Ice cream destiny

I’m working very hard on enjoying my last day of vacation today! I’ll be back at work tomorrow and back at class Tuesday night. Where did these three weeks go???

I did some food prep for the week this afternoon, which involved cooking 1/2 cup each of brown rice and BRM triticale berries in 2.5 cups of whey left from Greek yogurt-making. I forgot about the cooking grains until my nose led me to the burning pot! The grains happened to be cooked perfectly, and I scraped the crunchy bits out of the pot for a snack with a strawberry and some soymilk, mmm:

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I labored down my steps and outside to try to grease my achy and creaky legs with some walking … and I stumbled upon some exciting grocery finds! Purple cauliflower:

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Samoas ice cream:

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My grocery stores NEVER carry the fancy Edy’s flavors (and I totally missed the boat on buying girl scout cookies), so I almost screamed in the aisle when I saw this! And it was the only one. Fate.

The top was all melty when I finally got back home:

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Hmmm, which new find did I try first?

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There was no contest, was there?

Lunch was a salad with cucumber, tomatoes, spicy peppadew, a hard-boiled egg, feta, and the last of the TJ’s rice and bean chips (a sad moment).

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In other new food news, I brought these colored tapioca back from my mom’s house last weekend. She gets carried away in Asian grocery stores.

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I soaked the tapioca for an hour or so in water until they soaked it all up and got soft.

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Then, I cooked the tapioca in a boiling mix of 1.5 cups unsweetened soymilk and 1/2 cup water, stirring until it turned into pudding, mmm. For flavoring, I decided to mix it into the chia pudding. Plus, the tapioca was more or less devoid of nutrition (aside from the soymilk, which is of questionable value) while the chia pudding was jam-packed with nutrition. Might as well spread the wealth!

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I was right — the sweetness from the dates and the vanilla flavor was strong enough to translate into the tapioca-chia mix, and the result was a brilliantly varied array of balls.

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I inaugurated the pudding concoction with none other than my new Samoas ice cream 😀

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Layers: 1/2 cup chia-tapioca pudding, 1/2 chopped apple, 1/4 cup samoas ice cream, blueberries

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Yum infinity.

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Cookie piece!

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SO excited about this ice cream!!

Have you had any fateful food finds lately?

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Creaky bliss

OK, I might be slightly stiff and sore and creaky today, but I suppose that’s to be expected after running 13.1 miles yesterday 😀

Last night, I parked myself on the couch and didn’t move for the rest of the night except for food. It was glorious. Except that I got hungry again and again and again. Running 13.1 miles will do that to you, I suppose. (Yes, I actually am on a mission to mention how I ran 13.1 miles yesterday as many times as possible.)

Dinner started with three salsas:

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First was yogurt mixed with the last of my mango-peppadew salsa (once again, this salsa is delicious but reminded me more of cooked fruit than salsa — the first two ingredients are mango and apple! — so that’s how I used it) and topped with chopped strawberries and hulled hemp seeds.

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For the side, I whipped out the two TJ’s salsas that Elisabeth sent:

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The habanero lime salsa was soooooooooo spicy, but the peach salsa was mild and sweet. I mixed the two together for a perfect balance and used the blend for dipping the TJ’s rice and bean chips.

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These chips are slowly quickly becoming an addiction. I’ve only had them for a few days, but they’re almost gone! And the thought makes me all shaky (or maybe I’m shaky because I ran 13.1 miles yesterday, hehehehehe).

Soon, I was hungry again, so I heated the rest of mom’s Indian pudding (mom, is there another batch in your future? do you think this mails well???) and topped it with a big blob of real vanilla ice cream:

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And finally, I ended things with a slice of healthy cheesecake and some strawberries:

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To be honest, I actually expected to be more ravenous after running 13.1 miles, but every time the hunger hit, it was more of a little annoyance than an OMG I must eat everything in sight this instant kind of feeling.

