About UrbanMountainGoat

Who needs a car when you have hooves? I earned myself the nickname “Mountain Goat” because of my love of trails, my ability to scale a mountain & my crazy jaunts through town carrying my daypack (I prefer my hooves over my wheels). Swim Bike Mom first coined the moniker “the Mountain Goat” on her famed blog after I encouraged her to accompany me on a grueling 9 mile race atop Red Top Mountain in the August heat. Apparently I scaled the mountainside in mountain goat-like fashion, smiling all the while. Who knew? However, as a resident of Midtown Atlanta I am often restricted to a more urban environment, but that doesn’t stop me. I am a strong believer in the fact that a little adventure and challenge – whether on the trails or in the city – can do wonders for a person and the world. No fear – whether you are a mountain dweller or a city slicker, you too can eat, train and run like a mountain goat! As a young goat, I was an awkward youth, sporting big glasses, a crazy wardrobe, and a full blown mustache and unibrow, enduring elementary school taunts due to my “uniqueness.” I misguidedly tried to fit in by trying out for cheerleader and other conventional things that “cool kids” did. After much failure and disappointment, a girl who lived nearby encouraged me to join the cross country team and introduced me to an activity that would make high school bearable; teach me to be comfortable in my own skin; and would come to help me stay true to myself and strive through other tough times in life. Despite being a bit pudgy and a just plain awful runner, I found solace on the trails and was embraced by my teammates learning just how awesome runners are and just how life changing a great run can be. So whether you’re a novice, a pro, or just curious, I encourage you to get out there and see what the trails can do for you!

Volunteer Time! Run 10 Feed 10

Volunteer Time!  Run 10 Feed 10

So typically I hate big road races.  I usually run one each year – either Publix Marathon or the Thanksgiving Half or the Peachtree – but it’s a rare occasion.

 So Pooky has been out of town at a conference…but the book just came out, so there were a ton to prepare for shipping – and a ton of work at the office… so I’ve been holding down the fort at the office, the house, and with the book.  Sigh.  I haven’t been to yoga all week!  This guy is killing me!  Does anyone become a monster when they can’t get their workouts in??!!

The Code is here!

The Code is here!

So Wednesday night at like 10 or 11pm I’m sitting in our guest room/office wrapping books to be shipped out and doing the occasional Facebooking with the Running Teacher trying to figure out what help she needed or Saturday’s Run 10 Feed 10 charity fun run.  When she says, “Hey do you want a free entry into the Atlanta 13.1 Marathon this weekend?”  Um, do I?  Free. Race. Entry.  My favorite three words!   So despite the fact that I would never pay the $95 to run this thing, I sure would run it for free.  I had the impending Mystery Mountain Marathon coming up the next weekend, but though, eh, it’s just a half marathon. No big deal.

I got them wrapped….

I got them wrapped….

…..but it took a lot of chocolate….

…..but it took a lot of chocolate….

So a long week of work and wrapping books and house chores came and went and finally it was time for a running packed weekend!  Thank goodness.  The cranky no-exercise/ no-husband/ too-much-work monster was  about to get out of control…

DONE!

DONE!

First on Saturday was the Running Teacher’s Run 10 Feed 10 Run at the Big Peach.  It was a 7 mile run around the Kennesaw Mountain area on a super fun trails/cross country type course.  We had a good little turn out for the first year and had major swag and major food!  What more could you ask for?

More Liz action shots….

More Liz action shots….

This is me taking action shots of the crowd pre-run...

This is me taking action shots of the crowd pre-run…

Isabel, The Running Teacher and Phil!

Isabel, The Running Teacher and Phil!

So with as much as I run, I rarely volunteer aside from doing registration before Xterra runs.  But being that Isabel needed a few extra hands, I thought, hey, why not.  So I was appointed to man the first road crossing.  I waited my post and as the runners came through, I snapped pictures and helped them across the road.  When a girl came along and told me that was the end, I waited about 20 minutes more and decided I would go out and run the rest of the course and “sweep” it, sticking with those at the back.  I also contemplated picking up the orange flags for Isabel so that she wouldn’t have to bother with it afterwards, but I recalled some saying they wanted to run it more than once, so I decided to leave them.

Here was my post!

Here was my post!

Here come the runners!  Safely being guided across the street by yours truly...

Here come the runners! Safely being guided across the street by yours truly…

And into the woods!

And into the woods!

