Monthly Archives: November 2010

Louisville Half Marathon 2010

I can’t believe it has taken me over a month to write this recap. The Louisville Half Marathon took place on Sunday, October 17th, 2010. Farrah (my running partner) and I originally signed up to run this half marathon earlier this year. We had a plan. We were going to train all summer and be ready for this race, no problem.

Problem!

Running over the summer was very challenging for us this year. As much as I prefer warm weather to cold, when it comes to running I am really sensitive to the heat. We spent many, many days at 90+ temperatures and for me that is just not conducive to running well. Farrah injured her foot over the summer as well. So we spent most of our time together walking or weight lifting.

When September came around, it cooled off slightly and I was able to at least get in a few runs here and there, including a 15k that I “winged” at the last minute (don’t try that at home). That gave me the confidence that I needed to continue on. But then, weather fluctuations kept happening, life got in the way, etc. When October 1st rolled around, we knew we needed to get down to business.

So we started a new running plan that has us running 5 days a week at various distances (mostly between 2-5 miles, with a longer run on weekends) and we decided that unless we are sick or injured, there are NO EXCUSES. If we want to become better runners and finish long races with smiles, we need to get serious. So we did. However, the Louisville Half Marathon fell on October 17th, a mere two weeks into our new program.

Could we do it? We didn’t know. Were we going to try? Heck yes!

The morning of the race we were both feeling good but not sure where the day would take us. I made enough songs on my playlist to cover 3 hours, which is about how long I figured it would take me. The first year we ran I finished in 2:12 and the year we walked was 3:30, so I figured somewhere in the middle was safe.

After the first mile, I lost Farrah as she took off into the crowd (this is not uncommon and doesn’t bother me in the slightest–she’s taller and more experienced, thus naturally faster). I decided I was going to run the first few miles and see how I felt. The first three came and went really fast, so I decided to shoot for 5. Then 6. When I got to the halfway point I walked for a minute, then kept going. One guy I passed said “You’re looking good, don’t give up.” :)

I kept waiting for the turn around point, which I knew would come at mile 8. When it did, I switched into walk/run mode because I knew that was the only way I was going to go the distance. I can’t remember the exact ratio but I would run for a while, walk for a little bit, then pick it back up. I did not wear a watch during this race, which at first was an accident but then it ended up being a blessing. I did not obsess about time and I just went with the flow, enjoying the view along the way.

The course was mostly flat, with a few inclines near the river and then close to the turn around. Running along the Ohio River was really peaceful. It went by so fast and I’ve never been able to say that about a half marathon before! When I came near the finish line, I saw Farrah, who ran the last 0.1 with me and my jaw dropped when I saw the clock.

I finished this race, a race I hadn’t really trained for, in 2 hours, 30 minutes and 58 seconds!!!

I was beyond happy and proud of myself. I was hoping to finish under 3 hours. I exceeded my own expectations in a way that I didn’t know I could. To say this race boosted my confidence in running would be an understatement. I must have thanked God a million times that day, for giving me the abilities that I have and the strength to use them.

The most amazing thing was that I wasn’t that tired. I went home, showered, ate, and went about my normal routine. I woke up the next day expecting to be super sore…nope. Farrah wasn’t either. We both felt like we hadn’t even run a race the day before. We must be doing something right!

Since then I have run one other race, which I will write about later. But in the month of October, I ran 78 miles and November has been going really well too. To follow my daily runs and thoughts, you can follow me over at the Daily Mile. That tool has been really useful for me and I don’t feel like I have to write a blog post about every. single. run. So I hope you’ll check that out!

Thank you for the support! I plan to get back to blogging regularly, both here and at See Sarah Eat very soon :)

Queen of Sheba

Confession: Up until about a month ago, I had never tried Ethiopian food.  So, I was not sure what to expect when us girls got together and went out to Queen of Sheba here in Louisville.

After the waiter tried to talk us into ordering things other than what we wanted (how many times did we have to tell him two of us don’t eat meat?) we settled on the Vegetarian Combo for the four of us to share. We also got talked into an appetizer but oh well, it was our first time there.

