As the race date approaches, I have been getting out and working up my mileage each week and it has been gratifying to see some results, however I still have a long way to go before July. The longer days and warmer evenings have made my training much more enjoyable and in addition to increasing my miles, I have started to look into different yoga studios to help stretch out on my off days from running. Yoga is great for me because I usually forget to stretch after running, and notice that I have an easier stride when I am feeling loose. It helps to get me centered and relaxed, which not only improves my running but also eases everyday stress.
Because I haven't maintained a regular running schedule over the years, it takes a while for me to get back into the swing of things, and I am still struggling with that. While I have always enjoyed running, there are times when I don’t feel like going for a run and have to remind myself how much better I feel after I have done it. But, when you have a labrador who has endless energy and can never run long enough or fast enough, it makes it easier to pick up the leash and put on my running shoes.
Although I eat seafood when I go out, I generally eat vegetarian most days of the week and have decided to share a recipe for a gnocchi, lentil and escarole soup. I love this recipe because it is incredibly easy to make, is very tasty, and is one of my favorite flavor profiles. Lentils have always been a favorite of mine because they are relatively high in protein and do not weigh me down. Not to mention that it refrigerates really well, and makes for a good lunch option for the rest of the week!
Gnocchi, Lentil, and Escarole Soup
Adapted from VegetarianTimes.com
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped (2 cups)
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
3/4 cups French lentils
4 cups chopped escarole
1 1/2 cups prepared potato gnocchi
6 oil packed sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 tbs. prepared pesto
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cool for 5 minutes. Add broth, 3 cups of water, and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 10 minutes until lentils are almost tender. Add escarole, gnocchi and sundried tomatoes, cover, and cook 5 minutes more, or until gnocchi are cooked through and escarole has wilted. Remove from heat and stir in pesto.
Cheer Courtney on at the Destination Races Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon on July 20, 2014!