Saturday, November 27, 2010

last week, in review.

 To finish up what I cooked the week of 11/15-11/19...

Caramelized Pork Slices: Scott really enjoyed this!  It was pretty easy too.  Brown sugar and molasses makes everything delicious.  We had this with a side of rice and green beans.
Pesto Chicken Pizza: Yum!  I really enjoy making these pizzas.  This one turned out delicious - the right amount of pesto without overpowering the pizza.  I'm finally getting the hang of making the crusts myself on the pizza stone ... I just can't seem to get my pizzas to be very round, haha!
Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary:  Sad but true: I made this last Thursday night so we could have it for lunch last Friday and it's still in our refrigerator. I wanted Chipotle.  My willpower isn't strong.

And, as promised, a recap of my 10K!
M and I went to Hains Point in Washington DC for our very first 10K.  Our longest run during the training program was 5.5 miles, so we had another 0.7 to tack on, making it the longest run either of us had ever done.  Based on our training, I knew I wasn't going to be able to run the whole distance without a walking break, so we decided to set my watch to do 10 minute running / 2 minute walking intervals.
The morning was chilly, and when I got out of the car in long pants, a t-shirt, and a track jacket I was feeling under dressed.  I was wishing for gloves, a hat, or earwarmers... but we had none of the above.  Luckily, I have felt this way before at the start of a run and I knew that after a mile I would feel appropriately dressed.
The race was a 5k/10k and the 5k started 10 minutes before us.  I realized that this meant that anyone who wasn't 'serious' about running would be running the 5k... meaning there was a very legitimate chance we would finish dead last in our 10k.  I reminded myself that we weren't trying to break any records, and that the goal was to cross the finish line, not beat anyone!
Before I knew it, we were off.  I was worried about starting off too fast and losing steam so we were sure to not sprint away, and soon we were towards the back of the pack, but not dead last.  The first 10 minutes felt great and I probably didn't need the walk break right then, but I also wanted to pace myself.  After our walk break, we were fairly close to dead last.  Oh well.  We started running again and managed to pass some people that had jogged past us.
The course was basically 2 laps around Hains Point and as we neared the end of our first lap, there were people on the sidelines cheering us on - "almost done!"  I wanted to hurt them.  Haha.  They didn't know we weren't running the 5k I guess, but we were not almost done.. we were almost HALF done.  At this point I realized I had not been in any pain from my foot - AWESOME!  I had been worried because on my run Tuesday and the prior Saturday (we  took Thursday off) I had definitely felt significant pain in my right foot.
I was feeling awesome about our progress at the halfway point and we stopped for about 20 seconds to get some water.  The next mile wasn't so bad for either M or I.  I guess 4 miles is officially a "good" distance for us.  Around the start of the 5th mile, M was definitely hurting.  "I don't know if I can run for 10 minutes anymore" she said.  Usually, M is doing just fine, I'm whining, and she has to be my cheerleader.  This time I was feeling pretty good and tried to be a cheerleader for her.  We were doing so well!  We only had like 2 miles left!  We made it to walk break #5 and I was so excited we had been going for an hour.  Last push of running, I told her.  We had less than 10 minutes of running left before we would be at the finish line. 
So we started interval #6, and I immediately wanted to die.  I was just done.  My muscles were not listening to me as I told them to push on.  I begged her for a chance to walk and she told me no.  Finally, we saw Scott and my friends K and D (D had run the race to, but finished 10 minutes before us) cheering us on a little ways before the finish line.  Usually, I like to sprint to the finish line and finish as strong as possible, but I really was spent.  And then the unthinkable happened.  As we ran towards the finish line, we saw that THE FINISH LINE HAD BEEN DISASSEMBLED! What the hell?!?  I guess park police had come and told them there was some problem with their permit, and made them TAKE DOWN THE FINISH LINE.  So we ran up to where the finish line had been, approximately.  Talk about anti climatic!
Other than the finish line snafu, though, I have to say I was really happy with our time and the race overall!  Hains Point is a beautiful, flat course, which I think might be part of why my run was so pain-free.  And, what I know you are all curious about: my time was 1:07:34, which is about a 10:50 minute mile pace!  Pretty awesome considering we walked 2 out of ever 12 minutes!  I'm so proud of M and I and am definitely excited to sign up and start training for the 10 miler :-)

Happy Turkey Day, everyone!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

keeping good on my promise!

Hello!!! I'm updating - after only a few days instead of weeks!  Here goes it.

This weekend's 5.5 mile run was... rough.  M and I were both in quite a bit of agony by the end... but we survived!  Luckily the soreness was gone by Monday and I was feeling good.  Tonight we ran 3 miles on the treadmill since it was dark, gross, and rainy out.  My foot pain returned, which is a little worrisome for this weekend.  But hopefully it will subside through lots of stretching and icing and I'll be ready for Saturday's 10K!

I've been COOKING!  Woo!  Lunch the past few days was Chicken and Spinach Tortellini Soup.
A fairly simple soup with... well.. chicken, spinach, and tortellini.  Add in some carrots and that's really about it!  Next up on the menu this week was Monday's dinner: Cheese and Pesto Strata.

Can I just say, I LOVE french bread?  It's so addictive.  Scott thinks so too.. he finished the loaf that wasn't in the strata in one sitting, haha.  This recipe turned out alright, but I think it's more of an appetizer or something to have in small doses - not really a dinner type of food.
Then tonight I made Chicken-Noodle Casserole.  This was also super simple. 
I left out the mushrooms to appease Scott, and he was very grateful.  This recipe doesn't have any exciting herbs or spices, which I might have enjoyed, but Scott thought it was perfect - simple clean food that 'tastes like food should taste, not like the spices would make it taste' so says Scott.

