Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tomato Chickpea Pesto Soup

Another great soup recipe from Runner's World!

Mmm, I love chickpeas! From the article:

"According to a study published in 2010 in the journal Appetite, participants who added half a cup of chickpeas to their daily diet ate less junk food and felt fuller compared with days they didn't eat chickpeas. Researchers credit the bean's fiber (11 grams per cup) for the healthy results. Cooked tomatoes provide the antioxidant lycopene, which studies show can protect skin from UV rays. Pesto adds a rich flavor, while basil contains anti-inflammatory antioxidants, says Dorfman. She also notes it's packed with magnesium, a mineral that regulates blood sugar."

This was super easy to put together. Michael's not a big soup person but he went back for seconds.


1/2 onion, diced (I used yellow)
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (I couldn't find fire-roasted, I just used regular crushed tomatoes)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup water
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt (I left this out, I normally leave out added salt when using canned goods as I don't ever think the recipe needs it)
1/2 tsp black pepper
Prepared pesto (I used Buitoni reduced fat)


In a pot, saute 1/2 a diced medium onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat till soft. Add 1 minced garlic clove; cook 30 seconds. Add one 28-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes and 1/3 cup water; bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. If you like a smooth soup, puree mixture in a blender. Transfer back to pot. Add one 15-ounce can drained, rinsed chickpeas. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Top each serving with a dollop of jarred basil pesto.

Rock & Roll Half Marathon Training: Week 2 complete

Last week's workouts:

Monday 2/20: Walk to/from work, power yoga class podcast (45 min)
Tues 2/21: 3 mi run + upper body strength training
Wed 2/22: Walked to work + 3 mi social run
Thurs 2/23: Rest
Fri 2/24: 3 mi run + walked home from work
Sat 2/25: Yoga class Rest, I had a horrible migraine/sinus headache
Sun 2/26: 10 mi run

Michael and I were sharing a car while his was in the shop, so I got some extra miles in the form of walking! Luckily the weather was really beautiful, perfect for being outside even though my allergies did not agree. (See Saturday's unplanned rest day.)

Sunday's run was tough, I wasn't feeling very motivated and it was super windy when we started. Michael had taken time off running since the Hot Chocolate race and this was the farthest he had run since high school. He was really struggling the last couple of miles. But we finished and managed to average a 10 minute pace.

This week's plans:
Mon 2/27: Power Yoga class
Tues 2/28: 3 mi run + strength training
Wed 2/29: 3-5 mi social run
Thurs 3/1: Rest
Fri 3/2: 3 mi run (I'll have to get motivated to do it after work, I have a dentist appointment before work)
Sat 3/3: Yoga class
Sun 3/4: 11 mi run

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rock & Roll Half Marathon Training: Week 1 complete

Last week's plans:
Sunday 2/12: Yoga for Runners podcast (25 min)
Monday 2/13: 3 mi run Rest
Tuesday 2/14: 3 mi run + Upper body strength training
Wednesday 2/15: 3 mi social run
Thursday 2/16: Rest or Detox yoga podcast (20 min)
Friday 2/17: 3 mi run
Saturday 2/18: 7 mi run Yoga class (1 hr)
Sunday 2/19: 7 mi run

Wednesday night's social run was great! I was feeling pretty anti-social (I had a headache coming on) and ended up running with an older gentleman who wasn't very talkative either, but we kept each other on a good pace. Turns out he was running a marathon this weekend and he has actually run marathons in 25 states! Very cool, I love that running is a lifetime sport. Afterwards, we had a massage therapist who worked on my shoulders and upper back, the perfect way to end the run.

However, Thursday I woke up with a migraine and while medicine helped, it came back with a vengeance Friday night. Saturday I woke up to storms and was still feeling woozy from my medicine so I skipped my run and went to yoga instead. Sunday I had a good run, I kept my pace pretty slow and just enjoyed being outside.

This week's plans:
Monday 2/20: Walk to/from work, power yoga class
Tues 2/21: 3 mi run + upper body strength training
Wed 2/22: 3 mi social run
Thurs 2/23: Rest
Fri 2/24: 3 mi run
Sat 2/25: Yoga class
Sun 2/26: 10 mi run

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hot Chocolate 15K Race Review

Last week's workouts:
Mon 2/6: Power yoga class
Tues 2/7: 3 mi run
Wed 2/8: 3 mi run (social run) + strength training
Thurs 2/9: Rest or yoga (Walked to and from work, ~2 mi)
Fri: 2/10: 3 mi run
Sat: 2/11: Race day! 9.3 miles

I was a little nervous going into the Hot Chocolate race for a couple of reasons. First, the race in Washington, DC got terrible reviews. But I have done other RAM races before so I was hopeful that the organizers had learned from their mistakes. Second, the weather took a turn for the cold on Friday and overnight lows were predicted to be about 25 degrees. In the early morning hours, Hot Chocolate even sent out an email encouraging 15K participants to switch to the 5K if their pace would be under 12 miles an hour. In addition, they added, the wind chill was about 19 degrees. Yikes!

But, hey, I've run in worse weather conditions (White Rock 2011 and Wounded Warrior come to mind), so Michael and I decided we would bundle up and still race. I wore my Athleta Streamline pants, a short-sleeve t-shirt and my favorite New Balance half-zip top with foldover mittens. I wore a Lululemon headband that is pretty wide so I could pull it down over my ears.

