MarathonMaiden's Blog

November 24, 2010

I Cook! Again!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:14

Okay so it’s been awhile. I know.  But last weekend I decided to stray again into being domesticated.  And I’ve decided to share.  Mostly because I remembered to take pictures and partly because Thanksgiving is on Thursday and I’ve decided to bless my family with only my beautiful face.

AKA I will not have any sort of Thanksgiving dish to share with you post-Thanksgiving.  Or at least anything that I’ve created.  So goes the plan although I will lay out the disclaimer that I could get roped into something.  After all I’m typing this out on Sunday night (who knows when I’ll post it though!) and plans can change.  Fingers crossed all I have to do is show up for the meal 😉

I have no idea where this recipe is from, as I got it from a co-worker. But it’s really good.  Considering that I HATE pasta (oops I’m a runner?) I think that it means the recipe is good.

Greek Vegetable Pasta (this is vegetarian for all you veggie lovers out there)

Oops for far away picture. Close up at the end.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz bowtie pasta
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup butter (or margarine 😉 )
  • 1 lb zuccini and/or yellow squash (I used a mix of the two) halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4″ thick slices (Orrrrrrrr I just chopped up ~4 cups worth of the stuff and didn’t worry about presentation)
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 gloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried Greek seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 can (~15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbs. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbs. fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz feta cheese (roughly 1 cup) (I kept this on the side to add in as people wanted)

Directions

  • Cook pasta and drain reserving ~1/2 cup of the cooking water
  • Grate 1 tsp. zest and squeeze 2 tbs. lemon juice from the lemon, reserve separately
  • In a large nonstick skillet pan, melt butter over medium high heat
  • Add zucchini and squash, onion, garlic, seasoning, salt and pepper
  • Cook and stir occasionally until the vegetables softened (this took ~5-7 minutes)
  • Add chickpeas, capers, pasta, lemon juice and pasta water.  Cook this until heated and then remove from the heat
  • Stir in the mint and the zest
  • Sprinkle with cheese if desired
  • ENJOY

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As far as running went today, well it didn’t. These allergies / this cold (I’m not sure which) is bothering me again. I think it’s allergies as I couldn’t sleep last night due to post-nasal drip and ONE sinus being congested.  And I have a cough that isn’t dry but I can’t seem to cough anything up.  Ah well.  I’m sure y’all really wanted to know all my sickly woes. Although when my alarm went off at 5am I (audibly I think) said “EFF THIS” and slept for a little more. Even if this isn’t a cold the few extra hours of sleep won’t be a bad thing especially after I got as close to a tempo/GMP run as ever yesterday

But my miles are going to have to come after work (if at all. I’m not too worried because it’s taper time).  It was such a lovely morning (albeit a bit windy) that I’m kind of kicking myself for not getting out there earlier.  But hopefully it’s still nice out when I get out there late.   Since it’s the day before Thanksgiving I’m hoping that I can get out of the office early to run The boss just called and said we all had to leave here at 1300.  Yippee! before seeing “A Christmas Carol” tonight which I’m really excited about.

Busy day (complete with tiara again) but fingers crossed I get a short recovery run in there!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Good luck to all in Turkey Trots and whatever else people call them.  My brother asked to run one with me and I told him “There is no way I’m getting embarrassed on Thanksgiving by my younger brother” (he’s 14).  So my game plan is to do the 13-15 mile “long run” (golly gee how 15 miles seems soooo not like a long run!) and then head over to my mom’s house for some good eats.  And, like I mentioned above, not prepared by me.

And, of course, I want to watch the Pats (duh) while catching some of the Macy’s parade and Charlie Brown.  Hey, when you live without cable (or actual television at all) then you binge at your mom’s house. Duh.

I was going to put a serious Charlie Brown picture up buttttt obviously this was cooler to me. I do ❤ Charlie though.

Check out the giveaways from Julie (Hot Legs Runner) and Lesley (Racing It Off) and Tricia (Endurance isn’t only Physical)

November 15, 2010

Recovering From The Weekend. A Case of the Too-Much.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:51

Happy Monday y’all! Hope your weekend was as great as mine: too much running, dancing, drinking, eating and having fun 🙂

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, both here and FB.  Yesterday was definitely the best birthday I’ve EVER had.

After I hit publish yesterday I got an amazing birthday run in.  The temps were ultimate fall and the sun was shining.  My legs even felt surprisingly springy considering the weekend’s activities of long runs and celebrating the day I blessed the world with my presence.

