Cheesy Baked Mexi-Rigatoni and an amazing run!

Yesterday evening I got home and began preparing supper. Then Brett texted he would be at work a little late and “oh crap, what about my dry cleaning?”  It was 6:15, so I knew I had to run get it.  The dry cleaning place is right around the corner, but man, I was ready to run!  He wasn’t going with me because of working late, plus he had to pack for a work trip to Atlanta the next day.  Hero Banana picks up dry cleaning and has supper ready to pop in the oven, then…out the door!

In my last post I wrote about how discouraging my runs have been of late.  Last night was completely different.  I started strong (there was a tinge of pain in my ankle as soon as I started, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me) and I finished my first mile.  I had a side stitch so I did stop but only for about 40 seconds to walk to the spot where we normally start running.  Then I started running again and I wanted to stop, but NO! I kept going.  I saw a man walking ahead of me and I thought I’ll run past him, then break.  I saw him turn right on the same road I would be turning on.  I finally passed him and thought I would keep running because it was getting dark.  I turned right on the next street, still going.  The side stitch finally left me, phew!  I thought one more block and I’d be back to the start, meaning 2 miles would be done, so I stuck it out and as soon as my Runkeeper app registered 2.00, I stopped to walk a minute.  I was so happy because I had practically run 2 miles! The only stop I had made was 40 seconds after the first mile.  My left leg was hurting at this point so I walked a little but did continue to run a lot of the 3rd mile.  I didn’t do a complete mile because it was dark when I was running toward the house and was honestly wiped, so I didn’t run past and back to make it 3 miles.  I did 2.86 miles in 36:23.  Mile 1 = 12:16, Mile 2 = 12:51 and Mile 3 was 13:10.  That is a full minute shaved off from 10/1 when I ran 2.83 in 37:23.  I’m beginning to feel a little better about running.  I will just have to remember on my next run that my legs and my lungs will go, and to not let my mind play tricks on me.  After I started mile 2, I got into this rhythm and my legs were like part of a robot.  The music on Pandora was good, my breathing was good and I felt like a real runner for the first time.  I can do this!!  My ankle and my knee are sore today, so I’m resting and am hoping to be back out there Thursday.

Now, on to the delicious meal I prepared before I went out for the run.  Another recipe from the Picky Palate.  Another winner – I am digging throwing these dishes together and keeping them on the stove, then popping them in when I’m ready.

Cheesy  Baked Mexi-Rigatoni (click for recipe).

Ingredients:

The only chopping involved were the peppers and the onion – my kind of easy meal!  As I was chopping the peppers, juice shot into my eyes -  burn!  After recovering from my temporary blindness, I sauteed the onion and peppers together in the olive oil, added the beef and browned it, then added all the rest of the ingredients.  My pot runneth over…

Still have  a light out in the kitchen – my shadow is visible over the pot. Bah!  I put the pasta in the bottom of the 9×13 casserole dish since my pot was so full, then I stirred everything together.  I didn’t add the cilantro because I thought it would get too wilted (if that’s even possible) and I figured I’d add it in before I baked it.  Well, I forgot -whoops!  I left this on the stove covered until I got back from my run.  Then, I topped it with 2 c. of shredded Mexican cheese and baked it on 350F for 22 minutes.

Oh my was this good!!  Brett and I both added a little cayenne pepper because it lacked a little kick – I had removed the seeds from the peppers.  I was so ready to eat that I forgot to take a plate picture and I’m disappointed as I know you are because my photos are such high quality beauties.

With Brett in Atlanta tonight, I’m going to kick back with an Amy’s Frozen Margherita Pizza and some wine and probably watch some trashy reality TV.

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