Posted by: Rachael | March 29, 2011

Runnin’ fuel

Happy Tuesday!

Today has been a whirlwind day – work has been quite crazy lately, and I followed up a busy day at the office with a 3-hour grad class. Thank goodness this is my last class ever – I am quickly running out of hours in the day to do everything I have to get done!

It was Day 2 of half-marathon training today, and I am proud to say I actually got myself to the gym after class for my 7x hill repeats. I don’t know if it’s because I’m excited about training again or because I have an unspoken desire to set my quads on fire, but I was determined to make tonight’s workout a good one. I warmed up on the treadmill at a 10min mile pace for 5 minutes, and then alternated between running at a 3.5 incline for .25 miles, then at a 1.0 incline for 1 minute (all at the same pace) until I got in my seven repeats. I’m not gonna lie, I looked like I took a dip in a pool when I was done, but it felt great to push myself so hard.

Now, I’ll tell you a little secret as long as you promise not to judge. Do you know what helped me though this monster of a workout?

britbrit

Yes, that would be Britney Spears’ new CD –  which, by the way,  I promptly purchased at 7am and loaded on to my Ipod in preparation for today’s workout. Say what you want, but you can’t deny that her music is the perfect pump-you-up soundtrack. As far as I’m concerned, I’m on team Britney for life.

While Britney’s music did certainly help, I think a lot of my extra energy tonight came from the handful of crunchy, chewy, delicious granola I snacked on while heading to the gym. I always crave granola when I do a lot of running – probably because it is the perfect runner’s fuel – so I whipped up a huge batch to freeze and have on hand for the next couple months. The best thing about this recipe is that you can play with the different types of nuts, seeds, spices and mix-ins to come up with whatever combination you are craving at the moment. Oh, and did I mention it’s ready in a half an hour! Quick and tasty – it doesn’t get much better than that folks!

Rachael’s Runnin’ Fuel Granola Mix

  • 4 cups of rolled oat (not instant)
  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup golden flax seeds
  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup of agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1.5 cups dried fruit (I used strawberries, blueberries and cherries)

1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts and seeds, coconut, agave, pumpkin pie spice, salt and almond extract. Toss well, making sure to coat all the ingredients with the sweetener. You’ll know when you’ve got the right consistency.

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3. Spread the mixture on a large, rimmed baking sheet (I put a layer of foil on mine first) and bake for 30 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes to ensure even browning. Make sure to watch it towards the end because you don’t want it to burn.

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4. Remove pan from the oven and stir in the dried fruit.  When the granola comes to room temperature, put it in a large container and seal. You can keep it in the pantry, but it will keep forever if you put it in the fridge or the freezer.

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Mmm…looking forward to many more granola-fueled workouts in my future! Next time I may even go crazy and add dark chocolate chips! Delish!

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