Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mom On The (Bridge) Run

What was I thinking?

Or really, when I signed up for the 35th Cooper River Bridge Run, was I thinking at all?

Apparently not, because my registration packet has now arrived via USPS and even though I haven’t yet “been there and done that,” I do have the t-shirt, along with a race bib with “Cheryl” imprinted on it and a computer timing chip built-in.

Let me be clear:  I am not a runner.  I'm a 49-year-old mom who would never be confused for a runner.  A single glance tells all:  I am not built for speed.  If anything, I’m built for sauvignon blanc.  Or, in the right company, single-malt scotch.   I didn’t run track in high school.  I’ve never run away.  I’d never consider running for office.  I’ve never even run out of gas.

OK.  I have had my share of runs, but that was back in the days of pantyhose, and I can assure you that a silver "egg" of Suntan Sheer Energy L’Eggs did nothing to prepare me to run 10 kilometers in a pack of 43,999 athletes from Mt. Pleasant over the (new) Cooper River Bridge and into downtown Charleston.

I am, however, making an effort.  I have a training schedule.  An eye-popping neon yellow top so Cougar Bait can rescue me after race.  And new shoes.  I know.  In most situations, "new shoes" would cure all ills.  But when it comes to running shoes, maybe not so much.  My 17-year-old son's response to my recent "mile-time" stat was, “Gawd, Mom.  Were you even trying?”

Was I trying?  Did my hunched-over hobble to the sofa not give it away?  Where are crutches when you need them?

With the run now two weeks away, I am verging on panic.  Yesterday, I pushed to prove that I can go the distance.  The good news is that it turns out that I can.  The bad news is that the weather must be perfect, that I’m on a course I know like the back of my hand, and that 43,999 other people aren’t running with me.

Maybe I just need to eat better.  Something like this Seared Ginger-Lime Salmon with Slaw.

Nah.  What am I thinking?  It can’t be that easy.  It can however, be pretty darn tasty!

Seared Ginger-Lime Salmon with Slaw
I use the same, super-flavorful mix for both the marinade and the dressing.  This amount will work with up to four salmon fillets.  

Pieces of salmon fillet
Napa cabbage, sliced in ribbons (1 heaping cup per serving)
Red bell pepper, sliced in thin ribbons (1 quarter pepper per serving)
Feta cheese, crumbled (2 tablespoons per serving)
Pignoli nuts, toasted (1 tablespoon per serving) 

Juice of two limes
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
2 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted (dark) sesame oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine marinade/dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth.  Pour about half (1/4 cup) into a zipper-sealed plastic bag with salmon pieces.  Marinate, at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Drain and remove salmon pieces.  Sear in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, until done and flakes easily.  Set aside, covering loosely with aluminum foil while you assemble the slaw.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine remaining "marinade/dressing" with napa cabbage and red bell pepper (for four servings, use one small head of napa cabbage, plus, one bell pepper).  Toss well, serve with salmon, garnishing with feta cheese and pignoli nuts.  

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