Mission Accomplished

In June 2011 I set a goal to run a 5K within the following few months. Weeeellllll, I started medical school and just didn’t really feel like I had the time or ability to do it. This past spring, my medical school class announced it was going to host a 5K as a fundraiser, a night glow run entitled “Ready, Set, Glow!.” I decided that I would make it my goal to complete this 5K. I started thinking about how I would train myself to run those long 3.1 miles, a seemingly difficult feat considering I had never run a full mile without walking at some point. I pushed myself to run the full distance (no walking allowed) about a month ago and decided I should start doing runs of at least 2.5 miles every other day until the race. I’m happy to say I never missed a run, and I actually really enjoyed the longer runs. In the days before the race, I started to get a little nervous that I might not be able to make it. I had made such a big deal about running my first 5K to my family and friends that I was scared I may have jinxed myself. I was fortunate that my parents happened to be in town and they got to join in on my excitement (thanks Mom and Dad!). Arriving at the race was a bit overwhelming. My classmate, Kelly, who planned the race did an AWESOME job at organizing and advertising the race. We had over 600 participants, which is basically unheard of for a first time race. Props to Kelly and my other classmates that planned everything, they did a great job!! I got even more nervous before the race when a torrential downpour was unleashed only 30 minutes before race time. What if I had done all this work and the race got cancelled?! Thank goodness it didn’t, we waited a little while for the rain to lighten up and were able to run even though a light rain continued.
If you’ve never run a race before, it’s an interesting thing to try. In the beginning, everyone is crammed into one place, some try to edge their way to the front to position themselves to win, while others hang around in a more nonchalant fashion. I think I was somewhere in between; I knew I wasn’t going to win, but I still wanted to do well on a personal level. The few times that I had run the full 3.1 miles, I averaged around 37 minutes so, that was my goal. As soon as a race begins it’s like a stamped of people trying to get the best position possible, you almost have to sprint to avoid getting trampled. Needless to say, I started out with a faster pace than I’m used to. I tried to slow it down some so that I wouldn’t wear out, but I think there is something about running with a ton of people that makes you go faster. I didn’t want to get passed by everyone (especially not any of the walkers) so I kept a slightly faster pace than my usual. I struggled a little during the race because I was unfamiliar with the route and didn’t know how much further I had to go. I ended up making it to the finish line in 33 minutes, which was 4 minutes faster than the goal I had set for myself! That was a great feeling.
Now that I’ve accomplished my goal, what do I do? I think I’ve decided that I’ll cycle back through my running and walking routine and then try to do a 5K at least once a year from now on. The key to setting goals, is to make sure you can accomplish them, I think I can handle one 5K a year for now. Hopefully my theory that changing up your exercise routine is beneficial holds to be true. Now for a couple recipes.

Cod Cakes
Most of you know that I keep cod in my freezer to pull out if I’m in need of a quick meal. Normally I make it the same way every time, but I was anxious to try something new last week. I’m pretty sure I followed all of the directions on this one and didn’t make any adjustments. I did cut the recipe in half since I was only cooking for myself, which made it a little difficult when it came to measuring out the egg. My measurement for that may have been slightly off because I did have a little trouble making everything stick together properly. The method for cooking the cod was interesting and something I had never heard of. You bring milk to a boil in a sauce pan, add the fish, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes. I tasted one piece before adding the other ingredients and it was delicious! I guess the sweetness of the milk helped out with that, but I may try it again in the future. Everything was pretty simple after cooking the cod; you just break it up and mix it in with the other ingredients to form a cake/patty. Then you brown it in a skillet for about five more minutes. I’m adding this one to my list of favorites! Click here for the recipe.

Southwestern Scallop Salad
I guess I’ve been on a little bit of a fish kick lately. This is the second week in a row that I’ve blogged about scallops. They are so good though! Plus, I bought a bag of frozen ones and want to use them before they sit in the freezer for six months. This is another one of those “toss everything together and eat” recipes. You pan sear the scallops after marinating them for a few minutes, cook some rice, and add some veggies and spices. I ended up using a leftover veggie mix from a recipe earlier in the week. It had all of the same ingredients plus zucchini, you could pretty much add whatever your favorites are. Everything went well together for this one, and it was pretty filling due to the rice and veggies. There’s not much else to that one. Click here for the recipe.

Herbed Ice Cubes
My friend John made a request that I blog about how to make ice cubes last week. I don’t want to let my fans down, but I felt like regular ice cubes might be a bit boring (sorry John). Instead, I decided to try something that I had been wanting to try for a while. I’ve talked several times about how much I like to use the fresh herbs that I grow, they make everything so much more delicious! But, what am I supposed to do in the winter when my herb plants die? I’ll have to pay $3 for a package of herbs that I’ll only use once. Unless….. I freeze them. My mom has mentioned trying this and then I saw some easy directions for doing so on Pinterest. Since I had a special request I figured I’d give it a try. They seem like they’ve worked out great so far, but I won’t use them until it’s too cold for my herbs to grow on their own. I’ll have to keep you posted on that. All you do is place fresh herbs with olive oil, canola oil, chicken broth or vegetable broth into an ice tray and place in the freezer for 24 hours. You can leave them in the tray or pop them out into ziploc bags. I put mine in separate ziploc bags because I did some of basil and some of rosemary. Be careful when you’re making the transfer from ice tray to ziploc, they can start to melt fast! Click here to see the directions. Here are the before and after shots.




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