Monday, October 13, 2008

Comfort food and Run Vegans Run

The VeganMofo continues...

Friday was a busy day. I worked a half-day, did some blog visiting and writing, cleaned the apartment (cat sitter would be coming in and it really needed it anyway), packed, made copies of all the receipts (hotel, race registration, cat sitter invoice etc etc), and google mapped our destinations.

I had to whip up something quick and tasty. I went for the comfort food that would take little time and have me sitting down to watch the Blues as soon as possible.

Here we have garlic mashed potatoes, steamed kale, and glazed tofu. Not seen in the photograph is the mushroom gravy.

Someone at work asked me if I was having a Tofurky on Monday (Monday being Thanksgiving). I was surprised that they knew a Tofurky existed. Alas no I won't be having Tofurky since it's made with wheat gluten. My Tofurky days are over. We do have a yummy meal planned though, but I'll save that for another day of blogging.

What do two vegans do on a long October weekend (remember that one of them is Italian)? They buy grapes of course!

Before going to catch our ferry we picked up 6 cases of Zinfandel grapes. We'll be crushing them today. No doubt there will be photos that probably resemble photos I took last year.

Pre-race day!

We arrived in Victoria, picked up our race kits and booked into the hotel. I was a little sad when I had to trade in my marathon race number for a half marathon race number. I got a little teary and then let it go. I knew I couldn't do the full distance.

food for thought

Being in Victoria felt a bit like going home since I really loved living there. For me going home often feels familiar and yet somehow different. I felt connected and yet still apart from it. I can't quite reach the same comfort zone that I once had. Once I leave a place for a long time it's never quite the same when I go back. It's as if I've betrayed that place. This is where the nostalgia comes in because even when I'm back in that place, I still feel nostalgic for the place it once was.

food for us

We needed a few supplies for our dinner: some lettuce, a pepper and some dressing. Lifestyle markets was a dream come true when I moved to Victoria in the 90s. For a veg and then vegan I thought I'd hit the jackpot and I had.

db and I had a great time there picking up our supplies and then of course found all sorts of other foods to try out.

Back at the hotel, db made our corn pasta and bolognese. I tossed the salad together and we had a delicious pre-race meal.

Sunday and Race Day!

Too early in the morning I made my rice bread toast and had some decaf tea. We dressed and drove downtown in the dark to find a parking spot.

It was light out by the time the gun went for our 7:30 start-time. We were off and running. The weather was perfect: cool, partly cloudy and no wind. db and I ran together for a bit. There were over 5,000 half marathon runners (10, 400 runners total for a marathon, half marathon and 8 k). It was packed! I loved it. db and I split around the four or five k mark and went our separate paces.

What I love about the busy, almost elbow-to-elbow run is that you're swept along with everyone. I find I think about my running less since I'm so aware of so many people and needed to move around or past them.

At the turnaround point I wondered if I'd see db and I did. We high-fived as we passed each other and I knew by my watch if I kept my pace I'd be running in around 1:50 or so.

The marathoners started an hour after us and just before I hit the last 4 k I saw the first elite marathoners fly by me. It was pretty exciting. I cheered them on.

I had no calf pain and pushed aside any negative thoughts my mind tried to send my way. After the last hill I knew if I kept my pace I'd be fine. I started to see those people who flew past me earlier; they were fading. And then there were others who found that extra push and kicked it into gear, passed me.

The last km always feels like 3 k for some reason (the fatigue, the excitement of reaching the finish line) but I pushed that thought out of my mind as well. I could see the finish and I was in the chute. I tried to go in between two other people, but ended up getting wedge between them and couldn't pass through. I heard the announcer call my name and where I was from. I saw the clock at 1:52. I crossed the line wedge in between the other two (more or less). I stopped my watch at 1:51 and that was my official chip time! A personal best! I took 3 minutes off my time from just two weeks ago which was a pb. I am thrilled!

The race director shook my hand and thanked me for "coming over" (from the mainland) which I thought was cool that he was able to hear and remember what the announcer said. I was funnelled through the chip removal area, the space blanket area and into the food area where I waited a bit for db. I missed him crossing the line in 2:04! A p.b. for him as well! We love Victoria!


My step-dad drove down from Nanaimo and we met up with him after the race.

Later I'll post more on our day in Victoria and the food we ate there. Plus, maybe some grape crushing photos and possibly some cooking photos.


Wandering Coyote said...

Congrats on the race results - to both of you - EXCELLENT!

Victoria was not the same for me when I went back there to live in 2006. It had changed, I had changed, and it had a lot of memories tied to it. I still love that city and love to visit it, but I've kinda had to let go of living there again because it's just so different after all of my intervening life experiences.

Vegan Run Amok said...

You did the smart thing by switching to the half. It sounds like your physical therapist has really helped you and I'm sure you'll be able to run a marathon again soon in no time.

Congrats on both your PRs, that's awesome!