Race For The Border Half Marathon Recap

Posted on March 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In short, I survived! And with all my toes and fingers, too 😉

Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Mini PB Cups

Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Mini PB Cups

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Maple Cashew Butter, And Maple Butter

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Maple Cashew Butter, And Maple Butter

The night before was filled with carbs, of course. I meant of went a little overboard with the maple-flavored goods, but how could someone not? I love the duo of mighty maple and maple cashew butter with some New Hampshire maple butter. Mmmm. I also had a reunion with the Food Network; after 4 weeks of 20 channels, being at home with my DVR was heavenly until I had to get a good night’s sleep for the race.

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts, Pomegranate Yogurt With Organic Dark Chocolate

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts, Pomegranate Yogurt With Organic Dark Chocolate

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts

The run itself started by the New Hampshire/Maine coast border, which was a good 90 minutes away. We left bright and early and I had a breakfast to eat in the car. I mist have been nervous because I didn’t even want oatmeal; I needed something with some crunch! I smothered a Nature’s Path peanut butter energy bar with butter toffee peanut butter and roasted peanuts. Holy peanut power, Batman. That’s fuel! And of course there was plenty of anti-oxidant rich organic dark chocolate on a pomegranate Chobani.

Waiting To Start

Waiting To Start

If there’s one thing you can’t control, it’s the weather in New England. Today, it was below 40 with a strong coastal wind, too. In line for the bathroom, the man behind me said I was “brave” for just having basketball shorts on. I didn’t want to admit it to him but I don’t own running tights and my shoes have been the same pair since July. Whoops!

Organic Jolly Beans

Organic Jolly Beans

My pre-run fuel was some of these runner’s magic bites. I also had about another 1/2 a handful while waiting to start. If you’re going to boredom eat jelly beans, it might as well be right before a big run, right?

Race Recap

So we’re all on the same page, this was my longest outdoor run yet. My previous outdoor distance PR was 11.25. On the treadmill, I’ve ran 17 miles, and had a half-marathon time record of 1:46:28. That was all the past. My goal for this was sub 1:40.

Miles 1-3: I started off with “the runner’s high” and was really enjoying myself, listening to country music and practically dancing along. I passed a lot of people in this time, and it felt great to be going so fast. I also decided not to look at my pace ever; my time goal seemed lofty, and like if I pushed for it I’d burn out.

Miles 3-5: I really enjoyed the scenery. We were on the New Hampshire Hampton coast, so there was plenty to look at. I couldn’t imagine how many millions of dollars those houses were worth. This was also difficult because the entire run practically was against the wind.

Miles 6-9:

Miles 10-11: My left leg first started hurting around here. At 11.5, I could feel soreness in both of my legs. I started to think about it, and it made a lot of sense; why wouldn’t my legs hurt then when it’s the farthest on terrain they’ve ever run?

Miles 12-13.1: I kicked it in gear, gave it what I had left, and pushed for a good time. The endline was confusing, cars were driving in between me and the finish line, and it wasn’t even really made clear where that was :-/ That sour not aside, I tried to finish with a smile.

After The Finish Line

After The Finish Line

Alright, really I was thinking “Can we get in the car and turn on the heat?!” I still haven’t gotten an “official” time, but here’s what my Garmin had:

Garmin Stats

Garmin Stats

Whoopee! It wasn’t the 1:3X I was hoping for, but I couldn’t complain with the winds being what they were. That was still a huge distance and time PR, and in some of the worse conditions. I’m very happy with all of that… for now.

Lemon Pie Larabar

Lemon Pie Larabar

I did make one very big rookie mistake. I overlooked the time when I’d need to refuel. I did not realize that this half-marathon was 90 minutes away in virtually a black hole. The only restaurants we could find clearly did not have ethical meat or even vegetarian options besides pasta, which would not work when avoiding gluten. And so I had a lemon pie Larabar to hold me over until we got back to my hometown. It gave me plenty of time to think about how much better I could be at refueling. We all need to learn our lessons somehow, right?

