Tag Archives: Philadelphia Marathon

Marathon Pause

When I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon, still high off of my spring half marathon PR, I was ready to crush training and run the race I know I’m capable of running. I had plenty of time to train, a great coach, and enough dances with the 26.2 distance to know what was required of me. My schedule was going to be a little hectic with wedding festivities almost every weekend in September and October, but I figured if that was the only hiccup I would be able to manage. A wrench was thrown in when I wound up moving – which was both exciting because I’d finally be in a location I wanted, but stressful because moving is stressful! – but I still had every intention of racing the Philly Marathon. Well, sometimes life gives you lemons and lemonade all at once.

Training was getting done, but I wasn’t running the way I wanted to. I had to skip a few long runs/cut them short due to being just straight up tired, and others were a mental battle to not only get out the door, but to actually finish the prescribed distance (though oddly enough one of my best runs was an 18 miler during a downpour). With all the weddings, moving, working, and trying to train, I think my strength work suffered. So I wasn’t shocked when I noticed the all too familiar twinge outside of my knee after a quick but easy 4 miler at the beginning of October. I took a few days off with some extra strength work and foam rolling and everything seemed to be okay – I ran 17 miles last weekend, and had an awesome fartlek workout last Tuesday. But then this past Friday during my long run (which was moved due to a bachelorette party this past weekend), the little twinge outside the knee I had felt two weeks prior slowly but surely developed into a sharp pain. Dreaded ITBS had reared its ugly head on my left side (I had an issue with it this past January on my right side). I made it to 10 miles, stopped, and spent the next mile doing a little run/walk combination in hopes it would somehow just go away. It didn’t, so after a few expletives left my mouth, I had to walk two miles home.

It was during that two mile walk home that I knew I needed to let go of my hopes to run the Philly Marathon. The thought had crept into my mind when the pain first appeared, but I was hopeful I could still salvage things. But this was the nail in the proverbial marathon training coffin. There hadn’t been enough mileage put into the bank earlier, and the last thing I wanted to do was run yet another marathon that my goal was to just finish. The next time I train for and run a marathon, I want it to be the race I know I’m capable of running. I e-mailed Jason and let him know what was going on and he confirmed what I was thinking: I will not be running the Philadelphia Marathon on November 23rd. Or the half. There isn’t any running on my schedule for the next week, but starting tomorrow I’m getting back into strength work… and then I’m going to take it from there. I joked that maybe I should swear off marathons and Jason said I can’t just yet. So when am I going to attempt my next marathon? Who knows. Maybe this spring. Or maybe not until next Fall. But I know that I can’t let my dream of a successful marathon go just yet – I have visions of myself crossing the finish line with that goal time flashing on the clock and I get butterflies thinking about it. So it’ll happen… one day.

Of course I’m bummed, but I know that in the grand scheme of things it isn’t that big of a deal. I’d much rather deal with the pain now, rather than during the race! So, onward and upward!

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Marathon Training: Fun Times Ahead!

Today marks the official start of my marathon training! In just 16.5 weeks I’ll be toeing the line at the Philadelphia Marathon and I can’t wait. I thought I’d do something different this training cycle and do weekly recaps to highlight how things are going. In the past I’ve been a little more hush-hush about my training, only posting it on DailyMile and a few Tweets here and there. I always assumed no one was really that interested in my training, but I always enjoy reading other people’s weekly recaps. So considering the work I know I’m going to be putting in, I thought it would be fun to share the journey with you!

Whenever someone talks about a big race, the next logical thing to think about are goals. So you’re probably wondering, what are my goals, exactly? Well, I’m not entirely sure… yet. Based on my half marathon PR from this past April, McMillan and similar race calculators suggest I can run a sub-3:30. Which, if we’re being completely honest, is terrifying. If you’re a regular reader, you know that my current marathon PR is much slower than that. I’m talking nearly an hour slower. While it’s true that PR was done on little training and is nearly two years old, it’s still scary to think I’m capable of running an hour faster. I mean, an HOUR? At a pace that not too long ago was a struggle during a half marathon? Yikes.

