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Successful Run & New Kitchen Toy

Running Like (and In) the Wind
I checked the weather just before setting out for the run. Sunny, 50 degrees with no wind chill, but winds at 17mph and gusting up to 22mph. My first thought - I am bat-ass crazy. I hate running in the wind. My next thought - I'm scared I'm going to hate every second of running now.

In reality, it was an awesome run, despite the wind. It felt sooooo good to be out there in the sunshine, feet pounding the pavement next to Jason. We did a super fast 1.9 mile run in 14:20. I will admit to being annoyed that it wasn't a full 2 miles. Is that nuts? Yes, probably so.

Now this is the cardio I've been missing desperately. My endorphin rush was so high that I seriously was thinking, "Oh, maybe I could get in another 2 miles after work." I know, I know, had to talk myself back down to reality.

If I want to be able to run consistently again, I cannot do crazy things like that. I have to take it slow and be happy with 2 miles, then 3 miles, etc. Especially if I do go ahead and turn in my registration for the Little Rock Half Marathon in March. I have my form, I have it filled out, my company will pay, now to take the plunge and submit to HR. *gasp*


Easier Legs
After work I ended up going for a very basic leg workout rather than following the STS rotation. I did one giant set of 3x10 with the exception of calves, which were done 3x15. I then did some floor work and abs from Cathe's High Reps DVD.

Squats
Plie Squats
Alternating lunges
Deadlifts
Calf raises (turned out, parallel, turned out)

Firewalkers - 8
Weighted donkey kicks - 2x18
Roll ins/Hip lifts on Stability ball - 12 combined, 12 hip lifts
Inner thigh squeezes with stability ball - 3x24

I stretched and rolled my IT band again.

Happy It's Thursday
I must say that I am more happy than usual that tomorrow is Friday. Not only will next week be a short week, but my sister is coming up tomorrow to stay the whole weekend. This makes me one happy girl. We don't have anything big planned. She's requested pizza (bought a gluten-free mix for her) and chili. I think I can happily grant those two requests for her.

We usually bake cookies just before Christmas. Not sure if we'll do that or not as well. Maybe just pick out two recipes (including gluten-free recipes) to make this year instead of going over board like we typically do - see last year's post for an example.

New Toy = More Soup
Speaking of happy day, I finally got an immersion blender! Many moons ago, I won a $40 certificate to CSN Stores from the super sweet Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete. I had my blender all picked out, but I simply kept forgetting to order. I know, soooo not like me. I always remember when I was making creamy soups and having to ladle the soup into the blender, making a huge mess every single time.

Anyway, since I got my new toy, that means soup night! I had some leftover roasted kabocha from last night's salad and some pumpkin puree. The two were begging to be used, so I made a Red Curry Kabocha & Pumpkin Soup. It's similar to my recipe for Curried Kabocha Soup with a few changes.

Red Curry Kabocha & Pumpkin Soup
Ingredients:
1/2 roasted kabocha squash, cubed
1/2 can pumpkin puree
1-2 carrots, diced
1 small (or 1/2 larger) white onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 package firm or extra firm silken tofu
1 can lite coconut milk
20 oz. low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tbsp red curry paste
To taste: sea salt, black pepper, curry powder, ground coriander, red pepper, turmeric, garam masala, agave nectar

Directions:

In large pot, saute onions, carrots, and garlic until onions are translucent. Add in kabocha, pumpkin, tofu, broth, coconut milk, and spices. Bring to a simmer and let cook until carrots are soft.

Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth or transfer to blender in small batches and puree until smooth. Add in additional broth if needed. Bring to a simmer again and re-season if necessary. Let reduce to desired consistency.
I guess it pretty much looks like all of my pumpkin-style soups. They do all have different flavors at least. This had a nice heat to it because of the red curry. I'm going to have to practice with my new hand blender to get soups to puree smoother. But it was so much easier (and cleaner) than using the regular blender. Do you have a favorite kitchen gadget?

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SS#1
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