Tuesday, May 18, 2010

leftovers, leg pain & lamb

For lunch today, I had leftover Cheesy Italian Chicken Pie.  After it being quite bland when I originally served it, I decided to top it with a spoonful of alfredo sauce, a little bit more cheese, and tons of herbs and spices: garlic, cilantro, basil, and parsley.  I must say, this was MUCH improved.  So, whenever I get around to making it again, I will definitely have to increase the spices in the batter and add spices to the crust batter as well.  Woohoo for improving meals!

Despite having not worked out since Thursday, and having stretched/rested/iced, I woke up this morning and felt like every part of my legs/feet were in pain.  When I have PMS, I often get pains in my legs, so I think that was the cause of this morning's pain.  All I could think was "how am I going to run today... this is going to suck!"  Luckily, after stretching a ton this morning, taking some Advil and walking around the hospital (where I am currently working) my leg pain started to dissipate.  As much as I liked M's last playlist, I wanted to listen to my own music today, so I made a sweet playlist for my IPod and just kept it low enough that I could still hear my watch beep to tell me when it was time to start running/walking.  I decided to ramp it up and do 1 min walking, 5 min running, since the 4:30 wasn't feeling too aerobically challenging.  I started out fine for the first two reps.  Towards the end of the second rep, I was tempted to stop and stretch... but I normally stop and stretch halfway through, so I pushed through.  Finally at the halfway point (4 reps, so, 24 minutes, and 1.84 miles in) I stopped and stretched.  WOW was my first thought.  My right ankle was so tight.  When I tried to bend my right foot back towards my shin to stretch my calf/etc., it just felt so tight... my foot just did not want to move.  I think I probably took a solid 5 minutes sitting on the stone wall to stretch and pondered if I could push through.  Finally I took a deep breath and started up again.  After only two more reps, I was in pain again.  At the start of the 2nd run, some Maroon 5 song came on which I normally enjoy during work outs, and I just kept thinking ISN'T THIS OVER YET? ... but it was not.  So, after that rep (rep 6, 36 minutes in, now at 2.83 miles) I stopped to stretch again.  I can barely pull my right toe back to stretch out my ankle.  I'm almost positive I'm done now... no way I can keep running.  But I'm on the far side of east campus, so I decide I have to try!  I stand up and wonder if my ankle is swollen... it kind of looks that way.  I walk for about 30 seconds before my watch beeps again and start running.  Luckily for me, one of my favorite songs ever comes on.  Oh K'Naan.  He's rapping about surviving a war in Somalia... but as far as I was concerned he was rapping about me pushing through and finishing this run.  (For those of you who don't listen to the song: the chorus/main line that repeats is "Never let them see my down smile while I'm bleeding."  And yes, I have eclectic music tastes - Maroon 5 and K'Naan on the same mix).

With the new song as incentive to push through my run, I fail to hear my watch let me know that my 5 minutes have passed and I can have my 60 second walking break.  So I don't take it - I just run through my jam.  Then I hear it beep again to tell me to start running, and I decide to just run through the next 5 minutes (which started off with Paramore and then went into a Lupe Fiasco song, in case you were curious.  Also on this mix: The Kooks, Brett Dennen, Spoon, MGMT, and Parker House & Theory.  Eclectic, I told you.)  So anyway, I pushed through my last two reps and ran a solid 11 minutes - and it felt AWESOME! I had finished up the second loop on the East Campus track by then, as well as my 8 reps for a total of 48 minutes, so I decided to cool down and walk back to my car.  I timed my walk back to try to get a feel for my walking pace, which was 15:52.  Using that as a guesstimate for the rest of my 60 second walking stints, I think my mile pace when I was running was almost exactly 12 minutes.  Not too fast, but that's ok.  I also remembered where I started and stopped my 11 minute run, and calculated that I ran a mile in that time!  So basically, I ran that mile in 11 minutes  (woohoo energy form K'Naan) but averaged about 12:20 the rest of the run.  (Overall, I ran 41 minutes, walked 17 minutes, and went 4.5 miles, for an overall average of 12.9 minute miles).

Alright, that was probably more than you ever wanted to know about any single run I went on.  But I was proud of myself for pushing through despite some pain (we'll see how good of a decision that was tomorrow) and for running 11 minutes without stopping!  ... even though my right ankle is a little swollen on top... we'll see how it is tomorrow after lots of ice :-)

For dinner tonight, I cooked Honey-Mint Lamb Chops, and my friend L brought rice and peapods.  I was pretty terrified, since I had never made lamb before... in fact, I'm not sure I had ever HAD lamb before.  So, my first mistake: the recipe said to broil it 3-5 inches from heat.  I, for some reason, thought that the heat came from the bottom part of the oven, so I put the lamb in on the bottom rack, 3-5 inches from the bottom of the oven.  When I went to turn the lamb over and pour the sauce onto it, L kindly informed me that when you broil, the heat comes form the top, so the lamb ought to be all the way on the top rack, 3-5 inches BELOW the heat.  Right.  So, now that we have that cleared up, onto the cooking of the lamb!  Luckily, L has had lamb multiple times, so when she read that it should be cooked "12-14 minutes for medium" she knew to tell me that "medium" is probably a little more well-done than we/she enjoyed.  Thank goodness for this girl.  I managed to figure out how to broil, and only broil the lamb for a total of 10 minutes... and it turns out AWESOME!  So, SO delicious, as was the rice and peapods.
First is a picture of the lamb and peapods - L dribbled the juice over it fantastically!  Then, I wanted to show you how perfectly cooked my lamb was, so we also have a picture looking at the meet after I've cut into it.  YUM!  I hope ya'll enjoyed this super long post, haha.

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