Regardless of what the online calculators say, I know I’m capable of a big PR, I’m just not sure how big. After my last marathon, my goal was to get in under 4 hours. Realistically, that’s still my number one goal. Without having any official marathon training and longer workouts under my belt yet, it’s difficult for me to say what my time goal(s) are beyond that. I have a great base, but I know that 20 mile long runs are a different beast from the 16 mile long run workouts I was doing for my half marathon this past spring. Would I like to BQ? Sure! But considering my initial goal was to just get under 4-hours, I’m not nearly as consumed with it as most people are… which I actually think is a good thing.

Since I’m yet to have a successful marathon training cycle, I’m actually looking forward to this one. We’ll see if I feel that way when I’m doing 18 mile workouts, ha! I know that right now I’m the strongest I’ve ever been as a runner and am confident that strength is only going to grow. Coincidence that my coach’s website is called Strength Running? I suppose not! Despite feeling strong, I know I have a ways to go. This training cycle is going to include a lot more strength work – core, hips, glutes, and making sure my always problematic feet and shins stay happy. I know it’s going to be time consuming, tiring, and I’m probably going to spend a lot of time being sore. Jason said he has some “fun” in store for me, but uses the term loosely… we’ll see how fun I think it is in a month! My ultimate goal is to follow my training plan 100%. This has always been my downfall when training, especially for a marathon. This past winter and spring was the first time – I think since I trained for my first half marathon –  I didn’t take any shortcuts or make a ton of modifications to my plan… which obviously paid off. Either way, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for an intense training cycle that will hopefully yield some big rewards!

Tell me…
Are you currently training for a marathon? Which one?

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On Marathoning

I remember when I first decided to run a marathon. I’d successfully completed two half marathons (I use the term loosely), a handful of road races, and I was just starting to immerse myself in the world of running on Twitter and through blogs. I was floored by the number of marathoners I was now following, and felt like I needed to be a part of that exclusive club… despite the fact that after finishing my first half marathon, I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to do it again.

My training for my first marathon, Philadelphia 2011, was less than stellar. I knocked out a 14 and 16 mile long run early in the summer, but quickly lost my enthusiasm. I managed to get through one 18 miler that was a huge struggle, and that was the extent of my distance training. Not to mention the miles I logged during the week leading up to my mostly failed long runs weren’t great either. I found myself falling into the trap where I’d worry so much about the upcoming long run and needing to rest my legs, that I’d only run a few miles during the week. It wasn’t good! I was really worried when it came time to race, but I knew to start super slow and just do the best that I could. I finished in 4:37, which considering my lack of training, wasn’t too bad.

Thumbs up for my first marathon!

Thumbs up for my first marathon!

Logically I ran the Disney World Marathon only a month and a half later as part of the Goofy Challenge, and finished in just under 5 hours [I ran a half marathon the day before – another genius move]. I swore to myself that things would be different when training for Chicago 2012, but they weren’t. Again, I didn’t run more than 18 miles for a training run, and my weekly mileage was rather paltry. Naturally I ran into super tight hips around mile 18 and by mile 20 could barely pick up my leg from knee pain. After hobbling about a mile, I was able to run the last 5ish miles and finished in 4:26. I followed this marathon up with another Goofy Challenge, and ran the marathon in 4:27 (with 4 bathroom stops).

Hope I can actually "own it" this time!

Hope I can actually “own it” this time!

By this point, I realized it was time to stop signing up for marathons if I wasn’t going to actually train for them. I wasn’t doing myself or anyone else any favors by half-assing my way through training. I had grand plans of running Richmond 2013 and crushing my marathon PR, but some weird ankle and foot issues in the beginning of the summer knocked that out for me. I thought about maybe doing a spring marathon instead, but after the Polar Vortex winter we had, I’m glad I didn’t! So instead I spent the winter training for a half marathon PR, which I achieved (big time) this past Saturday!

