Tuesday, July 30, 2013

CSA Week 9

Not an exciting week as far as cooking. Nick was out of town for a few days, and we went camping over the weekend. Also, the veggies we got this week were amazing, fresh, and delicious, but not inspirational.

This week we got:
One lonesome cucumber
5 big yellow tomatoes
A few little potatoes
Red onions
Handful of cherry tomatoes (not pictured... I might have eaten them all before the picture...)

One lonesome cucumber
Sliced, eaten with some hummus on our camping trip.

5 big yellow tomatoes
I gave 2 to my boss to thank him for giving me eggs. His eggs. his chickens' eggs. His family has a few chickens that produce a ton of eggs. They've had enough extra the last couple weeks that he's given us 2 dozen. So generous, and I wanted to thank him with some of our produce. The yellow tomatoes were odd and I thought his kids might get a kick out of them.

I ate the others with the hummus and cucumber when we were camping. I'm sure we were the only ones in the campground with CSA veggies and hummus. It felt so indulgent to have fresh veggies alongside freeze-dried chili.

Some went to my boss, along with the tomatoes. The rest was microwaved and devoured. Not quite as good as the (local) corn we got from Whole Foods last week, but still yummy.

A few little potatoes
Normal potatoe-y dishes. No particular plans for these guys.

Red onions
Salad toppings! I forget that the extra effort to put toppings on salads is totally worth it for the texture/flavor enhancement.

Cherry tomatoes
Eaten already, as mentioned. They're the perfect snack for me, since my natural tendency is to mindlessly devour whatever is in front of me. These are easy to eat quickly, but when you're done, you're actually full. And there are vitamins, unlike when I am eating 7 servings of chips at a time. It certainly helps that the tomatoes we've gotten this summer have been out of this world- perfectly ripe and enormous. Yum.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Steamtown Training week 8

Week 8. I have 11 weeks until Steamtown! This is both awesome and terrifying. I made the executive decision this week to do a long run of whatever distance feels like a balance between comfortable and challenging, with a focus on increasing mileage toward the end, of course. My training plan has me doing a million 20 milers, which is kind of ridiculous to me. I'm sure other people can bang that out, no problem, but I'm not one of those people. This isn't a case of self-doubt, it's self-preservation. I'm going to slowly but surely increase my long run length like I have my last 2 training cycles. This is probably totally damaging to Operation BQ, but I want to come out the other side of this uninjured and happy. So. The plan this week actually had me at 16 miles, which was surprisingly doable, but next week it jumps to 20... oof.

And let's talk about this long run. Nick and I had a really good talk about my tendency to self-sabotage by overthinking. I ran 14 miles a few weeks into training, no problem, then my next long run killed me and it convinced me that I was overtraining, so that's when I became all about lower mileage and tweaking long runs. Marathon training is supposed to be challenging, mentally and physically, and I was letting a little mental challenge throw me off completely. Our talk motivated me to try and look more positively at my long run this week. I originally set out for 13 miles, because that would be longer than my last long run, but when I got to the turn around point (6.5 mi), I decided to just keep going, and aim for the 16 miles that were on the schedule. When I turned around at mile 8, I had a little doubt that I could keep chugging another 8 miles, but I did it. Average pace: 8:42. That's a full 20 seconds faster per mile than Richmond. Even more encouraging was that my last 5 miles were: 8:31, 8:33, 8:42, 8:34, 8:28. I didn't fade! Hallelujah!

Long run minutiae: had way too much Ethiopian food the night before, and lots of water. Slept ~10 hours. Breakfast at 10am was eggs and banana bread. Had lots of water, 1.5 pumpkin muffins, and some fake larabar stuff before running (felt a little full when I started running). Carried Gatorade, and had Gu/Honey Stinger at mile 5, 10, and 13. ~85 degrees when I started at 4:45 but it cooled off and was overcast most of the rest of the run.

Other happy news- I got new shoes! They are the Mizuno Wave Ronin 3 and they were on super duper sale at Running Warehouse. I wanted a pair of lighter shoes that I use less frequently for speedwork, and these fit the bill. They are not flashy, or even cute, but they are comfortable. I don't know if it's just how I had them tied, but they were a tiny bit loose around the heel the first time I wore them. They don't feel quite as snug/come up as high on my heel as other Mizunos. Other than that, they were winners. I wore them on my tempo run, and while I cannot say that I flew through the miles any more easily, my footwear was at least not an issue.
Pretty! Not. Function > Form, this time.

