Operation RAM Update: 5 weeks to go!

Of all the bucket list items on my list, #41 Run a Marathon, might be the worst one on my list. I hesitated for years to even add it to my list because I didn’t want to have to follow through and do it. But it’s there, in my face, reminding me how crazy I am. A bunch of months ago… last fall? My lovely friends from high school convinced me to join them in a marathon, and you can read the full story on the post linked back there. Fast forward to today and I’m still on pace to run in just five short weeks. I haven’t booked my flight, I haven’t done enough hill or speed training, and I haven’t written my will. But other than those three (major?) pieces of the puzzle, I’ve been doing fairly well with preparations.

Running/Workouts

My 24-week training program was both ambitious and reasonable. It’s had me running just three times a week, but building miles fairly consistently the entire time. I did a 20 mile training run a few weeks ago and felt good! Since that point I’ve struggled with motivation to run and my legs have just been dead. Meeting with my nutritionist two weeks ago, we decided it would be best if I gave my legs a break and focused on my food and my “explosive” workouts. So I went to a “HIIT” class last Tuesday for a High Intensity Interval Training workout that kicked my butt… literally. My butt muscles, groin/inner thighs, and shoulders were a waste of space the rest of the week. But our instructor was super positive and encouraging, so I actually enjoyed the class and plan to go back! I’ve been getting into Zumba as well, because it meets at the gym immediately after my yoga class. It’s not as intense, but it’s definitely fun and gets me moving!

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Charity/Donations

I also gave blood last week, which helped me refocus on my goal of helping young adults with cancer during my marathon training. Giving blood is never easy for me, and this time proved no different. I’ve solved my low iron problem with a supplement and food choices, but the lovely nurse still spent almost six minutes “manipulating” the needle to get it in my vein without puncturing it. Lovely. Then my slow-drip blood took just over 24 minutes (with a little “encouragement” along the way) to fill the bag. But again, it was all worth it when I think about the lives I’m helping with my donation. I’ve also been raising money for Hope for Young Adults with Cancer, an incredible organization that helps with medical bills and other necessities, as well as helping build a fun sense of community in 18-40 year-olds who have been diagnosed with cancer. If you’re interested in learning more, check out my fundraising page and consider donating to this life-changing group!

www.crowdrise.com/teamhope4yawcsanfran2014/fundraiser/karenoliver1

Hope-SF-2-Marathon

 

Nutrition/Meal Prep

But now back to the nutrition issue at hand, I always struggle with eating, especially during training, because I just don’t know what to eat and when and why. But I’m getting way better! Currently, we have increased the fiber in my diet with Fiber One bars, spinach, dried figs and apricots, and nuts of all varieties. I’m also trying to be better about meal prepping, at least during the week, and making bulk meals to last several days. It’s hard, and takes some time to plan and get used to, but I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.

This past week I tried a new recipe from Pinterest (And Veggie Belly) for a Fruit-Quinoa Salad. I wanted something to accompany my meats and veggies at dinner, that I could also snack on for lunch if I needed to. I was a tad ambitious and quadrupled the recipe because I had bags of quinoa brown rice that were two cups. Oh well! I also ditched the dressing because I thought the salad was sweet enough without it, and I’m just not a huge dressing person. But I did sprinkle basil leaves and squeeze a lemon into the mixture, which added those hints of flavor.

Oh, and for my mangoes, I cheated and used the frozen diced mangoes we use in our smoothies, which actually worked out great and made this dish even easier to make. I would probably just double the recipe next time so the fruit stays fresh, and I might sub something else in for the dried cranberries… maybe my dried apricots for more fiber! Anyway, here’s the full recipe for you to see and thanks to Veggie Belly for the recipe and image below 🙂

mango-blueberry-quinoa-salad-lemon-basil-dressing-recipe4

Blueberry Mango Quinoa Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

Serves about 2

For the quinoa
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water

For the fruits
½ cup fresh blueberries
½ cup cubed ripe mangoes
½ cup cubed cucumbers
1/2 tablespoon dried cranberries

For the lemon basil dressing
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
10 Basil leaves, chopped finely
Salt and pepper

Place the quinoa and water in a medium skillet and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, and simmer covered for about 15 minutes or till the quinoa is cooked. Remove the lid, and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Let it cool to room temperature.

While the quinoa is cooking, combine the fruits in a bowl and refrigerate till you are ready to serve the salad.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, except the chopped basil. Refrigerate till you are ready to serve. Chop and add the basil to the dressing just before serving. If you add it earlier, it will go black.

Add half the dressing to the quinoa and mix gently.

Assemble the salad just before serving – toss the quinoa, fruits and cucumbers together. Serve other half of the dressing on the side. Serve  immediately.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Mt Soledad Training Run Recap (Operation RAM) | Rays of Funshine
  2. Trackback: Operation RAM: Judgement Day is Almost Here | Rays of Funshine
  3. Trackback: Operation RAM: Mission Accomplished | Rays of Funshine

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