April 22, 2012

A Time to Play. And Eat Pie.

My first thought when I woke up this morning was "there's no way I'm running a race this morning. I'm going back to sleep." My first thought when I re-woke up this morning was "I LOVE my friends. Holy sh*t I'm lucky. And I think I ate my weight in cheese last night." All good thoughts, right?

Heading into the weekend, I had a feeling I might skip this morning's 4 mile race. My shoulder is still way sore from last week's spill, I'm still recovering from the crazy weekend in Boston, the weather wasn't looking pretty, and I just needed a break. I've spent the entire week filling orders for Mother's Day (woohoo!) and I have races next weekend and the weekend after. Plus, I knew I might not be in the best condition for racing when I woke up.

Abbe is currently tapering for the Kentucky marathon next weekend, so we decided to have a little girls night last night to keep her from going stir crazy. She, Claire(ific), Reema, Amanda and myself all met up at her digs for lots of cheese, prosciutto, fig spread, food, cookies & pie. And wine. Lots of wine.  Abbe made shrimp and a roasted vegetable side dish, and I brought along a kale salad and a mixed berry pie, my first ever home made pie! Oh, and there was lots of cheesy music ala Backstreet Boys and folks like that. Girls night is the BEST!!!
Cheese plate. We LOVE cheese!!!
Kale, grilled pear, pecorino & toasted walnut salad.
Abbe dishing out the shrimp & roasted veggie
Gluten Free mixed berry PIE!!!!
 Oh, what? You'd like some recipes? Ok!

Kale Salad
serves 6
 2 heads of Kale
1 Brown Pear
juice from half a Lemon
Olive Oil
a good Balsamic Vinegar (I used my favorite from Art of Oil)
1/4 cup Walnut Pieces (thank you California Walnuts for sending me a bag!)
Peccorino Cheese

Slice the pear into 12 wedges by slicing into 4 lengthwise quarters, coring, and then further slicing the wedges into 3 pieces. Toss in the lemon juice to prevent from browning. Heat a grill pan and place the pears on the pan, allowing to grill for about 5-8 minutes until there are grill marks. Turn each pear over and grill another 2 minutes, watching carefully so they don't over cook & turn to mush. Remove from the heat and refrigerate to cool.

Rip the leaves of the Kale stems, wash well, dry and toss in a large serving bowl. Add about 1/4 cup of olive oil, the leftover lemon juice from the pears, and a few splashes of the vinegar to the kale and massage into the leaves for a few minutes, until they soften.

Heat a dry pan until hot and add the walnut pieces, tossing & toasting for a few minutes. Just don't burn them! Remove from the heat and set aside.

When you are ready to serve, add the pears and walnuts to the kale leaves and toss. Grate the peccorino cheese over the salad, drizzle with some more balsamic vinegar & devour. Enjoy!

Mixed Berry Pie
serves ... well that depends on how much pie you like to eat
2 Gluten Free pie crusts (they sell them at Whole Foods!)
16 ounces of frozen Mixed Berries (I used blueberries, blackberries, cherries & strawberries)
2 tbsp Corn Starch
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Egg

Preheat oven to 425 F.
Defrost the pie crusts until they are pliable and set aside while you prepare the filling.
In a large bowl, toss the mixed berries, corn starch and sugar. Pour into one of the pie crusts. Place the other crust on a flat surface and cut into strips or shapes to create the top of your pie. Get creative, it's fun! Beat the egg and brush onto the pie crust.
Place on the bottom rack in your oven & bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 F, move the pie to the middle rack, and bake another 20 minutes, or until the crust is brown and beautiful. YUM.

So yes, last night was oodles of amazing company, food & six bottles of wine. And if that meant me skipping my race this morning, then so be it. It was a time for fun, not so much a time to run. Oh, and a good time to give good gift. Like I said earlier, I love my friends and am truly inspired by so many of them. Claire(ific) ran Boston last weekend and kicked some major ass. I wanted to make something special that she could wear as a constant reminder of how amazing she is. So I made her this necklace, engraved with her monogram on the front and all of her marathon times on the back, sort of like her incredible journey thus far. One of my best moments last night was seeing the look on her face when she opened the box. It's why I love what I do and am so grateful to be able to do it.
And now, time for reality once again. I have a 4 mile race next weekend and my "comeback" Half Mary the weekend after that and I'm planning to kick some major ass at both. Looks like last night was a good last hoorah before getting serious once again. Time to focus on good nutrition and training again. I'm still planning on getting my 12 miles done today, or possibly tomorrow if the weather is horrendous. Then a short group run Tuesday night (join us! ) and hopefully some speedwork, yoga, and core training thrown in the mix too.

Have you ever skipped a race? Did you regret it?

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