My Workout

Moments of joy from today’s run:
Running through crunchy leaves
Negative splits
A good post run stretch
Hot turkey chili after a long chilly run

I think summer will always be my favorite time to run because the weather here in the Seattle is near perfect, and the the views are spectacular, but fall definitely has its appeal too. There is something about those crunchy leaves and the smell of firewood burning that just can’t help but bring a smile to my face.

Today’s run was a milestone due to being my longest run since my injury, and the longest run I will do before the Snohomish River Run in two weeks. I wasn’t sure how it would go, so my plan was to hold back for the first 2 – 3 miles, then pick up the pace with each mile, which is pretty much what happened, except for the last mile. I started having a little twinge in my hip on an uphill push and had to back off until it went away.

What this tells me is that I can probably handle about a 10:15 pace on race week, maybe a little faster given that its basically a completely flat course (except for one b-word of a hill right before the finish line – damn race organizers, I’m sure that hill will be slowing me down quite a bit). That means a 1 hour finish is within reach, so we will see…

As for today, the rest of the day is going to be about a hot bath, hot chocolate, Market Spice Tea, and finishing up my recipe for Peach Cranberry Pie. Which is awesome, by the way.

I ran with MapMyRun! Distance: 7.15mi, time: 01:14:41, pace: 10:27min/mi, speed: 5.74mi/h.
http://mapmyrun.com/workout/408091919

First Run of Fall

Right on cue, this was the first time since spring that I never had to take off my jacket (sad face).

On the other hand I did see this:

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Distance: 4.50mi, time: 47:44, pace: 10:37min/mi, speed: 5.65mi/h.

http://mapmyrun.com/workout/390790739

Welcome Fall!

I have to admit that the end of summer and the coming of the Fall season makes me feel a little melancholy, since living here in the Seattle area means that the rainy, cloudy season will soon be upon us. No more days at the beach with the kids, no more need for sunscreen when I run, and pretty soon we’ll have to turn on the heat. I’ll even have to keep my jacket on when I run.

But there are some bright spots – one is the tastes of Fall. When it comes to autumn flavors, the ones I like best come in the form of pumpkin and spice. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies and muffins – anything but that nasty Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. Seriously, that stuff is gross.

So to welcome Fall and keep looking on the bright side, I made pumpkin muffins today.

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My recipe is a slightly healthier variation on the recipe from the Libby’s website. You could healthy it up even more by substituting some applesauce for the oil but I never like how things turn out when you do that. So mine is a full fat, full sugar, slightly more fiber version.

Welcome Fall Pumpkin Muffins

Dry Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Wet Ingredients
4 eggs
15 oz. can pumpkin purée (NOT pie filling)
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup apple juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease or paper line two large baking tins (24 medium muffins). In a large bowl (I use a stand mixer), blend together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until light yellow, then mix in the rest of the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix with a hand or stand mixer on low until all ingredients are fully incorporated.

Scoop about 1/3 cup of muffin batter into each muffin tin, about 2/3 or 3/4 full. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Remove from the tins to a wire rack to cool.

Serve with coffee or Market Spice Tea, and think happy autumnal thoughts. Be sure to allow someone you love to lick the beater.

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