Rewarding a rowing PR with pizza

Yeah. Rewarded myself with food tonight, and it was… AWESOME!

First, as part of my promises to Coach while he’s away (and to myself), I did a 5K row on the Concept2 rower tonight. Last time I did it, also the first time I ever did a 5K distance, I was in Colorado, land of stingy-with-the-O2s. I did pretty well, with a starting time of 24:45.9.

2013-01-08 5K Row, 23:39.1

My new 5K row time.

This time, I did better! I knocked more than a minute off my benchmark.

Sure, I was in my regular gym, on my regular machine, with good Chicagoland levels of oxygen feeding into the room. But in just six weeks, I cut my time, raised my cadence, and managed my energy much better.

There were a couple points where I had to dig down and talk myself through it, including an out-loud admonition “C’mon, if you screw it up now, you’ll be ticked later.” And it worked. I pushed through, and even had a kick at the end.

Finding land was a bit of a trick, but a few laps around the track helped. And then, my only problem was that there wasn’t anybody there who would get the Big So What of it. So I texted my brother and my old trainer, HRH, and headed home for dinner.

On Sunday, during my weekly shopping trip, I’d picked up some huge portabello mushrooms and some ground Italian sausage. I wasn’t sure how they were going to come together, or if they would, but I gave it a shot, and I’m glad I did. After some baking, browning, and spooning, I ended up with some very tasty portabello pizzas. They’re ridiculously easy to make, and they come pre-sized to a perfect portion.

Portabello cap and sausage pizza

Who needs cornmeal crust?

You’ll need:

  • Portabello mushroom caps
  • Italian sausage, uncased
  • Red sauce of choice (I used an organic veggie marinara)
  • Basil and Italian seasoning blend
  • Garlic powder
  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Dust the mushrooms, removing the stems and gills.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with foil.
  4. Place the mushrooms, top-side-up, on the sheet and brush each with oil.
  5. Put the mushrooms in the oven, about 5 minutes or so.
  6. While the ‘shrooms are heating, start cooking the sausage on the stovetop.
  7. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and flip them over. Dust with garlic powder.
  8. Fill the mushroom shells with a layer of red sauce and top with the cooked sausage.
  9. Sprinkle basil and Italian seasoning over the top.
  10. Put the pizzas back into the oven to brown (about 5 minutes).
  11. Share and enjoy!

Till tomorrow,


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