A Happy Accident

The other day I was making two things at once. I was putting ingredients for bread in my bread machine, and I was making peanut butter energy balls in another bowl. I measured a fourth cup of oil for the bread, and dumped it in the peanut butter balls bowl! The peanut butter balls are 1 c peanut butter, 1 c. oatmeal, 1/4 c. honey, and a handful of chocolate chips. I had doubled the recipe. And then I dumped in oil!

I didn’t really want to trash that much peanut butter and oatmeal, so I decided to add a couple of eggs and a bit of gluten-free flour, and I baked them as cookies. They weren’t bad! They were a little crumbly, so last weekend I did the same thing, only I left out the oil and flour. They were a better texture. They aren’t sweet like a cookie. They are more like a granola bar. They are also less messy to eat than the peanut butter balls, and just as healthy. (note: By “healthy” I don’t mean diet food. These have a lot of calories. But, usually when I eat them, I’m looking for a lot of calories because I’m about to run, trying to have a little snack before dinner, etc. They also aren’t healthy like a fruit or a vegetable. But, better than a processed granola bar or Power bar.)

The recipe:

1 c. peanut butter
1 c. oatmeal
1/4 c. honey
1 egg
handful choc. chips

I baked them at 350 for 13 minutes.

Have you ever had any happy kitchen accidents?

New Goals

I have a new goal and it’s pretty simple. It’s to run 5 days a week for at least 40 minutes each time. Or maybe an average of 40 minutes each time…I have to consult my coach (husband).

I asked him to write a training plan for me, and his response was that all I have to do is be more consistent. What what? I run between two and three days a week. Pretty consistently. LOL! He said I should run at least 40 minutes 5 times a week. He also said if things get busy, 4 days is okay, but I need a really good reason to skip that night. Luckily I’m super creative with really good reasons.

So Monday I didn’t run because I ran trails Saturday and Sunday and I was sore (see I told you I can make good excuses).

Tuesday I ran with my friend Myra. We ran 4 miles in 39:45, but we got scared by a freaky kid so that counts as the missing 15 seconds. Kids on the street should NOT growl at runners. If I’d been alone I would’ve died.

Wednesday I took off because I worked until 5, Evan had horse lessons at night from 7-8, and also I’m very good at excuses.

Tonight I ran 40:50 on the treadmill. I was feeling super lazy, so I put the treadmill on speed “old lady” and jogged along to a t.v. show. I made it 4 miles.

I should be able to run the next three days with no problem. I’m hoping to hit the trails Saturday and Sunday again. I think it will be fun to run for time and not distance. Although, as you can tell from my last two runs, hitting exact miles has still happened. I just couldn’t stop at 3.9 tonight when the treadmill hit 40:00. And Myra always likes to hit exact miles too so we did that Tuesday night.

I am also going to run a longer run (60 min+) on either Saturday or Sunday.

Have you ever followed a training plan for distance and not time? Are you able to stop at mileage like 3.9 or 3.75?

In other news, guess what, Campbell made the swim team! She’s so excited. Tomorrow is her first day of practice. She’s so cute in her little suit, goggles, & cap, I just die. Here she is after she found out she made it.

I’m sure it will be awhile before her first meet, given that she can’t exactly come close to the front crawl yet, but it’s going to be soooo cute! I can’t wait!

Scenes from Trail Runs

My goal for myself this year is to run trails at least once a week. Trail running is just so good…I think it should be a part of every runner’s weekly routine. You can learn more about the physical benefits of trail running here, here, and here. Most elite road runners do a fair amount of training on trails and those articles explain why.

The mental benefits are just as great, if not greater, than the physical ones. I never get bored on trail runs. Scared, yes. Tired, yes. But bored? No. I ran six miles tonight by myself and they ticked off so quickly. On the roads, those six miles would’ve been a lot harder to talk myself into and to finish.

I am so lucky to live just a few miles from a great network of trails. They are actually mostly horse trails, but the horses haven’t minded sharing with me so far. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually seen horses. Once I saw two mules with huge bells on their necks. That was hard to figure out until they came into my line of sight. On the topic of horses–remember, horses have the right-of-way on trails! I always step aside, stop, and let them walk by me so the horses don’t spook. Something about a person running through the woods can be scary to horses, who seem to forget that a very similar person is also ON THEIR BACK.

Anyhow. I ran trails the last two days, and I have to say, those are the best two runs I’ve had in ages. Just me and nature and way too many animals. But once I got over the “Dear sweet Jesus save me!” moment, I enjoyed seeing several turkey, deer, raccoon, squirrels, birds, and a few unnamed rustles in the low-lying shrubs. Here are a few pictures I took along the way.

There is a raccoon in there. Do you see it?

I thought this huge mushroom was a softball at first. Then a water balloon. I took this yesterday. So big and so weird!

The trails are in perfect shape right now. Dry without being dusty, clear while still being wild.

One of my favorite spots. The silt basin at the back of the park. I don’t even know what a silt basin is or does. I tried Googling it and now I’m more confused. All I learned is that it can be a part of a construction site or a pond and that it is more commonly called a “sediment basin”. Let’s stick with “pretty smaller lake” for now, okay?

Those pictures were all from yesterday. Tonight, I ran right at sunset. The bad thing about sunset is the animals are crazy active and I about had a heart attack 5 or 50 times. The good thing is the setting sun hitting my favorite grove of pine trees was so cool!

You really should’ve been there. In other news, this is exactly how I sleep, how about you?

I hope you were able to enjoy the weather this weekend where you live! It’s about perfect here!