It was kind of a “shame on me” moment when I realized how little I volunteer at races!  Without volunteers there’d be no races, and I really need to get out there more.  We all do! So go find a race, and volunteer!  And never ever forget to thank the volunteers when it’s you out there running!  But it was super fun, and admittedly, I’m already planning the next time I’ll volunteer 😉

After a while I caught up with the group and ran along with them.  Some really fun and nice ladies.  There was an aid station which was super stocked and we enjoyed gummy bears and bananas and such and were on our way.  It was a lot more hot and humid than expected so I was pumped for the aid station.  When we got about half way out, we turned around to come back.  Um…uh, oh.  I had no idea this was an out and back course.  Color me the worst volunteer ever as now that road crossing would not be manned!  Oops!  Good thing I did not “help out” by removing the flags too 😉  Oh Liz.

It was a beautiful morning!

It was a beautiful morning!

Yay, the aid station!

Yay, the aid station!

Double fisting!

Double fisting!

Loved these…they were all over...

Loved these…they were all over…

Such a scenic course!

Such a scenic course!

We eventually got back to the store and there was a crazy food spread set out.  Isabel baked all sorts of treats, plus gels, bananas, coffee, water, and bagels and juice I brought. It was nuts.  And she gave away all sorts of awesome prizes (like Brooks shoes and Road IDs and such!)

Me and Isabel…I look a little crazy-eyed for some reason…but check out my shirt …hehehehe ;)

Me and Isabel…I look a little crazy-eyed for some reason…but check out my shirt …hehehehe 😉

Post-run massages!

Post-run massages!

The spread was out of control….

The spread was out of control….

More goodies!

More goodies!

All and all it was a fun morning run!  Plus we raised a bunch of funds for a great cause!  I hope you’ll all join us next year!

SO much cooler than a race  t-shirt….this cute tote bag!

SO much cooler than a race t-shirt….this cute tote bag!

The girls were heading out for another loop and for once I said no, and went to pick up my packet for Sunday’s Atlanta 13.1 Marathon (which by the way, what is with the name?  Isn’t kind of a misnomer to call it a 13.1 marathon when a marathon is 26.2 miles?  But I digress…)

I have a post-run tradition of covering my seats with a Pirates or Steelers towel to keep my sweat from infesting my seats…This is the first October I didn't get any crap for my Pirates towel.  Go Bucs!

I have a post-run tradition of covering my seats with a Pirates or Steelers towel to keep my sweat from infesting my seats…This is the first October I didn’t get any crap for my Pirates towel. Go Bucs!

13.1 Swag!

13.1 Swag!

Anyways I got home that night and Swim Bike Mom texted me that she was bailing on the half…and Pooky had just gotten home from being gone most the week.  And I was tired and the race started SO early.  I thought, I think I’ll just pass.

But then I remembered that my friends Kim & Chuck were going to be there and we always always miss each other at races.  It’s happened over and over!  Well not this time, I decided I was going and I would see them.  And trail runner friend Alex would also be there.  And it was a free race, which Isabel was nice enough to give me, so what the heck!

Speaking of which, Isabel is nominated for an awesome Action Hero award for her work with Run 10 Feed 10 so you should totally go on and “endorse” her!!!!

http://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/isabel-rivera-267

 Race Report on Atlanta 13.1 Marathon coming next!

Until then, Happy Trails 😉

Green-a-Colada

Hey all!  Happy Kale Day!

I know I have been MIA for like two months since the TransRockies!  Eeek!  Sorry about that.  We’ve just been crazy busy and as can be expected, I was a hot mess (when am I not?!) following the TransRockies and needed sometime to kind of “reset.”

Well I did this fabulous 10 day yoga detox at Kashi Yoga Ashram in Atlanta, and I was all balanced and zen and healthy for like two weeks.  It was awesome.  And as can be expected – you guessed it – I’m a hot mess again!

Anyways, I’m working on posts regarding the rest of the TransRockies…and a super awesome six hour race that I accidentally won!!!!  So I’m hoping to post soon.

In the meantime, the blade on my VitaMix got recalled and I had to send it back for repairs.  I’ve been VitaMix-less for like 10 days.  It’s awful.  However, Pooky couldn’t go without his smoothies so I pulled out the old Ninja and she’s been serving us fairly well.  Just takes a little more elbow grease and you have to be a little more selective of your ingredients since it doesn’t quite pulverize everything in sight like the VitaMix.

So this a.m. I made a random smoothie that came out so awesome I had to share!

Did you know that pina coladas are one of the drinks (behind Blizzards I think) that have the highest amount of calories?  It’s true!  Google it.  Everything on Google is true, and we all know this.  Well, regardless if that’s true or not, it’s pretty obvious that a pina colada is not good for you.  But it tastes so good, right?  And a pina colada at 7AM really isn’t good for you…But it’s been a stressful week, and I need a pina colada at 7AM!!!