Of course after Saturday’s extremely successful race, everyone has been asking me what’s next. And at first, I wasn’t really sure. After my lack-luster marathon training attempts, I started to think that maybe I’m just not a marathon runner… and that’s okay. However, I’m not okay with quitting the marathon with a PR of 4:26. I know I can do better. According to race predictor calculators, I should be able to run nearly an hour faster. While I think that may be a little overzealous, I do want to give the marathon another shot; I think I owe it to myself (and to the marathon!).

Hurray for marathons!

Hurray for marathons!

So I’ve decided I’ll be running the Philadelphia Marathon this year, on November 23rd. I’m looking forward to working on my speed and strength the rest of the spring and early summer and knocking out some speedy short races. And then from there it’ll be time buckle down and marathon train like everyone else does; high mileage, weekly long runs, and proper cross-training. I’m nervous, but also excited to see what I can do with a real training plan. I don’t have any specific time goals just yet, but I have some lose ideas of what I think I’m capable of running!

Tell me…
Do you have fall marathon plans? 

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2011: A Year of Milestones

And just like that, another year has ended. I always find that once we get to the Holidays, time seems to fly by. For me, though, this entire year flew by. So much happened – I got married, ran a marathon, and quit my job. It really was a growing and turning point year for me, and I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for me. But before we get to the new year, let’s take a look back, shall we?

The year started off with a bang (literally – our New Year’s Eve party always involves fireworks), and the momentum really carried us through the entire year. Our first order of business was to run the Disney Half Marathon and enjoy a little vacation time, which was awesome. Even though I had been battling some different leg injuries (hi shin splits that I still have), I was able to complete the race and have an enjoyable vacation. The winter was full of snow and work, while also taking classes and getting into the nitty-gritty of wedding planning.

Spring was a breath of fresh air – I had finished up my online courses and knew I was free until the following winter, and was able to devote most of my time to wedding planning. Looking back, I can’t believe how efficient my husband and I were at planning, saving money, and getting exactly what we wanted. Aside from a minor meltdown over the color of our bridesmaid dresses (which turned out to be amazing), and stress related to picking a honeymoon destination, the rest of planning went rather smooth.

By the time summer hit, my husband and I were picking up our training for the Philadelphia Marathon. We had both taken significant time off during the winter in an attempt to heal our injuries, but unfortunately that didn’t seem to help much. Most of my running was done at 5a, as the entire month of July was almost 100 degrees or over. It was at this point I realized that the second half of the year was going to be a whirl-wind, and I wasn’t really sure if I was prepared for all of the changes heading my way. By the time August rolled around, though, I was ready to tackle the months ahead.

And we had to get serious with our running. While I never got to the coveted 20 mile run, I settled for 18 and crossed my fingers. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t petrified of the race. I didn’t feel prepared at all, and had absolutely no idea what to expect. Somehow, I finished in an upright position and with a respectable (for me) time of 4:37. My goal is to run another one closer to 4, and then eventually get under the 4 hour mark. I think I’ll need to have a successful training cycle before that happens, though. So I’m planning to not sign up for any big races yet for 2012 and instead focus on building my mileage. That way I can get to a point where I can really follow a training plan and be successful.

The last big event of 2011 was quitting my job. Being this was the first job I had right out of college, and every previous job was seasonal, I had no idea how to go about the quitting process. I knew the day was coming for almost a year, so I had plenty of time to muster up the courage. It was a lot easier than I had anticipated, and I was even able to work it out so I’ll still contribute part-time, remotely. That will be extremely helpful since I’ll be student teaching from January to May, with no real income. It’s a good thing my husband and I were so serious about saving for the wedding, and we have enough left over! While making changes and doing the unknown is scary, I’m excited to start a new chapter of my life. I’ve always known deep down inside I wanted to be a teacher, and I’m excited to be on the path to make that a reality.

