Posts Tagged ‘running’

Surprise – we did a 5K this morning. I say surprise because this run wasn’t in my half marathon training plan, but once we saw that the course is right through the fiancée’s childhood neighborhood & that his mom wanted to do it, we couldn’t resist 🙂 Enter the Miracle Miles – aka the 2nd biggest race I’ve ever done.

This morning began with the usual pre-run snackage: toast with PB & apricot preserves.

We got out the door and drove to the other side of downtown to meet up with the fiancée’s mom – her house was half a mile from the starting line so it worked out perfectly. We walked in the dark to the race start and saw a lot of her neighbors joining us in the race.

Don’t judge – it was 6:45am in that picture! :) 

When we got to the race site, it was jam-packed and so many vendors had come out to give information & free stuff – this was the biggest race I’ve done next to the Corporate 5K and I love the crowds.

We all stretched & were off running before we knew it. The picture came out a little blurry, but you can get an idea of what it looks like having thousands of folks marching down Orange Avenue!

Beautiful sunrise over Lake Lucerne just south of downtown Orlando:

This was the fiancée’s mom’s first race ever, and she was so pumped because for the last week she’d been driving through her neighborhood seeing the signs.

She is new to running and has been getting a lot of time in on the elliptical but this was her longest distance ever on the pavement, so we walked most of the race to help get her adjusted to the outside conditions (humidity & pavement). Everyone was in good spirits and walking was a nice change of pace (literally), considering we were up late the night before.

Note: if you are planning on racing for a real time (i.e. trying to do it fast) – spare yourself & don’t drink the night before – I woke up at 3am dehydrated after the buzz from my 2 ciders wore off. Yes, training has basically eliminated my alcohol tolerance (which helps save on bar tabs!)

The scenery was gorgeous, with neighborhood parks & cute houses – it was awesome to be on a stroll through the streets where my fiancée grew up 🙂

I like to think that every race is a learning experience, and sometimes what you learn is what your body is capable of, and what to expect in future races. Today’s lesson: drinking coffee before a race will give you energy but will also make you have to take a detour to your house & have a potty break. We’re all human 🙂

The final time when we got to the finish line was 1:06:02. Yes, it took us more than twice as long as the last race we did, but how many times do you get to say that you actually came in last place? We were laughing the whole way and catching up, and it was FUN – and the fiancée’s mom wants to do another 5K with us too 🙂 I’m so glad there’s a “next time” for her because the look on her face when she saw all her neighbors & their kids & grandkids out socializing was so warm, like it was all of her old friends just hanging out in the street 🙂

And what race would be complete without some free stuff? I got enough of these Powerbar energy gel blasts to get me through this whole season of long runs!

Never used these before, but I’m all about trying stuff out for free before buying a lot, especially since these little guys are not that cheap! Note to other cheap athletes: if you want to try a bunch of protein powder & protein bar flavors, go to a fitness show (i.e. bodybuilding) – they have SO many free varieties for you to take home!

All in all, this was a great race, tons of fun and we made a promise to do it again next year 🙂


Read Full Post »

First Long Run!

Hola from Florida! Can you tell it’s hot here?

Saturday I did my first long run in my half marathon training plan – 4 miles :-O I did a 2-mile loop around the house, stopped for a quick water break, and another 2-mile loop. My body was ready to stop after the first 2 miles…

But then I ran into my neighbor and told him how I’m training for this race & he got so excited because he used to be a runner, so it motivated me to keep going. The second half was slower (I walked a lot more):

In total, 4.06 miles in 47:50. I’m not really going for speed (obviously), more just consistency with my pace and breathing. I have no idea how long it will take me to run 13.1 miles in December, and any time is going to be a personal record since it’ll be my first time with such a long distance 🙂

My iPod shuffle is broken so I’ve been using the fiancee’s mp3 player with the FM radio tuner – it’s fun b/c it’s more songs than would be on my playlist, and the commercials give me time to take a walking break. During these 4 miles, I actually heard all 3 of Eminem’s new songs… which shows you how much variety they play on Orlando hip-hop stations lol

Before running I snacked on whole wheat toast with peanut butter & apricot preserves, and afterwards scarfed down some mixed cereal with chocolate protein powder, raisins & soymilk.

I love this mix!

After running, we went to Alexander Springs for some snorkeling:

If you’re lucky enough to live in Central Florida (or any part of Florida), you should check out the springs! We’ve been to a few different parks (Wekiva Springs, Blue Springs, Rainbow Springs, Alexander Springs…) and love snorkeling – the water is so clean & clear (and cold!), it’s like a water park but all natural 🙂 We usually don’t bring the camera though b/c of getting it wet or sandy, but maybe next time I’ll bring a disposable underwater camera & get some good pictures.

