Kings & Queens Half Marathon Recap + Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Salad

16 May

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 🙂

Kings & Queens Half Marathon Recap |

Hair flying in the breeze, or is it my speed? 😉

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.

Kings & Queens Half Marathon Recap |


A volunteer donned me with a medal and handed me a rose, but all I wanted was that much-deserved banana and beer.

Kings & Queens Half Marathon Recap |

I believe I told my mom, who took this pic: “either take the picture or shut up – I want a banana!” (sorry mom, I hope you understand!)

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.

Kings & Queens Half Marathon Recap |

Running group buddies! It was nice to have friends to start out the gate with, and to see them when I finished 🙂

Kings & Queens Half Marathon Recap |

We packed up and headed to brunch – just as hail started to roll in(!).

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 🙂

Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Salad |

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
Serves 8

  • 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.

Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Salad |

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!


25 Responses to “Kings & Queens Half Marathon Recap + Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Salad”

  1. wendyistakingthelongwayhome May 16, 2016 at 8:37 am #

    Congrats on your half marathon! Yep, it’s been pretty sucky, I mean cold here lately! But as much as I dislike the cooler weather, I do post my best splits when it’s cooler. Sigh.

    • xtinaluvspink May 16, 2016 at 8:43 am #

      Thank you! I’m beginning to wonder whether I really do run better when it’s colder out. Guess we’ll see when it warms up (eventually).

  2. SuzLyfe May 16, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    DANG lady! Congratulations! That is FANTASTIC!! You should be so proud of yourself!

  3. Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner May 16, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    I pretty much love anything with black beans and quinoa. Thanks for linking up today

  4. awhiskandtwowands May 16, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    Congrats on the race! The salad looks delicious! I love summer quinoa salads, usually I mash avocado in instead of using olive oil but I’m going to have to try one with evoo again soon as those work better for picnics. Happy Meatless Monday, thank you for linking up with us. (A Whisk and Two Wands, not A Whisk and Two Forks) 😉

    • xtinaluvspink May 16, 2016 at 11:08 am #

      Ooo, I’ve never used Avocado as the fat in a dressing! I’ll give that a try. And, I’ll correct the link back 🙂

  5. fitfoodiemama May 16, 2016 at 11:16 am #

    Oh this looks yummy! Love the quinoa and all the flavors!

  6. Becki May 16, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    Congratulations on hitting and surpassing your goal, that’s great! This recipe looks delicious by the way, I’m going to have to give it a try this summer as part of my food prep for the week.

    • xtinaluvspink May 16, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

      Thank you, Becki! Yeah, this is perfect for summer dining, and a great salad for food prep!

  7. Deanna Segrave-Daly (@tspbasil) May 16, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

    Congrats on crushing your time and your new PR! I’d love to try this salad with farro – mmmmm.

    • xtinaluvspink May 16, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

      Thank you! Oh yes, I bet this would taste great with Farro, or really any grain!

  8. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine May 16, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

    Way to go, friend! And fabulous recipe to re-fuel and recover 😉

  9. ilkasblog May 16, 2016 at 9:28 pm #

    2.5 minutes off your pace and 33 minutes of your last time is really really awesome Congratulations! I was really happy for you when I saw the pic on Instagram. Way To Go!

    • xtinaluvspink May 16, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

      Thank you so much, Ilka! I’m pretty happy 🙂

  10. nicoleculver1 May 17, 2016 at 11:35 am #

    Congrats on the race! That salad looks delicious and perfect to make in a big batch!

  11. MaryEllen@VNutrition June 1, 2016 at 6:55 am #

    Congrats on the race! 45 degrees might have deterred me from running that long (I still have not complete a half yet) but it sounds like you did awesome.

    The quinoa salad looks awesome! I bet that would be great to take to work for the week.

    • xtinaluvspink June 1, 2016 at 7:44 am #

      Thanks, Mary Ellen! Definitely good for taking to work. And if anything, the cold prompted me to run faster 🙂

  12. Julie Wunder June 2, 2016 at 7:33 am #

    What an impressive time and improvement!! Congrats on a great race. Thanks so much for linking up to Best of Blogs!!! Tweeting for you.


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