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Upcoming Races

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Below I have included my upcoming race schedule. I have only registered for one race, as of now, because I’m still unsure which state I’ll be in after Feb’s LSAT exam. If I am still in OH, I will likely stick with the below schedule.

Included in this schedule are a bunch of challenging distances and courses. I am shooting to place in the top 10 for the two half marathons, and finish the marathon and 50k strong. I will include my training schedule in another post, and post it at a later date.


Upcoming

January 31st, 2015 Regis Trail 1/2 Marathon  Registered (OH)

March 29th, 2015 Fools 50k and 25k (OH)
Planned Distance: 25k
Early Registration Ends Jan 31st

May 9th, 2015 CLE Trail Marathon (OH)
Planned Distance: 26.2M
Registration Ends April 30th

July 4th, 2015 Afton Trail Run (MN)
Planned Distance: 50k
Registration Open March 20th

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Running in a Winter Wonderland + Oatmeal Crepes


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In the first half of January I traipsed around Minnesota visiting family, while also IMG_2368revisiting the “joy” of running through snow. Having been spoiled by the tropics of Taiwan it took some time to get used to snow falling into my shoes, and the various ice-skating moments.
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To fuel my cold winter 9 mile runs, I started playing around with Fresh Fit N Healthy’s Oatmeal Crepe Cakes Recipe. Although I love both of her recommended fillings, I decided to stick to just peanut butter and cinnamon to match my cousin’s palette.IMG_2373
To meet my own fancy, I added pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice to the batter to make a warm pumpkin pie crepe. *If you plan on doing this, up the oat content by a tablespoon. Also, if you want an even deeper richer flavor substitute eggs for the flax seeds.

Fuel: Savory French Toast

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Yumm!

What’s a girl to do when she wants french toast but doesn’t like sweets? Ever since I was little I would always cringe at the prospect of french toast loaded with syrup, powdered sugar, and other sweets. And, yet, I’ve recently had this constant craving for french toast. Instead of getting an order of one that’s sweetness would comatose me, I decided to make a homemade savory version!

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This savory dish features:
1/4 of a red onion
1/2 tbsp of olive oil
2 slices of whole wheat bread
2 eggs
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
2″ x 1″ x 1″ Slice of feta goat cheese (crumbled)
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp basil
1 tsp red pepper flakes

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1. Coarsely chop the onions–you want to make sure that the pieces aren’t too small or they will burn in the pan. Turn on your burner to a low-medium heat, place the sauce pan on there, and then add your oil to the pan. Wait about 30 seconds to a minute before adding the onions. Stir them a bit, and then turn your attention to the batter.
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2. The batter: combine the eggs, soy milk, crumbled feta, basil, and minced garlic in a bowl. Use a fork to whisk it.
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3. Then cut your bread into four parts, as pictured above.
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4. Once your onions get a slight brown to them (see picture) push them to the sides of the pan.
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5. Then start the coating process. Use tongs to dip each 1/4 of a slice of bread into the batter, and then place it in the center of the pan. When you have four pieces fully coated and in the pan spoon about a teaspoon of batter over the top of each slice. Then flip it. Once both sides are browned to perfection remove them from the pan. Repeat with the second slice of bread. Once you are done with the second slice poor the onions over the top of your delectable savory french toast.

For those who are inclined to round out the meal with some veggies and fruits, I prepared a strawberry walnut salad. I mixed together a cup of spinach, 1/8 cup of walnuts, 2 sliced strawberries, 1 teaspoon of oil, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, and some cracked pepper.

I then cut a pomelo into thirds, and had that as a tasty side.

Did you try this recipe? What did you think? Feel free to comment below ^^

The Last Hurrah: A Week of Trails (II)

Mon 11/17 6.12 Miles (Four Beasts)
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Check out that view! The Four Beasts, including Elephant Mountain, are the perfect place to take in the city skyline. Even with the inclement weather, you can still clearly see 101. Personally I love running in this kind of weather, and thus was very excited to hit the trails.

I started the normal climb up to the summit of elephant mountain, but took a side trail about half way up. If you make a few wrong turns here you’ll end up at a farm, and another farm. Your best bet is to take the mossy steps up. You’ll eventually hit the rock-blocks road. Take a right and keep going.

I took this all the way until I hit the Muzha intersection, and then continued onto that trail. Luckily the trail wasn’t too slick and I only had a few instances of slip-and-sliding. I then turned around at the end of the trail–where there is a set of stairs going down, and retraced my steps back to the rock-road path. I finished my run with a few crazy drops and then climbs, which had my derriere screaming for the comfort of flat land.

For those who seek to run around on the four beasts, do it during the day! Although it is pretty in the evening, and a flashlight can help with running the trails, the daytime views are just too spectacular to miss!

1/18 7.95 Miles (The Four Beasts + Nangang Park @ Night)
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Flying down stairs in the dark and leaping over roots and boulders on unlit trails really gets the adrenaline pumping. That being said, I have a strong fear of twisting my ankle, which I almost did on this run. So, I brought my trusty handheld flashlight with me. If you are into nighttime trail running, I highly recommend getting a flashlight that fits into the palm of your hand, and has a string that can go around your wrist!

