Another week of runs. I’d say it was boring and nothing exciting – and that’s true. But I still got out every day and kept up my streak! Some days were harder than others — especially on the days that I had stayed up super late working — but most days I was able to get up, go for a run, and be home before anyone in the house was awake and it was great to be outside.
I did it! I broke 40 miles in one week. For me, this was a big deal. My highest mileage week this year was around 39, and even when I trained for the Cleveland Marathon, my highest mileage week for training was just 40. But this week, thanks to some solo and stroller runs, and some days of more than one run in a day, I was able to get to my all-time high of 43.2 miles! And, I’m still streaking – I’m at 44 days of running in a row.
For those of you that have been reading ICTW for a long time, you’ll be thinking, hey this isn’t the first time you’ve made granola before. And you know what – you’re right! I’ve been making granola for years. I grew up with my mom making a batch of granola nearly weekly (thanks to my brother’s obsession, which he passed along to me) and when I moved out of the house I missed it a ton. The store bought granola, while yummy, just didn’t cut it. So, every so often, I get on a granola kick and have to make a big batch for myself.
Luckily for me, my kids are loving granola these days as well. So, now I have someone to share it with!
This is another one of my mom’s recipes that she has been making for a while. I shared another one of her granola recipes here, but these days, the recipe below is what I’ve been craving.
Easy Homemade Granola
Here’s what you need:
- 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats, or organic oats
- 2 cups slivered almonds
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened (Note, if you can’t find and need to use sweetened, it’s okay, I’ve been there)
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup avocado oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (I’ve also used honey)
- Optional: 2 cups dried fruit (I love dried cherries and blueberries)
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl – oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon and brown sugar.
- In a small bowl, combine avocado oil and maple syrup. Once mixed, pour over dry ingredients. Mix well so it’s evenly distributed.
- Pour out mixture onto a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, checking and stirring at about halfway through.
- Now the hardest part — let cool and enjoy! I add in the optional dried fruit AFTER baking, so the fruit does’t also dry out any more.
Suggestions – if you’d prefer not to just eat granola right out of the jar, you can also serve over yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal or on top of your favorite smoothie bowl!
Questions for you:
- What’s your go-to breakfast?
- What’s your favorite type of granola?
Where. Did. May. Go?
But seriously, how is it practically June?
May flew by and included lots of running, but it looked a little different than usual. No Cleveland Marathon. No local 5Ks. No races at all.
But still plenty of miles! Here’s what it looked like:
My baby girl is two.
Born on her due date, coming into the world just a few minutes after we got to the hospital and before we even had a chance to officially check in, she has somehow grown into a sassy, opinionated, moody 2-year-old.
I won’t do a sappy post right now – there are too many emotions going on in my head right now anyway (#thankscovid), but instead, a simple post about how we celebrated the birthday.
Another week of some early morning running with nothing to train for is under my belt. And, while some days I feel like I’m getting faster (but not nearly as fast as I was earlier in the year), some mornings my legs are like lead and my feet hurt, and I can barely run at all. So, even though each day doesn’t feel great, I’m happy to have gotten to another mileage high for the year – 38 miles total for the week.
Under normal circumstances, this post would’ve included a recap of my 2020 Cleveland Marathon experience. The taperingish the week of, followed by running the Challenge Series on Saturday and Sunday.
But as we all know, things aren’t really normal right now. Races are cancelled. So this week, instead of running Cleveland, I had an ordinary running-by-myself week. Here’s what it looked like:
I’ve been doing a lot more baking (and running) during this time. It’s not that I have more free time – like many others working from home with kids, my free time seems to be less than ever … but on the weekends, I take a break from work and enjoy baking. I don’t feel guilty if my kids don’t want to join me (though sometimes they do), because I’m with them all week. So instead, I enjoy baking something and we all enjoy it Sunday evening for dinner.
A few weeks ago, a coworker of mine shared that she had some extra masks from a friend who had made them. We have yet to get any cloth masks, and she offered to share some with me. She loves anything chocolate, so to thank her, I baked some of these cookies to share with her. If you like chocolate, and slightly salted chocolate, I highly recommend you try these out. They’re easy, don’t require and dough sitting, and require one bowl to make. And, if you make them the size I do, they’re small and you can easily enjoy more than one at a time.
Bite-Size Sea Salt Chocolate Fudge Cookies
Here’s what you need:
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt + pinch of sea salt for topping
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
- In a large bowl, melt the butter in the microwave (you can also melt the butter over the stove top, being careful to not let it burn).
- Add in the cocoa powder, sugar, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla. Mix well.
- Gradually add the flour, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix until just combined and the dough has formed — do not overmix.
- Scoop out the dough, and make rounded tablespoon-full size balls (for larger than bite-size, you may want to do about 2 TBs of dough) Press them down slightly (they don’t really spread, so this will be how they look), and add 3-5 chocolate chips on each dough ball. Sprinkle sea salt on top of each cookie.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will be soft and may look undercooked when they come out of the oven, but you don’t want to overcook them. Cool on a cooling rack and then enjoy.
- Makes about 2 dozen bite-size cookies.
Put them in a tupperware and share them with a friend! Or just eat them yourself.
Some questions for you:
- Are you a salted chocolate fan?
- Do you have masks? What kind?
Well, it’s only taken 8 weeks, but I’m finally in a groove and feeling good about running. After taking a week off and having the flu, I had a rough time getting back at it, with having a hard time breathing and catching my breath. But I’ve been running with no chest pain for several weeks now. And, this week, I got in my first few runs with an under 10-minute/mile pace, which normally is a piece of cake, but since March has been impossible. I know I’ve said this before, but while the whole world is turning upside down, and I have no control over what happens, I am so so so grateful to have running. Especially right now.
After several weeks of not feeling that great running, I finally had a good, pain-free, feeling good week. I’m still about a minute/mile slower than I was last year around this time, but it has been great to be able to go out and get in miles without any chest pain or much pain anywhere else. Even after finishing the Cleveland Marathon virtual challenges series (virtual half marathon and 5k) last week, I felt good enough to get in 37 miles total this week, which is one of my highest weekly mileages is 2020.