I ended up running while the sun was low in the sky, not quite dusk but it felt way late.  In reality it was only 13 or 1400 but it felt way later.  Definitely different from watching the sun RISE every other day.

It was an interesting run because I had been driven home by my friends from Boston and lots of coffee was drunk along the ride.  It’s not even that far of a drive! So while the run was great, it was frequented by a couple of stops.  I can now tell you the friendliest and unfriendliest places to ask to use the restroom now.  Which is never an useless thing I suppose.

After the run my roomie took me out to dinner at Red Stripe which is an American/French restaurant in Providence.  I ate the Red Stripe Grilled Cheese and it was amazing. I’m going to pretend, however, that massive amounts of butter are actually GOOD for your arteries when it’s your birthday.  I’m definitely not shy with my butter usage but my fancy grilled cheese was quite buttery.  And amazing. Sadly there are no leftovers for lunch today.

It was a lot of fun to dress up for another night and go out to dinner.  On a VISTA budget I never go out to eat.  No pictures because, well, I’m not a food blogger so I never carry my camera around like that.  Normally I wouldn’t even mention going out to dinner on the blog but it was just the ultimate way to end my birthday: A nice relaxing good meal.

As was the fact that the Patriots won.

Thanks Boston Globe Sports

❤ my Pats

My Monday started with my alarm going off at 0500 (funny tangent: 0500 was the time I went to bed Saturd well I guess it was Sunday morning at this point, and my thought was “Gee this is what time I’m waking up on Monday.  Oops”) and, well, let’s just say that I ate A LOT of dinner the night before.  AK A I’m typing this at noon and have yet to actually be hungry today. No GI distress or anything (surprisingly) but it was weird to be running while still full.  Normally I’m decently hungry when I get up in the mornings.

In any case all the running and dancing from this weekend took its toll on my legs and this morning I was feeling a bit achy. It was a pretty intense weekend after all. And my body in general was tired, as when my alarm went off I kept hitting snooze.  Although when it went off I woke up with a start and had no idea where I was.

I tried to get an easy run in but, even after cutting the planned distance short before leaving my apartment, I also cut it short once I started.  My pace was so slow, even taking into account the achyness that I figured it wasn’t worth it to keep going. So I still got a run in just not as far as I wanted.

At this point I’m beginning the taper process I guess. I still don’t know what that means as this is only my third marathon and my last marathon I was injured so my last 4 weeks of training/tapering were all screwy.  And I’m still weighing the pros vs cons of taking this week as hard/intense.  I definitely think this past week will be my highest mileage week but I’m still at a loss of what workouts to do this week and beyond.  I’m thinking:

  • Tuesday: tempo of ~5.5 miles @ 7-7:15 pace (I’ve given up targeting GMP)
  • Thursday: lr of 17-18 miles
  • Saturday: yasso 800s

Then the following week (which will be T-2 weeks!) I’ll do:

  • Two tempo/GMP runs
  • Long run of 15

Then it’ll be race week.  And that will be maybe a fartlek or something just to get turnover. Thoughts on my taper plan? My mindset is always GO GO GO so it may be too much.

Hmmmm musings this morning while I was running and foam rolling as I also used some of my usual running time to get in some roller love. My hips and glutes are the most achy and it felt good to get in there and mash up my muscles and tendons.  An actual massage would have been nice (even better from a hot male) but I’ll take what I can get.

Now I’m just hoping to make it through Monday without getting sore.  But, after having a really good weekend (seriously really really great) today isn’t that bad.  I even treated myself to DD this morning.  Simple pleasures.

Which is what this comic is.  It’s actually my favorite and I was so sad when it went to Sunday only but then my bro bought me a book of them so it was all good.  But here’s one from a few weeks ago.  It combines running AND football.  Amazing.

January 28, 2010

Tempo Thursday. Like Usual.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:20

Yeah, so thanks to those who called me out about me being a drama queen about my schedule yesterday 😉  You guys were a bit too polite to put it like that though haha. I know my schedule is not really bad and this is the best it’s ever been (I’m taking a normal course load rather than an expanded one for once) but change always stresses me out and trying to figure out what my routine is going to be this semester is stressful for me.  So while I had “free time” yesterday I was still on the go the whole time so it didn’t feel that way.  If that makes sense. And at the end of the day, I didn’t feel as frazzled at all like I usually do first day back.  So I think my relaxing semester will, in fact, be one. *knocksonwood*

And I’m slowly making progress on figuring out a plan for my gap year between graduation and medical school. I still have NO idea what I’ll be doing but currently I’m going about things proactively so that I don’t feel so helpless.  Sending lots of emails and trying to network a bit.  Fingers crossed for me.

