I did it! I haven’t been able to bend my legs or…move…the last two days but I did it! I finished the Portland Marathon, 26.2 miles, running the entire time! It was the most amazing and horrible experience I’ve ever had. The first 12 miles I was feeling great, really motivated and inspired by the thousands of people cheering us on. The weather was colder than I was used to since most of my serious training happened in the warmer, summer months, so by mile 13 my legs started feeling tight and sore. By mile 20 my legs felt like they were about 1,000 pounds each. I cursed each and every mile marker that I passed: “*&^% you, mile marker 22!” I wanted to strangle all the smiling people standing on the sidelines, telling me “You can do it, you’ve got this! Only 6 more miles to go!” or “Good job, Misty, you’re looking FAST!”
I wanted to slap them silly until they cried, so they could feel what I was feeling. But that was just the exhaustion talking.
I couldn’t have made it through those last six miles without all those kind strangers cheering my name, holding up their silly signs that made me laugh through my pain. One of my favorites was, “You’re all Kenyans!” If only I really could run a 2:30 marathon…
But there was one particular person who really helped me pull it together through the toughest, final miles–my co-worker and friend, Cass.
Cass waited for me around mile 20 or 21 and ran with me to the finish line. She talked to me along the way and kept me half sane. She even carried my Lara Bars so I wouldn’t have to. When we got to mile 26 they made her exit the course, and I had to cross the finish line on my own. She continued to run alongside the course, through crowds of people and jumped over a (small) dog, until I ‘victoriously’ crossed the finish line! I couldn’t find her after the race so she ended up having to walk all the way home across town by herself.
I had been training for this marathon for the better part of a year, and she knew how important it was to me. She even listened to me blab endlessly the past year, day in and day out, about all things running. It was incredible to have that kind of support!
To thank her, I told her I would feed her something delicious. I opted for cheesy chicken enchiladas, a true comfort food, and in my opinion, a great way to say “thank you.”
(Gotta also give major credit to my other half! He put up with my early Saturday morning training runs. He sat patiently at home waiting for me to get back from the gym in the evenings. He too, listened to me blab endlessly day in and day out about all things running, complaining about my sore legs and black toenails. He stood in the rain all day to cheer me on from the sidelines, and he waited in line for an hour at Voo Doo Donuts to bring me treats and hot tea at the finish line. He sure knows me, and I’m so lucky!)
I called this recipe Lazy Bum’s Chicken Enchiladas because the day after the marathon I wasn’t feeling very mobile. And still am not. So I took some shortcuts to make it a little easier, but the dish is still amazing.
1 package corn or flour tortillas, medium sized (I used tortillas made from corn AND flour. If you want this to be a healthier recipe, use whole wheat tortillas. I only used about 6 tortillas for this recipe.)
1 cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded (Should be available at your local grocer. These are already seasoned and oh-so-juicy. You’ll only need about half of the chicken.)
1 12 oz bag shredded Mexican-style cheese
1 12 oz container light sour cream
1-2 large cans enchilada sauce (I used the entire 20 oz bottle of enchilada sauce from Trader Joe’s, but more wouldn’t hurt if you like them saucy)
1 small can roasted green chilis
1/2 of a large onion
1/2 to 1 tsp chili powder
1/2 to 1 tsp ancho chili powder (optional)
1/2 to 1 tsp ground cumin
a little bit of cooking oil (I used canola)
Shred half of the rotisserie chicken (I just use a fork and knife) and put into a bowl. Finely chop onion and jalapeno. Saute in oil until soft.
Add jalapeno and onion to chicken in bowl. Add chili powders, cumin, 1/2 can of roasted chilis, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce. Mix well.
In another bowl, mix about 1 cup enchilada sauce with 1/3 cup sour cream.
Microwave tortillas for 1 minute until they soften (they shouldn’t crack or break when you roll enchiladas). Dip each side of tortilla in the enchilada sauce/sour cream mixture so there’s just a thin layer of sauce. Add a small amount of the chicken mixture to one side of the tortilla, add cheese and roll. I like to roll the enchiladas right in the baking dish I plan on cooking them in so a mess isn’t created when trying to move them one place to another. If you roll them in the baking dish, the mess stays there, which is fine because it’s all going to bake together anyway.
Line enchiladas in a baking dish so they are touching. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, and top with more cheese. I like to be liberal with the cheese. Even if I can’t eat cheese…I live vicariously through others by feeding them cheese…
Bake enchiladas on 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil until cheese on top starts to bubble, about 2-3 minutes. Top enchiladas with the remaining roasted chilis. Serve with sour cream and a black bean and corn salad, recipe to come in my next blog…