What’s your favorite swimming hole?

Read Full Post »

What Not To Wear (Running)

Wednesday night I set out with intentions of running 3 miles, and kept going back & forth between should I run outside or in the gym to beat the heat? I ended up dressing for the gym, but running outside :-/ FAIL

I had on a hat (b/c of the sun glare), a t-shirt and black cotton capris. This would have been fine in the A/C, but out on the asphalt – major mistake.

Great pants for lifting weights (i.e. no leaving sweat on the leg machines), but horrible for running!

Which is why my 1st mile was SO SLOW!!!

So I came inside the house, grabbed the scissors out of the chopping block and cut the pants into shorts!

Awkward leg pose to further emphasize how stupid I looked:

I also switched out the hat for dork goggles sunglasses to let my head cool off.

After mile 2 the fiancee came home so I stopped in to say hey and steal some kisses 🙂

Self-discipline in tact, I headed out the door and finished mile #3 with a total of about 37:26.

I know you like those fancy mile splits via dark camera pictures, mapmyrun.com and my $9 Target sports watch… hey man, I am making it work until I get the Garmin GPS watch! 🙂

The running route was a little different this time – I basically ran 1/4 mile to the left of my house & back, then 1/4 mile to the right & back, and repeated over & over (it helps to come back to the house for water stops). Although my pace SUCKED, it was really good to get out and clear my head – this run was more for my mental health than physical lol and it was really hard to do any type of strength training afterwards (this 3 miles actually took about an hour when you consider all the breaks). I managed to squeeze in some pull-ups, squats, ab crunches & stretching.

And don’t worry – I’m not wearing those “shorts” in public anymore lol

The fiancee has a cool trick he wanted to show off – Swiffer Wet Jet Refill! Our Wet Jet ran out of fancy expensive Swiffer liquid, but they design the bottle so you can’t remove the cap to refill it with something else (planned obsolescence = waste = profits for Mr. Swiffer).

That didn’t stop my man from pulling out the drill, some rubber hosing, and his own thrifty floor cleaner!

He tied it off so it wouldn’t leak:


I love how handy he is 🙂

Read Full Post »

Now that this guy decided to croak:


It’s time to show off some pretty food porn photography!

Tonight’s dinner was a homemade version of some of our favorites from Aashirwad: Malai Kofta and Chickpea Spinach Curry.

FYI although I have cookbooks, most of the recipes I use come from the internet or magazines, so I just rip them out or print them and stack on top of the microwave under my flexi-cutting boards.

malai kofta (1)

malai kofta (2)


malai kofta (3)

These recipes are adapted from other websites with the ingredients I had in the kitchen… Malai Kofta and Chickpea Spinach Curry – they were cooked simultaneously but I’ll separate the photos so you can follow along.

Malai Kofta

Starting with two big potatoes, wash – peel – cut – boil – mash:

malai kofta (4)

malai kofta (5)

malai kofta (6)

malai kofta (7)

malai kofta (12)

While the potatoes are boiling, you can do a lot of the other prep work, including grating the tofu (or use paneer cheese if you have it).

malai kofta (8)

Never grated tofu? Welcome to the club!

malai kofta (9)

This gives the tofu more of a cottage-cheese texture, which is probably why I hear that cottage cheese is used in a lot of Indian recipes.

malai kofta (11)

Now mix in a big bowl: the mashed potatoes, the grated tofu, some raisins, some chopped cashews, a few tbsp of Garam Masala (worth the high price, get it at Whole Foods if you can’t find it at a normal grocery store – it’s used in almost every Indian recipe), about 1/2 cup green peas, about 1/4 cup shredded carrots (should chop these up into smaller bits than I did for easy mixin’), about 1/2 cup bread crumbs, and a few big tbsp of whole wheat flour.

malai kofta (14)

Mix it up:

malai kofta (15)

And make into little oval-shaped balls.

malai kofta (16)

See what I mean about the carrots?

malai kofta (17)

Fry these in a pan full of olive oil, tongs would be extremely helpful here for flipping (cook for about 5 minutes on each side, medium heat).

malai kofta (18)

While those are cooking, get ready to go for a swim chop 2 large white onions (yellow would work but they didn’t have any at the grocery store this week).

malai kofta (19)

