A Fooding I Will Go (Part 1)

Thank you all for the congratulations! I’m so happy to have my first race under my belt, and I’m ready to take on more. I wouldn’t say I’m quite addicted to racing yet because this half was definitely tough, so we’ll see what happens after my next 2 races. I have a full recap in the works, so here’s an eating post in the meantime.

I ate very well while I was out here in the land of sunshine and highways. I made my way all over Southern California for the race, to meet up with friends, and lounge. Jennifer was a doll and let me put the miles on her vehicle for most of the trip until I picked up Jelly Bean from the rental place yesterday. Say hello to Jelly Bean aka Bumble Bee.

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Anyway, every single morning, Jennifer’s awesome mom made us a traditional Korean meal. Korean people don’t generally eat super “breakfasty” foods. It’s more like what you would eat any other time of day, which consists of rice, a soup/stew, and side dishes. Her family doesn’t really eat dinner, and I can totally understand why. After eating one of her mom’s breakfasts and lunch out, I’m completely stuffed pretty much well into the night. I didn’t take pictures because I didn’t want her parentals to think I was really weird, but you can take my word for how good it was.

Friday

We picked up Joyce from the airport after Jennifer got off of work on Friday, and we headed to Koreatown for some drinking and food. We went to Gaam, which is a Korean lounge with lots of food, good drinks, and interesting people watching (I might only find it interesting because I’m never surrounded by so many Korean people when I’m in Denver).

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We ordered a few rounds of yogurt soju (soju mixed with Korean-style yogurty beverage) and makkoli (a milky Korean rice wine).

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Once our appetites kicked in, we ordered their spicy chicken wings and 부대찌개 (budae jjigae). Budae jjigage literally translates to “army base stew” because food was scarce during the Korean War, so families would take ingredients that was in surplus around the American army bases to make soup. You can pretty much put whatever in there, but it always has ramen noodles, veggies, and sausages and/or SPAM. It’s a good drinking food, and was promptly inhaled.

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Saturday

After eating breakfast and running a couple of errands, the three of us were off to Orange County for the Race Expo and some sunshine. [I’ll cover the expo when I write my recap.]

It was a bit chilly when the wind was blowing at Huntington Beach, but we had a grand ol time playing in the sand and sun.

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flight sequence

All that Superman business got us hungry, so we headed out to Sancho’s Tacos for, well, tacos. I got a grilled fish taco and a vegetable taco.

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Along with a side of their fresh-made tortilla chips and salsa.

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The fish taco was absolutely amazing, but the veggies was meh. It was way too soggy and lacking in flavor. Joyce said her carnitas taco was the best, so I wish I had gotten one of those instead. Next time.

Shortly after we finished eating, we met up with Ngoc, Kim, and Kris. We all stayed at Ngoc’s apartment that night (minus Kris) since she lives a short ten-minute drive from the start line. Kris had to meet up with her family for dinner, so we hung out on the Pier for a bit before we parted ways.

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We arrived at the apartment so that we could wash off the beach funk and head to eat some major carbs at Mama D’s in Newport. The line at this place is no joke. We ended up having to wait two hours to get a table, so we went to the brewery next door for a beer. The staff at the restaurant was extremely friendly when we wandered back over and were offering bread and bites of appetizers while we waited.

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When we finally got our table, we ordered immediately because it was already about 9pm at this point. We started off with calamari, which was fried just right and without too much breading. Served with a side of their marinara sauce.

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And more bread. Show me the carbs!

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Their portions were huge, so we split three entrees among the five of us. First up was their Roma pasta with their special pink sauce, extra artichokes and baby scallops. Holy yum…this was my favorite dish of the night.

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The chicken parm was another table favorite because they give you a large serving of chicken, which worked out well for our table of five. It was served with roasted vegetables and a plain side of spaghetti and marinara.

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Although the chicken was stellar, I was a bigger fan of the Signature Seafood Pasta. The noodles were bathed in a flavorful tomato broth and had seafood galore.

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I ended up eating way too much, and the fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies they brought out with the check put me over the edge. I was seriously worried I would die during the half in the morning. Obviously I didn’t, but I was that full.

Part 2 with my last three days of eating coming up later!

Question of the Day: What’s the best thing you ate this past weekend?

Long Run Sundays: Partial Breakups & Sausage Fingers

Hello from MIA-land! It’s been one hell of a weekend over here. Normally, I would be sad that it’s Sunday, but I get tomorrow off, so I’m pretending that it’s Saturday ;)

I had one of those busy-but-not-really kind of weekends filled with lots of yummy food and a ton of sleeping. I think I’m officially caught up on sleep, considering I slept about ten hours on Friday and Saturday night. I felt so lazy waking up so close to noon, but it was just one of those weekends, and I needed the shut-eye.