Starting out this trek, me and my trusty running partner Dan set out to run from Elephant Mountain, along the beasts, to Nan Gang Exhibition Park, and back. We took the normal route up, and then continued on the rock-blocks path towards the other beasts. We eventually took a set of stairs down to get in some stair intervals–3 reps of about a 100meter climb. We then jogged back down the stairs and took the paved road that heads towards Nan Gang Exhibition Park.

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I highly recommend taking the road at night; it’s well lit, VERY hilly, and connects with a few parks that have weights and hula-hoops. We actually stopped to stretch our calves at one of those parks, and stumbled onto a set of rings that Dan used to do a few flips. I tried, but failed miserably~ Ah, well.

Finally we reached Nan Gang Exhibition Park, and proceeded to run through Hou Shan Pi Mountain and around the park. I had actually never been here before, but I would definitely go back for those amazing gravel trails. They also have a few set of wooden stairs that provide more give than the stone ones I’ve become used to.

After heading back into the beasts, Dan suggested that we take a path that was closed, blocked with a gate, and bore a huge red sign that read “restricted entry” in Chinese. Before I could offer an opinion, he was already half way up the path. I followed, rather cautiously, behind him. It became rather apparent that the missing steps and fallen trees were the reason for this closure. Luckily, Dan and I hash so we were used to these kinds of obstacles.

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Once we reached the top, Dan brandished a wide smile and declared “That was fun, eh?” He then requested a nice photo with 101, which I was happy to take.

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I then got a nice photo with 101…but I wasn’t quite positioned properly to get the shot. We then ran back through the beasts until we came to Fude Lane 2 (I think), and then ran back to Fude Street. From there you can run back to Elephant Mountain MRT Station Exit 2~

The Last Hurrah: A Week of Trails (I)

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As a part of my pre-moving plan I dedicated myself to doing as many trail runs as possible. With Elephant, and the other three beasts, so close to my house I ended up doing most of my runs there.

Sat 11/14 8.10 Miles (Elephant Mountain)
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After climbing up what felt like 1000 steps, I finally reached Elephant Mountain’s summit. It overlooks Xinyi district, and allows for a good 101 photo-op. Unfortunately I had committed myself to going all-out after cresting each hill. Thus, I continued on the rock trail that lead to the other four beasts. In the spirit of wandering, I just made random turns when I felt like it. This led me to a cross section that had a trail going to Muzha or one of the other beasts. I opted for Muzha.

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The trail was a narrow, mostly dirt and rock trail that also had a few technical sections. The terrain was absolutely perfect for hill intervals and downhill technical work. The trail also features more than one good view of 101.
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If you end up following the trail to the very end, you will come upon a set of stairs that takes you to a mountain road. If you turn left and follow the road down you will eventually end up back at Xinyi Road.

Sun 11/16 6.54 Miles (Hong Lou Di-Hash Run)
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This run was hosted by CH3 and hared by two of my favs from my running crew: Will and Levent. Thanks to my zero-drop Inov-8 shoes, I was able to run through each section of the race, including the shiggy parts.

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As for the details: we started the run in the parking lot, and then ran down the set of stairs posted here. We’re standing around due to our group’s collective inability to find the trail. After 20 minutes of checking, someone finally called on-on and we all sprinted down through a bus station.
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We then ran through a local temple–can’t get enough of those in Taiwan.
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Following that we ran up through a shiggy section with a few mud-slide areas. Thanks to my Inov-8 shoes and a few well-placed trees I was able to claw my way up. 
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Some people took to trying to pull themselves up backwards, which apparently worked.

All-in-all it was an amazing run. I ended up coming in FBI, and 10th or so overall.

Look forwards to part II of my adventures–coming tomorrow.

The Big Move + Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

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In two weeks time I will be on a flight back to the states. I will be saying goodbye to Taiwan’s gorgeous mountainous terrain, and hello to the flatlands of Ohio. In preparing for this big change I have committed to doing at least one trail run and one new recipe a day.

Today’s run took me through the city and up Elephant Mountain. Lots of stairs, 400 meters of elevation gain, and some great trails~

After finishing my run I came back home and started on my recipe for the day: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal. This dish is a rich and warm breakfast option, that packs a good amount of protein. You can substitute raisins for dried cranberries if you prefer your oatmeal to be a bit sweeter.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
1 Cup Cooked Oatmeal
1 Tbsp of Flax Seeds
1 Large Banana
1/2 Cup Soy Milk
1/2 Cup Cooked Pumpkin
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Nutmeg
1/16 Cup Raisins
1/8 Cup Walnuts
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Toppings: Sliced Apples

Directions:
1. Combine pumpkin and the soy milk together in a pan over medium heat. Tear apart the banana–or slice it if you don’t like sticky fingers, and then added it into the pan. Stir for one minute.
2. Add the cooked oatmeal, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Let it simmer, while stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes.
3. While it is simmering, cut up whatever fruit you prefer. I chose apples, which add a nice crispness to this warm concoction.
4. Assemble in a bowl, and dig in!

Makes two servings~