Wednesday, April 15, 2009

MCM + Farmer's Tan + Purple Sweet Potatoes?

First off, thank you all for your comments/suggestions on yesterday's post about whether or not I should sign up for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I was also excited to have some new visitors! I hope I don't bore you guys too much and you decide to stick around...

I am pretty sure that I want to do this race, and now I realize that I don't have to hurry up and register if I run with a connected charity. After posting, I contacted our local TNT rep who answered some of my questions and gave me a better idea of how TNT works. I am planning on attending an informational meeting the week after the NC Marathon so at that point I will be more likely to make a decision.

As RunningLaur so kindly pointed out, there are dozens of other charities that partner with MCM that I could run with that also have spots reserved for their participants. My first thought was to run for troops wounded in action in Iraq and Afghanistan, as my boyfriend Matt was wounded in Iraq in 2006.

I really want to make this next marathon mean something to someone other than myself, and for that reason, I really want to take my time researching the charity that I decide to run with. Obviously I would love to have the team aspect that TNT would provide, but that isn't as important to me as raising money for a reputable cause (not that TNT and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society isn't, I just want to research them a bit more first).

Tuesday's Hill Workout
OK, that being said...last night I was trying to decide whether to head to the track for a speed workout, or do my usual 5-6 mile hill workout over the Ravenel Bridge. I was feeling kind of lazy so I chose the hill workout.

I set out after work and immediately discovered that my headphones were only working in one ear. Great. Fantastic. Must spend more money on yet another pair of those. (My cat likes to chew the wires, I have lost about 4 pairs that way.) So that was crap thing number one about the run.

Then once I started up the first climb, I realized that it was considerably windier than I had previously thought. Awesome. I was still sore from Sunday somewhat so my legs were already tight and heavy, add on some wind and I was in for an unpleasant run.

Well, I generally don't like to let weather conditions make decisions for me too much, so of course I kept on going. Plus I figured that on the return trip the wind would be to my back.

With wind, comes the bearing of Kristin's ass/thighs (which are particularly white with farmer's tan compared to the rest of me. I'm actually quite worried about the beach this weekend) as my shorts basically become non-existent. I try not to worry about this usually, but it was rush hour traffic time on the bridge and there were three lanes of vehicles stopped in traffic sitting there waiting to stare at this crazy girl with white thighs huffing it up the bridge (with some difficulty, I might add).

So that was crap thing number two. I finally made it over and started climbing down the other side and the wind was still there, pissing me off. When I turned around at the 2.5 mile mark I was hoping that the wind would be to my back, but of course, it was a side wind so it was still there to make me angry.

I was in such a bad mood yesterday, definitely not even wanting to run, that this added irritation just made me so mad I wanted to just shout out THIS F***KING SUCKS! as loud as I could, but instead I just kept tugging at my stupid little shorts and hoping that the end would come soon.

I don't have my totals or splits but I did look at them last night, and basically every mile was in the 10s except for the last mile which I finished in like 8:20 or something rediculous.

Obviously, I was so over that run and just sprinted as fast as my legs would carry me back to my car.

Nom Nom Nom
When I got home, all I wanted was something fried to make me feel better. So I settled for the next best thing, Baked Spicy Purple Sweet Potato Fries. I have been making these fries for a while with regular sweet potatoes based on this recipe, but last night I changed it a bit and woofed these babies down.

Basically, I get out my coffee/spice grinder and pour in a bit of the following spices: fennel seeds, coriander, oregano, red pepper flakes, and rosemary. I grind them up (I have added the sea salt to the grinder before, but I like big chunks of salt so I left that for last this time) then I mix these spices together with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, toss the fries/wedges in the oil/herb mixture and then sprinkle them with sea salt.

Then I spread them out on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil, and bake for about 20-30 minutes at 425, check on them and turn them over and then continue baking for another 20 minutes or so. I like to keep an eye on them so they don't get burnt because sometimes they don't take quite that long.

Last night I only used one small potato, so I just eyeballed the spices based on what I know I like :) If you haven't noticed, I don't really follow recipes and so if I post any, I will most likely just say, 'I used these ingredients and threw it together." So there ya go!

These definitely are worth trying though, and they kind of made me feel better after my pull-my-hair-out-irritating run. I will say that I think I liked the purple sweet potato better than the regular! It just seemed to taste better, but maybe that was my mind tricking me out. I picked mine up at Whole Foods, I haven't seen them anywhere else.

Sorry for the poor photo quality, but I was starving and was in no mood to deal with my testy iPhone camera. The purple color was really bold once you bit into the fry!

One the running schedule this week:
Tonight I am going to attempt an easy 6 miler, do a TON of cleaning for our guests who are arriving tomorrow, and make sure I have enough groceries stocked for the weekend. I have not been doing so well with my ab work & calisthenics, but I plan on doing some of that after my run tonight and trying to get back into the groove.

