After my Boston Marathon quest ended two years ago, I thought I’d never start another blog, certainly not one about food and cooking.
But last year, I got a copy of Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky’s cookbook Run Fast, Eat Slow and loved the few recipes from it that I tried. For a couple of weeks, I worked from the book feverishly. But as is usual with me and cooking, I tended to make the same things over and over, and time moved on. Even though I knew there were other concoctions in there that I’d like, I put the book away.
My running hasn’t been great since that magical 2016 when I finally got to run Boston. In February 2017, I truly injured my always-tweaky right hamstring. Now here we are, a year and a half later, and it’s still not properly healed. I’m also suffering from a neuroma in my left foot, chronically tight calves and plantar fascia, and a general lack of mojo. Running fast-for-me has become impossible without pain. Realizing that my goal of running for the rest of my life would be in real jeopardy if I didn’t do something about all of these things, I finally started physical therapy last month.
I’m doing pretty well with it and am hoping to be racing again in the fall. But you can’t undo 18 months of damage in five weeks. I still have many days where my muscles just don’t feel good, and I’m nowhere near able to run fast yet. So I need to do something goal-oriented and ambitious that won’t endanger the slow progress of PT and will benefit my running for the long haul.
Focusing on improving my nutrition, I have decided, will be it.
So here it is: during the summer of 2018–which for me began two days ago on Thursday, May 24, 2018, my kids’ first day of summer vacation–I will cook EVERY RECIPE in Run Fast, Eat Slow and review them all on this blog.
It’s not going to be fancy or trendy. You won’t find any air-brushed, highly-styled food photos here, just real ones of the results I get from my relatively unskilled efforts using relatively unsophisticated tools (no Vitamixes here; I can’t afford a $300 blender). And I’m going to straight up tell you that I am no fan of food fads, including cleanses, single-ingredient worship (e.g. coconut oil and coconut water) or “lifestyle” diets like Paleo (more on this later).
But I do know, and have known for a long time, that I could form better habits around nutrition. With training at a relatively low ebb while my body heals and strengthens, I figure now is the time to work on the food habits. The recipes in this cookbook, from what I know of them so far, offer a great balance of health, flavor–and even occasional indulgence, which I DO believe in.
There you have it: let’s get cooking!