The “gravy” of the Malai Kofta has an onion paste and a tomato paste, both which require the food processor. Had I read this recipe before today, I would have made these (and the base for the chickpea spinach curry) ahead of time and refrigerated – it was hectic in the kitchen! For the onion base, combine 1/2 of your chopped onions with about an inch of grated ginger (we’d never bought real ginger before either – the fiancée says “It smells just like Ginger Ale!”), with a few cloves (or tsp) of garlic, a bay leaf, some more Garam Masala, and cashews:

malai kofta (22)

Make the tomato paste from 3 chopped tomatoes and a combination of spices (check the original recipe for exact amounts). Combine these two mixtures in a frying pan with some oil and let it cook until the oil rises to the top – it should have a really rich, smoky red color:

malai kofta (25)

By this time, you should have a few batches of the koftas (balls) done – set them aside in your serving dish – you’ll pour the gravy on top later. It’s totally OK if your balls fell apart during the frying process because they’re all gonna get mixed up with the gravy anyway, but you do want them to be firm so you keep all the flavor together.

malai kofta (30)

Now add an 8oz container of cream to the gravy to make it non-vegan creamy:

malai kofta (34)


malai kofta (36)

Now pour this (carefully!) into your serving dish over the fried koftas:

malai kofta (37)

NOTE: this whole process from start to finish took me 1 hour and 45 minutes – there are some easy shortcuts you could do (buying pre-grated ginger, pre-chopped onions, make your ‘pastes’ and even your kofta mixture the day before…) – this recipe is more for special occasions than weeknights, but if you’ve got the time and the mouths to feed, go for it!

Onto the next recipe quickly (this one only took a few minutes)…

Chickpea & Spinach Curry

Heat a little bit of olive oil in a pot, and use your food processor (I just use a tiny one, it holds about 2 cups worth of stuff and was less than 10 bucks at Wal-Mart) to mix up the other 1/2 of your chopped onions (or 1 large onion) and about 1 inch of grated ginger. *If you’re new to ginger, you’ll know what I mean by an ‘inch’ when you buy it at the store – it comes in long misshapen tubes because it’s a root, so you buy the whole root and grate an inch of it* Add this mixture to the pot and let it cook for a few minutes, then add a can of diced tomatoes with their liquid.

malai kofta (26)

Let this warm, then add 2 cans (14.5 oz each) of chickpeas (rinsed & drained).

malai kofta (27)

Stir, warm, then add 2 cans (14.5 oz each) of chopped spinach (drained).

malai kofta (32)

Let it all warm up together and it’s done in less than 10 minutes!

malai kofta (38)

I was looking forward to making this dinner all day long, and apparently so was our dinner guest (and guest photographer):) Servin’ it up:

malai kofta (40)

With tabouli and whole wheat naan, all together:

malai kofta (45)

Nom nom nom.

malai kofta (46)

The fiancée asked me tonight “Kim, what the hell does Nom mean?” LOL we had fun watching videos at Failblog and Icanhascheezburger. We fell in love with this girl:

It makes me smile so big to see the fiancées love for animals – he replayed this video a few times and danced along:

Showing off my pull-up skillz to our dinner guest (psych! that’s actually how tall I am!)

malai kofta (53)

Seriously though, I did go running after dinner. I did 2 miles in 25:25, which is a bit slower than what I want to do for the race next weekend, but it was dark outside, spooky, I was having trouble breathing, and I was chock full of Malai Kofta – good enough for me! 🙂

Read Full Post »

Hey everybody! My mom just told me I have some family members reading the blog – welcome! 🙂 Check out my updated About Me page and the new Reads page.

Today for lunch, I drove across town and joined the fiancee at our favorite restaurant for Indian buffet lunch 🙂 Aashirwad is now to be called “Awesomewad” lol We pigged out on malai kofta, vegetable kadhai, naan bread, and a spinach-chickpea mixture. I hope you all don’t mind that I want them to cater our wedding reception 😛

Came home and we ran a super sweaty 2 miler in 21:03 – that’s 2 minutes faster than we had planned! The hand trick is really working!

There ain’t no shame in posting sweaty red-faced post-run pics 😛

I managed to get in some weights at the house too, including pushups & pullups.

Pullups were actually about 10 negatives, which is where you jump up and slowly lower yourself down – this is a good way to begin with pullups if you’ve never done them before (i.e. if you’re me).

My little sister Courtney (aka Corky) convinced me to buy one of these at-home pullup bars – she’s the buffest girl I know in real life, which says a lot since I know P.E. teachers & firefighter girls! Here’s Corky when she was super little:

Dinner was leftovers from last night: whole wheat pasta with vodka sauce, plus some sun-dried tomatoes & spinach that I snuck in, topped with parmesan cheese.

