I actually went for a run tonight!

I was supposed to do my short runs Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week, but I felt pretty icky last night, so I shifted things back a day.  Tonight was my first run back on my official training plan.  Before tonight I’ve been feeling really crappy in general.  Tired, frustrated, and just not really taking care of myself like I usually do – eating badly, not sleeping enough, spending too much time on the couch watching TV, etc.

Tonight when I got home from work I made dinner.  I felt like really cooking tonight, which I haven’t done in a few days.

Nothing beats sweet and sour tofu from Vegan Yum Yum!  You could feed this to an omnivore and they would totally believe it was chicken.  (Did you hear that mom?  PS – Love the camera!)

Sweet and Sour Tofu (adapted from Vegan Yum Yum)

For the tofu:

  • 1 package pressed tofu (Don’t have a tofu press?  Try this one!  Read my review here.)
  • 2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 4 tsp water (Or use 2 flax eggs.  1 flax egg = 1 tbsp flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp water.  Let sit for about 5 minutes to come to an egg-like consistency.)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

For the sauce:

  • 3 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp molasses (I use Blackstrap)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch mixed in 2 tbsp water
  1. If you plan to eat this with rice, make sure to start cooking it!  Also, steam any veggies you intend to mix in.  Set these aside as they are done cooking.
  2. Cut the tofu into small pieces. (The smaller you make them the crispier they’ll be – yum!)
  3. Put the egg replacer mixture into a bowl and toss the tofu until all pieces are coated. (I usually put all the tofu in the bowl and then stir them up with a fork for a bit.  It seems to work well.)
  4. Put the cornstarch in a bowl and toss the (now coated with egg replacer) tofu until they are completely coated. (Use the same method as step 3.)
  5. Heat the oil in a large skillet and then pan fry the tofu until it is golden brown on both sides.  Put aside on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
  6. To make the sauce, combine all the sauce ingredients EXCEPT the water and cornstarch mixture in a small saucepan.  Heat until the sugar dissolves.  Then add the water/cornstarch mixture and whisk continuously until sauce thickens (this happens quickly, so keep an eye on it).  Remove from heat and set aside until you are ready to put everything together.
  7. Combine tofu, and any veggies or nuts (the recipe calls for almonds, but I usually forget those and it’s still awesome) in a large bowl and mix with the sauce.  Top the rice with this delicious saucy mixture and enjoy!

Later tonight (after digesting!) I took a deep breath, put my running gear on, and headed down to the basement to get on the treadmill.  Tonight was a 4 mile run.  I put on some fun music, cranked it up, and got going.

I ended up doing 4 miles in 38:37, or a 9:39 pace.  Not super speedy, but pretty decent considering I’ve barely run in two months, and a year ago I was consistently running about 1:00/mile slower than that.  I could have gone faster if I hadn’t been running on a full stomach, but I was starving when I got home and there was no way I was waiting to eat.  I definitely felt tired at times, but a lot of that was because my conditioning has gone down the tubes and I was pushing myself to do some speedwork.  It’ll come back quickly though!

The amazing (but not that unsurprising) thing is how much better I treat myself once I get off my butt and run.  When I do something good for myself like that, it’s a chain reaction.  I may still crave something sugary, but I don’t end up rooting around the kitchen cupboards.  I want to drink a TON of water because it’s delicious and makes me feel good.  I’m also MUCH happier and don’t feel all down on myself like I do when I don’t take care of myself.

Thank goodness!  December is here.  It’s a new month and a new leaf.