Long Runs and Pantry Meals

This morning I woke up at 6am to eat something before my long run. Today was the longest training run of my plan and I was nervous and excited. I enjoy long runs, but usually because I am running with other people. Today I was going solo (well I ran with Rebecca for the first 6 miles and then was solo). Luckily it happened to be the only sunny day of the week and that helped immensely. I met Rebecca at her house promptly at 7:20am (it probably wasn't prompt, but wishful thinking...I am always on time except for running). We hit the pavement and started with an uphill climb...after a while we were chatting away and I barely even noticed we were running. I have so missed our runs together! It's been a few weeks and I feel deprived. She is honestly one of my favorite people. So down to earth and funny. I literally can talk to her about anything.

After 6 miles I stopped at her house to use the restroom (yay for three hours of running...) and grab her extra water belt. Did I mention she is extremely generous and lends me everything that I need?! I was worried about wearing it since I haven't run with one before and my stomach was bothering me, but it turned out to be great. I ate some fruit snacks, blew my nose, and hit the road. I started out slow because I was a bit apprehensive about running alone. I had a podcast going, but I couldn't help but think of all of the homework and assignments that I had waiting for me at home. After a while these thoughts dissipated and I just ran. I stopped twice to take pictures because I am trying to enjoy all of Burlington in the next month and a half. I need to take it all in while I can.

I ended up eating all of my fruit snacks because my stomach actually started to growl and feel hungry. That's a first. I was probably around mile 12 when that started. I truly wondered what time it was since I started running at 7:30. The legs were hurting around this time as well. Not necessarily my muscles, but my knees! Last week was a cut back week so maybe that had to do with it.

There was a little bit of wind during the first 7 miles out and a little less on the 6 miles back. So some of my later splits were faster. I knew Julie would be proud. I ended up running back on a few streets instead of the bike path to switch things up a bit. This required I go a little bit farther past Rebecca's street and then back in order to avoid this large and grueling hill right by her house. I finished and walked up the hill :) That, Rebecca would be proud of.

When I got back to my car I found a chocolate bunny! My only bunny of the season. Such a truly wonderful friend :) I somehow got into my car and drove home before waddling up to my apartment. I ate a banana and hopped in the shower. Unfortunately my chocolate milk smelled a bit off so I didn't want to risk it.

Never did I think that running a marathon would require so much body glide. Even after lathering myself up this morning (the sensitive spots that is) I still yelped once I got in the shower. It's a successful long run when I get in the shower after and nothing stings...but that rarely happens.

While making a random bowl of leftovers for lunch I snacked on some pineapple. This bowl didn't tide me over for long and I was soon snacking on the same thing as the day before (mini bag of popcorn with cocoa roasted almonds and salted almonds). A few hours later I had more pineapple and made some tea to bring to class.

After class I decided to whip up my favorite meal: mock fried rice! This meal can be made with any grain and any vegetables. It's so versatile! I used barley, kale and mushrooms this time and it was perfect. I love pantry meals, aka meals that can be made with anything that you likely have on hand in your pantry. Pantry meals should also be super simple and quick to whip up. This takes maybe ten minutes tops (not counting cooking the grain) and requires one pan (again, not including the pot for cooking the grain).

Mock Fried "Rice"

Ingredients

  • 1/2 - 1 cup grain of choice (I usually go with closer to 1 cup) - cooked ahead of time
  • Any vegetables you like:
    • carrots
    • onions
    • kale
    • mushrooms (great!)
    • frozen vegetables
  • sesame oil
  • 2 eggs
  • peanuts
  • soy sauce

Method

  1. Saute the vegetables in the sesame oil. If using onion start with that to brown. Saute until soft.
  2. Mix in the grain (it should already be cooked). Stir in the soy sauce.
  3. Once all heated and mixed together, push to the outside of the pan so there is a spot in the middle. Crack the eggs into the middle and break the yolk to scramble.
  4. Scramble the eggs into the whole mixture. Add more soy sauce if desired.
  5. Top with peanuts.

 

After dinner I curled up on the couch with a handful of mini cadbury eggs and Gilmore Girls. I can't resist mini cadbury eggs... and only having a few is not an option. I love them! I used to put them in the freezer in snack bags so that I wouldn't have more than a serving. They taste so much better not frozen so now I keep them in my pantry (aka cabinet) and I just pour a bunch onto a napkin. No more counting out eggs for me! A handful works just fine, sometimes multiple!

