I finally ventured out past the parkways to one of my favorite lunch spots yesterday – Cheffie’s. Normally at a restaurant, I find one dish that I order everytime but at Cheffie’s I have trouble picking one dish. This time I went for an old favorite that I had sort of neglected for a while.
The Traditional Spinach Salad.
I like to eat the spinach leaves first and save all the toppings for last – on this particular salad anyway. It had a spinach base with candied pecans, goat cheese, bacon, hard boiled eggs and red onions. This is a very decadent salad but I definitely enjoyed it – especially the combination of creamy, sweet and salty.
Tour de Memphis: Food Edition – YoLo
I had to ditch the plans to go downtown to the new pizza place for dinner and instead joined some friends for food on the patio of Young Avenue Deli. I had a beer and a hummus appetizer plate – not my usual pizza pre-race food but I was ok with that. The weather was great and I love sitting outside in Midtown.
I made up for the lack of pre-race pizza by adding Yolo to the agenda. Sometimes on nights before long runs I’ll grab a cup of fro yo but I’m not sure I’ve ever done it before a race – now I have!
Tour de Memphis: Fitness Edition – RRS First Miler
I love to race when I’m in town, and often schedule visits to Memphis around running races. I’d have to say this morning’s five miler in Bartlett is my least favorite Memphis race but it was a perfect morning. The temperatures were definitely not August-like – more Octoberish. And that is a welcome change. I rode with Russ to register early and since I knew I’d be awake for 90+ minutes before a 30+ minute run, I ate a Nature Valley granola bar.
I ran this course twice last year in this same series – the Road Race Series – put on by the Memphis Runner’s Track Club (if you live in Memphis and you run, you should absolutely consider doing it) and I remembered the course being very boring (in the sense that we’re running through an unfamiliar neighborhood) and very zig zaggy. Lots of turns. I did not remember the ups and downs of the first couple of miles. My PR on this course last year (and for the 5 mile distance) was 39something (you can tell I’m not a real runner, I don’t remember my PRs…) and although I always shoot for a PR, today I really just wanted to stick to a tempo pace of 8:15 and try to focus on monitoring my watch.
I did very well on the first 3 miles – staying at under an 8 minute pace and backing off as my speed crept up into the low 7s (it’s very easy to be swept away into the flow of things). Somewhere in mile 4 I started to get a side stitch, which I blame on a few things. 1 – my lack of pizza the night before 2 – my addition of Yolo the night before and 3 – the granola bar I ate on the way to the race. I normally don’t eat before runs and I think my stomach didn’t like the food in there. I stopped for a quick bit to stretch it out (literally about 3 seconds) while I grabbed a sip of water and went on to the finish. Here’s Gary’s report:
I’m very happy with my early negative splits and my overall pace. I clearly need to work on my tempo-pace endurance to help me keep a sub-8 in the final miles.
And I would like to send a BIG CONGRATS out to Becca and Jen who both had incredible personal bests this morning – I was so happy to be there for those, and am looking forward to a celebratory drink 🙂
Tour de Memphis: Food Edition – post-race.
I made plans to meet Russ and his family at Celtic for brunch but we weren’t going to be eating for a couple of hours after the race finished so I grabbed a Mocha (2% milk and half the pumps of chocolate (2)) from Starbucks and spent some quality time on one of my favorite things in the southern world – the porch swing.
We enjoyed brunch on the patio at Celtic. I’ve spent plenty of time on that patio but had never had their brunch and it was delicious. I ordered the vegetable omelette stuffed with cheese, asparagus, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms and a side of soda bread. There was a celebratory bloody mary on the side too. It was delicious post-race food and wonderful company and atmosphere.
Now I think I’ll return to the porch swing until dinner and drinks at a very important stop – Alchemy :)! It appears I’m crossing things right off my goodbye list, what I haven’t shared yet is the rapid rate at which things are being added – including an extra day to my Memphis itinerary (thanks Russ and Princess).