Friday links

Things are quieter over here. Have you noticed? I do apologize, but  big things are happening. I’m taking advantage of the last days before it gets crazy hot to run. I did my second 10k and am squeezing in a 5k and hopefully another 10k before the end of the Florida race season. And I have some exciting things in the works on the blog front. So stay tuned to this site and I will fill you in really soon. Until then, the blog posts will be a little lighter than normal. Sorry!

Running update

So the weather is (for the most part) pretty darn great in Florida right now. Trust me, I’m not bragging to my Northern readers, as summer is just around the corner here already. You will get your time soon enough, Northerners!

MapMyRun

To take advantage of the weather, I’ve been trying to run, training for a 10k later this month. I know I’ll be able to run the 10k, but I’m not sure I will run it at the speed I would like. I felt much more ready for my 10k last spring. I just don’t seem to have the energy or even as much motivation (this is a first for me in running) and my “good” runs are happening less often. I’m enjoying running, so I”m not sure what’s up. However, the running app I use, MapMyRun, is giving me motivation with emails like the one above to keep moving! In addition to running, I’m working on a few things to make running better and get into the zone.

I’m looking to create the ultimate running playlist. I’m not talking Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift songs that are always on the radio. I’m looking for long-term, tried-and-true songs to get people moving, especially in the 10-15 years ago range. What songs get you moving?

I’m focusing more on what I’m eating, making sure I’m eating enough food in general and a good mix of food. I haven’t felt as hungry lately, but I think that is leading to a loss of energy. I have been eating the food from my farm, so I”m eating healthy, but I think it’s still not enough variety or calories some days, especially days for a big run. I’m having a post-run smoothie (so refreshing after a run and easy to digest and start muscle recovery and restore energy) but need to keep eating enough. What do you eat after a good workout or when you feel like you are in a slump?

This lentil salad caught my eye because it seems balanced, is served at room temperature and has contrasting flavors and texture, so I knew it would be a great post-run meal in a pita or lettuce, or a small snack. I added some three-seed bread for carbs and nutrients.

pomegranate lentil feta salad

Pomegranate, feta and lentil salad

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked brown lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 7 or 8 cloves garlic very finely minced
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1 pomegranate, deseeded
  • 4 ounces feta cheese

Directions

  1. Rinse the lentils under the tap then put them in a small pan with the water, bring to the boil, then simmer gently until lentils are cooked (about 25 – 30 mins). They should be tender inside but still holding their shape.
  2. Meanwhile, mince the garlic cloves & chop the onion very finely. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion & garlic and cook over a very low heat until well softened, about 10 – 12 minutes. Then remove from the heat.
  3. Whisk together the lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, cumin, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. When lentils are tender, drain well, rinse under cold water then return to the pan.(Not on the heat). Turn the heat back on the garlic & onion pan, add the lemon dressing mixture and heat for about a minute. Pour this over the lentils and gently stir to make sure the lentils are well coated in the dressing.
  5. Stir in parsley and season well with salt and black pepper. You can serve this salad warm or at room temperature. When you are ready to serve the salad sprinkle it with the pomegranate seeds, crumble over the feta and finish it off with a few more chopped herbs.

Healthy Orange Julius smoothie and running update

ojsmoothnewWhen I found what I’m calling the Healthy Orange Julius smoothie (because that is what it reminds me of, though I haven’t had one for about 15 years) on Pinterest, I knew it would be the perfect South Florida winter smoothie. It’s basic ingredients, sweet and frothy, and great after a run in the Florida sun (sorry, Northerners!).

If you follow the original recipe (I have modified mine) and just use an orange, ice, milk, honey and vanilla, it’s 150 calories. To add more protein or thickness you could add yogurt. This is thicker than most of my smoothies, but you could add more milk and less ice, though that would change the calorie count. And to mine I use almond milk (great flavor), the peel of one segment of the orange (for fiber and added flavor) and flax seeds (for omega-3 and fiber).

Healthy Orange Julius smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • 1/6 of the orange peel

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth. Continue blending another 30 seconds to make sure everything (especially ice and orange peel) is fully blended.

10k running update

A week after my 5k race, I have started looking forward to a 10k. I think I’m about 6 weeks out from one Kim and I are going to do. I’m excited, but I know I’m out of shape for it, so I need to stay focused. But honestly, I love the training process and working toward a goal. And in South Florida, this is the time of year to do that and enjoy the weather and building up tolerance. So I am looking forward to it.

I went on a 4 mile run a few days ago, the longest distance I’ve run in many months. And I really didn’t feel bad until the last quarter-mile. I’m ready for a little longer run in a few days. Kim found a training plan and I think I’m going to follow it as well (jumping about halfway in) soooo, so far, so good!

