Friday, 31 May 2013

Quick and Creamy Basil Ravioli

I had this for lunch today and I thought it was too tasty not to share...

Take some ravioli, I'm too lazy to make it so I just buy some frozen. In this case I used some Butternut squash ravioli that I found in Whole Foods (1 serving).
Add the ravioli to boiling water and allow to cook until all of the ravioli float.

Meanwhile roast some pine nuts (1/4 cup) on a dry hot frying pan, tossing regularly.

Turn off the heat, add a teaspoon of minced garlic, a tablespoon of cream cheese (I used vegan Toffutti) and a small bunch of chopped/shredded basil. Allow the cream cheese to become a little melty add the pasta and mix altogether....viola an easily tasty lunch that takes at most 10 minutes to cook.

Track lovin, hard running...

Another late run this evening...I headed to the track at USC which is really close to my house. A fast(ish) 3 miles were on the books as my long suffering roommate was nice enough to come watch me run. Well be my bodyguard was more like it. Again I was overstuffed with food running, but I didn't vomit once (yay me). I actually really enjoyed the run especially with the beautiful skies I got to see, as the sun set.

Feeling the pressure of having someone watch/wait on me made me run a bit faster, I did 3 miles in 27.09 mins...not even close to my fastest 5K pace, but ok considering I haven't tried to run fast in quite some time. By the time I was done the track looked more like this ----->

I was a little bit sore this morning, so I put 1/2 a scoop of whey powder in my porridge..ideally I should have really had it straight after I ran, but I figure better late than never. I've use the Optimum Nutrition Whey before and it really helps with muscle soreness. I topped of my porridge with some banana and a teaspoon of maple sirup, yummy!

So this week I have just one run left, a 6 mile long run...ekkk. I haven't run a full 6 miles since I did the Cooper River Bridge Run in early April. This run is gonna be tricky, I going camping to Table Rock State Park in upstate South Carolina this weekend. I'm not sure but I'm almost certain that its going to be very hilly around there. I'll report back on Monday but all I probably be able to do is whimper and type the word ouch!!!

The plan is to get up early (because I'm so good at that, insert sarcasm here) and then have the rest of the day to explore with the puppy. The one plus is that it should be a few degrees cooler up there than in Columbia. I just have to remember to DRINK and haul some ass! Wish me luck.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Week One: Marathon Training commences

So the long awaited marathon training has begun. My plan for this week is 3 miles Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and a long run of 6 miles on Saturday. I completed the 3 mile run easily enough yesterday although I did it in the evening instead of the morning as planned. Ironically I didn't go in the morning because I woke up in the middle of the night sweaty and dehydrated. I also happened to be out of bottled water (I hate the taste of chlorine) and didn't make the time to get any all in the end I was dehydrated and running in 31 degree (somewhere in the high 80s in F) weather. STUPID girl.
I did manage to find some nice streets to run on.
This morning I got up tired but feeling ok and went for a swim with my new gym membership to the Strom Thurmond gym at USC. I mostly swam with my arms, trying to work on those while saving my legs for later.
  *One plus from running...I did indulge myself a little today. I had a gorgeous savory crepe (Potatoes, Swiss cheese, Spinach and Tomatoes) AND I shared a nutella and banana crepe with one of my buddies...just amazing!*
Learning from my mistakes yesterday I decided to prehydrate for this evenings run. I had the orange flavor Ultima Replenisher (reviewed here) before I even went out for a run (it was yummy) as well as lots of water.I didn't get out to run til after it was almost dark (remember reflective gear people). I had a 'little' nap after work, rather than fight tiredness all evening,which turned into a big nap. So its now 10:30pm and I've just finished a cup of edamane as my dinner. I think I need to work on my hydration strategies and my time management more.

p.s I hate the waste that goes with buying bottled the idea of paying someone for something that should be for the most part freely available. I do plan to get one of those filters you can attach to a tap...I have no idea which type any suggestions?

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Review: Ultima Replenisher

Lets start with some harsh truth I don't like drinks unless they contain fizz or alcohol. Somehow I don't think slugging down Coke Zero as I run is going to get me around the marathon. I've tried numerous electrolyte drinks and gels. I've hated them all. They are all loaded with sugar, gloopy or just taste awful. I know that sugary is not necessarily bad when running a marathon but I would like to feel like I'm not going to vomit from the overload, or choke as a glob of it sits in my throat.
I know from reading that its good to train with the drinks and fuel you plan to use to run the marathon. I've been keeping an eye on the blog for the Asheville Citizen Times marathon (which I'm registered for) and was curious when they announced that the course supplied drink was going to be something I've never heard of, Ultima Replenisher. I don't like anything I've had before, so why not try this stuff. I looked everywhere I went and eventually I found 1 serving sachets in Whole Foods, great because I didn't want to be stuck with a huge tub of it if I didn't like it. I got all the flavors they stocked in my local store.
I've tried the lemonade and orange flavored ones so far. 1 sachet (0.15 oz) makes up to 12 fl.oz of electrolyte drink.

