Whew! It has been a busy week.
Saturday I didn’t have to work, so I ran a race instead 🙂 It was the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club Women’s Half Marathon Trail Run in Fountainhead Regional Park, VA. The rain had finally given up, and it was a beautiful morning: the humidity was a small price to pay for the blue sky and sunshine! Over 12 of the 13.1 miles were on the trail through the park; the only pavement was maybe 3/4 of a mile at the beginning. Trails are fun to run and they keep your mind busy, but they are tiring! Up and down, navigating roots, up and down, jumping streams, and oh, did I mention up and down? Of the 5 half-marathons I’ve run, 2 of them were on trails, and both took 20-25 minutes longer than the races on roads. That’s a 2 minute/mile difference, and the effort was about the same.
Julia and I ran most of the race together, but she was having tummy trouble, so she made a pit stop with about 4 miles left and told me to go on without her. The hills in miles 10/11ish were pretty arduous, but I actually started to get a little more energy in the last mile or so. I think it got less hilly, and I was inspired by thoughts of the finish.
My constructive criticism to the organizers of this race is regarding the food. They did have frozen (then mostly thawed) fruit, which was actually excellent because it was cold and sweet. But other than that it was cookies, donuts, and chips with, salsa, hummus, and guacamole. I guess they were thinking women like snacky/sweet things, which I often do… but after a half marathon I’m looking for FOOD food. I made do with the fruit and some chips and hummus/salsa mixed together.
Needless to say, when I got home I required something like this:
Colorful complex carbohydrates and protein! Not that I think the organizers should provide a salad bar. I just need something that will fill the hunger hole!
The morning after the race I continued the veggies trend. Not many people (well, Westerners, I guess) eat vegetables for breakfast, but one health trend that seems to be catching on in America is the Green Smoothie. I actually first tried one during the Americorps term I just finished. (I was the Healthy Lifestyles Associate at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Tioga County. It was mostly nutrition education and outreach with kids, and I had a great experience.) We had a couple of groups of kids make Tropical Green Smoothies: grapes, pineapple, frozen banana, vanilla yogurt, and baby spinach. They were always repulsed by the idea of spinach in a smoothie, but of course would still put it in because they loved the process of following a recipe, and I suspect they were curious too. And since they had made the smoothies, they tried them, in all their green, spinachy glory! Every group loved the smoothie and agreed that they couldn’t taste the spinach.
So, without further ado, let me introduce my kale smoothie from Sunday morning: I promise it doesn’t taste like kale!
I used to not enjoy smoothies much; they were just cold food that you drink, so they were gone too fast and I wasn’t able to appreciate their flavor. Then I was enlightened by Kath of KathEatsRealFood- she eats them with a spoon! It’s so much more satisfying. And you can put toppings on them!
Topped with figs, granola, and crumbled banana muffin.
Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it 🙂