MY First Race Coming Up & ‘Bella Burgers

Posted: April 13, 2011 at 8:20 am

Thank you all for the wonderful comments and support on my Month 3 Progress post! I always feel a bit awkward publishing these posts, but I believe in the importance of sharing the real deal in accomplishing body goals in a healthy manner. Don’t forget to let me know in the comments of any questions you may have about how I do things for an upcoming Q + A post. I’m an open book, so ask anything. πŸ™‚

Yesterday afternoon, I realized something that needed a quick remedy.


I also craved a burger. Thus, this beauty was born.

bella burger 2

I marinated two portabella mushroom caps in a mixture of olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, and sodium-free steak seasoning. Then, Peter plopped them on the grill to cook for about 5 minutes per side with some additional basting action for optimal flavor.

bellas on grill

I topped my β€˜bella burger with a thick smear of goat cheese, spinach, tomato, pickles, and red onion. Only one vegetable could stand up to this fabulous dinner. None other than my all-time favorite roasted Brussels sprouts.

bella burger 1

After that meal, sister night ensued. We can entertain each other all too easily with our random senses of humor. For example, we have a tradition that we must eat ice cream while watching The Biggest Loser. Why? Simply because the irony of it amuses us so. Plus, its tasty.

I now need to back up a bit. Before the fun of my evening began, I went out for a run. I headed to an area I could easily get around for a little over 3 miles. I wanted to do a quick run to push my pace and see what I could accomplish. 

4 12 run

I managed to keep my pace where I wanted (average 8:27), but I really struggled. It felt like everything was against me. I ate too close to my run. I dressed too warmly. The wind was blowing. The evil hill wanted to kill me.

run path
For the record…it keeps going after that curve. A lot.  

It kind of stunk. But was awesome at the same time to know I pushed through. Perhaps this will make my 5K seem easier since it’s supposed to be a flat course and I learned a few things to help prepare myself better.

Did you know? My 5K is THIS Saturday! I can hardly believe my race is on Saturday! I have so much anticipation and I feel so excited for it. I also have all these thoughts swarming my mind on whether or not I will be prepared for the race. Not so much prepared physically, since I do feel ready in that aspect, but prepared with all the little race-day things I know nothing about. Here is what I have in mind for this weekend:

1. Pick up my race packet at early pick-up Friday afternoon.
2. Charge my music, Garmin, etc the day before.
3. Lay out all of my clothing, race bib, technology, etc the night before.
4. Wake up early to eat one of my tried and true pre-run meal combos.
5. Leave early to have time to get there on time and find my way around.

I have no clue from there. I hope I don’t walk around looking like a deer in headlights at the venue because I don’t know what to do. I am thankful that it now looks like Peter will manage accompanying me, which before he wasn’t sure about. That will help knowing I have someone to watch my stuff, get some pictures, and cheer me on! I also feel SO thankful that Lee will be there with me. I know she will help me feel at ease and show me what to do. Until then, I will gladly take any advice you have!

  • What pre-race and race day tips can you share?
  • Do you like Brussels sprouts?

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85 Comments to “MY First Race Coming Up & ‘Bella Burgers”
  1. Good luck at the 5K on Saturday! I know you’ll do wonderfully! πŸ™‚

  2. You are SUPAH fast! πŸ™‚ Sorry your run wasn’t the greatest. I think we all learn from runs like that though!

    Will you come cook for me tonight?

  3. YAY that is a SPEEDY run despite everything!! You are going to ROCK that 5k!! πŸ˜€

    Your right on all those things! I would add hydrate well beforehand. You don’t need to drink during a 5k, but being under-hydrated will affect your performance. I follow the rule of drinking a big glass of water 1 hour beforehand- has worked like a charm for me! πŸ™‚

  4. Me-Linh says:

    Man you are fast! You’ll definitely rock the 5k!

  5. Sarah R says:

    A bella burger with goat cheese? Yum! And I love roasted Brussels sprouts too. I haven’t really had them any other way, but what’s the need when you find a way you enjoy them?

