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30 Mar 10:05

Publix Savannah Women’s 5K Race Recap

by Caitlin

This weekend, I packed up the car, dropped the doggies off at camp, and the Husband, Henry, Claire and I drove to Savannah, Georgia for the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon and 5K. I was signed on to do the 5K as a blog ambassador. I am so excited that I had a chance to check out this race because it was REALLY special and unique.  It was an awesome weekend getaway race!

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First up – let’s talk my race goals.  So, I gave birth to Claire around 4 months ago, and for the past 3 months or so, I’ve been working hard at regaining fitness, building muscle, and working on speed. But let’s be honest – it’s hard to juggle the kids PLUS the associated sleep deprivation PLUS work and the rest of life PLUS training.  I wasn’t too sure how I would do, but I was willing to go all out for a speedy race.

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Spoiler – I ran it in 26:41, which is my post-babies personal record!  I’ve ran three faster 5Ks, but they were all before 2010.

 

I credit my fast race to the beautiful course!  You guys – Savannah is such a pretty place.  I’ve never been before and really enjoyed visiting.  I have a post planned for tomorrow that details where we stayed and what we did.  But just check out these course pictures – the 5K wound through the central park and down the historic cobblestone streets.

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Okay, but let’s backtrack a bit to the race expo.

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I’ve been to a lot of expos, but this was – by far – the nicest and most upscale one that I’ve attended.  Also – it was small, which was a nice thing because it was very navigable and not overwhelming in the slightest.

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One of the race sponsors was New Balance, so there were a ton of branded NB shirts and other gear.

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But the other cool part of the expo was the small, upscale businesses – not necessarily running-related, but stuff like fine chocolate, gourmet salts, purses, and beauty products.

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Oh, speaking of purses, check out the race freebie! Instead of shirts (because, seriously, who needs another race shirt?), they gave away really, really nice New Balance gym bags!  I was SO pumped to receive this at check-in.  I currently use a beach bag as a gym bag – this is a major upgrade!

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As you can tell, this race was very, very well organized.  The organizers really put a lot of thought into what women runners would want out of a race location, expo, freebies, and post-race party.  It’s harder to organize a well-run race that you’d think, so I really appreciated all the attention to detail.

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Onto the race itself!

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We stayed at an amazing hotel that was right outside the race starting line.  Truly – I could look our our window and see people lining up.  We didn’t leave my hotel room until 5 minutes before the gun went off! 

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It’s always fun to do women’s races – I love lining up with everyone in their fun and colorful outfits and feeling that supportive, powerful atmosphere. 

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My plan for this race was to run as fast as I could the entire time, but to hold off a bit in the beginning.  I had originally intended to train for this race as I normally would for a 5K – 8 weeks of focused running – but last month, I decided to focus more on boot camp (which is mostly high intensity interval strength training) and speedwork on the treadmill.  We also do speedwork in bootcamp.  But when I was running, I usually maxed out at 2 miles (with a bunch of speedwork thrown in).  As I toed the start, I wasn’t sure if my plan would work.  I was a bit concerned that I would crash and burn at Mile 2.5!

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But I didn’t!  I managed to hold a pretty consistent pace of 8:30/mile the entire time.  I had planned to walk through the water station, but there was a bottleneck of runners and I didn’t want to stop and mess someone else up – so I kept going without my intended walking break. When the Half Marathoners split away from the 5Kers, I could tell I was towards the front of the pack (I finished in 30th place or so) and really put the pedal to the metal.

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Finished strong at 26:41 – I was so thrilled to see the Husband, Henry, and Claire at the finish line! 

 

After I was done, we attended the post-race party.  Every runner got two free drinks – either a beer or a mimosa.  Heck yes.

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Cheers!

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Afterwards, we hung out in our space blankets (kudos to the race for having blankets for running and spectators, too!) and watched the first few finishers from the Half Marathon.  Man – those ladies were fast.

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Go, go, go!

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All in all – a fabulous race, a fun family trip, and a great reminder that speedwork pays off.  My next 5K will be part of a sprint triathlon, and I’m REALLY looking forward to that.

 

My entry and attendance at the Publix Savannah’s Women Half Marathon and 5K was compensated. As always, thanks for reading sponsored posts.

