Gearing up for Robie

 

Last night was the Robie Creek packet pick-up for the race this Saturday.

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They held the packet pickup festivities at the Basque Center in downtown Boise. Such a cute building.

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There was a lot of hustle and bustle and even a place to purchase wine. These Robie Creek racers don’t mess around.

I hear there is a part of the race course that is referred to as “temptation island” where people try to get the racers to chug beer and take shots along the way.

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My favorite running store Bandanna was holding a running shoe drive, where you could donate used running shoes in return for a $5.00 coupon towards a new pair of running shoes. I was happy to see so many people donated to the cause.

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I was sad to part with my first pair of running shoes, but I knew it was for a great cause. And I’m already scoping out my next running shoe purchase so I can use my $5.00 coupon.

The theme of the this year’s Robie race is ‘Plundering For Booty’. This pirate was definitely gearing up for the race.

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I would be lying if I said I wasn’t completely and utterly excited about this race!! 🙂

Though it’s my first ever official half-marathon, my mindset going into the race is to just run it for fun. Though as I’ve mentioned in previous runs, this hill is extremely difficult and steep. So I will just be happy to receive my finishers t-shirt!

***

Dinner

After packet pick up, J. Alabama and I decided to have an impromptu Anniversary dinner. Our 2 year dating anniversary isn’t until next Tuesday, but we randomly decided tonight would be a good night to celebrate.

We started off with a plate of bite sized crab cakes. They came with a spicy aioli and lemon yogurt dipping sauces.

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They were pretty good, and had a little spicy kick to them.

For my main dish I ordered the Spicy Ginger Prawn Risotto.

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It was a creamy risotto dish that had a red curry sauce. The prawns were infused with a lime ginger sauce. And it was sprinkled with red peppers, zucchini, and topped with mint leaves.

It was quite the taste combination. I wished there were more than the 3 prawns, but it was definitely tasty. And the portions were so big I could split it into 3 meals.

J. Alabama ordered a Moroccan Chicken dish. It was a chicken breast stuffed with sausage and seasoned with Moroccan spices sat in a bed of orzo pasta.

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It was a bit on the spicy side, and had a distinct flavor to it. I’m going to have to research Moraccan spices, because the spice was  different than anything I’ve ever tasted.

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We ended the evening by each sipping on our “signature drink”. You know, the Oj & Wild Turkey combination.

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I couldn’t ask for a better way to celebrate our 2 year dating anniversary! And to think the next time we celebrate an anniversary won’t be until we celebrate our Wedding anniversary! 🙂

Happy Thursday Friends!

Is anyone else racing this coming weekend? So excited for my first official half-marathon.

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Fruity Friday: My Cherry Cherimoya

  

TGIFF! (Thank God it’s Fruity Friday!)

Wowza, it sure has been a looooooong time since I did Fruity Friday.

For those of you who are new to Beyond Destination 26.2, I would like to let you in on a little secret.

I have a weird fascination with weird fruit.

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So weird, that I literally seek out the produce section of every grocery store I enter (especially when I travel) in search of freaky fruits.

I know, weird right?

And sometimes it even costs me an arm and a leg to then decide I would have been better off never trying it.

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But it’s better to know right?

Anywho, Aneta and I have joined forces on many occasions to report on the same fruits to see each others reaction. Though it’s sometimes hard to find the same fruits considering she lives in Canada and I live in Idaho.

Which brings me to today’s spotlighted freaky friday fruit…..

The Cherimoya

This fruit immediately caught my eye when I was perusing through the Boise Coop last week. The lady at the check out squealed with excitement when I bought it.

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“You are buying the pudding fruit!”

Whatever that meant, it did intrigue me a little more.

The skin looks tough, but it’s actually kind of soft when you touch it.

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And I wasn’t lying about the price tag, it cost me almost $6.00 to buy one. I was crossing my fingers that it would be worth it.

 On one website it was suggested to pop these babies in the fridge until time of consumption. I guess the chill of the fruit makes it tastes even better.

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Looks like a little ♥heart♥

So then it was time for tasting. Seriously I was excited at this point.

I cut it in half and began scooping out the fruit, similar to an avocado.

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Now there are big seeds in the fruit that need to be dug out.

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Oh course I took a bite, and began to throw the rest in the blender….wooop wooopp… Smoothie Time!

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Omigawsh, the taste!

I could immediately understand why the lady at the check out called it the pudding fruit.

It has a creamy texture and sort of a smooth taste of banana and vanilla. The texture reminded me of mangos, without the slimyness.

Oh and the smell….

