Yesterday started SUPER early for me (5:45am to be exact). After I finally got my butt moving, I checked the weather and was excited to see it was in the low 60s - perfect running weather if you ask me! Threw on my fall running gear (my favorite Under Armour capri tights, Chicago t-shirt and a light pullover) and we were out the door by 6am.
What was all this for you ask? The Parks Half Marathon, of course! I hadn't quite figured out my plan of attack by the time we left (take it easy or race it) so I figured I would play it by ear - especially since I had that week off and I knew the course was rolling hills.
Got to the start around 6:45 and immediately took note of how small this race was compared to every other race I've run. It capped out at 2,300 participants so I anticipated a very low key and roomy race. Wrong-o! It was definitely low key...but roomy, it was not.
Although the race starts out on a major road, the majority of the race is on a thin and somewhat windy trail throughout a couple of Montgomery County's parks. When I say thin, I mean you can't fit more than 3 people abreast at all times and there's tons of congestion! Check out some of the course (yes, I did a lot of Googling).
Definitely a gorgeous and relaxing trail to run.
- Since this course runs through parkland/trails, there is very little crowd support going on. It's you, other runners, the volunteers and the wildlife. That's it. Don't get me wrong. The volunteers were awesome, but one person clapping and cheering in the middle of the woods is SOOO different than say, running Chicago.
- Hills. Lots of hills.
- Sort of varied terrain - paved, mud/puddles (since it rained all week, there were still some large puddles to dodge and slippery mud as you tried to pass people), and crushed gravel. We know how I feel about crushed gravel. I think it's time to retire the Inspires for anything more than 5 miles. Boo.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 lbs lean ground turkey
3 links chorizo sausage, casings removed
1/4 c chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
2 c chicken stock
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 c frozen corn
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 15-ounce can light red kidney beans beans, rinsed, drained
Chopped fresh cilantro
This time around, I skipped the onion breath and only topped the chili with some avocado, cilantro and reduced fat cheddar. Since I still have some corn tortillas in the fridge (I think I hate corn tortillas again), I sprinkled some mexican cheese blend with Adobo seasoning on top, popped them in the toaster until they were crisp and quartered them.
My chili is a little on the watery side. Do you prefer a super thick chili or one that's a little soupier?