 It has no sugar, its sweetened lightly (from the taste) with Stevia and best of all for a weight watcher like me it has only 10 calories but all the electrolytes I need.
I've got the carbs end covered by something else for long runs (will review later). For me this is the perfect drink, I can take this on all my runs, long and short without worrying about all the sugar I'd be loading up on. The flavor is very light on the lemonade one and orange, in a nice way. It might be different with the other flavors, I'll update as I try them. In short its light, it does the job and it doesn't make me want to puke, what more could you ask for. I think I might be in love!

Ultima FAQs here:

Note: I am not endorsed by or supplied with or otherwise linked with any product I review on my blog. I don't promote things I don't like so I will be honest about anything I do review. If I do receive any products to review (not gonna happen) or I am in any way compensated for promoting anything I will declare it!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Sunny Saturday...long(er) runs and a picnic

Today started off as it usually does..early with a puppy crying to go outside! Then my Saturday routine commences.
Weight Watchers weigh in followed by a nice breakfast (don't worry the irony of that is not lost on me at all). Now that Saturdays are gonna be long run days..I need the fuel, at least that's what I tell myself.

Then some shopping, home to change and pick up the puppy. After taking forever to find and load everything and we're off to Sesqui Park, a beautiful pine forest here in Columbia.
Its a bit of a different place to run as in its trails are not paved but not quite as rough as some of the others I've seen...these are nicely graveled. I choose a 2 mile loop around the lake, while my roomies went for a walk together.

 I did OK I'd love to say that I powered around but no I didn't. I sweated A LOT but did better that I thought, possibly due to a drink I was trying out (will review in another post). It was fun to lap my roommate who was walking in the opposite direction and I'm pretty sure all those other people I lapped thought I was either a sweaty mess or awesome, ha ha!

All was going good only walked after my first lap for a few seconds. I agreed meeting my roommate on the second lap to finish wherever I met her on the third one and we'd walk back together as a cool down. I was rocking out to PINK starting my third lap and I got a case of runners belly (I'm not even gonna explain that). I've been prone to this before on longer runs and knew this was not the time to be a hero, it wasn't going to go away. Roommate and dog just had to make it back themselves, I turn and hightailed it back to the restrooms. As I walked back I'm pretty sure a few people thought I was in labor as I bent over to ride out the awful stomach cramps. Lets say I made it back but I might pack some bathroom paper just in case next time....pine needles might be a bit rough.

Soooo a short time later, feeling better it was time for a picnic. Carefully staying downwind of my roommate (because I was sweaty), I had a nice lunch and an almost nap in the sun. I think the puppy enjoyed this part most. What a great way to spend Saturday.
This is my last run before starting marathon training offically. From now on I run Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursadays, Saturdays (long) and crosstrain Sundays. I'm not so sure about the cross training bit but it'll probably consist of swimming or yoga..something stretchy and low impact to counteract all the pavement pounding. Hopefully over the next few months I'll magically transform into a skinny, graceful running machine.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Run away the stress

I came home today on the point of tears...I wasn't sad (well not really) it was more like sheer frustation. So after a quick dinner I broke out the lawn mower and mowed for about an hour and a half.  Then the little man in my life (my dog) went to the park with myself and my room mate, while she walked him and worked on some training (he's still a puppy) I ran two miles. By the time all that was done I was exhausted and the best part of my evening is gone BUT I came home with a smile on my face.A very different me to only a few short hours beforehand.
So feeling stressed, angry, frustrated maybe a little sad...sometimes a good workout will help distract your mind and invigorate your body!

Darkness falling...time to go home!

Considered a dip in the cool water

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Evening Run

Nice gentle run tonight...just enjoyed it. Ran at any old pace and stopped along the way to take some pics. Its been a miserable day here with one huge thunderstorm this I set out with grey skies hoping it wouldn't rain on me.

However those grey skies played to my advantage with the temperature only hovering at 23 degrees Celsius. I did a nice easy run across Blossom Bridge here in Columbia.

 I finally found the entrance to the lovely River Walk there. Then turned around to high tail it home before it got dark. I got most of the way there before an old knee injury started to niggle (not so old after all). But what really pulled me up short was the MASSIVE blister developing on my left ankle and the underneath of my left foot...don't look at the next pic if blood grosses you out. That folks is why you should always wear well fitting shoes. These happen to be a pair I'd never really worn but brought over from Ireland anyhow. Lets just say I won't be wearing these again as they obviously aren't a good fit. Hey it might be stupid but it makes me look pretty hardcore!

Summer Fruit Tofu Smoothie

Really easy to make and full of protein.  A friend pointed me in the direction of silken tofu for the time I thought she was being weird but its tasty!


1/3 cup     Orange Juice
5               Large Strawberries
Small handful of grapes
1/3 cup     Frozen Raspberries
1              Banana
1/3 cup    Silken tofu

And blend until smooth. As you can see I don't have a fancy smoothie-maker an old fashioned food processor does the job too. Yummy for breakfast...especially here where the mornings are so warm.

Monday, 20 May 2013

hellloooo! testing :)

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