Well here I am to the rescue with the Green-a-Colada.  Tastes great and will fully detoxify all of the crap stored up in your body.  A great wake up or mid-day or late night treat!

Green-a-Colada

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic non-gmo not from concentrate coconut water (I like Harvest Bay) (also you may need more depending on how thick you like your smoothie)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange or pineapple juice (or more coconut water, or unsweetened almond milk or water – whatever you like. today I didn’t mind the extra sugar so I used 1/4 cup fresh squeezed OJ…when I’m counting the calories I probably would’ve went for almond milk or water)
  • 1 medium golden beet peeled (unless you have a VitaMix…I was without today so I peeled) and chopped small (again, unless you have a VitaMix or Blendtec you can leave in bigger chunks) – it probably came to about 3/4 cup
  • 1/4-1/2 cup frozen organic mango
  • 1/2-3/4 cup frozen organic pineapple (ok, ok all I had today was Dole so it wasn’t organic.  So sue me.  Also I don’t know how much I used.  I’m thinking it was close to the 3/4 cup because I wanted a bigger smoothie)
  • 1/2 small frozen organic banana – I break mine into chunks before I freeze them and I used two chunks which is like 1/2 a banana or probably 1/4 cup if you’re measuring
  • Handful of organic spinach or baby kale (I use Organic Girl – you could also  sub whatever green you have on hand.  Spinach will be milder though and yield less of a greens taste if that bothers you.  Also it blends better if you have a crappy blender)
  • 2 teaspoons of Greens Powder (I use SunFood Sun is Shining.  It’s expensive, but there are 45 servings in a bag and it’s amazing stuff.  I’ll post the side of the bag below.  It’s super good for you…but warning, if you’ve been eating a lot of toxic crap, it will, uh, “detox” it out, if you know what I mean…but in a good way 😉
  • 1-2 teaspoons of raw, organic coconut butter (I use Artisana brand (they make amazing raw nut butters too). It’s amazing and makes the smoothie.  If you don’t have it, you could probably use unsweetened coconut – maybe a tablespoon or two depending on how much you like – I just eye balled the coconut butter – using a bigger sized spoon and not filling it up all the way)
  • Small spoon of Stevia in the Raw (or stevia or sweetener to taste – may want to wait until the end and see how much, if any, you need.  I just used a small bit)
Let's start with the coconut water!

Let’s start with the coconut water!

And the beets!  The yummy yummy golden beets!

And the beets! The yummy yummy golden beets!

Frozen fruits!

Frozen fruits!

Don't forget the greens!

Don’t forget the greens!

You could eat this straight from the jar.  But don't!

You could eat this straight from the jar. But don’t!

Directions

Add ingredients as listed.  And then blend away!  Taste at end to see if you need sweetener.

Green goodness!

Green goodness!

This is a delicious smoothie, and will fill you up.  It’s got lots of protein, antioxidants, fiber, minerals, vitamins, probiotics, and enzymes and is super good for you!  Just don’t skip the greens powder if you can!  It will taste fine without it but you’ll be missing so much nutrition!  If you don’t have greens powder, then up your spinach and/or kale to give you an extra boost.

The magic ingredient!

The magic ingredient!

Here's what makes it so good for you!

Here’s what makes it so good for you!

AND if you’re wondering where I get all this crazy stuff I’m always mentioning like Sun is Shining Greens Powder, Artisana Coconut Butter, Stevia in the Raw, Red Sea Salt, Cocoa Nibs (great smoothie recipe with these coming soon!) etc etc… one place – Amazon!  It’s awesome!  I am a Prime Member which means I get free two day shipping and $3.99 one day shipping on almost everything (you also get stuff like free tv shows and movies to stream – but I’m more about shipping weird products to myself quickly)… if you’re interested they are doing a free 30 day trial – you can sign up here.

OK now enjoy your Green-a-Colada and imagine you’re at the beach! I have the space heater blasting in my office, so it feels just like the tropics 😉

Happy Thursday Kale Day!  Go drink something green!

Happy Thursday Kale Day! Go drink something green!

Promise to get some new posts up soon and some info on coaching.  Until then, happy trails  😉

Six Hours of Dauset Trails (9-14-13)

6 Hours of Dauset Trails

So in the mountain bike world, timed races are popular.  Six hours, eight hours, twelve hours, whatever.  Same goes in the ultra running world.  There have been plenty this summer in Georgia – Hot to Trot, Merrils Mile etc. I missed both due to TransRockies trainging and them just not fitting in the plan.  The deal with these are that you run a loop – usually about a mile – as many times as you can in the prescribed period of time.  So really more of a mental challenge than anything else as you’ll be going round and round and round the same piece of dirt for hours.

True.

True.

