Thursday, July 18, 2013

Run to Eat, Eat to Run

     This morning I woke up sore again from the brutal beating I've been putting my body through lately.  I started the Insanity program a few weeks ago when it got too hot to run.  I've been enjoying Insanity, but I have been missing my runs.  Running is an excellent way to clear my mind and meditate on anything that's bothering me.  It also gives me time to simply reflect on anything and everything that comes to mind.  The thing is, though, I have to convince myself to get out there.  The heat has been a good excuse to not go, but at the cost of my mind becoming cluttered and chaotic since it wasn't being "cleaned out" on a regular basis.

    The other night, J had taken Monkey to the store with him while I stayed behind to finish up my grocery list and do a few chores around the house.  I had just finished and decided to check the mailbox.  Inside I found a note from my sister, encouraging me to not give up running.  She had also included a 10K bumper sticker for my car to celebrate making it through the Couch to 10K program.  I grinned from ear to ear when I saw that sticker.  It reminded me of how far I've come.  It got me excited, and it made me want to go farther.  I found myself racing around the house, grabbing my tennis shoes, throwing on some jogging shorts, and racing out the door for my first run in 6 weeks.  And you know what?  I beat my last mile time by a minute and a half.  I felt amazing, and I felt my form improving.  I have Insanity to thank for that.  Shaun T, the insane man in the video screaming at you to "dig deeper", emphasizes using your core to workout.  The few weeks of doing his workouts have taught me how everything should come from the core.  You lift your knees with the core, instead of just throwing them around.  You keep your balance with your core.  You keep your body in line with your core.  The thing is, I never truly found my core before I did these workouts.  Now that I know what it means though, I can't imagine how I made it this far in running without knowing how to use my core.  It makes running so much easier, and it helps you achieve that good runner's form much more naturally.

   Since that night, I've adopted a new goal.  My sister and I have been talking about doing a Half Marathon for a while now, but I guess I never really thought about it.  The other night, after that awesome run, I came up with a plan.  My husband has this book, the Navy Seal's Guide to Fitness and Nutrition, and it happened to be next to the bed when I was looking up training programs for a Half.  Inside I found a program that helps you get to running 40 miles a week in nine weeks.  From there you go on to another program to help you run a half marathon in 12 weeks.  I did the math on my calendar and found that if I start this week, I will finish just in time for the Woman's Half Marathon in Baton Rouge this year.  Here's the first program if you're interested in trying it:

Weeks 1 & 2:
Monday:          4 mile run
Tuesday:         Cross Train (I'm going to keep doing Insanity)
Wednesday:    5 mile run
Thursday:       3 mile run
Friday:           Cross Train
Saturday:        3 mile run
Sunday:          5 mile run
Total: 20 miles per week

Weeks 3 & 4:
Monday:        5 mile run
Tuesday:        Cross Train
Wednesday:   5 mile run
Thursday:      5 mile run
Friday:           Cross Train
Saturday:       5 mile run
Sunday:         5 mile run
Total: 25 miles per week

Weeks 5 & 6:
Monday:       5 mile run
Tuesday:       Cross Train
Wednesday:  6 mile run
Thursday:      6 mile run
Friday:          Cross Train
Saturday:       6 mile run
Sunday:         6 mile run
Total: 29 miles per week

Weeks 7 & 8:
Monday:       7 mile run
Tuesday:       Cross Train
Wednesday:  7 mile run
Thursday:      8 mile run
Friday:           Cross Train
Saturday:       5 mile run
Sunday:         8 mile run
Total:  35 miles per week

Week 9:
Monday:        6 mile run
Tuesday:        Cross Train
Wednesday:   8 mile run
Thursday:       8 mile run
Friday:           Cross Train
Saturday:        8 mile run
Sunday:          10 mile run
Total:  40 miles per week

    Okay, so I'm tired just typing all that.  It is a bit overwhelming to think about doing two 8 mile runs back to back, or an 8 mile run followed by a 10 mile run, but I have to remember that there was once a time when repeatedly running 30 seconds then walking 1 minute for a total of 30 minutes was overwhelming.  Baby steps.  That's what got me this far.

    Yesterday I read an awesome comic all about running.  It was hilarious, and y'all should really check it out.  I completely identified with the author, especially when he talks about how he runs so he can eat.  (I'm typing this as I'm devouring a slice of Green Tomato Bread).  Reading it I got a sense of, "Yay! I'm not the only one."  And I loved his "Blerch", the being that basically follows you around, trying to convince you to go home and eat cake instead of run.  My own Blerch is very loud, and rather manipulative.

    At any rate, I've learned a lot from running, not just physically, but mentally as well.  I've learned to face things that are hard.  I've learned endurance.  I've learned patience.  I've learned how good it feels to reach impossible goals.  I've even learned that no goal is truly impossible.

   For those of you who simply come here for the food (I don't blame you), thank you for putting up with my ramblings on running.  I do have an amazing meal I want to share with y'all.  It comes from one of my Paula Deen magazines (Yes; I still love her!).  This meal was quick and simple, but looked and tasted amazing!

Pork Cutlets with Rosemary Dijon Sauce, Balsamic-Roasted Potatoes, and Steamed Asparagus 
Pork Cutlets with Rosemary Dijon Sauce
1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS fresh minced rosemary

Cut pork into 1" slices.  Place pork between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and flatten to 1/2" thick with a meat mallet .  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Cook pork, in batches if necessary, 3-4 minutes per side or until browned.  Remove from skillet and set aside.  Add cream, mustard, and rosemary to skillet.  Scrape brown bits from bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.  Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer.  Add pork back to skillet, turning to coat with sauce.  Cook for 5-6 minutes or until sauce is thickened.  Serve immediately.

Balsamic-Roasted Potatoes
2 lbs red potatoes, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 onion, quartered
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 TBS balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450, and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  In a large bowl, toss potatoes and onion with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread on baking sheet in a single layer.  .  Bake for 20 minutes.  Drizzle with vinegar.  Bake an additional 4 minutes.
*I started these first and cooked the pork while these were in the oven.

Steamed Asparagus
1 lb asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup water
3 TBS butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt

Place asparagus and water in a microwave-safe dish.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes or until tender-crisp.  Drain well; transfer to serving platter.  In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium.  Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.  Stir in salt.  Drizzle butter mixture over asparagus.
*I did this part in the last 4 minutes that the potatoes were cooking so they'd still be nice and warm to serve.

I hope y'all enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. 10k is half way to 13.1! We've got this in the bag! :) Love you so much, and I'm glad that sticker put a smile on your face. You've worked super hard for it!