So sweet and delicious. The smell alone made me want to devour this fruit up.

I will admit that I’m little sad I put the fruit in the smoothie instead of enjoying every last bite. It was that good!

But sadly, I got a little over excited and in the blender it went, along with some other fun fruits.

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I didn’t think a Cherimoya smoothie could happen without actual cherries in the mix.

My Cherry Cherimoya Smoothie

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  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 cup of frozen cherries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed fruit (mango, peaches, strawberries)
  • squirt of vanilla extract

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As I mentioned… the smoothie was not nearly as good as the fruit itself. But it was still rather tasty!

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But as you can tell from this photo, someone did not take all the seeds out. Some were missed and they got grinded up in the blender. And it was hard to drink without choking on seeds.

Which made me even more sad.

My final thoughts on the Cherimoya are this… if you find one, buy it!

Have you ever had a Cherimoya?

***

And if you are really in the fruity friday mood, head on over to Aneta’s as she is doing a fruity friday review today too! Unfortunately her Cherimoya had a little mishap, and she is reviewing the Dragon Fruit instead. (So jealous!!!)

Happy Fruity Friday Friends!!!

*One week and a day until The Robie Creek Half. 🙂

8 mile hot dog

 

Last Saturday I met up with a new group of running friends to complete my 8 miler.

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The temps were in the freezing digits and my route called for an out and back, which meant that a big nasty uphill climb was also involved.

I tagged along with my TNT friend Maricela for the first 4 uphill miles.

We ran through dirt, pavement, ice, snow… you name it we ran through it. Such an adventure!

Now here is where a pair of Yaktrax would come in handy! 🙂

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It was a little different running on packed snow because it was slippery in some spots. But we just took it a little slower and managed through it.

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After 4 miles I said goodbye to Maricela and turned back around (she continued on to run 16 miles!).

I was a little worried about the run back by myself. But it seemed that around every turn there were some other crazy people running this trail training for Robie.

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At one point I went for a sip of my water and realized that it had started to freeze! I couldn’t believe it was that cold that my water actually froze!

I was happy to get out of the Canyon though just to get where it was warmer and to witness these gorgeous views of the city.

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Okay, it was still cold (as you see through the forced smile) though I’m sure it felt warmer once I was not running on snow.

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But I finished my glorious 8 mile run in around 1 hour 43 minutes and felt AMAZING afterwards!

This was one of the better runs I have had in a l-o-n-g time. Not sure why, because I was dreading it so much and it turned out to be quite fun!

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After my run it was time to celebrate my brother “J-Bomb’s” birthday.

We celebrated his birthday by serving a family favorite we have dubbed “Mexican Hotdogs”.

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Now the meal I’m about to share with you is by no means healthy and running 8 miles prior to eating this meal should be a pre-requisite (I joke).

I almost didn’t post it on the blog at all because I like to consider Beyond Destination 26.2 a healthy living blog, but this family favorite could not go un-documented due to its deliciousness. Please also note that this meal is only indulged in about once a year as a “special occasion” meal.   

Mexican Hotdogs:

You start with the real deal regular hotdog, make a little slit down the center and stuff with a small piece of cheddah.

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Then you will take your hotdog and roll into a corn tortilla securing it by using toothpicks.

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Ahh, then you fry it up in a vat of butter Crisco. I warned you it was bad!

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Easy as that! But what makes these babies beyond amazing is by topping with a spoonful of homemade guacamole.

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I know what you are thinking… but it really is quite an interesting meal.

But J-Bomb requested it as his birthday meal which you can’t argue with that! And you also can’t argue with mom’s amazing lemon bars served instead of cake (holy yum!)

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Happy Birthday bro!

**

What’s your family favorite “special occasion” meal?

 

V-Day Success!

I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day!

My gift to myself was hitting up a sweet spinning class after work.

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It was the perfect start to a perfect night. The sweat sesh, was needed and felt so good!

Shortly after my spin class I set the Love Scene at my apartment for J. Alabama. We had late dinner reservations, so I thought a little romantic wine and chocolate strawberries would be a nice surprise.

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When he walked in and there were candles lit and the pop love station on Pandora playing. (Okay maybe he wasn’t so thrilled about the Pandora station, but it set the mood).


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At one point he handed me this card, and before I opened it explained that it was ironic. I was really confused until I realized that the song playing on Pandora was the same song as in the card – Taylor Swift’s Romeo & Juliet.

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Funny Side Note: We picked out our DJ last weekend and he had expressed his huge dislike for Taylor Swift and I had sort of put up a fight about it. So him picking out the TS card, made me laugh. And to realize that TS was playing on Pandora at the same time was even funnier.