Interesting waffle-y sole

Victories: eight minutes, forty-two seconds for sixteen miles. I am on top of the world.
Failures: So I like the treadmill. Who are you, the treadmill police? Leave me alone with my electric best friend.

Monday: HIIT which left me very sore, plus abs and arms
Tuesday: 5.35 on the tmill- start @ 6.5, up by 0.1 each mile till done. 49 min
Wednesday: 27 miles biking @ 16 mph including a few stops
Thursday: tmill tempo. 1 @ 6.1, 5.1 @ 7.6, 1 @ 6.6 plus c/d. 7.35 in 1:02
Friday: tmill- 5.45 in 52 min- 5.2 @ 6.5 plus c/d. No speed step up because it was before 6am. And running fast early is wrong.
Saturday: off- "hiking" Maryland's highest point (Backbone Mountain) and Pennsylvania's highest point (Mt. Davis) with Nick. Not much actual hiking, just a couple miles.
Sunday: 16 miles @ 8:42

Totals: 1 x HIIT, 27 mi biking, lots of hiking, 34.15 miles running

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sitting is bad for you.

Subtitle: Duh.
Subtitle 2: Pedometer challenge!

So everyone knows that sitting is bad for you. Which sounds like a terribly obvious statement, but now that there are tons of studies to back it up, people are getting their shorts in a bunch about how office workers will all DIE EARLY, GRUESOME DEATHS (even if they exercise regularly outside of work). I am an avid member of that alarmist mob, especially after completing the pedometer challenge I wrote about weeks ago. It was an 8 week challenge put on by my company, where employees had to log 30,000 steps a week to complete it satisfactorily, and then there were bonus challenges on top of that. The bonuses increased each week, and the last week's target was 70,000 steps. Luckily, other activities satisfy the challenge as well, so I wasn't rushing to walk 10,000 steps a day, I could also log biking minutes and running minutes (the pedometer did not work well when running) and convert them to steps. Magic.

Now that the challenge is over, I find myself using the bathroom closest to me, filling up a cup with water as opposed to walking to the water fountain for a drink at a time, and not hauling myself out to other buildings to see coworkers. In short, I have returned to my natural state of sloth. And it is glorious. Just kidding. Sort of. I notice my lower back (which is still being ridiculous) hurts significantly more after sitting all day. Post-workout soreness is heightened by post-workout laziness. My workplace is a bunch of fairly spread out buildings, so it's not hard to go see someone instead of emailing or calling. Although if I'm wearing a skirt, it does mean putting on pants and close-toed shoes, which is sometimes just too much to ask.

I have looked into standing desks and treadmill desks. Look how happy she is at her standing desk!

So happy! I think a standing desk is the way to go, because treadmill walking and trying to type would be a disaster for me. I slid down the stairs just this morning because my sandals were slippery. I can't be trusted with a treadmill desk.

But really, walking more is the first step (PUN ALERT). The habits that helped me log enough steps for our work challenge were sometimes silly (making extra trips up and down the stairs with laundry... bleh) but often reinforced other healthy habits (drink tons of water so I need to pee more often... win-win!). In the interest of not dying an early death, I think I'll walk a little more.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

CSA Week 7-8

This week is actually Week 8. I skipped the Week 7. So this is a super bonus post- 2 CSA recaps in one! Contain yourselves.

Week 7:
Purple Viking potatoes
Patty Pan squash
Bell Pepper
Cherry/Grape tomatoes
Baby Carrots
Peaches (very ripe, eat soon)

Week 8:
Patty pan squash
Melon (softball sized thing in the back)
Banana peppers
Grape or cherry tomatoes
Tomatoes, medium size
red onion

Week 8- those "medium tomatoes" are the size of your fist.

Purple Viking potatoes
Quartered, roasted, enjoyed the morning of our wedding reception/party.