273 The Vegetarian Combo included salad, and a serving each of Misir wot (“Lentil stew simmered in onions, garlic seasoned with turmeric and herbs”), Atakilt (“Sliced cabbage, onions, and carrots cooked to perfection in a mild tomato sauce”) and Gomen wot (“Collard greens, onions and potatoes cooked to perfection with garlic in a mild sauce”).

The food was absolutely delicious. My favorite was definitely lentils but I actually really enjoyed the cabbage dish too. The best part is you don’t use forks, you dip into each thing with injera (Ethiopian flatbread, not pictured unfortunately).

I would definitely like to eat this food again.

But, I think we were all a little put off by the waiter. First, he kept trying to get us to order certain things he was promoting instead of listening to what we wanted and accommodating us. He also had a little trouble splitting up the bill, which is also when we found out he actually got us to order TWO appetizers when we thought it was only one. I think in the end, we all just gave up and paid whatever it said so we could get out of there.

Granted, it was rainy, we were starving, everybody has an “off” night, and he kept our drinks pretty full. So maybe we should try to go back sometime and hope we get a different experience.

But I definitely took a copy of the takeout menu for future reference ;-)

Queen of Sheba on Urbanspoon

2010 Walk for Farm Animals

On Saturday, October 16th, I joined several other people from our community (including some fellow members of the Louisville Vegetarian Club) in the very first Louisville Walk for Farm Animals, benefitting Farm Sanctuary, an animal shelter/charity based out of Watkins Glen, New York (with two farm locations, in New York & California).

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The 2.5 mile route took us through downtown Louisville, past several busy areas, including the new KFC Yum! Center. As we walked along, we each carried a sign, some with just words and some with super cute animal pictures.

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We also had pamphlets and information to share with people (I even left a few about the benefits of a vegetarian diet at the Diabetes Walk which took place that same morning).

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We also got to wear these cute T-shirts! :)

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About a month before the walk, we held a bake sale at Eternal Health Yoga, where we raised over $230 for Farm Sanctuary in one weekend! By the time the walk was over, we had raised over $1,000 for this organization!

We were very pleased with the turnout (around 40 people signed up!) and the amount of money raised, especially considering this was our first year doing this walk. I can’t wait to do this walk again next year!

For more information about Farm Sanctuary and the Walk for Farm Animals, visit this link. To see more photos from this walk and other Louisville Vegetarian Club events, check out the Louisville Veg Flickr page.

Beloved Seitan

Seitan is one of those foods I didn’t try for the longest time because I wasn’t really sure I needed to. I mean, I already had tofu. Then I tried tempeh and was very impressed. And I had no idea how to cook it.

But when I dined at Ramsi’s Cafe on the World over the summer (one of many times) I decided to finally give this seitan (say-tan, not Satan, haha) a try.

139That’s a vegan seitan parmesan sandwich on cuban bread with roasted potatoes :)

I liked it so much that when I went back to Ramsi’s the next time, I tried the Jamaican seitan sandwich, which I posted about back in August.

I can’t really describe seitan, other than to say I find it just as delicious and versatile as tofu and tempeh. But I still have yet to purchase and cook any seitan myself at home. Maybe someday!

Have you ever had seitan? Do you cook with it at home? What are your favorite recipes to use it in?

Bring Back Summer!

The weather has taken a turn for the cold here and the only thing keeping me warm right now (besides the dog on my lap) is fond memories of the stuff I did (and ate) this summer.

One of those things was a really great meal at local restaurant Cafe 360.

You may remember I ate at this place for my birthday dinner last year, pre-vegan, but definitely vegetarian-curious. It was under construction, dark, and they had a limited menu at the time.

But this time, I met a friend for lunch and we sat outside in the warm sunshine on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and plenty of good food to choose from.

I started off with the Spinach and Strawberry Salad which is listed as “vegan” on the menu (so helpful).

142 This salad was huge but so fresh and tasty, I devoured every last bit of it, except for the dressing, which I just drizzled on top a little bit.