The fiancee got me a mini-tripod at the dollar store (where we went on our first date in grad school lol) so I could take up-close food pics:

Stay tuned later this week – I want to do a post about the library and how much I love it, and why you should use yours! 🙂

Until then, leave some comments & let me know what you think of the blog!

Read Full Post »

Last night the fiancee & I joined two of his coworkers for dollar bowling night at Boardwalk Bowl, but beforehand we made some quick Indian food.

Random pre-packaged Indian mixture over spiced red lentils with sauteed broccoli – it was pretty good! These box mixtures are great for quick weeknight dinners where we don’t have a lot of time but want something good and light – plus the ingredients are all natural, pronounceable foods. I’ll be buying more of these for sure 🙂

We stayed for two games of bowling and the fiancee wowed the crowds with his shoot-thru-the-legs-and-still-get-a-strike bowling skillz – he’s so hot 🙂 We had a pitcher of beer and I ended up drinking 2 glasses which really did a number on me. I haven’t been drinking beer lately, so I didn’t know that 2 beers would hit me so hard! Needless to say, this morning I had to break out the reinforcements:

Hello coffee, long time no see 🙂

I try to avoid caffeine whenever possible because I’ve learned over the past year that it makes me act like a total crackhead.

Hahahahaha you know you all love Ke$ha.

After work I went to the gym to hit the treadmill since it’s so hot outside! I wanted to test myself & see if I could maintain my 5.17 mph pace that I need to meet my 5K goal of less than 35:58. Today I wanted to do 2.5 miles, so at that pace, I needed to do it in less than 29 minutes. I wrote it on my hand as a reminder:

Guess what.

I ran the ENTIRE 2.5 MILES and did it in 26:04!!!

This is HUGE for me – I’ve never run more than 2 miles straight before, so this was a new personal record! 🙂 And I finished the distance in 3 minutes less than expected! Yeah, my shins will probably hate me tomorrow (I did manage to stretch for about 5 solid minutes afterwards though), but it was WORTH IT!

I think what made the difference was knowing what time I had to beat. On our normal training runs, I just go out and run the distance, and see how long it takes me. Today was different because I was proactive and knew what my goal speed was, and that treadmill didn’t get below 5.2 mph the whole time I was on it! 🙂 Most of the time I was actually around 5.8-6 mph because I’ve found it’s easier for me to run than jog on the treadmill.

To celebrate this personal victory, the fiancee took me to Target and I bought some new athletic socks. He smiled because I managed to find the only two sets that were made in the USA 🙂

Read Full Post »

Veggie Burger Fajitas

After work (and a major thunderstorm) I went over to Kellie’s place and we did our run on the treadmills in her fitness center. It’s fun to switch it up and zone out to mindless television 🙂 Plus it was about 105 outside today with the heat index! I did 2.5 miles in 28:50, which is a 35:46 pace for the upcoming 5K – awesome! So far, of the 15 running sessions I’ve done as part of the 5K training, 5 of them have met by goal time of less than 35:58, which I think is pretty good considering it’s summer time in Florida!

I came home and made a yummy dinner, followed by video gaming and blogging (nerd alert).

Veggie Burger Fajitas (4 servings)

Heat a few tbsp of olive oil in a pan, and add a bag (about 1 lb) of frozen fajita veggies – this is red peppers, green peppers & onions pre-chopped.

Grab your veggie burgers (mushroom flavor works well, I’m sure spicy black bean would be good here too), they should be thawed out:

Saute’ the patties in a different frying pan with a little olive oil also, and use the spatula to chop up the patties into big chunks – one patty per serving.

Add fajita seasoning (you can buy this at any grocery store, and guess who forgot this step in the recipe tonight? :-P) and cover to simmer, using your handy-dandy-dollar-store-splatter-guard if you so choose:

For toppings on the fajitas, use whatever you like – we used spring mix & pineapple salsa:

All together on a whole wheat tortilla, using the fiancee’s expert food photography skills (he prepared and photographed this entire meal!!!). MMM baby!

And we decided to add some shredded white cheddar on top.

Amazing 🙂 On a side note, it’s really hard to find whole wheat tortillas in Orlando that don’t have some sort of nasty ingredient in them (partially hydrogenated oils and other stuff) – I miss the Trader Joe’s whole wheat wraps that had about 4 ingredients. Publix has really let me down with their whole grain tortilla selection, so I’m gonna have to splurge on the Ezekiel frozen tortillas or see if Chamberlin’s or Whole Foods has a better option.

Do you know where the good whole grain tortillas live?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »