Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Race Week

I’m running a half marathon this weekend! AHHH!

I don’t really know how I got suckered into it… Amanda and some of the gals were signing up, and somehow they dragged me along with them. One of my 25 goals for age 25 is to run a half marathon, so I guess I’m happy I signed up. We’ll see how happy I am Sunday. My training has resulted in a hopefully healed foot injury, zero pounds shed, an amazing 10 mile-I-can’t-believe-this-is-so-easy run, a 6.5 mile-almost-ended-in-severe-runners-trots (look it up) run, and several 4-5 mile-OMG-this-is-so-hard runs.

As race-day nears, I’m trying to ‘eat healthy’ and ‘carb up’… both of which are funny things for me. I don’t eat particularly unhealthy, but there's just something about acknowledging it and telling yourself ‘No’ makes it so much harder. I’ve been wanting cheese like you wouldn’t believe, and yesterday I almost had Evan convinced to go to the store and get me a Squirt at 9PM because I was DYING for soda. I NEVER drink soda!

I also think carbo-loading during race week is a silly concept, for me anyway… I mean, how is this any different than usual? I guess I was meant to be a runner or something, because let me tell ya, I carbo-load on a weekly basis, race or no. I keep hearing about how exciting it is to get to eat tons of pasta on race week, and how stoked people are to be carbin’ up, but for me, nothing has really changed. Maybe that’s why I can run 10 miles without stopping, but I can’t seem to drop a pant-size?

I guess I’m just going to keep trying to eat fairly normal this week… with a little less butter and cheese, among other things (see reference to runner’s trots, above). I did make a pretty basic, simple, and fantastic (albeit cheesy) lasagna that I’ve noshed on for the last 3 meals… so for all those runners out there that are really hyped about the carbs this week, this one’s for you.

Too Cheesy for Race Week Lasagna

1 box super easy no-boil Lasagna noodles
4 cups tomato sauce (I used Mel’s homegrown)
1 pound Italian Chicken Sausage
½ onion- diced
2 cloves garlic- minced
1 large zucchini- diced
½ cup fresh basil
Olive oil, salt, pepper
2 eggs
About 8 oz Ricotta
About 8 oz Cottage Cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded cheddar
½ cup grated parmesan
½ cup fresh mozzarella (one small ball)

For sauce: Heat olive oil over medium, and add onion. Cook until translucent. Add zucchini, garlic, and sausage, cook until sausage is cooked through. Add basil and tomato sauce, and simmer until flavors meld. Salt and pepper to your liking. Also throw in some thyme or oregano if you have it. I think I even threw in a pinch of cinnamon. And maybe a few red pepper flakes…In a separate bowl, mix together ricotta, cottage cheese, parmesan, and eggs. Add more cottage cheese if you like. Hey... it's race week, you'll burn it off!

Preheat oven to 375. Spray 9X13 baking pan. Layer in sauce, uncooked noodles no-boil noodles, ricotta mixture, mozz and chedd, sauce. Repeat until everything is gone. About 4 layers later. Top with shredded fresh mozzarella and foil. Bake 50-60 minutes until bubbly in the middle and crispy on the edges. Remove foil for the last 5-10 minutes, to melt the fresh mozzarella.

Eat during race week… or, if you’re like me, any and every week will do just fine.
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