So… I did it. I finally signed up for my first half marathon, and actually ran it last Sunday. Big, huge step outside of my comfort zone. And I wasn’t really that worried about the race itself. It wasn’t about the distance. For me it was more about running surrounded by a lot of people. I’m so used to doing it on my own, getting “in the zone”, all by myself, that I thought having all those people around me would totally freak me out.
But it didn’t! It was really cool actually. Just like everyone told me it was going to be.
For me, running has always been the place where I let things out. My stress release and my “escape”. It’s what helps me rediscover my inner-strength, because it forces me to push when I think I have nothing left in me.
And I thought my first race would be all about that. I was prepared to struggle and push and prove myself how strong I am. But it wasn’t.
What my first race helped me realize how fortunate I am to have such wonderful people in my life. People that truly love me and care about me, that understood how big of a deal this was for me, and insisted on being by my side every step of the way. From my good friend who literally did not leave me alone until I agreed to sign up for it, and ran with me along with her wonderful husband; to my sister and two of my dearest friends, who got up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday, to drive for an hour just to watch me cross the finish line. And of course, all the people that were there with me in spirit.
Being able to cross that finish line felt like a great accomplishment and was absolutely amazing. But what I got out of it was so much more. And as exhausted as I (still) feel, I’m looking forward to my next one. As long as I have my cheer squad with me 🙂
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup dry red wine
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large parsnip, diced small (about 1¼ cups)
- 2-8oz packs babybella or crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 (150g) pack roasted and peeled chestnuts, quartered
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 10-12 medium size Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 lbs)
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ⅓ - ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup vegetable broth or unsweetened almond milk
- Peel and dice the potatoes. Boil in plenty of salted water until tender, about 20 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and mash them using a potato masher or a fork. Add salt, pepper and olive oil and mix well. Slowly, pour vegetable broth or almond milk and mix until well incorporated. Set aside
- In a medium size sauce pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil, add tomato paste and cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add red wine and continue cooking for an additional 3-4 minutes, until it reduces. Set aside
- In the meantime, saute onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add parsnip and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms, chestnuts, salt, thyme and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes , stir in the red wine sauce and cook for another 3 minutes
- Spoon aproximately ¾ cup of vegetables in 4 individual baking dishes (or disposable foil ones). Top with ½ cup of mashed potatoes and bake at 400F for 20 minutes until golden brown.
You can also use a large baking dish instead of individual ones.
Want to make it Paleo, make a cauliflower mash instead of mashed potatoes.