September 25: Ran a 5K

I received this medal upon completing the State to State 5K. Because I finished 2nd in my age group, I also received a "silver" (it was pewter looking) medal for my accomplishment *smile*

To help keep me on track with training for my first half-marathon, I registered this summer for the State to State 5K race in Oxford, OH. I drove 9 hours from Georgia after a week-long vacation in Florida so I could pick up my registration packet at 7:30 am Sunday morning. I actually didn’t want to run the race because I was tired from being on the road and didn’t want to be caught in the rain. But I managed to make it to the start line. The weather had cleared up and it was only 3 miles. I run more than that on training runs. How bad could it be, right?

Well, it was actually pretty tough. First of all, I went out too fast. I made the mistake of lining up too far back when I ran the 10K, and Sunday I just over-corrected. Secondly, the course was pretty much nothing but hills. Since starting training again mid-August, after a 3 week hiatus from any meaningful form of physical fitness activity, I averaged ~12 minute mile. I figured I could run an 11:30 from the adrenaline of a race. Well, my I’m-tired-behind completed the first 2 miles at a 9:30 pace. The final mile did me in, though, especially coming up a steep hill just before the finish line. I finished with a respectable time of 31:02 *smile* exceeding even my own expectations. I even placed second in my age category! That probably won’t happen to often lol so I will gladly and humbly accept the fact.

In the end, I am glad I ran the 5K. It was a fun race and the participants and crowd were friendly. It was also a small race, which was great to practice etiquette and learn more about road race culture. Since the weather was chilly, I felt it prepared me for running in the desert in December when temperatures can dip below freezing. I considered transitioning indoors for runs as fall progressed, but as long as there is no snow on the ground, I’ll run outside and train my body to be efficient in colder temperatures.

September 16: Hardee’s Turkey Burger combo

I live in small town, which means I have limited access to fast food and restaurant choices. I have finally come to terms with the fact that I can’t buy fried chicken except from Walmart or Kroger—and on general principle, I refuse to purchase fried chicken from either place. So, I don’t eat fried chicken except maybe when I go home to Georgia. In terms of fast food chains, we have Wendy’s, Arby’s, and McDonald’s. When I do indulge in fast food, it’s almost always McDonald’s since I can walk to the restaurant.

When my mom and I were driving to Orlando for vacation a few weeks ago and I had to make the decision about which fast food joint we would eat at, I chose Hardee’s since I do not have that option even when I go home to visit my mom a few times a year. The turkey burger combo was featured, and I thought it would be healthier than the chicken tenders meal I would have chosen otherwise.

Hardee’s has a BBQ ranch, mushroom and swiss, and regular turkey burger. I opted for the regular, which as a combo came with a drink and small fries. The turkey burger was delicious! It actually tasted like one I had in Ruby Tuesday’s a few years ago. The burger came on a whole wheat bun and had the standard choice of toppings. The fries were really good as well. More like Wendy’s than McDonald’s but less potato-ey than Wendy’s. I also appreciated that the fries were not glistening in salt. I definitely recommend the turkey burger. In fact, when my irregular trips to a fast food joint arise, I would frequent Hardee’s more than McDonald’s because of they sell a tasty turkey burger. I’d even be willing to drive 10-15 minutes for it! And for someone who doesn’t like to drive, that’s saying a lot!

Overall, for the burger and small fries, the nutrition was 780 calories (280 from fat), 31 g total fat (7 saturated), 75 mg cholesterol, 1640 mg sodium (as I fall out from shock), 92 g carbs, and 35 g protein. Clearly, this is not a healthy meal by any stretch of the imagination, but compared to other fast food burgers, it’s relatively good in terms of calories and fat.