Oy Vey 5K !

Matt and I ran our second 5K race in as many weekends this morning.  The race had a great name – the “Oy Vey 5K” – and, just like last weekend’s race, it took place in Wallingford, PA.  I had two goals going into this race:  #1 – run faster than last week’s 26:51 time and #2 – finish in under 26 minutes.  And guess what?? I did both!!  My official race time was 25:16 which is a huge PR for me – even better than my best time from high school.  On top of that I was the first female finisher of the race!

Annie - Oy Vey 5K

The Oy Vey 5K was hosted by Congregation Ohev Shalom.  We parked at the Synagogue, walked a short distance into nearby neighborhoods to the start line, and raced on a nice flat out-and-back course.  The race finished back at the synagogue where they had food, water, and raffle prizes for everyone.  All in all a great morning!

Matt was the 7th finisher overall with a time of 24:21 (faster than his time of 24:52 from last week).  I was 8th overall and only about a minute behind Matt the whole race which meant that I could see him most of the time.  Matt didn’t know how close I was until we go to the halfway/turn around point and then he realized that I was right there behind him and he cheered me on.  Woohoo!

Matt - Oy Vey 5K

I think there were a few things that helped me run faster today.  First, my time last week was much better then I expected so that gave me the confidence to set my sights on an even faster goal this week.  I went out aggressively in pursuit of my sub-26 goal (7:47 1st mile) so that put me on track for a good time even when I got tired towards the end.  Secondly, the course was really flat which was very nice after last weeks’ (seemingly) mountainous terrain.  🙂

I did have one technological glitch during the race.  My running playlist started off as usual with Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance but then, to my horror, I realized that my phone was set to repeat that same song over and over and over again… oh no!  I contemplated trying to fiddle with my iPhone while running (or maybe trying to talk to Siri and get her to fix it??!) but I eventually gave up and just listened to a LOT of Bad Romance.  I think I need to remove that song from my playlist for next week – I’m sick of it!

Here’s RunKeeper’s summary of today’s race.  As usual, the finish time and distance are a little off.  I guess I’d rather have my phone telling me that I still have another .2 to go and then actually be done rather than the other way around though, right?

Oy Vey 5K Runkeeper Stats

I almost forgot to mention… with 1.3 miles left to go in the race I hit 500 miles!!!!  I’ve been running since July 18th and I’ve had a blast.  Here’s to the next 500 miles!

Miles since last post:  28.7
Days since last post:  8
Average Daily Miles since July 18th: 4.91

Related Posts:
•  Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19/13)
•  Limping my Way to 400 Miles (10/3/13)
•  Run-A-Muck 5K (9/22/13)
•  300 miles and a 5K in my future (9/9/13)
•  200 miles!  (8/26/13)
•  100 Miles in 21 Days! (8/7/13)
•  100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge: 49 Miles to Go! (7/29/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

Another 5K in the Books!

Matt and I ran another 5K this morning and it was fun!!  I had two goals going into the race:  #1 – Don’t walk and #2 – Finish in under 30 minutes.  Not only did I run the whole thing, I finished in under 27 minutes!!  I’m still surprised!

Fueled Up 5K Annie

The “Fueled Up & Fired Up Pick 5 Challenge” race took place in Matt’s hometown of Wallingford, PA and was sponsored by Wilson Oil & Propane.  We started at the Wallingford train station and wound around neighborhoods for two miles before tackling the hilly Smedley-Leiper Trail that parallels the Blue Route (I-476).  Thankfully, the race finished with a nice downhill towards the Wilson Oil parking lot.

Matt was the 7th finisher overall with a time of 24:52 and I was the 4th female to cross the line with a 26:51.  We both ended up first in our 20-29 age group which was kind of cool.  Granted, there were only a few people in our age group and the entire 5K race only had 67 entries, but I was still pretty excited!

Fueled Up 5K Matt

I had a very different strategy for this race than I had for the Run-A-Muck 5K we ran last month.  I tackled the Run-A-Muck with no watch, no music, no iPhone… just me and nature.  Because of this, I went out way too fast in that race and then mentally gave up on the hills and walked (a lot).  I also took a big gulp of water at a water station during the Run-A-Muck which made me feel sick for the rest of the race.  I tried to apply what I learned last month in today’s race.  I used RunKeeper to track my pace, I had a nice, upbeat music playlist to listen to, and I didn’t stop for water.  I’ve also been practicing running up hills in my neighborhood which helped me mentally when I got to a long uphill near the end of today’s race.  All in all a big improvement!  🙂

Here’s RunKeeper’s summary of today’s race.  (The finish time is a bit off because I was late hitting the stop button.)  The hills in the Smedley-Leiper trail definitely hurt my pace in the 3rd mile but overall this was much faster than I was expecting.

