I Was Told There’d Be Kale

I survived my first week of classes this semester! Phew.

And since one should always be celebrating something, I believe this calls for some cake kale.

Glorious, no?

True, revering kale ranks high among the “sh*t vegans say,” but I know you agree with me on this one.

Except for the few of you who are wondering where the cake is. ;) Let me make it through the semester first, and then we’ll talk cake. I mean, eat cake.

And it’ll be just as glorious and vegan as this dish.

Coconut Curry Kale

  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • half bunch kale, chopped (I used lacinato)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes (mine were fire roasted)
  • generous 1/4 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • scant tsp of agave (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • sea salt to taste
  • squeeze of fresh lime

DIRECTIONS:

1. Melt the coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots, and saute until soft and fragrant.

2. Add the kale, coconut milk, tomatoes, ginger, agave (if using), curry powder, red pepper flakes, and sea salt. Lower the heat and simmer until the kale is cooked to your liking, stirring often. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

3. Take off the heat. Squeeze a bit of lime over the top and serve immediately.

Packed with flavor, this dish is great on its own, but can easily be served as a meal over quinoa.

Delicious.

What are you currently celebrating?

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The Elephant on the Blog

I know what you’re thinking.

It’s about time I addressed the elephant in the room on the blog.

(source)

Remember that little thing called the New York City Marathon I started training for? I dragged you along for the entire journey–from the big announcement to nearly every long training run.

Then I stopped posting about it.

And the fated day–November 6, 2011–came and went.

Now, those of you who followed me on that journey are probably thinking something along the lines of: WTF?

Fair enough. I owe you more than a post; I owe you an explanation.

So what happened?

The short story is that I got injured and did not run. And it was devastating, I’m not gonna lie. I had been looking forward to running my first marathon practically since I started running when I was 12! Incidentally, this was also a time in my life in which I planned on someday being an Olympic gymnast.

Unfortunately, neither dream has been realized–yet.

I’m getting slightly off track, but the point is I was ready! I was excited! I had worked hard and training was going so well! To call what happened a disappointment would be a huge understatement.

The injury cropped up out of nowhere in my ankle about four weeks before the marathon–and shortly after this obnoxiously upbeat post (“Hi, I’m Kelsey and I love hills! My only problem is that I’m too fast!”).

[Yes, I am mocking myself. This is what happens when you become injured: You find yourself transforming into a bitter, unhappy person who scoffs at others' (and apparently your own former) successes. "Oh, they had a good run? Wait 'til they get injured."

It's not pretty.]

Results: Better Luck Next Year!

By the time I felt pain, no amount of rest, ice, ibuprofen, cross-training, or bandaging made it go away. I had a choice: I could either drug myself silly and hope for the best, or I could defer my place in the NYC marathon until 2012.

Since I wanted to run again in the future, I deferred.

But not before devolving into a hot mess. I may or may not have sobbed like a baby when I first realized that I probably won’t be running in the marathon.

(source)

Luckily, I quickly gained a beautiful little thing called perspective. As in, other people actually have real problems and running a marathon in 2012 instead of 2011 is, in reality, not the end of the world. Yes, I had every right to feel disappointed, but this is the point in the story where I said to myself, “Pull yourself together, Woman!”

Or something like that.

And then I did what any responsible blogger would do: I ignored it. What marathon? What blog?

I’m good like that.

Epilogue

If you made it this far into the tale, congratulations!

Fast forward to today. I recently got new running shoes (it worked last time?). And they’re pink.

(source)

And I’m happy to report that I am running again, slowly building my mileage back up. I can still feel a glitch where the injury had been, though, so I don’t know if I’m out of the woods. But for the time being, I’ve traded my garmin for my ipod and I’m enjoying every run.

The Lesson(s)

If you work hard enough, you will become an Olympic gymnast.

Wait–no. That’s not right.

I have lots of takeaways from this experience. For example, I learned that if you fail to announce that, no, you actually won’t be running the marathon, then you will get congratulatory wishes from really nice readers and thoughtful friends. Responding to these kind people, as it turns out, is awkward. (“About that…”)

Also, watching the marathon is really fun (arguably way more fun than running it).

Especially when your dad’s there with you–supporting you regardless of whether or not you’re in it.

