Weekend “Training” and Food!

If this weekend’s running had a name, it would be “Jeannine and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Run.”


Sometimes, as a parent, it’s very hard to know when you’re not feeling good because you’re just busy running around your kid(s) all day long.  When you finally have time to sit and reflect- or go for a run- you think, “Man, I don’t think I feel good.  That snot rocket was green!”  (Gross, but true, guys)

That is essentially what happened to me this weekend.  Saturday called for 8 miles.  I went early in the morning and began to feel crappy very soon into it.  My back weirdly hurt and I was having trouble breathing.  I did end up running the 8 miles, but it took me 9 minutes longer than an 8 miler I did a few weeks ago.  It really bummed me out.

Sunday was supposed to be a 40 minute tempo run.  By how I began this post, you can imagine how that went.  I ended up running 3.5 miles, which took me about 40 minutes.  My breathing was so weird I had to stop and walk a few times and there wasn’t a tempo pace to be seen.

I can’t even blame the weather because both mornings were picture perfect- cool and gorgeous.  I’m guessing I have some sort of summer cold that needs to pass so I can get back on track.

Today I am supposed to run three miles.  I didn’t get up at 5am this morning, and I’m glad I didn’t.  Charlotte woke up around 5:45 and I brought her in to feed her.  Braxton came in a bit later and jumped into bed with us.  We all laid there until it was so late that we had to get up and rush around.  Totally worth it.

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Morning Babies!  Char is NOT amused.

Because it’s only a 3 mile day, my plan is to take the kids for a quick run this afternoon after I pick them up from daycare.  I hope I feel better, dammit!  But any run with them is fun.  It will probably look something like this:

They’re so cooperative!

On a funny side note- we are in the midst of potty training, which is actually going pretty well.  Braxton loves to make his favorite teacher happy.  The minute we arrived at daycare this morning, he announced to her, “Miss Ashley, I’m wearing underwear!”  It made me giggle on my way to work thinking about how my boss would act if I excitedly proclaimed such a thing to her.  Kids are adorable.

Anyways, as far as training goes, I’m not letting this weekend get me down.  I know my body went through a lot just a few months ago, so I can’t expect it to be perfect.  It is just telling me, “Dude, give me time.”  If I were closer to the marathon, I’d be freaking out a little more.

As always, one of the most important parts of training for any race is food.  How we eat makes a huge difference on our performance.  Food is fuel.  I am slowly trying to scale back on the snacks that I got so used to binging on and getting into a slightly more regimented diet, which will improve my running.  But it’s sooo hard. Goldfish crackers are seriously amazing and I won’t give them up ever.

One of my favorite things to cook with is quinoa and my favorite way to cook is fast.  I am always looking for quick recipes to fit into my nights so I can feed myself and our family healthily.  Braxton has become more…selective, we’ll say…with his age, so it’s a success when he eats more than 3 bites of something besides fruit.  It always depends on the day with him.

Mexican Quinoa Casserole is a fun easy dish.  It takes a while to bake, but the preparation is so easy it’s worth it.  I LOVE how the quinoa cooks right in it!  Try it out!!

Oven-Baked Mexican Quinoa Casserole

Oven-Baked Mexican Quinoa Casserole - Vegan and Gluten-Free {Dry quinoa and other ingredients cook right in the oven!}

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 796 ml (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste or ketchup
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp chili powder (more if you like things spicy)
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 540 ml (19 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 311 g (11 oz) can corn kernels, with liquid
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • Toppings of choice: vegan sour cream, avocado, cilantro, vegan cheese, etc.
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium frying pan (or stove-top-safe 2.8 liter/3 quart casserole dish). Add onion and garlic, and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; and transfer to oven-safe casserole dish if not already using one.
  3. Add quinoa, deced tomatoes (with juice), water, nutritional yeast, tomato paste (or ketchup), and spices. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  4. COVER and place in oven and set timer for 30 minutes.
  5. Caferfully remove casserole from oven and stir in drained beans and corn (with liquid). If the mixture looks dry, add a half cup of water.
  6. Return to oven WITH LID and set timer for another 30 minutes.
  7. Caferfully remove casserole from oven and stir in spinach. It will wilt from the heat.
  8. Top with sour cream, diced avocado and/or cilantro and serve.
  9. IF FREEZING: Make full recipe but leave-out the spinach and toppings. Let cool and freeze in airtight container(s). To serve: defrost fully, lightly reheat (in microwave or on stovetop), stir in spinach and add toppings of choice.

Happy Monday!!!


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