#KeepingItReal

You guyssssss, I did it again. Fell off the blog wagon. Good thing I don’t do this blog thing to gain followers, because I think that’s one of the keys to having a regular readership—consistency. Ha. Oh well.

I have a few drafts waiting to be published, as well as a few race recaps, but as I was doing my post-run foam rolling/stretching this morning, I decided I should do a “Keeping it Real” post. I love this movement Lauren Fleshman started. So much.

To bring you up-to-date, I took 3 weeks off running COMPLETELY recently, and I’m just now getting back in the swing of things. I feel awkward, a little pudgy, and out of shape. But, it was absolutely necessary. I felt some twinges in my knee that didn’t feel right, and after a really hard 8 months of training and racing, it felt only necessary to be kind to both my mind and body and give them some rest. So, that’s what I did. Ironically (or really not so ironically), during those three weeks, it seemed like a ton of elite runners I respect (Hellooo Tina Muir!!), wrote key articles on the importance of rest and recovery. That honestly made my time off so much easier, knowing without a doubt I was doing the right thing. Was it optimal timing for the St. Jude Memphis ½ marathon coming up? Nah. But, honestly, I probably shouldn’t have even signed up for St. Jude in the first place with all my crazy running this summer and fall, and zero planned recovery. Whoops. You learn and you adjust. That’s what I love so much about this sport. I’m constantly learning what works best.

So, here I am, 4 weeks out from St. Jude, a little out of shape, but I feel no sad feelings because I truly had a phenomenal 8 months of PRs out the wazoo, and tons of happy running. I can’t complain one bit. After a fun race at St. Jude on December 6th (no plans of PR’ing, just going to run it because I already signed up for it, and it’s a great cause.), I’ll begin a new training cycle with my focus being the 10k and ½ marathon this spring. It should be fun, but also really humbling too because I’ll be running St. Jude with a teeny bit of me wishing I were racing it.

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So, what did I do with my time off? First of all, I didn’t cross train. I chose not to, because a.) I mentally can’t handle the elliptical for more than 10 minutes. It’s awful. And b.) I wanted to rest completely from all cardio.

What I DID do, was be proactive with my time. I visited a few physical therapists to look at some of my weaknesses, including one who specializes in gait analysis, got two deep-tissue massages (helloooo treating myself!), went on some perfect fall walks with Eli, and started working on some muscle imbalances I need to fix before this next training cycle. I really just lived in the present, and tried my best to embrace where I am at the moment, and not freak out about getting out of shape. Trusting the process!

This week was my second week back, and like I said, I do feel awkward, and slooowwww. In the spirit of honesty, all my runs this week were around 9:30-10:30 pace! Yes, that’s correct. I am taking my easy/recovery runs very seriously (something I have always felt passionate about!). How am I supposed to do my 1500 meter pace workouts at sub 5 minute pace, and my 5k pace workouts at 5:30-45 pace like I was doing at the end of this last training cycle if I’m not fully recovered, rested, and ready to hit it in a few weeks? It is impossible to hit those paces if I’m not recovered. So there’s that.IMG_9677.JPG

I hope you are enjoying this fall season, and embracing where you are currently, wherever that may be. Trust the process and live in the present, I promise your outlook will be a lot less frazzled. Happy Friday!

 

 

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Post Long-Run: EAT ALL THE FOOD

 

august15Still to this day, after every Saturday morning workout or long-run, my favorite thing to do is get right in the kitchen and make a huge breakfast/brunch. Before we moved to Memphis, oftentimes my training partners would run home and shower, then come over to my place for the most massive post long-run brunch ever. Glorious. I wanted to share some recipes with you guys to give you a few ideas for a great Saturday morning brunch. Whether it’s after a long-run or not, I guarantee you all will love this menu. Here are the basics: carbs + protein + large cups of home-brewed coffee. WINNING.

First things first. Give me a coffee IV, please 🙂 For those of you who are intimidated by home-brewed iced coffee, this recipe is fool-proof! **Make sure to start brewing the night before, though!!

august3 august4 august5 august6august7 copyCold-Brewed Coffee

Ingredients

1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-course grind is best)

1 ½ cups water

Milk and Sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a jar, stir together coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.
  2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk.

Recipe source: Smitten Kitchen

Next up, dat incredible edible EGG.

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Pesto-Potato Eggs with Crispy Basil**

serves 4

Ingredients:

10-12 small red-potatoes or 4 medium sized regular potatoes

4 large eggs

1/3 cup basil pesto

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Scrub and thinly slice potatoes.  Toss potato slices with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper, and in a skillet, cook the potatoes 10-15 minutes, or until cooked and crisp on edges.
  3. Transport potatoes to a casserole-type dish, spoon in pesto, and toss to coat evenly.  Bake in oven for 10 minutes, or until brown on top.  Remove from oven, and carefully make wells in potato-pesto mixture.  Crack eggs in the wells, and top with salt and pepper.  Bake until eggs are set, 5 to 10 minutes.

Crispy Basil**

a handful of basil leaves and 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Carefully add half the basil leaves to the oil, and stand back while basil fries for about 30 seconds.  Once sizzling slows and the leaves have fried, remove basil with slotted spoon and lay on a paper towel covered plate.  Scatter crispy basil on top of the pesto-potato eggs and serve warm.

Finally, brunch isn’t complete without something sweet to top it all off. Coconut bread FOR THE WIN.

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Coconut Bread

Ingredients

2 large eggs
1 ¼  cups milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
5 ounces unsweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Spray vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray for baking pan

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix. Make a well in the center, and pour in egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add butter, and stir until just smooth — be careful not to overmix.
  3. Butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick spray. Spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
  4. Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Recipe adapted from Bill’s Café in Sydney.