I also discovered that I love distance running, and I’m excited to train for a marathon again. I hope to actually run the damn thing next time, but I also know that sometimes life doesn’t happen the way you plan. Sometimes you can do everything by the book and injuries happen.

But guess what? Life goes on! And with a little time, perspective, and humor, I was (and am) just fine.

In fact, I’m going to do it all over again next year.

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Bookmarked

While I was busy…well, not blogging, it turns out the blog world carried on. (I know–I’m not sure how it functioned without me either!)

So I thought I’d share just a few of the posts that caught my eye while I was catching up on my Interweb browsing. This list is my no means comprehensive, nor was my “research.” It’s also not meant to be a list of all my favorite blogs, but rather more of a random handful of gems.

With that said, I hope you enjoy!

EATING

1. First of all, thanks to Ashley, I’m dying to host a veggie sushi party!

This is not just any sushi party, mind you. It’s a deconstructed sushi party, which (and I know this from watching multiple seasons of Top Chef) is a pretty big deal. Culinarily speaking.

However, considering Tom and I own a total of two chairs in our little abode, guests might have to eat on our floor. I’m thinking we could tell them that this is a traditional Asian way of eating? That sounds much better than, “Don’t worry, we just cleaned the floors last week!”

I’ll let you know how it pans out.

2. I’ve also had my eye on Gena‘s raw, vegan eggnog.

Yes, I’m aware that it’s practically February. But I ask you: Why should something as delicious as eggnog be relegated to a 2-month window? It’s one of life’s mysteries. With this recipe, it can be enjoyed year round.

In fact, I made this the other week (with the addition of a titch of vanilla) and it was very tasty indeed! I proceeded to ruin it by adding too much booze, but that’s another story. And also explains why this is still on my “to make” list.

Why should it be on yours? A.) It’s super easy to whip up; B.) The ingredients are plant-based and wholesome; and C.) It contains booze! Enough said.

3. If you’re over the whole festive holiday season thing (fair enough), Gena also makes a mean, green salad. Ever since she posted a recipe for a Green Monster Salad comprised of collards and spinach with avocado, sundried tomato, and broccoli, I’ve been craving it like it’s comfort food!

4. Jenna’s Vietnamese sandwich looks out of this world.

If you’ve never had a Vietnamese sandwich before, go get one now. Or sometime this week. Trust me, they are amazing. I’ve been meaning to create a vegan version of this miracle of a sandwich for a while. Then again, let’s be honest, I’ve been meaning to do a lot of things, like organize my closet, frame a painting I purchased two years ago, and send thank you notes for…nevermind. Needless to say, this is definitely on my list!

5. Lest we forget dessert, Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies are also on my list.

I think the reasons are self-explanatory but I’ll lay them out anyway: A.) Eating cookies for breakfast appeals to me; B.) Eating cookies, period, appeals to me; and C.) My sister tried them and told me they were delicious.

Sold.

6. I’m also intrigued by the new Cappuccino Larabar flavor, which many bloggers seem to have tried.

Dear Larabar,

If you’re reading, please consider sending me some of the new flavor for review on my blog. And also include some Larabar minis in the package because they’re very cute. I am good at blogging…and not blogging.

Love,

Kelsey @unmitigated grub

GOING VEGGIE

If you’re looking to go vegan or vegetarian–or just to cut back on meat in the New Year–there are so many great resources to help you begin your journey:

1. No-Meat Athlete‘s comprehensive guide: 50 Fantastic Resources for New Vegetarians. (There is so much great info in one post, you will want to bookmark this, too!)

2. Mama Pea‘s awesomely delicious guide on how to turn five vegan recipes into 25 dinners. Pure genius!

I, for one, can personally attest to the Peanut Mmmm Sauce. It’s truly like no other peanut sauce you’ve tried! Not only is it Tom-approved, but so versatile: This past week, I’ve enjoyed it atop grains + veggies, as salad dressing, and by the spoonful. Mama Pea has even more ideas for this sauce. It did not last long in our household small apartment.

3. The wisdom of Mark Bittman, via the also wise Molly. This is another great resource on ways to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, complete with recipes. No meat, no dairy, no problem!

Speaking of Mark Bittman, here’s a very interesting read on why Americans are eating less meat. Who knew?

