Week 7 and Vegan Crab Cakes with a vengance

Last week, our group met up and did an easy 6 mile run. This Sunday we have out ‘Magic Mile’ time trial.  This is one of the most important tenets of the Galloway program. Basically, this not only predicts race day performance, but also helps figure out what pace to keep during shorter races and training. One of the first conditions of the accuracy is that the weather is 60 degree or lower. Well, gee, let me wait until January, Jeff!

Here is how Jeff Galloway describes on his site how to do the Magic Mile

1. warm up with a slow one mile run
2. do a few acceleration-gliders (Video here )
3. pace yourself as even as possible on each quarter mile
4. run about as hard as you could run for one mile–but no puking! (finish feeling that you couldn’t have run more than a football field at the same pace)
5. keep walking after the time trial for 5 minutes, and jog a slow 1-6 miles, as needed for the mileage for that day

When we first did them about a month ago, I thought the acceleration gliders were just wasting energy. I was wrong! This did make me run a bit faster, since the fast twitch muscles in my legs were warmed up. I ran a 9:59 last month, which was quite disappointing, as my best pace for a 5k last year was at 9:30.

So on Tuesday I went to the Rockledge High School track.

rockledge track Notice there is no fence around this track. I had been eyeing this for a while and I finally got the courage to sneak in. There was only one other guy running and he didn’t look like he went to the school, so i set down my water bottle and started one loop of acceleration gliders. I then reset my garmin and made my water bottle my marker, and off I went running one mile! I kept a comfortably hard pace throughout, slowing down to a brisk jog when i got tired, but I did not walk. During the last lap, I felt so energized! Then some track kids started showing up and looking at me weird, so I had to run even faster! When I was done, I looked at my watch and nearly fell out of my…..track?  8:56 mile! That is the fastest I have ever ran a mile in. I jogged myself out of the track and onto the familiar River Road, which is only a few blocks away, completing 3 miles. I’m just ecstatic, and I hope I can repeat my performance on Sunday. We will see.

This week I made these delicious ‘Chesapeake Tempeh Crabcakes‘ from Post Punk Kitchen. I had bought some tempeh a few weeks ago and this sounded so delicious. I paired it with The Sexy Vegan’s ‘ New England Blam Chowder’, which is phenomenal, but we’ll stick to the crabcakes for time’s sake.  So why are they ‘crabcakes with a vengance’? Well because, the oil splattered on my arm and gave me some nice burns. They’re still healing and it’s nearly been a week. So watch out for those oil splatters. This looks like a lot of work/ingredients, but believe me, it’s not compared to how delicious these taste! Enjoy!

crab cakes

For the cakes:
8 ounces tempeh
1 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons Vegenaisse
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon hot sauce ( I used Tabasco)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup very finely chopped red bell pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspooon salt
fresh black pepper
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs, plus extra for dredging
Optional: 1 finely chopped nori sheet or 1 tablespoon kelp granules (if you like a little fishiness)

Oil for pan frying

For the remoulade:
2 tablespoons Vegenaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard  (stone ground dijon works, too)
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons capers (try not to get too much brine)

Lemon wedges for serving

First we’re going to steam the tempeh to get the bitterness out and also to infuse some flavor with the soy sauce. Crumble the tempeh into a saucier or small pan in little bits. Add the water, soy sauce, oil and bay leaf. The tempeh won’t be fully submerged, but that’s fine. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let boil for 12 to 15 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated. Stir once during boiling.

Transfer contents to a mixing bowl, remove bay leaf, and mash with a fork. Let cool for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to hasten the cooling process. Make sure the tempeh is barely warm before you proceed, or the cakes may fall apart when you cook them. Add the mayo, mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, chopped bell pepper, spices salt and pepper, and mix well. Add the bread crumbs and nori and use your hands to incorporate.

Once you are ready to form the cakes, preheat a thin layer of oil in a heavy bottomed non-stick skillet (cast iron is great) over medium heat. Pour a few tablespoons of panko into a bowl. Scoop a little less than 1/4 cup batter into your hands and form into a ball. Flatten between your palms and then roll the sides gently with your hands cupped to smooth them. You should have ten 2 1/2 to 3- inch patties. I do them in batches of five. Press them into the panko to lightly coat. They don’t need to be thoroughly covered, just a little bit for some texture.

Fry a batch of five cakes for 4 minutes on one side and flip when dark golden brown. Fry for 2 minutes on the other side and transfer to a paper towel or paper bag to drain. Do your second batch and in the meantime make your remoulade by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl.

Serve with lemon wedges.

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Week 4 Marathon Training- Double Digits and Turtle Tracks!

This was a truly amazing week. On Tuesday, I decided to do 400 m repeats, as advised by the plan my husband is on. According to this, my speed should be about 2:25 for those segments. I did 8 with a 1 minute walk break in between and I was beat! The picture of me sweating below  was well before 7 am. The humidity has been above 90% here, and there’s no escape. 

ImageDuring the week I also made Seitan Saltado by Terri Hope Romero which appears on the book Viva Vegan. Now, I’m not really cool with giving out recipes that have not been previously posted online by the author, but if you google it, you’re bound to get some recipes. The premise is red or white seitan (I had a little of both) with Peruvian Aji chiles, onions, and tomatoes served with brown rice and fresh french fries. It was just what I needed for dinner after running and working. If you don’t already own a copy of this book, I highly recommend it. It’s been super delicious.

