Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Celebrating ..

It is that time of year when days start getting longer and the weather gets warmer ... something that I absolutely love and cherish ... Summer. For me ... Summer entails weekends that are filled with day long hikes, adventures with friends to favorite day trip locations, trail runs, camping trips, and three hour long siestas only to wake up and still find that it is light out. My love for Summer started at a young age when afternoons were spent at the swimming pool where my siblings and I would tire ourselves out from simply having too much fun. Afternoons included bike rides with my dad where we would bike to the local marina, feed the ducks, and always grab popsicles. There were many times where I would wake up after a long Summer nap with purple popsicle juice softly smeared along the corners of my mouth ... evidence that Summer had left its mark. Now, twenty something years later, I still find comfort in Summer naps, popsicles, and bike rides.

One of my favorite Summer meals is a simple garden salad filled with bright vegetables, leafy greens, edible wildflowers, and my absolute favorite ... French radishes. I personally, love to see how much good stuff will fit in my salad bowl. Summertime salads simply make me happy and doused with my made at home vinaigrette each bite is that much closer to perfection ... good ole Summer perfection. Nature always amazes me with the abundance of colorful fruits and vegetables during this time of year. I believe it is nature's way of ... celebrating.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ... Bisous.

Summer Celebration Salad
leafy mixed greens
small edible wildflowers
French radishes
one hard boiled egg
shaved carrots
roasted golden beets
crumbled blue cheese

In your favorite salad bowl add your washed, shaved, and chopped ingredients. Drizzle with your favorite salad dressing ... and enjoy!

My signature ... Coeur de La garden goddess dressing
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/3 cup olive oil
a splash of balsamic vinegar (more if you would like)
a splash of soy sauce
a teaspoon of minced garlic
a pinch of ground pepper

Mix ingredients in a small bowl or mason jar until smooth ... and there you have it ... at home garden goddess dressing

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

178 miles of ... running

Over the weekend ... myself and 12 other runners joined together to run the Reno Tahoe Odyssey. The RTO is an adventure race that spans a total of 178 miles. Each team member is given three legs to run during a 24 hour plus period. What does this mean exactly? It means running at all hours in all terrains. My race legs varied in length and I ended up running a total of 14.7 miles. One of my craziest legs was running at midnight dressed in a reflective vest and head lamp. I ran 5.5 miles around Emerald Bay, climbing, descending, and trying to keep my feet steady for downhill switchbacks. My adrenaline was high and I followed my breath that was illuminated by my headlamp. Thankfully for me (a typical worry wart) I was able to have run support and Marc ran with me ... staying behind me, keeping me on pace, and offering encouraging and motivating words. It was exactly what I needed. There was a point when I swear I heard a rustling on the side of the road and immediately I thought ... bear. HA!

The race was absolutely amazing and I would jump at the chance to run it again. During the race ... my teammates and I went through a variety of emotions ... anxiousness, euphoria, sleep deprived craziness that resulted in hours of laughing, and admiration for each other and the 250 teams that also embarked on the 178 mile journey. The Reno Tahoe Odyssey is something that I will continue to run and hopefully run one day with my kids. Being that today is National Running Day ... I encourage you to dust of your kicks, lace up your sneakers, and hit the trail ... I promise you won't regret it.

 The morning after the race I spoiled myself with a delicious brunch at Midtown Eats in Reno where I had several cups of french press coffee from The Hub Coffee Co, indulged in eggs benedict served with delicious potatoes, and giddily stole sips of my running buddy's sweet water ... a libation of gin, cantaloupe juice, and mint ... entirely refreshing.

Our meal was the perfect ending to a great weekend. And, in true fashion, we could not leave Reno without some good espresso and made one last visit to the baristas at The Hub. So, there we sat taking in the hot Reno sun, bodies sore from our race, sipping on cappuccinos, and chatting about one thing ... our 178 mile run.