2011 was a big year, and I can’t wait to see what’s in-store for me in 2012!

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I’m a Marathoner! – Philadelphia Marathon Recap

For whatever reason, running a marathon is something that has been on my to-do list for years – even before I started running. There’s something elusive about the marathon, and being a marathoner, that intrigued me enough to pick up running with that as my end goal. I always knew that training for a marathon required a lot of work, but I figured I was up for the challenge.

After running the Disney Half Marathon, even though I was injured, I knew we wanted to run a marathon later in the year. I first set our sights on the Pittsburgh Marathon in May, but soon realized I wouldn’t be healed in time, and a rush training job for our very first marathon would be a recipe for disaster. So, I decided on Philadelphia – there weren’t any pace requirements, it was a relatively cheap race ($65), and was close enough. Unfortunately I never got to the all important 20 mile long run – I only made it to 18, and it was a struggle. Needless to say I was extra nervous on race day.

After a carbo-loading dinner on Saturday, it was early to bed for our 4:30a wake-up call. My usual pre-race meal was a little more difficult for me to get down because of nerves, but we were ready to go by 5:45, and made my way to the starting corrals about a mile from our hotel. Since I was hoping to run between 4:30 and 5 hours, I was in the 7th of 8 corrals. It took my coral about 22 minutes from the official start of the race to get going, which was definitely a shorter wait than I had anticipated. It was chilly, but as soon as I started moving I was thankful for my short and t-shirt combo, with homemade arm warmers (hello tube socks) and cheap gloves.

So pretty at 5a

As soon as we crossed the mat, people took off. Since the half and full start together, we were a mixed crowd which I had to remind myself of. One guy near me joked “everyone’s gotta be a hero!” and it was then that I realized I needed to make sure not to be one of those people – I had a long morning ahead of me. There wasn’t really any point during the first miles where I felt great. I usually start off feeling strong with fresh legs and then slowly get tired, but my legs didn’t feel all that great from the beginning. I wasn’t worried, though, and I kept my pace just around 10 minutes, which was a little too fast. I wanted to keep an even 10:20, but my legs just wouldn’t go that slow. They sure went that slow later!

The first half was really crowded. I didn’t even stop for water at the first two stations for fear of getting trampled. Towards the end of the first half, a woman cut right in front of me, and literally bent down to the ground to pick something up. I didn’t have enough time to move, and wound up slamming into her. All I could think was “seriously?” and was glad I didn’t hurt myself. As we were nearing the halfway mark, it was hard to hear people screaming “Alright, this is it! Just a little more!” knowing that I was only half way there. As we rounded the corner, though, I got a glimpse of some elites coming in which was awesome.

I would be lying if I didn’t say the second half was a struggle. The real struggle didn’t start until we were in Manayunk. First, it was just me wanting things to be over, but then my legs got in on the party too. I saw some college friends right before and after mile 20, which helped push me a bit more, but then the legs just didn’t want to go. It really was a 20 mile race, followed by 6.2 miles of struggle. These miles were anywhere from about a 10:30 to 12:30 pace, give or take. I had been walking through the water stations from when I started taking water/Gatorade, but this time each stop had a little bit longer of a walk, as my knees were starting to hurt. Miles 22 to 23 were combinations of running and walking (very brief), until finally at mile 23 it was time to suck it up and run the last 3.2. The course was pretty bare of spectators, so I had no shame in walking. In all honesty if there were more people watching, I probably wouldn’t have stopped running at all.

That’s me all the way over to the left!

Either way, I pushed it to the end and somehow got myself to a low 9 pace for the last half mile or so. Having people cheer my name was awesome – and I have every intention on wearing a shirt with my name on it for every long race I run that doesn’t have named bibs moving forward. I came in at just 5 hours, (having started about 23 minutes after the first wave), for an official time of 4:37:34! I had hoped to come in under 4:45, with my ultimate happy goal of 4:30, so I was right in the middle.