And while I’m on a Mark Bittman tangent (never a bad thing), if you missed this post, check it out! (Yep, I just linked to myself. Because I’m great.)

LAUGHING

1. If you’re looking to laugh, I would recommend essentially every post by Mama Pea. I kind of wish I was a part of her family. (Adopt me!)

But that’s weird, right?

2. Check out this awesome video by the new-to-me Meghan the Veghan: Shit Meat Eaters Say to Vegans, featuring everything from the ubiquitous, “Where do you get your protein?” to the hilarious, “If I put a slab of meat, like, in your bed, you’d freak out, right?” Love it!

Meghan’s holiday party survival guide also made me laugh. (And, again, I am aware that the holiday season is over. Just let me enjoy my eggnog, dammit!)

3. Although not a blog post, Tina Fey’s Bossypants is also hilarious.

I literally could not put it down and read it in less than 24 hours. Five stars!

4. I also love Liz’s Workout for the Attention-Span-Challenged. Not only did it make me laugh, but it is very informative! As someone who does not currently belong to a gym (and has a living room!), I am excited to give this circuit training workout a try.

Starting tomorrow.

I could go on. I know I’ve only scratched the surface of all the fabulous recipes and posts out there.

But that’s where you come in!

What have you bookmarked lately? What new blogs have you discovered? What has made you crave something, think, laugh, or excited to exercise?

Include link(s) where possible!

* Note: No photographs or art featured in this post are mine; please click on each photo for its source!

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Take 2: Vegan Breakfast Burritos

I made vegan breakfast burritos again this past weekend, and–good news!–I took pictures this time! I spent about 25 minutes searching for my camera cord, but as you can see there is a happy ending.

And the burritos were, once again, awesome. In fact, I would say that remaking this recipe is less a reflection of me fulfilling my New Year’s resolution to “post more consistently” as it is a tribute to how good these burritos are. Even meat-eating Tom is a huge fan.

If I were you, I would strongly consider picking up the requisite groceries to make these happen this weekend. Is it too early to think about the weekend? Probably. What can I say–for better or for worse, I generally start each week dreaming of Friday. Something to look forward to, right?

Here’s how it’s done.

Vegan Breakfast Burritos

Makes 4 burritos; adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch

  • 4 small fingerling potatoes, diced into small pieces
  • 1/4 small onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • heaping 1/4 cup salsa, plus more
  • heaping 1/3 cup black beans (kidney beans work well, too)
  • scant 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • s+p
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil (olive oil would work as well)
  • 1 block of firm tofu (14 or 16 oz.), drained
  • 2 heaping Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1 Tbs tamari (soy sauce)
  • 1 large handful of spinach, chopped or ripped into small pieces
  • 4 whole wheat or sprouted grain wraps
  • handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 an avocado, chopped (optional)

Directions:

1. Crumble the (well-drained!) tofu with your hands into a bowl. Add nutritional yeast, tamari, half of the garlic, tumeric, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix with a spoon until well-combined. Set aside.

2. Melt 1 Tbs of coconut oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add the rest of the garlic and the onion, and saute for a few minutes. Add the potatoes, stirring often. Cook until potatoes begin to soften and brown. Add black beans, salt + pepper to taste, cayenne pepper, and salsa. Stir and lower heat if sticking. Set aside.

2. Melt the other Tbs coconut oil over medium heat in a separate pan. Add the tofu mixture. Saute until browned. Stir in the spinach until it wilts.

3. To assemble: Lay out your tortillas (I warm mine slightly in the microwave to make them easier to work with). Add a quarter of the tofu mixture to the center of each tortilla. On top of that, add a quarter of the potato-bean mixture to each. Finally, top with more salsa, fresh cilantro, and avocado slices, and wrap ‘em up! (Check out this post for a great demo on how to successfully wrap wraps, among other delicious things.) Cut in half and serve immediately.

If you’re a hot sauce person, this would be a good time to bust it out. You can also serve with extra salsa, although these flavorful beasts are delicious on their own.

4. Wrap the leftover burritos in tin foil (I find they hold together well this way) and save for a weekday breakfast treat or–my personal favorite–brinner!

Hearty and delicious.

