Still Injured – Now What?!

I haven’t posted anything lately, mainly because I have been out of commission (with running) since my last half marathon. The day after the race, my knee was in it’s worst shape yet and it only went downhill from there. I took a couple of weeks off which was horrible, awful, miserable, any negative adjective you can think of, and just plain boring! This past Sunday, about 5 days ago, I decided to give it a try with a short and quick 4 mile run. Hello big mistake. Now the pain and swelling is in both of  my knees, awesome right?! Despite the injury issues I’m having right now, I still signed up for my second half marathon! (maybe it was a little in spite of current circumstances) My next half is going to be the Timp (Timpanogos) Half in Utah, at the end of July. I’m also doing the Color Me Rad 5K at the end of June which I’m hoping I’ll be recovered and ready to run by then. Without being able to get up every day and run, my thoughts on the sport have changed entirely. I never used to call myself a “runner”, I just never thought I fit that classification, even though people will tell you anyone who runs is a “runner”. For me personally, I just didn’t think it fit. I had it in my head that I didn’t enjoy the actual act of running, just the feeling of accomplishment that comes after finishing a long run, or PR’ing when you didn’t think you had it in you. Now that I can’t do it anymore (for the time being) I would give anything to be outside on a nice day, on my favorite trail, escaping reality and just running…and doing it all for no one other than myself. If anyone were to ask me now, I’d say I fit the description of a runner 🙂

I would go crazy if I wasn’t able to get a workout/activity in in some form, so I have gotten creative with staying in the best running shape I can without actually running. I found a pretty awesome filler activity, mountain biking! I think I am having more fun riding my bike as an adult than I did as a kid, but I think the scenery and the trails in Utah may play a little part in that. I recently purchased a new mountain bike from Jans out here in Park City. I haven’t hit any of the hard stuff yet, but even on the easier trails you definitely feel the burn. In an earlier post I mentioned that one of my loves for running came from the simple fact that it could take me to some really cool places. I have a sneaky suspicion that mountain biking is going to do the same thing. As much as I don’t like to admit it, I’ve also taken up a new hobby in the form of a workout video, gasp, I know. However, the results are there! I’ve been doing the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30, and I will absolutely testify to the video, it’s not easy and you will see results! Even so, this is temporary until I get the knee situation figured out!

I’m hoping to be back on the running train within a few weeks with a new training plan for Half Marathon #2!

 

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

 

*Enjoy!


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A Delicious Vege Quinoa Cake Recipe

Yet another successful Pinterest recipe to add to the books. Either I’m becoming a better cook or I now have a knack for finding the easy recipes. The latter being where I’m leaning on this one. Either way, I’m happy! I added a few things and switched out some ingredients for healthier ones from the original recipe I found and also added a lemon-dill-sriracha remoulade. Intrigued yet?

Quinoa Cakes

  • 1 cup organic quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth, fat free low sodium
  • 1 Tbs ground flax seeds
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 1/4 cup 100% whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil

Lemon-Dill-Sriracha Remoulade

  • 2/3 cups cashews, soaked in water for about 2 hours)
  • 1/3 cup water + more as needed
  • 2 Tbs sriracha, more to taste as you like
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lemon, zest & juice
  • pinch of onion powder
  • salt & pepper

In a small pot over medium/high, heat broth and quinoa to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Once done, remove cover, fluff with a fork and let set for another 15 minutes to cool and absorb remaining water.

While the quinoa is cooling, start mixing together the ground flaxseed with 3 Tbs water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken.

To prepare the remoulade, place all of the ingredients in a blender (I used the magic bullet) except for the dill, and blend until smooth. If your mixture is too wet, add a few cashews and blend again. Likewise, if the mixture is too thick, add a little water at a time until desired consistency. Stir in the dill by hand. Taste. Add more of whatever you like while blending by hand. Cover until ready to use or keep in refrigerator.

For the quinoa cakes – in a medium bowl, combine the quinoa, flaxseed mixture, flour, onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. The mixture should be moist enough to stick together, remaining slightly tacky. Add additional flour or water, 1-2 Tbs at a time if needed to adjust consistency. I had to add quite a bit more flour to get the cakes to stick together. Season with salt and pepper. Form into about 8-12 patties. I ended up getting a little more than this.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook, w/o touching them, until nicely browned on one side, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for an additional 4-5 minutes.

Keep finished quinoa cakes on a wire rack over a baking sheet in the preheated oven until all cakes have been cooked. Place the hot quinoa cakes with a generous dollop of remoulade and pair with a steamed vege of choice. Mine was asparagus and green beans :).

