Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Close... But No Cigar

When it comes to running and racing, I'm not much into the business of "beating" others. I feel like placing in your age group or placing overall is all relative to who showed up that day. The only person who is going to be there to challenge you every single race, every single time is YOU. The time on the clock at the end is way more rewarding to me then passing so and so or finishing behind whoever.

With that being said... this weekend, I won a 5k?? Before you get all excited, this was a SMALL race in my neighborhood. But I'm not going to lie... I kind of felt like a superstar.

I went into it hoping to test out my speed for the upcoming half marathon I've been training for over the winter. I fully expected to run my fastest 5K. I did NOT expect to experience hearing people cheer "First Female!!" on the course, or to experience breaking that finishing ribbon. I definitely did not expect to leave that morning with over $600 worth of cash prizes and most awesomely, a trophy that is literally taller than TGB. As much as I have never been into running to beat anyone but myself, there was something REALLY fun about winning. Enter Charlie Sheen joke here.

But seriously, it was so fun.

The boys think it is the most amazing thing ever. I think it is the most amazing thing ever that they got to see Mommy excel at something. As a stay at home mom, most of what they know about me revolves around picking up toys, forcing disgusting foods down their throats and wiping butts. Showing them that Mommy can also work really hard and run really fast gives me greater joy than any title I took home Saturday.

Still, I'm sitting here this week a touch disappointed because even though it was super fun to win, I didn't beat myself. I could have, and I probably would have, but we will never know. The course was accidently marked .14 miles shy of a certified 5K course, so even though I was on pace for a 6:23 average finish time, I can never claim it as my fastest 5K time, because technically I didn't run a 5K. It was close... but no cigar.

This weekend I'm running National Half Marathon and I'm thankful for the little chip God put on my shoulder after this week's race. I still have more to prove to myself. Winning isn't everything.

Here's a super simple pantry meal I've been whipping up almost every Friday since Lent started. It's kind of like a grown up Tuna Noodle. I love that all the kids (even TGB) can eat some part of it, I love that all the ingredients were taken straight from my pantry or freezer (well, parm from the fridge, but parm lasts forever), and I love putting a can of tuna in my dinner. Is that weird? It's a great cheap-quick-healthy protein to throw into food and it's kinda like chicken.

Well, it's close... but no cigar :)

I also like to use this Frozen Fettucine Alfredo with Mushrooms from Trader Joe's......and add my own peas and tuna to it. That's literally a 5 minute dinner. But to be fair to you poor peeps without a TJ's, here's the lengthy, albeit lighter version.

Grown Up Tuna Noodle Pasta

Cream of Mushroom (I'm kinda partial to this TJ's one, but any will do)
thick egg noodles
1 cup peas
2 cloves garlic
1 cup grated parm
1 can of tuna
1/3 cup of white wine
1 tablespoon parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup pasta water, reserved

Boil the water to get the pasta started. Meanwhile I grated the cheese.

Add the cream of mushroom to the skillet and then add wine

whisk together over a low heat

Add 2 cloves of pressed or chopped garlic

Add a generous amount of parsley - I did about 1 tablespoon. Fresh is grand as well, just wouldn't make this a "pantry meal" :)

Add 1 can of drained tuna

Mix it all together with the grated parm and peas

Mix it up, then add 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta water

Take the noodles from the pan to the skillet

Stir it up then add salt and pepper to taste!

Easy, insanely cheap, and all from the pantry or freezer!


Anonymous said...

I am so making this! I have been wondering what to do with the mega pack of tuna I got at Costco. Tuna sandwiches just aren't appealing...but I wish you had posted this yesterday, because I went to TJ's this morning and now I need that soup!

And...who cares if the 5K was short?! I know what you mean, but you were still flying and a 6:23 pace is nothing to sneeze at! $600 worth of prizes, too?! That's the most generous 5K I ever heard of. Now of course you'll have to defend your title next year...no pressure. ;)

The Samson Family said...

You ran lightning fast, and no matter the distance you won! Tuna casserole with peas is my mom's signature dish. Yummm!! Now if i could just get Ava to eat tuna... :):)

Jessica (The Pace of Me) said...

sooooooo awesome, karen! i love this post. you ran so fast and the example you set for your kiddos is stellar. i am sure you will rock your half this weekend! go mamma!!!

Rebecca Samson said...

ehh who needs the .14 you are a hero in my book. Dawn caught an amazing finishing picture. So happy for you!!! Can't wait to hear how the 1/2 goes.
I've got to try this dish out!

Anonymous said...

i completely forgot about the whole breaking the ribbon thing- thats unbelievable! i can't wait to see how fast you run this weekend :) now that i'm becoming such a chef i'm gonna try out one of your recipes one of these days- any suggestions for a first try??

Julie D. said...

So, so awesome!! Congrats!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, what an awesome picture! You will do great at National, but what a bummer that the course was mismarked and you can't really use the time to gauge where you are at! (ah, inaugural races) Still, you turned out a wicked time even on a short course and showed your competitiveness by winning! Nice job! See you at National (from behind!) :)

Michelle said...

yayyyy, congrats!! :)

Laura Villarreal said...

go KJ!!!!

Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal said...


Jessica said...

you're my idol