Anyways, Mountain Goat Adventures decided to put on 6 Hours of Dauset Trails this year as an inaugural event.  In talking with my friend Elizabeth (she has a blog too – go read it!) this summer, who was training for the event as her first foray into the ultra or endurance running world, I was intrigued.  It was set up a bit differently.  It was almost a 6 mile loop that was run as many times as possible in 6 hours.  What sold me on the whole thing is that you could set up your own little “pit” stop at the start/finish area complete with your own supplies and snacks.  I don’t know why but I loved that idea…that and they were offering a free Mountain Goat Adventures mesh tote bag for the first so many to sign up… so a few weeks before the TransRockies, I decided to sign up.

When I got done with the TransRockies, immediately upon getting back, I was already spazzing about what was next.  Honestly I really really wanted to tackle a 50 miler, feeling that I had the mileage I needed in after training for and running the TransRockies and thinking that any course I picked out here would pale in comparison to what I had run in the Rockies.

Luckily I had this race on the schedule already to kind of quell my looming insanity and give me something to focus on. I trained a little with a really chill week following the TransRockies, and a twenty miler the next weekend, and then a down week, then it was race time again already!  Yay!

Figuring after this race I had some time off again, I signed up for a ten day yoga detox at the Kashi Ashram.  It was a cool thing they did seasonally where you do a lot of yoga and eat super duper clean for ten days – to kind of reset. And after the eating debacle that was the TransRockies and beyond…um, I needed it.  However, Day 1 fell on race day.  Hmmmm…this was going to be interesting. I decided I’d follow as closely as I could and actually did great considering.

Yeah this is definitely how it went down at the TransRockies.  Six days of running and eating to excess.

Yeah this is definitely how it went down at the TransRockies. Six days of running and eating to excess.

The night before I finished my pre-detox meeting at about 8.  Pooky & I proceeded to our favorite pizza dive Camelis and feasted like it was going out of style. Monster slices and French fries all around.  We went home, and I packed up for the race brining coconut water, some plan potatoes, and bananas. I brought some Huma gels and nuun too but didn’t really use too much.  Oh and salt pills.  Thank god for salt pills.

I was tasked with bringing a card table and chairs for Elizabeth and I to set our stuff up on.  However, I didn’t go to the storage unit to get said table and chairs until the night before the race at about 9:30pm.  I come to find its missing.  Hmmm.  Where did it possibly go?  The mystery remains unsolved so if you find my black card table, please let me know.  I felt so bad and quickly sent Elizabeth a message and luckily she had one to bring.  Sigh. Crisis averted.

The next day I made myself some oatmeal and fruit and decided to wear this super cute pink tie dye tank top that my cousin had just happened to mail me the day before.  Awesomeness.  Also despite the fact that we had a “pit stop” set up at the start/finish, I still wore my hydration vest.  It had still been pretty hot out, and I wanted to consistently hydrate.

I got to the race and set up with Elizabeth.  She really had nice dedicated friends and family, which was good, because it also made me appear to have friends and family since I was a squatter at their table.  Her friend Kimberly as well as her parents and little niece joined us.  Everyone sat up and we waited.

Look at our aid station!!!

Look at our aid station!!!

Kimberly was a great crew chief and the signs were awesome!

Kimberly was a great crew chief and the signs were awesome!

I ended up seeing trail running buddy Alex as well who also had a large entourage and really fancy set up.  I had no idea what I planned on doing with this race – it was either going to be a “just finish” day or a balls to the wall type day, but I hadn’t decided yet.  I started off with Alex and his friend who was a 100 miler and we chatted about her races and about the Rock Creek 50 miler and such.  I thought I would hang with them for a while, but I was feeling good and although this was a timed race and I should probably pace myself, I decided that I’d go with the usual Liz plan – use it or lose it.  So I said my goodbyes and told them I’d see them when they passed me later.  And I took off.  Well what qualifies as “taking off” for me.

2013-09-14 16.17.55

The race was at Dauset Trails in Jackson.  I run there every June for Xterra’s finale and always enjoy it.  However, this race was on a different set of trails there down by the lake.  It was really pretty – a little rocky and rooty but nothing major and nice rolling hills.  Or at least this is the way I remember it over a month later 😉

Pre-race jazz hands!

Pre-race jazz hands!

There was also a relay going on and there was really no way to tell who was doing what, so I wasn’t sure how well I was or wasn’t doing.  After a the first lap someone told me I was the first girl.  Hmmm…. Did I want to really try to race this?  I stopped at my table briefly and ate some banana and said hello to Elizabeth’s family and set back off.

Here I come!

Here I come!

