Red dirt road

I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday afternoon.

The bridle path was ruddy, muddy and blissfully empty when I set out to do my long run yesterday.  No clusters of mountain bikes perched at the crests of hills.  No highway of runners down each side of the road.  No jockeying for a parking spot, only to be forced to retreat into the surrounding neighborhoods, where the cranky McMansioners leave snitty notes on your car.

Just me, the birds and critters rustling in the trees, and that ubiquitous brick-colored mud.

(Oh, and Joey – nice to see a familiar face among the handful of runners in the park!)

Any remaining surliness about my pathetic mileage last week disappeared as soon as I headed in to the woods.  I need to start doing my long runs on Mondays more often.

And a bonus?  There’s no shame in going to bed early on a Monday night, when you’re zonked from pushing hard on those muddy hills.

Today’s EAT: Sunday’s simmering pot of suspected deliciousness turned out to be delicious indeed.

Chicken Tagine with couscous!  I don’t have one of those neato pointy cooking vessels of the same name, but this cooked up just fine in a deep skillet.

Tagine (which means “stew” in Arabic) is a common North African dish.  It’s easy, inexpensive, and ridiculously flavorful.  The leftovers reheat beautifully.  I don’t know why I hadn’t made it before.

Recipe: Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds (via Epicurious).  (I listed my modifications on the recipe page; the biggest one was using hacked up boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs instead of a hacked up whole chicken.  You know, being healthy and all.)

Today’s DRINK: A light and crisp French Chard:

I really enjoyed this Cave de Lugny Macon-Villages Chardonnay.  It was quite dry with bright and crisp apple flavors.  Definitely a switch from the buttery Chards that I often favor, but it happened to pair nicely with the sultry spices in the Tagine.  At $9, I’d definitely buy it again.  It would be an excellent white to serve at a cocktail party!

Today’s RUN: Just for the hill of it….

My pace was kind of all over the place, but overall not too shabby at 8:19/mile.

It’s pretty easy to spot that pair of sub-8s on the elevation graph.  Can I just reiterate how excited I am to run on a FLAT course for my upcoming half?  These hills are good training and all – I’m sure they build character and blah blah blah – but I’m excited to run a little faster (I hope) in a couple of weeks!

Today’s QUESTION: It’s Fat Tuesday!  Are you celebrating? No beads, bare boobies or King Cake for me this year, but I do have a drinks-and-dessert date planned for tonight.  So, we’ll be celebrating the Fat part, anyway.

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25 responses to “Red dirt road

  1. I was totally waiting for an “after” photo of the shoes on that trail- looks like fun! Enjoy the date!

  2. your shoes! they were so white! oh dear.

  3. I need to google King Cake…this is about the 5th mention of it today. I need to be enlightened.

    Awesome run and pace, girl! And I am definitely checking into that recipe…sounds awesome!

  4. We have King Cake at work (I’m not sure why Mardi Gras is a big deal around my office but I guess any reason to celebrate is a good reason) and I’m currently wearing beads courtesy of a coworker who loves to dress up.

  5. You’ll need the hills for C-ville. Why don’t we get an “after” pic of those sparkly white shoes?

  6. Nice run! Very jealous of how nature-y it seems! Guh, I didn’t even realize it was Fat Tuesday until they said something on the Today Show. I’ve nothing out of the ordinary planned, but maybe I’ll have some wine while studying tonight (hmm, counter-productive? I don’t care…)

    Thanks for the Achilles advice! When you use the stick, do you roll it right over the Achilles?

    • I mostly focus on the mega knots in my calves (which I am pretty sure are the cause of the ongoing Achilles issues) and a little on the soleus muscle, which is right above the Achilles. I don’t really do it directly ON the Achilles, although I do sometimes massage the area on either side with my fingers (like making a pinching motion and then making circles…if that makes sense). And I don’t know if any of that is right or wrong, but it seems to be working for me. 🙂

      Wine + studying = win. 🙂

  7. dude you spanked it. It’s so flat here, I can see the elevation gains when I go up a curb.

  8. lifeisbeachykeen

    12 miles of hills sound like a nightmare. Great job on that run! I’m so spoiled living on the Florida coast with ZERO elevation. What a brat.

    Uhm, I want to celebrate Fat Tuesday by eating things that are horribly bad for me.. Starting with Dr. Pepper. I’m craving one but I keep trying to talk myself out of it and drink water. It’s not working. I don’t know how much longer I can keep myself from going downstairs to the Dr. Pepper machine. I have to go check the mail eventually, right??

  9. Gross. I am such a wuss. I don’t like mud and dirt. 🙂

  10. I hear my hair salon gives you wine. I’m looking forward to it.

  11. Hot dang, nice pace on all those hills and mud. You will be so ready to fly on that flat half course in a few weeks.

    (Now I have the “Red Dirt Road” Brooks and Dunn song stuck in my head…)

    • IT’S WHERE I DRANK MY FIRST BEER….
      IT’S WHERE I FOUND JEEEEEESUS….
      WHERE I WRECKED MY FIRST CAR…..

      It’s been in mah head ALL DAY.

  12. For Fat Tuesday, I just ate two red velvet cake balls. That’s the only celebration around here. Apparently pancake dinners are popular in Canada on Fat Tuesday, so there’s that option tonight, too.

    I love trail runs! I can’t wait for the weather to improve and for the snow to disappear so I can use the trails again.

  13. That tagine looks awesome. Every time I see the Le Creuset tagine in a store I HAVE TO HAVE IT, but then I remember that I really don’t need it. 🙂 Happy Mardi Gras, girl!

    • I have come very close to buying one in the past, too. Which is kind of silly because…well duh, I had never made tagine until like NOW. But they’re so pretty!

  14. Love that picture! Looks like a fun place to run, but I don’t envy the hills. Happy Fat Tuesday – enjoy the date 🙂

  15. well i’m at work now…but i think i can get some fat tuesday action in post-work…maybe that’ll make me feel better? hahah

    and just like sweaty kid, that song popped straight into my head as soon as i read the title!

  16. Surprised to see you but before Saturday I would not have known you from any other young lady. I thought I was hammering yesterday until I see your times. Good Run. Racing in two weeks will be good.

    • I almost didn’t recognize you! Haha. I thought about turning around to chat but by the time I processed the situation, you were long gone. 🙂 Hope you had a great run too!

  17. I forgot it was Fat Tuesday. Alas. But back pain sent me to my secret stash of painkillers and a glass of white. And since back pain is preventing all forms of physical activity, Fat Tuesday it was indeed.

    True story, my dad can’t pronounce foreign words. He also loves ethnic cuisine and would do themed Christmases for many years including Moroccan. It was at least 5 years and it took moving out, living in a co-op, learning to cook and requesting the recipe that I realized it’s tagine. Not, in fact, tannngine as he had been pronouncing it. Still tastes damn good though.

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