Tag Archives: running

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 | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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 | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com


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 | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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 | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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 | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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 | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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 | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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!

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Black Bean Pasta

11 May

It’s taper week for me! Yep, my half marathon is THIS SATURDAY and I’m super excited about it. Training has gone really well, my pace has drastically improved, and I FEEL good about it, both mentally and physically.

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Black Bean Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Had to snap a pic on my last long training run. 12 miles felt GOOD.

My taper week has been slightly derailed by poor weather — it was raining and gusty all day yesterday, so instead of my planned 2-mile pace run, I practiced yoga in my bedroom, followed by some much-needed foam rolling. I’m aiming to make up the miles tonight, and then plan to take it pretty easy on Thursday and Friday. I foresee a nice walk in my future and LOTS more foam rolling!

Part of taper week means an increase in the amount of calories I eat from carbs. And that means more pasta 🙂 This recipe is easy, but I’ve made it so many times for dinner recently, that I had to share it with you.

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Black Bean Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Fresh cherry tomatoes are combined with black beans to roast in flavorful basil-infused olive oil, while the pasta boils away on the stovetop. It’s a perfect combination of carbs, fiber, protein and fat, whether you’re tapering or just craving pasta!

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Black Bean Pasta

Serves 2

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, washed
  • 1 C black beans
  • 1 tbsp basil-infused olive oil
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz short pasta
  • Optional: shredded cheese to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a small sheet pan with aluminum foil and grease with cooking spray.

In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, black beans, olive oil and salt and pepper to coat evenly. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at 400 for 20 minutes.

While the tomatoes roast, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, to al dente. Drain the cooked pasta and divide into two bowls.

Spoon the roasted tomatoes and black beans over the cooked pasta. Shred cheese on top, if desired. Enjoy hot.

Training for my 2nd Half Marathon + Running Belt Giveaway!

4 Mar

It’s March. And it’s still averaging 30 degrees out during my runs. But I’ve signed up for my second half Marathon, on May 14, which means training is in full swing! Honestly, I feel more laid back about this one. Maybe because it’s no longer a “first” for me. Maybe because it’s so cold out that I don’t feel nearly as motivated to go running as I did the first time around. Either way, my training plan keeps moving, and I need to move with it!

To help me get there, SLS3 sent me a running belt to try out. Previously, I’ve only ever used an armband for my phone. That can get clunky, especially if you have a bigger device. Sometimes it falls down my arm, gets turned around, and the phone’s buttons can be hard to reach. Still, it’s been my go-to so far, as my phone acts as both my music/podcast player AND running tracker.

When SLS3 offered to send me a running belt, I was elated! I’ve been wanting to try one out, and here was a perfect opportunity. One of their newer running belts is this Dual Pocket Water Resistant Running Belt. It’s slim, has two zipper pockets, and the adjustable straps make it easy to fit your body.

running belt

So what did I think of it? I’ve run a few times exclusively with the belt – left the armband at home – and here are the pros and cons:

Pros –

  • It’s small and light-weight, so you can forget that you’re wearing it.
  • The two pockets are ideal for keys, ID & money, salt tablets, snacks for longer runs, and your phone.
  • Once you’ve adjusted the fit, it’s pretty much set for you to use over and over again.
  • It comes in four colors, to match your running style.
  • It’s water resistant, which is obviously a plus, especially when you get caught in the rain or snow.
  • It folds up to be nicely compact, for runners who are traveling.

Cons –

  • It tends to ride up on your belly. At first, this was uncomfortable, but I did get used to it. However, this seems to be true for most running belts.
  • The pockets are slim, so it won’t fit all phones. Mine phone is 5.4″ and only just fits.
  • The zippers aren’t made to be opened while running. The zip pulls are small, and you pretty much need to slow to a walk to take out anything.
  • If you’re using your phone for music or tracking, the above con makes it very difficult to pull out the phone to switch songs or check your miles/pace/location. Again, must slow to a walk.
  • There’s no slit for headphones. I had to zip up my phone just so, allowing the headphone-jack side to stick out of the end of the zipper.
  • The buckle clasp is sturdy, but requires both hands to open and close.

Overall, I can see myself using this belt frequently, especially for my long runs. The ability to store all the essentials in one compact place, rather than the tiny pocket in my running tights, is ideal.

Training for my 2nd Half Marathon + Running Belt Giveaway! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Post-run, sporting the belt!

This Rafflecopter giveaway has ended.


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