I've been toying around with recovery foods post-long run and I found my favorite. Garden Of Life Raw Protein Powder is a plant based powder made from sprouted grain protein. I try to stay away from soy protein isolate and other powders full of preservatives and other weird stuff I can't pronounce. This particular powder has a lower protein content than other powders but I'd rather be safe with what I'm eating. And it tastes fantastic - no chalky after taste and it's not overtly sweet. The only thing is that it's a bank breaker, but luckily Whole Foods had them on huge markdown, probably because no one bought them at their original price. To make the shake I add a few simple ingredients to the blender and make a smoothie that my whole family is addicted to at the moment.
Here's what you'll need:
1 scoop Garden of Life RAW protein powder
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 heaping spoonful of peanut butter
1 cup almond milk
Our neighbors have a Vitamix and I'm lucky to be able to borrow it. It's my favorite kitchen appliance at the moment. Did you know the Vitamix can heat soup? Too bad it's a $600 endeavor...
Cut the banana up and throw it in the blender with the peanut butter, agave nectar, protein powder and a handful of ice cubes. Top everything off with the almond milk and then give it a good spin. Sometimes I add yogurt to the mix which makes for a creamier snack.
I noticed that Pam Smith has a recovery drink after every run, no matter the distance. I haven't delved into the science behind that one in terms of what nutritional makeup is the best, but there are about a million ideas out there from Gatorade to coconut water. In the end I think it's about choosing what works best for you. Garden of Life protein powder sits well and tastes good, but if you're looking for something hearty than this might not be right for you. Either way, Pam's article was a good cue to me that I need to refuel right after my run and not wait an hour. I also need to refuel well. Pam Smith is on the anal side of training plans and the article gave me a little bit of a headache when I got to the air squats section, but she is clearly an inspirational runner that has something to offer to every athlete out there.
I should have taken the advice given to me and gone to this trail on a weekday rather than a Saturday morning. Our thinking was that the same Saturday we ran this trail the Seattle Rock n' Roll marathon was happening, which would ideally weed out some of the fitness crazed people drawn to the I-90 corridor. We also decided if we got there before 8AM the trail would have a lower density. The way up was perfect with few people on the trail. The way down was a parking lot and I ended up rolling my ankle a couple times. I also pancaked a woman onto a Douglas Fir who had headphones on and was completely aloof from all surroundings. I have strong feelings about hikers wearing headphones on a trail with heavy traffic - for everyone's safety, it shouldn't be allowed. I can't even imagine what this trail looked like late morning.
Mt. Si, like any trail, is used mainly by hikers. I saw a couple trail runners coming down, but all other hikers gave me a crooked look like I was crazy. Aside from crowds, this trail is a steady climb of ~3,500 ft in four miles. It's short but it offers steady uphill which was my only interest in the trail. Beyond the rock field on top lies Haystack Scramble which isn't run-able but if you feel like stumbling on unstable jello legs it offers a nice view. The trail is well groomed and it would be impossible to get lost with the all the markings at forks. I didn't stop to read the intersection signs but I imagine there are some sweet connector trails.
This was my first time running with a pack. I borrowed my dad's Camelback Hydration Vest and I was pleasantly surprised. I've tried handheld bottles in the past and ended up with an arm cramp and lapped breathing 10 feet later so I've always been a completely aid-free runner. Once I started doing longer trail runs over three hours it was obvious the extra aid is essential. On the road it's easy to set street-side gatorade out ahead of time or plan routes by water fountains, but good luck finding those amenities on the trails. I'm glad I found what works for me in longer unsupported races; I'll definitely be wearing a pack for Angel's Staircase.
The run was on the shorter side for Justin and I. We planned to continue on to neighboring trails but stopped short. We felt out of rhythm from dodging so many hikers downhill and assumed the other trails were just as packed. Taking note for future runs...
A few forest friends on the trail...
Mount Si: Exit 32 off I-90
Distance: 8 miles
Elevation Gain: ~3,500 ft
My husband and I are outdoor travel junkies who like to spend our free time experiencing nature and new cultures. On Sweet World Travels you will find stories of our adventures, our lives as health care practitioners, and the communities we serve in our travels.