Weekend Warrior

Happy Marathon Monday! Last year Alma and I were pounding 26.2 miles of pavement in Boston. Check out my 2009 Boston Marathon race recap! I have to admit, a part of me wishes I was running the marathon this year. But the other part of me still vividly remembers the hallucinations and dry heaves of miles 20-26. Heh.

Aside from that, it was a fun time! Really.

Want race weekend updates? Lucky for you, Running Shorts’ newest contributor, Geoff Decker, is reporting from beantown. Check out his latest articles:

I’ve been quite the weekend warrior these past few days – lots of running, cross-training, and yoga. I think I packed more into Fri, Sat, and Sun than I did all work week!

Weekend Workout Re-cap

  • Friday: 45 minute spinning class at my gym (loved the instructor!), stretching, and 3 x 60 second planks while reading a magazine. I am super lazy when it comes to strength training, but I’ve found that distracting myself with gossip magazines makes planks bearable. Core strengthening + arm strengthening + catching up on celebrity news = WIN.
  • Saturday: 11 mile run in about 1 hour, 35 minutes. 7 of these miles were with Alma! FYI: 95% of the time I don’t really know how fast or far I’m running. I usually assume I’m running 8:30-9:00 pace on easy days. I try to wear my Nike + for long runs, but the battery was dead on Saturday. Oops. Because of my Garmin-less existence, I expect a 1/4 mile margin of error for each run (i.e. the run is probably a little shorter or longer than I think). Despite my type-A personality, this doesn’t really bother me for some reason. I suppose that’s a good thing. I’ll roll with it. Downside of today’s run: My right IT band and hamstring were misbehaving. I iced, took ibuprofen, and stretched after the run. Cranky.
  • Sunday: 7 miles in 1 hour, 1 minute. 4.5 of these miles were with Sari 🙂 And then a 60 minute hot vinyasa yoga class with Katie and Agnes. Today I wore my old Asics 2150’s and some pre-wrap around my IT band. Marked improvement. Maybe the new lightweight trainers (Asics DS trainers) are causing some of the IT band issues? Will continue to monitor the situation.

Confession: I haven’t been very creative in the kitchen lately. I’ve been eating a lot of greek yogurt, peanut butter, and cookies. All delicious things, but not exactly blog-worthy. On Sunday I decided to make Smitten Kitchen-inspired roasted potatoes with romesco sauce. This recipe took about 90 minutes from start to finish (plus dish-washing!), so it’s not exactly quick, but it’s certainly delicious. And I have a ton of yummy romesco sauce to use all week long on top of eggs, bread, tofu, etc. I followed Smitten Kitchen’s directions exactly, but I made some substitutions when it came to the ingredients.

Megan’s Version: Crispy Roasted Potatoes with Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce

  • 5 ancho chiles 2 serrano chiles
  • 2 tablespoons raw almonds raw walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons blanched hazelnuts (or, you can rub their skins off once they are toasted and cooled)
  • 1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil 2 Tbs earth balance (for frying the bread and chilis) + 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (streamed into the sauce)
  • 1 slice country bread, about 1-inch thick 1 slice of Ezekiel sprouted grain bread
  • 1/3 cup canned San Marzano tomatoes diced tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 lemon, for juicing splash of lime juice (all we had in the fridge)
  • A splash of sherry vinegar balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt

Potatoes

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes 1 lb red potatoes + large carrot
  • 1/4 cup 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (I reduced the oil here – the recipe already contained A LOT of evoo)
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled 2 cloves of garlic, minced (added to the potatoes when I transferred them to the stovetop)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 springs thyme, plus 2 teaspoons thyme leaves omitted
  • 1 cup Romesco sauce (from above)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For recipe instructions, check out the original SK post!

Mmmm, grilled bread + toasted nuts + evoo + tomatoes. + garlic + chilies. Crispy potatoes. Heavenly.

romesco sauce

potatoes

potatoes and romesco

potatoes and romesco

A few days ago I received the offer to create my own personalized chocolate bars. I perused the Chocomize website and created some pretty yummy combinations. My first chocolate bar contained: Belgian dark chocolate, potato chips, pretzels, dried raspberries, and hazelnuts. This bar was inspired by my vegan “compost cookies”. Loved the sweet and salty flavors!

The second bar that I created was definitely my favorite. I combined Belgian milk chocolate, cardamom, dried tart cherries, dried coconut, and banana granola. This treat was inspired by one of my favorite baking projects ever – olive oil granola. Cardamom is definitely underrated. I love it!

chocomize

Once these chocolate bars are gone (which will be VERY soon), I am going to order some more. I think that they would make a really unique Mother’s or Father’s Day present! For a 10% discount, enter “runnerskitchen” into the coupon section of the checkout.

Freebie Alert: Head in to your local Origins store on April 22 (Thursday) when you can swap your empty bottle of face wash (any brand will do) for a brand new Origins full-size cleanser. (One per customer while supplies last.)

