Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Little Rock Marathon: Vegan Pre-Race Pasta Party

Last Sunday, my friends and I set out to run the Little Rock Half Marathon.  Before we did that, though, we needed to bulk up on pre-race foods to fuel ourselves through the race.  I invited everyone over for a pasta party, and it was tons of fun!

We had a mostly vegan menu, with a few non-vegan items.  All of my friends are meat eaters, but they were definitely happy to get down on some amazing vegan food.  We had some friends that brought a pasta dish and a cake as well.

My friend, Devon, and her siblings all came for the race, so we called it Rooney Invasion 2014.  It was a blast.  I did most of the food prep on Saturday morning, and when everyone got in town, we went to the health expo to pick up our race packets.  When we got back, we started cooking!

Vegan Antipasta and Bread


1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1 can black olives, drained
1 can hearts of palm, drained and sliced
1 jar green olives
2 loaves whole grain french bread
2 tbs olive oil

  • Arrange everything but the bread and olive oil onto serving plates.  
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  • Slice the bread into 1/2 inch pieces, arrange on baking dish.
  • Brush olive oil onto bread.
  • Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
  • Serve with sides.

After everyone had a good snack, I got into the kitchen to make the rest of the dishes.

BBQ Tempeh


2 packages tempeh
1 1/2 cups vegan bbq sauce
4 cups water

  • Slice tempeh into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Add water to pot and boil.
  • Add tempeh to boiling water, cook for 15 minutes.
  • Drain tempeh, place back in pot.
  • Add BBQ sauce and let sit in warm pot for 10 minutes.
  • Remove tempeh and add to baking sheet.
  • Cook in oven at 350 degrees (F) for 20 minutes.

Herb Roasted Potatoes


2 cups small yukon gold potatoes
3 cups small red potatoes
1 vegan bullion cube
1 tbs dried thyme
1 tbs dried oregano
1 tbs dried rosemary
cracked pepper
2 tbs olive oil

  • Cut potatoes in half.
  • Add to a large bowl or tupperware with lid.
  • Toss potatoes with remaining ingredients, be sure to crush bullion cube.
  • Let sit out on the counter, covered, for 2 hours.
  • Bake in the oven at 350 degrees (F) for 45 minutes.

I made this Butternut Squash Salad (minus the quinoa and pumpkin seeds) with a new home made dressing.

Sweet Roasted Red Pepper Dressing


1 cup roasted red pepper (I used the jar version)
1/4 cup tahini
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tbs maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

Add to a high powered blender and blend until smooth.  Let sit in fridge for 1 hour before serving.

Broccoli Mac and "Cheese"

(I will give you the 1/2 recipe, and that is enough to serve 6+ ppl)


3 cups steamed broccoli
salt and pepper to taste

  • Make up cashew cream sauce and set aside.
  • Cook 1 package of corn pasta, stirring often.
  • Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.
  • Steam broccoli and chop into small pieces.
  • Assemble in a baking dish.
  • Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 20 minutes.
  • Top with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

The Race

We got up early Sunday morning and headed to Downtown Little Rock.  It was already starting to sprinkle.  When we started the race, it was in the low 50's and lightly raining, but we knew the temperature would drop.  Devon and I got to our corral and stretched and generally bounced around in excitement.  There were so many racers, and we were enjoying the excitement.

Our other race partners were running a little ahead of us, since I'm the slowest and didn't want to hold them back.  Devon stayed with me, because she's awesome.

The race started at around 8 am, but we didn't actually get to cross the starting line until about 8:40 am.  We set off at a good pace, and I felt pretty strong for the first 6 miles or so.  We hit the 10k mark and my legs started to get a little tired.  Devon kept me motivated though, even as I struggled through the mid-miles.  The temperature continued to drop, and the rain got heavier.  My glasses fogged up, my fingers ached, but we kept running.  At around mile 10, we were told by race officials that they were closing the marathon track, but we could keep going.  At mile 11, I got a renewed sense of energy, probably because the race was almost over and I was freezing.  That was also about the time where the bottom of the clouds fell out, and the cold rain started pouring.  It was miserable.  

It rained like that for about another mile, but it tapered to a drizzle as I crossed the finish line.  I was determine to run the last two miles, even if I had to do a fair amount of walking through the back half.  We had some mild confusion trying to find our group at the end of the race, since we all finished at different times.  Eventually, we made our way back over the Junction Bridge and there was Josh, with a bag of dry clothes, a towel, and my rain coat.  I was cold, sore, tired, and incredibly happy to see him.

We spent the rest of the day watching movies and stretching.  It took me over an hour to get warm.  I sat under many blankets.  In celebration of the race, I gave myself an alcohol pass and had one beer.  Josh and I toasted to the half marathon.  I only had one, though, because what I really needed for the rest of the day was water.

I am happy that I did the half marathon, and I'm happy that it's over.  I put on 2 pounds in the last couple weeks leading up to the race.  I'm ready to tamp down my eating, work on strength training, and get back to my detox lifestyle.  I really enjoyed training and racing though.  Josh and I even signed up for the White River Half Marathon in November.  I will continue to evolve my healthy eating lifestyle to accommodate higher mileage runs.


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