13 Miles, Lots of Sweating, No Water
Ok, I’m back from the run. 13 miles in an hour and 50 minutes, about an 8:27 pace. This is a good bit slower than the 7:45 pace I had hoped for, but I don’t feel too badly about it because I recently ran the half marathon at a much faster pace than this. When I run on roads, it’s hard to keep a pace because of having to stop at intersections, and I end up running extra from crossing the road so many times to run on the side with a sidewalk. Plus, the run was much hillier than I’d imagined when I plotted it on Gmaps Pedometer. There is a flat (incredibly boring) trail not too far away that I’ll have to go to every once in a while to hit the paces exactly to make sure I’m on schedule with the training, but I’m satisfied with today’s effort, given the circumstances. And I remembered to lube up beforehand, so I really have nothing to complain about.
That said, I was definitely feeling fatigued during the last few miles today; more fatigued, perhaps, than I should have been. I think part of the problem is a bad habit I’ve gotten into. You see, I hate carrying anything with me on the run because the extra weight becomes all I can think about and I drive myself crazy. So I haven’t been bringing water with me on long runs, and today was no different. I could stop at a store or something, but that would totally kill the pace. I could wear a fuel belt, but I just don’t like to because it shakes too much. Until today, this hasn’t really affected my runs, but I’m starting to think that there’s no getting around bringing something with me. Any other ideas? When does this become dangerous?
Father’s Day Dinner
Erin and I made dinner for my dad and his wife Margaret yesterday, our gift to him in addition to a book about no-knead breadmaking that I expect will start paying dividends soon. We got some beautiful yellow squash at the farmers market this weekend and decided to make a pasta dish with it.
Local, seasonal eating is something I’m still trying to do more of. It’s so great because it forces you to eat what’s available; I would never independently say “Hey Erin, let’s buy some squash at the store today to use for dinner.” It’s just not an ingredient I think about when I’m planning meals. But when you see something that’s fresh and ripe at the farmers market and you buy it because there’s still not much else there, you end up making some really interesting and comforting food that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.
And this pasta dish was no exception. It was really delicious; Margaret wondered aloud why you couldn’t get this kind of stuff in a restaurant. When you order veggie pasta, you get bland, white-flour pasta with some limp, steamed or sauteed vegetables, if you’re lucky. This meal was nothing like that. Each ingredient was so flavorful and it all came together to make a near-perfect early summer meal. We didn’t vote on how many cows to give it, but I’m sure it would have been worthy of no less than four out of five.
We also used arugula from Erin’s garden to make my favorite salad, which is quickly becoming Erin and my dad’s favorite as well:
The recipe that I used for the pasta is from Cooks Illustrated. I made a few changes and eyeballed a lot of the measurements, so I’ll give you my adapted version here.
Bowtie Pasta with Yellow Squash and Tomatoes Recipe
Ingredients (for 4 huge servings):
- 1 lb whole wheat bowtie pasta (I used Barilla Plus)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 3-4 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into half-inch chunks
- 1 large clove garlic, minced (I used the elephant garlic I got from the farmers market)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp canola oil
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- grated parmesan cheese, optional
Toss the squash with a tablespoon of kosher salt, then set in a colander over a large bowl for 30 minutes so that some water will be released into the bowl. Once the time is up, dry the squash with paper towels and brush off excess salt.
Boil water for the pasta, add salt until it tastes like sea water. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
While the pasta cooks, heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s shimmering, add the squash and saute for about 5 minutes. The goal is to get some nice color on the squash, so just move it around often enough to keep it from burning. Move the squash to a large plate.
Add another 1 Tbsp of oil to the pan, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for a few seconds, until aromatic. Don’t let it burn! Add the squash back in and stir it in with the garlic and red pepper over medium-low heat to keep it warm while the pasta finishes.
Drain the pasta, combine with the squash mixture, balsamic vinegar, remaining 1 Tbsp oil, tomatoes, and basil. Mix well, adjust seasoning, and serve topped with cheese.