Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Recipe: Veggie Protein Packed Rainbow Salad

Hi friends! It's been quite a while since I posted a recipe but it doesn't mean I haven't been cooking up a storm.  I just happened to think my dinner I made Monday night was so dang pretty I instagramed it and my peeps loved it and wanted the recipe...ok, maybe only one person did but that is enough for me to blog about it, this one is for you Megan ;).
Follow me @marathonlar on Instagram in case I make something else amazing :)

My neighbor actually made this salad last week and I went over for dinner and went home with leftovers and LOVED it.  She had it printed out on piece of paper originally from a coworker (original recipe origin unknown) and of course I took it and made some modifications to my taste and for what I had in my cupboard. 

It's vegetarian but still packed with protein from the garbanzo beans and quinoa but if you still need MEAT in order to make a meal I think it would be great with chicken or even a good sausage.  I should also note that the original recipe called for double the dressing that I actually made so if you like a more heavily dressed salad double up on the below ingredients in the dressing.  I thought it was just fine with half. 

Veggie Protein Packed Rainbow Salad

Serves: ALOT, ok maybe 6-8


  • 1.5 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • .5 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1.5 cubed sweet potato
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 shredded carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • toasted pumpkin seeds (sunflower seeds or any nut would be good too!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • feta cheese to garnish
Dressing: wisk all that dressing stuff together!

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400
  2. Bring the quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil, reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
  3. Toss your taters in some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast those babies for 10-15 minutes or until soft.
  4. Mix up the cooled quinoa, taters, beans, pumpkin seeds, and veggies in a big bowl.
  5. Add the dressing.
  6. Garnish with feta and eat it up!

Pretty sure this will be my lunch and dinner for the next few days!  It reminds me that I really need to get in the habit of making something like this every Sunday to last me through the week.

Question: What big batch type foods do you make to get your through the week?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My First Half - Janel and Kristin Run the Mini Indy

I think I've said it a million times already but I'm so stinking proud of my two cousins for training and running their first half marathon a few weeks ago at the Mini Indy!  I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but my cousin Janel has been telling me I should come run the Mini Indy half every since I started running years ago and every single time she did I would reply with "I'll run it if you do!" Well that time finally came and we roped our younger cousin, Kristin, in to join the fun and had a great cousin bonding experience because of it.  The race was really just the icing on top, I enjoyed the countless emails regarding training, fueling, stretching, resting, etc in the 12 weeks leading up to the race just as much as the actual run itself!
Kristin and Janel looking fit and ready to run 13.1!

I gave Kristin and Janel a 12 week training plan that was SUPER basic...three runs a week, only focus on mileage…don't worry about speed, hills, etc.  This was just to warm them up to the idea of running a half and make sure they could successfully complete the 13.1 miles with a smile on their face (SPOILER: they did!).  Here was the plan:
simple, simple, simple!
And being the type of person who doesn't do anything half way, Janel completed EVERY.SINGLE.RUN with the spreadsheet to prove it. (Kristin assures me she completed "most" of them…hehe).

Janel not missing a single run! She would be a running coaches dream client!

Here are some thoughts from both Janel and Kristin on their first half!

A big sweaty post race hug from her biggest fan Brady!
From her blog post on the race:
I felt pretty good throughout the whole race.  My legs, hips and bottom got a little sore and tight towards the end, but other than that I felt good.  I never thought- "I'm not going to be able to finish" or " I need to stop and walk."  If you remember, my goals for the race were: finish, finish without walking and not have a heart attack.  I am pleased to say all goals were met!! :)  My only ailment is a blister.  It is in the same place as the one I got a few weeks ago after my 11 mile run.  I have decided that it is probably time to retire my running shoes for a new pair.
About to start our 13.1 journey (Janel in the purple)

Of course I asked them both if they would run another one again and Janel replied:
As far as future running plans, I plan to continue running a few miles a couple times a week.  Although I have no official plans to run another half anytime soon, the possibility to do so is definitely there.  Now that I know that I can do it, I am already thinking about how I can improve. :) <---I think I created a half marathon lover!
Post race pic with random superheros to which Janel quoted "I feel like a superhero"! <---LOVE THAT!

Kristin evidently likes lists so she sent me a numbered list of her highlights of the race:
Finishing the race without walking!
Running the entire race with my cousins. (well she did try to get away from Janel and I at one point but we caught up!)
Having wonderful weather.
Enjoying all the bands and spectators while running.
Having my dad, Brady, and Brad cheer the three of us on!
Running the last 3 miles the fastest!
Taking advantage of the two spray stations they had set up for us. (Janel and I stayed away from those!)
Getting the opportunity to run on the Indianapolis Speedway.
Comin in hot on the speedway! Just wish we could have run as fast as the Indy cars :)
Brady, myself, Kristin and Uncle Dave (Kristin's dad)
When asked if Kristin will run another half she replied, "I already have my eye on one in September!"