Officially Marathoners!

The reward was a hot shower followed by Chipotle, and lounging on the couch all night and the next day (with a few errands). It’s now been 3 days, and I think I’m ready to get my Turkey Trot on Thursday. Considering I could barely walk right after the race, I am so amazed at the human body.

The training for this race was far from perfect, and it was my very first one. I’m hoping that next go around I can get closer to 4:15 with adequate training and no injuries! Unfortunately, that go-around isn’t going to be my next marathon, which happens to be the Disney Marathon in December. Why, you may ask? Because I am insane, and I’m doing the Goofy Challenge (half marathon Saturday, marathon Sunday). That race is just going to be about having fun, accomplishing 39.3 miles in 2 days, and scoring 3 medals and hopefully a lot of pictures with characters!

It feels so great to finally be able to call myself a marathoner. I have so much more respect for people that do marathons (or ultras) than I did even before I ran the race. It sounds mush, and I’m far from it, but its an honor to be in that group (even if I just squeezed in).

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Summed Up

As you know, I’ve recently started my official training for the Philadelphia Marathon in November. While I’ve overcome my nagging shin splits, I seem to have developed some tightness in my right hip, which could be a number of things. Thanks to my excellent Googling skills, I’ve decided it’s either Hip Bursitis, tendonitis, or ITBS. Either way, all I can do is keep on keepin’ on… meaning lots of foam rolling, ice, and Advil. It’s definitely been getting better since it came about two weeks ago, but it’s far from gone. Ahh, the life of a runner.

I decided to lead this post with that tid-bit of information, simply because of a realization I had during my 8 mile run on Monday afternoon. Firstly, I’d like to preface the run with the fact that I wound up leaving work early that morning due to getting sick in the bathroom. I have no idea what was wrong with me, but come late afternoon and a series of naps later, I felt fine enough to run. So, I headed to the gym (thanks thunderstorms), and set myself up for an 8 miler on the dreaded treadmill. I decided simply getting through the run was my main goal, so I set my pace at about 6.1, and just went.

While running, I was glued to The Food Network, watching 30 Minute Meals, Giada at Home, and Barefoot Contessa. Towards the end of my run, I realized that right there was pretty much the summation of my existence… running and food. Not a bad existence, if you ask me!

I happened to watch an episode of Giada at Home, where she hosted a little get together and grilled a bunch of different kabobs. This of course made me want one immediately, and it was convienient that veggie kabobs just so happened to be on our menu for the week! They were quick and easy, which was much appreciated after a long day at work, a trip to the allergest with the fiance, and then a run. The last thing I wanted to do was put effort into dinner. Thankfully, little effort was required, and it was delicious. Of course, you can make these bad boys with just about anything your heart desires, so get creative!

iPhone photo courtesy of Instagram!

Veggie Kabobs
– makes 10-12 kabobs –

Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant, diced into large chunks
1 zucchini, sliced
1 red onion, diced into large chunks
1 green pepper, diced into large chunks
1 cup your favorite marinade (I used Ken’s tomato basil dressing)

Directions:
1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat
2. Combine all of the veggies together, and pour the marinade over them, mixing to ensure even coating. Set aside for about 30 minutes (or longer, if you have the time!)
3. Using kabob skewers, string the vegetables on one at a time, alternating (piece of eggplant, zucchini, green pepper, onion, repeat). Make sure to leave room at the top and bottom for accessibility!
4. Grill kabobs for about 15 minutes (depending on your level of char preference), making sure to rotate at least once

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Stuffed Peppers: Chilean Style

My alarm has been set for 5:45a every single day for the past two weeks or so, but I haven’t gotten out of bed once when it’s gone off. I’ve been well intentioned to get up and go for a quick run before work, but I’ve been having an extremely difficult time actually getting up and completing the run. For whatever reason, my running mojo hasn’t been the same since the Disney Half. I think the chronic injuries I’ve sustained have put me on the defensive side when it comes to running, afraid and waiting for that next twinge of pain I’m going to feel. To put it bluntly, I think I’m a bit scared of running. However, I’ve turned over a new leaf and have decided to face the fear of a sport I know deep down inside I love, and to just go with it. This Philadelphia Marathon isn’t going to run itself in November!

