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Just Another Vegan Endurance Junkie

1. Don’t.

Just kidding. In fact, endurance junkies are some of the most quality people around. All of those hours spent alone with ourselves in the meditative realm of Zone 2 really forces us to think about things like who we are, what we believe in, the meaning of life, what we’re going to eat immediately when we get home, and other critical themes.

But it’s not as simple as run, rinse, repeat. Being a true endurance junkie is a lifestyle. It’s a state of mind. For many of us, training makes us better people every day. It serves us in ways other people or experiences have not or cannot. And so we find ourselves caught up in a committed relationship, legs intertwined with the goddess of multisport.

As I once (perhaps mistakenly) told a past boyfriend: “You may be my boyfriend, but triathlon is my husband.”

Needless to say…

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Run To Munch Has Moved!

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It’s a little bear bones but I’m working on it!  Also would love any tips of widgets and plugins and all that jazz….

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My running has been scattered, I’ve been going from 50 to 30 miles before Chicago.  55 miles after Chicago and back to 40 miles last week!  Right after Chicago I dove straight into running, 11 days none stop for 95 miles.  I won’t go into the detail of most runs since all my emotions have been poured into my Daily Mile updates instead but here’s a summary of the runs by day.

A few things to note:

– I think the 13 and some of the 11 milers were done in two parts between lunch and post work. With time management I am finding it physically and mentally easier to run twice in one day then once in a long time.

– That being said, I think I’m okay with doing double duty for mileage as long as I do one real “long run” a week

– The 15 miles on Saturday was my first long run in a while.  I flirted with some 13 milers in the beginning of the month but haven’t really done long runs in one standing

– The 15 miler was rough.  I averaged out at a 9:05 pace which includes a fast stretch and potty stop at mile 11.  I wish I could say 15 felt easy but I don’t think mentally I’m in long run shape.  I know physically I can do it, but my mind is not into it

– I struggled through the 15 miler by listening to gardening pod-casts.  I don’t actually think I absorbed anything or had any clue what they were talking about but it made me feel like I was multitasking and not just doing something I wasn’t in the mood for (like running).

– I’m been doing fartleks (not to be confusing with farting haha) on my treadmill runs.  I don’t think it’s the best kind of training for me since I should work on keeping a pace but those help make things less boring.

– I skipped a long run this weekend because I was visiting my family in NY.  Between 9 hours on a bus and just how fast a day and half fly by, I decided taking a 3 hour run was not the best use of my time.  And no waking up early is not an option.  I love my sleep dearly.

– I was stubborn.  So stubborn that I decided I couldn’t go to bed until I did a long run on Monday.  The 22 miles is composed of 6 miles during lunch and 16 after work.  The 16 miles were hard physically.  I thought two days of rest would make me amped up for speed, instead I wanted to sit on the couch and watch Olympics as I ran vicariously through the professionals on TV.   I took an 8 minute break around mile 14 where I had to beg myself into going back outside for 2 more miles.  In the end the average pace with break was 9:41.  I know that I ran around 8:30 for the first 8 miles before I just lost energy.

– I did take Gu Chumps, but Gu Chumps can’t replace a real meal that my body was craving at 7:30 PM.  I tried to tell it that if it waited til 9 a burger and beer was waiting for it, but it wouldn’t believe me.  I listened to about 3 running podcasts to keep me motivated.

Run Run Live podcast is awesome so I highly recommend it for some mojo on your run.

Why am I so insistent on long runs again after calling it quits for the summer? Well I must confess, flipflopped back on running the RnR Montreal marathon if I don’t have to work that weekend.  I had a slight freak-out when all the promo hotels with group discounts were sold out.  But! I found shelter for $36 a night next to the starting line.  AirBnB rocks!

I will also be using AirBnB for renting a room for the Providence RnR half marathon!  While I haven’t personally stayed in a room through the site yet, friends that have said it turned out cheaper and better than a hotel room so we shall see.

And because I can’t have a post without some pictures

Whenever I visit Brooklyn, sushi takeout is a must

Since Tony wasn’t there with me, I got this all to myself!

My parents took me to Ikea because I am in search of cheap curtains

Alas, no curtains were purchased at Ikea but somehow I walked out with a full belly instead.  I must say, next time I’m going to try to trade some of the balls for more mashed potatoes.  It was great!

This is a Tuesday shot but GeorgeTown cupcakes on Newbury celebrating Crocs

Can I just say that the free secret cupcakes they have everyday is the best worst idea ever.

Hope everyone had a great July!

Can’t believe it’s August in a night’s sleep.  Where did my summer go!

