A Month of Adventure!

Wow!  It’s been a pretty awesome month!

**WARNING!  Picture overload coming your way! **

First there was our trip to Hawaii for our 12 year Anniversary (yay!) where hubby and I ran a marathon!

IMG_20160117_104403

The Maui Oceanfront Marathon was a fabulous event.  You run pretty much the entire 26.2 mile race alongside the ocean, with the first 2 hours being in the dark (the event starts at 5am) listening to the waves crash along the shore…and then when the sun comes up?  Well, you’re treated to dramatic ocean side cliffs and whales breaching.  It was breathtaking.  I’m not much a fan of road racing, but the views and small town feel of the event made this a fun exception.  :) Highly recommended!

What I was super excited about with this race was how GOOD I felt throughout. I went in with no expectation of performance; it was meant to be a fun training run whilst we visited Hawaii. But WOW!  I haven’t felt this strong in years; it was such a confidence booster to see how much my fitness has improved in the “off season” and I ran a beautiful textbook negative split race, chatting with other racers, high five-ing volunteers and earning a BQ to boot.  What a great way to start the 2016 season!

Post marathon, hubby and I still had a few days left in Maui for relaxing and exploring…and relax and explore we did!

IMG_20160118_132006

20160117_175341-01 20160119_075400_019-01

20160119_180416-01

Remember – I currently live in North Dakota.  So yeah, I am going to relish our trip to paradise for a bit here.  ;)

After leaving Hawaii we flew back through CA where I stayed an additional two weeks with my parents.  I don’t see them as often as I would like, so I really savor our time together.

I also got as many hits of the trails as I could; running on some form of trail almost every day I was there. I needed this time out with friends and nature for sure!

IMG_20160123_144639 (1)

IMG_20160201_093058IMG_20160127_124205IMG_20160203_092102 (1)IMG_20160130_131752 (1)

Sigh.  Give me some trails and I am happy girl!

But hey!  I’m back home with hubby and the kiddos (cats), and really, the view is *practically* the same.  Amirite?

20160206_140226-01-01

HAAAAHAA!

Ok, so that was the Cliff Notes version of the past month, but you get the idea.  I had four amazing weeks of running, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, time with hubby and my family (much needed) and more running. My heart is happy!

Recipe time!

After a month off from cooking, I have to say I really missed my time in the kitchen. So, after getting home, first chance I had I was whipping up a healthy meal.  This time around it was crockpot Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa!  It got two thumbs up from hubby and I, so I hope you enjoy!

IMG_20160207_181453

You’ll need:

2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed well

1 ea red and green bell peppers, diced

1 cup corn kernels, drained

1/2 yellow or white onion, diced

1 14oz can diced tomatoes, with juice

2 cans black beans, drained

1 poblano pepper, diced (I left seeds in for extra “zip”, but please de-seed if you want a less spicy version)

2 tsp chipotle chili powder (can add additional tsp if you like more heat)

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1.5 tsp cumin

2 14 oz cans veggie broth

salt and pepper to taste

handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

Ready for the complicated directions? OK!  Coat the crockpot with nonstick spray.  Add all ingredients, stir well to combine.  Set crockpot on LOW and cook for 8 hours.  That’s IT!!  This is a perfect dish for a cold winter night, and it reheats perfectly for left overs!  Serve with a wedge of cornbread and a green salad.  Can garnish with cheddar cheese and sour cream, if you like.  I hope you enjoy!

What has been one of your favorite Run-cations that you’ve taken in the past year or so?