Chipotle Menu

Chipotle Menu

Near home,w e stopped at Chipotle, which I heard was very eco-friendly after watching the CEO on Oprah. It may be eco-friendly, but I thought the options were really limited. No brown rice? What’s up with that? They didn’t even have fresh tomatoes… I just got what I could and then added more when we got home.

Black Bean And Sweet Potato Mexican Salad

Black Bean And Sweet Potato Mexican Salad

On top of lettuce was all the black beans/salsa/peppers from my burrito bowl, 1/2 a sweet potato I microwaved with salsa, and the leftover black beans from last night with a dollop of Chipotle’s guacamole. My mouth was on fire after this! Even if their options aren’t great, at least what Chipotle does have is pretty tasty. And at this point, I think we were all pretty hungry, so there was no judging shoveling Mexican food into our mouths while standing up.

Sweet Potato And Salt

Sweet Potato And Salt

After a much needed hot shower, no one wanted this sweet potato, so I’ll take it! When these are nice and soft, they’re pretty much candy to me. They taste a lot better roasted but who has 90 minutes to think about how their sweet potato will taste?

Ginger Root Beer Zevia

Ginger Root Beer Zevia

And since I’ve been writing this, I chugged my favorite flavor of Zevia. I don’t know why I didn’t think about this earlier. All in all, my first race was an excellent experience, and there will be more 🙂 I just need time to recoup while the weather realizes how hot it should be in March, almost April.

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Fussy Dining And Grocery Success

Posted on March 21, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I can’t believe the weekend’s gone; where did that time go? I hope you had a good one. My Sunday was fantastic and I’m absolutely exuberant to blog about it, so I’m going to dive right in.

Jolly Beans

Jolly Beans

Similarly, I dove right in to these jolly beans right before my run. I wasn’t really hungry for them, but I kept telling myself “You can have more jolly beans next time you run. You can have more jolly beans next time you run” So, I had more jolly beans the next time I ran. I was thankful for the extra energy, because in all honsety this was probably the toughest run I’ve had so far. Even before hand, the distance–11 miles outside–kept making me lose my focus. Could I do it? Would I do it? Just run!

11.2 Miles In 1:34:58

I’ll save any run recap where I could tell you everything went through my head at one point: incredible joy, wanting to quit, etc. The important thing was I did it! And could not have been more pleased(or wanting to stretch and collapse) at the end. But the finish line wasn’t my dorm room. No, today it was different:

Garden Grille Cafe

Garden Grille Cafe

I was running to meet my family for brunch again at Garden Grill Cafe! A free meal out? Yes, please! I think my grandmother was most happy to eat here again 😉 And it was packed! I think it took 15 minutes to get a table. In hindsight, this was actually awful planning on my part; I’m very particular about how I like to recover and refuel, and going somewhere where I couldn’t pick out the ingredients or cook had me a little crabby. Really, I just needed food in me! So I was very happy when they got the ball rolling and we ordered.

Carrot Juice

Carrot Juice

One of the great benefits of ending my run here was I knew I could get fresh carrot juice to refuel. As I’ve mentioned, a cup has more potassium than a banana! This was my first time having carrot juice fresh squeezed; because it was a little more fresh and fiberous, I don’t think it was as sweet. But it was still tasty. I also managed to impress people by guzzling more water than is holy throughout the meal 😉

Hash And Peanut Butter

Hash And Peanut Butter

Speaking of the meal, I ordered the “American Breakfast” which was “2 eggs served any style, hash, and toast”. Well, what I ate was a far departure from that. Unfortunately, they were out of gluten-free toast, which I wanted to give a shot(and craved the carbs of) :-/I also found no appeal in the eggs, even though usually I’m all over perfectly cooked sunny side up eggs. Boo. After some finagling, I got the meal I wanted. I traded my eggs for most of my mom’s hash, and asked the server to bring peanut butter on the side. I managed to turn my “American breakfast” into hash with peanut butter; how American 😉

Hash With Peanut Butter

Hash With Peanut Butter

I’m not complaining, though, because this was amazing and just what I wanted. You wouldn’t think fatty, salty hash(which is the best in the world, in my opinion, at Garden Grill) would work with fatty peanut butter, but I’ve never had a problem with fat on carbs 😀 I also stole some maple syrup from my dad’s vegan cinnamon roll french toast(yes, you read that right, but unfortunately it was far from gluten-free :,-() to also flavor this.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

And I wiped that plate clean, leaving a little of the peanut butter behind. The peanut butter was also really good; it tasted like it had brown sugar or some great sweetness in it that made it taste like Reeses’. Who knows? It might have been Reeses’. I was just hoping and praying a good establishment like this wouldn’t use hydrogenated peanut butter(there entire pantry is Bob’s Red Mill so I’m guessing they’re honest and good people).

