Where is the sun and vegan meal delights!

Maybe I am still spoiled from growing up in Arizona, but it has seemed AWFULLY gray this October compared to previous years.  This wears me down: physically, mentally, even emotionally. I need sun. Not just for that all critical Vitamin-D but for the warmth and pleasure it brings on my skin, to my soul. Perhaps a bit dramatic, but darnit – WHERE IS THE SUN? (do do do do)

I’ve been resting from running much this week as my left thigh/hip flexor continues to heal. I did manage a solid eight miles on Sunday morning and will enjoy runs both upcoming weekend days. I had to skip my favorite YMCA class yesterday as I was fasting for a 10am doctor’s appointment.

What I learned about myself: I am the world’s biggest baby when it comes to fasting. Granted, a 10am appointment is much different than an 8am. And, 10am does not actually mean 10am. After waiting, waiting, quick visit with doctor, more waiting, I finally left the lab post-draws at 11:30am.

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I was the very, hungry, caterpillar.

I’m anxious to receive my results and compare them to last year. I do have concerns about getting enough iron, calcium, B12, etc. in my diet. While I take supplements, I also recognize through research that said supplements have mixed results of actually providing nutrients into the bloodstream. Experimenting with new recipes and ensuring certain key nutrients are incorporated into meals (and making sure not to mix some where benefits might be eliminated) are on the top of my list.

Speaking of new recipes, this past week was a bonanza of trial and error at the dinner hour, and I’m glad to report that the vast majority were a huge success! My top three meals from the week of vegan are:

1) Snobby Joe’s via Post Punk Kitchen: http://www.theppk.com/2009/11/snobby-joes/

ImageWe threw these Joe’s into pita – HOLLA!

2) Falafel Bean Patties w/Vegan Tzatziki Sauce

Falafel via Eat Live Run: http://www.eatliverun.com/falafel-bean-patties/

Vegan Tzatziki Sauce: http://greek.food.com/recipe/vegan-tzatziki-239629

I may have finally learned how to spell Tzatziki.Image

 

So, so, so good. I did not realize how much I liked falafel until diving into this recipe.

3) Rice and Bean Casserole (dinner on the cheap) via Eat Live Run

http://www.eatliverun.com/dinner-on-the-cheap-rice-bean-casserole-with-guacamole/

Put ingredients into pan, seal, bake for 90 minutes = dinner served?

Ok.

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If you try any of these three recipes, drop me a comment and let me know! [All photos are via their websites – like I could ever take food photos like that. Instagram, anyone?]

 

Recap: RunRaleigh 13.1 – October 2013

No need to have set my alarm – the cats woke me up around 4:15am. The 1.45 power hour of hydration, coffee, hydration, fuel went off without a hitch. I felt a slight ache in my left thigh/hip, but I knew that I would finish, no matter what. Even if I didn’t make my goal time or needed to walk – I was there to enjoy the morning, complete my third half-marathon, and then relax into the remainder of the weekend.1374098_10101730314308145_1561424161_n

We arrived at 6:30am for the 7am start time. Aaron, my beloved sherpa, waiting with me in the ridiculous line to use the facilities. Made our way over to the start line – you know the drill: announcements, clapping and then – we are off!

My first mile was good but below my ideal pace: closer to 8:20 – 8:30 (I was wearing a watch but apparently after not training with one, I have no idea how to use such advanced technology.) Around the two-mile mark, I was approaching a woman wearing her phone on her arm, and her running program announced her pace: 8:06 minutes/mile. Hmmmm…I liked it! So, I asked her: “Do you mind if I run with you?” She did not, and we continued to run silently next each other for the next couple of miles. Eventually, we chatted a bit, enough to get to know each other’s name (Charlotte), where we lived (Clayton; recently moved from Indianpolis); the weather (holy cow it was humid!) and our training. But, for the most part, we kept each other accountable with our bodies, moving fairly effortlessly in motion next to each other through miles five, six, seven.

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One of the potential drawbacks from pacing with someone: our pace began to increase. We were pulling out 7:50 min/miles in the center, which both of us at the end realized could have been our downfall. Fortunately, we kept ourselves motivated. By the time we hit the Raleigh Greenway system around mile eight, we were feeling the slight grades more, feeling the final few miles ahead of us more in our muscles, minds.

I ended up shifting up from Charlotte around mile 9, focusing back on my internal processes: how was my body feeling? How was my left thigh feeling? Was I hungry? Was I thirsty? WHY IS IT SO HUMID? [It did cool off a bit once we hit the Greenway section.]

Then, at mile 12, there was a hill. By that point, it seemed as steep as Mt. Everest. Cheered on by a familiar face (thanks Kevin!), I ascended the hill, huffing and puffing (channeling my inner Al Buehler as well), and cranked out the final 1.1 miles. I checked my watch and saw that if I wanted to beat the 1:45:00 mark, I had 90 seconds to achieve my goal. Fortunately, it was a descent into the finish line, and I went into my last gear.

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Final results:

Updated Run Raleigh Finish TimeBoom goes the dynamite. See you in November, City of Oaks.

Rest Week and Looking Ahead: #3 tomorrow

Unfortunately, this final week of tapering and training has not gone as planned. This is nothing unusual for me. Prior to my first half-marathon back in 2009, I experienced major IT band challenges, prompting me to learn about foam rollers (and what the heck an IT band was, for starters). Then, about three weeks before the marathon in January 2012, I got the pleasure of some plantar fasciitis. Now, this past spring, I was fortunate to have a solid training in preparation for the Tobacco Road Half-Marathon. The race itself proved a bit challenging health wise but no injuries.

This past Sunday, I experienced some pain in my left hip/inner thigh during my eight mile run. I thought perhaps I was just tired and dehydrated, so I finished the run, re-hydrated, iced, and relaxed. Then, on my tempo run on Tuesday morning, the same area reared its ugly head. Clearly, this was not something I could just ignore. I officially put myself of rest notice Wednesday through Friday, which is really hard for me. I really enjoy exercising, both for the social factors and for those delightful endorphins. Between work and personal juggling, I needed those endorphins even more to balance the stress.

But, I persisted in NOT doing much outside of stretching, rolling, icing, walking, and icing more. Today, I rode on the elliptical for about 25 minutes (it was heaven!) to get muscles moving but to maintain the strict discipline of NOT re-aggravating anything.

I’m not even sure why I get so nervous about races – it’s not like I’m an elite athlete and my sponsors are counting on my top performance. Unless, Aaron is sponsoring me. Hmmmm….but, seriously, I’m a recreational runner who enjoys challenges (pain-free ones, of course) and I’m my harshest critic.

So, we’ll see what happens tomorrow morning! 7:30am is the official start time down in Cameron Village. I had a great dinner tonight: beautiful spinach salad, pasta with fire-roasted diced tomatoes, sauteed onions/garlic/mushrooms, some grated tempeh and fresh basil. Time for some decaf tea (especially after a rather rough Tennessee-Georgia game – blast you Bulldogs!)