Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Smoothie for dinner

I have a rule for my dinner: it must include vegetables. Current favorites are pasta with spinach sauce, shrimp with snap peas, marinated salmon with asparagus, and ground pork with cilantro and tomatoes. When I run out of meat or fish and I don't want to have pasta again, I fall back on the green smoothie.

 The first time I tried one was when my sister posted her favorite green smoothie recipe. Unfortunately, I took the "5-6 cups of spinach" literally and applied it to frozen spinach. The result was a thick green sludge that tasted as though the delicious raspberries, blueberries and strawberries I had put in there had disappeared and turned into spinach. I think I might even have poured some of that wonderfully antioxidant paste down the drain, because it was not really even palatable.

But I backtracked the next time and put only a little spinach, and it was true: I couldn't taste the spinach at all; I could only taste the delicious fruits. So, when I am not I interested in spending a lot of time making dinner, I simply blend up a smoothie. The only thing that takes time is washing the blender afterwards, but I can handle that.

Here is what I put in it:
Frozen banana
5 frozen strawberries
Frozen raspberries
Frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen spinach
Oatmeal and wheat germ
Vanilla yogurt
Skim milk up to the level of the top of the fruits (otherwise it will be too thick and clog the blender; you can also use water.)

 This makes over two pints of smoothie. I am not sure how many calories it is (most of the calories come from the yogurt and milk), but I don't think it's more than a regular dinner even with all that volume because fruit and vegetables are low in calories, so I just drink all of it. It is also extra hydration.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The best place to PR (Downtown 5k)

(Results) Today was a good day. Lots of really fast people came from all over the country to Providence; many of my teammates came down from Boston; and I ran a road PR!

 My tiered goals were to run faster than I ran here last year (18:10), to run under 18:00, to run 5:40 pace, and to be able to finish strong. And I did! I was very fortunate that one of my much faster teammates was tempoing the race, and when she passed me at 1.5 miles I latched on and ran directly behind her for the rest of the race. The pace was tough, but I set little goals like "keep up with her until the next turn... Okay, now keep up until the next turn." In this way I kept up until the final turn uphill, at which point she sped on ahead of me and I contented myself with passing the two women who had been with us for two miles or so and also a the group ahead.

Here is an awesome sequence of pictures from Capstone Photo where I pass someone who, as it turns out, is currently a Williams student! Our clock times were only 0.6 seconds apart.

I achieved my goal of 5:40 pace, basically, with time-clock splits of 5:34, 11:20 and 17:02 before the finish tape at 17:36. (I started three seconds behind the starting line, so subtract that from the splits.) This is a four-second road PR for me, eclipsing the 17:40 from last year's JCC race. My actual time was 17:35.62, but in road running the timer is supposed to round up to the nearest second, so 17:36 it is.

I was 28th among women and 102nd overall, not as high up as last year when I was 16th woman, but the competition was much stronger this year. I feel great, and I've only done a few workouts so far, so hopefully I will only get faster and sharper as the fall goes on. But right now, I'm happy with a PR. As I have said several times today, the national championship is the best place to PR, because it's the race that matters.