Running A{long}

Long runs have quickly become my favorite runs of the week (except for certain weeks when the weather is terrible...aka most weeks). Tempo runs and especially speed runs are dreaded...they are just so hard. Today was a great long run! img_5679

A few weeks back I had a great run with Rebecca. She did 10 and I went on to do 13. While it was cold and windy, we both felt great and liked our splits. The bike path was clear so we could run and enjoy the scenery albeit grey. At one point we ran into a snow squall but we still felt great.

The following week was a terrible 8 mile run on a Friday night because the whole weekend had a wind chill advisory with threats of frost bite. No thank you. Running at night or even in the afternoon is not great for my digestive system. I just feel so much better in the morning and Rebecca and I both struggled on this run.

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The following week we did a mid afternoon long run, Rebecca doing 12 while I did 15. This was a nice day but we had just gotten dumped on with snow two days prior and the sidewalks were still pretty covered in snow despite the plows working hard. This run was SLOW going and my legs were in so much pain simply from trying to stabilize each step on the uneven ground.

Fast forward to today. Oh my gosh it was perfect.

5:45 am - My alarm goes off and I roll out of bed. I'm actually very awake and ready for the day.

5:50 am - I make 2 slices of Great Harvest toast with peanut butter and my mom's strawberry jam (I still cannot.get.enough.) I have a cup of coffee with a little bit of milk on the side. This breakfast provides probably 45 grams of carbohydrates (30 from the toast and 15 from the jam) which should provide a good amount of fuel for the beginning of my run.

6:35 am - I get my car warmed up and defrosted (it's about 18 degrees out with no wind chill!!!!)

6:45 am - I park my car and run to meet Rebecca at the corner where we start off down the road. We are running an out and back today which is part of the stretch of the marathon. It's sunny and cold at first, but like I said there was no wind!! There is ice on the ground, but Rebecca and I conclude that the ice now is better than slush because your feet don't get wet and you can see when you need to slow down and be careful. A few times the ice almost breaks, but we avoid getting our feet wet the whole run!

~7:45 am -When I am about 7 miles in I eat one packet of fruit snacks. I have been using these for fueling and while they are easy to consume while running they don't quite provide enough carbohydrates for me. Each bag is about 20 grams of carbohydrates and I would like something closer to 30 grams every hour. I guess it's a good thing my breakfast had about 45 grams!

8:45 am - I eat another packet of fruit snacks and wave goodbye to Rebecca. I round out my run and do another small out and back to get up to 17 miles.

9:40 am - I finish at my car and basically collapse. I have two new records: fast half (not for long!) and longest run. After how great I felt today I am so excited for the Unplugged half marathon in two weeks!

9:45 am -I eat a banana in my car and drive into the Switchback parking lot for Stretch & Sip.

9:50 am - I chug a chocolate milk, aka the perfect post run fuel. It has a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio to help refuel and rebuild my muscles. I need this as I head into an hour long yoga class.

10:00 am - Yoga starts and feels amazing. The whole time I feel strong and connected to my body. I have put on some weight since beginning training, but I have never been more proud of what my body has accomplished and when I feel strong like today I love every inch of me.

11:00 am - The sipping part of the day begins...and I would say the fun begins too but it's already been fun.

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17 mile long run (average pace 9:47, total time 2:46:23)

Mile 1: 10:03

Mile 2: 10:24

Mile 3: 9:37

Mile 4: 9:59

Mile 5: 10:02

Mile 6: 9:49

Mile 7: 9:56

Mile 8: 9:54

Mile 9: 10:01

Mile 10: 9:58

Mile 11: 9:51

Mile 12: 9:36

Mile 13: 9:57

Mile 14: 9:25

Mile 15: 9:20

Mile 16: 9:20

Mile 17: 9:09

 

What I Ate Wednesday: Long Run

These are all my eats (and adventures) on the day of a long run. I woke up early to get some coffee and fuel before my run. Typical toast with peanut butter and jelly and a banana with more peanut butter. Double cup of coffee on the side. Enjoyed in my polka dot bathrobe.

My schedule called for an 8 mile easy run today. Rebecca and I met up at 7:30 and spent the next hour and a half chatting about this, that, and everything. I love our runs! Luckily it was slow today because the sidewalks weren't in the best shape. I guess that's winter in Vermont for ya. I'm just not used to it because we haven't had this much snow in a while (aka years).

After my run I came home to have a quick snack. I was hungry! I had an apple and a glass of chocolate milk. Let me tell you chocolate milk after a run tastes A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. You get carbs, protein, fluid, and sodium all in one. Talk about a perfect post-run food. Or just a perfect food.