Patty Pan squash
Squash and onion were roughly diced and sauteed with olive oil, then I added about 3 cups of kidney beans and 4ish tbsp of pesto (made from carrot greens, garlic, and basil from a previous CSA delivery!). Served over some Near East quinoa/rice blend. This was delicious and hearty.

Used in farro recipe, see tomatoes.

Bell Pepper
I had intended to make chili last week but time just got away from me. These ended up in my standard lunch loadout.

On the 7th week, Nick and I discovered farro. And it was good. I saw this recipe pop up on my reader (side note: read that blog. Beautiful photography, good writing, and all of her recipes have been winners. Love), and the appeal of a one-pan dish was instant. The recipe was basically written for me- one dish, uses up tomatoes, and I happened to have farro purchased in February when I ramped up for my elimination diet. Farro is a lower-gluten grain, and it's exotic sounding, so I grabbed a couple cups from the bulk bins. And then I promptly forgot about it. I rediscovered it in the pantry recently and have been half-assedly trying to find a recipe for it. Then this one popped up. SO GOOD. Farro is chewy and hearty. Nick said it's like al dente pasta without the undercooked middle (he likes his pasta very well done. And yes, we know farro is a grain). It is definitely an interesting flavor. This recipe was easy- add some salt, basil, and parmesan on top and it's pretty perfect. We had enough for 2 lunch leftovers, and we just bought more farro to make it again. 

Cherry/Grape tomatoes
Eaten whole, by me, in minutes.

Baby Carrots
Standard lunch eats. Btw, a baby carrot for a farmer is just a small carrot. None of this peeled, washed, rinsed, bleached nonsense that you get in the store. 

Peaches (very ripe, eat soon)
They were very ripe, so we ate them soon. I think we each had 3 peaches the first day we had them home.

Roasted and enjoyed by me, with sauteed onion. They were small and sparse again this week, so there wasn't enough to make something more ambitious.

Patty pan squash
Diced, sauteed, and... something. I don't have any good ideas. These little guys are still mocking me from the veggie drawer.

The eggplant and one of the squash were sliced, salted, and sauteed by Nick. Then he sauteed garlic and red onion, and made a delicious sauce of olives (substituted for capers), balsamic, and lemon juice. It was a really nice side dish for some veggie burgers.

This looks sort of like a canteloupe, but was on the small side, and it did not smell like a cantaloupe. I cut it open and it had very runny insides and was light green- definitely not a cantaloupe! A little searching led me to think it's actually a galia melon. It is very... melony. I wouldn't be sad if we didn't get anymore of these, because I'm not a huge melon fan, but it was nice to have traditional fruit in our delivery. 

Banana peppers
4 huge banana peppers. Ugh. I like them, but in my mind they are a sandwich topper and not much more. I asked Google, as always, and got many recipes for stuffed banana peppers. All of them were stuff with loads of cheese, which would be yummy but hard on my stomach. Then I came upon this recipe. Nick and I love Indian food, and this recipe looked great.

We made it last night, and it made the house smell like curry. We added a can of chickpeas because we didn't quite have enough potatoes, and it also upped the protein content. It was delicious over a bed of rice. Nick and I both noticed that it wasn't very spicy- these banana peppers were on the mild side- but definitely an unusual dish.

Grape or cherry tomatoes
Being eaten raw as we speak... 

Tomatoes, medium size
I don't discriminate. I eat tomatoes of all sizes raw.

Red onion
Eaten on salads and also sauteed with the eggplant/squash mixture. Yum.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Steamtown Training week 7

Back to a normal Monday-Sunday setup over here. The weather turned especially unpleasant this week. It had been normal unpleasant, and suddenly it decided to really embrace Summer and all its triple-digit heat index glory. It's been great.

Again, my stepback week was perfectly timed, this time with weather as opposed to work travel. Longer weekday runs (6 miles instead of 3 like last week) but also a nice short long run to look forward to. 7 miles? Psh! Oh wait, it's horrible out and 7 miles is sufficient to venture into life-hating mode? Great. Luckily, the one day I made it outside, off the treadmill, was my long run day, and the weather was mild. It even rained pleasantly the last 3 miles of my run and I was in heaven. I did one extra mile as a way of celebration.

