Week 3 Marathon Training and Vegan Mac and Cheese

Getting up on Sunday morning was a little tough. We had gone to an arena football game in Orlando the night before and after 2 pitchers of Sangria, I could have used more sleep. But 5:30 am came early and made me get up. My smoothie was already in the fridge from the day before, I feel like it’s my secret power fuel, like Popeye on spinach! The drive down to the track was beautiful with the sun rising to the left of me on the beach and the supermoon setting to the right. A little Dave Matthews, and I was totally ready to run and have some fun.

This week we did the Magic Mile time trial. If you’re not familiar,it’s basically a pretty dialed in predictor of improvement and race performance. We are doing several of these throughout the training to measure progress and this was the first one. We started with a short walk, then did 1:1 run walk intervals for about a mile. We then did ‘acceleration gliders’. Basically you start with walking 15 steps, then increase to a jog of the same interval, then a little faster, then faster, then scale back down. After about 5 of these we all prepared to run our mile. I knew I wanted to be under 10 minutes, as my fastest average pace during a 5k was 9:34, just about a month ago. We were on a track, which is a little hard for me because it’s so dang boring! Anyhow, round and round we went and my time was 9:59! Well at least I got under 10 I guess… So at 3% improvement I can increase to  9:42 and at 5% to 9:30. Now, I was just at near 9:30 a month ago, so I think I can increase more than that. We then finished out our run with 1:1 intervals, running a total of 5 miles. I came home and took about an hour nap as I had a girlfriend’s birthday party to go to.

My husband is on a very different training program, one put on by a local track coach. They run many more miles and do more tempo and targeted pace runs, including a Wednesday run that is 60-70% of your long run on Sunday. I think I’ll blend a little of this program into my workout, doing some faster runs and some longer steady runs. I feel like if I just do the 30 min run/walk twice a week, I’ll actually lose of the conditioning I have built for the last year.

After a 2nd nap, ( I’ve been working a lot)i wanted to make some Vegan Mac and Cheese. Now, before you frown if you’re not vegan or think of some chalky substance if you are, I promise you this is the best vegan mac and cheese. How do I know? My nephews, ages 10,7 and 3 all devoured it at Christmas. And they eat the real mac and cheese and loved this one.

The recipe comes from VegNews, a great vegan magazine with some delicious recipes.  The link is here, and I didn’t deviate much from it http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=40&catId=10

macandcheese

Vegan Mac and Cheese 

Serves 6

What You Need:

  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 8 ounces macaroni ( I used the whole box, less cheesy but feeds more)
  • 4 slices of bread, torn into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine ( I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews ( I soaked mine for a few hours while I was doing other stuff)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
What You Do:

  1. In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
  3. While the veggies are cooking, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 2 tablespoons margarine to a medium-fine texture in a food processor. Set aside.
  4. In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 12 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs, and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.

This is one of my husband’s favorite dishes and gets us all carbed up for our next run!

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