Another good / not stressful thing is that the dining hall is opened.  Well I mean it *was* open during the break but our meal plan wasn’t in action so I would have had to pay for the iffy food there. I guess I do pay for it in my room/board or tuition or whatever.  And I would try to get off it except that it’s VERY hard to opt out. Plus our school has a “carte blanche” meal plan so I can go in whenever, numerous times a day, eat as much as I want.  Very good for the overall grocery budget as I really only have to get stuff like yogurt and certain cereals which aren’t in the dining halls.  Because I take anything that isn’t nailed down! I came back from dinner last night with 12 pears, 6 apples and 3 bananas.  And two loafs of bread.  Okay so not the most impressive selection but I stock up.  The sad thing is that most of that will be gone by the weekend.  Don’t judge 🙂

Just like I am trying to not judge my tempo run this morning.  I had a mid-morning meeting and I despise doing afternoon workouts so I just got up beforehand.  Nothing extra early or anything but I think recovery early runs are totally different than tempo early runs.  Here are the stats before I go any further in my bitching and moaning:

  • 3.2 mile warm up @ 9:51
  • 6.6 mile tempo @ 7:43
  • 4.4 mile warm down @ 8:33

Total time: 120 minutes even
Total distance: 14.2 miles ( I think that technically it was 14.3 but when I add up my routes I tend to round down. ie) 4.67 becomes 4.6 or 3.53 becomes 3.5 in the log book. So when I add them I get 8.1 but it’s really 8.2. I’m sure that I’m usually understating the distances.)
Average pace: 8:27

So my average pace on the tempo (7:43) was much slower than I wanted.  Granted it was much faster than it felt.  I actually thought that it was going to be a goal marathon pace (GMP) run rather than a tempo going into it.  When I got up I had only gotten 7 or so hours of sleep when I *need* 9 to feel refreshed (damn you book I am reading for keeping me up late!) and my eyes felt bloodshot and I couldn’t really see straight and they felt puffy too.  Not exactly conditions to set myself up for a good hard tempo.

Additionally the early morning runs are sans breakfast.  I’ve probably said it before but I hate eating with food in my stomach.  I have to wait 2-3 hours after a meal before I can run or else I will vomit.  Pleasant I know.  And this usually isn’t a problem with recovery runs because they’re easy and pace doesn’t matter.  Well, pace does matter on a tempo run.

So the combination of exhaustion (because in addition to lack of sleep last night I’ve been plain tired lately) and a 12 hour-ish fast made a blistering pace practically impossible.  I’m sure that if I really put my mind to the task I could have gone faster but eh.  I couldn’t focus at all.  I tried to tell myself that me and Lacey went faster at the end of our great LR this past weekend but to no avail.  My mind would just wander for long stretches which has always been my downfall when it comes to tempo runs. So I ended up with a good pace but wasn’t feeling it.  Kind of felt like it was phoned in as my intervals were this week.  In a way it’s likely good that my body isn’t being constantly pushed to extreme week after week but it’s tough for my ego to handle it.

That said I should be happy with this run and deep down, under the disappointment, I am.  My pace was within the McMillian range (7:34-7:54 based on my previous marathon time) and even within my accepted range (7:15-7:45).  Given my *excuses* above (and man do I hate excuses) I have to say that today’s tempo was a success.  McMillian talks about how the slower end of the range really does do the same work as the faster end of the range.  Wait, what? He goes on to say that day-to-day fluctuations in life impact our running lives.  So what a tempo pace might be on a really well rested, stars-are-aligned day would obviously be faster than an exhausted morning tempo pace.  But anything within the range is training “optimally”. With that in mind I am refraining from judging. Or trying too.  It’s so hard.

And I know I keep harping on the “don’t judge” mantra but the surest way to change a mentality default setting is through repetition, no? So bare with me while I adjust 🙂

I also got in a quick ellipit arc trainer (what’s the difference between the two??) – slash- abs session after my meeting with a friend to play some catch-up. While I hate XT-ing it up it’s so nice to be able to do this kind of catch-up rather than a meal because exercise is a great bonding thing, at least in my experience.  Plus I was able to get the blood moving and keep my muscles from tightening up even more than they are and those nagging aches are starting to crop up again (because I still haven’t stretched yet! Must. Do. Today.)

