.

     After finishing I met up with my mom before spliting up with her again so that I could head over to the results table to find out my clocked race time. Now I had estimated from my training that it would take me atleast 3 hours to finish the race, so you can imagine my suprise and utter delight to find out that I had run 13.1 miles at a clocked time of 2:25:55!! 

     On the drive back home I spent my time relaxing my sore legs and ankles while rehydrating with Penta water and eating the most sweet and juicy red delicious apple I have ever had in my life! :-) Once I arrived home I showered, got into my comfiest sweats, and plopped myself infront of the TV where I proceeded to watch Leave It to Beaver and Voyager episodes while consuming 2 large honeydew melons, a large smoothie (7 bananas + 4 dates), and a HUGE salad over the course of the day. Afterwards I crashed into bed at around 9:25 and was dead to the world for 10 hours straight.

     This half marathon has given me a new passion that I am eager to continue. Running is my new addiction and I can't wait for my next half marathon. My goal is to keep running halfs until I can finish one with a clocked time of approx. 1:20:00 before trying to do a whole marathon. 

     This is a shout out to all you other runners out there, as well as anyone considereing taking up running! Running is amazing and our creator gave us brilliant legs to do it with, so don't waste those legs, GO RUN!! :-D

Just finished crossing the finished line. 

Walking back to the car.

Note: I'll be posting more photos of the half marathon event, possibly with som video as well, as they become available through the Georgia ING Marathon website.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Training for Half Marathon - Days 61 to 64 + Recipe

Day 61 - Friday
     Friday was to be ver rainy day. Fortunately the morning clear long enough for me to take a drive over to Johnson Park for a 40 minute run (approx. 4 miles). I just kept going and going until the rain came tumbling down. I think this was the moment I realized that I had officially become a running addict. 

     I was stuck spending the rest of my day indoors. Not to worry though because I kept myself occupied with my studies and Dance Dance Revolution 3. Hehe.

     That evening I made myself 2 quarts worth of OJ for the next day for breakfast and lunch. I don't know what came over me, but I suddenly wanted loads of citrus! Hehe.

Day 62 - Saturday
     Saturday we were once again promised rain, but not until the later afternoon hours. From morning until about 3:40 p.m. the sky was blue, the sun was out, the sun was shining, and the weather was pleasently warm. On a day like this, how could I not spend as much of it as possible outside? So I took Charlie for a 23 minute run before heading to Dowtown Covingtion (lots of sidewalks and beautiful scenery) for 44 minutes of 4mph walking with some sprints.

Picked a dandelion. The grass was filled with them!

     That evening, since I  knew that Sunday was going to be a busy day for me (didn't help that I was still in major citrus craving mode), I made 2 more quarts of orange juice.

Day 63 - Sunday
     By Sunday, most of my brother's food had run out  and the only place that carries most of what he likes is at Whole Foods. So my mom and I had to make a little trip. Unfortunately, the time change really through my body clock for a loop, and staying up later then I should have the night before didin't help. Anyway, it turned out that I accidently slept in for the first time in months, thus resulting in my mom and I getting off to a late start up to Whole Foods in Atlanta.Not to worry though, we made it there with little trouble and I got myself a lovely fruit juice (strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, grape, and apple).

     After getting home and putting my brothers food away, I felt like working out. Outside was a bit to wet and nippy for my taste so I played Dance Dance Revolution 3 for about an hour; you would not believe how much of a sweat you can work up playing that thing!

Day 64 - Monday
     Todays training consisted of some weight training, followed by a 35 minute afternoon run in Dowtown Covington. The weather was lovely and I had my mom with me. She walked and I ran, and let me tell you that she is a brilliant cheerer. She kept me motivated to increase both my speed and distance on saying things like, "Go around again!" and  "One more time up the stairs!" Today makes me think that althoug I am nervous about the half marathon this Sunday, I really feel like I can do it.

     My eats for today:
  • 4 C. Orange Juice
  • 2 Chocolatete Sapote + 2 C. Strawberries, whole
  • Green Smoothie (2 bananas, 3 mango, 3 huge handfuls of spinach)
  • Smoothie/Pudding (10 bananas, 6 medjool dates)
  • 1 C. blueberries + 2 C. Strawberries, whole
     What can I say? I was ravenous! :-D


      I've recently recieved a few comments requesting the recipe for my raw apple crumble. I would like you all to know that my mother and I are in the process of writing a recipe book/e-book, and recipe for my raw apple crumble will be in there, so at the moment I will not be posting it on my blog. I will however, leave you guys with my absolute favorite apple dish at the moment. I have been known to have this dish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! LOL.


Caramel Apple Delight
- 1 large Banana, very ripe
- 5 Medjool Dates
- 0.3 C. Coconut water (or filtered water)
- 0.25 Cinnamon (optional)
- 2 large sweet Apples, cored and chopped

 Put the first four ingredients into a blender and blend until it's a smooth and creamy sauce. Take the chopped apple and put it into a bowl. Pour the sauce on top of the apples, stir to mix, and devour!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Catch Up!

     For this post I'm not giving you my half-marathon update in my usual format. This is mostly because the last ten days have been so crazy, everything I've done has kind of gotten all jumbled up. This blog post is about giving you the highlights of the last ten days to get you up to speed. So, here we go!