Victories: stepback! I'll call that my victory, even though it's designed into the training plan. Mine mine mine. I can feel a distinct difference in how sprightly my legs feel when I don't do any speedwork during the week.
Failures: Lotsa treadmill. Lotsa heat.

Monday: HIIT (sort of. One set of tabatas was pushups, one was crunches, another squats... definitely more strength than cardio)
Tuesday: 6.25 miles on the tmill- 5 @ 6.5, 1 @ 6.6 plus cooldown
Wednesday: 17.3 mi biking @ 17 mph
Thursday: 6.35 on tmill, 4 @ 6.5, 1 @ 6.6, 1 @ 6.7 plus cooldown
Friday: 6.45 on tmill in 59 mins -  3 @ 6.5, 1 @ 6.6, 1 @ 6.7, 1 @ 6.8, 0.2 @ 6.9 plus cd
Saturday: off
Sunday:  8 miles outside@ 8:37

Totals:  27 running, 17 biking, 1 HIIT

I have talked about my love/love relationship with treadmill running. For me it's just so much easier to drag myself to the basement, where the worst I have to deal with is a few enormous cave crickets, versus running outside where there are flying bugs and the rotting carcasses of at least 5 small animals. Plus honking/swerving/obscenely yelling cars/drivers, wind, exhaust, sun, cigarette butts. On every run. I have started to dread it big time. The roadkill is probably my least favorite part, because I don't really have an option but to look at the dead animal and figure out how I'm going to go around it, whether it's a leap-over sort of situation or if I can leisurely wander around it. In the case of huge, stinky deer, I have to time my breathing so I'm not inhaling deeply as I pass by. It's icky. I'm a princess, I know, people run uphill both ways through snow/heat/manure and they love it! Well, that's great. I don't love it.

This is all to say, I know I need to run outside more than 25% of the time, but this week, that didn't happen, and I'm super happy about it. My 8 mile "long run" ended up being gorgeous perfection (drizzle!), and I had rainbows sprouting from my feet, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't have rather been zoning out to Glee at a perfectly controlled 9 min/mile pace instead with a water bottle easily within reach and a fan on my back. I'm a shameless indoors girl.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I swear my life is interesting.

Really! It's so interesting, but somehow I never have anything to write about aside from running and CSAs. I swear there's more to me than vegetables and exercise... although I'm pretty sure most people who know me would beg to differ.

I had my "wedding reception" last Saturday and I'm just so happy it's over. I dreaded that party. I didn't want to do it, I wanted to just celebrate our marriage by myself in the privacy of my own home. Apparently it doesn't count as a celebration if you celebrate it by watching endless Netflix and eating chocolate chips. Lame. The people who love you want to be with you and eat, drink, and be merry with newly wedded people? Ugh, people! I'm only sort of kidding.
I spent the whole day making this face.

The weather was beautiful. We'd had rain all week and the weather was shaping up to be gross that afternoon, but the clouds miraculously cleared and it was a perfect, sunny, warm day. 

Too bad I was stressed out the entire time. A lot of things just didn't work out the way I had hoped.. the tables weren't set up... it was breezy and the flowers all fell over... the beers we were promised didn't arrive... the tents weren't set up the right way... our bartender was also a caterer we rejected (awkward!). Basically, I felt like everything was a mess. I ended up setting up tables 45 minutes before guests were supposed to arrive! If it had actually been my wedding day, I would have thrown an epic fit. Instead, I threw half a fit, cried, and hid by myself and opened gifts. I'm a class act. 
COOLEST GIFT EVER! I had been crying, but this made me happy. Thanks Tiffany!!!

In the end, no one died. Everyone got food. Everyone had drinks. It was fine. I really wish I could have enjoyed myself a little more, because it was so nice to have people I don't get to see too often around, and I realized the next day that I definitely didn't get to talk to people as much as I would have liked. Oh well, maybe I'll be one of those women who renews her vows in 5 years and throws a ridiculous party. I'll rewear my wedding dress and everything. Class. Act. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Steamtown Training Week 6

Victories: heyyyy I can run 5 miles at 8 min/mile. And then die. Obviously, doing that 5 times in a row will be no problem come marathon time! Kidding. I'm terrified. 
Failures: Long runs: I'm doing it wrong.