  6. Ok, that Mushroom Burger looks so delicious! I am making it the next time we grill out! Also, I could probably eat Brussels sprouts (didn’t know that’s how you said it till I saw your tweet yesterday) every day of my life and never get sick of them. They are little balls of heaven.

  7. You will do great. If you’re running that fast with a hill like that, you’ll have no problem on Saturday. Good luck lady!

  8. Hard runs are the ones that make you grow- good for you for fighting through. You’ll kill it at your race this weekend πŸ™‚

    How do you roast your brussel spouts? Any seasoning? I roast them, but they always taste a bit bland…?

  9. LindseyAnn says:

    Your pre-race plan is great!

    The only thing I would add is sipping on lots of water on Friday. Make sure to have some, too, before you leave the house on Saturday, but try to stop 45-1hour before, as at that point you’re as hydrated as you’re going to be for the race. Plus, then you’ll have to pee the whole time, and that’s no fun.
    I’d double check that they allow you to use iPods/music players. If they don’t, I’d do one more run/activity this week without it so you’re used to not having it with you.
    You’re going to do so awesomely! πŸ™‚

  10. Girl you’re going to rock that race! The energy is incredible at a 5K so my big advice is to be careful and not blow out the first mile being caught up in the excitement. I like something simple to eat before a race like banana and PB on slice of toast or half a bagel. Make sure you warm up a bit before the race. Just jog around a bit, it’ll help get out some of the nerves too. I wish I could be there to cheer you on!

  11. I have totally eaten ice cream while watching the Biggest Loser. I actually feel so bad when I do it!

  12. Angela says:

    Yes, I adore Brussels sprouts!! I’ve also been craving a grilled portabello burger lately and yours looks delicious! Sometimes when I run outside I feel the same way you did – everything seems to be uphill, the hills all want to kill you, and you just can’t keep the pace! But then there are the good run days that remind you why you love it. Good luck on your race this weekend – I know you’ll do amazing!

  13. You’re gonna do amazing for your race! -How exciting! I really want to do my first race sometime this year! All the dates I found for 5ks near me never worked with my schedule!

  14. I think you have a great plan for this weekend — I know you’ll do great at your race!!!

    My sisters used to come over and watch BL with me — and yes, we’d have chips/salsa and then ice cream. I mean, watching that show for 2 hours??? You need good snacks! πŸ™‚

    • Tina says:

      Haha! So true! The show could really only be 1 hour long, so you have to have good food to hold you over and keep things interesting. Glad you can relate. πŸ˜‰

  15. GOOD LUCK with your race on Saturday!!!!!!!!
    Take a deep breath, embrace it and be thankful for your time running, no matter the time you finish. Races really are fun and normally everyone is really supportive!!

    My number one race day tip is wake up early so your food can digest BEFORE the race and not having to worry about it during your run lol.

    Also – the most important.. hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink lots of water this week, so your body is already hydrated for race day and your not chugging water the morning of.

    I do not like brussel sprouts at all.. but I eat them anyways because they are healthy lol.

  16. Megan says:

    I love seeing your progress into a runner! You’ll be fine for your 5K, and your time will be fantastic! Good luck!

  17. Heather says:

    do not start out too fast! You will be so excited/nervous and the adrenaline will be pumping and you will be SO tempted to srping a tthe start and keep up with everyone else who will also be sprinting. hold back untilt he last mile so you aren’t miserable teh whole race. starting out too fast will def kill your fun!

    • Tina says:

      I will definitely have to keep that in mind. Don’t want a miserable race. Want to give it my all, but still finish strong. Thanks, Heather. πŸ™‚

  18. Heather says:

    i’m not a racer, but i’ll be cheering for you!!! and yes, i love brussels sprouts…probably one of my absolute favorite veggies!

  19. jobo says:

    That looks so yummy! And I love your sister night ritual πŸ™‚ Jess and I do that too, try to anyway, have a sister dinner. I love the Biggest Loser idea. Love that show. As for the race, good luck, I know you will do awesome! I always get nervous. Would love to hear about your pre-race combos!

