The weekend was a whirlwind…and for me, it started on Thursday. For the 6th time, I drove up to Utica, NY for the Boilermaker 5K and 15K road race. For about the past 8 years, the New York Beef Industry Council has sponsored the race and has had a rather large spread in the health and fitness expo the two days leading up to the race. At the expo, they typically have various booths dedicated to educating the attendees about the many nutritional benefits of beef, how to confidently cook and prepare it and recipes and meal solutions to get them started. This year, I primarily helped at the ‘Protein Challenge‘ booth and chatted with runners and their families about protein and how not all proteins are created equal. Lean beef for example provides 25 grams of protein in a neat 154 calorie package per 3 ounce serving. Quinoa is a good source of protein for the grain/carbohydrate family but you’ll end up eating 666 calories in 3 cups to also get 25 grams of protein. We also compared edamame, black beans and peanut butter, all of which are commonly considered decent sources of protein. Considering the caloric cost of your protein is really important to do if you’re striving to consume 25 grams of protein at breakfast AND lunch AND dinner (which we ARE supposed to do by the way!). Meat and dairy products generally pack a powerful load of protein, vitamins and minerals with a low caloric cost. (Just stuff to think about!)
Sunday morning was the 5 and 15K races. I happily consumed a burger with sweet potato fries for dinner the evening before the race. I was after all running again as a proud member of Team Beef. Nearly 80 other Team Beef runners were also participating in the races Sunday morning. The 15K started at 8:00am…which is too late on a hot July morning for my liking. I made sure to stay hydrated the days leading up to the race and the morning of. I didn’t pass up too many ice and water stations along the course either. My goal leading up to the 15K was to maintain an 8:20 average pace. I figured that was realistic considering my previous course PR was at an 8:40 average pace. I knew the first half was going to be hilly so as long as I could hold a steady pace for the first half, I could potentially make up time over the second half of the race. To my surprise, I was cruising along at a comfortably faster than expected pace just about every time I glanced at my watch. [Mile1: 8:25, Mile 2: 8:04, Mile 3: 8:18, Mile 4: 8:40, Mile 5: 7:27, Mile 6: 7:36, Mile 7: 8:05, Mile 8: 7:50, Mile 9: 8:02, Last 0.3: 7:43] I ended with an 8:02 average pace!! Big surprise for me and a PR of 1:16:01. I started to get a side stitch with 0.3 miles to go, but thankfully at that point, the race is basically over. Mission accomplished!
And yes, I did have steak for dinner after the race…and a beautiful steak it was!
Other Team Beef runners– how have your races been going? Training for anything coming up later this summer or fall?