half-marathon yesterday. It still hasn't quite clicked in my head, but my sore legs and blisters are a constant reminder that it really happened. Two years ago I would have told you that I had a better chance of sprouting wings and flying to the moon than running a half-marathon. And last year, after developing symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome and then tearing a tendon in my foot, I swore that I would never run more than a couple of miles again. The thing that you have to understand about me is that occasionally I'll get a crazy idea in my head, and I go to outrageous extremes to make it happen. Apparently hearing someone say the word "half-marathon" back in May was all that it took. Well, that and an extreme desire to spend as much time outside as possible after the horrendous winter.
The race was actually fun... well, at least the first two-thirds of it. I stuck with the 10:00/mile pacers (who were dressed as pirates, complete with sword and flag) and they kept me going just fine. The only problem arose when I accidentally got too close to the girl who liked to flail her feet as she ran. There was a close call, but I managed to keep my balance and get far away from her. I say I'm never going to run another one (and definitely not a full marathon), but we've seen how good I am at keeping promises to myself.
As with most long races, there was a pasta dinner the night before the race. Of course there was no way that I was going to pay to watch other people eat gluten-filled pasta, so I threw my own brown rice pasta dinner. My stomach was on the fritz the two days before the race, which made me even more nervous about running, so I wanted something very plain that wouldn't further provoke it. I hesitate to call it bland because I thought it tasted great, but it lacked bold flavors. I bet it was ten times better than what they served at the official dinner. Best of all, my stomach tolerated it just fine and I felt great for the race.
Gluten-free pasta with chicken, zucchini, and spinach
12 oz. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium zucchini, sliced
5 cups spinach
8 oz. brown rice pasta (I used fusilli), cooked according to package directions
Brown the chicken in a large skillet, and set it aside. Add a little bit of olive oil to the skillet if necessary, and then saute onion until it's tender. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Stir in zucchini, and continue to cook until zucchini is tender (about 7 min). Add the spinach and cooked pasta and stir for a few seconds, just until everything is combined and the spinach begins to wilt. Serves 4 normal people or 2 crazy people who are preparing for a race.