Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Ups and Downs of Running

My relationship with running serves dual purposes: To relieve stress and to keep me in shape. Or at least I thought so, but then I went to New Orleans and watched a big race. I came back fired up and ready to run my heart out.

But as we all know, I've been a little under the weather. I went back to the doctor last Thursday for a second opinion. I just couldn't believe I had allergies, and I was much sicker than I was before I went to the doctor and started taking medicine.

My new doctor provided a much more insightful diagnosis: a viral infection that brought on bronchitis. And all the medicine I was taking for my "allergies" had suppressed my immune system from healing itself. Awesome.

But because I was coming off the New Orleans race high, I wanted to run. So I set out Friday afternoon for a 4-miler. But unbeknownst to me, it would not happen. My ole bronchitis infected lungs were not having it.
 My stats for Friday's awful run:
Distance: 3 miles
Time: 43:18
Best Pace: 9:26
Average Pace: 14:27
Calories: 305

This was the first run EVER since I started this whole thing last April that I couldn't finish a run I set out to finish. It was absolutely awful. The air was colder than it has been, and it felt like I had shards of glass cutting my lungs every time I took a breath. Not ideal when you try to run 4 miles.

I left the park feeling very defeated and upset. I didn't cry, but I was frustrated. All I could think about was how I have three weeks left to prepare myself for another 10K. And that being sick was not helping me with anything. Pity party central, I tell you.

So what did I do: I took the entire weekend off. I went to yoga Saturday morning. But I didn't run. Not until yesterday afternoon.

Logan wanted to go for a short jog. A nice little two miler. So I told her that would be a good idea so I could test out my lungs since I'd been on medicine for four days. So I ran two miles with her and the roommate. And then I took a short water break because it was super duper hot outside.

Then I set out for two more miles since I didn't feel like dying.
My stats for Monday's run:
Time: 49:12
Distance: 4 miles
Best Pace: 9:35
Average Pace: 12:18
Calories: 432

Notice that Friday's run was much the same as Monday's run with the exception of a whole mile added into the mix. I wanted to call everyone I know and tell them I still got it. As in I can still run distances over 3 miles. It was the best feeling, not the best run I've ever had, but it was the best feeling to just complete 4 miles.

Capital City Classic, here I come. 6.2 miles I'm coming for you yet again.

Since you good people let me rant about running, I have something to give you in return: A new recipe I invented.

Veggie Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
What you will need:
1 carrot
1/2 onion
1/2 red bell pepper
A handful of spinach
4 portobello mushrooms
Parmesan cheese, as a topping
Olive oil
Salt, pepper and garlic powder

Heat up some olive oil in a pan. Chop up the onion, bell pepper, carrot and mushroom stems into like-sized pieces. Throw into the hot pan. Saute until soft about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

While the veggie stuffing cooks, wipe off the mushroom caps with a damp paper towel. (Never wash a mushroom. They soak up too much water and don't taste as good.) Use a spoon to scrape out the gills. Place gill side up on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Top with a little salt, pepper and olive oil.

Once the veggies are soft, top the mushrooms with the veggie mixture. Sprinkle the tops with as much Parmesan cheese as you like. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes, depending on the size of the mushrooms.

The mushrooms get soft. The veggies become a bit roasted. And the cheese is just a nice toasty addition to a splendid variety of tastes. I had two mushrooms and wanted two more. They were super tasty. But don't limit yourself to the ingredients I listed. You can use whatever you have in the refrigerator. That's the beauty of it.

Now go forth, run and make this recipe.

How was your weekend?

What cool things did you see, eat, smell, etc.?  

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