And since this post is already essay length I’m going to go pick up my packages from the post office.  I know one of them is my Quantum Physics book and I think the other is my Harry Potter 4 en francais and HP7 en espanol.  I’m a dork I know.  And then (dun-dun-dun) first Thursday of the semester! Hollllleeeeerrrrrr 🙂

January 4, 2010

Twenty Questions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:50

Well more like 12 questions as I’ve kept waiting and waiting for more but they aren’t trickling in I guess.  Oh well, either that means my life is really boring and no one wants to know more or I share too much of my life and no one needs to know more 😛

So while I begin to do laundry and gather up my things to head back to school (classes don’t start for another 3 weeks but I need to get the heck out of this house haha) I figured I’d post the questions I did get. With my responses of course.  And I loved all the questions I got, there were really thoughtful and I totally had fun answering them. Enjoy and if you want to know more just ask — I’m totally down for doing a second installment of this if there’s interest 🙂

1. Any meals or foods you can’t live without?
YES. In the afternoons I always have honeybunches of oats (cinnamon clusters) with a smashed up Nature Valley granola bar (flavor varies) and yogurt (flavor also varies). I really love breakfast foods, I think I could live off of the stuff haha.

2. What’s your favorite food?
Hmmmmm. Peanut butter. It can go on anything. Seriously.

3. Non-alcoholic beverage of choice?
Diet coke with lime. Drink it everyday. Elixir of the gods I tell you!

4. Adult beverage of choice?
Jack and Diet Coke. With a slice of lime. Not such a big fan of fruity drinks: I like to feel the burn haha

5. What is your typical training schedule like?
Hmmmmm. I usually have speed stuff on Wednesdays and my long run on Saturdays. That’s about as scheduled as I get. I do try and rotate intervals, tempo, hills around in my speedwork sessions. Usually rotating once a month with the fourth week being easy. The rest of the time I just go “easy”. I do core 5x a week (every day that I’m not doing speed or long) and try to do lifting 2-3 times a week (New Years Resolution!)

6. What’s your favorite color and why and what do you own that you love in that color?
Gut response is blue but I’m straying from it lately and I don’t think I ever really looooooooooved it, rather everyone else did when I was little (and I was very impressionable). I’m really getting into pink and I have a pink vest that I absolutely LOVE and wear all the freaking time. I don’t really have a not-so-favorite color though.

7. If you could go back and be one age you’ve already lived, which age would it be and why?
Gosh this is really hard.  I’d chose the beginning of college so age 19.  I didn’t have a great first 19 years of my life and it wasn’t until my freshman year that I became a *person* and felt that I had a purpose and that I could do things for *me*.  So that was when life started being fun.

8. First kiss? Do you still talk to this person?
First kiss was in sophomore year in high school to a guy that I really didn’t know. But I was at a holiday party at my friend’s house and we just hooked up. Kind of awkward. I haven’t seen him since. Wow. Awkward to think about. It was NOT as sketchy as it sounds to type out! We did have mutual friends in common and he actually still keeps in touch with some of them.  We just didn’t have anything in terms of common interests.

9. If you could have a movie made about you, who would play you? And what songs would be on the soundtrack?
First the soundtrack: lots of country. I really feel like I am a southern girl at heart even though I am tooo uptight to ever leave New England ha! There would definitely have to be some Jay-Z and Lady GaGa too because I love to dance to them. As for who would play me…I’d love it if Kyra Sedwick did. I know she’s a bit older than me but I love watching everything she’s in and I think she’s such a strong woman.

10. What is your favorite thing to do that isn’t running or blogging/reading blogs?
I loooooooooove to read. I can easily read 1-2 books A DAY if I can. Mostly adventure / detective stories. I do have a soft spot for sci-fi though and Michael Crichton is my favorite author with Jurassic Park being my all time favorite book.

11. Where would you like to travel to in order to run a marathon?
Where would I not travel? I definitely want to do Disney someday. And a marathon in Europe.  I think I’d travel anywhere though because I don’t much in the way of travel experience under my belt and what better way to see the world than through running?

12. If you had to pick one lifetime running goal, what would it be?
To be running when I’m 80 and beyond.  So cliche I know! But I see this woman who lives on the street next to me running all the time and she’s giving me training tips and is such a bamf! I’m in awe of those who have taken such good care of themselves that they are younger physically than people my age. That and I want to be the old broad who whoops the young’uns asses in races (because that has totally happened to me before!)

And there you have it and hopefully you learned something interesting. Again, if you want to know anything (I was mildly surprised at how few “favorites” questions there were) just ask and I’ll be happy to answer. Happy Monday all!

P.S. Check out this giveaway that TeaMarcia’s doing. Pretty sweet, although I want to win so don’t enter 😉

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