We enjoyed our wine and chocolate covered strawberries and arrived at Barbacoa for our special Valentine’s Day dinner. Did I mention that it was 4 courses?! Oh my!

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Upon walking to our table, the floor was covered in rose petal and the smell of roses tantalized my nose. The restaurant was breathtaking and elaborate. I felt like I was in Vegas.

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Our table was covered in candy hearts and rose petals too.

Our first appetizer came out and it was trio of deliciousness. We tried a duck flauta, a crab empanada, and barbacoa croquettes. And the presentation was beautiful too.

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Next up was my Prawn Caesar Salad Wedge. It was dredged in pine nuts and sprinkled with Parmesan.

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Then came the main course – I was so stuffed at this point I could only devour one scallop and few gnocchi. This dish had the most amazing combination of flavors. There were cooked figs, mixed with pieces of prosciutto. And the green blobs, were actually a pea purree that had a garlicy, yet cayenne peppery kick.

Truly mouth watering and rich. I know it doesn’t sound like all of these flavors would mesh, but they did. 🙂

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And then came dessert! A yummy and light chocolate raspberry souffle’. It came with a side of homemade whip cream and a drizzle of hazelnut milk. And how cute are the tuxedo strawberries?

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I thought the night couldn’t get any better, until a dozen roses were delivered to my table with a card from J. Alabama.

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I seriously had such a great V-day. I was gushing over my flowers and the food and everything, and yet another mini dessert platter came out with “The Damage”. LOL.

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We immediately boxed the treats up for another day. There was NO way I could eat any more food.

It was such a fun night and it was so fun to spend it with my future hubs!  I love being able to say that! Our first and last V-day as fiance’s.

And honestly, I’m super glad I hit up that spin class prior to our dinner. I don’t know if I would have made it through. Seriously!

***

P.S. This was my first attempt at really food blogging. Though it was fun, I don’t think I’m cut out for it. It made me really nervous to take pictures of everything I ate, and it was hard to remember all the courses and flavors and everything. But the plates of food were so pretty, I had to give it a shot.
What is your take on food blogging?

I actually like to read food blogs, but I don’t think I could blog about food all the time and keep it interesting.

September Recap + Fruity Friday Fail

 

Hello October (aka Marathon Month!)

 

I’ve been looking forward to this October since last October when I consciously made the decision that October 2010 would be my “Marathon Month.”

I would like to welcome in the month by recapping the highlights of September.

Total Miles Ran in September: 74.75 miles 

Races Ran: 1 really dirty 10k

Running equipment/attire purchased: New Running Shoes & Hydration Belt

Total Funds raised for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: $3582.50 (I made my goal!)

***

 

Now onto Fruity Friday!

Aneta suggested we try this exotic fruit called QUINCE.  It’s pronounced (Keen-Say) as in the spanish word for “15”.   

This fruit was actually another smuggled fruit from a far.

My parent’s were visiting Florida and found this in a supermarket and knew it needed some bloggy love.

The first thing you need to know about a Quince is that you don’t eat it raw.

Apparently it’s too tarty for the taste buds.

It’s supposed to be cooked before eaten and is typically made into a jam.

But I just wanted to cook it and eat it, to get an idea of what this pear look-alike fruit actually tasted like.

So here is the “How To Instructions to Eat A Quince” as noted on eHow.com

Step 1: Rinse fruit and cut off the outer skin

Step 2: Cut in half length-wise and scoop out seeds and core with a spoon

Step 3:  Heat 3 Cups of water 1/2 cup of sugar in pot until boiling, then turn to medium heat

 Step 4: Gently put Quince pieces into boiling water

You leave the quince on medium heat and occasionally stir until the fruit turns pink.

Now this is where my fruit failed. 😦

The recipe said it could take up to an hour for the fruit to turn pink.

I waited….

And waited…

And waited for it to miraculously turn pink and it never did.

After over an hour of cooking it stilled looked like the fruit above, just covered in a thick sugary goo sauce.

  

It’s supposed to look like this:

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I’m not sure what I did wrong. I had cooked off all the water and the Quince was starting to burn. 😦

I took a bite of the non-pink gooey “cooked” quince and it reminded me of a baked apple, sort of.

But it wasn’t anything special.

So I actually hesitated on posting this fruit review as I have nothing to really review. Due to the fact that my fruit was smuggled from Florida, I could not try this experiment again.

I hope Aneta has more luck than I.

You will have to head on over there and see her take on the Quince.

Have you ever tried a quince? Did you like it?

