Monday, June 6, 2011

Veggie Challenge

I ran 8 miles yesterday. And it felt good! I fueled right, had enough water, got up early enough to beat the heat, and came upon a surprise sanity-saving zero-grade fountain during a sunny stretch of trail. I got to run through it at mile 5 and again at mile 6.

I came home and logged my run online, and then decided to be curious and look back at the only other time in my life I've knowingly run 8 miles: about 9 months ago when I was training for my 1/2 marathon. To my dismay, I saw that my average was a full minute-per-mile faster last year! I thought surely that can't be right, because now I run 10 minutes between my 1 minute walking breaks instead of 5. I've been running 2-3 times a week almost every week for over a year. So I tried to think back (and look back at old training logs) to see what I was doing differently.

For one, I had consistency on my side last year. No matter what my pace was, I ran 2.5-3.5 miles 3 times a week without fail before I started to build mileage for my 10k and half marathon. I know I've been running for over a year now, but with holidays, asthma, sleeping problems, and [insert-any-excuse-here] I haven't been as consistent with training lately. That means I need to get back to 3 runs a week (no less than 3 miles each time), speedwork once a week, and strength training 2-3 times a week like I was doing last year.

Looking back at my blog, I also realized that I was eating vegetables. A lot of them. Our CSA was frustrating in the beginning, because we kept getting spring veggies like bok choy and turnips that I wasn't in love with. But I ate them because they were fresh and local, and I hate seeing good food go to waste.

You know what this means: veggie challenge starts now! It's ridiculous how much better veggies taste when they come from the local, organic farmer's market as opposed to the supermarket. Unbelievable differences. I forgot how wonderful our CSA was and just looking back at my weekly pictures is making me crave fresh produce. I'm so excited things are growing again! My own container garden had a brief hayday and gave us several weeks of abundant lettuce. But now the lettuce has bolted and we're waiting on the next round of veggies to ripen.

cherry tomatoes
Hungarian hot peppers
In the meantime, I'm loving what my favorite farmer's market, Badseed, has to offer (I had to limit my purchases this week, but Friday is payday and you can bet my reusable canvas bags will be busting at the seams):

lettuce and herb salad

spring onions
For more vegi-ful inspiration, here are some other posts/articles for your reading pleasure:

EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides (although if you know your farmers and their practices, you don't have to worry about a list like this)

The Chic Life's Project Veg-Up (includes a downloadable calendar to print out and keep track)

Mama Pea's thoughts on the new "food guide plate" (there are some great links within the post that are worth reading as well)

Mark Bittman's recent article Meat: Why Bother? I will never be completely vegetarian, but I do feel best when I eat a plant-based diet and think of meat as a side-dish or condiment. In the last 2 years, I've revamped my meat consumption so I only buy local, grass-finished beef or bison and true free-range chicken and pork from farmers I've met myself. And, well, the occasional piece of preservative-free organic bacon.

So, cheers to 5 - a - Day for the month of June!

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