Thursday, June 25, 2009

SATC (Sweat and the city)

Hi friends!

Today I had a wonderfully relaxing, yet productive day! Despite going to bed late last night (reading blogs is entirely too addictive), I woke up at 6am today for a run. My sweet husband actually volunteered to run with me, even though he usually hates running! We knew it was going to be deathly hot today, which is why we got up so early.
Even so... at 6:15AM when we left the condo it was ALREADY extremely hot and muggy. I didn't check the temp at that time, but I can only imagine it was in the upper 80s with a very high humidity. Thank goodness my marathon training only called for 3 miles today!!! However, despite the short distance, I had a heck of a time today. Truly, it was a very, very, very tough run for me. I should note that I am a sweater - in the way that strangers at the gym have commented to me about how much I sweat! But in today's heat, I was just sweating all over myself, and yes it was very unpleasant. I tried my best to get some sips of water along the way and I stayed in the shade as much as I could, but I just could not escape the heat. Plus one unfortunate thing about running up the Magnificent Mile is that the exhaust from the cars is so hot, on top of the weather temps.
Mike had to get to work so he did a mile with me and turned around to head home; I had a very difficult time completing my 3 miles. I truly almost quit, but I knew I would have felt disgusted with myself so I pressed at it! But this was one hell of a run. It was up there with the Chicago Marathon of 2007 where temps were over 100.... that bad! I felt like I was going to pass out the entire time. I hate to be such a wuss, but today's run makes me very nervous for my upcoming runs. Saturday is only 5, and I will be with my group so that should help, but the ones after that (9 miles, 10 miles, and longer) will be super tough if the temps don't get cooler!!
What are your favorite tips on how to beat the heat while running???

I mapped out my run so that it ended at my gym, where I took a pilates class. It must just have been one of those days because even though I love pilates, I was still so tired from getting up early and from that brutal run that I wasn't fully into it. After class I did literally about 3 minutes of arms, and then walked home (20 minutes). I was glad to be done with today's workout!!

For breakfast, of course I had to have a GM. I knew it would perk me right up!! Today's had a twist: I tried my new Amazing Grass Wheatgrass, along with Almond Breeze almond milk. It was the first time I tried almond milk, and it wasn't bad. Not as sweet as the vanilla soy milk I am used to, but it has 1/3 the calories so that ain't bad! The flavor was ok - but not amazing - so I threw in 2 T. of PB2 and a banana. Voila, tasty Green Monster!!! I ended up loving the Wheatgrass addition. It actually did smell a bit like grass, but the taste was great. Very fresh and delicious!

About an hour after my GM, I got hungry - maybe from working out, maybe because I am used to protein powder in my GM which I did not have today? I really wanted something sweet - I think my body is still used to having about 10 desserts per day. I was going to have one of my Amazing Grass energy bars, but I decided that might not be enough, so I chopped it up into small pieces and threw it into my Kitchenaid mixer with some coconut, oat brain, and a splash of milk, trying to recreate the awesome cookie dough that I made last week. Well, the bar must be much harder than I thought because the Kitchenaid did nothing to mix it up! So I took the mixture out, plopped it onto a baking sheet and baked it for a few minutes. It was a nothing fancy or wonderful, but it was a nice snack :)
I had a few cups of cold tea throughout the day until lunchtime, where I had some leftover zucchini soup from yesterday. I loved the flavor of the soup (mostly zucchini and tofu blended together), but I wanted something a bit more "chewy". So, I loosely chopped an onion, dipped it into a bowl of egg whites, and then added in some bread crumbs that I had seasoned. I then baked this mixture (and toasted some walnuts at the same time) by baking it in the oven at 375 for 10-12 minutes. I put this mixture over the warmed up soup, and it was SO GOOD. I will definitely be making this easy, nutrient-dense soup again!!

FYI: Funnily enough, a little bit after I finished eating this soup I saw "Hungry Girl" on the Bonnie Hunt show, where she showed how she makes HER version of onion rings. She grinds up Fiber One cereal, dips the onion rings in some Egg Beaters, and then the crushed cereal, and bakes them. I love this idea of a healthy, whole wheat coating that has lot of fiber, too! But my recipe works great too if all you have on hand is breadcrumbs, although panko would be good too :)

For a mid-afternoon snack, again I was craving something sweet (chocolately in particular), so I threw a frozen banana and a 1/2 c. of chocolate soy milk into the blender. It was awesome (like a chocolate milk shake!) but not enough to fill me up, so I also had an Amazing Grass chocolate bar. Yum!!

After spending a lot of my day looking at recipes and food blogs, I was in the mood to bake. AND my dad's birthday is today (even though I won't see him until Saturday), so I decided to make him.... walnut brittle!!

Here's how I did it:

1 c. sugar
1 c. corn syrup/maple syrup/molasses/honey
½ c. water
1 T. butter
1 1/c c. chopped walnuts
1 ½ ts. Baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat up a pan at 200 degrees while you are making the sauce so that it remains hot – it will be easier to spread the mixture this way.

Then, line pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and butter in a pan. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Then, stir in walnuts and continue to stir over high heat. Then remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.
Quickly pour mixture over pan; cool completely before breaking brittle into bite-sized pieces.

I used sugar-free syrup because that was all I had on hand (I don't eat the sugar-free crap, but we have it in the house because Mike likes it, and I knew my dad wouldn't care what the ingredients were!)

It is still cooling on my counter... I clumsily forgot to see if the pan FITS into my fridge (it does not!) so hopefully they cool ok by just sitting on in the open. So I can't tell you how they taste yet, but the warm sauce that I sampled tasted quite good! :)
Happy Father's Day (belated) and Happy birthday (today), Dad!!! :)


  1. Running in the heat is a challenge for me too! I try to wear minimal clothing (altho that just means shorts and a tank) and run early in the morning like you did when it's a little cooler.

    The worst part of it all is that I'm still sweating even after I take a shower and am on my way to work! Does that happen to you to?? It takes me like a good 2 hours to cool off.

  2. Maybe the lack of sleep contributed to your difficult morning run? I've noticed that I feel sluggish and slow (and always hungry throughout the day) whenever I don't get enough sleep.
    We are in the 80s here but I am already dreading the next couple of months when it will get even hotter and more humid. :s
    As for the tips, I've read about using minty lotion to help breathing when running in high humidity. Also, keeping a towel (soaked in ice water) around the neck sounds great but I have yet to try this.

  3. hungry girl's version of onion rings sounds good! so innovative! your soup sounds yummy too!