Weekend of Running and Food

This weekend flew by, but it went really really well so it wasn’t such a bad thing. It was a very intense weekend for my running and my body, yet I feel so rested. I guess I’m doing a great thing and keeping well in my life…achieving wellness and all that. With happy food and great running, I’m not surprised I feel so good after this weekend!

For starters, my running has been coming along quite nicely. Since I got the nod from Betsy’s Best Bar None! that they’ll sponsor the Foot Traffic Holiday 5k here in Portland (I decided I didn’t have enough time to properly train for a desired finish at the half marathon distance), I’ve been putting in the necessary training to get and improve the speed in my legs after what was about 3 weeks of running as if I was going into my downtime of running; I was maybe getting out every other day and the mileage and pacing wasn’t really a concern to me. But on Friday I got to see that 3 weeks of focused training has been paying off. I ran 400 and 200 repeats on Duniway Track near downtown Portland and ran splits that I haven’t seen in years. Long-distance training takes the speed out of your legs so I’ve never had to worry too much about my 400m time, but that changes when running the 5k distance. Knowing that my speed is improving is a huge motivator and confidence booster heading into the final week before the race.

Betsy’s Best has been a great partner. They’re really wonderful people at B3N!

Saturday’s run was a slower 11 miles. I wanted to stay at a moderate pace that I can run for a very long time. They say you should run slow to run fast. They also say you should run faster for a longer distance to run fast at the shorter distance, so I’ve been mixing the two philosophies into my training. Also…I ran with headphones in which I never do anymore, but was feeling some mellow music to help with my slower pace.

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The view from near Pittock Mansion in Portland is stunning, but difficult to capture with an iPhone camera on a very cloudy and wet day. The hill on the right is just one of many on this route I ran. I had to do a couple repeat climbs and descents on each one. The burn from the constant climbing felt oh so good!

And today’s (Sunday) tempo run was switched with a run that I can ownly describe as, “Run a very quick training pace for 4 miles to build up the lactic acid and then fight through that lactic acid for the remaining 4 miles.” I guess that’s kind of like a lactate threshold run, but not exactly. Similar purpose though. The idea was, as explained, to simulate the lactate acid build-up that will occur in the 5k, but to get my body and mind used to fighting through the burning sensation until I cross that finish line. If you are used to stopping when the pain starts to set in or if you don’t run long or fast enough to where that sensation starts to occur, just imagine the PR (personal record/best) you can set if you did include some  workouts that lead to this feeling into your training!

So that was the running…This weekend was also a good one for food.

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I decided to make oat bars Saturday morning. I didn’t run my long run in the morning and instead used these oat bars to fuel me for an afternoon run. They digested so well and were so delicious. Val agreed so I’ve included the recipe at the end of this post.

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When you are prepping acorn squash for the oven and a heart appears, you know they’re going to be good…and you know you have to snap a pic!

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Chia seed pudding!!! Superfood is right. Chia seeds are one of the best ways to get protein for all persons, but especially as a plant-based/vegan eater. Just 3 tablespoons of chia seeds is already 7 grams of protein. Plus,  chia seeds are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.

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When the Portland Timbers are playing in the MLS Cup final and you get an invite from friends you haven’t seen in months, you bring a dish. But you don’t bring just any dish. You bring a dish with food on it. I just laughed at that one…womp womp. No, but really. We got a text invite to head over to friends and watch the Timbers play and I knew it was about time to make the chocolate poundcake I’ve been wanting to make. This wasn’t from scratch so I won’t post the recipe, but it was dairy-free, gluten free, soy free, and tasty-full, so I’m sharing with you. Well, I’m sharing the pics. If I could share the cake I would but Val and I did quite a number on it by ourselves! Yep. We love our desserts.

Well that’s all folks! How was your weekend? What are your fitness goals and how are you coming along in reaching or maintaining them?  I’d love to hear what you are all up to!

Happy Running!

Pumpkin & Chickpea Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

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1 cup rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup pumpkin purée
3/4 cup chickpeas
1 1/2 tablespoon mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life Foods)
1/2 tablespoon fig jam
1 Teaspoon of chia seeds
1 Teaspoon of maple syrup
Splash of cashew milk


Blend everything but the oats and chocolate chips. Pour (or spoon out) the mixture into the bowl of oats and chocolate chips. Mix together and form into oat bar forms or oat balls. Bake* at 375 for about 12 minutes then let cool for a couple minutes and enjoy.

*You could also totally eat these raw. Nix the baking and let them sit in the fridge to keep their form and enjoy at least after an hour (probably) has passed.

Chia Seed Pudding

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Chia seeds & nondairy milk (I used cashew this time around)

Pour chia seeds in a bowl. Pour nondairy milk so that milk is just a bit over the chia seeds. Let soak for a few hours or overnight. Thoroughly enjoy when chia seeds have become soaked and gelatinous. 

Top with banana slices, cinnamon, cacao nibs, berries, or whatever else you think would make this super healthy and delicious food an even healthier and delicious food!

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