A quick word about tofu scramble: Tofu is not eggs, nor will it behave or taste like eggs. (In my experience, eggs have a way of eluding imitation.) With that said, tofu scrambles are very tasty on their own, and if you haven’t tried one before, do it! As long as you are not expecting the tofu to magically become eggs in the pan, methinks you will love the dish. :)

What are you looking forward to cooking/baking/doing this coming weekend? (Admit it–you’re already thinking about the weekend, too.)

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Obsessed

(source)

I can’t get enough lemon ginger tea! I went through many a bag this past semester. (In a less healthy habit, I also went through many a handful of chocolate chips. But that’s a whole other post.)

With the detoxifying properties of lemon, this tea is a great way to start your morning…and bring in the new year!

What’s your current obsession–tea or otherwise?

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Top 12 for 2012: My Bad

You know you’re a bad blogger when…

1.You make delicious vegan breakfast burritos and gobble them up before even thinking about snapping a photo. Which is what happened Sunday morning. I guess I’ll just have to make them again ASAP?

2. In fact, you realize, taking photos of your food is no longer second nature. You’re not even sure where your camera is.

3.You can’t remember the last time you posted.

4.Upon checking, the last time you posted was over two months ago. (Seriously?)

Yes, seriously.

5. On that note, your last post is titled, “Hello, Fall!” I think it’s safe to say that ship has sailed.

6. You failed to post on Thanksgiving, arguably the biggest foodie day of the year–despite making a really yummy sweet potato and kale gratin.

7. When attempting to brainstorm clever names for a post, you’re so out of practice that you keep coming up with pop song titles such as “Since You’ve Been Gone” or “Oops, I Did It Again.”

Sad. Really, really sad.

8. This forces you to consider the fact that maybe blogging isn’t for you. Then again, you kinda miss it. You’re not quite ready to throw in the towel.

9. You start to consider posting your first-ever “vlog” because it seems like less work than actually composing a post.

10. On second thought, a vlog would require you to make yourself look presentable for the World Wide Web. Nahh.

11.You’re shocked when a new reader subscribes. This is shortly followed by feeling guilty for tricking someone into a blog that is not really active. You feel an equal desire to both post something new immediately and to warn them to get out while they still can.

12.Your “Top 12″ list is not your best recipes of 2011, but rather the ways your blog has gone downhill. Ha.

My New Year’s resolution?

To blog somewhat more consistently. ;)

What’s your resolution this year? 

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Hello, Fall!

I have mixed feelings about fall.

I love the falling leaves. Crisp air. And the outfits–boots, sweaters, layers, and scarves. What I don’t love is the sense of impending doom.

A.k.a. winter.

And what I really don’t love is when winter comes early. In the form of snow.

In October! (Yeah, that happened.)

But I try not to dwell. And there’s nothing like a little taste of fall to make me forget what’s coming. Which, of course, means pumpkin!

There’s been a return of pumpkin oats…

Fall in a bowl. 

But recently a new fall treat was born.

When I ran out of my batch of No-Bake Back-to-School Granola Bars, I naturally turned to pumpkin for inspiration and added a fall twist to the next batch of bars.

N0-Bake Maple Pecan Pumpkin Oat Bars

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnut baking pieces
  • 1 Tbs pumpkin pie spice
  • a couple grinds of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup Tierra Farm Organic Maple Pecan Butter* (or other nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin

* If you can’t find maple pecan butter, use a different nut butter (such as almond or walnut) and try replacing some of the brown rice syrup with maple syrup to get that maple flavor. Justin’s Maple Almond Butter would work well, too.

DIRECTIONS:

Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix nut butter(s), pumpkin, and sweetener, then stir into dry ingredients until well-combined. Press mixture down into a baking dish. Cover with saran wrap to really push down evenly without getting your fingers sticky. Refrigerate for at least four hours before cutting into squares and wrapping individually. Store in the freezer for an easy on-the-go snack.

Enjoy!

So tasty! These have been a perfect addition to my lunches.

I cut mine into small bites, which ended up being the perfect size.

Scrumptious–and so easy to make!

What’s your favorite way to eat pumpkin?

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i. o. u.

You may or may not have noticed my M.I.A. status this past…uhh…month? (Has it really been a month?)

I’m posting to announce that: Yes, I am alive.

No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth.

And, well, I owe you.

(source)

I owe you a blog post! For real. (And this one doesn’t count.)