  20. Coco says:

    Oh, you are going to rock that race!

    My other pre-race tips:

    Use the potty at the race “just in case.”

    Enjoy the positive pre-race energy.

    Have fun!! πŸ˜€

  21. Kacy says:

    You’re so speedy! Awesome! You’re going to do great at your race! My main tip is to hydrate well the day before and not try to do it right before the race. Having to pee the whole time is not pleasant.
    Watching TBL always makes me hungry, haha.

  22. amy says:

    LOL at TBL comment! When I used to watch it, I would do the same thing. I think it’s because the way they “eat” is so unrealistic that it makes us crave some balance FOR them. πŸ™‚ I actually stopped watching it for this reason!

  23. I’m so excited that your race is already here! You’re going to do so great, Tina!

  24. Emily says:

    SO excited! you totally have the race prep down. plan out a timeline in your head for waking up/leaving/getting there and get ready to celebrate after you cross the finish line!!

  25. Lauren says:

    The burgers look fabulous! I’m not the biggest mushroom fan but do want to try these babies out! Brussels sprouts are my favorite…I drizzle a little EVOO and balsamic vinegar over them and bake them at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Delicious!

  26. Jen says:

    Are you sure you haven’t been racing your whole life?! You are so fast!!! Can’t wait to read all about your awesome race re-cap πŸ™‚

  27. Don’t feel awkward about it- you really are an inspiration!
    I loooove goat cheese, definitely my favorite!

  28. Your post was lovely, I understand the feeling that comes with putting yourself out there but I did it honestly, openly, and for such a great purpose! πŸ™‚

    The mushroom burger looks fabulous! I make something similar with broiled ports avocado, cheese, tomatoes, and red onions.

    You are going to kill the 5K! Just remember you steamrolled through a 6 miler this past weekend :). I would say one piece of advice for any race is to remember that the start will be slow because of the amount of people and you’re going to need to do some weaving in and out to stay at your pace.

    I can’t wait to hear how it goes! πŸ™‚

  29. Brussels sprout are my new love. They are actually priceyer than other veggies around here and so are baby carots, but I gave it a shot and I love it.

    My husband says that this mini cabage is kind of bitter , but I like that it taste verry ” greenish”. I

    n an episode, Dexter, the cartoon character would turn into a monster if he didn’t ate enough veggies so he ate all the veggies from a store. That’s how I am if I don’t get mine πŸ™‚

  30. good luck with your race! you’re going to rock it!!

  31. Jess says:

    You are going to do GREAT at the race – you are already so fast! I’m envious πŸ™‚

  32. Ohh so excited that your first race is so soon!!

    my biggest suggestion would be to try to pace yourself, like many of the above commenters have said. I find its better to start in the middle or back of the race so you pass people rather than get passed the whole time if you start at the front.

    Good luck and I can’t wait to hear how it goes!!!

  33. Ooooh I want a portabella and goat cheese sandwich now! My pre-race tip is: get plenty of sleep so you’re well rested for the day, and hydrate well πŸ™‚

  34. Missy says:

    Have FUN on your race!
    I can’t believe your burgers! My bellas get soggy. Boo.
    But they are still good.
    Brussels Sprouts? Yes please.
    Steamed, broiled, sauteed …..have you ever tried shredding them in the food processor and lightly blanching them for a nice slaw-ish salad?

  35. LauraJayne says:

    I’m so excited to hear about your running (and your race)! You are totally going to rock it and are running SO much faster than I do, even on my shorter runs!

    It’s funny, but looking back on my races, my 5k was definitely my hardest race (so far, I’m pretty afraid of the half coming up). The final push almost killed me, but it sounds like you are totally in shape! For me, it’s about running at the pace that I know I can maintain and not paying attention to the people around me. I always start slower and finish faster – that way you are passing, not getting passed at the finish!

    Oh, and I love brussel sprouts. Love them. But I didn’t used to. This is a new, 2011 discovery!