Still felt good.  It was getting pretty hot though, and I kept trying to eat and drink as much as I could and take in salt pills.   At some point in the second lap I was joined by another girl who I decided was the one beating me and so I raced her.  Or at least in my head.  I don’t know if she knew I was racing her.  We stopped at the one aid station and I heard her tell them she was a broke college student.  I decided that it was ok if she beat me because I had to have about 12-15 years on her.  Oh that just sounds awful out loud.  But on I marched.

Lap three I was still feeling pretty good and making good time.  I’d managed to run each lap around an hour or slightly less or slightly more.  Another girl caught up to us and now I was racing both of them.  I didn’t really stop at my aid table except to gulp down bananas since I was still racing the girls in my mind.  Potatoes tasted awful for some reason so I stuck with bananas.

Screenshot 2013-10-27 16.14.17

I tripped on a root at the beginning of lap three and luckily that was my only fall.  It was hot and I could feel the salt on my skin.  I knew I was dehydrated and just kept chugging and tried to get in what I could.

Somewhere on loop 3 or 4 I was really truly racing these other two girls.  Like neck and neck.  I finally made my move and never saw them again.  I would come to find out later that one was running the relay.  Grumble.  She did thank me for pushing her and I thanked her back because honestly I probably would’ve slacked otherwise.

About a halfway in lap 4 I got a horrible horrible leg cramp. I haven’t had a leg cramp like that since my first marathon where I did not fuel properly at all.  It hurt like the bejesus.  It was insane. I thought, well this is it, I fought a good fight, but I’m going to have to phone it in at this point.  And I really thought I had a shot at winning.  Blasted.  I ate and chugged some extra salt pills and rubbed at it and walked as quick as I could.  Some ladies passed and asked if I was ok.  I told them I was fine just walking off a cramp and gimped on.  Sigh.

This was a ridiculously humid summer.  Ridiculously.

This was a ridiculously humid summer. Ridiculously.

After a few minutes, I told myself, well this is either going to be an uber painful and long walk in or an equally painful but shorter run in.  So I started gimping.  And I gimped a little faster.  And a little faster.  Until finally I was running again and at an ok speed.  It still hurt like heck, but I got back into stride.  By the end of the lap I had run it out or the salt pills had kicked in.  Thank goodness.

I went out for my fifth lap just feeling the toll of the day.  It was super hot and humid by then. I had run fairly fast for me for over four hours.  I was crampy.  But I was getting this thing done.  Yes I was.

So I went as fast as I could at this point, mostly to just get it over with.  When I got to the top of the hill towards the end, I looked at the little boy who sat there each lap and told him, “I have never been so happy to see you.”  He seemed to like that.  I barreled down the hill and into the finish area.

5 laps at 5:06.  They taunted me over the loud speaker – aren’t you going to go out for a sixth lap???  No way.  Not at this point.  I’m done.

Yay! I'm done!

Yay! I’m done!

A few minutes after I came in a girl wearing rec specs (yes rec specs like we wore in gym class in the 90s) finished and went out for another lap. I was kind of nervous she would beat me…but we saw her turn around and come back after like 20 minutes on the course.

Screenshot 2013-10-27 16.10.22

Alex’s 100 miler friend finished a few minutes after me and asked me if I wanted to do an extra lap as a cool down.  I told her thanks but no thanks.  Crazy ultra runners 😉

I went to our table and found that Elizabeth had decided she’d just do four laps as the heat and humidity had also gotten to her.  Me and Kimberly walked to the finish area and waited for her.  She put in an awesome race on a tough day in tough conditions.  Her first day out as an ultra runner or endurance runner or whatever you want to call it was a smashing success.  This was only her second trail race!  Madness.  She would go on to finish her first 50k just a few weeks later and rocked it.  Yay!

Elizabeth Triumphant!

Elizabeth Triumphant!

After more milling about I changed and looked at these iPads they had with the results (how neat!).  It appeared that I had won the women’s and came in 2nd over all with only one dude beating me!  I didn’t want to get too excited until it was official.

As I was milling about I met some nice ladies who were Swim Bike Mom fans and knew I was the Goat. That was fun and exciting.  Although I’m not a good blogger so I forgot to get a picture.

The awards came and I did win overall female.  Yay!  I was pretty pumped.  They give you this cool podium shirt showing a little Goat in 1st place to wear!  They gave me a small and then I debated about size eventually trading it in for a bigger one which worked out much better.

Second place is missing because she is off running more laps ;)

Second place is missing because she is off running more laps 😉

I headed home starving and at according to my detox rules despite just having run nearly 30 miles.  Beans, rice and sweet potatoes and greens plain.  Sigh. I did eat a ton of it though.

