I am just crossin’ stuff off the bucket list – good thing Happy Runner gave me some more things to do in Austin and I’ve added them to the master list (spend a long Saturday evening at the Salt Lick, go tubing on the Comal or Guadalupe River and have gelato at Teo’s). Today’s task allowed me to check something off of my personal Austin Adventure list, as well as my running goals list I made in January. It’s the last day of August and I had yet (surprise surprise) to run my 13.1 miles for the month. I thought I would accomplish that by using the whole Town Lake Trail as my base mileage.
Prep for the long run began yesterday by not running or doing anything active at all (except walking to and from bus stops, class, work etc. I’m a big city girl now) and eating a healthy dinner. I made mediterranean cous cous! It’s so simple, all you have to know how to do is boil water and chop vegetables. My first time to cook in the new kitchen 🙂
Mediterranean Cous Cous
1 box garlic cous cous (or plain and you can add garlic to your personal taste)
1 c. cherry tomatoes
1/4 c. chopped red onion
am a lazy cook love vegetables, I like to leave them pretty chunky. None of that finely chopped, minced or diced for me. Cubed or sliced is just fine. Big chunks (you can’t tell in the picture, but I promise, they’re chunky!).
I’m no whiz in the kitchen but I can follow boxed directions pretty well. To fix the cous cous, all I had to do was boil 1 and 1/4 water mixed with the seasoning packet they provide and add the cous cous. Once the cous cous is added, remove the saucepan from the heat and cover for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork. That’s all – so simple.
The rest is pretty easy too. I let the cous cous cool before adding the veggies and feta and then it’s done!
The amount of feta you add is up to you – I used what I had leftover from my pitas earlier in the week. Could have used a little more 😉
In addition to the cous cous, I had spinach with mediterranean dressing and some sliced bell peppers. I liked mixing the spinach with the cous cous a little bit, and getting some dressing in there too.
I snoozed twice through my alarm this morning but by the third one, knew I didn’t want to wait too long before getting my ass out of bed and to the trail. The sun would be up, the parking would be gone and I could change my mind. So I was up. I made tea, drank some water and grabbed the essentials for a long run – Gary, music, sport beans, a towel, water and a post-run snack.
I had planned on doing the entire Lake Trail which I knew to be 10+ and adding on the extra miles at the end on the streets. I started at the South First bridge and headed west to the MoPac bridge for a 4ish mile loop. I really enjoyed running east and watching the sun come up. East of Congress the crowds dissipated a bit and I was alone on the trail for a while. I didn’t particularly care for the brief time spent on the sidewalks next to the road, which included a pretty significant hill, but returned to the trail soon enough. I liked the alone time. Every so often I would pass (or they’d pass me, depending on the direction) the UT running team. Both the men and women were out practicing this morning and both groups had two packs that would cross my path every so often. They must’ve done two loops to my one….their legs were moved so fast and to see 16 long legs moving together like that was a little trippy. One giant organism with a multitude of appendages. No talking. No music. No smiles. I should’ve given the Hook ‘Em sign.
I’d say close to mile 8 I was beginning to feel fatigued. I stopped for water pretty frequently heading west back into the city and started the beans around mile 5.5. I’m a full convert from Gu Packs to Sport Beans after the Chicago Half in July. Easier on the stomach, and I like that I nibble on them throughout – like a constant drip of energy rather than a single burst at once.
I have missed the long run. It felt so wonderful to have two hours to myself, knowing exactly what I was doing. Even though I’m not so familiar with the trail and a few unwelcomed hills appeared every now and then, I had 118 minutes of purity. I didn’t have to worry about making sure I was in the right building, unloading boxes, trying to figure out bus routes, discovering yet another start-up fee, wondering where the hell I packed this or that. I was in familiar, simple territory; just one foot in front of the other.
Happy last day of August 🙂