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite potato dish? Give me some crinkle cut french fries and I’m a happy girl 🙂

  • You can always run Boston again next year! Those potatoes look amazing!

  • Hasbrowns…definitely hasbrowns!!! Great weekend…you totally rocked some awesome workouts!

  • Lindsay

    I just started running in January and have been training for my first half-marathon next weekend (eek!). I’ve noticed with my longer runs that my right heel area has been sore… I thought it was my achilles tendon but it seems to be around the base of my heel? I’ve looked online to see what’s causing it but haven’t found anything. Have you ever experienced this before? I don’t know whether to ice it or what…

  • YUM. I love smitten kitchen! That woman is amazing…and those potatoes look delicious! I’ll take french fries any day of the week: either big fat english fish&chip shop style or teeny thin french style. LOVE.

    Woah to lots of running and working out. I ran 9 miles yesterday and was literally DEAD afterwards! Haha.

  • I too am a true “Type A” personality, so I’ve had those moments where I too had to roll with the lack of numbers and tracking. I am actually getting more accustomed to it now that I’ve had to focus on cycling rather than running. It’s a time to just appreciate how far your legs can take you 🙂

    Favorite potato dish– this is too hard. My nickname from my Grandpa was Idaho! These days, the favorite is probably sweet potato fries or roasted fingerling potatoes just plainly seasoned with sea salt.

  • Lindsay – I’m not a doctor or sports med expert, but I think ice might help your heel pain. Have you checked out the Runner’s World “What Hurts?” feature? http://www.runnersworld.com/channel/0,,s6-241-0-0-0,00.html

    That might help you figure out what’s causing the pain. Feel better!

  • Mmm that potatoe dish looks fantastic! I am right there with you on not being very creative in the kitchen lately. I keep promising that after my marathon in May I will recommit to some kitchen creativity.

    I love your Boston recap BTW – it was one of the first things I read on your blog when I found it! Maybe next year we can run it together (since I know you will qualify)! Or at least start together, cuz I wouldn’t be able to keep up with you! See how positive I’m being about my chances to qualify this year?! 🙂 Working on my confidence.

  • very impressed girl!

  • cardamom in chocolate? Interesting. I don’t think I’ve had that spice enough to know how it really is

  • Twice baked potatoes have to take the cake for me…

  • I am getting carpal tunnel from refreshing my tracking list for Boston. My boss is starting to notice.
    Those taters look banging, although I’m a little apprehensive about spending 90 minutes on tubers and sauce. Maybe for guests? I love this oily-roasty potato skillet dish with onions that my mom makes – with about two cups of ketchup and hot sauce on the side.
    AND I hope the IT clears up. This is runnin’ weather!

  • Mmmm…taters.

    Is it bad that my favorite is probably those lunch-lady tater tots? Like from a bag?

    Your recipe looks divine too, though. 🙂

  • I love weekends like that when I get to move to much! This weekend was kinda the opposite of yours and I missed the activities.

  • Elise

    OMG- love that customized chocolate bar site…I shared it with everyone I know and just created one for my sister as an engagement gift- such a great idea!!! Thanks for the discount too runnerskitchen 🙂 love it!!!

  • Claire

    Hi! I ran Boston today and totally thought about you…miles 20-26 (ok, let’s be honest here, 18-26) are death. I have never been in more pain than I was for the last 5 miles.

  • Jacqui

    That personalized chocolate bar sounds like a genius idea! There are so many situations and occasions for which that would be appropriate.

    P.s. I will single-handedly help you accomplish most of your summer goals. In particular, froyo eating and BEACHING. I love love love love love the beach. !!

  • Meghan

    My favorite is just a plain baked sweet potato 🙂
    if you ever really want to know your mileage you can go to mapmyrun.com. I use it to map out runs every once in a while, then pick one and head out. It’s free and you just click on the roads (it works better if you click follow roads). You might already know about the site, but I figured I’d mention it anyways! I really like your blog 🙂

    Meghan

  • Haha, love the magazine idea for getting through strength training. I suck at it too.

    My favorite potato dish hmmmm, probably a loaded baked potato OR truffle fries from my favorite place Blanc Burgers. Amazing.

  • Tammy

    thanks megan…just ordered two custom choco bars for my dad for his birthday! 🙂

    OH, and i love baked sweet potato!

  • Yikes, weekend warrior for real! Very impressive (and totally the opposite of how I roll–I work out during the week and use weekends as rest/lazy day)

    My absolute hands-down favorite potato dish is Spanish patatas bravas. I’ve never had a version of those yummy crispy potatoes and zesty sauce that I didn’t like 🙂

  • Hm, I’m a big fan of sweet potato casserole, hold the marshmallows. Maybe b/c it usually accompanies all the other delicious Thanksgiving dishes 🙂