When the results were finally posted I did confirm that I was first female and second overall – only one dude beat me!  How sad for the dudes out there that day. But how cool for me!  Official time was 5:06 for 5 laps.  The laps were supposedly about 5.82 miles long, but there really was no consensus on it.  So not sure on distance, but I like to think close to 30 miles.  So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

LOVE the shirt!

LOVE the shirt!

Hopefully I survive the detox!

Happy Trails!

TransRockies Run Day One – Buena Vista

So today was day one of the TransRockies…a six day stage race across the Colorado Rockies (hence the name)! (If you’re wondering about the madness leading up to the race – including taper insanity… well, I have posts about those, but they are for later, when I have the energy to finish them…one day soon…)

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 9.44.21 PM

The course wasn’t very trail-ish to me – lots of hard packed dirt and sand double track.  A few steep climbs but lots of nice small rollers…and breathtaking (literally due to the altitude) scenery.  It was amazing.

My piss poor photography does not do it justice!

My piss poor photography does not do it justice!

I had been completely fretting about the altitude and the effect it would have on me during the run.  I hadn’t felt too bad since arriving in Colorado ….but was feeling a little wooziness here and there.  And well the lungs … you know… I was hypoxic!  Panting like a dog…

Our team name: Hypoxic Mountain Goats... get it?!

Our team name: Hypoxic Mountain Goats… get it?!

The first two nights we were here, I slept like a rock.  However, come Monday night…I woke up every hour and tossed and turned.  Eh.  So I got up a lot earlier than planned, made me and Pooky some oatmeal, bananas, and tea, and set about going to the bathroom about eight hundred times (not an exaggeration).

Found some great gluten free oatmeal packs and topped them with almond milk, banana and blueberries!!!  Side of Vanilla Hazelnut tea and electrolyte drink...

Found some great gluten free oatmeal packs and topped them with almond milk, banana and blueberries!!! Side of Vanilla Hazelnut tea and electrolyte drink…

...And I also made my sherpa breakfast in bed!

…And I also made my sherpa breakfast in bed!

I wore my Swim Bike Mom tri top to channel my inner SBM strength.  (Spoiler alert – it totally worked!)

2013-08-12 16.28.05

I got ready and Pooky dropped me off at the start, where I had a mini-clothing crisis, then went to pee and got some water.

The start!

The start!

I then saw my partner, Heather, and her two friends, Seth & Dan, and we took some photos.  One more trip to pee and then…we were off!!!

Ready to roll!

Ready to roll!

I felt good going out.  My legs were fresh but the lungs were burning.  Me and Heather fell into an even pace as we headed out on pavement.  After not too long we got to the trail and it bottle necked up hill.  It was a good forced slow down early on.  There was really no need to try to waste energy jockeying around people on this pass so we just power hiked it and enjoyed the views.

My photos aren't great, but the views were - I swear!

My photos aren’t great, but the views were – I swear!

Eventually it evened out and widened to double track and we were trotting along.  We kept a good consistent pace together and the miles ticked by quickly.

Heather took an "action" shot of me!!!  Can you spot the tiny goat in the picture?

Heather took an “action” shot of me!!! Can you spot the tiny goat in the picture?

I know this day was the easiest and luckily it felt that way.  It was a nice “ease in” to the race.

Heather and I got along great for being strangers until that point, as she seemed pretty similar to me.  She’s a super Iron-woman triathlete type so I was a bit nervous about the match up with granola trail hippie me…but we got along good.

Mid course!

Mid course!

We made sure to keep up on our hydration and nutrition and were good about reminding each other.  Heather was also very good at reigning us in and making us walk and take it easy.  Something I am not typically very good at, so I’m sure this will pay off in the later phases of this when this thing really cranks up (wait until you see the elevation charts for stages 5 and 6…meh.

Today was 2,550 feet of climbing topping off at 9,339 feet.  20.9 miles total.  All and all it was gorgeous weather – super sunny and cool humidity free air (which coming from the most humid summer of all time in Atlanta, this felt SO good.  SO good).

Coming down the home stretch there was an end on a paved road of like 3-4 miles of “false flat.”  This was pretty awful.  The sun beat down and it was boring and hard pavement.  We used a little game where we ran from landmark to landmark and then walked a bit.  The highlight was Pooky drove down to see us!!!  I was nervous he’d hit a runner, but he snapped some photos of us and was on his way back to the finish.

2013-08-13 12.08.05

Besides Pooky, there were also some amazing rock caves!

2013-08-13 12.09.20

On the last mile or so, it started to rain and get colder.  By the time we finished it was raining pretty good.  And pretty cold.  Dan and Seth had finished a bit ahead of us and were waiting with Pooky.  We snapped a quick pic and then Pooky loaded us up and drove the crew to camp.

