If you run, you need good fuel to help you burn through those miles. After all, you can’t run a car on crude oil, right? Why would you fill your body up with junk if you’re trying to train for a marathon? One of my go-to snacks during training season is mixed granola (i.e. granola with lots of nuts and berries). I need lots of carbs, but I like the protein and the sweetness from the dried fruit – it’s a great, balanced snack. I’m an avid fan of the pro-green site Grist, and came across a granola recipe in an article about five packaged foods you never need to buy again. I’ve made a few modifications to the original recipe, my details are as follows:
- 2 1/2 cups steel cut oats (Bob’s Red Mill steel cut oats are my primary source)
- 1/3 cup 100% maple syrup
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2/3 cup sliced almonds
- 2/3 cup crushed walnuts
- 2/3 cup crushed pecans
- 2/3 cup dried berries (I like to use original Craisins)
- 2 tablespoons crystalized ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinammon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 325 Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl, mix syrup, tahini, butter, salt, dried ginger and cinnamon until incorporated. In a large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients until well-distributed.
- Drizzle the syrup-tahini mixture overtop, stirring with a fork until all dry bits are at least slightly wet and clumps have started to form.
- Spread granola on a large rimmed baking sheet in a thin layer and bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from oven, stir with a fork to move pieces from edge to center and from top to bottom. Make sure pieces that have started to brown are in the center and well-surrounded.
- Return to oven and bake 10-12 more minutes, until golden brown throughout. Granola will not be crunchy when it leaves the oven; don’t worry — it’ll crisp up as it cools. Once cool, transfer to air-tight container; granola will keep this way for up to 1 month.
Thanks to Rivka Friedman for originally posting this at the Jewish Daily Forward. It took me a little while to draft this post since I was busy eating my latest batch of granola while punching this out…
Whew. 6 months. It’s been six months six a blog post! I haven’t completely abandoned running. I’ve just been… underground? I tend to take some time off from running/blogging/fundraising/etc. once I’ve tackled a big race. I need mental and physical time to recuperate. I also tend to take a few months before deciding on my next race.
This year was a no-brainer: Ann Arbor is hosting is first marathon on June 17th. I’ve been tearing around the hills of A2 to get ready. Normally I keep tabs on my progress with my Garmin 305, but it’s been collecting dust in my desk since the Chicago race last fall. Why, you might ask? I took some time to reflect on what I enjoy the best about running. I do like the endorphins, the bragging rights and staying in shape. More than those three things, I enjoy being outside tearing up the miles with my dogs. I don’t need a sports watch ticking out my splits to tell me this.
Right now, all of my training is focused on doing anything from sprints to 20 milers with my super dogs. The red mutt below? He’s done up to 17 consecutive miles with me, probably at a 7:30 min/mile pace or faster. Not too shabby for a cocker spaniel mix.
Anyway, these pups help me tear it up on my running. Tonight was an interesting run with the red dog (Bueller, named after Ferris Bueller). Why was a it a good / better / best situation?
The good: I downed a whole box of mac ‘n cheese right before a set of 10 x 800 m splits. I didn’t even barf. My intervals went quite well, actually.
The better: It’s normal to swallow bugs on a run – gnats, mosquitos, small beetles, etc. Normally I spit them out or I get extra protein. Tonight? I almost swallowed a FULL SIZE MILLER MOTH! Or something that seemed equivalent in size. This thing rocketed into my gullet, wings and all. Thankfully I coughed it out before it did something serious, such as lodge itself in my throat. Really gross though. Again, I didn’t even vomit! Score.
The best: Bueller can be fairly animated when we run together. He likes to look back at me for affirmation (even when we’re sprinting). This made me laugh tonight – so much that I tripped, dropped his leash, and he went sprinting after a crane hanging out at the edge of the Huron River. Thankfully he’s a good listener, so I was able to get him to stop before we had a wildlife incident on our hands.
That’s where I’m at. Two months until the A2 race (June 17th). I’ll have some posts soon regarding the final tally on my fundraising efforts from last fall, upcoming events with Michigan’s Project Healthy Schools and more. Stay tuned.
Chicago is done! Conquered! Finished! Honestly friends, if you ever need a big race to run, this one is a blast. The crowd support is amazing and it takes you through a ton of interesting parts of the city. I still didn’t crack that magic 3:10:00 mark, but the race was a ton of fun (I also came in as runner #1644, making me in the top 3% of today’s competitors!) It seems weird that a year ago my big marathon was in a redwood forest, and this year it was with 45,000 other runners in one of the biggest cities in the world!
Anyway, a huge highlight of this race was also a bit unexpected. I was able to meet Scott Jurek yesterday, one of the main runners featured in a 2009 novel called Born to Run. The novel is about a tribe of super-athletes in the Copper Canyon of Mexico. The Tarahumara indians are renowned for their insane endurance athletics, regularly running fifty to a hundred miles (or more!) in very rugged terrain. The novel follows Scott’s trip to the canyon to do a fifty mile race with these people.
Scott’s an animal with distance running to say the least. He’s won multiple hundred mile races, the Spartathalon and a two-time champ of the Badwater 135 mile race in Death Valley. He also currently holds the USA record for the most miles run in twenty-four hours (165.7 miles! What a beast). Anyway, my inner fanboy came out yesterday at the Expo so I stood in line for a good hour to meet him. He’s a really nice, humble guy who’s a vegetarian that runs all over Boulder, CO.
The Chicago marathon was a great experience – if you need a recommendation for a big race, give this one a try!