Friday, December 17, 2010

TGI Carb Night - Recipe: Linguine with Shrimp and Tarragon Sauce

Ah yes, Friday. The one night that I know that I plan to put carbs on the dinner plate. When I trained for my first marathon, this dish (which I saw in Cuisine at Home) appeared often on Friday nights before my long runs. I'm not a huge fan of shallots, so I cut back on those just a bit.

You'll need:
1 shallot, minced
a handful of tarragon leaves
1 pound shrimp (the original recipe calls for medium but small shrimp increase the amount of shrimp per bite; I also use cooked shrimp if I'm in a hurry)
1 28-oz can of whole tomatoes
crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
salt (to taste)
linguine for serving
crumbled goat cheese
olive oil

Cook the pasta according to your tastes. Saute the shallots in oil until softened. Add the red pepper flakes, tomatoes (with their water), and tarragon and simmer for ten minutes. Season with salt. (If you're using raw shrimp, add and cook until pink.) Plate pasta, top with sauce and sprinkle with goat cheese.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Music for Running (3)

I decided against attending tonight's Holiday Light Run and, instead, opted for a short run in the comfort (read: warmth) of my apartment complex's fitness center. There's a part of me that wishes that I had gone, but there's another part of me -- the part that is desperately clinging to the little sanity that is left -- that is pleased that I did not run in tonight's weather. But, I digress...

My indoor runs involve a special kind of sensory overload, so I created a new running playlist to keep things interesting at the gym.

"X Gonna Give It To Ya" - DMX
"Mortal Combat"- Theme from Mortal Combat
"K.I. Feeling" - Theme from Killer Instinct
"Sandstorm" - Darude
"Pump It" - Black Eyed Peas
"Blind" - Ke$ha
"Take It Off" - Ke$ha
"Only Girl (In the World)" - Rhianna
"One More Time" - Daft Punk
"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" - Daft Punk
"Givin' U All That I've Got" - Robin S.
"Rude Boy" - Rhianna
"One, Two Step" - Ciara
"Welcome Home" Coheed and Cambria
"Through the Fire and the Flames" - Dragonforce
"Whatever You Like" - T.I.
"Remember the Name" - Fort Minor
"Oops, I did It Again" - Britney Spears

I tested this list during today's run, and there is a nice mix of awesome guitar solos and fist-pumping beats. Plus, who doesn't love DMX's love of barking?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jingle All the Way 10K Round-Up

The second of my December races is in the bag, and I have one more running-related event to go.

I spent most of last week checking the weather for the slightest chance that the rain would miss DC -- or, at the very least, not rain in the morning. DC did get its rain, but it never was more than a light drizzle during the race.

I decided to take a cab to the starting line, which worked out well once I flagged one down. (I really don't understand DC cab drivers. I want to give you money, and you just have to drive me to my destination. Don't you want money?) I arrived at the starting line with ten minutes to spare and had some time to stretch and figure out a race strategy.

Spoiler: Don't stop running.

There were more than 4,000 race participants today, so it took some time to cross the start check-point after the official call. I imagined how beautiful the run would have been on a clear day. But, even with the rain, there's something amazing about running on a cold and rainy Sunday morning with that many other crazy people.

The first half of the race felt a lot slower than I planned, and I felt like kicking myself when I reached the 5K checkpoint with 37 minutes on the race clock. Today's race was never about winning; honestly, five-minute miles only happen in my dreams. But, I still felt like I didn't perform as well as I could of in the first half.

During the second half of the race, I made a decision to quit BS-ing and give it my all until I crossed the finish line.

My race by the numbers:

Net time: 63:49
Gun time: 68:47
Average pace: 10:17
Age group: 255/383
Women: 1476/2537

Not bad. Not bad at all...

Before the month is over, there's one more event on my calendar.

It isn't a race, but it's certainly one of the most awesome ways to go a-wassailing that I've ever seen:

DC Capital Striders Annual Holiday Light Run

Carols + running + happy hour = a damn good way to spend a Tuesday night.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Santa Shuffle 5K Round-Up

One December race down. One to go.

But, first, a note of thanks:

Dear Red Line,

Thank you for being you. Because even when I think I've factored in any and all possible delays and leave with what I think is enough time to make it to my destination, you still shine, run trains every 19 minutes toward Shady Grove, and create a need to sprint to the race with just enough time to dash across the starting line so that my timing chip is able to record my results. You are the best.

With love,


Okay, fine. It actually wasn't that big of a deal, and I got a great warm-up before the race...

..which went extremely well. There were approximately 500 runners from what I could tell from the registration list, and so many went the festive route and ran in fantastic costumes. I -- totally waiting until the last possible minute to think of a costume and giving up -- decided to go the warm route. I'm very happy that I made the decision to pick up a light jacket from Fleet Feet last Thursday. With the newest addition to my running wardrobe, running in today's below freezing temperatures wasn't a problem at all. Plus, I finished with a time with which I'm very happy. I'll post the official time once PR posts the results. UPDATE:My chip time for the race was 31:14:8, which works out to be an average 10 minute mile. Of the female runners, I placed 130 out of 327 and 15th in my age group.

I have a six-mile run planned for tomorrow and my usual speed workouts in preparation for the Jingle All the Way 10K on the 12th. (Running addictions are the healthiest addictions, I'm sure.) By the end of the month, I'll start final preparations for my second round of marathon training -- and desperate prayers that the mid-Atlantic region avoids Snowpocalypse Now, Redux.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Because my run is my drug...

The 12 Steps of Runners Anonymous
by John Farrow

1. We admit that we are powerless over our character flaw and that our lives seem to others to have become unmanageable, but we sort of like it that way.

2. We have come to believe that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity, and that power’s name is Runner’s High.

3. We have made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the pursuit of the perfect Runner’s High and to travel near and far in our quest for the perfect race and a new PR.

4. We have made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves, and find that we need to increase the mileage on our long runs, intersperse our training with fartleks and tempo runs, do a track workout now and then to increase our speed, add cross-training to our weekly routine and always get enough carbs in our diet.

5. We have admitted to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our
shortcomings that we have occasionally taken a day off from training, indulged in fried foods, failed to consume at least eight servings of pasta per day, failed to use the most up-to-date heart rate monitor and that our fridge contains nothing but
beer and running shoes.

6. We are not entirely ready to have all of these character flaws removed until we qualify for Boston one more time.

7. We humbly ask others to lighten up and get off our case with respect to our character flaws so that we can go out for another run.

8. We have made a list of all persons we have harmed and are willing to make amends to them when and if they find the time to accompany us during our weekly 20-mile run.

9. We have made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when doing so would interfere with our training.

10. We have continued to take personal inventory of all miles run on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly basis according to each shoe worn, as well as to constantly monitor our heart rate, respiration, fluid consumption and leg turn-over rate during our runs and when we were wrong have promptly taken the necessary steps to get
back on track.

11. We have sought through visualization to improve our running technique and ask only for strength and endurance when next we hit the wall.

12. We have had an awakening as a result of these steps and have redoubled our training as we have tried to carry this message to non-runners everywhere and to practice these principles throughout our training.

ARR News, May 2002
Albuquerque Road Runners Club