Thursday, June 29, 2017

Peach and Heirloom Tomato Salad = Happy Summer!

July is peak peach season which is reason enough to celebrate. Fourth of July is rapidly on the way, which means light summer fare and lots of eating will be on tap this weekend. Today, I want to share with you a wonderful summer salad that you are going to love!
Think sweet, juicy peaches, mixed with succulent heirloom tomatoes and topped with fresh organic basil + crumbles of feta cheese, to give it just the right amount of bite.
Have I piqued your interest yet?
The light dressing that is mixed with it... oooh - red wine vinegar, honey and coconut oil with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. SO tasty!
This salad is absolutely so wonderful, that you are going to want to mix it up and serve it for dinner before July 4th!
I got silence and (good) groans at the dinner table this evening, which is always positive. Josh has now become a little bit of a picky eater, and tomatoes are one thing he isn't crazy about. Well, tonight he ate everything and asked for seconds! I think that is a good sign, don't you?





Not only is this salad delicious, it also looks really pretty on the plate. I love all the vibrant colors that remind us summer is here.
Are you ready? Okay, let's get started! 
Sweltering from the summer heat? No need to turn on the oven today! :)






First, whisk together all the ingredients for the salad and set it aside (red wine vinegar, honey, coconut oil, sea salt and pepper)...




Next, slice the peaches, heirloom tomatoes and red onion...



Isn't she a beauty?






Drizzle the dressing over the peaches, tomatoes and red onion...





Mix it all together in a large bowl. Then add the fresh basil leaves and sprinkle feta cheese on top...





Serve immediately. That won't be a problem, because you'll be dying to sink your teeth into this healthy, refreshing salad!




Bon Appetit!

Peach and Heirloom Tomato Summer Salad
By: NatRunsFar 
Serves: 4-5 people


Ingredients:

1/4 cup thinly, vertically sliced red onion
1/2 pound ripe peaches, pitted and cut into wedges
1/4 pound organic heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, cut into thick wedges
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons small basil leaves or torn basil

Directions:

1. Combine red wine vinegar, coconut oil, honey, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl, Stirring with a whisk. Set aside

2. Cut peaches, heirloom tomatoes and onions. Drizzle with the dressing.


3. Gently toss together in a large bowl and add fresh basil + feta cheese. Serve immediately.




Happy eating and happy running friends.


Do you have 4th of July traditions?

What is your favorite summer fruit?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer Life, Mom Stuff - Oh, And Running..

Um, June - you can slow down a bit, ummmk? Thanks. 

Last week in June and I really like to soak in July - July feels like the heart of summer (right?!). No one goes back to school, the back to school ads aren't airing yet and it's just one lazy, hazy summerfest (for the kids at least). 

I'm steadily building a base of miles and slowly getting stronger, post Boston (for some reason, Boston feels like a long time ago).


Buy a shirt! Woo hoo!!


This week, I have a 60 mile week on tap - the most since the heart of Boston training months ago. It's a nice relief when the miles are done and recorded and you can breathe a tiny sigh of accomplishment - more miles in the bank.

I'll take you on a quick look back at what I ran last week!


Monday June 19th - DAY OFF. After 10 straight days of running, I was really ready for a break. Oh and the people that are on run streaks (6 months, one year - even 30 days) - you are simply amazing.

Tuesday June 20th - 7 easy miles

Wednesday June 21st - 6 easy miles. Bonus - Summer Solstice and a beautiful sunrise.




Thursday June 22nd - 10.15 miles broken down like this: 
2 mile warm up, 5 x 1 mile repeats (6:30, 6:31, 6:30, 6:30, 6:29), 2 mile cool down.

Let's talk about progress for a moment. A year ago, six months ago - I wasn't running 10 miles in the middle of the week, followed by a few longer runs and then a long run on Sunday. Before you think I'm bonkers, remember increasing your mileage happens over time. Little by little you inch along - I remember when my short easy runs were 4 or 5 miles and now they are 6-7 miles. PROGRESS. I know someday I'll be running 70+ miles a week (perhaps!) and will look back and think that 50+ was pretty chill - as opposed to now when I think 50+ is a good amount.

Also, many people have opinions on higher mileage. Everyone is different and what works for one runner may not work for another. I work well on higher mileage - I feel fit and ready to tackle races, plus I'm working toward my long term goals. I know as long as I do the little things to stay healthy (strength training, sleeping, eating well, body work), higher mileage + 6 day a week running works for me.

One funny story - I remember talking to a running friend of mine years ago (Josh was maybe a baby, or not even born yet, can't quite remember) and she was telling me that 90 miles a week is what it would take to run well. Urging me to do it - run 90 miles a week. I couldn't even wrap my brain around that concept and it was pretty crazy to even think about doing that = you are just asking for a big, fat injury and so much more. Needless to say, I wasn't in that mode at all - I had very little fire about running. I knew there were goals I wanted to accomplish, but didn't have the push to work and make it happen. Years later, 90 miles a week still seems crazy. Ha. #dowhatworksforyou

Friday June 23rd - 6 miles

Saturday June 24th - 9 miles (with 8 x :30 second pick ups)

Sunday June 25th - 13 miles (10 at 7:45 pace and then last 3 at 7:06 pace)

Total miles 51.15


Mom life:

Megan's very first theatre performance and Josh's second (first one was like two years ago and he was ready to do another one).
They had such blast and Elle is definitely ready for the stage!




Water madness:


This is real life! 


Last summer Josh and Megan dipped their toe into triathlon - meaning we swam at the pool, jumped on the bike and then they ran! They are so pumped to do it again this summer and really practice. Stay tuned.