Now full disclosure … as part of this race, you camp out.  The race transfers your luggage, sets up your tent, and provides catered food and a shower truck, massage tent, etc.  That being said, I’m copping out.  I’ve sold out.  I’m staying in hotels.  There, I said it.  I admitted it.

You see, it started I was going this alone with my partner.  In such case, I was going to stay in said tent city.  Then at some point Pooky decided he wanted to come.  And he refused to camp.  So I had to book him hotels in each locale and a rental car.  It was somewhat expensive…and the more I thought of it, if I was shelling out all this cash, might as well make it a vacation and stay in the hotels with Pooky.  Plus, who am I kidding?  I don’t camp.  I mean I could, but why would I when I have Pooky and a warm bed back at the hotel.

I'm staying in a Best Western right now, that's roughing it, right?! (just kidding, just kidding!)

I’m staying in a Best Western right now, that’s roughing it, right?! (just kidding, just kidding!)

I felt super guilty and like a fraud, but as Pooky pointed out, who am I trying to impress?  What am I trying to prove?  He was right.  No one.  Nothing.  I’m here to have fun, and having the husband and a hotel infinitely improve that.  So there.  I said it.  I admitted it.  Go ahead and hate on me for being a pampered running diva.

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 9.26.52 PM

We finished it out better than expected – especially considering we really took it easy and walked plenty.  4:21.  Turns out we were 5th of 15 teams in the women’s open division!  SO that was a pretty cool surprise.  Even if it only lasts through today 😉

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 6.19.27 PM

After dropping off the teammates at camp, I went home and filled the tub with ice …. and suffered it out while enjoying a recovery drink and some Facebook on the phone…

Brrrrr....

Brrrrr….

I then followed up with a shower and some grub.  And most importantly, a chai espresso gluten free hipster macaroon.  It was amazing.

This is for you E!

This is for you E!

Got a 15 minute massage at camp, and Pooky found a basketball hoop where we shot hoops for a while.  Wasn’t much else to do around, and the friends were napping so we headed back to the hotel.

I made so many baskets too...but didn't get a picture  :(

I made so many baskets too…but didn’t get a picture 😦

I decided against going to the dinner and ceremonies at night.  I’m super picky on food, and would rather do my own thing. I felt bad like I should go socialize and enjoy the camaraderie, but oh well, I never have before, so why start now.  I went back to the hotel and packed up all my stuff for the hotel change tomorrow.  I prepped breakfast and my hydration and fuel, set out my outfit and charged everything up.

We found this fancy-ish Asian restaurant in town and had a huge feast. I was way more hungry than I realized.  This feast also involved a flourless chocolate cake to end it.  Mmmmm mmmm.

Then I came home and conjured up the energy to blog.  Hard as it may be.

Thats why I powered through to write this for you    ;)

Thats why I powered through to write this for you 😉

Feel bad I don’t have better pictures for you all but me, Heather, Seth and Dan all took pics and decided we would share them later and all the ones Pooky took were on the real camera which I don’t have the cord for right now…so photo album later.

Tomorrow is Vicksburg to Twin Lakes and contains Hope’s Pass…Eeeeek…

Until tomorrow…Happy Trails all!

Zucchini, Potato, Tomato Frittata

I ran a race on Saturday…during taper time…real smart goat!  Oh well, it was fun and I got 2nd place!  Yay!  Saw some fun friends too.

But it tired me out.  Apparently I haven’t been running fast for quite some time.  And all this LSD (long slow distance – not psychotropic drugs) has made me slow.  So running fast was tiring on the old body.  And I slept like a rock Saturday night.  So much so that we didn’t get up until 9AM on Sunday!!!  By the time we made it out of the bed and up and around it was 9:30AM and by the time I was messing around to make us food it was after 10.  So brunch was in Order.

It consisted of a new experimental green smoothie, and I asked Pooky what else he wanted.  He opened the fridge and said, use up what is left in here.  And use eggs.

I looked at what I had.  Eggs, check.  An old zucchini, a part of a yellow squash, some cute little San Marzano tomatoes, and some frozen cubed fried multicolor potatoes left over from last week’s long run.

So I decided a veggie frittata would be yummy!

Further proof of my horrible picture taking ability.  And I forgot to take pics along the way!

Further proof of my horrible picture taking ability. And I forgot to take pics along the way!

