Oh, man, the grossest thing happened to me while I was running yesterday. (If you're eating right now, you may want to skip down a few paragraphs). I had seven miles at an easy pace on the schedule, and when I was about a half-mile from home, I noticed a HUGE bird to my left. I was staring at it as I ran, because I'd never seen a bird like that. And while staring, I wasn't watching where I was going...
I stepped on something that felt kind of like a sponge, and I almost slipped. At that moment, there was a car going by, so I was focused on not getting hit by the car, and I didn't stop running. However, I couldn't help but think of what I'd stepped on, and I had a sneaking suspicion it was some sort of roadkill. When I got that image in my head, I was passing by the dead deer that I wrote about recently, and I started gagging from the smell combined with the image in my head of what I'd stepped on.
When I got home, I smelled the bottom of my shoe, and it was horrid. It bothered me all day, so I finally went to go look at what I'd stepped on. Turns out, it was just as bad as I thought--not to get too gruesome, but when the deer had been hit by a car, a small piece of it had landed several yards away from the rest. I was always careful to avoid stepping on it, because it was in the center of the bike path. It was literally about the size of my shoe, and my shoe just so happened to find it when I was staring at the bird. Yuck! I'm not sure how to clean my shoe without ruining it.
Today, I had 3 x 2 miles @ 8:48/mi pace with 800 jogs on the schedule. Basically, that means I would run 2 miles at an 8:48/mi pace, then jog for 1/2 mile to recover; and repeat two more times, for a total of 7.5 miles. This is one of the Hansons' strength runs.
When I took the kids to the bus stop, it was 43 degrees outside, so I wore my ColdGear running tights and a long sleeved shirt, but it turned out to be too warm to run in that. I wished I'd worn a tank, but it wasn't bad enough to go back home and change. I started out way too fast, but about a quarter mile in, I settled into an 8:30-ish pace. I was a little surprised by mile two at how tough that pace felt. It wasn't awful, but considering I ran a half-marathon at an 8:34 pace, you would think running two miles at that pace wouldn't be bad at all. I decided to run the next interval slower, as close to the 8:48 pace as I could.
I have to say, I really liked this run today. The pace wasn't super hard like it is with 400's or 800's, so I didn't feel like my lungs would explode. And because they are long intervals, I only had to do three of them. The whole run went by really fast! (I cut the cool down a little short, because I'd arrived home).
I've been a little obsessed with grits lately. I never really understood the difference between grits and polenta (today, I finally googled it and saw that it's just two different types of corn). I've made polenta quite a few times (Bob's Red Mill brand), but I have such a hard time getting past the smell of it. While it's cooking, it reminds me of a farm. You know that awful smell that hits you when you step out of your car at a farm? I imagine it's because animals eat corn, and therefore, their poop smells like that.
I recently bought Quaker's quick-cooking grits (not the instant stuff, but the 5-minute stuff). To me, it tasted just like polenta but without the awful smell. I cooked them in reduced sodium chicken broth, and then added shredded queso quesadilla cheese. Ohmygoodness, it was heavenly! So I've been making it for lunch, and topping it with an egg.
The cheese grits kind of remind me of the homemade cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese.
For Taste Test Tuesday, I bought some Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Thins. I've tried the other flavors, and wasn't super crazy about them, so I didn't really have high hopes for these. But I was craving a cinnamon raisin bagel really badly! The regular cinnamon raisin bagels were 6-8 PointsPlus each; that wouldn't be TOO bad, if I didn't add peanut butter to it, which is my favorite way to eat bagels.
So anyway, I bought the Bagel Thins, and hoped for the best. I read a tip somewhere to toast them while they're still intact, so that's what I did. That works really well, because then the outside is toasted, but the inside is still soft. When toasted after being separated, they get a little too crunchy for my liking.
I topped them with one of my favorite peanut butters--the Peanut Butter & Co. Cinnamon Raisin peanut butter. It ended up being really yummy! The last flavor of Bagel Thins I tried (Pumpkin Spice) turned me off because of the texture--it had that really fiber-y cardboard-like texture. These Cinnamon Raisin ones didn't have that texture, and I really liked them!