Saturday, February 19, 2011

Icy Obstacles

Monday:  4 miles treadmill
Tuesday:  5 miles treadmill
Wednesday:  10 miles treadmill
Friday:  7 miles treadmill

Total:  26 miles treadmill

The ice really stayed thick last week and forced me to stay inside and use the treadmill.  Besides the ice, it was just a tremendously busy week with family things:  Abby performed in the 8th grade play and Gina had High School swimming sectionals on Saturday.  My parents visited which was great!  There was much to do and no time to navigate the treacherous ice or crunchy snow.

This week's training schedule called for a 15 mile run so I was elated to see the weather forecast for 50s and 60s later in the week, but I HAD to do my long run on Wednesday to work around Jerry's training schedule, my work days and another busy weekend.  I was a little disappointed that the morning temp on Wednesday was still a windchill of 18 but much of the ice had melted away.  I trudged through three laps of a 5-mile out and back from our house.  I was just happy to be outside regardless of the ridiculously slow pace caused by three large residual icy patches.

One of the highlights from my run was the thumbs up from the mail man as I finished up the last lap.  That made me smile!  I also enjoyed the fact that there was little or no wind.  The real highlight though was the little green sprout of hyacinth that I noticed in our landscaping as I returned home.  Woo Hoo!  Nothing says spring is around the corner like the first sign of greenery popping up through the ground.

Gina had a great 100 backstroke swim in the University of Akron pool where sectionals were held.  She was super nervous. I was very sorry that I could not go but Jerry went and I attended the third performance of the 8th grade play.  Anyways, Gina hoped to go under 1:12 and did that and more by posting a new PR of 1:10.83.  She was much relieved.

On Sunday, Abby joined me for her first official run outdoors since the Turkey Trot in November!  We did 4-miles on the bike path at a nice and easy pace.  Oh youth - how nice it would be to not run for 3 months and then just easily cruise through 4 straight miles!  Track will start next month so I am hoping for a few more nice runs with her before she starts leaving me in the dust!

Today we are venturing over to Baldwin-Wallace college to see Rent.  It will be great to see a live performance of this great show.  Last time I watched the DVD was while running 8 miles or so on the treadmill.  This will be much better!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Monday:  4 mile run, 20 minutes yoga
Tuesdsay:  8 mile treadmill
Wednesday:  4.7 mile treadmill
Friday:  13 miles treadmill
Saturday:  2 miles treadmill

Total Miles:  31.7

Yes that was me running a half marathon on the treadmill in the basement last Friday.  It actually was not that bad - Gina was home convalescing from a terrible food day and I didn't mind being in the basement in case she needed something.  The two hours actually passed by fairly quickly.  What did I do?  Well, I listened to my ipod and broke up the run into sections.  Seven miles, bathroom break, three more miles, boredom break, and then a final three miles.   By the time I was finished I was devoid of deep thoughts and that, my friends, was lovely. 

There is not much more to report on the fitness front.   I failed miserably at yoga last week when I attempted a different instructional you tube video.  I shall not name names, but my back did not appreciate the morning stretch that this instructor beckoned me to do.  I hobbled to the cabinet and took a naproxen and hoped for the best.  It has now been a week and things feel normal again.  Whew.

Anyways, I wanted to share this great vegetarian chili recipe I found in the Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas.  It was wonderful and easy! 

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili   (vegan and serves 6)

2 medium-large sweet potatoes
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 or 3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
One 32-ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
One 4-ounce can chopped mild green chiles
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp oregano

1.  Bake or microwave the sweet potatoes until just firm.  When cool, peel and cut into 1/2 inch dice.  Set aside.
 2.  Heat oil in large soup pot.  Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until golden.  Add the red pepper, beans, tomatoes, chiles, cumin, and oregano.  Bring to simmer.  Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.  Add the sweet potatoes and continue to simmer until vegetables are tender.

3.  Season lightly with salt.  Garnish with cilantro if desired.

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