Tomorrow at around 2, our guests arrive so running after work is out of the question. If I am feeling up to it (which I probably won't be) I will run my 5 mile speed workout before work tomorrow morning, otherwise I will take Thursday off and try to make up the miles later on in the weekend. I don't do well with running at night and then immediately again the following morning.

I have 12 miles on the agenda for this week's "long run" and will do that whichever morning this weekend that we didn't drink too much the night before. So, there's that. Since I am off Friday I would love to get it over with that morning before everyone wakes up.

Ideally, I would like to fit in both my speed work and my long run at some point this weekend.
Did I confuse everyone yet??

***Question: How do you guys generally respond to comments on your posts? I want to answer the questions/comments you all leave, but if I answer them as another comment I feel like no one would go back to read that. How do you guys do it?


  1. To answer your q at the bottom. I rarely go back to blog comments once I've commented. Gazellesoncrack has a cool thing that emails you her reply comments.

    I think it's grat that you're thinking of doing a charity race...I'm too scared of fundraising to do one.

    Mmmmmm sweet pototos! That's what I had for dinner last night too. Though I was lazy and nuked them in the microwave for a bit before tossing them in the oven to save on cooking time. I was STARVING!

    P.S. Hill workouts are harder for me than the track!

  2. To answer your question: I get all my comments in my posts sent to my email, then I can just hit reply and email the person back. Not sure how I did this, I'm sure it's somewhere under settings.

    Keep us posted on all the charities you are looking at!!

    Good job on finishing that hill workout. Even if it sucked, at least you did it!

  3. Just figured out how I set up my comments to go to my email. Go to settings, then comments, then comment notification email and enter your email. That way all of the comments left on your post will be emailed to you and then you can just hit reply and answer the person. Hope that helps!

  4. Wow, that was quite a post!

    I know what you're saying about Team in Training. It's a WONDERFUL organization, and definitely reputable, but after training for two races through them, I decided that next time I want to integrate fundraising into racing again, I want to do it with an organization to which I feel a more personal connection, probably something that's more of a social issue than a medical issue (for me personally).

    Working with an organization dealing with wounded vets sounds like a fantastic idea.

  5. I hate shorts-tugging runs! I have so been there. This time of year is the worst for the thighs. I'm glad you had some yummy sweet potatoes to make up for it-- I've actually tried the purple ones baked and I liked them, except I have a hard time eating something that doesn't look like I think it's supposed to.

  6. Aren't crappy runs the worst? UGH! It seems like when one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong, and you almost start looking for something else to add to your mental tally. Kudos for getting through it and not saying eff it and heading to Dairy Queen or something (I contemplated that on my last one, luckily I didn't have my debit card on me :)

  7. i love sweet potato fries, man they are the best!!

    i respond to comments by emailing people usually cause i never remember to go back to comments... or I go comment on their blog if I can't find an email

    oh creepy crawly shorts are the worst!

  8. hey! glad you found my blog so I could find your blog! I'm going to be a tar heel next year too! woo! UNC law school :)

    I can't wait to hear about how the marathon in High Point goes!! great training!!!

  9. I feel you on the white thighs :-/ and white feet, and watch tan line, etc etc :)

    awesome job for sticking it out and finishing up a WINDY run! wind just sucks.

    sounds like you have some great options for charities for your next marathon!

  10. that would be awesome to hear some of the cool spots in Chapel Hill!! I'm so excited to live there!

    and I looove Charleston! I ran the cooper river bridge run there last year and fell in love!

  11. Whew! Action-packed post, girl :)

    Lotsa running & activity - I'm feeling like a slacker.

    Re: questions left in comments - unless I know for sure that the commenter tracks my comments (in which case I leave the answer in my comments), I head over to their blog to answer as a comment. If they have an email addy though, I'll email directly. If it's a question mentioned a few times, then I'll answer in a post.

    Confused yet?

  12. I'll see your thighs and raise you mine.

    We can test this in, oh, seven hours.

    Since I'll BE THERE!!! Can't wait, love!

  13. I respond to comments by leaving a comment on that person's most recent blog post.

    Ugh, there is nothing like a windy bridge run when you are already irritated to just really piss you off!

    I agree that finding a charity or cause that means something to you personally might be more fulfilling and motivating than one that, although a great cause, you don't have any personal experience with.

    I am so mad, it looks like we aren't going to be able to do MCM so I guess we're sticking with Valley of Fire in November. I hope you and your friends have a great weekend!!

  14. Hooray for MCM! I didn't know that your bf was a vet - so the race will be extra moving (my fiancé is from a marine family). We were looking at supporting Operation Homefront for vets and their families. They have a very reasonable fundraising minimum for a slot, but I don't know that you get all of the 'stuff' (coaches, hotels, singlets) that TNT provides. Can't wait to hear how the meeting goes!

    As for comments, I tend to comment back on their blog - unless it's a widespread question, or something thy can use a bunch of info, then it gets incorporated into my next blog post.