If anyone else is up for a 10k, please let me know and I’ll pass along the information. The more, the merrier.

One week, two 5ks

After a very long hiatus without doing races (my last being the Utica Boilermaker 15k in July), I ran two 5ks in one week.

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Early morning, little sleep

I work at night, which keeps me from running more races (note tired look and bags under my eyes in the photo above), but it is worth the long days when it’s said and done. And both races were for a good cause, run and celebrated with friends and got me moving and pushed to get more serious about running on beautiful Florida winter mornings. Who can say no to that?!?

I hadn’t been running to serious in the autumn and early winter. I barely ever ran more than 3.5 miles, and even then it was very learsurly. I had not expectations but to raise money and have fun and not get hurt. Here is a look at each race:

MDA Muscle Walk and 5k run

774482_4820705110014_940757859_oI ran with my running buddy Kim’s work team, so it was nice to be a  part of the team. This was an event that meant a lot to her work, as it was close to the heart of one of her coworkers and friends. This was the first year for the run, but it was still organized very well. It was a run through a park, which was nice, and there were about 500 runners, making it a great race to find a spot to run and stick to a pace without being slowed down by crowds.

I hadn’t pushed myself in running for a long time, so I didn’t know how well my legs or lungs would hold up. Kim and I were doing well the first two miles and then the last mile I was reminded the main reason I hadn’t pushed myself much during training: My arch started to hurt. A lot. And then my hip started to hurt, something I had never felt before. I think the hip was from overcompensating or a different running form once the arch started to hurt, but the arch had been such a minor problem during training I would just walk when it happened. It was pretty painful so I slowed down, as nothing is worth getting injured and not being able to run for a long time. I still ended up with a pretty good time since I had no expectations, but I knew I needed to focus on fixing my arch problem.

When I got home (after a hearty breakfast with Kim and her significant other) I googled stretches and lower leg and foot exercises to strengthen that area to prevent this in the future. I was really careful all week about stretching and, though my arch was kind of tight during the second race of the week, it was very manageable and I could tell the attention I gave it that week helped.

Overall this was a fun run through the park and I liked that it wasn’t super crowded and it was very well organized.

South Florida Komen Race for the Cure

This is my second Race for the Cure. It is such a fun thing to be a part of, because my work is a sponsor, it’s for a good cause, you see survivors walking and running and it’s a fun atmosphere.

I didn’t sleep well the night before, and it showed in my pre-race picture. But I got there early, got a good place at the starting line (since it’s such a huge race, the start line gets long and you could end up behind people who don’t run much, which causes bottlenecking  and kept stretching a lot, especially focusing on my arch. It’s a great run along the intracoastal waterway filled with thousands of women in pink (the event is so large the men and women race separate).

I started running and after the first mile realized I was feeling great and it was the fastest mile I had run since high school. Things were off to a great start. There were some places along the course where I had to jog or walk because of congestion, but I felt pretty good. I was on pace for a good run at Mile 2 and my body was holding up. At the third mile I was still feeling pretty good overall, with just minor arch and hip pain and the time was great. In the end I got my best time to date for a 5k, 30:35. I really want a sub-30 5k someday soon, but at such a huge event as this and with the arch issue, it probably wasn’t meant to be and I was still really happy to finish then and feel great. Even if my face in this photo of my crossing the finish line tells a different story (though I still love the photo)!

After the race, the other runners from the newsroom and I walked around, soaking in the atmosphere, getting free swag and getting food and drinks, including Dunkin Donuts coffee, which I had been looking forward to. And Dunkin knew it, by the looks of this tweet:

Next running goal

After two 5ks in one week following a too-long break, I’m really feeling the energy to go for a longer run, and am looking for a good 10k in late March or April. I really want to do a longer run and if  I plan something it really keeps me running and pushing myself, which I love.

Happy 2013

First run of 2013

First run of 2013

Happy New Year! Hope you made it through the holidays. I always kind of look forward to the new year. Lower key than the end-of-year craziness, more time to run, fewer sweets to tempt me. It’s a time to focus on making oneself better and look forward to the year ahead.

What does this year have in store for you? What are your goals for 2013?

I am going to refocus on running. After a strong first half of 2012  running (Race for the Cure, my first 10k, my first 15k) I let myself slide. I am going to try and find more runs this year to keep me on track. I already have two 5ks scheduled for this month! (They are both fund-raisers, so if you would like to donate, please contact me.)

I don’t have any hard goals (but I’m up for suggestions or runs if someone is looking for a buddy), but as I start my second full year of running, I would like to increase the miles I ran overall last year. I figured I did roughly 375 miles this year, sharply decreasing my running in the second half. If I were to keep it up, I could surpass 500 miles this year (about 10 a week, very doable, even in the hot summer months).