Root Beer Zevia

Root Beer Zevia

After that we ran back to my dorm so I could shower and change and then went to do some grocery shopping. At Whole Foods, Zevia was on sale for 3.50 a 6-pack, and by signing up for their newsletter I had a $1 coupon, so I was able to get 6 Root Beers for $2.50–score! It’s so easy to pair manufacturers coupons with the store sales if you’re patient.

Whole Food Groceries

The rest of the groceries were pretty standard. I grabbed some coconut milk yogurt since it’s a sale item. The one grocery item not on sale or that I had a coupon that I “had to get” was my favorite dark chocolate bar by Endangered Species. I like to think that if I’m going to eat it and not let it go to waste, then it’s worth it. And have no fear that I’ll eat that 😉

Bulk Bin Grabs

Bulk Bin Grabs

I also tore up the bulk bins; I looove the bulk bins for things that you might want odd amounts for. I always get my steel cut oats from them, since they’re cheaper and organic and I can get a lot. I also get Sunspire peanuts and jolly beans because it’s better to buy candy in bulk so that you decide the amount for a lesser cost. And I got some sunflower seeds and dried cherries, since I wasn’t looking to invest in big bags of those. I also spotted spelt flour while I was snooping the selection, which I’m now curious to pick up for some gluten-intolerant baking over break.

Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl

Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl

Of course, the grocery I saved for last was ice cream. I mentioned picking up a flavor I really didn’t want on Friday night but convinced myself sounded good at the time :-/ Well, I was able to trade that one in for one I would eat. This afternoon, in fact!

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Oh. My. God. Where to start? You could read my review for it here. Or, perhaps we could start at 10 years ago when I would eat way too much of Turkey Hill’s peanut butter chocolate ice cream at my grandparent’s house. Nowadays, me and the Turkey aren’t best friends because of the ingredients he uses 😦 This was just as good, or better, or–I don’t know how to describe it other than amazing with gooey peanut butter swirls.

Since I was hungry but not starving after that goodness, I decided to throw dinner in the oven a little early and make it a little bigger rather than snack on. Of course, being human I’d rather eat dinner later and make my ice cream bowl bigger. But I think keeping the real food in your diet high is 90% of “healthy eating”

Roasted Brussels, Sweet Potatoes, And Maple Tofu With Maple Peanut Butter

Roasted Brussels, Sweet Potatoes, And Maple Tofu

Roasted Brussels, Sweet Potatoes, And Maple Tofu

I love roasting; you don’t have to do much but wait. I roasted brussels cooked from last week, fresh sweet potato, and some quick-pressed tofu in maple syrup. The tofu needed longer pressing but I was short on time. Apparently, peanut butter on the side of every meal is going to become my “thing” now that Garden Grille endorsed it. I felt free to add some mighty maple from PB&Co. on the side. Without even realizing it until now, all 3 of my eats since breakfast have had peanut butter; I think that’s the sign for a great day.

Do you “Pick your plate” eating out and drive the servers mad? I generally detest fussiness as a quality and would consider myself pretty adaptive. I always try to make sure there’ll be something in a dining situation I’ll eat even before going in. At the same time, if I’m eating out I really want to enjoy my meal, so I don’t sweat the little things like asking for a side of peanut butter if the server will oblige. And do you utilize the bulk bins? Clearly, I consider them a necessity. But after getting home I read Averie’s post about who and what has actually been near them–yuck! It has me second guessing…

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Starting Off On The Right Foot

Posted on March 17, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning and happy Wednesday! It’s Wednesday, March 17th, so you know what that means–new Whole Foods sales St. Patricks day! Did you remember to wear green to work? I have on a green shirt right now, and it even says Ireland Rugby League! For the record, I’m a big, fat 0% Irish and haven’t played rugby in my life 😉

Jokerz Candy Bar

There are 3 kinds of bars that come to my mind. There’s the kind too many people will be spending too much time in celebrating tonight, if you know what I mean. There’s the blogger’s “bar” as in health food, often granola or date based bars that we all pack 5 or 6 of at any given time just so we’ll have something to suit our flavor cravings. And then there’s the biggest flirt of them all–the candy bar.