I also had a cup of what was, to this day, the best vegetarian chili I have EVER had.

143 They even claim on the menu: “Our vegetarian chili will tempt non-vegetarians, trust and give it a try!” Trust me, they are absolutely right.

It was so flavorful and loaded with veggies, not just the same ol’ boring beans and tomatoes. I can’t remember everything that was in it, but the summer squash was a nice touch!

I can’t believe it took me this long to post about it, but I definitely need to go back to this place soon, for the vegetarian chili alone :)

In the mean time, let’s hope it warms up again around here soon. I’d really like to have some fall before we go straight into winter!

See Sarah Run

Hello friends!

Sorry there hasn’t been a post here in a couple of weeks. I promise I have some really good things in the works and plan on posting something food-related this week!

But in the mean time, I thought I’d let you in on some news, just incase you don’t follow my other blog, River City Fitness.

I AM RUNNING (regularly) AGAIN! :)

After being on-again, off-again with running so much over the past two years (ever since I finished my first half marathon in April 2008), I finally feel like I’m back in the proper shape and frame of mind to be a consistent runner again. This summer, I really got into walking again and enjoyed that immensely. I also did Body Pump pretty regularly. Farrah and I also ran a few short races just to say motivated.

But as the summer drew to a close (even though the weather hadn’t yet) I was ready to move on to a new goal. I needed a new challenge. I was encouraged by the 15k that I ran most of when I didn’t think I had it in me.

Farrah, my friend and trainer/training partner, put together a running schedule that will take us from October 2010 through April 2011 (when all the big races happen around here). It was a little slow going at first, but now that I don’t worry about speed or beating any old PR’s (yet), I am really enjoying running again. I don’t beat myself up if I have to switch a day, or shave a mile off one day and add it to another.

I am making this work for ME.

In the month of October, I ran 78 miles! Just a few months ago, I never would’ve thought this was possible. Especially not when you consider 13.1 of those miles was the Louisville Half Marathon which we ran just two weeks into our training (recap coming soon).

We had signed up for this race months ago and didn’t expect it would go as well as it did. I finished in 2:30 and wasn’t even sore! I dare say it was…easy.

So, what’s different now? Why is running coming so easily (again) to me now than it has the past two years?

  • I don’t worry about time. In fact, during races, I don’t even wear a watch.
  • I embrace the beauty that is walking breaks. It actually helps my endurance and makes me run faster.
  • I realize what a mental game it is. Sometimes your mind is your worst enemy. I talk to myself more during runs now (and I pray)!
  • Like I mentioned in my 15k recap, I have no agenda. I just want to run, and often, because it makes me feel good. Races are just a good way to have fun and get some new scenery ;-)
  • I’m not trying to get better, I’m good enough already.

I have read so many blog posts and articles lately about people who run even though they hate it. I guess they want the challenge or to lose weight or something. But I’m here to tell you, if I hated running, there is NO WAY that I would do it. I think that is just counter-productive. Why do something you hate?

Not every run is great, that is for sure, but overall I love to run and I love the way that running makes me feel — good. That is why I do it.

I also would not run regularly if my body was not in agreement. I have been very blessed to have never been injured as a runner and for the past month, the only time I have felt really sore was after a strength training session! If your body is trying to tell you something, listen to it. Don’t force yourself to run if it hurts.

Now I am looking forward to keeping up with running during the colder months (if they ever get here) and then venturing into some races next Spring. I haven’t yet decided if I will do the Kentucky Derby Festival mini or full marathon just yet. But a marathon is becoming more of a possibility these days. So we’ll see.

If you want to run or used to run and are struggling to get back into it, here is my advice:

Sometimes you just have to take a step back, wait and be patient (it could be a long time too). Don’t expect to be the same runner you were two years ago. Don’t expect every run to be great. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else or even to yourself in the past. Stay positive. Just embrace the fact that you CAN run (when you can) and enjoy it. :)

You can follow my journey over at River City Fitness and keep up with my runs over at Daily Mile if you are so inclined. Thanks for the support!

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