Let me preface this blog with that all week long it was been 80 degrees and sunny here in Indiana. Then Thursday comes with rainstorms and a cold front. Friday morning arrives, no sun, no open toe shoes, no short sleeve shirts… major bummer. Where did Spring go??? And of course, it had to be the day before my 8K.
So I get up this morning around 6 AM , mind you, the 8K doesn’t start until 8 AM, but there is limited parking. Parking at huge events gives me anxiety because I don’t want to be driving around for 20 minutes looking for a place to park. Knowing that the Carmel Marathon and Half Marathon start at 7:30 AM, I busted over to Carmel to ensure a good spot. Once a good parking spot was secured, I proceeded to sit in my car for 30 minutes or so with the heat on to stay warm.
I forgot to mention that it was freakin’ cold outside this morning. I loathe running in jackets and after my jacket debacle at last year’s KeyBank 8K (the ties kept hitting me in the face), I decided to layer it up this year. So I geared up with a running tank, long sleeve dry-fit shirt, and my race shirt over that, long pants, ear warmers, and running gloves. Once I got out of my car, this kept me warm for the length of time it took me to get to the only open building in the plaza which took all of 5 minutes to walk there. I took the advantage of the warm building to update my Twitter status and stretch for a few minutes before it was time to head back out into the cold.
As I was walking towards the start line, a voice calls out to me and says, “Hey, aren’t you late?”
I said, “Excuse me?”
“Didn’t the race start like 30 minutes ago?” I look over to see who is talking to me and it happens to be some kid at the National Guard tent. So I politely told him that the marathon and half marathon began at 7:30 AM and I would be participating in the 8K which starts in a few minutes, so no I wasn’t late. I am never late for a race. He wished me luck and I went to find my place in the corral.
After saying high to a few people that I knew, it was time to start. I started my mapmyrun app on my phone, pushed play on my Run Playlist, and took off. Guns and Roses’ Welcome to the Jungle set my run to a good start and a good pace. There is something about rock that just puts me in a good run mood. There is nothing like it. I quickly and easily set my pace for the first mile and got into my groove. Before I knew it, I had already hit mile 1, according to my app I had averaged an 8:22 mile. Not too bad considering I had been consistently running around my neighborhood at an 8:54 mile.
Then came the first hill, I remember this hill from last year. Except last year it was misting rain, my hood was tied so that it covered my ears, and the loose strings kept smacking me in the face… luckily this was not the case. It was sunny and the wind was at a minimum and I found a couple people to follow. I rounded the corner onto Keystone Avenue and that was the end of Mile 2 with an average pace of 8:01.
I actually really enjoyed running Mile 3. It was mostly all on Keystone Ave. I guess I loved this part the most because a gap had formed and I was running alone. There were no crowds in front of me to maneuver around, no one creeping up behind me, it was just me, the pavement, and my music (which at this point was Motley Crue Don’t Go Away Mad and Rob Zombie Dragula). You know how sometimes when you are running, you have someone that you are either keeping in your sights or you are trying to pass? I had a teenage boy that I had seen right before the start of the race and he had just took off like a bouncing bunny in the beginning. Well now I had him in my sight. That’s a good feeling. End of Mile 3.
I took the exit ramp up to the roundabout on 126th Street and Thunderstruck came on. I’m not sure what it is about Thunderstruck that really gets you amped up. Maybe its because they play it before sporting events and NFL games, whatever it is, I put that song at the PERFECT point in my playlist. This was it, this was my time to start passing people. See you later teenage boy, I will see you at the finish line. So long old dude that passed me in mile 2. And that was my Mile 4 – average pace 7:45.
Last mile to go and I caught up to my former personal trainer. Last year she ran the half marathon so I was surprised to see her running the 8K. I know she is a fast runner so I felt pretty good that I had caught up to her. The wind started to pick up at this point and instead of trying to pass her, I snuck behind her at let her take the brunt of the wind for me. She taught me well. And so this was it, she would speed up, I would speed up, she would slow down, I would slow down. Eventually she looked behind at me and smiled and I told her to get it. She sped up. I couldn’t keep up entirely but the gap wasn’t too big between us.
