Monday, May 26, 2008

My kind of weekend

What a glorious weekend. No, I didn't jet set or road trip off to somewhere exciting. No, I didn't do anything even that interesting. But it was perfect. I did exactly what I wanted and needed. Run, eat and sleep. After being sick, tired and working a bunch a four day weekend was just what the doctor ordered.

By friday, I was pretty tired, still not feeling recovered from the flu, in fact starting to feel more sick than I had for a week. I was also experiencing a delayed onset of post-race endorphin drop. I was just plain bummed out. My poor mother had to watch me cry and stumble around in the mental darkness trying to pinpoint the source of my mood. Sad and uninspired, I slept a very fitful night and woke up Saturday morning to do my long run. While I had planned to do a 15 miler at Tiger which would take me the coach prescribed 3 hrs, I decided what I needed mentally and physically was a "chocolate run". I opted to do another run-about of Seattle and set off in the early morning through the city. Less than an hour into the run, I ran by my former best friend and teammate Lindsey Wilson on Queen Anne. At first I didn't recognize her but then it connected in my brain... and it made me think about my funk. I pondered whether or not it was due to some deep seeded unresolved issue and if I had spent my adult life convincing myself that I had resolved my issues but really not. And then, I started laughing really really hard as I ran. Because the reality of the situation is, I was just bummed out, no deep seeded issue required. I felt a sudden levity and the spring returned to my step.

I had a great run, covering 30 miles. I tried Vespa for the first time on a long, long run and it worked phenomenal. I don't know how, but it was great. My energy was stable and I only had to take one Clif Shot gel for the whole run. Vespa helps to metabolize fat, stabalize glycogen levels and minimize lactates. I.E. no dramatic drops in blood sugar, even energy, keeping the bonk away by utilizing the energy stores the body already has. Afterwards, I tended my organic vegetable garden at my uncles and went shoe shopping with my mom.

Sunday was another great day, heading out with SRC for the Sunday run and then working in the store for a few hours. For the week, I made it to 100 miles. Wahoo.

Food, in review

I know I haven't been keeping up on my food postings, though I have managed to make a few remarkable things over the course of the last two weeks. Here are some of the highlights:

Veggie Lasagna

I have never been a big fan of lasagna. It was always too heavy, too meaty, too much of a brick in my stomach. But last week, I was in the mood for something lasagna-esqe. I ran to the store and picked up some Tinkyada Brown Rice pasta. In my opinion, I think this pasta is even BETTER than normal pasta. It was lighter, healthier and more flavorful. I loaded this with veggies and topped with Almond Milk Cheese.

1/2 package of Tinkyada Brown Rice pasta

For sauce:
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1/2 white onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp italian seasoning

For sauteed veggies:
portabello mushroom

For layering:
fresh spinach
roasted bell peppers
crushed red pepper
italian spices
almond milk cheese, mozzarella style

Prepare the noodles according to the package and preheat the oven to 350. Prepare the sauce by caramelizing the onions and adding in the garlic. Add in the diced tomatoes and spices and let simmer while you prepare the other veggies. I didn't put amounts on the veggies to sautee because it really depends on how many you are preparing for. If you make too much, it can be saved or served on top as garnish. Cook em up however you like. I did a quick sautee of the onions and garlic, then added the carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and added a bit of mushroom stock to steam the veggies. Once the stock was absorbed I added the other veggies and spices including italian seasonings and a bit of cayenne.

Next step, build! On the bottom put a layer of sauteed veg, then some of the tomato sauce, a layer of roast bell peppers, a layer of spinach and then a single layer of noodles. Repeat until the pan is full and top with cheese. Baked for 25-30 minutes and enjoy!

Italian style quesdilla

Brown Rice tortilla
Heirloom Tomato
Roasted Red Bell Pepper
Mozzarella style Almond Milk Cheese

On half of the tortilla layer tomato, spinach, bell pepper and cheese. Cook until cheese is melted and tortilla is golden. Delicious!

From Vegetarian Times, Chilled Noodle Salad with Mango:

Monday, May 19, 2008

All things in review: a brief vignette

Yes I know, I know, I haven't blogged in forever. And within that forever there has been everything. Ok, well maybe not so expansive as that, but starting last Thursday life has been stuffed and sometimes with snot. And instead of continuing to look for the opportunity to blog about all that has happened in that time and adding and adding, I figured I would take the next 15 minutes I have before I have to leave for my next library training to get myself and you up to date....

Western States training weekend and the storybook monster in my lungs

Last weekend was suppose to be an excellent training weekend, kicked off by QS 50miler and then followed by a double canyon run on the hardest canyons on the WS course. Thursday night I was lying on my couch and I felt something crawl up on to my chest and jump down my throat and nest itself in my lungs. Being a children's librarian, I could see the pages of the picture book (not a real one) of something like this, complete with slimy green monster. Needlesstosay, that changed everything. I attempted to do the QS 50 miler, but was GETTING so sick that midrace when I could barely breathe and was throwing up, I decided to just do 50k. I wish I was recovering at that point, but really I had been hoping that the run would break whatever it was loose and instead it pushed it deeper. My lungs are very sensitive to flu stuff due to asthma. I still ran a very respectable 4:50 for the course, still love the course and would have been the female winner if they allowed mid-race switching, which surprisingly they don't. I was only off my own age group course record by 8 minutes and considering all things, I think I could easily knock 25 minutes off my time if healthy. I made the right decision. I then headed to Cafe Gratitude, ate amazing food and was off to Auburn. Hollis showed me various significant spots on the course and on Sunday morning, feeling worse and worse I set off to do a double canyon, which he said would be around a 6 hour run. Running down the 2,500/3 miles I didn't feel good, so going back up the other side of 3,000+/4.5 miles felt even worse. I did a lot of crying on the way up the hill. I made it to Devil's Thumb (around 7.5 miles or so) and started heading down into the next canyon when I realized I was being dumb and dumber. I turned around and headed back in the race direction. I made it down to El Dorado Creek and was filling my bottles thinking of the 3 miles straight up I had to go. Hollis told me 24hr runners take about 50 minutes to do it, so I was sure it was going to take me forever and lots of tears. I spent about 20 minutes at the bottom of the canyon just crying and then headed up the hill. I got a sudden burst of power and found the grade really runnable, I made it up in 47 minutes. I got to the top and head over to the Anderson/Trason residency where Hollis was hanging out with his good friends. Earlier I had asked Hollis, "So I was wondering, did Ann ever TRY to qualify for the Olympics in the marathon." He laughed hysterically. "No, the only marathons she ever wanted to run were training runs. Training runs of 2:35-2:40". I knew it!

After the run I was dead, by Monday I was so sick I couldn't even stand and so the week slipped away from me between taking monday off and then working the rest of the week. I managed to make a delicious Pho like soup when I was delirious on Monday. It took me 30 minutes of swaying around, standing in the aisle and the grocery to get the ingredients. On Wednesday, I made an amazing salad with greens hand picked from my own vegetable garden. YUM!!

From my garden!

Best salad in a while: dry roasted asparagus, tomato and mushroom. Pineapple, sprouts, dried cranberries and currants. Avocado. Greens from my garden and a balsamic reduction dressing.
Oops, one minute too many gotta run!

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