I have often thought that having a blog is not unlike owning a pet. Or maybe a finicky plant. It requires love and a lot of work. It constantly needs to be fed or cared for. I can leave it for period of time, but when I get back it’s begging for my attention. At the same time, it can also be comforting and rewarding. A presence in my life that gives back.

Well, let’s just say that it’s a good thing this blog is not a pet because–let’s be honest–there is a strong likelihood that it would be dead right now. Ha.

Kind of like my (former) basil plant.

Ooops.

Maybe it’s a good thing my apartment doesn’t allow pets? ;)

Kidding! I want a puppy!

(source)

Or two!

I am easily distracted. The point is, this blog’s not dead; I have not abandoned unmitigated grub. In fact, I have much to share.

(And it should probably be emphasized that, despite my tasteless analogy, no animals have been harmed in the making of this blog.)

So just know that a post is in the post.

And on that terrible pun, I will leave you–for now.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

P.S. Calling all readers–bloggers and non-bloggers alike: Don’t forget to send me photo(s) of your lunch! I’ve gotten some wonderful submissions so far for the reader lunch post, but I want more! There’s no deadline on this–just send ‘em my way (unmitigatedgrub (at) gmail (dot) com) in the next couple weeks or so. Thanks and happy lunching!

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Double Take + A Request

Since I’m behind on my lunch posts, today you’re getting a two-for-one special.

That’s double the lunches. It’s your lucky day. ;)

But you’re only getting one breakfast.

I was in the mood for cereal. In the bowl: a combo of Weetabix and Nature’s Path Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch, topped with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, banana slices, frozen blueberries, and a sprinkling of hemp seed.

I don’t eat cereal often, but sometimes it’s all I want!

Onto my last week in lunches. Which are really from the week before last. As well as the the week before the week before last. Okay I’ll stop now; I’m confusing myself. Ha.

MONDAY I

Apple. Wrap with Creamy Hummus, greens, cherry tomatoes, lentils, a couple chopped olives, and toasted sunflower seeds on an Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla. Trail mix with peanut butter filled pretzels, raw cashews, dried tart cherries, and carob chips.

Lentils in a wrap may sound strange, but it is delicious. Trust.

MONDAY II

Mini Luna bar. Salad with greens, butter beans, carrots, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, chopped dinosaur kale, toasted sunflower seeds–dressed with minced garlic, olive oil, a bit of balsamic, lemon, s + p.  Apple. 

The salad was a monster, and so hearty. 

I also packed a ball (one of these guys) for a morning snack. 

Chewy and subtly sweet. If you like coconut, almond, chia seeds, and dried tart cherries, you would most likely enjoy these.

TUESDAY I

A Back-to-School No-Bake Granola Bar (recipe here). Tofu-Avocado Wrap (what else is new?). Apple. There was nothing about this lunch I didn’t love, not gonna lie.

TUESDAY II

Half a whole wheat wrap with Creamy Hummus. Salad with greens, grape tomatoes, cucumber, chopped kale, artichoke hearts, toasted sunflower seeds, chickpeas–dressed in Gena’s hemp pesto + balsamic. Apple.

I also packed the last of my Banana Oat Breakfast Muffins (recipe here), fresh from the freezer (a little freezer burn never hurt anyone, right?). 

By the afternoon it was perfectly thawed and, smothered in PB&Co., delectable.

WEDNESDAY I

Plum. Tofu-Avocado Wrap (yes, again!). And the same trail mix as above.

If it works, it works!

WEDNESDAY II

Apple. Salad with greens, chopped kale, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, toasted sunflower seeds, chickpeas–dressed the same as the salad above. I heart hemp pesto. Another Back-to-School No-Bake Granola Bar. 

I also packed some Creamy hummus with whole wheat mini pitas and carrots–but didn’t get around to eating this snack. So it became the appetizer to my dinner. 

Crunchy and creamy.

THURSDAY I

Thursday I was traveling, so instead of sharing my lunch here are some of the snacks I packed…

Pita chips, hummus, and carrots.

As well as the usual suspects: peanut butter packets and Larabars. Never leave home without ‘em. And a whole wheat tortilla with almond butter and banana slices

Classic.

THURSDAY II

The usual trail mix. Whole wheat wrap with Creamy Hummus, Gena’s hemp pesto, greens, chopped kale, artichoke hearts, cucumber, chickpeas, and toasted sunflower seeds. Apple. 