Our race morning started with a snafu that was completely my fault-- I thought I had set the alarm for 5:00 but had actually set it for 6:15. Whoops! We had planned on leaving at 7:00 so this did not leave much time to eat breakfast, drink coffee and digest but luckily we were able to get ready and hit the road by 7:15. We are pretty familiar with Fair Park so we took a shortcut that we knew of and didn't have to sit in any traffic to get to the race site. Parking was quick and easy (and free!) and we found the start line right as the 5K started.

We didn't get into our assigned corral because people were already moving and it didn't seem like the corrals were very strictly enforced. No matter, we got in with some L's and M's and it was no big deal. We were lining up in the same spot we had at White Rock but there were more entrances to get to the corrals, so no bottlenecks. The MC was great, he kept the crowd pumped and we started right on time!

The first couple of miles were super crowded and I was weaving in and out (walkers to the right, please!). No worse than any other big race I've done, though. Michael and I lost each other pretty quickly, which was fine because we hadn't planned on running the whole thing together.

The course was great, we went through the Fair Park area, up Swiss Avenue, through East Dallas and then back down Lindsley. It was surprisingly hilly; I know Swiss has a slope, so I knew we would have an incline there but I didn't realize how hilly some of the other sreets are! That coupled with the wind made it quite challenging, but it was still enjoyable. There were water and Gatorade stations every 2 miles and mile markers with the gun time at every mile. I took water and Gatorade at mile 4, then Gatorade at mile 8. I brought some Honey Stinger chews but didn't end up taking any. Not a lot of spectators were out, but this was the first year for this race and it was cold!

One last big hill (this one was a bridge) and we were back in Fair Park! There was good energy at the finish line, the MC was keeping the crowd lively and one of the officials was standing in the finish chute high-fiving everyone who came through.

Finish time: 1:25:46
5K split 28:07 (9:04 min/mile)
10K split 28:49 (9:18 min/mile)
Finish 28:49 (9:18 min/mile)

So you can see where I started out fast (which I knew I was doing) but the last two 5K's were exactly the same so I found a good pace. And since it was my first 15K, it's an automatic PR!

After I crossed the finish line, I got another small cup of Gatorade and a bottle of water, then headed for the chocolate party. The only thing I didn't like about the race was that the finish line was by where we had parked, but the afterparty was in the Automobile Building, on the other side of Fair Park! So it was at least a half-mile walk to get to our chocolate! I'm sure that was how it had to be done because of the way Fair Park is set up, but my legs were tired by this point! But I was determined to get my chocolate, so I headed to the building and got a platter of chocolate fondue. It was a plastic tray with apple slices, half a banana, two marshmallows and a pretzel rod. Somehow, I got a tray without a pretzel but one of the volunteers was nice enough to give me two. Then I got a scoop of chocolate sauce from another volunteer. The fruit was a little sad looking (cut fruit doesn't look too pretty after a while) but all I cared about were the marshmallows and pretzels anyway.

Around this time, Michael started calling my phone because he was ready to leave. He had finished just a couple minutes behind me and he found me quickly (shoveling chocolate covered marshmallows into my mouth, ha!). I saw some people with Ghiradelli squares, but Michael was anxious to leave so I just grabbed a hot chocolate (No lines! This is my kind of post-race party!) and we hiked back to the car. Now that we weren't running, the wind felt really cold again so the hot chocolate was great!

Sorry that was so long, but I was really impressed with everything about this race. I thought it was really well organized, great volunteers and I loved the post-race goodies!

Next up: Rock & Roll Half Marathon March 25!

This week's plans:
Sunday 2/12: Yoga for Runners podcast (25 min)
Monday 2/13: 3 mi run
Tuesday 2/14: Upper body strength training
Wednesday 2/15: 3 mi social run (I've heard rumors of a massage therapist afterwards!)
Thursday 2/16: Rest or yoga
Friday 2/17: 3 mi run
Saturday 2/18: 7 mi run

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Will Run for Chocolate

Last week's workouts:
Mon 1/30: Power yoga class
Tues 1/31: 3 mi run + strength training
Wed 2/1: 3 mi run
Thurs: 2/2: Rest or yoga
Fri 2/3: 3 mi run
Sat 2/4: Yoga
Sun 2/5: 9 mi run

Hey, I did good sticking to my plan this week! Nothing much exciting to report, I did all my weekday runs in the mornings, I couldn't make the social run this week because I had dinner plans. Those early morning runs sure do get boring! It's dark, I don't vary my route too much because there aren't a lot of streets that are lit and of course I'm by myself. Running with a friend or two makes a big difference! Plus, I'm really not a morning person so I kind of go on autopilot.

Any suggestions to make those morning runs a little more fun?

Michael and I had our last long run before the Hot Chocolate 15K next weekend! I'm excited for the new distance and the instant PR. And of course, the chocolate feast afterwards!

This week's plan:
Mon 2/6: Power yoga class
Tues 2/7: 3 mi run
Wed 2/8: 3 mi run (social run) + strength training
Thurs 2/9: Rest or yoga
Fri: 2/10: 3 mi run
Sat: 2/11: Race day! 9.3 miles