Monday, May 3, 2010

Changes, a Race Recap, and a Salad

I am writing while sitting down and resting a pair of tired, but recovering legs, thanks to Sunday's Long Branch Half Marathon! But we'll get to that in a minute. First, this may come as a surprise to some, but I am changing my eating habits once again. After a lot of thought and rather stressful consideration, I am not going to call myself vegan any longer. Lately I have been finding the label to be very restrictive, and I've been uncomfortable with it. I'm sure I could ramble on about my reasoning for paragraph after paragraph, but I will save it, and just say that I feel that this decision is the best thing for me personally right now. Going forward, I don't plan on hitting up a burger joint 5 nights a week, don't worry. I will thoughtfully consider any animal based products I put in my body, and make my decisions in a fluid, day-to-day way rather than by a strict set of rules (which works great for some people, I'm just finding it doesn't for me). My house, however, will most likely remain vegan (at this point I can't think of any meat or dairy products I need to have at home) and I will of course continue to focus on eating a healthy diet, so rest assured that many of the recipes I post will be vegan-friendly (and of course, delicious). I hope you all, regardless of your dietary choices, will continue to follow Runs on (Mostly) Plants.

On to the half marathon! My mom and I arrived to the start and finish area hour well ahead of the start time, at which point the weather was still reasonable. By the time the race started at 9am, it was HOT. The lovely ocean breeze faded as we headed inland on the loop course right around mile 3 and it didn't make an appearance again until almost mile 12. In between it was hot and humid, but everything else about the race was great. Through every street there was great crowd support. People with signs, bells, hoses and sprinklers, and even some with homemade water stops and snacks were out. There were even a few bands playing along the course! Before I hit a few road blocks in my training, I was shooting to finish in under 2 hours. But after my fall on my knee and some Achilles tendon trouble just a week and a half before the race, I eased up on that and decided to just enjoy the race and see what happens. I'm happy to say I finished in 2 hours 6 minutes 18 seconds (from the unofficial results posted today), and ended up in the top fifth of both my gender and age group. Not bad at all considering the unseasonably hot weather and a couple setbacks during training. And most importantly, I had a really good time doing the race. My friend John (who did the marathon) and his parents hosted a party after the race, and it was nice to kick back with friends old and new and a few beers and snacks. Overall, this was a great race! Mom was awesome taking pictures and cheering me on, a number of my friends completed the race, and everything was really organized, from pre-race packet pick up to the post-race massage. I hope to be back next year.
Last night I was craving a salad for dinner, but a salad with a bit of substance. A few months ago I made this Avocado Wasabi Salad from VeganYumYum. It was amazingly delicious. It's a bit of a process to put this whole thing together, so for a fast meal I decided to just make the chickpea part of the recipe and work it into a simple salad. The chickpeas are super easy to do, all you need are canned chickpeas, soy sauce, and wasabi in some form. The recipe called for powder, but I used paste and it worked great. Anyway, I made these chickpeas and tossed them with some mixed greens, carrots, cucumbers, scallions, and a orange sesame dressing that I whipped up (this is obviously my favorite dressing of the moment, I can't get enough of it). Easy, quick, and light, but still substantial.

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