Spring in Seattle

There is something so quintessentially Seattle about being at Green Lake on a sunny, spring day. This weekend the whole family experienced it in full force. It was a gorgeous Saturday afternoon and G and I both needed to get out for a run. We’re just gearing up our training for this half marathon in July. In any case, we decided to try out that hand-me-down jogging stroller and all go together. G ran with Lucy in the stroller and I ran solo. It’s all I can do to run at all right now let alone pushing an extra 30 pounds! Green Lake was crowded, as we expected, but it was a very pleasant run around the lake. We did 2 laps plus a bit and ended up with a 6 mile run. G is definitely faster, even with the stroller, but I finished in 57 minutes (9 1/2 minute miles, on average). Lucy did fine but got a bit fussy at the end. All in all, a successful outing for the family. I’m not sure if/when I’ll be able to attempt running with Lucy. For now, I’m pleased to be running at all and getting that heart rate up again. I won’t be setting any speed records with this race, but with any luck, I’ll finish it without hurting myself.

Drunken Stir-fried Beef with Green Beans

Yum, yum, double-yum. I made this last night (using sugar snap peas in place of green beans) and it was a huge hit. The “drunken paste” is excellent and you could easily adapt the recipe to use other meats or veggies. I highly recommend this if you like Thai/Vietnamese food.

Drunken Stir-Fried Beef with Green Beans
From Cooking Light, June 2001

Drunken Paste:
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
7 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons minced bird chile or 2 1/2 teaspoons minced serrano chile
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped galangal or peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh lemongrass
2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon grated lime rind

Cooking spray
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 cups (1-inch) diagonally cut green beans
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 cup Thai basil leaves

To prepare the paste, combine the salt and minced garlic in a mortar and pestle, and pound to form a paste. Add chile, galangal, lemongrass, and lime leaves, one at a time, until each ingredient is incorporated into paste.

To prepare stir-fry, heat a wok or large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add paste, and stir-fry for 30 seconds (fumes may cause eyes and throat to burn slightly). Add beef; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add beans; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, sugar, fish sauce, and vinegar; stir-fry for 1 minute or until beef reaches desired degree of doneness. Stir in basil.

Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)

CALORIES 202(41% from fat); FAT 9.2g (sat 3.7g,mono 3.5g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 20.2g; CHOLESTEROL 45mg; CALCIUM 50mg; SODIUM 1100mg; FIBER 1.4g; IRON 2.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 10g

She’s Growing Up!

Little Lucy turned 12 weeks old yesterday! My girl is growing up fast. She currently weighs a bit more than 13 pounds and is 24″ long. She’s firmly into the 3-6 month clothes and is today wearing a pair of jeans for the first time. Her latest developments include laughter and a lot less crying. She’s been generally less fussy and a delight to be around. I still love her morning time best- we usually play in bed together before getting up. She is especially giggly and enjoys looking at the mobile over our bed. I have roughly 4 more weeks with her full time before I go back to work. I’m trying to savor these days and do my best to schedule as few things as possible. Last week, instead of doing chores while she napped I laid beside her and read my book. This time is too precious to waste on laundry and yard work!

Running Tools

I’m recently back into running and reconnecting with various gadgets and websites to augment that. My GPS is in serious disuse as I’m more interested in the stats I get from my heart rate monitor. And there’s no way I’m going to wear both of those things on my wrist at once! Instead, I’ve been relying on various websites to track my distance and rate. I’ve been using the gmap site for some time- this allows you to plug in your route and get the distance. I also use this one to get my rate- once I have the exact distance, and using the time from my HRM’s stop watch, I can calculate my exact (average) speed. I know I should occasionally leave my watch, HRM, etc. at home. But for the number-lover in me, the stats are nice to have.

Back to Business

Yesterday I went for my 3rd run since Lucy was born. 3 miles in 27 minutes- my longest and fastest yet. I’m THRILLED to be running 9-minute miles already! Quite frankly, that’s plenty fast enough for now. I need to work on building up my endurance so I can run longer. It feels wonderful to be back at it and I’m more than a little surprised that it’s coming so easily.

Much like going in to work for the first time, being able to run again reminds me that I am capable of being more than JUST a mom. As much as I love motherhood (and most importantly, Lucy), I am finding that I need to have other outlets. The past weeks have been filled with mom’s groups, PEPS meetings, and walks around Green Lake with the rest of the “mommy set”. I am thoroughly enjoying a return to doing things that don’t involve moms of newborns. But mostly, I am pleased to know that my identity is not solely based on my role as Lucy’s mom. I can do the things that I love- like cook, run and have a successful career. Or so I think. Hopefully doing those things won’t compromise my parenting abilities. I’d like to think they enhance them in some way, and make me a more complete and developed person.