One of the things that living through Minnesota winters has taught me is that you have to be able— and willing—to adapt to your environment. When it is subzero and you are not a treadmill person, the only option is to take it outside. Then you choose the proper gear, take appropriate precautions and head outdoors. But once outdoors you have to be able to be more flexible especially is trail running. I have come to really enjoy trail running since I moved here almost three years ago and I find it that is really is good for my soul.
But in winter, uufda— the best laid plan may still not work. And so was my case this weekend. The temperature actually warmed up to 10°F so it was like a heat wave! Go ahead and laugh. I know I did. LOL. I was so happy! Which is crazy because it was still pretty cold. But after spending a week worrying and caring for my sick stepkid who has a stomach virus, I needed some fresh air and headed to Whitewater State Park in Altura, MN. This state park is about 25 minutes from where I live and it is great any season of the year. Though beware in the summer as it is the only place in Minnesota where there are rattlesnakes. Just a warning. :) I headed there for a little trail run that kept going back and forth between a run and a hike. It seems that, while around my area we had about 2 inches of snow over the past few weeks, the park definitely got more.
I first headed to Coyote Trail. This 4Km trail is very difficult because it is an incline the WHOLE. DANG. TIME. When you get to the top your legs are burning. But before you get to the trail you have to cross the Whitewater River via a small bridge. Once I did it was all good but halfway up the trail was just pure ice and I decided to head down and just run by the river bed which I find also beautiful. I wanted to get some shots of me running but let me tell you—I suck with the selfie stick. It was hard to run and film. Just awkward to me.
After running there, I drove to another part of the park to hit Chimney Trail. This one was a straight hike. It has steps all the way to the top then it becomes dirt. You can run it but I find the steps portion dangerous especially covered in snow. Honestly, I did not make it all the way to the top because the sun was starting to go down and did not want to find myself alone in the woods in the cold darkness.
In the end I managed to get a good workout that, while not what I initially intended, turned out to be great. I cannot wait for this week because the temperatures are supposed to be in the high 30s and that is my prime temperature for running. Bring it, you MN bipolar weather! Although in all fairness, it seems the entire US weather is going bonkers. Before MN, I lived in North Carolina and I loved the weather even in winter. The coldest it ever got there was about 25F. Not this week! I think one night it got down -1F. That is insane!
Once I was home, it was to the kitchen (ok, that sounded very 1950s...lol). But I happen to love cooking and right now I am loving cooking my way through Run Fast Eat Slow cookbook by Shalane Flanagan. I am actually planning on doing so the entire month. I have made about ten of the recipes and they have all been yummy. But I think my favorites are the salad. Holy molly! They are delicious, especially the Moroccan Lentil Salad with Cauliflower Couscous (below) and the Recovery Quinoa Salad (left). They are not only packed with nutrients but are so dang tasty! The Bust Cherry Tomato Linguine with Shrimp was pretty tasty too.
How was your week?
I am also obsessed with the Burst Cherry Tomato Linguine with Shrimp was pretty tasty too. It is so good and everyone in the family loved it, including the picky eaters. For smoothies, the Beets Me Smoothie is the winner. Now, if you do not like beets then this is not the smoothie for you. I happen to love them and works for me. It has been a great week of cooking.
One final thought today-- tonight is the College Football National Championship and I already have no nails left! I am rooting 200% for my Crimson Tide. So let's do this, Bama!
So, how was your week? Did you venture into the cold for a run? Did you try any new recipes? Do you have this cookbook?
Joining these awesome link-ups: Week In Review / Sunday Fitness & Food / Fit Fashionable Friday / Friday Five 2.0 / Tuesdays on the Run/ Wild Workout Wednesday / Weekly Wrap/
Update: WE ARE THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #ROLLTIDE