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I’ll continue my Chicago recap with my second favorite part of the trip; dining at Girl and the Goat!  After running in Chicago, this was my favorite.  It was a struggle finding space for a reservation as it seems to be booked months in advance. Luckily I had a perfect day for a 4:30 dinner; Monday the day we flew back to Boston.  97 degrees where all we could do was seek refuge in air conditioned stores and watering holes.  4:30 couldn’t come soon enough.

Upon entering I was surprised by how large the space was with open windows and daylight lightening up the room.  After a few minutes, we got seated and our eyes were evaluating our options…

Tony got himself a cognac, bourbon cocktail while I stuck to beer.  I tried the Salt Lake City Dubhe Imperial Black IPA  which I never had before. It had the taste of mild stout with the crispness and hop of an IPA.  Very fun.

We picked out 6 tapa style plates.  Our first was this tomato bread that they make fresh in the restaurant with a side of spicy pickles .

Next was the bristol bay sockeye tartare with truffle vinaigrette, summer squash & popiah. I wasn’t sure what popiah is but I assume by the process of deduction it’s the crisp bread on top.

Next came the goat empanadas and I think this was my second favorite out of the 6 plates we got.  I don’t remember exactly what was on it since I didn’t take a picture of the goat part of the menu, but it was delicious.

Next was grilled baby octopus with guanciale, favas, radish and pistachio-lemon vinaigrette

This was our first time trying octopus.  It was more tender and juicier than calamari and I love it.  I don’t think Tony was into it as much but I traded him some extra from the other plates for more of this dish.  It was my favorite out of the 6.

Next were the scallops with foie gras vinaigrette, klug plums, sweet onion & brioche crouton. Scallops are awesome; ’nuff said.

Our final of the 6 plates was the Pig Face… Not quite sure what to expect before it came out.

I let Tony do the honors. Wood over roasted pig face with sunny side egg, tamarind, cilantro, red wine-maple & potato stix.  Even after eating it I wasn’t sure if I really was eating a Pig’s face.  Well thanks to google I now know that Pig Face is a “gelatinous dish that’s composed of cleaned pig head, minus the organs.”

Our waitress was perfect.  We told her that we had to leave by 6:15 to head to the airport and she made sure we were paid and all set to leave exactly by then.  However, we just couldn’t help ourselves and ordered a 7th dish.  Zucchini bread and maybe a second beer haha.

Overall Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat was one of the finest and unique dining experiences I have had.  I don’t think I have eaten anywhere where I can try such a diverse and yet well prepared set of dishes.  If you live in a cave and are like me who never heard of Stephanie Izard; she’s the only female winner of Top Chef and this is her resturant.

So if you find yourself in Chicago and are going out for one nice meal, try to get in here!  They always have a set of walk-in tables but I’m not too sure how long the wait is.  Luckily, there’s a comfy set of couches and a great bar to wait by.

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I know today was a successful day, it involved a 15 mile run, gardening and fish tacos with me being at home in PJs by 10.

I know, you think I’m possessed but it’s been an exhausting week!  I’m old now, gone are the days where 5 hours of sleep was all I needed for the week.   Before I get to today, I’ll recap the rest of the week.

Wednesday was a 6 mile run plus Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones. Love JM beyond words!  I gave up on doing the ToneItUp workouts as I see them as ineffective for the amount of time I need to put it.  I prefer Jillian’s wam bam thank you pain style instead.

Thursday’s run seem easy with an incline of 2 (vs. 3) and my speed up 30 seconds less per mile (8:30 vs 9:00).

Tony and I went to Cirque Du Soleil Totem on Thursday night as well.  The show was fun but 3 hours long so we got home way past our work bedtime.

You can still get discounted tickets on Goldstar for a discounted price of $30 and it’s well worth it!

We were trying to figure out a cheap (relatively) place to get dinner in the Seaport area which was no easy task, luckily with yelp I found Yankee Lobster Co.

The scallops and shrimp was yummy but even Tony didn’t touch the haddock.  It tasted like rubber so if you go there skip the fish and chips (although the chips were yummy) and get the scallops and shrimp.  So good!  It’s also right next door to the Harpoon Brewery so if you have extra time and are in the area take a tour.

I also picked up some curried couscous from the farmer’s market and voila dinner was grand.

Friday I ran 11 miles and was not in pain.  I’m trying to make up for the lack of running last week due to Chicago heat and exploration desire.  I want to PR again at Providence next month.  I know the chances are slim since I PRed at my last two half marathon but I’m going to give it the old college try!  If not, I’ll just mark another state of my half marathon check list.

