It will be exactly 10 months since I have raced when I toe the line next weekend for the Snohomish Women's Half Marathon. I was debilitated by Plantar Fasciitis last summer and spent a good season racing on injury. I paid for my stubbornness and sat out the following fall from a few races I was dying to run. I set myself up with the most conservative training plan to build back my strength, which was a serious testament of my patience. I had to remind myself how lucky I was to be running, and that not racing was better than not running. My foot injury was the first time I had ever sat out from an injury (a full two weeks! I'm dramatic, I know) and it initiated a major change in my lifestyle. I was working three jobs at the time to get Justin through school and thankfully he was at the tail end of his woodworking degree. Once I had more time to be motionless and relax during the week, my fitness came back. I also dedicated myself to a strength training program, which so far has been the best balance to my running.
At this point I have given myself months to build my mileage up to a consistent 60 mi/week. I slowly added in track and road workouts to my regime. I regularly run in the mountains with Justin which keeps me mentally strong on the uphills. At this point, I'm itching to put my training into play. I no longer have any excuses and next weekend will mark the beginning of my 2015 racing season. The Snohomish Half Marathon will serve as a tune up race for the Vancouver Marathon in June. I am absolutely stoked for what is ahead!
The Gorge 100k is approaching this weekend and as always, I will be crewing for Justin. I felt the nervous energy settle in the house last night as planning commenced. Justin made a record of different snacks I have made since December, noting what has worked the best during his long runs. GU has made his stomach go sideways at different times, so I am always on the hunt for alternatives I can whip up before he heads for the hills. I have posted a few of those recipes here, mostly because the pictures turned out well (confessions of a blogger...). These cookies are one of a handful of recipes I planned for this weekend. Trust me, there will be no food shortage on Saturday.
This recipe isn't necessarily pack-able because of the jam; these cookies are more of a hand-off and eat immediately or leave at the car until post-run, both of which are important moments to refuel. This weekend they will likely all be consumed in the car before we arrive in Oregon.
Coconut Cookies with Goji Jam
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup quinoa flour
1 stick butter, softened
2 bananas, mashed
5 tbs coconut nectar
3/4 cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Mash bananas and combine well with butter, apple sauce, coconut nectar and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine. Spoon golf sized balls onto a lined baking sheet. Make an indent in each ball with your thumb; re-shape if needed. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Once cooled, fill each indent with goji jam.
1/4 cup goji berries
6 oz strawberries
1 tsp arrowroot
1 tbs coconut nectar
1/4 tsp vanilla
Soak goji berries in hot water for 30 minutes. Discard water and blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Keep refrigerated for up to one week.
I will be back after the weekend to talk about my experience crewing - which I am always trying to perfect! I hope to shed helpful information and share our sure to be wild experience at the Gorge.
Less than a week and we'll be heading north to the small town of Bellingham! I haven't raced in a while so I haven't felt the need to collect my thoughts on weekend essentials but this weekend is different. I'm still not racing, but Justin is and we made some running plans outside of the race to make things feel like a vacation. We're planning to explore the Chuckanut trails, hit up the breweries and stop by the Jones Creek Apple Orchard on our way home. I can't remember the last time I had an entire weekend off so I'm pretty giddy about the upcoming run-cation. Here's what will be in tow:
1. Roll Recovery: Justin sent me the kickstarter link to Roll Recovery almost three years ago and we both became fixated on this product. It was $90 so we resisted the urge to splurge. We continued to search for a cheaper product online and only watched the price increase. In July we were in California for the La Sportiva Table Rock 30k and stopped by San Fransisco Running company. Low and behold there was a stack of Roll Recoveries on their shelf and we both made a bolt for the product. It was a whopping $120, so again, we resisted the urge. I'm not sure what finally inspired us to pull the trigger but a couple weekends ago I got online, added the R8 to my cart, winced while filling out my card info and bought the fricken thing. It is pure magic in every way.
2. Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea: Incredibly aromatic and caffeine free. I became hooked on Rose tea when we were traveling through Malaysia but it was always caffeinated. Now I can sip on this delicacy without getting a heart murmur. Herbal tea is also a good alternative to water for staying hydrated while traveling.
3. Gapfit Breathe long-sleeve Tee: When I don't feel like spending $50 dollars on a Nike shirt I turn to Gap. I discovered their fit line last summer and was surprised at how nice their clothing was for running. The biggest bonus is that their items always go on sale. Wait until the end of the season and reap the benefits!
4. PRO BAR Base Bar: I reach for one of these almost every afternoon when I'm working at the Balanced Athlete. I've mentioned previously that I'm not a fan of sugar loaded protein bars and this one is on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of sucrose. Protein packed and delicious flavors make for the perfect snack. Did I mention they have chia and flax seeds in them too?
5. East of Eden: This book is a beast. It was chosen for our next book club book and I plan to tackle as much as I can. What better way to spend time after a long run than elevating your feet and reading?
6. Scott T2 Kinabalu: I'm a huge fan of the rocker bottom on the Scott Kinabalus. They keep me mindful of my plantar and using a mid-foot strike. They are also more on the cushioned side for a running shoe, which I prefer. For a trail shoe they also don't have exaggerated lugs which bothers me on various other trail shoes (Speedcross, Peregrine, etc).
7. Foam Golf Balls: My car is basically a small therapy unit and these are the most portable thing I have on hand. They are softer than a golf ball which makes for gentle massage on my feet when my fascia is tender. They are also firm and don't lose their shape.
8. Hunter Boots: It's fall in the Pacific Northwest and I'm a spectator, which means I better be properly prepared for romping around in the grass with a pup in tow while Justin is racing. These boots are expensive and I can see people rolling their eyes. As a former field biologist I have worn MANY a boot in my life. I've gone through field seasons with XtraTuf, Sorel, and many unnamed cheap wellies from market stands in third world countries. This boot is worth every penny and I know it will last more than a field season since I'm not hiking through the Amazon on a daily basis. They are beyond comfortable and fit my foot like a glove while being lightweight.
I'll be back after next weekend to write about the Chuckanut trails and other adventures from the weekend!
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.