Jokerz Candy Bar

Don’t these Jokerz look just like a Snickers? I can’t get over them! Sure, they’re not at all “healthy” and completely ironic to eat while watching The Biggest Loser. But if my biggest vice is 1 of these a week, I think I’ll manage quite well 😉 This was the perfect way to start off my short-lived night(reaaally not a night person as if you haven’t noticed). Go Max Go Foods makes 4 different all-natural candy bars; I’d be curious to try the other 3. It’s great to have 1 company that suits this sort of diet but a little competition wouldn’t hurt.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Raw Cashew Butter And Sweetened Coconut

As quick as the night had started, I did some work and called it good enough. Wouldn’t want to overexert now would we? I made a bowl of pumpkin oatmeal topped with my new obsession–Love Raw FoodsRaw Cashew Butter. How sad that it’s almost gone, too 😦 I’ll have to whip out the food processor and try something raw myself. For some added richness, I mixed shredded coconut with agave nectar and added it on top; this is nice and sweet, but without any weird preservatives like in Baker’s coconut; it’s a small detail but if you’re a coconut it’s something to look in to doing.

Jolly Beans

This morning, I started my day off on the right foot by grabbing a handful of jelly beans for some prerun energy. What am I going to do when these aren’t on the bulk bins anymore? I’ve actually managed to track down the company and product page here! Now I just need to locate them in person out of season.

10 Miles in 89:05

I did have skepticism about hitting the gym today when it’s supposed to be 60 degrees at some point, but I think this was the right choice in the end. I managed to knock out 10 miles; I honestly wanted to be able to do more but the same GI issues that made me think the gym would be a better bet cut me short and led me straight to the restroom. If it’s worth anything, I think I’ve finally gotten over the troublesome gluten from that great cookie I grabbed at Garden Grille; if so, now that would be starting the day off on the right foot. And I can’t really complain about 10 miles, either.

Mashed Avocado

Of course, since it’s St. Patricks Day I needed to start my day off with something green. Chocolate avocado pudding anyone? Well, not quite. I made it the fully raw way with just avocado, raw cacao, and raw xagave as termed by Averie a “mousse“. It’s a little thicker and a lot of sweeter 😀

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse And Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt

Celebrate good times, c’mon! This felt a little bit like a feast; it’s a holiday at least? I made some pumpkin oatmeal and topped it with Mighty Maple to satisfy that mighty craving. And since you all seem to love your oatgurt(of which I am not a fan), I thought I’d try out avocadgurt! Doesn’t that sound delightful 😉 1/2 of the bowl was chocolate avocado pudding mousse and the other half Voskos honey vanilla bean greek yogurt. Oh my stars–this was amazing. It was so sweet, and the combo of raw cacao with real vanilla beans was like magic. I’m still not even 1/3 the way through and very happy I have that much more to savour.

Fun Fact: My Confirmation name is Patrick! I chose this name for several reasons at the time. Always on my mind was Patrick Star; how could he not be? St. Patrick is also the saint who drove all the snakes out of Ireland and consequently became known as the protector of snakes. Snakes are my number 1 phobia, so he seemed perfect for me. Obviously, I feel very obligated to celebrate it up today with green foods! What about you? How will you be celebrating today? Now, if you’ll excuse me, because I have so very many important things to do, I’m about to spend the rest of my morning figuring out what the flavors of each Jolly Bean are even if it kills me.

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Jokerz And Gardens

Posted on March 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Restaraunt Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I love how much bloggers sympathize over dropped tableware! Only you guys would understand, haha.

