Pasta Baked & PR Replaced

The first race of 2012 had a 9 a.m. Sunday morning start. For any other race this would feel like a treat – we don’t have to be awake by 6 a.m. and parked or on the metro by 7? WIN! – but Daylight Savings Time played a card in this hand. D & I had a low-key night in, with homemade dinner and a movie.


Oh, and a glass o’ vino. Tradition.

This simple carb-focused dinner will not disappoint any athlete. It was our “go-to” recipe before soccer games, and my Mom could barely make enough to keep up with those hungry teenage mouths.

I made more than enough to feed two, but leftovers are always a bonus!

Baked Penne & Field Roast ‘Sausage’

1 (16 oz) package/box {whole-wheat} penne pasta
1 can diced tomatoes (I always use Fire-roasted Muir Glen tomatoes)
1-2 links Field Roast Sausage
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
Mixed Italian cheeses (I used shredded mozzarella and our sheep’s milk cheese)

On the side: steamed greens or a mixed green salad. Make it colorful!

Heat the oven to 375*. Bake pasta as directed. Meanwhile, in a deep sauté pan heat oil over low-medium. Add garlic, sauté for 1 min. Add onions & sauté until opaque; add sausage & tomatoes. Stir to mix; bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Drain pasta; combine everything and stir to mix. Lightly oil or spray a casserole dish. Pour in pasta and distribute evenly. Top with shredded cheese(s), and cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes (until cheese is melted and begins to lightly brown).


Fueled and ready? The legs were up for a speed test, but I wasn’t sure how far to push the limit. ‘Coach’ D always helps with that – he throws out a number that he’s sure I can race, and I always scoff and think he’s a little nutso.

Then that number sits in my head, motivates my muscles and pushes me at the end.

Sunday morning, his prediction was “35 minutes” (8K = 5 miles).


IMG_0579 IMG_0580

This morning could not have been better – bright sunshine, blue skies, slightly chilly, my favorite race crew and 7,000 other people out for a run.

Kate & I lined up between the 7:00 – 8:00 min/mile signs, which was a noticeably sparse  wave. We started a minute or two after the Elites, and had plenty of space to weave on Pennsylvania Avenue. Mile one took us directly toward the Capitol (see it peeking out up there?), and narrowly missed the Hill as we turned to face Union Station. First split: 7:10 – okay then, that’s what we’re goin’ with! Push it.

The rest of the course consists of a few out n’ backs, and looks ridiculous on the Garmin map. I was lucky to have been warned that right before the Finish line they throw in one more side-street dip, onto 10th (see below: black arrow. Rude.). Don’t be fooled by the balloons in sight! You’re not done quite yet!

Race course

I had barely maintained the 7:05-10 pace, and wasn’t planning on letting it slip. When G let me know that we only had one mile left, it was time to pick it up:

Last split: 6:53. Last sprint: 5:43.

I had my eyes on one guy that I must pass! before crossing the Finish Line. Well, he must’ve had the same motivation because whoa, I could not catch him. But hey, random-racer, thanks for the speed!

Promptly after crossing the Finish I saw Kate and smiled– hello, that hurt! Then I realized what the true “puke threshold” feels like, immediately thinking “okay, something’s coming up!”

False alarm, just a dry-heave. Kate says that’s an “act of a champion!”.
I’ll take it.


Old 8K PR (2009) = 40:22. Finally replaced!

St. Patty’s Day 8K

Official Results – 35:46 (avg 7:12)
Age Group (25-29) – 36 / 1039

And with that, I have a better idea of where these muscles are for Saturday’s 13.1 mile adventure. We may have another PR in the books….fingers-crossed!



Who else put their muscles to the test last weekend?



Filed under DC, Goals, race report, running, weekends

12 responses to “Pasta Baked & PR Replaced

  1. Yay for PRs! And for perfect racing weather.

    And you’re right – I didn’t realize how weird the course looked until I saw it on the Garmin map.

  2. Nice PR! Congrats – that is one speedy race, girl! Way to hold on and get close to that puke threshold. Ha!

  3. am

    Congrats! I love the “ok then that’s what we’re going with” feeling in short races. Just go out fast and hold on!

  4. Hey-o! Someone is a speedster! Nice job! This past weekend was not much a test for the legs, but the weekend before was a muddy and slick 10K trail race that tested both my legs and my ability to not get a face full of mud!

  5. I love that, puke threshold = “Act of Champion.” You are a beast girl! Good luck this weekend, though based on this, you won’t need it!

  6. zoom zoom! nice job lady!


    I do wine as tradition as well:-)

  8. DAMN WOMAN! Great race and congrats on the PR. Gotta love that finishing kick.

  9. We had the Four Courts Four Miler here in Arlington and everyone proceded directly to Brooklyn Bagel for carbs as soon as the race ended, ha! I didn’t even know there was an 8K out there (not that I can run 8k, but maybe someday?)

  10. Mamacita

    Wow good job and good luck this weekend.

    Love, Mamacita

  11. Pingback: Race Prep: Easing-the-Mind Miles | Dietitian on the Run

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