Okay, chickpeas are officially awesome in wraps. Scratch that: they are just plain awesome.

FRIDAY II

Don’t ask what happened to Friday I. I got nothin’. 

This is a total double take from Thursday’s lunch. Very fitting, no? More trail mix (obsessed much?). Pretty much the same whole wheat wrap as above. Apple. 

Whew. 

Had enough lunch? Well, there will be more. I’m requesting a picture of YOUR best packed eats so I can put together a post made up of reader lunches. I tend to stick with what works, which often means same old, same old. But I know you guys are full of yummy lunch ideas that I would love to see and share.

Email me at unmitigatedgrub@gmail.com with a photo(s) of a favorite recent packed lunch, and include a brief description of its contents. And you don’t have to be a blogger to submit. Yes, taking a photograph of your food might feel a little strange. It is, admittedly, totally awkward. But DO IT! ;)

I look forward to seeing your eats!

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Feeling Loopy

I’m behind in sharing my long runs with you. I’ve dutifully followed my training plan, but not my blogging plan. Oops. ;)

Since I last updated you, there was a 17-miler, a 13-miler, and last week the New York Road Runners 18 Mile New York City Marathon Tune-Up run in Central Park.

I won’t bore you with a detailed breakdown of each (yawn), so let’s cut to the 18-miler, yes?

Set up like a race, it is meant to serve as a training run for the marathon (although some people run it as an end in and of itself). I was strangely nervous and excited beforehand even though it wasn’t a race race. But I also felt ready to run the distance. I was up at 5:00 am, fueling up with a banana topped with a peanut butter-raw cacoa nibs-sea salt mixture of goodness. It was too early for pictures, but I will say it was perfect.

And then I was off to Central Park for not one, not two, but THREE loops around the park. Hilly ones at that.

I don’t know about you, but lots of loops are not my ideal running situation. The only thing worse would be the treadmill. But I figured it would be good training to really tackle Central Park (again…and again…and again), so that when I reach the finish during the marathon (if all goes according to plan, that is), I will be able to dominate those final 6.2 miles. (If you’ve run a marathon before, feel free to laugh at this last statement.)

Anyway. Bring on the loops.

I had a new gel to try–a chocolate Clif Shot Energy Gel–and hit this up around miles 9 and 14. It was great. I like the flavor of the chocolate Gu a little more (it seriously tastes like brownie batter to me), but this was tasty, too, and with better nutritional stats. There’s no bad chocolate in my book.

And I brought my water with lemon/agave. There were water stations along the course, but I figured since I’ve been training with my own, I might as well stick with it.

The run felt great–and the loops weren’t so bad; it became a mental game of creating goals for myself and passing markers. It was also nice to be a part of a group of runners. Even though I didn’t run “with” anyone, I wasn’t running alone.

And guess what? I actually placed! In a race with 3,800 runners. Who knew? I was 8th in my age group for women.

This pace was a titch faster than my long run norm–and to be honest, my goal has been to slow down to reach a more reasonable “marathon” pace–but it happened. Clearly, I’m still finding pacing a bit of a challenge; having never run a marathon before, it’s hard to know how fast or slow I should be running my long runs.

Pacing issues aside, the run was fun. Afterward I stretched my life away in Central Park and enjoyed a chia seed recovery pudding I’d packed.

It hit the spot.

Chia Seed Recovery Pudding

DIRECTIONS:

Mash banana in jar (or bowl). Add chia seeds, almond milk, Vega, blueberries, and almonds. Mix and refrigerate overnight.

Grab and go on race day!

Also enjoyed: TJ’s Roasted Seaweed. It makes for a fabulous post-run snack because it’s nutritious and salty (i.e., replaces your lost sodium).

I’m a fan.

So what about this week’s long run? For the first time since I started my training plan, I’m dropping a long run. I was scheduled to run 19 yesterday, but instead opted for 13. Along with the extra recovery time I needed from the 18 mile marathon tune-up, I also had a busy week with school and was exhausted. And I knew I didn’t need the 19; I trust missing it won’t negatively affect my marathon.

So, I listened to my body. And I think it was the right move.

Would you rather run in loops or, also challenging, complete a straight there-and-back run?

Roasted seaweed: tasty or gross? 

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