Friday, November 12, 2010

not only am i alive, i run!

Now that you are all up to speed on what I've been cooking, here's a recap of my recent runs:

10/23: I went to visit SUSAN in NYC and on Saturday morning we went running in Central Park with a running store running group.  We ran about the first mile together - woohoo for our FIRST run together! Then we split off and she went with the speedy group while I picked a more appropriate group for me :-)  I find a buddy who was at my pace level and we did a combo of running and walking 3.5 miles through Central Park, at an average of 10:52 miles.

After that run, I fell off the wagon.  I didn't run for a week and a half!  One day M didn't feel good, another day I was stressed, etc.  Finally, we got back on track a full 12 days later.  Oops.

11/4: M and I ran 2.5 miles in 27 minutes, for an average pace of 10:48.  Pretty good for having taken 12 days off.  This run was two firsts for me: my first run in the rain (it wasn't pouring - but there was a steady drizzle!) and my first run in my new shoes! 
While I was in NYC, I asked the running store folks about my shoes.  I'd been having more pain after running recently so I thought it might be time for new shoes.  I tried on a few pairs at the store, and it came down to Asics Kayano's or Brooks Adrenaline.  Susan recently switched the kind of running shoes she wears, and just happened to have a pair of Brooks Adrenaline in my size, brand new, that she had no intentions of wearing.  So, of course I opted for the free pair of shoes!  Anyway, 11/4 was my first run in the shoes, and they felt great!

11/6: Longest run ever but it felt SO GOOD!  We went 5.38 miles in 1:03:11, which is an 11:45 pace.  We decided that for long runs, we would go 10 min running and 2 min walking.  It was definitely a slow pace throughout but I felt so good and strong after!  It definitely renewed my confidence that I CAN complete my upcoming 10K!

11/8: M was sick so I went onto the treadmill for 3.0 miles in 31:48, avg. pace of 10:36.  I think 3 miles is about the longest I can go on the treadmill without a good television show, haha.

11/11: Back on the road with M!  2.0 miles in 23 minutes which is slow, because we decided to walk up our least favorite hill, which was a solid 5 minutes of walking.  Oh well :-)

This weekend (on Sunday) we have a 5.5 mile run!  We are sticking with the intervals of 10/2 for now, and I'm really looking forward to the run.  It's finally cooled down here, and last weekend when we ran it was about 45.  This weekend is warming up again, but not too much - a high of 71.  Should be good!  I'll try to blog about it sooner rather than later :-)

no, really, i'm alive!

All I can say is... grad school is busy!  I've managed to keep cooking, but not at the pace I had hoped.  Here's what I've cooked since I last posted:

141.  Halibut with Potato Succotash (November 2, 2010)
142.  Sausalito Chicken and Seafood Salad (November 2, 2010)
143.  Orange Teriyaki Beef with Noodles (November 3, 2010)
144.  Tortilla Soup (November 4, 2010)
145.  Marinara Sauce with Spaghetti (November 5, 2010)
146.  Ranch Tuna-Melt Pizza (November 4, 2010)
147.  Tex-Mex Meatloaf (November 8, 2010)
148.  Creamy Quinoa Primavera (November 9, 2010)
149.  Easy Bake Ravioli (November 10, 2010)
150.  Beef Tenderloin with Pear-Cranberry Chutney (November 11, 2010)
151.  Chicken and Tortellini Salad (November 12, 2010)

I don't think I could possible recall and talk about all 11 dishes.  Here's some highlights/lowlights:
#141: the suggested frozen potato stuff that went into the potato succotash was lacklaster.  I had high hopes for frozen potatoes, but the texture and taste was... off.
#142: I loved this.  I love avocado, I loved everything about this recipe.
#143: I made this with chicken instead.  Definitely good.
#144: Putting tortillas in a pan to cook them and get them crispy was the best idea EVER.  Yum.
#145: So good, and so worth the fact that it took 8 hours to make a sauce.
#146: I am becoming a pizza dough pro.  This needed more cheese, but I ran out!
#147:  This was good flavor-wise but it was heavy on the meat.  Needed more bread/veggies - kind of felt like we were eating burgers!
#148: I love quinoa, and the cream cheese combo is stellar.  Carrots don't really go though - I'd suggest zucchini or squash as your veggies.
#149:  So easy and basic, but if what you want is cheese ravioli, this works!
#150: My first chutney!  This was flipping AMAZING. I love pears.  I love cranberries.  I love pumpkin pie spice.  Perfect fall dinner.
#151: Good, easy salad.  I like the dressing quite a bit.

And now, I will give you a photo montage of the past month of food:

 Asian rice and lentil burgers
  Baked chicken and rice with autumn vegetables

  Moroccon Skillet Chicken
  Moroccon Skillet Chicken
 Smoked turkey and couscous
 Italian Chicken Pitas
 Lox and Cream Cheese Scramble
  Halibut with Potato Succotash
  Ranch Tuna-Melt Pizza
 Tortilla Soup
 Tex-Mex Meatloaf
 Creamy Qunioa Primavera
 Easy Bake Ravioli
 Beef Tenderloin with Pear-Cranberry Chutney
Chicken and Tortellini Salad