  36. I love when veggie burgers are literally veggies on buns. Makes me smile. Yours looks absolutely fantastic and I LOVE the brussels sprouts pairing. Have you ever bought the big stalk of them at the market? You just pop ’em off? Daniel and I loove that.

    I’m so excited about your race. I hope you love it. I wish I had some good advice, but you know me, I’m sort of a scaredy cat with races. Maybe one day I’ll walk one πŸ™‚

  37. Robyn says:

    As you know I am a huge BEEF eater, but even I must admit your ‘bella burgers look really good! I love mushrooms and have always wanted to try the burger idea, just to satisfy my curiosity.

    LOVE Brussels Sprouts. We had them in our garden when I was a teen. Even my cowboy will eat them.

    You will do awesome on your 5K this weekend! Mental preparedness is very important and you are ready. Have Fun on your Run!

    • Tina says:

      I love beef too! It’s so funny because we really eat vegetarian meals or beef in this household. Not the hugest chicken or seafood fans.

  38. marcia says:

    Don’t try anything different/new on race day…….
    Nerves are good to have in competition….
    Know that you are ready for this…
    Leave it ALL out on the road girl! πŸ˜‰
    Have FUN!

    I love roasted Brussels sprouts….I just started enjoying them a few months ago. Matt and Amara love them too…Miles? Well…he will stick to green beans and carrots for now! πŸ˜‰

  39. Heather says:

    That is amazing! Are you running in the Sweetwater race? That’s in my neighborhood so I try to run the routes as my trainings. I have class so I can’t run in it this year. You have to try the Fox Brothers smoked portabella burger, they have nothing on yours I’m sure but still very good!

  40. I’ve only ever run one race, and I sucked pretty hardcore. πŸ™‚ The only advice I can give you is to pee first. Twice. Bad things can happen if you dont.

  41. Sounds like you are ready for that 5k! It’s a hard distance, but fun at the same time. Basically a prolonged sprint in my mind.

    PS- We too used to watch Biggest Loser while having some sort of sinful dessert. I always found it hilarious that I’d be making these gooey choc chip cookies (or something like it) while the contestants are probably trying to avoid them. I say this with no disrespect to the contestants of course. They’re doing a really important thing for themselves.

  42. You are totally ready to rock this 5k on Saturday!! The best race tips I can give are to eat a very familiar, easy to digest breakfast 2 hours before, don’t start out too fast, and enjoy it (embrace the crowd, look for your family, think how awesome it is that you’re running)! You will do great, Tina!

  43. Portobello mushroom burgers are a summer time staple for me. Ahhhh I love grilling season! I love brussels, too. Yum.

  44. no brussels sprouts for me and sadly – i’ve never done a race so no tips. Regardless, wanted to leave a comment and tell you i’m SO GLAD you do those posts- you should be so proud of yourself! And the shroom burgers look fantastic!

  45. Kara says:

    You are going to rock that race!

    The day before the race: hydrate! There is no need to carb load for a 5K, but extra water is a must!

    Race day: Make sure you wake up with enough time to take care of *ahem* bathroom needs. No one wants to use a portapotty for that! πŸ™‚

  46. Evan Thomas says:

    Woohoo! You are going to rock it.

  47. Yum! Your mushroom burger looks awesome — I eat alot of those during the warmer months. I’ve never had it with goat cheese, but I certainly am going to give it a try.

    Can’t wait to hear how your run goes — you’re going to do great!

  48. If you have your bib/packet ahead of time, that will make a smooth morning for you, I think. I agree with your plan to try and arrive early. My sister-in-law and I once got caught in unexpected traffic and were seriously afraid we’d miss the start. We made it, but who needs that kind of stress!? I think you will have a great time. At least for me, doing races fuels the running addiction. πŸ™‚

    And, yes, I do like brussel sprouts. Fresh only. Not frozen.

  49. I love portabello burgers! Can’t wait to hear how your race goes… you’re gonna kick ass! πŸ™‚

  50. Sarah says:

    Your dinner looks so good! And yes, I like brussel sprouts- especially roasted:-).

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