Today was “long run day.” Correction: Saturday morning was Long Run Day. But the plan was changed when I ended up completely overindulging at our neighbor’s house, who invited us over for an amazing dinner of burgers with ALL the fixings (Pickles! Tomatoes! Cheese! Mustard! Grilled onions! So exciting!), baked French fries, Chili con Carne, and homemade apple and pineapple tart. LOOK AT THIS FOOD. And in AFRICA! It was a wonderful dinner, great company, and proof that with money, time, and talent, you can create stuff this amazing in Mozambique. I am newly inspired!
After my two three servings of dessert late on Friday, combined with the fact that I hadn’t taken a day off of exercise a week, I made the decision on Saturday morning to stay in bed reading Twilight a much more sophisticated book for a few hours and enjoy a relaxing day, moving Long Run Day to Sunday. I woke up several times during the night in anticipation (and also because a winged beetle the size of my hand kept trying to eat its way into my mosquito net). At 5:30 I jumped out of bed (avoiding the persistent beetle) and pulled on my running clothes… and then ate a chocolate brownie flavored Z-bar (so good!) while waiting for the sun to fully rise.
I ran for 2 hours and 17.5 minutes today. And I even wanted to keep going—but I didn’t want to push it with my knees, increasing mileage too drastically since my last long run. I think this may have been my longest run ever. I have no idea about the mileage—no Garmins here, plus I was jogging SO slow at times due to ankle-deep sand (no pavement on this route, either) but it was awesome. I am digging these longer runs because it feels like a completely different type of challenge. My normal one-hour runs with sprint intervals kind of just feel like pushing the buttons, clocking the time just because I should or whatever. But these, it isn’t about burning calories or feeling guilty if I don’t exercise—but instead, about the actual physical challenge (no stopping!). I know this is no big feat what I did this morning, but I loved how it made me feel—like an athlete, a strong woman, instead of someone just working out to not get fat or all those other reasons we end up thinking. I am really excited to do marathon training next year. I like feeling capable and strong! I am going to chase this feeling… literally : )
What got me through a big part of the run was looking forward to my breakfast: I was going to try to make my first pizzert from Katie’s blog. I saw this referenced on someone else’s blog recently (sadly don’t remember whose) and it sounded right up my alley. It had to wait, though, for two conditions: 1. A day off (too rushed during the work week) and 2. Bananas. Bananas, as well as peanut butter, are the things I cannot live without here. The problem is that I often am forced to live without them because they aren’t grown here (get shipped in occasionally) and just disappear for weeks at a time. Thus making my delicious morning oatmeal impossible (I don’t like it without the banana creaminess), and leading me to complaining day after day to my friends here about said lack of bananas. (I can’t believe in the States that you can just get bananas ALL THE TIME. What is that like?!?!) Well, I have combed every market in town for the last week (zero bananas) and then somehow found a couple at this really random banca. They were all split open already but whatever, they would work. So my rallying cry for myself throughout my run was PIZZERT!!!
After showering and chugging about two liters of water (rehydration!) I assembled the ingredients. ½ cup wheat flour (Wheat flour ingredients: white bread flour with wheat flakes. Cool huh?), 1 tsp baking powder, 4 tsp sugar, generous amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg, shake of salt, half a mashed banana, and about ½ cup of skim milk.
I also threw in some frozen blueberries as inspired by Katie. I found these a month or two at the expat market and have been saving them for special occasions.
Spread the mix in a greased pan (okay, pot, because I don’t have a pan) and put it in my unpreheated (as directed) oven for about fifteen minutes. While it was cooking, I chopped a pineapple. Bought this one yesterday for a buck. Totally overpriced, but a luxury so I bought it.
Pineapples are plentiful in many other areas of Mozambique, but of course, not where I live. They are one of my top 5 favorite foods no contest, and this is the first time I have bought one in months (they too have disappeared for a long time. What is ths?!) I love pineapple, but I hate cutting them. It was a nice distraction though, something to do when I waited for breakfast. HUNGER. I just wanted to sit down (my legs were aching at this point) and EAT!
After 15 minutes, pizzert was done. This was where I ran into problems. It was SO HARD to get this thing out of the pan. I had to fight with it for so long that it got cold during the process! I greased the pan though… not really sure what I did wrong?
Finally I (more or less) succeeded in removing my pizzert in pieces from the pan and got to do the fun part: decorate! My “sauce” was peanut butter (of course) and topping was banana slices, all drizzled with a little syrup for more sweetness. (Nutella next time, for sure).
This was so fun. It tasted a bit like a thicker pancake. I realized it was basically all the ingredients I use in an oatmeal bowl except the baking powder and the ½ cup of flour instead of the ½ cup of oats… wondering if I can recreate an oatmeal version too. Thanks Katie for the great idea and the perfect refueling breakfast. Pizzert + a big bowl of fresh pineapple and a kiwi + Happy Gilmore on my laptop = a perfect Sunday morning.
What do you think about long runs? How do you recover from them? And, what are your favorite weekend breakfasts? I need some more inspiration!