Featured Food: grilled veggies!

Towards the end of my last training cycle, I started getting pretty bored with my usual eats. I am a full-on creature of habit when it comes to food and I can go weeks or months on pretty much the same meals and snacks, but there comes a time when my diet needs an overhaul!

By the time race day arrived, I did not even want to look at steel cut oat or brussels sprouts.

After a post-marathon week(+) of celebratory indulgences, I was excited to get back on track with a healthy diet. I also knew that it was time to mix things up and try some new things in place of my standard fare.

Now that it’s BBQ (hehe) season, I treated myself to a new toy: a grill basket! I absolutely love grilled vegetables and I have no idea why I have not owned one previously.

It’s super quick &  easy to chop up a ton of veggies in big chunks, toss with some olive oil and salt & pepper and throw them into the basket. I place it on the grill on low for about 20 minutes, shaking a few times and turning the entire basket over once or twice.

veggie goodness!

And voila, a big pile of delicious grilled vegetables – the perfect addition to any meal! I’m loving these and it’s been a delicious and easy way to mix things up.

The best part is that they taste even better (in my opinion) cold! I’ve been bringing leftovers on a bed of spinach for lunch, with a splash of vinaigrette and some chickpeas for added protein. De-lish!

I’m planning to make this Grilled Vegetable Quinoa Salad tomorrow! (thanks Kelly for the recommendation!)

Do you eat grilled veggies? Any ideas for me?

When 10 miles feels long

Isn’t it funny how 10 miles feels short at the end of a training cycle, but can seem so long just a few weeks later? Here we are two weeks post-race and I wanted to put in a long-ish run over the weekend. When going from a spring to fall marathon, there’s not a whole lot of time between training cycles since the races are 4-5 months apart as opposed to 6-7 months from a fall to spring marathon. Since training will start again in no time, I knew I couldn’t slack off on the distance for much longer.

I decided I’d like to run about 10 miles, but it just seemed soooo far. I wasn’t feeling too enthusiastic about it on Saturday morning… luckily hubs was coming with me and I knew I just had to suck it up and I’d probably definitely feel better if I did it.

Anyway, we headed out Saturday morning for this looooong run. We went to our favourite spot and I was immediately more enthused about the run once we got started on those familiar trails.

We followed the path north where the pavement ends and took to the real trails for the majority of our run. It was so quiet and peaceful and before I knew it, we were almost done. Hubs went on to run a few extra so I took the opportunity for a self-photo shoot.
It still felt a lot longer than the distance would have a couple weeks ago, but it was nice to get some decent miles on my legs again. I’m definitely ready to get back into the swing of things and start feeling like a marathoner again. 


Few things on Friday

1. I am enjoying limbo land right now – while I do have a recovery “training” schedule, I am mostly using it as a guideline and just running if/when I feel like it. I’m still feeling a little bit worn out and run down (the week of debauchery may have contributed to that…), so I am definitely giving myself the time I need to recover. I also know I need the mental break as much as the physical one. That being said, hubs has been working away at my next training schedule and I’m kind of excited to get started. In due time…

2. Last night we had our end-of-season social with the running group. Someone was kind enough to host all 50++ of us in her house, where we enjoyed all kinds of food, drinks and laughs. Coach Don also put together an epic slide show with photos from throughout the season – it was fun to look back on all those cold and snowy Sunday morning runs, countless races and of course our “runches.”

And there was cake!!!
Lots of cake…

3. I hope all of my friends south of the border have a fantastic long weekend! We had ours last week, but I could really go for another one…

Back to reality

Hubs and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves during our post-marathon celebration. It was indulgent, to say the least! There were so many foods and drinks that I had been craving in the days weeks leading up to the race when I was trying to keep my diet as clean as possible, and I was definitely ready to treat myself when the time came.

But enough was definitely enough and after a week 9 days of never saying no, I am ready to clean things up again! I have been suffering from constant gut-rot and it got to the point where I was hardly even tasting the food anymore. I believe I’ve mentioned before that I have issues with the concepts of self-control and moderation.

So it’s time to get healthy again! A trip to the produce section was in order.

It’s good to be back in my usual routine with a healthy diet and I feel soooo much better already. 

What are your favourite post-race indulgences?

About Boston…

Incase you didn’t hear, hubs and I qualified for Boston last weekend! :)

To answer the most frequently asked question, no it has not fully sunk in yet. In a lot of ways, I didn’t think this would ever be my story to tell. 32 months ago I ran my first marathon in 4:42. I was proud of that – I still am – but I never thought I would be a sub-4:00 marathoner, let alone a Boston Qualifier.

I remember back in October 2009 when I ran the last few kilometres of the Toronto Marathon with a good friend who was qualifying for Boston for the first time. I ran beside her and got the crowd all riled up, shouting “THIS GIRL IS GOING TO BOSTON!” It was such a joy to share that moment with her, and I knew then and there that one day I wanted to experience that for myself.

So about Boston…

Things changed this year, with the new rolling registration procedure. When the news came out back in February, I was just starting to think that a BQ could be within the realm of possibility for me this year. I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t devastating at the time – I felt that dream slipping farther out of reach.

All I could do was my best. That BQ was incredibly important to me, whether it would lead me to Boston 2012 or not. I wanted it, I worked for it and I got it. I crossed that finish line with a BQ time and minutes to spare, screaming and cheering and crying as though I had won the race; it felt like I had.

It is admittedly a little disheartening that I didn’t get to say: “I’m going to Boston!” The reality is, I don’t believe there is a very good shot that I will actually get in with my time. 3:37 simply may not be good enough for Boston… but it’s good enough for me. For now. 😉

I’m nowhere near finished yet.