Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Different Kind of Runner Envy

It's no secret. When you're told you shouldn't or can't run, the more you want to run. I'm very familiar with the runner envy that comes with getting sidelined...wishing I could be out there running with the rest of them. Jealous that I can't be out there on a long run or running a race.

Today I experienced a slightly different kind of envy. I took the bike out for a long (for me at least) morning ride along a route I've run many times before. I saw a bunch of runners and felt pangs of jealousy. Although I was excited to be getting a workout in, I felt my bike ride was way too easy on my legs and lungs compared to a run of equal distance. Is it possible that I was jealous of the sweat and pain? Perhaps. Ok, yes. I was.
*note: this was taken during a pause at the top of a hill. Safety first!

Don't get me wrong. I kinda like this new biking thing. I huffed and puffed up the Fort Mason hill (a smidge easier on the bike, but still a tough hill) and broke a slight sweat...hell, my butt and calves are kinda sore right now. Though, there's just something about biking that just doesn't do it for me. Maybe it's because I feel restricted as far as where I can ride (as opposed to just running around wherever my legs will take me), or because I'm a newbie and am not entirely comfortable with it. I dunno. I miss pounding the pavement. I miss zoning out on long long runs.

So, to toss things up a bit (and to take advantage of the whole lack of snow thing), I'm hoping to fill my weekends with a long-ish bike ride one day and an easy run the other day. I think it's a good plan. Gotta get the legs back in gear since marathon #5 is scheduled for May! I can't wait to get back to long Saturday runs, but in the meantime, I'm sticking to shorter distances...and embracing the stretching and rolling!

After the productive start to my Saturday, I caught up on some cleaning/organizing and FINALLY got to the grocery store. To celebrate my return to normalcy, I whipped up a tasty and light pasta dish. I've been wanting to use some shrimp I had in the freezer, but whenever I remember it, it's always too late to defrost them. *sigh* Grabbed some veggies at the store, pulled out an open bag of brown rice penne and ta da! Dinner in 30.

Brown Rice Penne with Shrimp & Veggies
1/2 lb brown rice penne, cooked according to package
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 small zucchini, cut into half moons
1/4 c artichoke hearts, quartered
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp olive oil
12-15 medium shrimp
1 tbsp white wine
1/2 tbsp parmesan, grated
1/4 c mozzarella cheese, diced

Heat olive oil and butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes and tomatoes; cook for 2 minutes. Add wine and cook for another minute before adding zucchini and artichokes. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in shrimp and reduce heat to medium low once they start to turn pink. Continue cooking until completely pink. Add parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in pasta and mozzarella until combined.

Not a bad dinner. Garlicky, briny, light yet filling. MMM. You can do this with any type of pasta, I just wanted to use up the rest of the brown rice penne I had.

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