Saturday, September 17, 2011

Goals, Commitment and a Super Awesome Un-Recipe

I didn't do any writing this week, but I did do a ton of thinking.

And I'm feeling like I can say I have a rough idea of what my goals are for this coming year. I really have to look at a calendar and see if it is at all feasible, but this going to be the year of go big or go home. Either that or I just have no patience and a need to do it all.

In the past, I've never given the marathon much thought at all. If someone mentioned it, I'd say, "no way!" as fast as I could. But the hype around Boston Marathon registration week was enough to get me curious. I know they are dropping the qualifying standards by a lot for next year, but I was curious. I guess you could say I got bit by the BQ bug. So I plugged my most recent 5k time into the Runner's World SmartCoach app, added my weekly mileage and requested a moderate training plan. (I'm not planning on using it, it's just a neat app that will give you a fairly accurate estimate of how fast you can expect to finish based on prior race times). It spit out a 3:33:00. So I looked up Boston's age-graded qualification chart for the 2013 race, and sure enough, for 18-34-year-old females, you need to run a 3:35:00 to qualify.

That was all the motivation I needed. Just to know that I could be close, was enough to push me to try. I also have no doubt that thanks to Kevin's training, I'll be faster before I even start to seriously train. So barring any thing weird, my goal for my first marathon is going to be to qualify for Boston. Go big or go home, right? Kevin is pointing me towards an April/May race, specifically two over Memorial Day weekend. Vermont City or Ottawa. I'm heard good things from people who have done Vermont City, but Ottawa sounds great as well.

So a May marathon is on the calendar. But I'm going big this year so I think a half Ironman is going on as well. I'm leaning towards the Timberman in New Hampshire. It's late August, so it's enough time that I can still do Iron Girl and maybe one other, even after taking some time to recover from the marathon. I don't know. I also want to do Israman in 2013, and thought that having that be my first 1/2 Iron would be really symbolic and meaningful. Who knows? That one is still a ways away and there are a ton of logistics that go into that one. Including getting my bike to Israel and the small problem of training through the fall and beginning of winter.

Ok so those are my big rocks for this year. What's on your list?

Oh! And that Un-Recipe I promised? I'm currently obsessed and it's super healthy to boot.
Baked Tofu!
Drain and rinse a block of extra firm tofu.
Lay a towel on a rimmed dinner plate, set the tofu on top, then cover with another plate and something heavy on top (a can of pumpkin is perfect). Leave it for 30 minutes.
Mix up a marinade. I started with about a 1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce, some Garlic Expressions Dressing and Peanut Sauce. (It was delish, especially with the sesame seeds we added before baking, but a little to salty for my taste.) There's a batch with Dino BBQ sauce marinating in the fridge right now.
You can use anything you like. Olive oil, salt and pepper would be good, too.
Let the tofu soak up the marinade for a least 30 minutes. (Overnight works, too)
Cover a baking sheet with foil and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lay the tofu out on your baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake, flipping every 10 minutes (I'm not sure this is necessary but the recipe I reference said to do it), for anywhere between 20-45 minutes. It gets chewier and denser the longer you cook it. That's it!

It is great for snacking on (my sister and I finished a whole brick today), salads and I imagine it would be great in a stir-fry, too. We didn't have any left for that! I'm going to make a sandwich out of the BBQ version that's marinating now. Let me know if you try it and what you marinated it in!

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