(Monday included on last week)
Tuesday: 3 miles with Nick @ 8:34
Wedneday: 26.8 miles biking @ 17.6
Thursday: w/u 1.0 @ 6.0, 5.0 @ 7.5 (UGH), 1.0 @ 6.5, c/d, 7.25 in 1:02
Friday: 3.3 outside @ 8:09
Saturday: 12 miles outside. First 10 straight, then 2 run/walk. Average pace: 9:24
Sunday: off!

Totals: 25.5 mi in 4 runs, 26.8 miles biking. Not enough hours sleeping.

On one hand, hooray, I'm running double digits in July, and it's still 3 months till the marathon! On the other hand, I ran 14 miles almost a month ago, and that went just fine! I didn't fade or feel sick or anything. It was long, but it was, overall, a non-event. Last week I switched my long run to Monday, and died after 9 miles. It was miserable, but I figured this week would be better. Instead, I pep-talked myself into making it just 10 miles this week, plus another 2 of run/walking. I know I was a little fast in the early miles, so that probably/definitely contributed to fading. Other than that, I have no idea why it was so crappy. I think one contributor is the jump in distance/speedwork that my body isn't quite used to. I've also been stressing about my "wedding reception" (which is now, thankfully, over) and sleep has been hard to come by. I am a major princess about sleep, if I don't get 7-8 hours I feel generally icky. Blahblahblah never have kids, then you'll know sleeplessness! I KNOW. HUSH. 

Anywho. I'm gonna keep on trucking with my training plan, but forgive myself a few miles of long runs. It's still early, I will be ready by October. Confidence.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

CSA Week 6

A very patriotic vegetable delivery! Or a normal one. But they're patriotic because they're grown 7 miles from our house, which is neat.

This week we received: 
Silver king corn (KING KORN! this is funny to me for some reason)
Sweet Onion
Kirby cucumbers

When we picked up the veggies, the basil smelled so amazing. It made the car smell like a kitchen. Unfortunately, I've neglected it all week. This needs to be made into pesto, stat. 

Silver king corn
Prepared in the easy microwave fashion, huge, delicious cobs.

I will roast these and top them with balsamic reduction. When I have time. How long do beets keep?

Tomatoes (full size, not cherry)
One of them was consumed the next day, uncooked, and the noise I made when I took the first bite made my cube neighbor ask me what was going on. I groaned, it was so perfectly ripe. The rest have also been eaten raw.

Sweet Onion
Standard onion use.

These little eggplants were gorgeous, too bad we ate them before they could be photographed. They were small, tender and brilliant purpole. I was actually excited for eggplant, which I will admit it not normally my thing. They are so cute. In their weekly email, our CSA owners sent 2 recipes for eggplant. One of them was grilled eggplant with a soy honey glaze that sounded fantastic. Last week's grilled corn was so yummy, why not grill everything from now on?
They looked like the lower left guy. Light purple, not deep purple. (source)

Sadly, I was not blown away. The recipe for the glaze was perfect (equal parts honey, veggie oil, soy sauce and lemon juice) but I think they marinated for too long because they were mushy. I put them on a hot grill and they got some nice charring and the glaze caramelized nicely, but I still couldn't get past the mush factor. Luckily, Nick loved them! I was pleasantly surprised. Lesson learned for next time: less marinating. 

Kirby cucumbers
Raw, yummy, eaten alongside dinner one night drizzled with olive oil and balsamic, topped with salt and pepper. I died of freshness.

Poor radishes. They're just not the first thing I think of when I am coming up with salad toppers. With no coleslaw to make this week (we're seriously going through slaw withdrawal. we got used to having it 3 days a week), the radishes are neglected. I solemnly swear I will dice them and put them on salad. Really.

End result of this week: 6 days after the delivery, and we're still not on top of veggie consumption. I did not live up to my goals of eating all the vegetables with joy and gusto. I ate some of them with joy, but some are still languishing. I would swear that next week will be different, but that would be me lying to myself.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Steamtown training Week 5

Victories: Lack of injuries (so far, fingers crossed, blah blah blah jinxing doesn't exist)
Failures: I am hungry all the time.

