Sunday, September 4, 2011

End of summer recap

It's Labor Day weekend and summer is coming to an end. This weekend means that school is starting back up, pumpkin will start filling up the grocery store shelves, I can start making crockpot chili again, and it's getting close to boot season (hurray!)...  It also means my birthday, which was September 2nd. I'm 28 years old. Wow, I'm getting old... I have to say my 27th year was one of my favorites. I fell in love and achieved goals I never thought possible (my first triathlon for example). I'm definitely excited for this year too, as I hope to reach other huge goals in my life. Work-wise, I'm studying to become a Project Manager and receive my PMP credential. It took months just to document 4500 hours of project work over the course of my career, but now that my application is submitted, I'm even more determined to pass my PMP exam and develop my career. This probably explains my lack of blogging since I have been documenting projects and studying for my exam every night.

I've got some big races coming up at the end of race season that are pretty lofty goals too - Naylor's Beach Triathlon and the Tough Mudder. Holy cow that means I need to get focused on training for both! The triathlon is just 3 weeks away! Labor Day was when I started my 10-week training program for the Richmond Half Marathon last year. I haven't decided if I'm running the half again, since I'm not in running shape, but I should. It would be nice to keep up that tradition for a 3rd year in a row. We'll have to see how I fair when I get back into running. Today marked my first day back on the trail. John and I, plus my best friend Brian hit Buttermilk for a morning run. It was absolutely gorgeous. And then I fell. What is with me and trail runs? Do I not lift my feet high enough? Am I just plain clumsy? I preach to everyone else who are just starting out trail running to always watch for roots and rocks, but I never list to my own advice. Oh well... Just a gash on my knee, looks just like the one John got a year ago during our first training run.

Since I don't have any other updates on my fitness, I figured I'd share some food photos instead. I've been busy cooking and dining out all summer long. For starters, grilling has been a favorite past time of mine. I love to grill large portabella mushroom caps with different types of toppings. This time around I made marinara and parmesan caps and then crumbled goat cheese caps. Soooo good! I also have a great recipe for grilled shrimp a friend of mine gave me:

3 garlic cloves minced

1 medium yellow onion

1/4 c. fresh parsley minced     

1/4 c. fresh basil minced

2 tsp. Dijon mustard        

1 tsp. dry mustard

2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 c. olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

  • 2 # jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined ( you can keep the tails on if you want)
  • Combine the garlic,onion, parsley, basil, mustards, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add the shrimp and allow them to marinate for 1 hour @ room temp or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. 
  • Brush the grill w/olive oil. Skewer the shrimp. Grill for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Grill should be med to hi heat!

And finally, for my birthday, instead of going out to dinner, I decided to cook. Sometimes I really enjoy a home-cooked meal, especially since I had been eating out every day riding up to my birthday due to Hurricane Irene. We lost power Saturday and didn't get it back until the night before my birthday. At that point I was done with eating out and was happy to be back home!!! While the photo doesn't do it justice, I made carne asada fajitas with black beans and avocado. The peppers were cooked down with a tough of cumin and salt/pepper/garlic. The marinaded beef and peppers came from Trader Joes, my favorite place to grocery shop, ever.

Later on tonight, Brett and I will be baking Sunflower seed cookies for my mom's 60th birthday, compliments of my favorite blogger, Jenna, who writes a blog called Eat, Live, Run. If you haven't read her blog or cooked her recipes, you are missing out my friend.

That's all for now. Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!