Jolly Beans

With the sun shining in, I knew an outdoor run would help me feel energized. I pushed it about as late as I could–10:30–and got ready to run. Right before heading out I popped the jelly beans from the Whole Foods bulk bins for quick energy. They’re all-natural, vegetarian, called “Jolly Beans”, and absolutely delicious; just like with other brands, my favorite colors are the white, orange, and yellow. Which are your favorite jelly beans?

9.4 Miles In 1:20:46

I ended up running 9.4 miles in 1:20:26, which was a really good pace for me. I had to hit the Providence hills because on my way back I made a pit stop at University Heights Whole Foods to grab a Jokerz bar. I think I’ve found a new addiction! I also swung by the dining hall before coming into my room right at 12 with the rush; that was not timed well, and there wasn’t even much for me to work with 😦 I stilled managed a tasty and quick lunch.

Kidney Beans With Ketchup And Hemp Oil, Maple Tofu, All Over Spinach

Another bean salad–I’m just loving these! Red beans are definitely not my favorite(I prefer chickpeas or black beans), but it’s what they had so I worked with them and made a dressing from organic ketchup and Foods Alive hemp oil sweet & sassy dresing. It reminded me of BBQ beans. On top, I threw on the maple tofu I roasted Monday but ended up not eating. What turned out being thrown together from stuff on hand was actually a great meal. Do you have a favorite type of bean?

Jokerz Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

Wednesdays win for my long days: 3 1/2 hours straight class in the afternoon. I definitely needed something to look forward to in my Object History class to keep me sane. The funny thing? This weeks “object” was sugar and other food in colonial America. We also talked a lot about the potatoes role in society from it’s origins as a South American crop to Europe. As much as I love food, I feel like class is the one place I can escape from having a single track mind. C’est la vie.

Vegan Milk Chocolate Enrobing Vegan Caramel, Nougat, And Peanuts

It felt a little ironic to be eating this Go Max Go Foods Jokerz while we talked about the expansion of sugar in the 18th century English diet and how 1 ton of sugar equated to the life of a slave at the time. Guilt? I don’t know the meaning of the word–this was downright delicious! So sweet and good. And, yes, it’s a candy bar and not at all healthy. But it is all natural 🙂 And I had a surprise waiting for me after class…

Dad

Guess who was in town! Literally, he was in town on a special business conference, and since he got off dinner when I got out of class, meeting up for dinner seemed natural. First we stopped at a store to get avocadoes, kombucha, a new bowl, and jelly beans(aka, all of my staples). After that, we found a little local restaurant that Heather recommended.

Garden Grille Cafe

Garden Grille Cafe is a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant over in East Pawtucket. I have ran right near this so many times without even paying notice; I wasn’t even 1/4 mile away twice on my run this morning! The menu is all vegetarian, highly vegan/gluten-free, and they even have some raw items. Though it didn’t say, I would bargain all the ingredients to be all-natural. They even had organic brews on tap(not that I was getting any of that action), along with fresh squeezed juices and blended smoothies. Now those sounded good. I’ll definitely be planning to end a run on a nice sunny day by here.

Eggplant Rollatini

For my entree, I chose the eggplant rollatini, described as “grilled and stuffed with herb tofu nut cheese, crispy polenta, garlic sauteed spinach with homemade pomodoro sauce””. The flavors were just what I was craving at the time. It also appealed to me that this was vegan, gluten-free, and–at least I would say so–didn’t compromise my Lent give-up of “prepared soy”(it had some tofu, but less than any other menu item, and since the house probably used raw tofu and just prepared it tonight, it’s less “prepared” than the ones I had in mind). The eggplant rolls with the tofu-nut cheese were amazing; I could have ate 5 more! The polenta I just had a sliver of; it was well formed, but even well formed polenta is pretty boring unless you dress it up with heavy cream or a sharp cheese(and this dish was vegan). Overall, it was a great experience and I’ll probably be eating there again. Did I mention they have vegan cinnamon rolls on the Sunday brunch menu? They do.

A few last things: first up, Katie alerted me to this article fronting Newsweek this week; apparently, I’m a good writer 😉 And I also agree with a lot I have to say! Go figure. And check out this ch-ch-chia seed giveaway from Lucky Taste Buds that comes with a sweet recipe! happy end of humpday, ya’ll!

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