     Let us begin with a training update. Let me tell you I have been on FIRE these last ten days! A few of the highlights would be one day, I had so much energy, I was able to go for a 30 minute run that was immediantly followed by a 65 minute vigorous lap swimming session. Man let me tell you did that feel GOOD! The rest of my days have been filled with runs varying in intensity with some lap swimming and weight training thrown in there for good measure. 

     Back in elementary school I was a VERY active kid. I was in horseback riding, swimming, gymanstics, and karate.  I don't know how I was able to live such a sedentary lifestyle once a got into middle school and the first two years of high school. It was like I never felt like doing anything that didn't involve a TV screen. Now I go stir crazy if I can't get some sort of exercise every day; even on my rest day I go for a walk.

     I have found exercise to be a significant and often much neeed mood booster for me. If I ever feel depressed I go for a run and I come back home feeling pumped up and bubbly! LOL :-D And appartently exercise is contagious because I've gotten my mom to on some runs with me. She can't do my level of intesity so we go speed walking with my doing periodic 1 - 3 minute full out sprints with mom doing some light jogging in between. Together we are going to work on her stamina.

     In other exercise news, I have finally gone back to karate! Six weeks of hip adjustments and physical therapy has all but eliminated my knee pain. I am now only visiting the chiropractor once a week instead of twice a week. This was just in time too because my karate pictures came in just a couple days ago. It was a great inspiration to get back in the game so to speak.

     Next on the agenda is my latest raw food exploits! I have found the perfect smoothie to tantalizes the taste buds, keep me running around hunger free for up to six hours, build muscle mass, and pack in the much needed carbs, calories, and nutrients that I require to function. The. . . 
 Banana Date Coconut Smoothie
6-7 medium Bananas
4-5 Medjool Dates
3/4 C. Coconut Water

     I also came up with a pretty awesome salad that had a dressing made up of no overt fat!

Tomango Cuke Salad
Salad Fixings:
- 3/4 head of Romains
- 1 Cucumber (peeled if not organic)
- 1 C. Grape Tomatoes, halved

- 2 large Tomatoes
- A hanful of Grape Tomatoes
- 1/2 of a Red Bell Pepper
-1 ripe Mango

Take all the salad fixings, chop them up, and put into a bowl. Take the dressing ingredients, pulse in a blender or food processor until smooth, and pour on top of salad. Mix the dressing in with the salad and devour! Yum yum. ;-)

    Also, this last Wednesday morning when I got back from training, a 5lb. box of Florida Chocolate Sapotes arrived from Taylor's Tropicals! At this very moment the Chocolate Sapote are ripening atop my refrigerator. :-) If you would like to order some tropical fruit that is grown in the U.S., and whose produce is of good quality, then go here: As soon as the Sapote are ripe I'll show you a picture of them and let you know what they taste like. I'm sure I'm not the only one whose heard of Chocolate Sapote, wanted to see what they taste like, but never gotten the opportunity to taste one.

     Speaking of trying new fruits, I bought myself an Organic Jackfruit from the Farmer's Market to give it a try. Man the people who described the taste of Jackfruit were not kidding because it really does taste like Juicy Fruit gum!

     Also during my weekly Farmer's Market excursion, I met a Raw Vegan, Sonny, who I learned has been raw for a few years now. Being on the the Gone Raw and 30 Bananas a day forum has allowed me to know and interact with other people who share the same views as me when it comes to diet and nutrition, but to actually meet one in person was quite refreshing.

     And now we come to recreational activities. When I'm not exercising, studying, playing/walking my dogs, raw food preparing, or surfing the web, I like to spend some quality time with my family. This last Sunday my mom, brother, and I drove into Atlanta to visit the Apple Store, Barnes & Noble, and Whole Foods (for lunch). 

     The Whole Foods that my family frequents, had a pretty good selection of food that day, and I wound up having Kiwi, Pineapple, and Grapefruit, with a 16 oz. cup of Clementine juice. Mmmm. . .

     My mom had a sprouted garbanzo bean salad with marinated mushrooms and antipesto with a piece of my grapefruit for dessert. Didn't take a picture though. Sorry guys!

     My brother though, I was so proud of him! :-) Sure he got himself cheese pizza for lunch, but he also got himself this:

     Fruit AND veggies, and he made this salad himself at the salad bar! It makes me feel so happy that he is starting to take a step in the right direction of health on his own.  :-D

     The Apple store in Atlanta is inside Perimeter Mall, so on our way out I just had to stop into my favorite clothing store, Anthropology. They have such quality and classicly styled clothing there. The only sad part is that they're a bit expensive so it's a rare occasion for me to actually buy somthing from them, but that doesn't stop me from looking. Take a look at their latest design.

I think I might try to save up to buy these two pieces.

This one I just that was pretty.

     What is really sad though, is that even though these are quality, well designed clothes, the cloth itself comes from forign countries such as India and China. None  of the cloth itself was made in the U.S. because all but two textile mills are left in this country. Isn't that sad? We don't produce anything anymore with all those jobs having been shipped overseas. :-( I will probably devote a whole blog post sometime this month to discuss this problem in more detail.

     On that note I will end this blog post with a bit of positive news, I have started recieving acceptance letters from various universities! So far I've gotten one from Union College (Lincoln, NE), Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ), Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw, GA), and University of South Florida (Tampa, FL). Right now I am awaiting for a response from Colorado College (Colorado Springs, CO), Whitman College (Walla Walla, WA), Emory University (Atlanta, GA), and Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH). Wish me luck!