Monday, March 4, 2013

CRR 10k and Atlanta Eats

I was Atlanta bound for the weekend for several fun events, including the Chattahoochee Road Runner's 10k and Erin's bridal shower.  After catching a short flight, Mom treated me to a Thai dinner at Tamarind Seed.  The restaurant is just across the street from the Atlanta Symphony Hall, and provided a pleasant escape from the rush-hour traffic.

We started with the steamed fresh basil rolls served with a "special" sauce that was tangy and creamy.  They were a cool and crisp way to start the meal - though the very small portion left me wishing for more.

Next, we shared the Somtum-Green Papaya Salad which is a traditional Thai salad mixed with ground peanuts and sweetened lemon juice.  I fondly remember the papaya salad I frequently ordered from a NYC Thai restaurant and was excited for the opportunity to enjoy it again.  Inside of the bamboo was a slightly sweetened sticky rice that paired well with the juicy shrimp and crunchy papaya.

For our entrees, we elected to share two different plates.  Although it is very rare for us to eat meat, we decided to be adventurous and try the duck and fish entrees rather than stick with a simple plate of vegetables.  The Roasted Duck Panang was served on a bed of green beans with a sweet spicy curry sauce, and proved to be an excellent selection.  Thai flavors have an incredible depth and this curry sauce was no exception.

The Pla-Kweh-Whan is described as " pan-grilled filet asian white fish in green curry and coconut milk with green beans, thai eggplant, bamboo shoots, and fresh basil."  The menu listed the spice level as three peppers, which they translated as a "tingling glow" that transforms to a "raging fire."  I was a bit nervous about the degree of spice in that the fish would pack, but fortunately it was powerful, yet not overwhelming.

After a great girls' dinner, we concluded our evening with a bowl of frozen yogurt and an assortment of toppings from Yogo Ono.  The cold and creamy treat was the perfect pairing with a spicy dinner.

The Chattahoochee Road Runner's 10k is a race that I try my best to run every year.  It's one of the latest Peachtree Road Race time qualifiers and touts a downhill finish.  This year's race was made more special by the fact that Dad, Royce, and Erin also ran.  I've been coaching Dad and his running has been gradually improving, so I was looking forward to seeing the results of his hard training.  My training, however, has been a mixed bag recently.  I've had a few solid track workouts, but a new knee injury has been curtailing my workouts over the past two weeks.

Race morning was ridiculously cold and featured sustained winds and snow flurries.  Perfect weather for a speedy run on a Saturday morning, right?!  I'll spare you the details and summarize my race as challenging.  I was determined to go out hard and hang on to the pace.  Despite the downhill finish, the course features rolling hills that will make you work hard before your sprint to the line.  Every year I seem to forget about those hills - especially the climbs from mile four to five.  I finished in 43:40, 7th female overall and 2nd in my age group.  Another corral "A" Peachtree time - I'll take it.

The most exciting moment of the morning was watching Dad come down the hill.  He's been working really hard to nail the speed workouts I've been assigning him, and I couldn't be more happy to see him destroy his previous PR by more than four minutes and finish with an average pace of 8:24!  Way to go Dad!  Royce and Erin finished together not too far behind.

We posed for a quick group picture before making a hike back to the car to warm our frozen bodies and find some food.

In typical fashion, I was treated to many great home cooked meals.  Saturday night featured black bean burgers served open faced, oriental slaw, and roasted sweet potato wedges.  Have I mentioned my love affair with sweet potatoes?

Sunday's lunch was simple, yet absolutely perfect.  It was a cold day and the hearty bowl of potato soup warmed my core.  A salad of fresh greens, corn, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, and homegrown sprouts filled the other half of the plate and was topped with a balsamic vinaigrette that I must replicate.

Visits home are always a special treat, and this weekend was no exception.  Life has a way of becoming far too busy and I frequently feel that I struggle finding the perfect balance.  Escaping the hustle and bustle of work and enjoying things that I am most passionate about, however, goes a long way towards refreshing my enthusiasm for life.

Next up - lots of pictures from the bridal shower I hosted for Erin!

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