What Do You Do On Non-Running Days?

Tuesday was the kind of day that called for a random bouquet of flowers in a Tropicana bottle. Apparently, it was a you-sounded-like-you-needed-it present. It worked.

As part of my new quest to “listen to my body,” or something like that, I decided to hold off from running on Tuesday morning in order to better prepare myself for Wednesday’s run with @bethk1126. Last time we met for our early morning run, about two weeks ago, she more or less kicked my be-hind with her speed-demon like capabilities. When we initially started running together a couple of months ago, both of us boasted somewhat slow paces; but as she reached the end of her half marathon training, it was obvious that her pace had increased significantly. In short, I was completely out of breath for the better part of 4 miles.

The conclusion? After a 12-mile run Saturday, a rare rest day Sunday, and a 5-mile run on Monday, I chose to spend 40 minutes strength training on Tuesday. Translation: I rolled out my yoga mat, turned on The Today Show and made a peanut butter and wild blueberry wrap. I also completed two Core Fusion videos (abs and arms, and Pilates), 8-minute abs (twice), push-ups (I’m up to 15 from zero just two months ago!) and a one-minute headstand. A one-minute headstand! Who am I?

Oh, right. Now I remember. A fat kid at heart, I also planned my next food-oriented run.

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to design a run around this hole-in-the-wall Argentinean steakhouse in Corona, Queens called La Esquina. I have awesome memories of this place that span back to high school, when my foodie friends and I would drive from Long Island to chow down on cheap, delicious skirt steak, potato salad and other such ingredients I’ve stayed away from since discovering the wonders of quinoa, vegetables, and Meatless Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and every other day of the week. (My stock has really plummeted since high school.)

What I found out, and what I still can’t believe, is that the run from my apartment to this little mecca of meat is less than 7 miles from my apartment – that’s basically the same distance as when I run around the reservoir.

Granted, I have to cross the Queensboro Bridge and take Queens Boulevard a ways east, and yet I couldn’t help but shout that’s it? when I realized its proximity to home. For someone who gave up meat (for no reason besides that I feel better when eating vegetables and candy) a long time ago, had I known how close I was, I’d have made an exception long ago.

Speaking of exceptions, I actually cooked a delicious (and healthy!) turkey taco dinner on Tuesday night. Given that I only eat meat about once a month, and cook it even less, the occasion deserves attention. And because it was so tasty (I make a mean Mexican feast), I’ll share my secret recipe with you.

What You’ll Need: 1 onion, 1 red pepper, 1 tomato, lettuce, 1 jalapeno, shredded carrots, 1 can of black beans, salsa (don’t accidentally buy pineapple salsa, like Noah did), part-skim mozzarella cheese, turkey meat and taco seasoning.

How To Make It: Chop up all the veggies. Place half of the chopped onion, red pepper and carrots into a pan (coat with cooking spray or olive oil) and sauté. Save the other chopped veggies for your meal.

Once the pepper, onion and carrots are cooked to your liking, move them over to one side of the pan, and place the turkey meat onto the other half. Let the meat brown, and then add in the jalapenos and taco seasoning. Mix together with the veggies, and cook until ready. What I love so much about this dish is that, even though it’s primarily made with turkey meat, there is also a hefty portion of vegetables to bulk up the serving. More veggies = less meat = happier stomach.

To Eat: Throw lettuce, raw veggies (I like peppers, tomatoes and avocado), and black beans onto a plate. Place the meat on top of the veggies, and finish off with cheese. I eat mine with a toasted whole wheat flax wrap on the side, like a salad.

Noah prefers him all manly, like a burrito.

Either way, it’s absolutely delicious, healthy and a great way to sneak a little non-vegetarian meal into the week without disrupting your routine too much (that is, if you don’t normally eat rack of lamb on a regular basis).

What do you do on non-running days, and what’s the coolest destination run you’ve ever planned? Does it involve skirt steak, potato salad and language barriers? 

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7 thoughts on “What Do You Do On Non-Running Days?

  1. When I was training for my first marathon I was living in the Czech Republic and did my long runs all over Europe. It was awesome!! I did 12 in Vienna Austria, 14 in Bayreuth Germany, 16 in Prague and 18 in Berlin. The long run in Berlin was awesome because I had the opportunity to see so much of the city and pick out the parts I wanted to go back and explore later. I love destination runs and during this round of marathon training we’ve been trying to get out to different parts of Denver to do long runs, makes things so much more interesting. Even better is when you’ve got something to look forward to at the end…like a big fatty meal or an ice cold beer!

    • That sounds like an amazing way to prepare for a marathon. Woop woop for the Czech Republic! I spent 4 months there, and incurred all of the strange stares from natives who think exercise is so American. I’d run along the river and get serious dirty looks. I absolutely loved ending my runs at a beer garden, where you could get bacon wrapped chicken wings straight off the grill. How far my dietary habits have come.

      • Oh I know those looks!!! I lived in Mlada Boleslav, where bars opened at 7am and people were smoking everywhere. I had to run through the city to get to the countryside, but on days where I wouldn’t run distances I was stuck cruising around casinos and bars. It was awful!!

        Where were you and why? That’s so awesome and random.

        (I hear you on the eating habits, at one point I think I ate pork knuckle. WTF?)

      • HA. Pork knuckle was awesome. So tender. (Haven’t touched it since. When in Rome…) And I definitely get the alcoholism thing. I mean, what’s orange juice for bfast when you have beer?

        I studied abroad there, so that basically means I drank my way through the city. Thank goodness for running though. It kept me from ballooning completely. I’d love to go back now that I’m older and somewhat wiser. I use the term wiser very subjectively though.

  2. I am not a runner, but enjoying running through your posts – ha! I do exercise 3 to 4 days a week as well as walk, hike and bike. I like to treat myself on the days I am not hitting the gym, like a meal, shopping, a movie, etc. Have a Great Day!

  3. That restaurant sounds awesome! As does your mini mexican fiesta!

    I don’t do runs to full on restaurants but I am a huge fan of dessert runs. I used to run from the UES to the UWS to get cupcakes, but since the UWS Magnolia shut I need a new route. I like to run to cupcakes, candy, cookies etc. The joy of running means their guilt free! Only thing to avoid is a large lemonade… not so nice on the run home 🙂

    • Ha this is true, sloshing sugary drinks could mean trouble. I’m not typically one to run to a restaurant, but if it’s a hole in the wall, then I suppose it’s OK. Usually I need a lap around the block first though to de-sweat. Or 10. I need to add another destination run I’m planning: Levain Bakery on the UWS!

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