Monday, April 30, 2012

By this time next week...

I'll have another heavy medal around my neck, achy quads, calves, and hamstrings, and the satisfaction of having finished my third marathon...barring any unforseen illness or falling off a cliff between now and Sunday.

Although The H might argue otherwise, I don't feel as nervous about this marathon as I have my previous two. YES I'm anxious about the details of getting there, waking up so freakishly early (the race starts at 6:15am!), and getting on a bus to the start, but the actual *run* part feels under control. After all, never mind the fact that there aren't any spectators until Mile 16--a few weeks ago, I trundled along for 21 miles on my own! Just being able to jump my mileage up from where I was in Chicago to where I am now without injury is amazingly reassuring.

The two friends I was planning to run nice and easy with have switched to the half marathon so I won't be relying on them to keep me company or to pace myself. It'll be me and the Garmin, and a gorgeous setting in which to spend a few hours "alone." This week I'm running four days, all super short and at super easy paces, the last two of which will be at altitude. Like the "runnerd" that I am, I've been researching how to acclimate (acclimatize?) to the change in oxygen and obsessively checking the weather forecast. It's changed a *lot* since the 10-day forecast started showing Sunday. The H has forbidden me to discuss it with him anymore.

All I can do now is pack for any possible conditions and be extra careful with the Sport Wax and sunscreen applications. And hydrate like it's my job. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Let's make a meal plan

It's time to taper! That means more carbs, more sleep, fewer miles, and less sanity. The Colorado Marathon is less than two weeks away! The half we ran on Sunday went very well, and was a personal best for me (1:51:20) as well as The H, who hasn't done a race that long in years. This week I'm vacillating between feeling READY for Colorado and being freaked out that I plan to run the full 26.2. It's only been a year (actually a little less) since I've completed a marathon, but for some reason it feels so long ago and "taper madness" has me wondering what I'm getting into.

So. I'm going to try putting it out of my mind until we're actually *in* Colorado, and just focus on good-carb loading and getting extra rest this week. Next week I'll add "hydrating like mad" to that list.

Here's what's on my non-day specific menu:

Black bean soup
Seared tuna steaks with rice and beans
Lentil tacos
Girls' run appetizer night
Stuffed sweet potatoes

Lunches and snacks will consist of yogurt with berries and honey, lentil soup, balsamic marinated peppers and grape tomatoes, leftover quinoa burgers over small green salads, hard-boiled eggs and fresh fruit, and rice & beans with avocado.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sorry, Wednesday

I just now realized that I entirely skipped over Wednesday in my "mini meal plan" post. I must have really been lacking inspiration. Turns out my fortuitously-timed cooking mood from yesterday solved that problem nicely; the quinoa-adzuki burgers we had were delightful. Even for the little guy! The H said they lacked flavor, to which I took minor offense (I thought they were *great*) until he later confessed that, due to lingering sinus issues, he couldn't even taste the hot sauce he put on his. If Frank's isn't even coming through, I know I'm not responsible for tasteless veggie burgers. Phew.

Know what else I skipped on Wednesday? A run. Really! One of my knees has been feeling a little cranky and I didn't want to aggravate it too much before Sunday. So tonight, rather than a post-run picnic, I'm going to make honey-baked chicken, a recipe from the friend I was going to run with. We've been calling it Chicken Yum Yum; hope you don't mind, Mrs. E. :)

Oh, and I'm thrilled to report that the little guy, whose tastes can often be called particular, didn't notice any difference in the way his milk tasted yesterday at dinner or today on his Chex. Thank you, meijer instant milk powder. I'm pleased to say he also ate one-and-a-half adult sized servings of Adzuki Cake and still asked for more. So there's a win for Wednesday after all!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A cooking mood

Today I'm in a cooking mood. Part of it is due to the fact that we're out of some breakfast usuals. Almondmilk, I'm looking at you. So rather than jet out to the store and stress our bank account for $3.24 of something that isn't *vital* to our daily existence, I've decided to crack open the ol' cookbook (, I mean) and make a few things to get us through the next few days. Another part is due to the fact that I have chicken to cook for dinner but *zero* inspiration for what to do with it. And then there's a part of me that wants to experiment with the adzuki beans I have leftover after making this last night. Of course, let's not forget the part of me that reallyreallyreally likes cooking, using what we already have, stashing food in the freezer for later, and playing with new recipes.

That's a lot of parts.

On the docket today, though perhaps not today's menu:
Adzuki bean cake (I made a few tiny cupcakes with the leftover batter--yum)
Baked oatmeal with dried cranberries (halve the sugar, and use Sucanat!)
Quinoa-bean burgers with sweet potato fries

Two of those recipes call for milk, for which I mixed up a double batch of instant powdered milk that I bought for *some* recipe I forget now. I have yet to taste it plain, but I wonder if the little guy would notice the difference on his Chex tomorrow... I suppose he could always have an oatmeal square instead.

Oh, that chicken? Still in the fridge, awaiting more inspiration. Any ideas?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Marathon update and mini meal plan

Believe it or not, the marathon I've been hemming and hawing over is three weeks from today. And I'm right on track! This past Friday, I completed my longest training run (ever, not just for this race) by clocking 21.05 miles--by myself! That also made it my highest-mileage week, which is pretty cool. The run went remarkably well, and I'm glad to have gotten that close to the race distance on my own. My remaining two weekend long runs are 12 miles (I'm running the Glass City half marathon that day) and 8 or 10 miles.

One minor wrench in my plan is that my Colorado friends will likely be stepping down to the half marathon, so there goes my "people I know" security blanket. I still have to see how the altitude change treats me once we arrive in CO and I start running there; I may yet join them at the starting line for 13.1 rather than 26.2. Either way, I have a great sense of accomplishment knowing I hauled myself up by my shoelaces and got back on track in a shortened time frame and have thus far remained injury-free. 

My meal plan for this week is very loose, revolving around what I have in the fridge/pantry and what I can use up while still managing to carb-load without going up a pants size. Here's how it looks for now:

Sunday - burgers and baked sweet potato slices with tomato-basil-mozzarella
Monday - loaded baked potatoes with coleslaw
Tuesday - rice and beans with chicken sausage in the slow cooker
Thursday - possibly dinner with friends (picnic style) before or after a free local 6K run
Friday - TBA... something with chicken and sweet potatoes...
Saturday - running group pasta dinner in Toledo!