28 Mar 18:56

Crispy Buffalo Oven Fries.

by Jessica

I don’t know if I love or hate myself for this.

What is the draw with the whole buffalo wing flavor? I have no idea, but I’m hooked. Have been for years. And the thing is that I don’t even care for actual chicken wings because seriously, who wants to do that much work for just a few pieces of food?

Not I.

But it is apparent that just like midnight Friends reruns, cadbury mini eggs and Ryan Gosling memes, I cannot get enough.

Embarrassing stuff: I’ve microwaved tortilla chips with cheese and buffalo wing sauce. That’s pretty horrifying for a 30 year old that talks about things she cooks in her kitchen on a daily basis. A few steps up: microwaving flour tortillas with cheddar and buffalo wing sauce for a quesadilla. Uh huh. It’s straight up authentic tex-mex in this house, right down to the microwave. Right.

Slightly less terrifying: I’ve putting buffalo wing sauce in a grilled cheese. No, not with chicken. Just different cheeses and the sauce. Sometimes cheese, buffalo wing sauce, and creamy homemade blue cheese. Buttered bread and fried until golden and crisp. OMG, can’t you just feel the crunch of that toast? Want.

Since we’re in the circle of trust here, I find it safe to tell you that it’s never really about the chicken for me. I could care less about the chicken when it comes to this flavor combo. That might just be because I’m annoyingly picky about my meat, which essentially means I need to cook it myself in order to enjoy it. See? Annoying. But for real, it’s all about the sauce, and over the last few years I have determined my go-to ingredients for the perfect buffalo wing flavor explosion. Yes, I said perfect. I’ve tried my darndest (ew) to slow down my over dramatized words such as “perfect” and “best ever” and “omg.” Just kidding on that last one. Anyhoo, I’ve mentioned it before – the mixture includes: buffalo wing sauce, cheddar cheese, gorgonzola cheese, scallions, chives and cilantro. Don’t gag, my cilantro loathers. Just leave it off.

See? Flavor explosion. It’s the only way I can describe it.

These were so good that I ate them for two dinners. Like, two dinners in the same night. One around 5PM, another around 8PM. And I mean, it’s not like you’re deep frying your french fries so these are essentially healthy. Things could be so much worse. Like you could be super tempted to go to Five Guys in the afternoon by yourself for no reason at all other than the fact that you think you’re an entitled brat when the last thing that you need in your life is a bacon cheeseburger and fries. Those are the days when oven fries like this are the best decision ever. Even… a healthy decision.

The stories I tell myself to get through life. Ah. Whatever works, right?

Apparently the key to getting super crispy oven fries is parboiling them before roasting. Sort of a pain but also sort of worth it. Trust me. They will be the crispiest things to ever crunch on that came out of your oven. Also make sure that you use a higher heat oil so it doesn’t look like a smoke bomb went off in your house. Then once the fries are done, you just dump cheese on top, broil and throw the remaining toppings on. My favorite kind of recipe! Throw and go.

Oh so good.

Crispy Buffalo Oven Fries

Yield: serves 4 appropriately, 2 obnoxiously

Total Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients:

3 pounds unpeeled russet potatoes, cut into wedges
3 tablespoons vegetable, grapeseed or canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup buffalo wing sauce
2 tablespoons butter
4 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola or your favorite blue
4 green onions, sliced
4 chives, chopped
1/4 cup freshly torn cilantro

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place cut potatoes in a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and once bubbling, only boil for 5 minutes. You gotta keep an eye on it! After 5 minutes, drain potatoes. Place in a large bowl and drizzle with oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Gently toss with your hands or two spatulas to evenly coat. Spread on a baking sheet in one layer. Roast for 25-30 minutes, then flip and roast for 25-30 minutes more. You want the potatoes to be deeply golden and crunchy on the outsides!

While potatoes are cooking, heat buffalo wing sauce and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until combined.

Remove potatoes from the oven and switch on your broiler to the highest setting. I left my oven rack in the center of the oven. Drizzle a bit of wing sauce over the potatoes and sprinkle both cheeses evenly overtop. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and golden. Remove immediately and sprinkle with scallions, chives and chopped cilantro. Dig in!

I want more.


©2012 How Sweet It Is