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Half Marathon Recap + Quinoa Sidedish

November 10, 2013

Hello, hello—how is it the end of the weekend already?! Sad smile  Our weekends seem to really fly by these days.  This one was pretty packed.  Lila started feeling much better around Friday afternoon, which was a relief.  When she woke up on Saturday, she seemed more like her old self—a lot less congestion, just generally in higher spirits. 

Which was good, because…we had a race to get to!  On Saturday, I ran the Huntsville 1/2 Marathon.  Ryan and Lila dropped me off at the starting line and hung around for a bit until the race got underway:

Temps under 50 degrees definitely call for fancy hoodies made of nondescript, unidentifiable fur.  Looking good, kiddo.

Almost two hours later to the minute, I reunited with Ryan and Lila at the finish line:

Another half-marathon on the books!  I don’t want to say that this was a *bad* race for me, because it wasn’t—but it also wasn’t a great race.  I felt like I was struggling to find a pace that felt comfortable but still challenging.  In the Chattanooga half, many of the miles seemed to really fly by, but this race felt like it was dragging for me.  There were also times when I’d think I was pushing myself really hard, and I’d look down at my Garmin to see a much slower pace than I’d anticipated.  Oh well—not all races can be great. 

This one *did* serve as a bit of a preview for the marathon.  I can see that a 9 minute pace for the marathon would be WAY too fast for where I’m at in my training right now—I think I’d burn out if I tried to keep that pace.  Realistically, I think a 10 minute pace is a good goal for the first 13 miles, and then if I feel good, I can try to run the second half a bit faster (9:30), or, I feel like I’m struggling, I can run the second half even slower.  My goal is to not really walk (other than water breaks) until mile twenty.  We’ll see—I know that much of what happens on race day is just going to depend on variables that are unpredictable ahead of time—weather, how I feel, etc.

On Saturday night, we headed out for a dinner party at a friend’s house.  We contributed this quinoa salad as a sidedish, and it was a hit!

Dried Fruit Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate, Pistachios, and Feta

(the name of the dish is a mouthful, but the actual dish was actually super easy to throw together)


1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup orange juice

1 cup water

1/4 cup dried cherries

1/4 cup golden raisins

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

salt to taste

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1/2 cup pomegranate arils

1/4 cup pistachios (unshelled)


Combine the water, orange juice, quinoa, cherries, and raisins, plus a bit of salt, in a pot.  Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

While quinoa is cooking, in a separate skillet, heat olive oil.  Add onion and cook for 15 minutes, until starting to soften.  Add spices and cook for another 5 minutes. 

Once the quinoa is done cooking, remove from heat and add onion.  Allow to cool fully to room temperature.  Add feta, pistachios, and pomegranate.  Enjoy!


Hope you’ve had a good weekend!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. itzyskitchen permalink
    November 10, 2013 6:47 pm

    What a pretty side dish. Congrats! You’re really rocking the running. I HATE that feeling when you think you’re pushing yourself and you look down at your time and think…really? Thats all…

  2. November 10, 2013 10:33 pm

    I think it’s smart to look at this race as a training run to an extent. I think starting out slower for the full then kicking it up if you’re feeling good is a good plan of attack. Congrats on another half! And this dish? Yum. I still have not cooked with pomegranates yet.

  3. Patti permalink
    November 11, 2013 12:08 am

    Way yo go, Anna.

  4. November 12, 2013 4:08 am

    You go girl! Even though it wasn’t a “great” race, it still is impressive (and will help you in your journey ahead!) And I just loved that furry hoodie of Lila’s. Too cute! The quinoa salad looks perfect too!

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