Next Up: A Vacacation Run

Standard

Although I definitely have the “travel bug”, Vancouver has always been my home base.  I grew up running on vacation in order to stay “soccer fit” but once my soccer days have subsided I started running for enjoyment, and some of my all time favourite runs have been on vacation.  I’ve realized that I’ve gotten to see some of the best places on all of my travel adventures by taking early morning runs.   From running I’ve found hidden alleys, and secret beach pathways that I would have never otherwise known existed.  I sheepishly admit that in retrospect not all of these little adventures have been my smartest or safest decisions (sorry mom!) but I definitely don’t regret them.

Highlights include morning runs along the Maui coastline finishing up at Kona coffee company (I hope to someday run the half or even full Maui marathon), through the twisted streets of San Paolo Brazil and olive orchards in Tuscany, Kensington Park and all about London, along the dusty highway in Cuba, through the morning market in El Salvador, as well as beaches in Mexico, Costa Rica, Tofino, all along the California coastline including Laguna Beach, Seattle and the city streets of Toronto and New York, just to name a few.

I’m pumped to have just registered for the Xterra Harvest 10K Trail Race held at St. Edward State Park in Seattle Washington on Oct. 12th.  This will be my very first trail race and I’ll be looking forward to having the more experienced trail racer, and part human part golden retriever, Elliott there to show me to ropes.  I figure that my eyes have already started training for this race by swallowing a multitude of fly’s and bugs on my past several runs.  Having your eyes spit out bugs several hours after a run is always exciting and very disgusting.  We’ve opted for the 10K version of this race after looking at the route and realizing that the 10K was a single loop of the park trails while the Half Marathon was 2 laps of the same route.  Personally I the running in circles and running the same course twice has zero appeal to me.  So the 10K, single lap it is.

We’re both excited for this run and we are joining it onto a pre-existing vacation to go down to Seattle to watch the Huskies vs. Oregon Ducks football game on Saturday and the Seahawks vs. Titans game on Sunday.  What a better way to kick off the Thanksgiving weekend then go for a trail run before tailgating and football watching.

Next Race: XTERRA Harvest Trail Race 10K

October 12th, 2013

St. Edward State Park, Seattle Washington

http://www.nwtrailruns.com/content/xterra-harvest-half-marathon-10k

Watching Football Works Up An Appetite

Standard

Watching Football Works Up An Appetite

After an afternoon filled with watching football I sure have worked up an appetite today.  Time for some rainy day baking.  On the menu today: Get up and Go muffins.

IMG_2270

These muffins were a new made up recipe trial and a success!  After getting a new mandolin yesterday I was more than enthusiastic to get the chance to use it.  I was inspired by a Whole Foods new HSH (Health Starts Here) muffin that features sweet potato instead of any oil and lowers the added sugar content in the muffin as well.  The sweet potatoes add a natural sweetness to the muffins and their rich moisture content moistens the final product while adding just enough gluten formation to make them light and fluffy.

Having never made carrot and zuchinni in my baking I decided today was the day to give it a shot and go totally healthy on the muffins.

Now the trick was going to be to add enough sweetness to balance the vegetables out and make sure the muffins still tasted like muffins and not a dinner veggie lasagna.  Chocolate chips and a bit of brown sugar should do the trick!
Recipe:

Set the Oven to 400 degrees and bake the sweet potato (whole with the skin on) in a large glass baking dish 30 minutes or until soft.  Bake until you are able to easily stick a fork through the sweet potato.  Then take the sweet potato out of the oven and remove the skin. Smash the sweet potato with a fork and put it in a small bowl in the fridge to cool.

Turn the Oven DOWN to 350 degrees.

In Bowl 1 (the larger bowl) mix and stir:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar lightly packed

Prep the carrot and zucchini.  Do this by either using a shredder or mandolin to slice and shred the carrot and zucchini until you have 1 cup of each shredded zucchini and carrot.  Set aside.

In Bowl 2 add the following ingredients and whisk with a fork until frothy.

  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites lightly beaten
  • 1- 1/4 cups skim — start with 1 cup and then you will see if you need to add more to get the right consistency for your muffin batter
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/3 cup sweet potato (that was cooling in the fridge)

Add the wet ingredients (Bowl 2) to the flour mixture (Bowl 1) mix gently and with a rubber spatula. Make sure you scoop all the way to the bottom of the bowl the get all the dry ingredients mixed in.

Let batter sit for 5 minutes but no longer. Stir once and gently.

Put batter into greased and floured (or use baking spray with flour already in it OR paper liners).  Fill the muffin tins ¾ of the way full.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes without opening the oven door. When lightly browned on top, take out and test with a wooden skewer; there should be dry crumbs on the skewer when ready. Keep in pan for 5 minutes, remove muffins and let cool on a wire rack.

The result should be healthy, moist but light muffins that can be breakfast or an after dinner snack. Enjoy!

IMG_2267 IMG_2268 IMG_2269 IMG_2272

September Sunsets

Standard

 

What can I say, these past few September days in Van have been a runner’s paradise.  As a “fair-weather” athlete the days and weeks following Labour Day signals the end of the regularly dry summer outdoor activity season and evenings of long light.  These are instead replaced by darkness both before and after work hours and looking out at a wet window during time spent in the office.  None too appealing or motivating for those of us who prefer to spend time dry and out of the rain.  As I’ve previously mentioned, after spending years playing soccer in all types of weather (rain, showers, sleet, and snow) I now prefer to only go and exercise in the rain when I really feel up to it, otherwise I creatively hide out in my boxing gym, playing ball hockey or in the weight room gym.

This past week has been different from the usual Vancouver September though. It’s as though summer is taking a stand and this year saying “No I will not be banished by shorter day and longer nights, I will stay and keep you warm now go enjoy my warmth!” So I have just had to listen!  Monday I ran into more friends on my short little run then I had seen out running all summer.  The best part was that they were friends who don’t even run (usually at least). There were people jogging along the beach with jean shorts and a tank top, people with dogs and even some guys who were using jogging as a pick up tactic to try to meet us girls who like to run.

Note to these men: If you can’t even keep up our jogging pace, we are not interested and don’t particularly want to slow down to talk to you.  Headphones in + alone = universal symbol for not interested in talking because we are choosing to be alone.

Last night my old roomie and avid runner herself was staying with me and after I somewhat lured her into a sunset bridge run she dragged me up the hill to do some hill sprints.  Hill sprints are definitely my nemesis, while for her (an ex rower and power athlete) they are her bread and butter.  I’ve got say, as much as I hate doing them I feel very accomplished after.

Tomorrow another run with another Di! The double Di’s are starting to run together once a week and I can’t wait!

I’ve taken to hunting down the sunsets and recently realized that I should be taking pictures so here are a few of my faves from the recent days.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage