I ran my second half marathon this weekend! The Kings & Queens Half took place on Saturday in Pewaukee, WI. Despite it being mid-May, I don’t think the temperature surpassed 45 degrees, which made for quite the chilly run. Luckily, training had me running in colder weather, so I was relatively well-prepared, both physically and mentally.
My goal for this race was to improve my speed by one minute per mile. Not only did I achieve that goal, I blew right past it! Shaved 2.5 minutes off my pace, for a total of 33 minutes faster than last time 🙂
The course was nice enough – plenty of hills punctuated the miles for several challenges along the way. Much of the course was on a bike path, so there was a huge lack of spectators and cheerleaders, something I very much missed. With no one cheering us on, I had to rely on my own motivations to push through the hills, the wind, the cold, the pain, and the miles in general.
The end was the best (duh!). I was about a quarter-mile away from the finish line when I finally saw it, and the crowd. With a blister on my toe and my thighs burning with each step, I took off as fast as I could! I spotted my boyfriend and parents, saw the professional photographers, and smiled wide and finished strong.
A volunteer donned me with a medal and handed me a rose, but all I wanted was that much-deserved banana and beer.
All of my running group friends had finished ahead of me, but waited at the end so we could snap a few photos together. I’m so thankful for that running group, for the motivation, friendship and community it provides me.
There has since been a lot of foam rolling, compression gear wearing, and relaxing, but all in all, I feel pretty great. I’ve already set my next half marathon time goal, and now just need to pick one & register! But before that happens, let’s get to the recipe 🙂
This salad is quick, easy, delicious, and full of protein and fiber. The raw vegetables lend a nice crunch, while the quinoa and black beans give it a nice chew. It’s perfect as a main or side dish, and makes a great take-along salad for picnics or potlucks. Let it refrigerate overnight to really soak in the flavors.
Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Salad
- 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups cooked dry black beans)
- 2 bell peppers, different colors, diced
- 2 jalapeño peppers, diced
- 5 stalks celery, diced
- 2 limes, juiced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp organic sugar
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1/4 tbsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp tarragon
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
If you haven’t already, cook and cool the quinoa. You’ll need about 1/2 cup of dry quinoa, cooked with 1 cup of salted water or vegetable stock.
In a large bowl, mix together quinoa, black beans, and diced vegetables. Stir well.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Whisk in the sugar and spices. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to coat. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge up to 5 days.
Linking up with Running on Happy & The Fit Foodie Mama, and Confessions of a Mother Runner & A Whisk and Two Wands for #MeatlessMonday and Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation for Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup. Also linking up with Running in a Skirt for Best of Blogs: May!