With all the buzz about Marine Corps and about the New York Marathon next weekend, plus being awash in excitement over the Chicago Marathon two weekends ago, I am starting to consider whether I am up for the challenge of another marathon next year. While I was spectating Chicago, I had absolutely no regrets about not running it this year. Then, I saw how much improvement many friends experienced in their results this year and it reminded me how much I want to improve, too. I am wavering. In any event - I will have another post up later this week about how race plans are shaping up for 2014.
But first - I've got some semi-random things to share:
All the fall vegetables
In my efforts to take advantage of the best seasonal produce, I have already made three homemade pumpkin pies so far this fall (they never last long in my household). I've eaten lots of apples and I am even considering trying to make homemade apple butter. Plus, the grocery stores have been stocked full of colorful squash varieties.
In my cooking repertoire, I've had some success making butternut squash and acorn squash dishes. I had never tried making spaghetti squash, though. That changed yesterday!
|Please disregard the banana photobomb in the corner.|
I used this recipe as my foundation - it's basically roasted spaghetti squash with olives, feta, tomatoes, and basil. However, I added some baby spinach, and used dried oregano in place of the fresh basil. I liked the results (although Adam is reluctant to try it; he's more of a meat and potatoes type of guy).
In my opinion the feta really made the dish - I found myself pulling out all the feta pieces to eat first. Therefore, I would definitely increase the feta next time. The final results were also a bit watery for my taste, too, so I would make some effort to drain out the tomatoes and the squash next time.
Overall, though, I consider this dish a success. Yay for simple, easy seasonal produce recipes!
A tyranny against the kitchen supplies
The kitchens at my office are stocked with plastic cutlery and styrofoam plates/bowls. I have been hearing a lot about you should avoid microwaving your food in contact with plastic due to potential chemical leaks. Styrofoam has to be even worse since it melts so easily (shudder).
|Beware the sinister styrofoam monster who comes alive in microwaves everywhere.|
Today I finally decided I was done with the disposables. I brought a glass bowl and a set of real silverware to the office. This is for health purposes as well as for environmental purposes (producing less garbage). I plan to store them either at my desk or in one of the kitchen cabinets, and will just wash them each day.
Plastic and styrofoam, be gone (but not melted)!
Last long run of 2013?
The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon is coming up in less than two weeks. In preparation, I ran 11.4 miles yesterday. (I had 11 on the agenda but in my wanders, I ended up doing some extra in order to get home. In retrospect I should have tacked on an additional 0.1 so I could have logged an even 11.5. Oops.)
Next weekend I will be taking the usual long-run stepback, then the following weekend it's race time! (I'm still need to figure out if I'll be wearing any kind of costume for this race, but that's a topic for another day.)
Wine and Dine is my final half marathon for 2013. Therefore, it hit me yesterday that it was probably the last time in 2013 that I have to do an obligatory long training run! I can't lie - even though my training has been inconsistent for much of the year, it will be very nice to be relieved of the pressure of training for specific distance events.
On the other hand, though, I really don't want to let my current fitness level subside. It's a tough balance.
With that in mind, I am starting to think about what kind of training routine I want to attempt to maintain during the dead of the winter. Maybe a double-digit run once every three or four weeks, at least one 3-mile-ish run during the week, and weekend "maintenance" runs of 6-7 miles during the other weeks. Is that too much or too little? I'm not sure. (It might depend on how cold it gets this winter, heh heh.)
|Yeah, I've lived in Chicagoland my whole life and I still brace myself for this every year.|
All suggestions on "maintenance" training are welcome, as always.
Happy Monday and I hope everyone's weeks get off to a great start!