Let's see if I can post again (YES! I feel like I have a lot to talk about) before we hit a new month! :)

I hope you guys are well and wishing you happy running.

xo,
Natalie


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Students Run LA 5k Recap

My race photos are not always a reflection of my love for our sport :). I definitely feel gratitude and happiness about being out on a race course - happy to be running hard, finding out what my body is capable of and how I learn from every experience. Somehow the camera snaps when I must be in deep thought pain about pushing myself a little harder, a little faster - trying not to leave anything on that course. It never gets old, I still laugh when I look at my race photos and see this:





On Sunday I raced the Students Run LA 5k race in Griffith Park. My love for Griffith Park runs deep -when Jerold and I got married, we bought a house a few minutes away from the park and loved running and biking there. I have memories of many 20 + mile runs from our house to Griffith Park, through the park and back. It covers 4,310 acres of land, making it one the the largest urban parks in North America (source) and it boasts the most breathtaking trails.

There wasn't a lot information about the race course and I found out that it would be a little bit on trail in the beginning and then on the road for the remainder of the race. 
We arrived early on Sunday morning and it was so nice to not have to fight through thousands of people to park and navigate the bathrooms. As I ran a one mile shake out run and did a dynamic warm up, I realized that unless the course sharply veered onto the road, we would be running on trails for the race. The trail was beautiful, but it consisted of the type of sandy like soft horse trails that your feet sink into. I knew it would be a fun experience no matter what, a way to test my fitness and see where what my body is up to right now.





The atmosphere was very friendly and everyone was smiling and happy to be out on a beautiful Sunday morning. We were led in a group warm up, followed by everyone high fiving each other and saying hello to people that you didn't know. I loved this and felt like we were all part of a special community.






Finally the race began and we were off. Eyeing the course and testing things out on my warm up, I knew the best thing would be to get to far right or left and try to find some hard packed sand, but it just wasn't there. I felt my feet sinking into the surface and knew I needed to smile, run as hard as I could and let everything else go.

Mile one: 6:50
As my watch beeped, I glanced down and saw 6:50 and knew this wasn't a race about time today. It would be a race about hard effort and so that was what I would do.

Mile two: 7:11
Puffing from the effort of soft trail terrain. I run a lot on the trails near my home and for the most part they are pretty hard packed dirt trails, so this was definitely different. This was HARD.

Mile three 7:05
I knew in my mind, I had to hold it together (suck it up!) and run as hard as I could. There were zero women in sight and the guys I was running next to were in the same boat I was in.

.1: 6:28
Run hard to the finish - legs burning from the terrain, but happy with the effort!


I knew at that point, I had to be the first woman to cross, and yet I couldn't think about - I was so happy to be finished.

Final time: 21:13

Coach told me to throw time out the window on a trail race and think about effort. I knew that in my heart, but nice to hear it from him as thoughts of a 21 minute 5K flashed through my head (Bummer! Despite this, I had a great speed workout this week with 8 x 800's at 6:07-6:10 pace). 

Jerold had his bike and I ran about a half mile cool down afterwards. Later in the afternoon, I ran another 4 miles for a total of 8.6 miles for the day.

I met some really great people at the race! Two alumni who trained for their first marathon with the SRLA program.






I also got to meet one of the founders (Paul) and the director (Christine) of SRLA.





The Running Is My Recess t-shirts have arrived! Buy a shirt and help an at risk kid find the joy in running!





Lots of running going on in my world this week, so focused on recovering well and taking it one day at a time.


Hope you guys are having a great week!


Have you ever raced on soft trails?


What is one goal you have for your summer running?



xo,
Natalie

Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday Stuff + The Anatomy Of A Hard Workout


Seriously. I have TWO more days of school lunches to pack and then we are finished for the school year! I really need some down time to refresh the batteries. The past month has been especially crazy with the rush of end of the year activities and next week will really be insane. Two schools, three kids = June madness. 
By the way, how is it June already? I feel like we just had Christmas break. I can hardly believe these kiddos will be going into 5th, 2nd and last year of preschool.






Captain Underpants The movie has arrived! I have read the book so many times to my kids and now the movie is finally here. Fun fact: The voice over actress part of me loves going to these animated movies, as I spent a lot of time working on commericals and a few animated TV shows. After years of voice training and auditions, I haven't worked in this industry in a while and some days I miss it.





Can I tell you how hungry I have been this week? I found myself trolling the pantry the other night, in desperate search of anything good to eat. I'm on tap for my first 50+ mile week in a while, so maybe that's why?

Let me I tell you about the monster workout I had on Wednesday. It was the first hard effort workout of the new season and I walked away drenched, glad to be finished, yet ready to put in some hard work this summer and see what happens. 






10.44 miles (on a Wednesday!) broken up like this:

2 mile warm up on my beloved trails

Then down to the roads for the tempo portion:

4 x 1.5 miles at 6:52 average pace (with 1:30 jog in between each set)

Ended with a 2 mile cool down.

There's something about running that extra half mile (as opposed to one mile repeats) that nails your butt. Lots of mental talk going on during this workout - first set was hard and by the third set I got into a good rythmn. At one point I broke the set into half mile segments times three (in my mind - not actually stopping) and that helped a lot mentally.  <-----Tip for you during mile and a half repeats!


Seven miles of recovery running yesterday and if the key is to run easy on the easy days, then I get an A+.





Finished up the month of May with 187.5 miles and onward to June.


Running Is My Recess - psyched about this movement and this awesome community of runners (check them out on Insta!) BTW, don't forget to buy a t-shirt, tank or mug - 10% goes to support Students Run LA! I can't wait to receive my shirt in the mail and of course I'll share it with you guys. #Runningismyrecess


Have a wonderful weekend filled with miles and smiles!



What's the toughest workout you've done in the past month?

How many miles are you running this weekend?


xo,
Natalie