I did, however, wake up at 6:00 this morning very ready to eat, so I put together an early morning cocktail (on my bedside table window):

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Inspired by Michelle‘s parfait yesterday, I needed one of my own! I made another batch of chia pudding last night, using plain yogurt in place of the water this time, and it was fully absorbed and ready to go today! For my parfait, I used 1/2 cup of the chia pudding, 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup mix of All-Bran Strawberry Medley (got this box for free with a coupon a while ago!) and Kashi GoLean Crunch, sprinkles of hemp seeds, 1/2 chopped apple, and 4 chopped strawberries.

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Layers:

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I couldn’t help throwing a spot of cacao bliss on top with cinnamon:

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Mmmmmmmmm, brilliantly blissful. I love breakfast. I should probably be eating this every morning. And at every meal. What makes you feel blissful in the morning?

Check!

Who just RAN 13.1 miles???????????

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I DID!!!!! I ran the ENTIRE thing … no stopping except for gatorade at every fluid station.

I know, I know. You’re thinking, she ran it all after going on and on about all her drama? But it’s true! Somewhere near the beginning, I started to think about how cool it would be if I ran the whole thing, and then I suddenly couldn’t bear the thought of stopping to walk! Here’s a brief(ish) recap of how it all went down:

Erin Gunn, Kate, and I took ourselves all the way to the back of the looooooooong starting line. I ran into Ashley (who I find EVERYWHERE), but we quickly said our goodbyes so that she could jump into her faster-paced group. My partners-in-crime and I spent nearly 20 minutes waiting for our group to get up to the start line — this race was seriously so packed! — and making snarky comments about how we were certifiable to be doing this. When we finally got up to the front, I suddenly decided that I needed to go to the bathroom and ran for the port-a-potties as the girls took off. They thought I was crazy, but I was not about to be dreaming of potties for the next 13.1 miles! I finally got back to the start line and set out all by myself. To be honest, though, I was glad to be alone because I didn’t want to feel tempted to go faster than I should.

I was shocked when I got to Mile 1 and saw on my HRM that I did it in 11.5 minutes. I’ve been running 15-minute miles (when I’ve allowed myself to run) since the “incident” over two months ago. I decided I needed to slow down to be safe. So I did.

I got really annoyed when I hadn’t quite hit mile marker 2 and all the people running in the lane to my right were on their second lap and already on mile 6. I thought about how they were almost done and I was not. Mile 2 took me 12 minutes, and I was pleased.

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Somewhere between Mile 2 and Mile 3, I sensed a lot of commotion immediately to my left. I was so focused on running straight ahead that I barely noticed it, but something made me glance back after I had passed. It was Mike (Erin’s fiancee) and D-Lo cheering wildly for me! And I had completely blown by them without even acknowledging it! I gave a little side wave, but the baffled looks on their faces when I glanced back kept me giggling for another mile.

I finished Mile 3 in 11 minutes and made myself slow down again. Mile 4 was 13 minutes, and I didn’t need to make myself slow down anymore because I was running as fast as I could! In Mile 5, my hamstring, groin, and glutes (and other new muscles!) started to feel really tight and slightly more stressed. I got a little worried, but the pain was pretty consistent and just felt like tiredness rather than worsening injuries — plus, I had already decided I would run the whole thing — so I kept plugging away. There were a few more 13-minute miles after that. There were also a couple passes by the park entrance that is right near my apartment. I kept thinking, I have been running for so long, yet I have gone nowhere!

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I finally exited the park just before completing Mile 7, and I was thrilled!

As pretty as the park is, I know it like the back of my hand, so it tends to get monotonous. Once I hit the street pavement, everything was new to me. I was still running 12/13-minute miles consistently. There were other exciting things about hitting mile 7: (1) I knew that this was the longest I had run continuously since getting injured and (2) I was over halfway done!

From there, I was in the zone. The songs that Olivia had put onto the running mix for Kate and me were perfect. I couldn’t even tell you what they were, but they were steady and just fast enough to keep me moving but subtle enough to fade into the background.

boardwalkbadI ran into Erin Gunn just after finishing
Mile 10. Her hip flexor troubles were flaring up, so she’d had to stop to walk and stretch a few times. We jogged together for a couple minutes until she needed another break and pulled to the side again. Taylor Swift (my own playlist addition) and Kanye (Olivia’s addition) carried me along through the rest of Mile 11. I was psyched at this point because I knew that every step past 10.5 was a PDR (personal distance record … because I’m down with the racing lingo). Obviously, there was no way I’d start walking at this point!

