Justin is at the height of his Western States 100 training and when we saw that Yakima was 82F last Sunday we jumped in the car and B-lined it to the other side of the Cascades. We reached the east side just in time for a few hours of sunny miles in the canyon. The day ended with a thunder storm in the late afternoon, but it was better than the alternative in Seattle. Either way I think the heat is going to be a total shocker to Justin come race day.
We parked at Umtanum Creek Recreation Area, which is also where the Yakima Skyline Rim 50k starts. This particular race is known for its grueling climbs so it seemed perfect to pair elevation gain with exposed heat. I started out on the canyon trail while Justin went directly up to the ridge. The canyon trail was extremely overgrown to the point I had to wade through all the brush. The day previous I ran 20 miles at a moderate effort so this was a recovery day for me which is why I stuck mostly to the lowland. There were myriad trails from Untanum Creek, offering plenty of variety for anyone seeking adventure. The canyon trail is only 7 miles round trip, but it ends at a waterfall. It was a nice change to be in a dry desert-like landscape. In a month the wildflowers should be in full bloom so I hope to make it back!
Umtanum Creek Canyon: State Route 821, mile post 17
Distance: Variable, 7 miles round trip in the canyon
Elevation Gain: Variable
This race was like ripping off a band aid for me. It was my first race in 10 months (!) and who knows where all that time went. I feel like it was just yesterday when I was whining about my plantar fasciitis and had no doubt that I would never get better. I am so glad I was patient and took the time to rebuild strength and assure myself of an injury-free season this summer. I was stoked to kick off the season on Sunday!
I signed up for the Women's Snohomish Run because I have always been intrigued by an all women's race because it gives women the chance to have the spotlight. I also thought it would be fun to get an overall placing, which is usually trumped by men. It's always fun to mix things up and try something new so I was excited to spend the morning with other women who are excited to wake up and run!
I came in second over all with some horrible splits; apparently I lost the ability to pace during my 10 months of no racing. I was in total no-mans land the entire race which definitely contributed to my lack of motivation the second half. I kept looking behind my shoulder and couldn't see a single soul. I hate to say it, but it crossed my mind that being in a co-ed race is nice because there is always someone to run with. The course was also pretty boring; it was an out and back on a flat road that looked the same the whole way. Regardless, I felt relatively good and have recovered without any hiccups since Sunday. I didn't quite run what my fitness has suggested during workouts, so we will call this a learning experience. My next race is the Vancouver marathon in June so I am switching gears and jumping into things quickly!
Thanks to Snohomish Running Company and all the sponsors for putting on this race, I look forward to watching this event grow. Big thanks to Seattle Running Club and Brooks Running for supporting my endeavors. Feeling geared up for the big 26.2!
This recipe was the last thing I had time for, so I'm glad these truffles were quick to throw together. My graduate program started a couple weeks ago (an online portion) and I am already finding myself suffocating a little. I backed away from work to part time hours which has helped, but once things are full swing in the fall I have no plans to work while I am in school. Life balance is much too important to me and it is mandatory that I always have personal time every week.
I became intrigued by black sesame when I started to dive into Japanese cooking a couple years ago. At first I thought black sesame as a sweet flavor was off beat. My curiosity got the best of me and I finally gave it a stab, only to find that black sesame was surprisingly wonderful. I have loved experimenting with black sesame recipes from ice cream to shortbread and pudding. These truffles were nothing short of satisfying. They stay together well, especially after refrigerating them which makes them great trail food for long runs. I will be packing a few of these tomorrow for myself as fuel for the Women's Snohomish Run!
Black Sesame Truffles
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds
1/4 cup oats
1 Tbs chia seeds
1 Tbs cacao nibs
1 Tbs cocoa powder
1 Tbs black sesame seeds
1 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs vanilla
1 Tbs melted coconut oil
2 pitted dates
Place walnuts in a food processor and blend until finely ground. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until the mixture becomes a paste. Scoop out ~1.5 tablespoons at a time and form into a ball. I rolled the truffles in ground almonds, cocoa powder and shredded coconut, but plain is equally delicious. Enjoy immediately or store in fridge for one week in a sealed container.
I am an outdoor and travel junkie who is currently completing my doctorate in occupational therapy overseas in rural Fiji. On Sweet World Travels you will find stories of my life with my husband, the communities we serve, and the many adventures we take.