Monday, May 13, 2013

Virtual Running Date No. 9: The obstacle course and marinade

Good morning Crushers!

This morning's virtual running date is going to take you back to the Ice Age Trail, but this time we're running hills in the Monches and Merton segments. I'm not a particular fan of hills, cauliflower, burpees or remembering to floss, but do you know what all of these things have in common? They're good for you!

I will admit that when I can walk up a hill just as fast as running it, I will walk. That usually happens on steep hills unless I'm in the "This is junk. Just let me run up this hill and get it over with" mood regarding a hill. I'm really sorry to say that our virtual running date has a lot of hills, but they will make you stronger! In case you need them, here are some tips from Runner's World.

Back when I did boot camp workouts, we did these exercises called "sleigh rides". Here's how it would work: start with two people face uphill from the base of the hill. The person in front has a stretchy band around her waist. The person behind is holding on the ends of the stretchy band as if they are reins. The first person runs up the hill pulling against the stretchy band that the second person is holding onto and pulling back on. If you are the first person, your goal is to reach the top of the hill and overcome the resistance that you feel.

I remember one fellow boot-camper, Josie, who cracked me up! She hated being the front person because it's harder, but then she thought about it. "Wait a minute guys. You don't want to be the person in the back. Then you're like Santa. You don't want to be the fat guy!" True story.

Anyway, usually, I kill hills, but this last run had some STEEP hills. Gorgeous, rocky hills that ran along the Oconomowoc River. (Oconomowoc is a Native American word that sounds like Oh-con-oh-moh-walk). We started running up and down hills through meadows and pine tree forests (including one Christmas tree farm). After we finished the Monches segment and started the Merton segment, we ran past the bridge where we got engaged. Near the river, it was like running an obstacle course. You had to jump over fallen logs, duck under low tree branches, navigate your footsteps around rocks, roots and low vegetation. We even had to go over a few boardwalks that were so close to water, that it splashed up when you stepped down. The hills might have been difficult, but I felt like I was running through these paths like, and this is going to sound totally dorky, that scene in the beginning of the Disney movie "Pocahontas" when she's bookin' it through the forest to see the ships landing in Jamestown. Or for an even nerdier movie reference, as if you're running through the forest in "Avatar" (same premise, but with blue aliens).

Anyway, as we're slogging up hills, ahem, I mean overcoming the hills on our virtual running date, I would tell you about the baby shower I went to. It was so nice to celebrate the almost-here baby and the mommy-to-be right before Mother's Day! I would also tell you to go to see Iron Man 3. Seriously, I think it's the best one. Oh, and stay all the way through the credits.

If your a mom, a mom-to-be, a godmother or any combo, I would also wish you a Happy Mother's Day! In one weekend, I was lucky to get to spend time with tons of my mommy-friends, my sweet mother-in-law, one of my pregnant sisters-in-law, my own awesome mom, my godmother and my grandma. That's a lot of moms! They are all tremendous people, who definitely deserve a day to celebrate them!

One last thing, I can't close a post without telling you what we had for Mother's Day. Steve and I had my mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law over for dinner. We grilled out chicken (marinaded with Wildtree slow cooker sauce and the Greek marinade below) and brats, veggie packs and made guacamole. We also had store-bought salsa since I ran out of tomatoes. My sister made a fruit salad and wonderful chocolate cake. My mom, even though she didn't have to, made a pasta salad and potato salad. It was delicious and we all got to go home with chocolate cake leftovers!

Greek marinade for chicken:
1 rounded Tbsp Opa Greek Seasoning from Wildtree (garlic powder, sweet oregano, pepper, and salt works too)
1/4 cup Olive oil or grapeseed oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 tsp pepper

Place thawed and trimmed, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (up to 6) in a plastic zip bag with all of the ingredients. Squish around so everything is coated and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour (overnight, max). Place on a hot grill and cook until juices run clear and the insides aren't pink. Enjoy!

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