Friday Shenanigans

After work on Friday, I had a roomie date planned out. Nicole and I started off with dinner at Sushi Sasa, one of the pricier sushi joints in Denver. When I’m in the mood for expensive sushi, I usually head over to Sushi Den, but I heard that this place was really good, and I had a handy Google deal.

We took advantage of their complimentary valet, and made it to our 6pm reservation right on time. The restaurant itself was beautiful, with a mixture of modern whites, rustic woods, and just-right lighting. The food was rather incredible as well. We started off with some of their shiromiso soup and sunomono (seafood and vegetables with a light Japanese vinaigrette).

Both were incredibly light and fresh: the perfect way to start a meal.

Then we ordered their spicy tuna roll and Diablo roll (spicy tuna and avocado inside, seared tuna on top with ginger) as well as some yellowtail and fresh-water eel nigiri.

Their yellowtail was one of the tastiest I’ve had, and I consume quite a bit of it. I literally could have eaten an entire platter of just that. The other stuff was really yummy, too, but the yellowtail was the star of the night. We only ended up spending $6 more than the value of my deal, and we were pretty stuffed. Not too stuffed for ice cream though :P

I had another Google deal for Little Man Ice Cream, which was only a (not even) five minute drive away, so we stopped to get a couple of pints to take back for girl’s night in at Quynh’s house. It’s an order-out-only ice cream shop, but it’s so cute! The building is shaped like a giant milk jug!

They’re known to have some of the best ice cream in Denver, and they also donate a scoop of rice for every scoop of ice cream that they sell through their Scoop for Scoop program (kind of like TOMS). After drooling over their selection in line, we finally settled on a pint of pumpkin chip and a pint of 16th Street chocolate. Both were so good, but my favorite was the chocolate, hands down. I don’t even really like chocolate ice cream, but this was incredible. It tasted sort of like a creamier Wendy’s Frosty with brownie chunks and a fudge swirl. I know that sounds like an incredibly decadent, rich combo, but it was light and dreamy. I’m salivating as I type… Needless to say, we ate the entire pint between 4 of us lol.

Backtrack a little bit…after we picked up the ice cream, we headed over to Quynh’s place for some cocktails and chit chat. Quynh was able to track down a bottle of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur (my booze obsession right now), so I brought over a bottle of my favorite bubbly and some club soda for our cocktails.

The cocktail calls for 2 parts champagne, 1 part St. Germain, and 1 part club soda. It tastes kind of like lychee if you’ve ever tried it. While I don’t usually care for sweet drinks, this one is soooooo good. Actually, I think just about anything with St. Germain that I’ve tried so far is really good. They should make me their spokesperson.

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We also watched way too many episodes of Say Yes to the Dress and were total bums. Perfect night.

Saturday Lazies

After sleeping in forever, I picked up Quynh so that we could head to a park and get in an easy run. We did a nice and leisurely 3.1 miles in beautiful 55* weather. It felt great to be active after all of the eats and drinks from the night before. Unfortunately for Quynh, she’s never run on snow before, and some of the shaded parts of the park still had major snowy areas. She was a champ and rocked it though!

I was supposed to go out with her and her siblings to watch the Broncos get murdered by the Patriots, but I kind of took a nap instead. Apparently, I can’t seem to get enough sleep. I must have been a cat in a past life or something. I did wake up in time to head to the running store to get some new shoes (more on that below) and make it to my friend, Ivry’s birthday celebration at Kona though (Happy Birthday, Ivry!). I ordered their Roasted Asparagus salad, which included roasted asparagus, tomatoes + onions, field greens, and herbed goat cheese crustini. There’s a whole lot of things in that salad that I love, so you better believe I ate all of it.

Long Run Sunday

As I explained last week, my shoes that I got back in October were starting to really bother my feet, last Sunday in particular. It felt like my feet were being squished in from both sides, and I had an incredibly painful run (physically and mentally). I did a few shorter runs in them during the past week, but it was continuing to bother me (to a lesser extent), so I decided it was time to break up with my shoes. *sniff sniff*

It was good while it lasted.

I’ve only put about 200 miles on those shoes, so I won’t be ditching them completely. I’ll use them for my shorter runs and see how it goes from there…sad day. I didn’t want to have to spend the money to get another pair of shoes so soon, but it’s cheaper and more timely than dealing with a crappy injury. I headed to my local Runner’s Roost to get re-fitted, and it was incredibly difficult to make a decision.

