Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Trot!

Here's our Thanksgiving morning.

We've been training for a while to run a 5K (the boys and I since June)... and we've been very close to actually doing a race for a couple months but for one reason or another we had to opt out. Thankfully yesterday that wasn't the case. We registered at the beginning of the week knowing full well there was a terrible cold front scheduled to move in that morning... but we were determined to say the least!

We were up at 5am (well, Daddio and I were) watching the news and drinking a cup of coffee, and were so relieved when the weather lady said that the front was stalled and wouldn't be here till around 9:00am... PERFECT our race started at 8:00am, we would be done before it came in, and it was currently 70 degrees, so even if it dropped a few before 9:00 it would still be really nice. The boys were up at 6:00 for their breakfast and coffee milk (yeah, we are nice on special days :-), and 6:45 we were ready to get in the car to head downtown. I went out to take care of a few thing before we left... and guess what... the front was already blowing in. OH YEAH!

Upon parking the car at the Trinity River, our car thermometer read 47 degrees... oh and did I mention the slight drizzle... NICE!! We were a little early so Andy ran down to the registration table to get us checked in while we waited in the car. Oh I should also mention that while the boys were in long running pants, Daddio and I opted for shorts (well I was wearing my running skirt... which I wish I could live in because it is so comfy with it's built in shorties)... and a light running jacket! Andy makes it back with our numbers, we pin them all on and we are starting to get hyped up about the race... car thermometer is now at 43 degrees. Oh and I mention the wind, yes the wind had picked up to a pretty fierce strength coupled with the drizzle was making for NICE conditions!!

Alright, we are dangerously close to race time... and I need to find the ladies room... which turns out to be a port-a-potty with no toilet paper... NOT NICE. Jog back up hill to the start line and get ready! The boys were excited, Daddio was excited, I was a little nervous. I hadn't had the best few weeks of training, and was really not sure I could run the whole thing which was my overall goal... that and running it in under 40 minutes! Thankfully Daddio had picked a smaller race for the metroplex... they have several Turkey Trots around town, and this one probably had about 200 runners on the start line that had the choice of a 5K or the 8mi, and based on the chatter it was about half/half for the group.

START! And we're off. The boys decided they were going to stay with Daddio's pace (about a 10-11 minute mile), but if they got tired they could fall back and finish out with me. With the smaller crowd and well marked course we felt like they could manage a few minutes until I caught up with them... thankfully that was not needed they are MACHINES! By the time I hit the 1 mile marker I could no longer see them, which was fine... I don't mind running alone, but I was having to get used to not having my music while I run. Andy told me I couldn't run with my earphones in because it was bad form in a race... thankfully the the river was pretty with the ducks and what not.

Since I was not running with the rest of my family, because they are awesomely fast, I can't really give you any insight into how they did... but as for me, I fell into a nice pace, and willed myself to NOT WALK. It was cold, and getting colder, the wind was cold and fairly biting, and then there was the drizzle. Thankfully it came in spurts so that you weren't completely saturated, but I definitely had a cold sheen on my exposed legs. What I can tell you about men happened at the turn around... apparently Bubba asked if he could run faster at some point, and Daddio gave him the go ahead thinking he would wear out and fall back in step with them... but Daddio hasn't run too much with Bubba and didn't realize the kid is an energizer bunny... so Bubba ran ahead, missed the turn around for the 5K portion and continued on the 8 mile trail. Poor Daddio and several other runners tried yelling to get his attention but he was in the ZONE! By the time Daddio spirited up and caught him and got turned around and back on track we think they ran an extra 1/4 mile! Bobcat and Snooker made the turn and made a bee line for the finish line (the turn around was naturally at the 1.5 mile portion). Daddio figured that they would stop or walk and he would catch up to them. NOT THE CASE!

Bobcat and Snooker finished the race in under 33 minutes. We aren't sure of the official time yet, it hasn't been posted but they received 2nd and 3rd place in their age bracket (and received the cutest turkey trophies you've ever seen)! When I made it to the turn around, that was when Daddio and Bubba made it back to where they got off course... and blew past me! Did I mention Bubba is MACHINE! They crossed the finish line in just under 35 minutes... impressive with the detour... but poor Bubba did not win a trophy. Trust me, for this ultra competitive kid it was heart breaking. He cried the whole way home, through the shower, and for another hour while he just laid in bed while the rest of us got ready for Thanksgiving!