  

Happy Friday, see you tomorrow with a recap of my 20 miler!

 

Tropical inspired Monster

 

I did something.

I did something crazy.

Okay, not that crazy, but crazy for a person who has been ranting and raving that she is too much of a yes person and likes to fill all of her spare time with projects and activities.

Yep, I joined a new organization! And not only did I just join the organization, I signed myself up to be on their marketing & events work team. (I love event planning!)

Anyways, I am excited to announce that I am the newest member of the Boise Young Professionals.  BYP is an organization for 18-40 year old professionals in the Boise, Idaho area. They plan community service projects, luncheons, lectures and even social gatherings. It’s a great way to network professionally and even to meet new people. And for me it’s a way for me to continue to build my resume all while making new acquaintances.

Taking this step to join a new group of people was a huge one for me. I have been wanting to join for at least two years now and finally got up the courage to just do it. It’s an amazing feeling to overcome your fears, whether they are large or small. Since I have started blogging I have felt more confidence in myself. It sounds like a weird correlation, but I use the blog as a reason to try new things.

Does anyone have an organization like this where you live?    Do you ever do something you may not normally consider doing because it’s “bloggable”?

Now onto something a bit more tropical. 

I ran across a fruit stand this past weekend and was jumping with joy when I saw they carried Blood Oranges I was introduced to these babies when I was living in Italy and they used to make freshly squeezed OJ out of them. MMMMMMMMMM! If you haven’t tried them, YOU MUST!

They have darker splotches of red and dark orange on the outside of the skin. It’s hard to tell in this picture.

And then when you cut them open they look bloody red. Hence the name, Blood Oranges.

Now the taste is amazing. They are orangey with a bit of tang. Sort of grapefruit-ish, but more like a sour orange. (In a good way).
So this morning I was feeling a bit more sassy than usual and decided to make another delicious Green Monster masterpiece.  I present to you the Tropical Green Monster.

Along with a peeled blood orange, I added these amazing ingredients to my Tropical Monster.

Of course you need about a cup of almond milk


Then 1/4 cup of crushed pineapple

One banana

 

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder + 3 Ice cubes & as much spinach as you can cram in there!

  

I apologize for not taking an “after” picture of my creation. It actually looked like every other green monster I make. I was afraid it would be ugly brown due to the red oranges. But it tasted fruity, refreshing & delicious!  (I still have an almost whole can of crushed pineapple to play with, what should I do with it? Any suggestions? )

I must be on a smoothie kick, since I have been a little experimental in this area lately. Happy Biggest Loser Day! I was happy to watch the Olympics, but even happier to have my favorite show back on tonight.

Clean Slate

Well I am horrified to admit that I have taken steps backwards in my fitness and journey to health. I took a vow many months back that I would not let the scale dictate how I felt about myself, so I just have not been using it all, just been doing what I normally do.

But I began to notice that I have been rather uncomfortable lately -thinking my clothes were fitting differently, a bit tighter. Gulp. So I decided to pull out my old dusty friend and see the damage. 

I did the whole weigh yourself in the morning thing, before breakfast, before shower – you know to help in any way possible. I just wasn’t sure what I was going to see, but I was hopeful.

Hopeful that maybe I had just been overthinking it all and I was in fact on track.  I stepped on the scale to find that not only have I gained 6 pounds but I have delved back into my scary place.

My first reaction was to freak out, cry, then maybe throw something. But I realized that something in my daily routine just needs to fixed. By getting all stressed and worked up about it I am not going to do myself any good, unless I am focusing that anger into my runs and workouts, which is the plan.

So today is a clean slate. That’s right, I am not going to worry about what I didn’t do last week or what I did or didn’t eat yesterday, because today is a new day and I can begin to make a difference now. (The damage is not that bad, but by making a conscious effort to change I will be back on track).

In the midst of my panic attack clean slate attitude I decided to buy some brussel sprouts. It was one of those veggies I never quite decided if I liked or not and thought what-the-heck. 

So Roasted Brussel Sprouts it is! I used this recipe.

It was an easy recipe and all you needed was brussel sprouts, olive oil, garlic, balsalmic vinegar and salt and pepper.

I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome and would definitely make this again. You could not taste that pundgenty brussel sprout flavor, it was more sweet but perfectly balanced with the garlic. Mmmmmmm!

With my new attitude I am going to incorporate more fruits and veggies. I am not swearing off meat, but I do notice that I feel better when I am eating more f & v’s in my day. So there may be some more interesting recipes on the horizon.

What’s your opinion of brussel sprouts?