I’ve also been in a bit of a rut when it comes to cooking; I’ve been making a lot of the same things over and over again (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but I haven’t really ventured to make anything new. So, I decided to really start tackling both running and cooking new things this week. It’s time to get the old Danielle back!

I’ve only made a few things from the Vegan Fire & Spice book I bought myself a few months ago, so I decided to make something else from it this week. I love that it has recipes from all over the world, so I can expand my ethnic palate at home. After making my fiancé pick a region to focus on for the recipe, we then narrowed it down to the Chilean Stuffed Peppers. The recipe only had one pepper in terms of it’s spice level (the book goes from one to three), so I of course had to add a jalapeno to kick up the heat. I also didn’t have any soy milk on hand, so my version wasn’t truly vegan. I also used freshly diced tomatoes instead of canned.

Because this recipe was a bit longer, I was able to prep the stuffing, put them in the oven, and then go out for a three mile run. It was nice to know that something delicious was waiting at home for me. I should try that method more often!

Chilean Stuffed Peppers adapted from Vegan Fire & Spice 
– Serves 2 –  

Ingredients:
2 large bell peppers
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (I added for extra heat)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
14.5 oz. of diced tomatoes (either canned, or fresh)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup soy milk (I used regular and it was fine)
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp bread crumbs 

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the tops off of the peppers and remove the seeds and guts. Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a skillet, and add onion and jalapeno, cooking for about five minutes until slightly soft. Add the nutmeg, cumin, and cayenne, cooking for about another minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 3 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Add the corn and mix well. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs (1/2 cup), milk, sugar, and salt, and mix well. Add the bread crumb mixture to the skillet and mix until combined.
3. Fill the peppers with the corn bread crumb mixture and arrange them in a baking dish filled with 1 cup of water. Sprinkle the rest of the bread crumbs (2 Tbsp) and oil (1 Tbsp) over the peppers. Bake for 45 minutes (took me closer to 50) or until the peppers are tender, and the stuffing is browned but still moist. 

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Homemade Sushi

I love sushi, but since it usually requires us to go out (I’m not much of a fan of the pre-packaged kinds at the grocery store), it can get a little pricy. So, I decided to try and make my own. I’ve never tried to make sushi before in my life, so it was definitely an interesting experience. I figured it couldn’t be that hard, though, since all I needed was some short grain rice, nori, and veggies to fill it with.

Before the sushi making extravaganza, though, I had to get in a long run. My poor left leg has been plagued with injuries since October. It first started out with pulled ankle and Achilles muscles due to going to fast and furious with my Vibram Five Fingers. Once that had finally cleared up, I developed shin splints in November from ramping up the mileage too quickly after coming back from the original injury. Then, during the Disney Half, I managed to fracture (or at least severely sprain, but I wouldn’t know because I refused to go to a doctor, duh) a metatarsal bone in my foot. Finally, after all that, I was ready to start running mid-March. Up to this point I had only done 4 miles, so Sunday marked my first “long” run, of 8 miles. My left shin has been bothering me a little, but I’ve been icing like crazy to hopefully keep it at bay. My goal was to stay under 9;30 minute miles, and I did that without problem, finishing in 1:14:20. I got to be a little “hardcore,” though, as I bled through my sock. This seems to be a somewhat regular occurrence for me, though and it doesn’t hurt. I’ll spare you the picture (yes, I took one).

