Slowly, slowly, slowly I am starting to feel like my old self again. It’s been nearly 9 months since I injured my right hamstring and there were definitely times this year when I thought I might never get to do a long run or race again without pain again. Things still aren’t perfect – my right hamstring still aches sometimes and it resists a bit when I try to push the pace. BUT, it’s a million times better than it was in the Spring. In June I couldn’t run for 5 minutes without having serious pain. So it’s been a long road, but I think things are finally starting to turn around. Even though I’m signed up for the NYC Marathon on November 1st, I’m going to defer until next year. As much as I’d love to be running through the crowds near First Avenue and Tavern on the Green, I’m not ready to tackle another marathon yet. But next year? I’ll be there.
Ok, enough reflection! On to the food! I had plans for a long run on Saturday morning, so I whipped up a yummy pre-run meal Friday night. A few days ago NoMeatAthlete featured a wonderful pesto recipe on his blog. As soon as I saw all of that fresh basil, I knew I had to make some of my own!
Megan’s Version – Homemade Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup parmigianno-reggiano
- salt to taste
- Place basil, pecans, and garlic clove in food processor, process until a thick paste forms
- Run processor on low speed and stream in the olive oil
- Add cheese and salt and process just until combined
I mixed about 1/2 of my homemade pesto with 1/2 lb of penne pasta and a pint of cherry tomatoes. Makes about 3 servings. You can refrigerate the leftover pesto for up to a week. Mix it with some light mayo and use as a sandwich spread. Yum!
Pesto- Cherry Tomato Pasta with Grated Parmigianno-Reggiano:
And for dessert – the last two oatmeal-pb-chocolate chip cookies with a dollop of nocciolla (hazelnut) gelato. Heaven.
I was up bright and early on Saturday morning – around 6:30am (who am I???). After some coffee, I dug into my pre-run breakfast: a piece of whole wheat toast with sliced banana, peanut butter, and honey. Plus some more spoonfuls of pb straight out of the jar. When it comes to peanut butter before long runs, my brain usually asks “Is that really a smart idea?”, but my tastebuds always say “YES!”
Luckily all of that peanut butter fueled me for a fabulous run! The weather was perfect (sunny and 60 degrees) and I was pleasantly surprised by my pace. I was a little tight for the first few miles, but after about 25 minutes everything loosened up quite nicely. I was feelin’ so good that around mile 6 I threw in a faster mile (7:45) and my hamstring didn’t give me much trouble at all. I ended up running 11 miles in 1 hour and 34 minutes (8:35 pace). Yahoo!
After chugging some water, I put my feet up against the wall for about 10 minutes (this reduces soreness and improves circulation).
And then I had some eats! I mixed some powdered sports drink into a glass of water, sliced up a HUGE honey crisp apple (seriously…the size was almost ridiculous), and had a lemon yogurt on the side.
After a much-needed shower (lots of salty sweat today), I had a bowl of Kashi cinnamon Heart-to-Heart with pecans. And then another bowl :-)
Now I’m off to attempt a nap – I’m headed to a benefit dinner tonight. I need some rest if I want to stay awake past 10pm :-)
Have a great weekend!
Question: When do you feel most like yourself? When you’re out with friends? When you’re running? When you’re home alone with a glass of wine and a good book?