Monday: HIIT with Nick
Tuesday: treadmill 3.5 @ 6.5 plus cooldown. 3.75 total in 35:50
Wednesday: bike 18.2 in 1:05 (16.8 mph- it rained toward the end so we cut it a little short)
Thursday: treadmill- w/u 1 @ 6.0, 3x (1.05 @ 8.0, 0.5 @ 5.0) plus another 1 x 0.5 @ 8.0, then cooldown. 6.65 in 60 - I didn't die, so I added another half interval. I DEVIATED FROM THE PLAN.
Friday: 3.7 miles outside at 8:07 pace, sort of on accident
Saturday: off
Sunday: off
Monday (carrying over from the weekend...): 10 miles on the Rail Trail I do not want to talk about time.

Total: 24.1 miles run, 18.2 miles bike, 1 x HIIT

Two things I dread: speedwork and long runs. I'm such a good runner, aren't I? The last few weeks I've realized that the speedwork on my training plan is actually not too terrible. 4 miles @ 8 min for tempos and 3 x 1 mile repeats @ 7:30. Not easy, but not hard. And then I looked at next week's schedule-- I add a mile to the tempos. I am already anticipating how much that will suck. So now I'm dreading a workout several days away. That's healthy.

I would rather not say anything about my long run. It didn't happen over the weekend because Saturday is my planned rest day anyways (and I had a haircut, visit with a friend, and a Nationals game all before 5pm), and Sunday was just a bust.
I call this composition "Sweaty people and Palm" because we're sweaty and I still haven't figured out how to take a selfie without photographing the inside of my hand. 

 I had planned all week to move my long run to Monday, because I'm moving this week's to Monday, because running 20 miles and getting any sort of enjoyment out of my wedding reception cannot coexist in my mind. Well, Monday afternoon rolled around and I started feeling like maybe it was not such a good idea to wait. I was tired, my stomach felt terrible (eating pizza 2 days in a row makes me sick? Surprise!), and it was hot and humid. I still got everything together, drove to the trail, and got down to business. My first few miles felt ok and I tried to focus on controlling my breathing while listening to a riveting This American Life about being a pimp in the 70's. It was seriously good, and it got me through the first hour of my run. Once that was over though, I was doneskis. I realized that the dots I kept seeing flit through my vision were sweat droplets coming from my hat. Then it started to rain FROM MY HAT. It was a light drizzle, but it was still rain. From my hat. I dropped a gel twice before being able to open it because my hands were dripping. I had been drinking like a... something.. no good simile here.. drinking like a very thirsty person?... all day at work, and felt well hydrated, and then I think I sweated everything out within that first hour. I hit a wall some kind of awful. Luckily (NOT), I had planned to be back at my car at the halfway point so I could swap water bottles. I got back to my car, slipped and slid while trying to get a new bottle in my holder, and basically gave up on life. I was looking at 80+ more minutes of running and I could not do it. I tried run/walking but only managed another mile.

While I will complain about the physical side of the heat and humidity, I have to admit that my mental game was at an epic low. I think if I had run a regular out and back, instead of returning to my car, I would have been slightly better, although I don't know if I would have finished. Having the built-in cop out point gave me an excuse to stop. I was slowing down as much as possible, and trying to keep forward motion, but my head wasn't in it, so I let myself fade.

After the run, I felt like a major failure. I went to the grocery store and ignored how terrible I must smell and the fact that it was now raining from my shorts, fingertips, and my hat (the grocery is on the way home, so it made sense to go there before changing. I promise). Some guy in a shirt that said "Fart Loading" almost ran his cart into me, and I had a moment of relief. I might be leaving a salty sweat slick in my path, but at least I wasn't That Guy. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

CSA Week 5

This week, I was determined to love all the veggies that we got. Super determined. I was going to be the ultimate success at joyfully using my vegetable delivery. I really dream big.

This week we got:
Sweet corn
Grape Tomatoes
Sweet onion
Fresh garlic
Purple Viking Potatoes

First of all, a follow up on the pickles made with small cucumbers from last week- they were great! Not too pickle-y, very salty, and very crunchy. Nick did a great job. Also, they conveniently fit in an empty olive jar, so we didn't have to worry about permanently making any plastic containers reek of dill and vinegar. Yum.

Sweet corn
Sweet. Delicious. Tricky to grill. We had 2 rounds of it (6 ears between 2 people is a lot of corn) cooked like this (side note: this guy is super cool and probably didn't really expect he'd become an internet celebrity with his clever microwave techniques). The third serving we had hoped to grill and started looking into it. It's a little confusing whether you should grill it with or without husk, cook it first, char it, or what. Nick ended up husking it and grilling it. It got nice char marks but wasn't quite cooked correctly. It was still tasty!

Some went in coleslaw, some went in my tummy.

Grape Tomatoes
Delicious, perfect, tiny tomatoes. I ate them all (I'm a veggie hog).

Sweet onion
I think this also went in coleslaw? It's an onion, it was probably eaten and enjoyed.

Fresh garlic
Currently sitting in the fridge, waiting to be used for...something. The fresh garlic is a lot milder and we end up using a lot more of it at one time. We used almost an entire head from last week's delivery to sautee and add to veggie burgers (made with TVP). It is a lot of volume for a comparable amount of normal "cured" garlic flavor.

Purple Viking Potatoes
These are patiently waiting use in post-long run potato frenzy.

In my mouth. Some of them blew (ha! blew! blue!) me away, some were mild, all were perfect and ripe.

Nothing too groundbreaking this week, no really adventurous cooking. Adventure goes out the window when I get busy (9 days until the reception ahhhhhh!). It will resume later. Or when I get some really off the wall veggie that I need to be creative with. Tomatoes and corn are too easy. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Steamtown week 4

Subtitle: Summer running, had me a blast. Summer running, happened so... slow.

Victories: I switched Friday's run to Tuesday and did not die. 
Failures: The amount of things I can do in a day is limited. "needing to run" is starting to wear on me. The long run sucked majorly.

Monday: HIIT 30some mins. Then I fell epically off a stepstool and tore up my shin. Owie.
Tuesday: 3.28 outside with Nick, 8:14 pace!
Wednesday: bike 26.7 miles, 1:32 (17.3 mph)
Thursday: tempo- 1.0@6.0, 4.1@7.5, 1.1@6.5 then cooldown. 6.45 in 56:00 (I died)
Friday: treadmill 5.0 @ 6.5 plus cooldown. 5.25 in 49
Saturday: off
Sunday:  16.0 in 2:33:22 (9:35 pace)

Total: 30.98 (weekly distance record for the year!) miles running, 26.7 miles biking, one HIIT

The long run deserves some discussion. I had planned on starting at 0600, but didn't get home until late the night before since we were at a show in DC (Ira Glass from This American Life- so, so good!). When my alarm went off, I saw it was overcast, checked the weather for the day and saw the high was around 80, and decided to wait. If I had to run when it was a little hotter, so be it. I had a banana, Gu with caffeine, and some water before starting.It was almost 80 when we got going at about 8:40. Nick joined me for the first 6ish miles which was great! Less great was that the humidity was through the roof and the air felt soupy. Hooray, summer. When Nick left at mile 6, I got slightly worried about the last 10 miles ahead of me. 100 minutes. Over 1.5 hours. I did not feel great at that point, due to the humidity, tiredness, and a bad attitude. I told myself I'd slog it out and do my best but gave myself permission to walk if I needed to. And I needed to. (drank straight water every 2 miles, Gu every 5)

I made it to a little under 13 miles before my first walk break. I made them infrequent, but my pace still dropped. Oh well. Judging from the amount of water I needed when I got home, I was probably super dehydrated. Running will be the death of me.

Up to this point I've been 100% true to the schedule, but this week I had to deviate a little. And it was ok. I deviated because sometimes, during an 18 week training cycle, there will be other things happening. And although I am making running a priority, it will occasionally take a backseat to other things. I need to not have that be super scary. I ran 2 marathons without as much preparation as I have had now, at 4 weeks in! Granted, I want to do significantly better for this marathon, so my training needs to be higher quality, but being 100% every single second is not possible. This is my second post in a week about accepting imperfection in myself. Maaaaaybe I need to loosen up a little. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

June totals

Well this is different... look at all these miles!

