Monday, January 23, 2012

3 Miles and Extra Nuts

Writing this post about my new favorite afternoon snack - a do it yourself trail mix - is going to be a lot of fun because I get to use the word "nuts" a lot. I might be nearly 29 years old, but the word still makes me giggle when used excessively.

For the longest time I did not like nuts in any shape or form. Nuts in my cookies? No thanks. Nuts in my ice cream? No way. Nuts in my food? You've got to be kidding. I'm not sure when this changed. I think it was at a dinner that I attended with my dear work wife, Allison, at a local hole in the wall restaurant called Zeus in the Gallery District. She ordered a salad that I would never have considered: roasted beet, peach, arugula salad with candied pecans, sonoma chevre and a white balsamic vinaigrette. One bite and I was sold on two things: candied pecans and sonoma chevre.

Now I'm a big fan of walnuts, pecans, and I'm learning to like almonds. Since I started really kicking up my running last year, I've been trying out a variety of trail mixes as an afternoon snack. I would buy the tiny bag at the grocery store that cost $5 a pop and usually included the dreaded peanut. Yuck. So last month I decided to make my own trail mix - mainly to avoid peanuts.

So here it is: Kathryn's Trail Mix - Extra Nutty

I use plain pecans and walnuts from the baking aisle, dried cranberries, and then splurge a little bit on fancy almonds toasted in olive oil with sea salt. Pop into a tupperware, shake it up, and there you have it.

While nuts are supposed to be good for you, I try to remind myself that they are good for you in moderation and that eating 2 cups of the stuff isn't a good idea. In fact, it's a little bit... well... nuts.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Tonight's training plan called for an easy 3 mile run. I don't really understand why the training plan has dropped me back to a measly 3 miles this week. Getting dressed and going out for a mere 3 miles seems like a big fat waste of time to me, but training plan is the boss of me, so I did it.

Kind of.

The weather today was absolutely abysmal. Foggy, drizzly, and chilly. Luckily my local Y has an indoor track so I didn't have to make friends again with the dreadmill. The only downside is that the track is small so there are 17 laps in one mile... which means that you have to concentrate pretty hard to not lose count.

The first mile was a piece of cake and I was feeling great (probably thanks to my nutty afternoon snack), so I decided to ignore the training plan and run the next two miles as fast as I comfortably could instead of at an easy pace. Here are the results:

Mile 1 - 9:16
Mile 2 - 8:35
Mile 3 - 8:20

Total: 26:18

Not too shabby. I could have kept going but had a lot to accomplish tonight before bed, so I stopped at the 3 and headed home.

Tomorrow is my long run - 8 miles. Luckily it looks like the weather is going to cooperate and I'll be able to have a nice outdoor run downtown. I'm mainly looking forward to the fueling... I think a nice salad for lunch then 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich and a Nearly Naked Smoothie will do nicely.

And of course the post run decadence - there is piece of pound cake smothered in vanilla butter cream icing downstairs calling my name. But it's gotta wait until tomorrow.

What is your favorite afternoon snack?
Have you always liked nuts or did you have to warm up to them?
Do you ignore your training plan sometimes?

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