Half Marathon Training with Pork Lo Mein
Let’s talk a little bit about the half marathon training. 9 more weeks to go. Halfway to the half. The ‘Puter Hub and I finished a 7-mile run this past weekend. As luck would have it, the weather was on our side. My head was in the game, and the seven miles went along quite swimmingly. It’s as if Neil Diamond was channeling me via Cracklin’ Rosie and calling me a store-bought woman.
Did I just let that slip?
Oops. Neil Diamond is on your playlist, too. Don’t be shy. Just admit it.
I think if you caught a glimpse into my running playlist, you would judge me. The tunes are just a nice distraction to help the mileage [pain] go by faster. The days where I am completely zoned out and lost in thought are the best.
It’s because I don’t like to think about how my thighs are rubbing together. How I am really slow. Like drunk tortoise kind of slow. How my sea otter of a stomach is gettin’ jiggy with it. How I could never be one of those girls with just a sports bra and too short too tight shorts on because of all the jiggling. How I like cheese too much to be one of those girls.
I wonder if I could pack cheese into my new running fanny pack. Did I just call it a fanny pack?
Because I have received a bounty of great advice from friends who are avid runners and I have read a lot about running in the meantime, I thought it would be nice to offer you all some tips from a novice point of view. Please pay close attention that novice is in bold. Now it’s bold and red. If you are an expert, you may want to read past to the pork lo mein. If you want to humor me, feel free to continue reading. If you’re really hungry, skip to the pork.
Shoes – Everyone told me not to skimp on shoes. So I didn’t skimp. I got “fitted” or so I thought. I paid $100+ for size 7 ASIC gels. I got schooled. My advice. Go to a running store. Not a sporting goods store. Not an outdoors store. A running store. Run on a treadmill. Make sure they watch you. They will give you advice on how your foot lands and what kind of support you need. You will also be a size or two larger than your normal shoe size. Tell them you are a beginner. They will help. The 15-year-old teenie bopper at a family-owned sporting goods store will not. Go to a running store.
Look the part – Purchase some stylish dry fit running wear. You will feel more confident, cooler and cuter. It is cheaper than a gym membership. I have golf wear, a cute little tennis ensemble and a bunch of running wear. I am totally fooling everyone. Like “Hello Evie Sharapova, she’s wearing a tennis skirt!” “Ohhh, Saucony dry fit shirts, she must be a marathon runner.” “Look out, it’s Muffy Bogey on the green!”
Tunes – Expert runners can run without music. They have been running their entire lives. As a kid, my knees knocked together when I ran. The jokes about bruised knees were hilarious. Hysterical. They never got old.
Music will help you channel out all the noise and naysayers and have a good time. Eventually, you will be Steve Prefontaine without the tunes. Until then, getting into shape is a marathon, not a sprint. Have a good time. Grow a mustache. Get outside. Sing along. Dance. Think about the delicious beer you can enjoy afterwards.
Ok, beer was bad advice. Bad. Rewards are good though. Reward yourself.
It’s OK to walk – Even Olympians walk. You don’t want to get injured or drop dead on the sidewalk. Catch your breath. Walk a couple minutes then keep on trucking.
Sign up for a race – If you have always wanted to run in a 5k, 8k, 10k, half marathon or marathon, sign up. Life is short. Commit.
Get a training plan – Google training plans and a plethora of options will suddenly appear at your disposal. It’s like your own personal fairy godmother. Gotta love that google. Here is a training plan that I found online and catered to my lifestyle. I also put it in a pretty spreadsheet because nothing is worse than an ugly spreadsheet. You’re pretty, too.
That’s all I have for now. We will see if I am on a running soap box after the half. I have a feeling after all the pain of enduring 13.1 miles that I will be jumping off that soap box and headed to the next honky tonk in Nashville. Cheers!
Until then, relish in this pork lo mein.
Pork Lo Mein
Notes: In all honesty here (have I ever been dishonest?), these measurements are guestimates. I really just threw a motley crew of flavors and seasonings in a wok in hopes that it would taste good and the only thing that would make this better is if I served it out of little Chinese take-out boxes with chopsticks.
- 8 ounces of wheat spaghetti noodles
- 4 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
- 4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (use rice vinegar if you have it)
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- 1 pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1 12-oz bag of broccoli slaw mix
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 bunch of green onions, sliced
- Handful of fresh cilantro
In a medium pot, boil water. Add spaghetti. Boil until al dente, about 7-9 minutes. Strain in a large colander.
In a large bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons of hoisin sauce, 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, garlic and sesame seeds. Add pork, stir and marinate for 10 minutes.
Heat sesame oil in a wok or large skillet on medium-high. Add pork and marinade. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until golden brown. Remove from wok and place the pork on a plate. Add mushrooms and broccoli slaw to wok. Add additional hoisin and red wine vinegar. Toss. Add soy sauce. Toss and saute for about 3-4 minutes until everything is coated in the sauces. Add the pork back to the mixture. Add red pepper flakes and ginger. Saute for another 4-5 minutes. Add cooked noodles. Toss generously. Add green onions and cilantro. Toss and serve.