Thursday, January 31, 2013

Leapfrog Practice!

Yesterday was a great day. I got in two workouts and it was the first day my knees felt good enough to attempt two-a-day runs. I was a little nervous going into the second workout because I was still sore from lifting, but really wanted to get in the organized practice. 

Matt, who is the head coach at Leapfrog Running, has multiple practices around Naples throughout each week. He incorporates track work with race strategies, hill work on bridges around town, and running through parks and local race courses. Last night's practice was at Freedom Park in Naples. 

Where else do you get to run through a swamp on boardwalks at sunset?! 


The only down side to the park is that the boardwalk loop is a little short. It was good and not as good for practice. Good in that we were always close enough to hear the whistle and support from Matt. Not so good because we went around and around for 35 minutes. 

I actually had a pretty great workout. I felt pretty good and strong, despite running earlier in the day. We focused on form and running different paces. This is perfect for me for a couple of reasons. #1 my form is far from great. With all my knee issues, I have been compensating and getting lazy on the form front. Standing and really emphasizing the specific leg motions definitely helps. And surprise, no knee pain. #2 I tend to run around the same pace for every distance. I may speed it up temporarily or slow it down, but correct pace is  (in my mind) my number one issue. I know it is in me to run so much faster. It is so mental and one of the biggest reasons getting to practice helps me so much. That and I tend to work a lot harder when I have someone watching and coaching me!

Afterwards, (when I almost died of hunger) I whipped together a 15 minute recipe inspired by Better Homes and Gardens. It was originally a gnocchi recipe but I made it into a whole wheat spaghetti dish. It is a little richer than what I normally have for dinner but so good. Would mske a great pre-race dinner.

Sweet Corn and Arugula Pasta in Cream Sauce

2 c frozen sweet corn
1/2 box whole wheat angel hair pasta. (any pasta will work)
1 bag or package of arugula
3/4 c half and half
3- 4 oz light cream cheese
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tsp salt + more to taste
1 tsp pepper
red pepper flakes
2-3 tbs chopped fresh basil
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
grated romano cheese for topping

  • Boil pasta according to directions. When there are 5 minutes left, add frozen corn.
  • In a separate sauce pan heat half and half, cream cheese, salt, pepper, basil, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Mix until completely combine and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. 
  • Drain the pasta and corn, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. 
  • Add pasta water to the half and half mixture and combine.
  • Add arugula to pasta and corn. Pour sauce over the pasta and blend together. Add extra salt or red pepper if needed.
  • Top with parsley and cheese and serve.  

I finished off dinner with my last little sliver of birthday cake. I have had one tiny piece everyday since the 17th. Hello self control! So sad it is all gone. 

I am pretty sure super bowl is a good excuse to go buy another cake, right??