Beets and Borscht

On Sunday (yes, I realize it’s now Tuesday – bear with me) I did my long run in CP with two awesome  teammates. I began with a run from my apt to Columbus Circle (3.25 miles) and then ran another 11.4 miles with the ladies. According to Sarah’s Garmin we averaged 8:25 pace for the 11+ miles we did together. Faster than I expected! I was a little tired from Saturday’s 5k, but I think all the sleep I got the night before really helped with recovery. I was happy to get in a solid long run since last week I was at the beach and my miles weren’t as consistent as I would have liked. Total for the day 14.65 miles in 2:05:12 (about 8:30 pace). Less than 100 days till the big dance – training is gettin’ serious 🙂

Edited to add: Anthony Edwards was spotted not once, but TWICE on the bridle path Sunday morning.

Megan: I’m glad to see Dr. Mark Greene is running. He was lookin’ a little busted in his final season on ER.

Sarah: You mean like, when he had brain cancer?

After returning home and gobbling up some food, I was inspired to get creative in the kitchen. One of my favorite granola recipes has middle-eastern influences (pistachios, cardamom, olive oil – yum!) and since the weather has cooled off a bit, I decided that turning on the oven would be possible.

Middle-Eastern Granola

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups shelled pistachios (or your favorite nut)
  • 1 cup unsweetenend flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (note: I used agave and it made things a little too brown)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp each of salt, cardamom, and cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins (or your favorite dried fruit)

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 300 F, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat
  • Combine all ingredients EXCEPT raisins in a large bowl and mix until combined
  • Pour granola mixture onto baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Once granola is lightly browned, remove from oven, and mix in raisins (don’t bake the raisins – they’ll get dried out!)
  • When it is completely cool, store in tupperware container for 2-3 weeks

Next up – Borscht! What the heck is borscht? And why did I make it? Well, I had two weeks worth of CSA beets that needed to be eaten up ASAP, so making a big pot of Ukrainian Borscht (a.k.a. chilled beet soup) seemed to be a good solution.

Still on the fence about eating beets? Beet juice may be more effective than blood doping! Andy Jones, physiologist and advisor to Paula Radcliffe, discovered that a nitrate found in beet juice decreases oxygen uptake (a.k.a. the oxygen cost of workouts). The study compared performance after cyclists consumed 500 ml of beet juice for 6 days straight.  Another group consumed a placebo. The cyclists who consumed the beet juice were able to workout for 16% longer, equivalent to a 2% reduction in time over the same distance.  That means a 4-hour marathoner would be able to take 5 minutes of his time – just by consuming beets juice! The nitrates in beets can increase your endurance and shave minutes off your race times. Hello, new PR!

Anyway, where were we? Oh, right. Borscht.

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium beets, trimmed and peeled
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • cucumber, parsley, greek yogurt for serving

Directions:

  • In a large pot, bring the beets, onion, water, chicken stock, salt, and pepper to a boil and cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer, add sugar and lemon, and cook for 30 additional minutes.
  • Remove 1/4 cup of liquid from the pot and slowly stream in beaten egg. Once egg and 1/4 cup hot beet liquid have been incorporated, add the egg mixture back into the pot. This is called tempering and it prevents scrambled eggs in your soup 🙂
  • Allow soup to cool slightly and then remove the beets from the pot. Grate the beets into a bowl and then add them back to the liquid.
  • Chill for at least 4 hours and then top with cucumber slices, parsley, and thick greek yogurt.

Note: I also like to eat this soup hot with croutons and goat cheese – actually, I think I prefer it that way!

After a long run and some serious time in the kitchen (so.many.dishes) it was time for a little field trip. With marathon training in full swing, I was in need of a new pair of training shoes. I stopped by the best running store ever and tested out about 6 different shoes on the treadmill. I got a ton of personal attention and a detailed gait analysis – love The Running Company!

I walked away with my first ever pair of Brooks shoes (the Ghost 3) and a fancy schmancy set of CEP compression socks. Watch out roads, here I come!

Yesterday (Monday) was a rest day. It wasn’t entirely intentional, but I fell asleep after dinner (lights ablaze, still wearing work clothes) and did not wake up until 6:30am this morning. Evening run just didn’t happen – must have needed the rest! Luckily, I got myself out the door this morning for a longer effort. Stay tuned for details…

Need some racing advice? Check out my favorite tips on NYC Runs.

Okay, gotta go cross some things off my to-do list. Adios Amigos!

Question 1: What kind of running shoes do you wear?

Question 2: Favorite brand of granola? If you have a homemade favorite – share the recipe!

  • You are going to do SO WELL at the NYC marathon with training like this; rock on!

  • Ravenna Neville

    the Ghost 3 are great! I’ve been running in them all summer.