Fueled Up 5K Stats from Runkeeper

Here’s my latest mile tally.  Many of these miles were done on the elliptical due to my sore foot but it seemed that cross-training worked because my foot feels a lot better now!

Miles since last post:  69.6
Days since last post:  17
Average Daily Miles since July 18th: 5.03

Our next 5K is next Sunday and then we’re entered in another one the following Saturday.  Go big or go home, right?

Related Posts:
•  Limping my Way to 400 Miles (10/3/13)
•  Run-A-Muck 5K (9/22/13)
•  300 miles and a 5K in my future (9/9/13)
•  200 miles!  (8/26/13)
•  100 Miles in 21 Days! (8/7/13)
•  100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge: 49 Miles to Go! (7/29/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

Nürnberger Bratwurst with Sauerkraut

Happy October!  The German holiday of Oktoberfest may have ended on October 6th, but, like many Americans, Matt and I use this holiday as an excuse to enjoy German bratwurst and beer for the entire month of October.  Last night’s dinner was no exception…  We used a German recipe to make authentic Nürnberger Bratwurst with Sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, and crispy onion rings.  YUM!

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

We purchased our Nürnberger (aka Nuremberg) Bratwursts from a fresh sausage vendor at our local Farmer’s Market.  The vendor explained that, unlike most brats you’ll find in a supermarket, Nürnberger Bratwursts are very small (about 4″ long x 3/4″ diameter) and are not served hot dog-style on a roll.  Instead, several of these tiny sausages are served together over a bed of warm sauerkraut.  This sounded good to us and, after some online searching, I found this authentic recipe to showcase these little brats.  Naturally the recipe was written in German but with a combination of my limited German language skills from school and some help from Google Translate we came up with the following English version.

Kartoffelpüree mit Bratwurst und Sauerkraut
Mashed Potatoes with Bratwurst and Sauerkraut  –  Translated from Lecker.de

You will need…
3 Yellow Onions
2 1/4 lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and roughly cut into 2×2″ chunks
200ml (approx. 7/8 cup) Skim Milk
40g (just under 3 tablespoons) Butter, divided in half
1/2 bunch Chives, sliced into very thin rounds
Grated Nutmeg
Peanut Oil
28 oz. Jar of Sauerkraut (available in the canned veggies aisle)
375ml (approx. 1.6 cups) Chicken Broth
5-6 Juniper Berries*
1 Bay Leaf
12-16 Nuremberg Sausages (Nürnberger Rostbratwurst)
1/4-1/2 cup Flour, for dredging
Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

Slice the onions to form thin rings (as thin as you can make them without breaking the ring).  Set the onion rings aside and reserve the centers or any rings that break.  Dice the centers.  You should end up with approx. 1/3 diced onion and 2/3 onion rings.

Place the peeled potatoes in a pot with salted water, cover, and boil for 20 minutes until soft.  Drain the potatoes.  Place the milk and 20 g (half) of the butter in the potato pot and warm over low heat.  Return the potatoes to the pot, mash well, and add a few pinches of chives, ground nutmeg, and salt to taste.  Stir well and cover.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, saute the onions in peanut oil over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add the sauerkraut (spoon it out of the can to avoid getting excess juice) and saute for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Then, stir in the broth, juniper berries, and bay leaf.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Once cooked, transfer the sauerkraut mixture to a bowl and cover tightly to keep warm.

Use a paper towel to remove any remaining bits of sauerkraut from your frying pan, then return the pan to medium-high heat and heat a tablespoon of oil.  Add the bratwurst to the pan and cook in the oil until crispy brown on all sides, turning frequently (use a splatter screen to minimize the mess).  Transfer cooked bratwurst to a plate and cover tightly with foil.

Return the frying pan to medium-high heat and add in the remaining 20g butter.  Dredge the onion rings in flour and spread them in a single layer on the bottom of the pan – you’ll need to do this in batches.  Fry the onions in the butter until golden brown and crispy.  Transfer the cooked onions to a paper towel-lined plate and continue to fry the dredged onion rings in batches until they are all done.

Bratwurst und Sauerkraut
To serve your Kartoffelpüree mit Bratwurst und Sauerkraut, spoon generous helpings of mashed potatoes and sauerkraut onto a plate.  Place 3-4 bratwurst over top of the sauerkraut and garnish the potatoes with chives.  Stack the onion rings on top of the potatoes and serve with a nice cold German beer.  Enjoy!

*Juniper Berries are a common element in northern European cooking and in this recipe they are used to flavor the Sauerkraut.  We searched for Juniper Berries in six (SIX!) different grocery stores before finding them in our usual store, The Fresh Market.  (Too bad we didn’t try there first!)  If you can’t find Juniper Berries locally you can order them online at Spices, Inc.