Friday, August 24, 2012

11 Miles & Fun Facts Friday - Food Memories

11 Miles Strong
Yep, it was long-run Friday again for me. And it was a solo-long run too. Oh, and super dark out. It's not starting to get light until closer to 6:20 these days. But, running under the stars can be incredibly peaceful I must say.

I headed out with a random route in my head. I knew I wanted to get back near the house around mile 6 so I could refill my water bottle and take my GU. Sometimes not having a set, defined route can be good. I was just running. Just running and enjoying the "me" time.

Mile 6 did in fact take me right at my house. Perfect timing. I took my GU got more water and was off again. I was feeling really great. My legs were just trucking right along. My breathing felt so much better today as well. Everything clicking.

I was a little worried about my pace though. I had been going by feel and that was keeping me right at a 9 min/mile. I always think that's too fast for what's supposed to be a slow, long run. But I really felt great. My heart rate never felt terribly high, with the exception of hills of course. So I decided to just keep going with it. Run by feel and not hold myself back.

And you know what happened? 11 fantastic miles with an average 9:04 pace.

I don't know if it's the fact that it's not 85 degrees for my long run or the recent speed work, or maybe both. But I am shocked and pleased at that pace. Let's just say I was floating on a very nice runner's high the rest of the day.

Fun Facts Friday - Food Memories
SpaBettie's recent post for Zucchini Bread French Toast got me reminiscing about foods I associate with my childhood. It's funny how strongly you can associate smells to memories, and those smells might come from foods you remember being prepared.

The smell of green bell peppers still elicits a strong reaction. I can't stand the smell to be honest, and I hated them as a child. I only eat them cooked. But I remember very vividly, my grandmother chopping them up.

And the smell of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove is like a piece of childhood. Not just the smell but the warmth it creates in the kitchen from the steam as it simmers is like a big hug.

So I thought it'd be fun to do a post of some foods that bring me back to my childhood, foods or recipes that have strong memories associated with them. So let's take a trip down memory lane...

French Toast - The first time I had it was when I stayed the night with a friend. She covered it in powdered sugar and syrup, and I thought it was heaven on a plate. I learned to cook it and made it all the time for my sister and myself.

Little Debbie Jelly Rolls - Oh I loved pulling off the layer of white chocolate from the bottom before taking my first bite. I will forever think of my grandmother when I see them.

Egg Salad Sandwiches - Oh that smell....worst smell but best invention ever (or so I thought as a kid). It was one of the only ways I'd eat eggs. And it had to be smooshed on white bread of course. This was something else I'd make for my sister and myself.

Bologna Sandwiches - Sounds just like something I'd eat right? As a kid, I loved bologna on white bread with tons of mustard and pickles. My how times have changed.

Apple Jacks - I could seriously eat an entire box by myself not minding a bit that the roof of my mouth was torn to bits. They remind me of weekends spent at my dad's house. He kind of indulged us a bit. And of course I never complained.

Cheetos - Oh how I loved my Cheetos. The cheesy fingers, the crunch, and even better with a piece of the chocolate outer layer of a Little Debbie Swiss Roll.

Peach Cobbler - I never cared for cakes, but man I liked a good fruit cobbler or pie. When I think of cobblers I think of this one particular restaurant that we would very rarely go to that was nothing but a HUGE buffet. But I always saved room for the cobber. And it also reminds me of some amazing Healthy Bites my dear friend Lindsay made last summer. At least those were healthy ;-)

My good friend Jessica has been doing a Foodie Friday post. So if you're looking for more Friday Foods, you should go check it out! She's talking about fuel for running, which happens to include Healthy Bites. Yum.

What food memories do you have?