One thing to remember that I did not account for when making the sides, was cooking the quinoa cakes in the skillet will take quite a bit of time. I could only cook about 3 at a time, and at 4-5 minutes a side the time really added up on me!

And there you have it! A delicious meal, that was just as good reheated for lunch the next couple of days!



*Enjoy!

I Hiked Coyote Gulch..AND BARELY MADE IT OUT ALIVE!

My oh my have I had a lot going on since the last time I posted! My half marathon is in about 10 days and I totally screwed up my training schedule because I went out of town this past weekend on a little hiking excursion, but I’m working to get it back on track! Before I get into that, this hiking trip I went on was an excursion indeed. I’m not sure if any of you  have heard of it, but Coyote Gulch right outside of Escalante, Utah is always being talked about as a must do hike in the US. When I read that recently, I decided that we must do it right now :). When I get excited about something I have the tendency to feel that I need to do whatever it is right away. Before heading down to Escalante we did a lot of research and preparing for the trip. Everything we read said the best way to enjoy the hike was to do it in 3 days/2 nights. So, that is what we planned and prepared for. We took off work Friday and headed out of town at 6am. Very ambitious, I know. Fast forward until about 2pm that day, we finally got to the trailhead! We hiked in 7 miles on Friday to get to the spot we decided to camp. 7 miles usually doesn’t phase us on a hike, but we both had our >20lb. backpacks on and the entire hike is done through sand and water. The second day you hike 6 miles to a place called Stevens Natural Arch. This portion of the hike is absolutely awesome. It was still entirely through sand and water, but every bit worth it because of the scenery. Plenty of pictures below. This is where the story gets interesting. About half way through this 6 mile (one way, so really 12) hike we decided that when we got back to camp we were going to pack up, head to the car and drive down to Moab, Utah to spend the day hiking around there on Sunday. The hike is a strenuous hike and holy cow do they mean it. When we finally got back to camp after hiking 12 miles early Saturday morning/afternoon we were already exhausted and oh so sore! But at that point, we had talked about getting to eat real food that night so much that we were not going to let anything get in the way of that! We were booking it out of there. It was going to be the fastest 7 miles we ever hiked. WELL, somewhere along the way we forked right when we should have stayed left. Unfortunately, everything in the desert looks very similar so we didn’t notice it until we had already gone who knows how far in the direction. When we both spoke up and came to the conclusion that we didn’t recognize anything we made the decision to turn around. Mistake number 2. We didn’t backtrack far enough to find anything that looked familiar, we just jumped on the next trail we thought looked a little bit right and went even further (in the wrong direction) down that path. By this time we are fighting daylight and we are both so mentally and physically exhausted that nothing seemed right. When it finally got dark enough that we had to break out the headlamps, we made our way back to the last recognizable spot that we remembered passing and made the decision to set up camp and figure it out in the morning. One thing I will very proudly say, is that we both stayed very calm throughout the whole thing, not counting the thoughts in our heads that all came spilling out while we were safely in the car on the way back to civilization. I don’t know if anyone has ever been in the desert, on a plateau at night, but apparently that’s where you’ll find a nice little sand storm. But, I obviously made it out alive to tell the story. All we needed was a little rest and daylight and we made it on the first try Sunday morning. Needless to say, I might stay away from the desert for a little while. Maybe find some hikes with some clearly marked trails, no sand and who knows, maybe I’ll start paying better attention to where I’m going to hopefully avoid getting that feeling ever again.

Our Camp Site at Coyote Gulch - Jacob Hambleins Arch

Our Camp Site at Coyote Gulch – Jacob Hambleins Arch

My view first thing in the morning

My view first thing in the morning

The famous waterfall from Coyote Gulch pictures

The famous waterfall from Coyote Gulch pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stevens Natural Arch - the end of the Coyote Gulch Hike! Your 26 mile reward

Stevens Natural Arch – the end of the Coyote Gulch Hike! My 26 mile reward

Now, onto how this affected what was once a very disciplined half marathon training schedule. My original plan was that I would get back on Sunday morning from the hike and still get in my long run that evening (11 miles). Little did I know, my body was going to be aching when the hike was over. There was no way I was getting off of the couch until I was forced to go into work Monday morning. So, I took Monday off as well, hey it’s an off day on the schedule! Tuesday I went back to the normal 4, but Wednesday I did 11 instead of 6 and I took the rest of the days off and did 12 on Sunday. It was a rough week! However, by doing my 12 on Sunday even though I had just done a long run a couple of days before, I got myself back on track. I took Monday off, did 4 yesterday and got in my 6 today. Things are looking good! I am getting really anxious for the race next weekend, it’s going to be hard but I still have faith in my goal of finishing the race in under 2 hours. Fingers crossed!

 

*Enjoy!