I transitioned over to running with a fore-foot strike about two months ago, which helped to get rid of a lot of the pain I was experiencing in my knees and shins. The sales associate even complimented me on my foot strike (woot woot!). Then came the tough decisions. He said with the way I’m running, in the long run (literally), I might find it more comfortable and be better off with a more minimalist shoe. Not necessarily Vibrams, but something more so than a traditional running shoe. The thing is, with it being so close to my first half marathon (3 weeks!!! OMG!!) and two other races a couple of months after that, he didn’t think it would be ideal to make a big change.

Therefore, I had the choice to purchase minimal shoes and hope that I got used to them in 3 weeks, which would have been possible but potentially risky, or buy a standard running shoe with more width and try to transition after my half marathon in May. I think I literally sat there for ten minutes trying to decide. I already run with my Nike Free shoes for short treadmill runs, but wasn’t sure how I’d adjust to using them for long, outdoor runs. Do I really want to spend another $100+ in a few months to buy the shoe they felt would be best for me now? Ahhhh…

Well, without further adieu, here is what I walked out with:

the new ASICS GT-2170. I decided to take the associate’s advice and transition after my Portland half because I really didn’t want to risk injury from transitioning to minimal shoes too fast. Did I make the right choice? Who knows, but these already feel better than my other shoes.

I didn’t really give them a break-in period because I absolutely refused to do my 11 miler today in the shoes that made my 11 miler last week so incredibly awful. Well, after running over pavement, mud, snow, ice, and trails, I didn’t experience any significant discomfort. The balls of my feet were getting achy from the long distance in completely new shoes, but it wasn’t bad enough to slow me down.

Actually, I kicked butt! I finished my 11 miles twelve minutes faster than last week (2:06). The run itself was whatever. It didn’t suck, but it wasn’t particularly awesome. When I finished and looked at my time, though, I was absolutely ecstatic (which I did not experience after my run last week)! I think the thing that made me so happy was knowing that if I had run a half marathon today, I would have finished in under 2:30, which is something I’ve been doubting since I’m so slow. So, yay! Go me!

One last thought from my run: while I was showering, I happened to notice that my fingers were really swollen and looked like chubby sausages. I’ve never had this happen before. I really wanted to take a picture, but I was in the shower, and that’d be a bit awkward. Any explanation? They’re back to normal size now, but the last time I had that happen was during my descent from hiking my very first 14′er two years ago.

Anywho, time to get some cleaning done and get my bookworm on! See you tomorrow!

Question of the Day: What was the highlight of your weekend? Have you ever gotten swollen fingers while working out?

Fun Friday

Hey, ya’ll! Guess who got 8 hours of sleep last night? That’s right, this girl.

Thao trying to keep me from rebounding onto the floor again. Taken summer '11.

 

After I got home and walked Mochi, I hit the gym for a run and BodyPump. Although I was supposed to get in 6 miles with 3 miles of speed work, I only had enough time to do 4.5 before the class started. I’m proud to say that I did four 800m segments, each under 10 min/mile (quick for me). I was going to focus more on speed work these last couple of weeks before my first half marathon, but it’s becoming less important for me because my goal for this first race is to finish smiling. I’ll do more speed stuff before my next half in May ;) As for BodyPump, yesterday was the last class I’m taking before release 80 comes out this weekend…ahhh! I heard 80 is supposed to be a killer, so I’m really nervous and excited. We shall see.

Anyway, I ate a quick dinner, cleaned up, and crawled into bed with a book around 9pm. It was glorious, and I feel fantastic. I think I’ll be back to 100% after one more night of good rest.

I’ve got a fun-filled evening after work today, so time cannot fly fast enough. I’m going to head to Sushi Sasa with my roomie before heading to Little Man Ice Cream in the Highlands to pick up some goods before going to Quynh’s house for our fantastic girl’s night in. We’ve got some boozing, (more) eating, and movie watching in the books for tonight.

I’ll be sure to post up some awesome eats and what not tomorrow, so here’s something for you in the meantime.

Fun Friday Randoms

1) My newest blog addiction: Cupcakes and Cashmere

2) It’s so cold in the office today, I was sporting the T-Rex look. Sexy, no?

3) What happens to your nails when you’re sleep-deprived, busy, and just don’t care.

4) My dog needs to be groomed and thinks he’s a human. Yes, his head is on my pillow while he lays on his back. I wake up with him like this every morning…Animal Farm anyone?

5) Why walruses will never truly be extinct.

Sounds like a lot of you guys need as much sleep as I do in order to function, so rest up this weekend!

Question of the Day: Any fun plans for the weekend?