Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Capital City Classic

This past weekend, I ran the Capital City Classic 10 mile race with Lauren, my sister Marissa, and her friend Heather. Let me just say- 10 miles is SO much easier than 13. Fainting at the end of my last half marathon made me afraid to run this race. I was scared to feel the fatigue and lack of energy I experienced before, but I kept reminding myself that this race was over 3 miles shorter. And boy did those 3 miles make a difference.

I kept telling myself that I was going to start running and training again once my knee felt better after my fall. The pain did completely subside about two weeks later; I just never started running again. Oops. A week before this race though, I knew I needed to run a little bit so my knees wouldn’t be so achy after 10 miles. So the Monday before the race I ran a 5k, and I ran another one the following day. That Thursday I ran 4 miles, and stopped my training there. I should have started running again weeks ago, I know. My bad. 

At the Shamrock’n half, I noticed a lot of people going through energy gels throughout the race. I figured it couldn’t hurt to give them a try. So this time I bought two different brands: PowerBar Gel and Gu Energy Gel, and carried one of them in my iPhone armband throughout the entire race, just in case I needed a pick-me-up. I thought I would end up using one of the energy sources around mile 8 (where I started to feel like I wanted to quit last time). Race volunteers were also handing out Gels right before miles 5 and 7. I was tempted to grab another, just in case I felt like dying towards the end of the race. But as it goes, because I carried one in my armband (which caused chaffing), I didn’t end up needing it. I felt tired, but not nearly as horrible as I did during the Shamrock’n half. So I still have no idea what the Gels or Gu’s taste like.  

The four of us have completed several runs together before. Marissa and Heather always stick together, and I always run with Lauren. Lauren and I originally set a goal of under two hours for this race, and then later decided that 2 hours and 10 minutes is more realistic for us. Fortunately, we beat our final goal with a time of 2:09:43.72, and we ran the entire race (another goal accomplished!). Next up in the running world for me: the American River Parkway Half Marathon on May 4th. I hope to be better about training for this race by following the last two weeks of the training program I had started for the Shamrock’n half. So far, so good!  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chipotle: Vegan Style

Chipotle is one of my favorite places to eat at, especially when I'm dining with my carnivorous family. Seriously, my brothers love meat and a meal isn't complete without it. So if I'm planning on going out to eat with my family, Chipotle always ends up on my list of suggestions. There's plenty of meat for the others, and I have plenty of vegan options to work with.

I have a "usual" that I always order: a vegetarian burrito bowl with brown rice, extra black beans, grilled fajita veggies, mild salsa, corn salsa, and lettuce. But times have changed. A new era has begun.

Chipotle now offers sofritas at all of their Northern California locations. I've found that the shredded tofu braised with chipotle chiles, roasted poblanos, and other spieces is an excellent addition to my "usual". A few years ago Chipotle was testing out vegan/vegetarian chicken. I thought the chicken was alright and I would probably order it again every once in a while, but apparently other people didn't care for it since the item didn't stay on the menu. Luckily though, the sofritas are now a permanent addition and I'll most likely order it all the time. I've already been to Chipotle twice in the past week just for this item. The sofritas remind me a lot of ground beef; they're a little spicy, but still super tasty.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter 2013

Since I haven't written that many blog entries yet, it was really easy to locate last year's Easter post. I realized that my family and I like to stick to tradition. We had brunch at Arden Hills again, and took our obligatory picture with the Easter bunny. Being vegan, it's not always easy to find hearty food from an omnivore's menu. Luckily though, this buffet had more vegan-friendly selections than most places. I loaded up on pineapple, roasted potatoes, and salad with a balsamic vinaigrette. I also asked for sauteed spinach, onion, and bell peppers from the omelet station. I grabbed some plain pretzels and graham crackers from the chocolate fountain setup for dessert.

 Abby, you'll thank me for this one day. Maybe.

Because we are already dressed up for this occasion, my siblings and I always persuade our parents to take a family picture that will hopefully be our Christmas card picture at the end of the year. There should be at least one good picture to choose from, right?

After brunch, Lauren and I went to her mom's house for Easter dinner. We spent the afternoon watching DIY network and "helping" prepare dinner. I always love going over to Leti and Dan's house...they always make an effort to have delicious vegan food. For us vegans, we had Gardein stuffed turkey with gravy, scalloped potatoes, sauteed green beans with slivered almonds, steamed broccoli, and garlic bread. YUM! The potatoes were my favorite...of course!

Next it was time for our annual Easter egg hunt, wahoo! Each year Lauren and I fill eggs for each other, and we take turns hiding the eggs. This is probably my favorite part about Easter. Yes, I know I'm 22. Still. It's so fun to camouflage the eggs. (Put the green colored eggs in plants, put the white eggs behind the blinds, etc.) I'm pretty sure I found all of my eggs before Lauren...what are best friends for anyway? :)