Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What do you mean I don't need to carb-load for a 5k?!?

So... I mentioned yesterday that I ran 16 miles last Friday. Some of you might be thinking... "Why, oh why, would you put yourself through 2+ hours of torture and pain?" And trust me, I think 16 miles is a looooong way to run, too. 12 is not bad, just an hour and forty minutes or so. But once you get up over the 2-hour range, that's just insane!

You see, one of my life goals is to run a marathon. I've run two halves, one in 2006 and one in 2010. I like the half-marathon. But I want to be able to say I've completed a full. I wasn't sure if I was quite ready to tackle it just yet, but I set forth a tentative training plan about 5 weeks ago. (You can see my weekly runs here, or by clicking The Land of Running at the top of the screen.) I decided that if I made it to a 16-miler and felt okay, that I would proceed with running the marathon. The 16-miler went great! So I guess here goes nothing.

I've decided to run the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon on May 1. It has been acclaimed in Runner's World magazine as "great for first-time marathoners!" So it should be fun. (As fun as running 26.2 miles can be.) It's also pretty close to the Bean Town, so we won't have to drive super-far. And it's cheap! (Compared to other marathons...)

To celebrate my commitment, I went to MC Sporting Goods today and got myself my very own foam roller. (Thanks to Pat & Jo for the gift card for Christmas! It came in real handy.) No more using the sweaty one at the gym that has been touched and used by who knows how many people. Now I can roll out my sore IT bands in the comfort of my very own home! (Err... apartment.) Of course, with my Business Man wondering what in the heck I am doing and what that thing is for. He told me he expected it to look like a giant lint roller... haha. 

Love at first sight!
The foam roller also came with an ab workout DVD. I'm not sure it will ever get used, ya know, because I already have abs of steel. Right... this past Saturday I went with my mom to her Pi-Yo class and just about died. I thought I was fit, but I struggled big time through that class. What do you mean side planks? And hovers six inches off the ground? Did I mention I was the youngest in the room by about 3 decades? Oiy...

Action shot! And yes, that is a look of pain on my face. Those of you who have suffered ITBS know what I'm talking about. (And that stands for iliotibial band syndrome, not what you were thinking...)
Anyways, when it comes to running, you always hear about people needing to "carb-load." While this is true the night before a long race, it is not necessarily true for all types of workouts. Too bad I pretty much carb-load like it's my job. I can't help it, carbs are my favorite food group! Besides ice cream, of course.

[Side note: One time a friend asked me for a few recipes to try, and I ended up giving her all pasta recipes without even realizing it. Even more proof that I am a carb-a-holic.]

Anyways, even though my next long run isn't scheduled until Thursday, I decided to start carb-loading a little early this week. More like I just wanted an excuse to make this Upside-Down Fettuccine Bake. It's one of my momma's recipes, and it's super-yummy.

It takes about an hour from start to finish, so you won't have dinner on the table in a flash. (Sorry, but I'm no Rachael Ray.) But, about 25 minutes of that time is bake time, so you have time to finish up the dishes, fold the laundry, and clean the bathroom while you wait. Or surf the internet for more recipes. (Can you guess which I did?)

The steps are a little tricky, so here I will outline them.

You start off by making the sauce. Italian sausage, onion, tomatoes. A little basil. Spread that into the bottom of a greased 8-inch square pan.

Then, you make the noodle mixture. Spread that over the sauce mixture. Bake at 350*F for 25 minutes.

When it's all baked, you have to flip it onto the serving platter. That's why it's called Upside-Down Fettuccine Bake. And this is where it gets fun.

A few minutes after it came out of the oven... getting nervous.

Cover with your platter. (Or regular dinner plate, that works, too.)

Mid-flip! Eyes filled with anticipation!

Removing the pan. Will it all flip out alright?!?!?

Sweet, sweet success! 

Cut into wedges, and serve! With a cheesy noodle crust and a sweet sausagey-tomato topping, this one's a winner! Especially topped with some more Parmesan. It also heats up beautifully for leftovers.


Upside-Down Fettuccine Bake

  • ½ lb. Italian sausage
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 16-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 8 oz. hot cooked fettuccine
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp. margarine
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder


Preheat oven to 350*F. Brown meat in pan; drain. Add onion; cook until tender. Stir in tomatoes and oregano; bring to boil. Simmer twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in mozzarella cheese. Spread into greased 8-inch square glass pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. In large bowl, toss noodles with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, eggs, margarine, parsley, and garlic powder. Spread noodle mixture over meat mixture. Bake for 25 minutes. Invert onto serving platter. To serve, cut into wedges.


The Hungry Runner Girl said...

YOU ARE THE MOST GORGEOUS THING IN THE WORLD!!! K, that pasta made me drool...I HAVE to try it!! Yay for foam rollers. Awesome run. Seriously, if you can do 18 (GOOD LUCK TODAY ON THE TREADMILL) you can totally do a marathon!! Yay for no school. We got so much snow today but we still have school:( I absolutely LOVE your blog and so excited to follow you. Let me know how your run goes!!c

Sara said...

Janae-- Thank you so much! :-) The 18 went really well... I didn't suffer from extreme boredom until the last 15 minutes or so. In Ohio we cancel for snow all the time. It is so frustrating because we have to make up a bunch of days in the summer. Oh well, at least it is fun now. Thanks for reading!

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