Behind every great race are amazing volunteers. Those people who hand you cups of Powerade at the water stops? Volunteers. The medical personnel that treat your blisters, cramped calves, and chafed nipples? Volunteers. The incredibly helpful and happy people at packet pick up that make sure you get your chip, t-shirt, and that all you have to do on race day is show up and run/walk? Yep, they’re likely volunteers as well. Having run numerous races, I’ve come to realize just how important volunteers are when it comes to having great race experience.
Yesterday evening was spent in Minneapolis at the packet pick up for the Get Lucky 7k and 21k (half marathon). There’s just something about a race expo that gets me all pumped up to go out and run. I love meeting other fellow runners, whether this is their first or 50th race. Since this will be my first year not running the half marathon since it started, I love reminiscing about races of years past, like last year when we were running in shorts and tank tops thanks to record heat (seriously, it was 80 deg on St. Patty’s day last year. In Minnesota. I shit you not). This year looks to be a little more winter like with snow predicted into tonight and temps in the 20s for race time. Brrr!!!!
Put on by Team Ortho, over 10,000 runners are signed up to take to the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul tomorrow morning in their greenest St. Patrick’s Day running gear. I will be volunteering at the finish line med tent for the half marathon (21k) tomorrow morning. While I love chatting with other runners, I really really really hope not to see any of you there tomorrow, unless it’s grabbing a pint of Finnegans at the post race party!
For more information on how to become a volunteer for future Team Ortho events, click here. They offer great incentives, like bones to collect and use on race entries and awesome gear, as well as free gear like the awesome t-shirt I snagged that I plan on wearing Sunday when I get my BodyShred instructor certification. And ladies, the men of Women Rock are usually at the packet pick ups, providing lots of shirtless eye candy for your viewing pleasure at the Women Rock 10k and half marathon, which I ran last year.
With the hammy and mother nature still thwarting my marathon training attempts, my focus has switched over to hitting the weights to get back the strength I’ve lost over the winter. Ok, really, I just want to look like Erin Stern when bikini season comes around. This has meant cleaning up my terrible winter eating habits (hello, muffin top!) and getting back into a strength training routine. Sadly, every diet I’ve seen out there for people looking to build muscles mass while slimming down includes massive amounts of egg whites. I HATE eggs!!!! I have never been able to stomach them. And my dislike for eggs was further solidified in college when a developmental biology project gone wrong resulted in me becoming the parent briefly of an adorable little chick. Spike, if you’re reading this, mommy loves you! So when it comes to having eggs for breakfast every day, Rocky, I am not.
I did what any girl would do, and posted on facebook about my dilemma. Luckily, I have some amazing friends that probably could chug down raw egg whites like they were a frat boy at a kegger. Hello breakfast souffle!! Primallyinspired.com has a couple of amazing breakfast souffle recipes that are not only decadent, but healthy to boot. The breakfast fruit souffle is like eating a really fluffy pancake topped with fresh fruit. Best part is, you can just use whatever fruit is in season or that you have on hand. I made it with some strawberries that were starting to go a little soft and fresh blueberries. YUM!!! Serve it with some vanilla greek yogurt, and it’s kind of like eating berry pie à la mode. I actually ate the rest for my evening snack as a dessert. The dark chocolate breakfast souffle is to die for. It was so rich, I felt like I was eating chocolate cake for breakfast. Minus the OMG-I-had-cake-for-breakfast guilt that hits you on the elliptical later that morning. I omitted the honey in the glaze, and it was still plenty sweet. I can’t wait to try the gingerbread breakfast souffle later this week.
Whatever it is about eggs, if must be working. The muffin top is gone (and there’s still snow on the ground!!!). A few more weeks of this, and I don’t care if it’s still winter in Minneosta. I won’t be hiding my six-pack (currently a four-pack, but much improvement over February’s keg) under bulky sweaters. My neighbors will just have to deal with me shoveling the driveway in my bikini (gotta get some use out of them since the summers are so short).