As for today… Well today was busy. It started with meeting with a contractor to go over bathroom additions.  (Who wants to donate bathroom labor to the Liana’s home charity?). Eventually we ended up at Mahoney’s; a plant nursery.  My eyes were wide with wanting to plant every vegetable out there.  However, its end of season and there were not much options.  So luckily I did not blow all my pennies on plants that will probably die.  Aside from lack of ever having a garden, having a history of killing most house plants I owned (most of it was due to keeping my house at 45 degrees when I wasn’t home); the main problem is that our house doesn’t get direct sunlight much.  We have these trees that create lovely shade to sit in for people not veggies.

I present you my garden.  The previous owner loved cinder-blocks!  While I hope to remove them in the coming years, for now I’m leaving it as is.  I did spend like two hours elbow deep in the dirt trying to pull out all sorts of weeds and roots from god knows what. I think some of the weeds might have been older than me.  I felt bad for killing my elders but they had to go!

We got one head of lettuce to test out.  If the lack of sunlight doesn’t kill it, I’m sure the bunnies will eat it before I get to it.

We are also testing out one pepper plant!

The Impatiens my mother planted and the violet petunia that was on sale so I got it.

Our Herbal corner with my little Mrs. Burns Lemon basis and the giant mint plant I got today.  I’m now on the look out for dill but Mahoney’s was all out.  I hope my basil survives as I dragged it all the way back from Chicago’s Botanical Gardens (they were giving one out for free and it almost died when my luggage tried to crush it.)

After a visit to the garden shop and the farmer’s market, we got hungry.  Suburban living makes you hungry.  Luckily I had a EverSave coupon for a Mexican joint in Stoneham.  Three Amigos is a small family owned restaurant of the main square in Stoneham.  We scanned the menu and wanted everything.  Luckily we learned that we can’t eat everything and tacos make crappy leftovers once assembled.

Tony’s huge steak burrito cooked perfectly.  I can’t vouch for the meat being the highest grade but it was tender and I couldn’t taste the fat pieces that I usually do in cheap Mexican places.

I went with fish tacos!  I love fish tacos.

We also got adventurous and ordered the hot carrots.  It was interesting, sort of like pickled peppers.

By the time I was done de-weeding and pretending to garden it was 6:30 and I was determined to get a run in.  Yes, I can’t believe I did 15 miles today… This might be my longest run since May.  I’ve just been calling quits at 13 and I was pretty close to stopping at 11.4 when I stopped by the house for a little potty action (charming I am).  Regardless I went back out there and slowly pushed through the final 3.6 miles.  I started the run around 6:30 in the evening and decided to go at a comfortable pace which involved me not checking my pace or time and just running for the feel it.  I listened to “Grow your grub”  podcast and zoned out for a bit.  Of course I had no idea what any of the gardening things they talked about but it made me motivated!  I think not counting the home water/bathroom break I had an average 9 minute pace.  Afterwards I was starving again, so of course two bowls of noodles make a great source of refuel.

Do you have a garden? Any tips? Do you know anything that grows in shade besides mose? 

Also, ever do any home reconstruction projects on your own?

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I’ve been idle on R2M and DailyMile because I was marching (actually with the heat it was more like crawling in a zombie stumble) the streets of Chicago.  A recap with gratuitous photos is in the works.

On Thursday night while I was packing I decided it was a good idea to pack 4 sets of running clothes because of 4 days in Chicago means I’ll go running 4 times… right?

Total times I went for a run was once!  Lesson is that I should pack half as many work-out clothes as I think I will be using and chances are I still won’t use them for anything else besides sleeping in.

The North Avenue beach path was only half a mile north of our hotel!

This path almost made me want to quit my job, sell my house and move to Chicago!

I was envious of this amazing urban beach right in the backyard of Chicagoans; that is until I saw how expensive it is to rent there and realized that if I did live in Chicago I would be too cheap to live by North beach.

Had Tony not been waiting for me at the hotel room I think I could have ran forever.  By the time I was done the weather was hitting 85 degrees.  And yes this was the coolest day out of the 4 we were in Chicago for.  Good thing I brought my own water bottle with me.

Overall about 5.5 miles on a lovely beach path.  I’m not sure the total distance as my runkeeper app and Iphone in general was going crazy bouncing signals all over the place.

I almost missed out on this scenic run!  I went to the hotel gym and wanted to hit the TM before Tony woke up only to be welcomed by a broken machine and two occupied ones.  Luckily, I was stubborn and just took it outside.

Next time you’re traveling and the hotel gym is a complete disappointment like it usually is, take it outside!  You might be surprised by what you find.  I just followed some other running person that led me to this.  Dude probably thought I was a creepster.

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