As for me, I finished in 39:09 minutes... and I ran the entire way! While I certainly wasn't fast, with an average pace of a 13 minute mile, I accomplished my two goals... I ran the whole way and was under 40 minutes. No trophy for Daddio or me... but the woman I came in right behind received one, and I'm pretty sure I was in her age bracket... so I feel pretty good about my results!

So we get back to the car... and the temp is 35!

We are all ready to do another one, especially Bubba... poor kid wants to win a trophy :-).

And that was our exciting Thanksgiving morning :).

Have a lovely weekend,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Near and dear!

What's near and dear? FOOD! I like food, and as I've aged... I appreciate food more and more. I enjoy natural flavors, and am learning how to cook in a whole new way compared to the way I grew up. Now, I love the food I ate growing up, but it was sort of a simple set of meals (tasty to me, weird apparently to others, but that is another post).

While I won't claim to being a great cook, there are a few things I feel like I do well... and my confidence is growing in the kitchen... which is weird to say because I've always loved being in the kitchen and cooking, just I've always had a fear of the unknown recipe or food/spice...

Thankfully my dear husband, and his bravery with food (and nearly stainless steel stomach) pushed me to step out on the ledge once we got married. Then came kids, bravery 0 again and easy won out for a good while... falling back on my old tried and trues from growing up. Last but not least, the newest member of our little family, Celiac disease, entered the picture a few years ago and back out on the ledge I was tossed.

Truth is, it was time for a shake up... and weirdly enough (because I refuse to admit it) I was ready for a change! Out went wheat, most cans, lots of frozen things, all boxes, and little packets... in came lovely colors, fresher things, and higher grocery bills... and a need to change my thinking on how food will be cooked in my kitchen!

No, every week I'm not adventurous... I have come up with new tried and trues to make it through the days I'm uninspired (hopefully I'm not the only one who has a hard time cooking when what I'm cooking doesn't seem to be what I want... I know, add it to my list of things to offer up). Sometimes, though, I will have a rough plan for a meal and have lots of fresh things but it doesn't come together until that day... enter TODAY!

A meal we all like around here that can have a plethora of combinations is taco bowl night. The choices range from the different veggies to throw in, rice, tortilla chips... to meat, ground beef, steak of some random cut, or chicken. Tonight it will be chicken... but how to season, that is always a predicament for me. Growing up we used one thing... Tony's... and while it is GF, my family likes other flavors... oh and Tony's is really not, um, well spanish in flavor! Oh and marinading it an art form that I really am only just dipping my toes into! Do you remember that ledge? Well I'm there... we've had a crappy week... no a crappy month... well more like a crappy 6+ weeks... and I decided to take it out on my veggies...

I made up my very own marinade. No, not rocket science or a cure for cancer... but hey it smells really good :-).
I know, it doesn't look tasty now... but I assure you, I dipped a pinky in to see how it came out... I didn't work it out on paper or anything, just kind of winged it as I went!

So what's in it.... hmmmm, let's see:
1 tbs chili powder
pinch of cumin
dash of salt (big chunky salt is the way to go people)
a few twists of the pepper grinder (did I mention that this was real scientific)
1/2 orange bell pepper (it's what I had)
1/2 med white onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 small lime juiced
1/2 small lemon juiced
1/2 cup chicken broth (that was after I noticed it was more of a paste instead of a marinade)

Chop in processor (also something that doesn't regularly see the light of day in my kitchen), dump in freezer bag along with b/s chicken... and there you have it... what seems to be a tasty way to get the chicken seasoned for taco bowls!

How to cook it? Ahhh, that's where Daddio comes in, if I smile real nice when he gets home... he will light the grill and throw them on! Otherwise I would just use my little grill pan on the stove. Alright friends, I will let you how it turns out! Have a lovely day!