Erin Gunn and I traded places a couple more times over the next mile, but by the time we hit the marker for Mile 12, she was well ahead of me again and stayed that way for the rest of the race (yayyyyyyy, Erin!!!!).

Also upon completing Mile 12, the breeze from the OCEAN kicked in. Smelling that salty air and knowing that the finish line was all mine after only one more mile was the best motivation ever!

finishThe best part was the last leg of Mile 13 along the boardwalk with the OCEAN right beside me! I was in heaven — the perfect breeze, the perfect smell, the perfect view, and the finish line in sight!

My official personal race time (adjusting for the 20 minute delay at the beginning) was
2:41:39 with a 12:20 minute mile.

HRM also told me that I had burned over 1600 calories — YIKES!!!! Get this girl some food!

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Thanks.

I located Erin and Kate … and Mike and D-Lo, our vitamin-water-bearing heroes:

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Erin Gunn said she never wanted to stand again, so we took our pictures on the ground:

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The boys led us to the car and dropped Kate and me off at my place after many many many minutes of traffic jamming. That’s right! No subway for me on half-marathon day 😀 Thanks, Mike! AND CONGRATULATIONS TO ERIN GUNN AND KATE!!! (and to all my bloggy ladies who ran the half today … especially to Heather who has been such an excellent support throughout the training!)

And now that I have that out of my system, let’s check out some race fuel, shall we?!

I obviously started my morning with the most perfect race fuel ever: an overnight breakfast cookie, a la Fitnessista.

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While I was making this cookie last night, I put in every powerful ingredient I could find: 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, 1 tbsp peanut butter, mashed yam, unsweetened coconut, goji berries, lucuma powder, flax seeds, chia seeds, unsweetened cocoa powder, and a chopped square of Newman’s Own Organics dark chocolate espresso bar.

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This morning, I spread the cookie with cacao bliss (what else?!) and enjoyed every bite immensely.

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You already saw lunch #1, which came in the form of pretzels and vitamin water after the race (and probably close to a gallon of lemon-lime gatorade over the course of the race). I didn’t get hungry again until about 2:30, so I oven-ed up the rest of of my sardine-feta pizza (don’t hate — it really was soooooooo delicious).

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After a bit of pizza digestion, I moved on to bigger and better things: baked yam with a giant pile of cacao bliss and a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut.

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(There’s actually a ton of cacao bliss hiding under there, too. The coconut covered it up, and I certainly couldn’t have that so … I added more bliss to the top :-D)

And let’s not forget about the silent partner in this whole process:

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And THEN, Paige came over to see about the tent … and she liked it and I liked her, so yayyyyy new roommate!!! (as of July 1) And yay for the blog providing an excellent forum for roommate-hunting! 😀

Ahhhh, the half marathon is DONE and I DID IT!!!! I can’t believe I lived to tell the tale. (And no, I never have to run a half again!)

Do you prefer running for races or running recreationally? (or not running at all?)

Ode to the Half

Dear Brooklyn Half Marathon, 2009,

You seemed like a good idea at the time.

Putting our differences aside, I would like to thank you for giving me 13.1 miles to be running walking right now. Otherwise, I may never have had the chance to traverse two laps of Prospect Park. (Oh wait, Prospect Park is two blocks from my apartment and I run ran it all the time. Hmmmmmm. Why couldn’t you involve a run over the Brooklyn Bridge instead? Was two laps around the same park really necessary?)

Training for you has awarded me many exciting opportunities.

In the beginning, I got to hang out on a treadmill with both of my parents:

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I learned that I could accidentally run over 10 miles just because running felt good and fun, even though I thought the 50-yard-dash was a fate worse than death in second grade.

I learned how to turn running into a social activity with Kate at the Nike Running Club:

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I also learned that I should never ever ever again choose a training run instead of strength training when I am short on time because then things like pulling my groin, glutes, and hamstrings in the same run are bound to happen. I learned that recovering from such pulls is near impossible when I am trying to train for a race, since the only way to recover fully is to stop running entirely.