On Friday morning I woke up at 6 am and was delighted that there was a super low tide. Off to the beach I went to run. Once I got to the beach, no more than a couple minutes passed by when I saw it: two fresh sets of turtle tracks, and large turtles at that. If you don’t live anywhere near the ocean, you may be unaware that May-August is Turtle Nesting Season. Turtles of all kinds come ashore to lay their eggs which will hatch in about 55-75 days, depending on the turtle. If I haven’t told you the story of why I started running it’s simple: sea turtles. Over 3 years ago I conquered my fear of the water and got scuba certified. My first sea turtle sighting was unbelievable. So when I read there was a 5k to benefit the Sea Turtle Conservancy, I was all over it. A year later, and here I am still running. So to see the turtle tracks was something really exciting. On the off chance you ever see a turtle coming on shore, don’t disturb it. If it gets scared it will ‘false crawl’ meaning it will go back to the sea without laying eggs. If it goes too long without laying eggs, she will release them into the sea, where there is no chance of survival. 

ImageOf course now I am more motivated than ever to keep up my beach runs, maybe I’ll get to see the baby turtles or at least the tracks. If you want to find out more about sea turtles, check out the Sea Turtle Preservation society here.

Then Sunday came. As I might have mentioned before, my training program is for those training for the Space Coast Marathon here in Melbourne, FL, which takes place Dec.1st. Although I am running this race, I first have to run the Marine Corps Marathon a month earlier. This is why I’ve felt like I needed to do more. And more I did. I did over 11 miles on Sunday.

If you’ve never done the Galloway Run-Walk program like me, I can tell you that this Sunday made me a believer. I have never felt so good after completing over 11 miles. The experience marathoner group (which I tagged along with to get more miles) met earlier than everyone, at 5 am. Boy it was tough getting up at 4:15 am that day. But before I knew it we were done with our additional 5 miles and were joining the other ladies. We had done the 5 miles in 2:1 intervals ( 2 min run, 1 min walk) and kept a pretty good pace. We then continued with everyone else for the 6 miles at 30:30 intervals, which seemed really short, but I welcomed them on such a long run. We managed to keep about a 13 min pace for the entire way and finished the 11 miles in about 2:30 hours. Mind you I ran most of my half marathon in January and finished in 2:38 and I was BEAT. So with a little more juice I can see how this program works. I am a believer. We run on this two lane road in a wealthy stretch of narrow road, where the homes have a river on the front and a river to the back. If you hadn’t known that day that the road was meant for vehicular traffic, one would have thought it was a running trail. It is definitely marathon season. 

My husband and I are signing up for the North Face Endurance Challenge in Georgia in September. i don’t do much trail running, but I figured I can tag along and do the 10k while taking my time. He’s doing the marathon. Trail running interests me, but I have yet to set foot on a trail.

So on to week 5 and I am feeling pretty good! What did you accomplish this week? How’s your training going?

 

 

It takes a special kind of idiot….

“Any idiot can run, but it takes a special kind of idiot to run a marathon”

It all started with sea turtles. You know, those beautiful, gentle, mysterious creatures that burrow themselves in a reef to sleep, come up for air every now and then and nibble on jelly fish. Well, technically, it started with scuba diving. 5 years ago my husband and I moved from Colorado and being a certified diver, my husband convinced me i had to get certified as well. Snow skiing obviously wasn’t an option around here. Only caveat was, I couldn’t even swim. Swim lessons at the YMCA and one spectacular night dive filled with turtles so close i had to be aware of every inch of my body in order not to hit them, and my love of turtles was born.

Then I heard about the Turtle Krawl 5k in Indialantic. Having never been athletic and always being either somewhat active or in that ‘I’ll go to the gym tomorrow” cycle, a 5k was a challenge. When I started the Couch to 5k program, I prayed those 30 second running intervals would be over. A few months of slow and steady training, and when I crossed that finish line, I was hooked. I set my sights on the half marathon. Seriously, I quit high school soccer and softball and went to be a choir geek instead. I didn’t know what had gotten into me.

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Distance training is 90% mental in my opinion. Your body say either you can or can’t finish and either way, it will be true. That’s why training is so important, so you can train your mind to be your friend, instead of your enemy. It does still tell you every now and then ‘ What the heck are we doing running before sunlight?”

My first half marathon was the Miami Marathon. Sun, salsa, and one of my favorite cities, what could go wrong? 13 miles of running is what. I crossed the finish line at 2:37, so emotionally and mentally exhausted that when I saw my husband (also a runner) I burst out in tears. Crazy sh*t.

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You know those people that date in college, then the next step is getting married, then having a family and buying a house? Yeah I’m not one of those people. But with running. I am such a ‘next natural step’ kind of person. The marathon is the elephant in the room saying ‘ Is it my turn yet?’.

I started training with the Jeff Galloway program at Running Zone this morning at 6:30 am. I wish everyone training could meet an Olympian at the start of training. It’s so motivational and Jeff had nothing but positive and encouraging things to say, even to those with injuries and those old enough to remember the first time a woman ran a marathon.

The premise of this program is that by taking enough walking and running intervals, anyone can tackle the distance while remaining injury free and not running as many miles a week as other programs recommend. Jeff is an Olympian so I trust his judgement.

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We did a short 3 mile run (never thought I would think ‘Just 3 miles’) today and will continue to build up. There are some really amazing girls in my group including one that has registered for 3 half marathons and has never run one because she always manages to get pregnant. I asked her if maybe twins were in her future since she registered for the full marathon.

With the right support, training, and willpower, I really think anything is possible. Welcome to my crazy journey!

What challenges have you taken on lately that you never though you would overcome?