3.5 Miles Speedwork & Coffee Chili

I wasn’t as excited about tonight’s speedwork.  I was tired after a long day at work and was not feeling ready to take it on by myself.  It helped when Maggie called and said she could make the run after all – I probably wouldn’t have pushed myself as hard tonight without someone else pushing me!  Tonight’s plan was 2 speedy one miles, with walking/jogging half miles before, in between and after.  Our splits:

  • 1/2 mile:  10:34 pace
  • 1st mile:  8:44 !!
  • 1/2 mile:  15:23 pace
  • 2nd mile:  9:00 !
  • 1/2 mile:  13:39 pace
  • Total:  37:30 (10:43 average pace)

Although I wasn’t happy with the overall average pace, I was ecstatic with the speedy miles.  Until today, my fastest one mile was 9:11.  Not only did I beat that pace on both miles, but I ran a mile in 8:44!  It’s just one mile, but it felt awesome to hold that pace for so long.  Of course the half mile following it was almost entirely walking, but we still had a strong second mile too.

My right ankle (on the outside) started to hurt when I started walking, but felt better when I was running.  Any ideas what that could be about?  My feet (and toes) were sore again after this run.  I may give the shoes one more chance on an easy run tomorrow, but I am seriously debating whether I should return them and get the Asics instead.  They might be heavier, but I don’t feel like I’m hitting the ground so hard with every step I take.  At the same time, I’ve now worn the Brooks twice in mud, so the bottoms are not very clean.  Although Luke’s Locker has a 30 day return policy, I’m not sure they would accept them back.


I made a Coffee Chili recipe based on Mark Bittman’s Espresso Black Bean Chili in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.  I had made it once before and it was delicious.  Tonight’s was not quite as good, and I think I know why.  All ingredients can go into one pot.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer covered for about 30 minutes.

Into the pot:

  • 2 cans tomatoes (Italian flavored is best)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
  • 1.5 cups (decaf) coffee
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar

This recipe reminds me of Cincinnati chili (made with cinnamon and chocolate) – just without the meat and without the chocolate.  The addition of coffee is interesting.  You definitely do not taste coffee in the chili, but it adds a nice flavor.  I used decaf because we were eating at 8 PM and I wanted to be able to sleep tonight, but I know even decaf has a little caffeine in it.

I think I had two downfalls in tonight’s chili.  It was still good, but my first attempt was better.  First, I didn’t saute the onions with the garlic before adding the other ingredients.  They all got thrown in together because I was in a hurry.  Second, I think it’s all in the tomatoes you use.  Last time I used Italian tomatoes.  This time my husband, trying to be healthier, picked up “no salt added” basil and oregano.  Still a good flavor, but I think we were missing the salt.

I also ran into some issues with the brown sugar.  It was so hard I couldn’t get any out of the container!  I used an old trick to soften the sugar.  You put a piece of bread in and the brown sugar will break up.  I’m not sure what the science behind this is, but I know it works!

In just 30 minutes I was able to scoop out enough brown sugar for the chili.  I left the bread in overnight, so hopefully my brown sugar will be in good shape tomorrow.  Have you ever tried this trick?

What is your favorite chili recipe?


8 responses to “3.5 Miles Speedwork & Coffee Chili

  1. SO glad I could join you tonight! You’re such a fantastic running buddy =)

  2. Yay for fastest mile times! I’m such a baby about doing speedwork- I have to do it on the treadmill. I can’t motivate myself to run fast if I’m outside!

    • Thanks! I’m opposite – for some reason the speed feels worse to me on a treadmill. When I’m outside it seems (somewhat) easier, and I like watching the scenery go by. I wish I could enjoy it on the treadmill!

  3. Hai,
    I found your name on the list of the Distance Dreamers. I’m on it too and also preparing for my first half marathon. I want to follow a few DD since we are all working towards the same goal.

    I’ll be back.

  4. WOW! Great job on those times! That’s fantastic!!

    I’ll have to try that chili recipe, for sure! As they say, you can take the girl outta Cincinnati, but you can’t take the Cincinnati outta the girl … especially when it comes to chili! Although these days, I definitely go for the veggie option over the real Skyline deal.

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