June 1: "5K" (only 2.78 miles by my watch) in 20:12 plus another mile to cool down = 3.78 total
June 2: Off
June 3 (marathon training day 1): elliptical 41 min plus upper body weights + some squats
June 4: Run 5 outside, 8:30 average. Went too fast. My bad.
June 5: Bike ride- 21 miles in 1:18ish. 16mph
June 6 (first marathon speedwork!): 6.25 total 55:56- 1 w/u @ 6.5, 3 x 1.0 @ 8.0 with 0.5 @ 5.0 jog then 1.0 @ 6.5 and c/d
June 7: Early morning 4.30 on the treadmill - 4.05 @ 6.4 (9:22 pace) plus c/d
June 8: off. Lots of mall walking.
June 9: 12 miles in 1:50:15 (9:14 pace)
June 10: off- run all the errands!
June 11: 4.1 miles outside, 34:32 (8:27 pace)
June 12: bike 20.7 in 1:07. 18.5 mph
June 13: Warm-up mile at 6.0, 4 miles at 7.5 (8 min/mile), 1 mile at 6.5 plus cooldown. 6.25
June 14: 4.2 miles outside 36:31
June 15: bike 28.5 miles @ 15.3 average,
June 16: Run 14 outside in 2:07:40 (9:05)
June 17: HIIT 20 mins with Nick
June 18: 6.1 miles outside, 52:55 (~8:40 pace)
June 19: 30 mins elliptical, 15 mins stationary bike
June 20: treadmill 2.5 @ 6.4 + 2.6 @ 6.5 = 6.15 in 49 mins
June 21: outside 5.1 @ 8:45
June 22: off
June 23: outside 6.2 @ 8:34
June 24: HIIT by myself... 35ish minutes
June 25: 3.28 in 27 min (~8:14 pace)
June 26: bike 26.7 1:32 (17.3 mph avg)
June 27: tempo- 1.0@6.0, 4.1@7.5, 1.1@6.5 then cooldown. 6.45 in 56:00
June 28: 5.0 @ 6.5 plus cooldown. 5.25 in 49
June 29: off
June 30: 16 miles in 2:33 (9:35/mi)- not my best work

June totals: 114.41 miles in 17 runs, 2 x elliptical, 2 x HIIT, 96.89 miles in 4 rides
Year total: 486 miles

I'll write about my most recent long run in my training recap. Overall, I'm super, super pleased with this month. I've never run this much (highest month this year was 95 miles, and I'm pretty sure last year, pre-marathon, I was barely running this much), and the mileage will only creep up from here. I don't have any injuries so far (SO FAR, running gods, don't strike me down for my hubris, I know I could fall apart at any minute), the most I've had is soreness (mostly from HIIT and some long run soreness) and tiny little tweaks. WHO AM I? I will give credit where credit is due: I have 2 pairs of Mizuno Wave Riders that I bought fairly recently and do my best to rotate. I am in love with my shoes. Having the proper shoes that are in good shape is essential for me, especially given my history of lower leg aches/pains/injuries. I'm also cross training consistently and religiously taking rest days. Just need to keep this up for 104 more days...

Now that it's July, the weather is officially horrendous here. Yesterday's long run wasn't hot (it was only ~80) but it was so sticky I was actively dripping, like a light rain shower, from my limbs, my shirt and my shorts. My shoes and socks were also soaked, which is unusual for me (I then tried to let my clothes dry outside, but it was so humid outside they just stayed damp for 8 hours. Yum). I fear this means I will need to do a couple of things: 1) more treadmill (just kidding, I don't fear this at all, you know I love the treadmill) and 2) morning runs (this I am actually terrified by). Since I need to be at work at 7 or earlier + 30 minute commute + normal morning stuff (lunch, shower) + 5 or 6 mile (1 hour) run + 15 minutes to wake up, drink water, get dressed = waking up at 4:30. Sigh. I know people do it, and I know they do that for reasons other than convenience, like children or job obligations. But how are these people getting reasonable amount of sleep!? I don't like it. Not one bit. I know it's necessary for training, and since I'm actually serious about this marathon, I'll do it, but I worry I'll turn into a terrible person out of the combo of sleep deprivation/hunger/lots of running. This is my warning to my readers and my family that if I become (more) awful in the next couple months, it's because of morning running. Really.