Runner’s High

I ran in an all women’s 5K race with my daughter on Saturday. Let me clarify something first, I am not a runner.
I repeat, I am not a runner.
I don’t have a runner’s body, I don’t have a runner’s stride.
I think it’s boring, it hurts, and I don’t really get the addiction people have to it.

What I do have is a strong love for running in races. For some reason, the adrenaline kicks in and I become what I am not…a runner! I play games in my head that I just need to pass this person or that person. I seek out landmarks and say to myself, “Just make it to that stop sign. If you need to walk then, you can walk.” I usually don’t end up walking because if there is one thing I don’t like in races is people passing me! I don’t mind if there are people in front of me, I just don’t want to be passed.
I am at a strict advantage with this little mind game. You see, because I push a stroller, I have to start in the very back. This means I have a whole slew of people in front of me to pass up. Now, the fact that I am not very fast (I run about a 9 or 10 minute mile,) allows me only to pass up the walkers and the runners that keep to the back. That is good enough for me though.
I know I sound a little crazy and competitive, but really it’s just a game to me. What satisfies me is that I can cross the finish line covered in sweat, knowing I did something good for my body…and burned enough calories that I won’t feel so guilty having that celebratory beer afterwards.
That is another thing I like about races, the party afterwards. If there was a finish line with people cheering and a party every time I took a run on my own, I would probably become a runner…but alas.
I agreed to run in the Flying Pig Marathon as a relay team with my husband, sister-in-law, and my husband’s friend. The distance is much longer than what I am used to, but I have time to train. And I know at least there will be a great party at the end.
Here is a fantastcio recipe to carb it up the night before a big race.
Roasted Yellow Pepper Pesto on Pasta
3 large yellow peppers
1/2 c walnuts
3 c basil leaves
3/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 c + 1 Tb olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 box whole wheat angle hair pasta
2 tsp salt + more to taste if needed
If you have a gas stove top, turn burner on high and place 1 yellow pepper directly on a burner. Keep turning peppers until all sides are blackened and charred. Remove from heat and immediately place in a large ziplock bag. Close bag and let peppers sit for at least 5 minutes. Remove from bag and peel off the skin of peppers. Slice peppers and set aside.
Place walnuts in a skillet and cook on medium heat moving nuts around so they don’t burn. Cook until you can smell the walnuts, about 4 minutes. Remove nuts from skillet and set aside.
In the same skillet, heat 1 Tb of olive oil. Place garlic cloves in skillet. Cook until nicely roasted on all sides, about 4 minutes. Remove cloves from pan and set aside.
In a food processor, add nuts, salt and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped. Add peppers and and pulse until incorporated. Next add basil and cheese. Pulse until all chopped. Turn on to a continuous run and stream in oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook pasta as directed.
Add 1 1/2 c of pesto to pasta and toss until past is covered. Serve with roughly chopped fresh tomatoes.
NOTE: You should have a lot of unused pesto remaining. I like to separate it into small ziplock bags and freeze it for a future use.
A friend of mine has pointed out that I did not include what to do with the peppers. Sorry about that! They are IN the pesto, not tossed with the pasta in large chunks. The yellow chunks in the picture is actually yellow tomato I picked up at the farmers market.

2 thoughts on “Runner’s High

  1. Melanie

    maybe we should run together…i do the exact same thing during races. 🙂
    dumb question….the yellow peppers are not in the pesto,right? just chopped up and tossed with the sauce and pasta??
    also, i am making that edamame hummus on saturday for a family party. gonna serve it with cucumber, but what else? (not gonna make crostini…) any suggestions?

  2. meg

    erin…i am very proud of you…the only time i ever ran a race i had you by my side…and they didn’t call it “run like hell” for nothing.

    so so so proud of you.

    and i think i am going to “run” to the grocery store and make this before school starts…


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