Run. Soup.

Nags Head Beach, Outer Banks NC

Last week was the first week of my half-marathon training program. I followed it exactly and already feel like I am improving. It is the Hal Higdon 12-week half-marathon training for intermediate runners. It has a more gradual build up of miles compared to my previous training plan from Runner’s World. It also works better with my social schedule thereby increasing my chances to stick with it. I am taking the tempo and track workouts more seriously this time. I am using the following paces for the track workouts:

5k – 8:00min/miles
10K – 8:30 min/miles
Half – 9:00 min/miles

Very conservative and doable.

If I stick with the plan, I will be ready to run a half on January 16 2011 in 1 hour and 57 minutes. Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon falls on that day. Whether I will go to Arizona is under minor consideration. I am aware that training in winter in Chicago will be very challenging, but I am ready to give it a try. It will give me something to talk about and complain if nothing else.

Today is the first month of the Hindu Mythological Calendar. The traditional wish for the next few days is Saal-Mubarak, which translates to blessings on the new year. To celebrate I busted out my Pressure Cooker and made some Lentil stew last night. The loud whistles of the pressure cooker were part of my daily life in India. It’s a magical appliance cutting the cooking time down by half at least. The food also comes out tasting better. For my lentil stew, I used 1 cup of lentils, 3 cups of water, 2 bay leafs, 1.5 tsp kosher salt. In about 15 minutes I had a very delicious and warm lentil stew. Squirt of Lemon makes it awesome-er. The plan was to make lentil soup originally but 3 cups of water was not enough for the watery consistency. Next time I’ll use 4.5 cups. My pressure cooker is made by Prestige and is a Deluxe version. My mom got it for me as part of the wedding presents. It is from India, but Amazon carries it also.

Do you own a pressure cooker?
Do you have any exercise/training plans for the winter months?
Do you want Cheese Fondue?

Happy Monday folks.

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer and a mother of three from Raleigh, NC. She writes for national and local publications about lifestyle, travel, books, and of course, motherhood! Her most current project involves illustrating and publishing a children’s Hindi book. When not adventuring with her family in the minivan, you can find her riding the streets of Raleigh on her beloved bike Linus.

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