And so it was, the last leg of the race, the finish line in my sight. I ran with focus and crossed the finish line. Mile 5 – 8:11.
Now – here is the kicker, according to my app, I averaged an 8:07 pace and ran 5.16 miles. According to the race online results, I averaged an 8:22 pace and an 8K is theoretically 4.97 miles… so who knows which one is really correct. I talked with my former personal trainer and her app said she was running an 8:13 minute mile for the last leg we were on. It’s all good.
I head over to the Race Result tent, wait in line for 30 minutes for the program to start working but since I’m first in line, I dare not give up my spot. She prints my ticket, BOOM 3rd place in my age division. I’ll take it! (and the special pint glass you are giving away to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place Age Division winners). The boys at the Core Power tent gave me a free case of ready to drink protein shakes to congratulate me on my 3rd place as well. It was a good race!
Feel free to use your choice in mushrooms and paleo fat. I used shiitake mushrooms because they are my favorite, but you can use white button mushrooms, baby bella mushrooms, or a blend of whatever you like. Also for paleo fat, I used butter because that’s what I had around but you can use olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil or even lard (think pork, duck, or beef). Served with a baked sweet potato, this makes for a perfect gluten-free, paleo dinner.
Also – don’t mind the paper plate that I served my dinner on. I did not want to do dishes after dinner. Hopefully you can relate! Enjoy!
- 2 lbs ground beef (I used 1 lb ground sirloin & 1 lb ground pork)
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 16 oz mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 tsp chili pepper
- 3 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- 1 tsp Italian seasonings
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 cup ketchup (no sugar added)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium sized skillet placed over medium heat, melt the butter (or cooking fat), add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until soft.
- In a large bowl, combine the meat, salt, pepper, egg, onion, mushrooms, chili powder, thyme, Italian seasonings, and garlic. It’s very important that the mushrooms are evenly distributed to ensure the loaf bonds together.
- Lightly grease your loaf pan with your butter or cooking fat and fill it with the meat mixture. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the ketchup, honey, and Worcestershire sauce to make the glaze for the top of the meatloaf.
- After 15 minutes, evenly spread the glaze on top of the meatloaf and cook for an additional 40 minutes.
- Let stand for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
So being half Thai that I am, I thought I would go back to my roots. My mom is from Thailand and growing up my family would eat what I would have then called “weird” food while my friends grew up on Kraft Mac & Cheese, Stove Top, and Hamburger Helper (I begged my mom to let me eat and my friends’ houses all the time). Little did I know as a “I just want to fit in with my friends” adolescent that my mom was introducing me to a world of delicious and healthy cuisine. Being heavy on the vegetable side, Thai cuisine and most Asian cuisine (and no I’m not talking about the Americanized version of Asian food) is extremely healthy, chock full of vitamins and minerals, and anti-aging goodness… there is a reason Asian people age so well without help from the plastic surgeon. Anyway – I stumbled upon this cookbook (Thanks, Joel!) after watching the corresponding documentary Forks of Over Knives. Even if you have no desire to become a vegetarian (I’m not one), it is still an interesting documentary and it gives you something to chew. No pun intended.
Thai Noodle Soup
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and julienned
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned (I bought the matchstick ones at the store)
- 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 cups bok choy, sliced
- 4 cups of vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (or fish sauce if you don’t care about being vegetarian)
- Zest and juice from 1 lime
- 1 serrano chili, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 6 ounces of brown rice noodles, cooked according to package, drained, and kept warm (I couldn’t find brown rice noodles so I used regular rice noodles and it tasted fine)
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- Place the onion, carrots, and mushrooms in a medium pot and saute for 7 to 8 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic, ginger, bok choy, vegetable stock, soy sauce, lime zest and juice, and serrano chili. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
- To serve, divide the noodles between 4 individual bowls. Pour the broth over the ingredients and garnish with bean sprouts and cilantro.