Food

This week’s dinner menu

by lachicaruns on

After the thrill of last weekend’s Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run, the rest of the week’s been a blur of back-to-school, work and getting ready for this weekend’s Run Woodstock 50K.

I set out all of my gear last night, just to make sure I read Brandess Wallace’s helpful tips on what to pack for an ultra.

Flat chica for the Run Woodstock 50K.

Flat chica for the Run Woodstock 50K.

I also packed two drop bags, making sure to use Brandess’s handy drop bag guide. You can print out the list to pack your own: 10 drop bag essentials.

As for my carrot? I packed both Double Stuf Oreos and kettle chips.

Because some days, you run for the kettle chips.

Because some days, you run for the kettle chips.

If I forgot something, then I didn’t really need it.

I’m taking a moment in the middle of my packing extravaganza to to share the week’s dinner menu since I had to plan way ahead knowing the last thing I’ll want to do Sunday night will be meal planning and grocery shopping. If you’re new here, this is how I plan our meals.

What are your weekend plans? What’s the farthest you’ve ever run? 

This week’s dinner menu

by lachicaruns on

menu ideas (1)

If weeks had theme songs, I’m thinking Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall would be appropriate for this one.

El husbando and our two youngest start school on Tuesday, with our favorite daughter starting her senior year. Our favorite 19-year-old started his sophomore year of college a couple of weeks ago.

That said, things should be pretty hairy at la chica’s household as summer schedules end and the school year begins. Lots of good things come from the new schedule, but lunchbox-packing and sleepy-child-waking are not on that list.

Whether you’re getting your favorite children ready to go back to school or busy with work or your training schedule, here’s a menu to make sure that you at least get something good to eat to end your weekdays. If you’re new, here’s how I plan our meals. Just remember to double the recipes if you want left-overs for lunches or your familia is gigantic like ours.

  • Shredded beef hoagies, chips, corn on the cob
  • Hamburgers, baked fries, corn
  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn-bread muffins (Jiffy mix), green beans
  • Cilantro lime chicken, white rice
  • Panini, chips

What’s going on for you this week? Have you found any yummy recipes to share?

This week’s dinner menu

by lachicaruns on

I should have been born a woman of leisure. I uncharacteristically took two days of vacation this week with absolutely no plans — and it was glorious.

I ran, yes, and did my stretching and some core work, but I also went fishing with el husbando, painted our garage doors, ran a gazillion errands, cleaned out my closet and baked yummy treats. All that and I still have the weekend to enjoy. Winning!

Lake Ovid

Lake Ovid

Tomorrow should have been my 26 mile training run — the 50K plan‘s longest — before taper, but I’m delaying that until next week. I’m running up to 18 tomorrow with my friend, Vicki, and running the 26 next week when a bunch of friends and I are doing the Lake Lansing Team Marathon and running all the loops. The event is a favorite and I’m really looking forward to hanging out with the Black Girls RUN! ladies and, yes, eating a ton of food.

lachica team picture

Last year’s Lake Lansing Team Marathon shenanigans.

I’m amazed that I’ve spent most of the summer training for what may be my first (and only) ultra marathon, with taper just a week away. Tick. Tock. Wowza. Taper for my first half and first full drove me a little loopy, but I think I’ll be just fine this time around because I’m more experienced and because this go-round has been so long and has had me running so very many miles. I’ll check in and will let you know if I’m faring.

In the meantime, here’s a week’s worth of meals so you have more time to run. And this is how I plan my meals in the first place.

MENU IDEAS vegetables for Pinterest
  • Zesty Italian chicken and spaghetti with a green salad and garlic bread
  • Spaghetti and (precooked) meatballs, rolls. I particularly like this Weight Watchers Favorite Tomato Sauce
  • Ground beef tacos, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and guacamole
  • Stuffed manicotti (beef, cheese and red sauce), salad, rolls
  • Turkey panini (on the George Foreman grill), chips, fruit

What’s on your training plan this week? Have you found any new recipes? Feel free to share your blog post if you’ve written about this topic before.

“Runger” continues to plague this chica as my mileage groweth. We were on vacation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula last week where I got to run to one of my favorite lakes, Perch Lake, north of the great metropolis of Newberry in a small town called Deer Park.

Perch Lake in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Perch Lake in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The view was so nice, I did it twice, for a total of 18 miles. The training plan called for 24, but I just couldn’t fit it in between the eating, sightseeing and spending time with my brother, who was visiting from Puerto Rico.

I saw a moose on the way to Perch Lake.

I saw a moose on the way to Perch Lake.

I did a couple of other uneventful hour-long runs, finally wrapping up my vacay with enough miles so that I was on track with my plan.

It felt good to head home after such a fun vacation.

It felt good to head home after such a fun vacation.

Speaking of all of the eating we did, here’s this week’s plan so you have more time to run, or whatever. And if you want to make your own, here’s how I do it. You can find a few more plans here, here and here.

How was your week? How do you squeeze running time in when you’re on vacation? Feel free to share your blog post if you’ve written about this before.

“You’re crazy” (with its accompanying head shaking) has got to be the most-common response from anyone who learns that I’m training to run 31 miles. For fun.

I often start to explain just how rewarding and fun this whole idea is, but the other person typically either continues to tell me why no sane person would choose to run an ultra marathon or to list reasons why these long distances are bad for me (wear and tear, knee problems and other injuries).

What if they really listened? Could I really articulate just how rewarding all of this training is? How good it feels to be so tired after a double-digit run that all I can think of is a nap (after I eat a donut!)? Just how much more I get out of the run than I expend in time or effort?

I’m reminded of the refrain “those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still” but just can’t help myself. So here’s my list of reasons for why long distance running is actually good for me:

  • Running has given me the most active social life I’ve ever had. Becoming a runner has expanded my circle of friends. I also get to do something fun just about every day of the week, whether it’s running at 5 in the morning or getting roped into doing a 31-day plank challenge (I’m looking at you, Jessi).
  • Running has made me more active. I’ve never been a slacker in the active department (camping, hiking, fishing, biking and tae kwon do come to mind), but now I find even more reasons to be active. I do take rest days off, but I enjoy my fitness-related activities more and am a lot more likely to stick to my schedule.
  • Running has encouraged me to set new goals and to push myself. Planning my runs, working on my training plan and, yes, shopping for new gear give me a sense of contentment. But it’s the big-hairy-deal goals that bring me the most feeling of accomplishment. I never imagined I’d be running a half marathon, let alone training for anything beyond 26.2 miles. Just thinking about it makes me smile.
  • Running has gotten me to try new things. The phrase “I don’t do winter” was part of my vocabulary for more than 20 years. Now I run outside no matter the weather and no longer feel like I live in the Michigan tundra against my will. And I’m running through parts of town I’d never even seen before, whether on trails or pavement, giving me a bigger appreciation for my adopted hometown.
  • Running has helped me make better choices about my health. A chica can’t run 20-plus miles on a stomach full of donuts, so I’ve learned to make better food choices, am drinking at least twice as much water as I ever have, am taking my vitamins and am getting more sleep. (I’m doing that last one mostly because I can’t keep my eyes open past 9:30 at night, but it still counts, right?)

And here’s this week’s menu plan so you have more time to run. If you’re new, here’s how I make my list.

What else would you add to the list of reasons why long-distance running is good for you? Add it to the comments below. Feel free to include a link to your blog if you’ve written about this topic.