Sunday, February 14, 2010

Half Marathon & Valentine's Day Part II

This morning I slept in and then got ready to meet my brother for a long run.  I am running a 10 mile race next week and a half-marathon the week after so I gotta get out there and run outside.  I have a love affair with the treadmill but nothing prepares you for races more than outside especially in February in Massachusetts.  Wind, dodging ice, cold temperatures, hills, you name it.  But it was 35 degrees when I showed up at Mike's so it was practically summer right?  Not sure if I've mentioned this, but my brother is graciously helping me train.  He is taking some time off from his own training so he doesn't mind... his knees might, but I think he is happy to help me reach my goals even if I do run 2 minutes slower per mile than he does!  Mike was an 800/mile runner in college and has run about 5 marathons.  He says he is officially done with marathons but will probably get into 5Ks in the Spring.  Until then, he gets to run with me!  Anyway, our run today Mike promised to not be "too hilly."  He lied.  I'm not surprised.  We didn't run Heartbreak but parts of this run were worse than that!  We ran from Brookline to JP to Roxbury to Franklin Park and back.  Mike ran cross country in HS and all the meets were held at Franklin Park... I ran 1 year of CC but barely remember the course!  Anyway, it had tons of snow on the ground in there but we got through the run with only one minor freakout from me.  Around mile 11, I just wanted to know if we had more hills (what can I say, I like to be prepared) and Mike said no.  Then sure enough we hit another gigantic one!  I freaked out a bit then got on with the run.  We finished up Mike's street at exactly 13.1 miles!  It felt good to run that far pretty injury free.  I feel my upper heel/achilles area a bit on the runs, but not on every step.  Overall, great run.  I don't have huge expectations for my half.  Obviously, I'd love to PR, but I'm just not sure that's going to happen.  I think if I run around 1:56-1:58, I will be happy.
Today run: 13.1 Miles, 02:00:53, 9:13 pace
Mile Splits:
Mile 1: 8:28
Mile 2: 8:20
Mile 3: 8:48
Mile 4: 9:18
Mile 5: 9:28
Mile 6: 9:26
Mile 7: 9:58
Mile 8: 9:36
Mile 9: 9:22
Mile 10: 9:39
Mile 11: 9:26
Mile 12: 9:11
Mile 13: 8:59
.01: 9:07 (Straight uphill at the end)

I had a pretty lazy rest of the day until I started cooking Valentine's Dinner Part II at 6ish.  On the menu, steak, tomato-bread-arugula salad and more potato Risotto.

Crab Stuffed Filet Mignon with Whiskey Peppercorn Sauce
inspired by here
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 teaspoon minced green onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced celery
1 teaspoon minced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons shrimp stock or water
1 (6 ounce) can crab meat, drained
2 tablespoons bread crumbs (I used Panko)
1 1/4 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 fluid ounce whiskey
1 cup heavy cream
2 (6 ounce) filet mignon steaks
2 slices bacon, cooked lightly
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 cup portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
 Instructions: Make Crab Stuffing: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Saute onion, green onion, garlic, celery, and green pepper until tender. Stir in shrimp stock, crab meat, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and set aside. Prepare Peppercorn Sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine beef broth and cracked black pepper. Simmer until reduced to 1 cup, stirring frequently. Add1 ounce whiskey and 1 cup cream. Continue simmering until reduced to 1 cup. Remove from heat, and set aside. Prepare Steaks: Slice a pocket into the side of each steak, and stuff generously with crab stuffing. Wrap bacon around side, and secure with toothpicks. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and shallot for 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms, and saute until tender. Remove mushroom mixture, and set aside. 4. Place steaks in skillet, and cook to desired doneness. Remove from skillet, and keep warm. Deglaze skillet with 1 ounce whiskey. Reduce heat, and stir in peppercorn sauce and Dijon mustard. Add mushroom mixture, and reduce sauce until thickened. Remove toothpicks and bacon from steaks, and arrange steaks on a plate. Top with sauce.
This steak was cooked perfectly medium rare. This was a perfect special occasion meal.  The only difficult part was getting the bacon cooked but other than that, this was pretty simple!  The crab stuffing and the sauce were soo good! I also made this delicious bread salad with the steak and last second decided to add in some greens.
Fire-Roasted Tomato and Bread Salad with Spicy Vinaigrette and Arugula
Inspired by Bon Appetit
8 tablespoons olive oil
4 large tomatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds), halved horizontally
8 3/4-inch-thick crusty french bread
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chili
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 big handfulls of arugula
Preheat broiler. Brush 2 tablespoons oil over cut sides of tomatoes. Cut the bread in small pieces and brush evoo on top.  Heat tomatoes cut size up with bread slices for 8 minutes under the broiler. Cool slightly. Cool slightly.Whisk vinegar, chipotle chili and garlic in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in remaining 4 tablespoons oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Cut tomatoes into 3/4-inch pieces. Cut bread into 1/2-inch pieces. Combine tomatoes, bread and onion in large bowl. Toss to blend. Let stand until bread absorbs most of tomato juices, about 30 minutes. Add vinaigrette and cilantro and toss to blend. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper and add in arugula and mix.

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