I learned that going from running lots of miles per week to running zero miles per week is likely to result in significant weight gain (especially when cake is a staple in your diet) … and that I don’t care.

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I learned that my stomach can handle over 2000 mg of ibuprofen per day, and that said dosage is necessary to reduce muscle swelling.

I learned that, despite useless limbs, I could still complete a 10k trail race and come in last … and that my friends would wait for me to cross the finish line:

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[And thanks to Sarah Whiting (center) for being the first person to drag me outside for a run when I was 16 and then for convincing me that a trail race would be super super duper fun when I was 26.]

I learned that, even with the best intentions to stop running completely in order to heal in time for the race, factors such as fashion and firemen sometimes carry more weight than logic.

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I learned that a 13.1 mile walk/run on a gorgeous day through Brooklyn’s most beautiful park does not sound like such a bad plan. After all, as my good friend Miley says:

Ain’t about how fast I get there.

Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side. [Except for the free goodies which, let’s face it, are the main reason I’m still participating in this darn race.]

It’s the climb.

Thank you, Miley.

Also, thanks to the exhilarating experience of pretending to train for this race, I was able to participate in an awesome first-time half marathoners’ email support group with these dazzling running divas: Andrea, Rose, Heather, Allison, Andrea, and Aimee. Thanks for hanging in there with me, ladies, even though I’ve long since stopped training for real!

Thanks also to my real-life training partners-in-crime: Erin Gunn and Kate! Having a buddy for the long runs makes a huuuuuuge difference.

Yay for the Brooklyn Half Marathon, 2009! I cannot wait for you to be finished 😀

Not convinced …

… that I’m ready for tomorrow!

Quick quick quick because I have to run back to getting ready for the half marathon TOMORROW. Lunch today was carrot sticks, mango-peppadew salsa, and more of Elisabeth‘s TJ’s rice and bean chips (sooooooo good!):

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And for dessert, mom’s Indian pudding with a dollop of real vanilla ice cream that I found in the freezer:

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I probably also finished off my plummy gummies (sorry I didn’t save you any, Allison!):

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I did some tidying around the apartment this afternoon, and then it was time for a dinner I’ve been planning for ages but haven’t had a chance to make! You might turn your nose up at the concoction you’re about to see (I certainly would if I weren’t the one orchestrating it), but it was so so tasty. I had these sardines in tomato sauce from Cole’s:

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Because they came in tomato sauce (and because their packaging is so pretty) and I don’t have any other tomato sauce hanging around, I’ve been thinking forever that they would be good for a pizza! I’ve always been kind of scared of sardines, but they looked just like regular fish when I opened the tin:

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(They tasted like regular fish, too!)

I started by toasting a mini Boboli whole wheat crust in the oven for 15 minutes at 450:

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I covered the toasted crust with the sardines and their sauce:

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The rest of my sofrito sauce (had to get green in there somewhere!):

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An olive oil-sauteed mix of the only veggies I could find: onions, shredded carrot, peppadew piquante, and frozen corn.

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And feta!

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It all went into the oven at 450 for about 20 minutes to get crispy and brown:

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I ate half for dinner, yummmmmm!

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Next, I ran off to Kate’s to pick up some running mixes for tomorrow that Olivia made for us and then ran back here to the apartment to prepare tomorrow’s breakfast cookie and my new favorite dessert: baked yam with cacao bliss, coconut, and nutmeg. (Followed by my second favorite dessert: 2 naproxen.)

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Now I’m racing to get into bed by 10. I need my eight hours!

Tomorrow’s schedule:

  1. 6:00-6:30: wake up, eat cookie, get dressed (+ sunblock, HRM, iPod)
  2. 6:30-7:00: yoga for runners from yogadownloads.com
  3. 7:00-7:10: Erin Gunn and Kate arrive at my apartment
  4. 7:20-7:40 bag check
  5. 8:00 until forever: run/walk the half!

Do you ever feel like all you do is blink your eyes and the day disappears?