I’m still planning to run/walk the RU Unite Half April 17th, so we’ll see. I wasn’t 100% sure if I could mentally handle just doing a run/walk, but after reading Caitlin’s More Half Recap (who is also injured) I know I can do it! And I also have officially signed the fiancé and myself up to run the Philadelphia Marathon this November 20th!

But back to the sushi. For our roll, I threw in some avocado (finally ripe from last week), cucumber, and smoked salmon. I was a bit nervous about the whole rolling technique, but it’s actually really easy! We grabbed a sushi kit that had the bamboo mat in it along with the nori, short-grain “sushi” rice, sushi vinegar, and also soy sauce and wasabi. I’m glad that it came with so much, so next time we just need to get our filling and the rice and nori. I had a ton of fun making it, and can’t wait to try it again with some different goodies inside.

Homemade Sushi
– Makes 4 full rolls –

Ingredients:
1 4oz. package of smoked salmon
2 cups sushi rice (short grain white rice)
1/4 cup sushi vinegar
4 slices of nori (dried seaweed)
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced (long ways)
1/2 avocado, sliced

Directions:
1. Cook rice in boiling salted water, about 15-20 minutes. Add sushi vinegar and allow to cool.
2. Once rice is cooled, lay a nori sheet on top of the bamboo mat. Moisten your hands, and spread about a 1/4 cup of the rice on the nori in a thin layer, leaving about 2 inches at the edge of the far side of the nori.
3. Layer the cucumber, avocado, and salmon across the middle of the nori. Using the bamboo mat, starting at the edge closest to you, begin to roll away from you, until the nori is completely rolled.
4. Remove the mat, and slice the roll in 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces.

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Roll With It

After struggling through last week in terms of work stress, piles of homework, and wedding planning, the past few days have had their share of good news. In going with the theme of wedding planning since we’re really in the thick of it now (6 months to go!), fiancé and I just realized we have officially reached our savings goal to comfortably pay for the wedding, and still have plenty left over. This is a great realization and relief, since we really cut back on our day to day activities and spending to make sure we met our monthly savings quota. Not that we plan on changing anything that we’ve been doing, but it’s nice to know we’ll have some cushion room too!

Even though I haven’t been running (thanks, foot) I have been dreaming about the moment I can comfortably go for a run without feeling like my foot might snap in half. I’m still not sure if I’m going to run the half marathon in April (just because I haven’t been able to train properly, aka at all), but I have every intention of signing up for the Philadelphia Marathon on April 1st when registration opens. My first full mary will probably be my first race post wedding – double excitement!

For dinner on Tuesday, I wanted to somehow use wonton/eggroll wrappers, but I wasn’t sure exactly what to do. I grabbed a bag of rainbow cabbage mix at the grocery store over the weekend, and just hoped for the best. What I actually got were some pretty awesome veggie eggrolls, that served alongside some steamed vegetables and a salad was the perfect weeknight meal! The best part was that they tasted fried, but I didn’t have to actually suffer through any flying oil, and they wound up (hopefully) healthier. It took about 20 minutes in total to prepare, and was super easy. The package of wontons I got had quite a few in it, so I’m hoping to try my hand at some Southwestern eggrolls later this week.

Easy Baked Eggrolls
– Makes 8 rolls –

Ingredients:
8 eggroll wrappers (I used Nasoya brand)
1/2 bag Rainbow cabbage mix (I used  Mann’s)
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Sambal Olek
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tsp Chinese 5 spice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Heat oil in skillet, and add cabbage mixture, pepper, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, until cabbage mixture begins to wilt
3. Add soy sauce, Worcestershire, Sambal Olek, and 5 spice. Cook additional 5 minutes
4. Once mixture is well combined and heated through, remove from heat. Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of mixture into middle of wrapper, and fold in each side, starting at the bottom and rolling as you work your way up.  Place the rolled wrappers on a greased baking sheet.
5. Brush some oil on the top of each of the rolls before placing in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes on the top rack in the oven.

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Filed under Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan, Wedding