And I'm already trying to make them meet me at a destination race so we can vacation and run together in the future!

I am so lucky to have cousins close to age with me and despite living in different areas of the country we remain relatively close and make an effort to see each other when we can! I loved "coaching" them through this process and running the race with them, definitely a memory to last a lifetime!  Watching their passion for running grow has helped reignite my love for running and remind me of one of the main reasons I love it so much…the support from a great community (friends, family, bloggers, social media friends, Nuun, Ragnar, etc) that surrounds you and pushes you forward on every single run, race, or even rest day.

XOXO ladies!
QUESTION: Who have you inspired to run lately?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Race Recap: 2014 Mini Indy Half Marathon

First off I have to say that this really shouldn't be MY race recap…I have to give all the credit, hard work training, and determination to go faster and faster during the race to my two cousins, Janel and Kristin, who ran a perfect first half marathon this past Saturday!  They really are living proof that you can just start up running for the first time or after a long break and run a half marathon successfully in just a few months…and only running 3 days/week I might add (something for another post).

I plan on letting my cousins speak for themselves in the next post but here is my recap!

First off, the Mini Indy is SO well organized! They have different start times for the different waves (5 total) so you didn't have to get to the start line when the first gun goes off, we actually "slept in" until 6 since our wave didn't start until 8:30. Getting to the start was a breeze and we hung out in a convention center using their nice restrooms until it was almost our start time. As we were marching ahead to the start line there were volunteers on the side handing out water and gatorade…GENIUS! I am constantly complaining about how parched I am right before a race due to nerves, whatever so this was exactly what I needed.

At the start!
We were in wave 4 as my cousins predicted a finish time of about 2 hours, 30 minutes.  We started a little after 8:30AM on Saturday morning (a perfectly cool sunny morning I might add!) and settled into a warmup pace of about 12:00 miles for the first few miles.  I think we might have gone a bit faster but the crowd was pretty thick and that was the pace they were going but I think it helped ease them both into the fact that they were running 13.1 miles that day!  Our pace increased a bit every 3 miles or so, 11:30, 11:00, 10:30, and even busting out a sub 10:00 mile for the last mile with a sprint at the finish!

The course was really nothing to write home about, wide open roads with not much scenery.  There were some fun bands and entertainment along the way that all led up to the 2.5 mile loop around the Indianapolis 500 track around mile 6.

We all agreed that the track was a bit overrated and we were ready to be off of it after about 1 mile. It was cool to say I ran on the track but car racing doesn't really do it for any of us so I think the novelty was lost. Plus we knew we would be seeing our family after we excited the speedway so we just wanted to get to that point as quick as possible! We spotted them right as exited and Janel's 5-year old son, Brady, raced along side the course waving the whole way…definitely the motivation we needed to keep going.

After the track we were focused on getting the 13.1 miles done! Our pace picked up and we all stayed close to each other…little Miss Kristin tried to break away from us but we caught up to her :).  The weather felt pretty warm at some points but then a breeze would kick in and we would all be comfortably warm again.  Coming back into downtown Indianapolis was pretty and then you turn over a bridge and see the finish line.  I felt pretty strong the whole way but my hips started feeling not so fine at about mile 10 so I was ready to kick it into high gear and finish as fast as we could.  All three of us crossed the finish line together in about 2 hours, 26 minutes!

Close to the finish line, sprinting to catch up to Kristin!
I would argue that post-race was where I thought the Mini Indy could use some major improvements. We were offered a full water bottle (PLUS) but no full gatorade, chocolate milk, or other recovery drink that I've become accustomed to at most big races. The post-race food was pretty minimal (pretzels, bananas, cookies, fruit cup), but luckily we were planning to head straight to lunch after so it wasn't a big deal!

Still smiling after 13.1 miles!
I need some major re-hydrating with Nuun post race and we headed straight to Crackel Barrel for lunch where I inhaled a delicious BLT and french fries! Speaking of Nuun I should add that this was the FIRST race where I didn't have coffee as part of my pre-race routine but rather had Nuun Energy and it worked like a champ and I also avoided the "just had my coffee, now I have to go #2 right away" feeling…WIN WIN!

Okay, I've rambled on enough and like I said before this race wasn't about me…it was about supporting my cousins on their first journey to 13.1.  Stay tuned for their recap and to see if I convinced them to run another 13.1 in the future :).

QUESTION: What do you remember most about your first 13.1? Or first race?