Sweet 16

As expected, I was a bit sore after my Thanksgiving race. I ran an easy 4 miles on Friday and then rested (and drank beer with friends!) on Saturday. Definitely a wise decision. After a wonderful 8 hours of sleep, I woke up on Sunday to sunny skies and a Starbucks misto. I followed that up with a pre-run bowl of oats:

  • 1/3 cup oatmeal, 2/3 cup water
  • chopped apple
  • 2 Tbs peanut butter
  • sprinkle of dried cranberries and chocolate chips

Misto and oats

After some digestion, I got ready to run! I had plans to do a long run, but rather than focusing on a distance at the outset, I decided to run by feel. The first 6 miles went by pretty fast. I had some great Black Eyed Peas tunes to keep me company and the weather was fabulous – 55 degrees and sunny. Miles 6-12 were also very relaxed, but I was starting to get a bit thirsty. Unfortunately the NYC Parks Dept shuts off the water fountains in the winter. I discovered this at mile 12. Bummer. Luckily, I had some cash and was able to buy a Gatorade to perk me up a bit. Unfortunately my $20 bill was quite soggy (sweaty). Dear Rite Aid cashier – sorry about that.

I ended up running 16 miles in 2 hours, 18 minutes (~8:40 pace). Yahoo! Also, just for kicks, I took note of my half-marathon time (13.1 miles) and it was 1:54:13 which is 22 seconds faster than when I “raced” the half-marathon back in October. I was really pushin’ it that day, so I think today’s (easy) effort is indicative of positive training gains. Plus my hamstring and IT band felt good! I had some weird twinges in my IT band when I started running clock-wise in the park (due to the tilt of the road), but all in all it feels a million times better than it did this summer.

I finished off my Gatorade and then grabbed a dark chocolate covered pretzel as soon as I walked in the door (salt + sugar!).


Then I put my feet up for 10 minutes to increase circulation and reduce inflammation. This is one of my must-dos after long runs (along with compression socks!).

Cute, eh?

long run legs

And then I wanted to eat my arm. Luckily I managed to throw together some eats before it got ugly.

I toasted up an Arnold whole wheat sandwich thin, added a black bean veggie burger, hummus, and a string cheese and chowed down. I like string cheeses just as much now as when I was 6. They’re fun to eat!

black bean veggie burger

More food required – celery stalks with goat cheese


And some ak-mak crackers with Sabra’s supremely spicy hummus. My favorite kind!


Surprisingly full of energy, I decided to get creative in the kitchen. Inspired by Robin Robertson’s Vegan Planet, I made maple-roasted root vegetables!

Vegan Planet

A small pour of red wine kept me company as I prepped the rutabaga, carrots, and sweet potato.

rutabaga, carrots, sweet potato

I followed the recipe pretty closely. The only adjustments I made were: substituted garlic for shallots, omitted turnips/parsnips and replaced with sweet potato, reduced the cooking time (my oven is HOT). I’m not going to post the recipe (copyright issues?), but if you say hi to Matt over at Eat With Me and ask really nicely maybe he can hook you up with the recipe.

roasted root veggies

Delicious! Served with some ketchup on the side. I devoured this plate and then had seconds.

roasted root veggies

And then for dessert, Alma was nice enough to bring me one of her Aunt Paula and Aunt Lauren’s famous chocolate chip cookies. I snapped this photo of the cookie after I had eaten most of it – it was delicious and gigantic! I think I detected hints of cinnamon? Loved it.

Aunt Polly & Aunt Lauren's chocolate chip cookie

Question: Have you ever eaten a rutabaga (or parsnip or turnip)? Tonight was the first time I ever prepared and cooked rutabaga at home and I liked it. I’m excited to try more seasonal produce.

In the News

The NY Times discusses the stigma of food stamps.

Do tight hamstrings = better running economy and faster 10K times? Yes, according to a recent study.

  • Glad you got into Robin’s book– it’s a good one so I’m happy that you enjoyed the recipe. If you want, I can give you copyright permissions to post HCP recipes on your blog– totally up to you, no pressure. I’ll put this recipe up for you on Eat With Me.

    To answer your question, I’ve been eating turnips like a madman lately. Mostly very young ones. They are a little bit sweet, require no cooking, and are a great snack.

    Man, I am such a fan of ak-mak crackers!

  • Congrats on the amazing run! I know what you mean about the water fountains, I discovered that unpleasant surprise a while back. I also know what you mean regarding having soggy, sweaty cash. Ah, the quirks of running.

    That oatmeal looks really delicious (cranberries + chocolate chips= heaven). I love maple roasted anything. I’ve not had a turnip in ages, but I would like to incorporate them back into my veggie repertoire.

  • Congrats on an awesome run!

  • I’ve never tried a turnip before, but I parsnips and rutabagas rock and I ate more than my fair share when I lived in England! I usually roast thin slices/quarters of parsnip with a bit of vegetable oil and a drizzle of maple syrup, and make rutabaga by boiling it with carrots, then mashing it all up with some orange juice, orange zest, and a good pour of honey.

    Glad to see your IT band has stopped tantrumming–nothing more frustrating to a runner than nagging injuries.

  • Kristin

    I’ve never had roasted turnips before, but we make mashed turnips for Thanksgiving every year–they’re really flavorful and actually pretty good for you. I like them even more than mashed potatoes!

  • Awesome run!
    I’ve had a turnip, or a parsnip, I can’t remember which one. I think my mom prepares them like sliced carrots and I like to top them with salsa

  • Parsnips are amazing! I love them! As a child I was not a fan but they are amazingly sweet, yet still have that root veggie flavour. Roasted = best.
    Congrats on a pain-free 16 miles! You are a rock star!

  • Nice work on the 16 miles!! Are you training for a marathon or just getting back in to longer runs??

  • I loved the article you posted from the NY Times about stretching. I am a marathoner as well and I always love seeing articles that comfirm what I already think! I am not the best stretcher but I have always thought that too much stretching was not always beneficial anyway! Also congrats on the run! You rock!

    Question: what brand of compression socks do you use? I have found myself really liking the ones from CEP. http://myhealthypassion.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/my-funny-socks/

  • Awesome run! Your eats look great as well… can’t beat Sabra Supremely Spicy Hummus. I’ve been loving roasted veggies lately – I need to try rutabaga.

  • Great run! I’m an ITB sufferer myself, so I can sympathize with the painful curves in the road (I plan the last few miles of all my long runs to take place on straightaways). And delicious-looking post-run fuel! Made me hungry — no long run needed!

  • Megan – I’m not training for another marathon (yet!) although it sure is tempting…I think my plan is to focus on 1/2 marathons and 15Ks this winter & spring and try to stay injury-free for the NYC Marathon next November.

    Kelly – I’m not sure what brand of compression socks I have, but they are black and are from Jack Rabbit Sports in Manhattan. I’ll have to check out the ones you mentioned…

  • i am cooking with parsnips as i type this :). roasted parsnips + balsamic vinegar make a stellar pairing.

    you are a serious running machine. i really do not know how you do it. i bow down to you.

    love you lady – have a fab week!

  • I, too, found out the NYC Parks Dept. shuts off the water fountains in preparation for the colder weather while I was out for a long run. Unfortunately, it wasn’t winter yet! I’m not sure how it was in Manhattan, but all of the parks near me in Queens had their fountains turned off right after Labor Day. Yeah, it was still hot then…

    Congrats on getting back to your longer runs!