Then I went cross country skiing for the first time in two years (in Vermont)! I went a few weeks back with my sister in New Hampshire, but I struggled with sticky snow then. Today was so perfect. Shining sun, not too cold, and great company. We haven't had much time to catch up so it was great. So glad Colleen had the day off today even if it was a quick trip! We spent an hour on the trails before going to get bagels.

Let's talk bagels. This week I went to the right place to use my coupon and was not disappointed. Colleen told me to try the Vermont Country bagel which is sesame, poppy, flax, salt, and fennel. The fennel added such a delicious, subtle flavor! I got plain cream cheese and some peanut butter on the side (try the combo). Sometimes I worry about the amount of peanut butter that I eat...but then I remember how delicious it is. I also needed some protein and since a bagel with cream cheese was free, just opted for some extra nut buttah. I'll be dreaming about this bagel for a while now...

I came home and showered for the longest time because I was so cold from running and then skiing. But it was all so worth it.

After showering I took up a spot on the futon because I was tiredA Could actually have used a nap, but instead found myself on Instagram (guilty pleasure) and then watching Chicago Med (another guilty pleasure). I snacked on some carrots as my hunger kicked in.

A few hours later I was hungry again (just go with it Megan) so I tried one of my granola bars, which had MORE peanut butter. I was going to have some soup and then thought of a yogurt, but I really wanted to try a granola bar. So I listened to my cravings and had one. I followed the recipe that Erin recently posted for Trail Mix Peanut Butter Granola Bars. I used steel cut oats, rolled oats, and wheat bran for the dry ingredients and maple syrup, mixed nut butter, and peanut butter for the sticky ingredients. Unfortunately I didn't pay close enough attention to realize these were "no bake" and when I didn't have coconut oil I subbed canola oil...which turned out to be too "liquidy" to hold the bars together. So I added a big scoop of peanut butter (probably 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons more)...more staying power! For my mix-ins I used raisins and chopped chocolate from my freezer. They certainly aren't as pretty as the ones Erin made, but it's a work in progress and they taste delicious so that helps. Now I have muffins, energy balls (still loving) and granola bars for snacks this week...Not to mention that I have been trying to have more yogurt for snacks...good thing I am always hungry because I am overflowing in snacks.

And now I am hungry AGAIN and thinking of what to have for my third...or fourth snack of the day. Listening to my hungry and not feeling guilty about it. Having some yogurt and feeling much better!

Originally my plans had been to be a complete bum all day before having to work this weekend. But lucky for me, Christine texted me. I couldn't help but get excited when she asked "What are you doing tonight???" Good thing she knows the way to my heart and was not suggested a wild night, but actually a girls night in. Just. What. I. Needed/Wanted.

I got to her house around 6:30pm. We had been tossing dinner ideas back and forth including whether to order in or cook. We decided it could be fun to cook and found a take out recipe that we could cook ourselves. Last week I saw these egg roll bowls while reading The Real Life RD's blog and I had been waiting for an excuse to try it! Although I hate cutting cabbage...it just multiplies...

Cooking with friends (in a big kitchen!) is one of my favorite things. Especially when you can gossip and drink wine in your sweats while doing it. I brought over a bottle of Apothic Crush that Christine fell in love with. I love all Apothic flavors, but Apothic Red will always have my heart. Christine had some other wine that was quite tasty! Any wine that calls the flavor "jammy" I have to try. I love jam...

Getting back to dinner. I bought some peanuts, scallions, and sesame oil this week at Shaws to inspire more ethnic dishes and let me tell you I am SO glad I did. The peanuts made the dish and I forgot how much I love peanuts, it's no wonder I love nut butter. Also, tip: look for sesame oil in the international section. By the olive oil the price is nearly double! Crazy, I know.

Christine and I were gushing over this dish. So much so that we both wanted more and nearly cried of happiness when we saw that it serves two. Thinking critically, the dish is almost all vegetables except for the meat. So we polished off this wok of egg roll goodness. With wine of course.

I'm being completely honest here with my eats and saying that even though I was stuffed, I did have chocolate. I brought over the Valentine's day heart that I bought myself and we tried a few of the flavors. Roman nougat is so weird...legitimately looks like bubble gum on the inside. And fruit and nut caramel is so dang chewy I nearly choked on it. Christine refused to try the orange cream. Seriously, who likes orange cream? I also had two homemade Reese's because...do I need a reason? So delicious.

We ended up just talking for hours and lounging on her extremely comfy couch. Next time maybe we will watch a movie...if we don't just end up talking again! Love friendships that are this easy :)

On my drive home I was stuffed and found myself craving all the fruit and vegetables on Saturday. Our bodies are amazing aren't they?!