Saturday, July 25, 2009

Green Smoothie Week, Day Seven

Ah, green smoothie week, how much fun you have been! Sadly, all good things do end, and so today marks the final smoothie of this week-long event. Have you been blending along with me? Or have any of my concoctions inspired you to try something new and different? I hope so, on both counts. I know that this week has certainly pushed me to try mixtures that I've never put together before, and the results were never bad.

Today's smoothie wasn't quite what I wanted it to be in the flavor family, but it certainly satisfied me in texture. One of my favorite combinations of all time is cottage cheese mixed with a spoonful of pumpkin puree. I decided to try to recreate this creamy delight, green smoothie style. It ended up tasting a little like baby food, but certainly not in an unpleasant way. Besides, this smoothie was super thick, which is exactly what I was wanting. Maybe next time I'll use a little more cottage cheese and a little less pumpkin. Try it and tell me what you suggest!

Creamy Pumpkin Green Smoothie

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese
1/4 cup frozen peach slices (I was just using up a few remnants)
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 packet stevia
1 handful ice
1/2 cup water

I think you know what to do by now. Slurp and be satisfied.

Serves 1.

Thanks for reading and blending along with me during green smoothie week. I've had a ton of fun, and discovered how much I truly enjoy nutritious blended drinks. They are so tasty and energizing, not to mention refreshing. Today's creamy pumpkin smoothie certainly revived me after a morning of hot, hard running.

That's right. I did it. I decided to race in the 10K as planned. And I'm glad I did. Mostly. I'd like to say that it was super fun. But really, it was just super hot. For some reason, the race organizers decided to schedule the twin races (one 5K, and one 10K) to start at 9:30 AM, when the Montana sun is already oppressive and glaring. It also didn't help that the race course ran in the full sun nearly the entire way. Life wasn't helped by the fact that the first portion of the race led us over the black concrete of paved streets. Like I said -- hot.

As for the running itself, I felt a little sore in the hips when I woke up this morning, possibly from yesterday's hike. Still, I showed up for the race excited to go, and completed my warm-up, stretching, and peeing routine in a calm and motivated manner. Sadly, however, my beloved Garmin apparently failed to charge yesterday, which I only discovered a few minutes before the race started when its batteries died. (And, yes, I got a Garmin!! More on that another day, though.) I felt a little put-out by that, since I'm totally in love with the gadget, and I think that it did affect my pace as I ran across the starting line. I went out fast -- too fast, I soon found myself thinking as the heat and my fickle, somehow full bladder started to wear on me.

Due to the intense heat plus the fact that I just felt badly about my performance did not result in an enjoyable run. I felt like I was lagging behind, and that surely my finishing time would be over an hour. Still, I slowed my pace in accordance with the temperature and my own fitness, tried to ignore the few female runners that I could just not manage to catch up with, and tried to focus on the fact that I was running. That I can run at all. These mid-race musings helped. Also -- and this should tell you just how hot it really was, because I never stop for water while running -- the two water stops aided in getting me to the finish line. I swallowed a sip of cold water at both stops and then dumped the remaining liquid over my head in an attempt to cool off. I now appreciate the simple power of water that much more!

For the last 2K, I just kept telling myself that I was nearly done. Why stop running at that point? So I pushed through to the end, charging across the finish line to vomit into a trash can. Upon turning around, I saw my father-in-law waiting with a camera poised for action and a smile on his face. I'm so glad that he, my mother-in-law, and niece could come. It was a lovely surprise, regardless of whatever unattractive puking photos might result. They are so supportive, as is the Best Husband Ever, who hung out in the heat and snapped pictures while I ran.

All in all, a good morning. I finished in 52:12, which is only 30 seconds slower than my other 10K race time. I'm good with that, seeing as I was actually training for a 10K last time whereas now I'm working on a triathlon, and that the temperature was much more reasonable when I raced in April. Today, I even won first place for women in my age group, not counting the young woman who was apparently pulled out of the age group placements because she won second place overall. (I thought that was a bit lame, and it made me feel cheap). But I came home with a Montana-made mug, a Hammer Gel sample that I'm eager to try out, a soothing bean bag, an award, and the satisfaction of a challenge well-met.

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"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King