  • Katy

    Whoa! I just bought the Ghost 3’s this weekend too! Same color and everything. 🙂 I ran in them yesterday and had no problems at all! I might be in love!

  • I wear Brooks Ghost 2!

  • Ummm hey borscht lady – I just made gazpacho and chowed down on it for lunch! Take that 77% humidity!
    I wear Brooks too and I LOVE them. I wear the Adrenaline 9’s.
    Also: I made pistachio granola a few weeks ago and it was love at first bite!

  • Love the looks of the new shoes! For racing, the last two rounds I have had Asics DS Trainers. I love how light these are, but still very comfy for half-marathon distances.

    Have you had compression socks before? I’ve considered them, but since I’m long from a marathoner, I’m not sure how much of an aide they would be.

  • Anthony Edwards does a 6 miler in CP 3 days a week, I remember reading an interview with him in Runners World: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-243-410–13324-0,00.html
    Hope you like the new kicks! Let me know how you like the compression socks, I’ve never worn them!
    Lastly, which CSA do you belong to? Neat facts about the beets.

  • Those are my favorite brand of compression socks. They are amazing and I totally swear by them! I haven’t ever worn Brooks so I will be interested to see what you think of those. I am so inspired by your runs. I am trying to keep my head up since I am out of running commission right now. Thanks for still stopping by my blog though…I guess I kind of figured that without being able to run I wouldn’t be a regular blog for runner’s to check out. The fact that you still do really made my day!

  • @Nicole – I belong to the West Harlem CSA. It’s great! http://westharlemcsa.wordpress.com/

  • I wear the Adidas Equipments and I love them!!

  • Can’t wait to be Ghost-wearing, compression-socks-rocking twinsies 🙂

    I probably would not have recognized AE if y’all hadn’t pointed him out! Um, both times! (Stalker!!)

    Also, that granola is the SHIZ. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Maple syrup and olive oil. Sounds like an interesting combination!

    Which Running Company store do you go to? I need to get a new pair myself soon.

  • You missed the part about Dr. Greene giving me bedroom eyes on the second sighting. Be still my heart! I really want compression socks, but the thought of wearing anything extra in the summer makes me gag. I do wear zebra-print knee socks sometimes. I don’t think they do the same job.

    That borscht looks AMAZE. I’m not a huge granola fan. Do the bunches in Honey Bunches of Oats count?

  • I’m a Brooks Girl too – Adrenalines. I also just got my first pair of compression socks, though they’re not nearly as cool as yours. I got mine at Walmart in the pharmacy section. They’re beige. Yeah… not sexy, but at least they were cheap! 🙂

  • Eileen

    I love Anthony Edwards! That would definitely be a top celeb sighting in my book!

  • Katerina

    I am wearing asics at the moment, but i need new running shoes asap – birthday present here i come. i hate the taste of red beet – but maybe i should give it a second try…

  • Woohoo – can’t wait for the big dance! I just got some new Brooks Adrenaline’s and they are fab.

    This may be TMI, but about 14% of the population (myself included) experience something called beeturia when too many beets are consumed. In layman’s terms, it means your pee turns purple. So strange.

    aaand on that note, have a great day!

  • I went to a focus group for Brooks and have since fallen in love with them. I like that they come in wide widths. They gave us a free pair (Adrenaline GTS) and I LOVED them. They were great for running but also great for boot camp. I left them under my desk at work and went out of town for a week and they were gone. SO sad!

    I also have a pair of racing flats that I got just because they were on sale. I think I’m going to break down and get the Ghost 3. They look good!

  • I wear Pearl Izumi Fuels and I think it is just about time for a new pair! LOVE the Mark Greene sighting! I was a big ER fan back in the day

  • I don’t think I could get down a whole bowl ‘o’ beets, but I’ve slooowly started to incorporate them into my diet. I always assumed I wouldn’t like them, but they can be pretty tasty! Oh lord, my running shoes are so beat up…I need a new pair, stat!

  • I wear Sauconys. I got them at a store here in Chicago and I love them! Having a professional fitting makes a huuuge difference.

  • Carissa

    Dang. You fell asleep with the lights on!?!? Now THAT is tired. lol.

    I wear Brooks Trance 8s. I liked the 7s better, but it’s about time for some 9s to come out, right? I was an Asics chick for about 15 years and then they screwed something up and I was all, “no thanks, I like to move my feet!”. So I bought me some Brooks.

    Wahoo?

  • oooh that granola sounds so unique! here’s my all-time favorite version: http://www.thesweetslife.com/2010/02/best-ever-homemade-granola.html

    also–love the look of those shoes! I’ve never tried Brooks…lately I’m all about the Mizuno wave riders!

  • i *LOVE* the looks of that granola.