Ingredients:

  1. 2 whole eggs; about 4 egg whites (essentially I just used what was left in the carton.  Can’t remember, might have been 6 or 7 eggs)
  2. A small zucchini – I sliced it into fourths and then into small match stick shapes.  You could cut it however you want.
  3. A good handful of small tomatoes – I used these San Marzano that I found at the store recently. I am addicted to them.  They are awesome in everything.  I just sliced them lengthwise and took out the extra seeds.
  4. A few baby potatoes – preferably a mix of red, white and blue! Chop into small fourths so that they cook fast.  Mine were already cooked ahead of time, so you could also do that too (I usually steam them until almost done, and then fry them the rest of the way in a pan of coconut oil to crisp them)
  5. A red onion would be great in here too. I had one, but I was too lazy to chop it up.  I would advise you do so if you have one!
  6. Sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and garlic or garlic powder to taste.  Some fresh chopped basil would be amazing with this too, but I didn’t have any.

2013-08-04 11.03.38

Directions:

Take a deep pan over medium heat.  Spray with cooking oil.  Add a little oil of your choice.  I used olive oil today because that was what was laying around.

If you are using the onions and if your potatoes are not pre-cooked, put them in the pan and put a lid on it and let them get cooked half to three fourths of the way.

In the meantime, chop your veggies.   Put you eggs into a bowl or cup and wisk them until completely combined.

After the onions and potatoes have been cooking for a while, then add in your zucchini and/or squash, and tomatoes.  Cook until everything is tender and a bit browned (or however you like it.  That’s the cool thing with veggies.  You can cook them a little – or a lot, and they’re always safe to eat and yummy!

Once you have your veggies to the desired consistency, add in a little more oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add in the eggs. I then gave everything a good stir to combine and even out the veggies.  Then I put the lid on and let it cook for a while.

I checked the bottom of the eggs and it looks browned on the bottom.  You can either then put the skillet under the broiler to finish out the top OR what I did was loosen the edges, take a big plate on top of the skillet, give it a good flip and then turn it over in the pan to finish up the other side.  Alternatively, I’m sure if I would’ve let it keep cooking the top would’ve gotten done eventually but I preferred it a little more even.

I topped with sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and a touch of garlic powder (not salt!).  If you have some fresh basil, it’d be great on top!

Cut into four wedges and brunch (or brinner!) is served!

2013-08-04 10.38.44

I eat it with a green smoothie for the win!

2013-08-04 10.38.55

Refresh Smoothie

Hey all!  So I have discovered this super amazing place in Atlanta – the Rawesome Juicery.  It’s awesome.  And delicious.  I am completely addicted to it.  It’s in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market downtown.  It’s really only about 6 or 7 minutes from my house by car, but it’s   kind of out of the way and they are doing street car construction down there…so I can’t go all the time.

I have a juicer of my own, but I can’t seem to get the proportions right when making juice and I also hate cleaning it up.  So I thought, let me try to make something juice like in my Vitamix.

Well this is what resulted.  Not at all what I was going for, but equally delicious!  Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  1. 2 small organic apples peeled and cored
  2. 1 large (or two small – mine was humongous) organic cucumber peeled and cut into a few large chunks (doesn’t have to be seedless, they get pulverized in the blender, you won’t notice)
  3. 2 or 3 large handfuls of spinach
  4. A couple handfuls of frozen pineapple (I just used what was left in the bag so I have no idea)
  5. A small handful of fresh mint leaves (optional…I put in for mine, left out for Pooky.  He is not a fan
I didn't get all the ingredients up front...so you'll just have to be ok with this post-shot of some extra produce left in the fridge!

I didn’t get all the ingredients up front…so you’ll just have to be ok with this post-shot of some extra produce left in the fridge!

Directions:

Put your cucumber chunks and apple chunks into the blender.  Blend them until liquified.  I had to use my stopper thing to push them around to get them going, but then they blended just fine without added liquid.

Next add in your spinach, frozen pineapple and optional mint and blend until smoothie and frothy!

My hand looks creepy. Disregard.  The smoothie is still good!

My hand looks creepy. Disregard. The smoothie is still good!

Mine made 2 pint glass sized servings.

I enjoyed mine with a veggie frittata!

I enjoyed mine with a veggie frittata!

Enjoy!

Red Top Roaster 2013 – August 3, 2013

Well it’s taper time.  And of course I’m going nuts.  One week from today I will be leaving on an airplane headed to Colorado to start a journey that has been over a year in the making.  But we’ll get to that.  Now on to today.

 So the appropriate thing to do when in the midst of a taper, only ten days away from a six day stage race that is 120 miles long and has nearly 25,000 feet of elevation gain … is … run a hot, hilly race!

I told Tim the race director I would volunteer for this race a long time ago.  And I really enjoyed the race last time I ran it.  Plus, Swim Bike Mom friend Elizabeth was going and running her first trail race.  And Isabel from the Running Teacher was volunteering…and it’s rare for the goat to be at a race where I know not one – but two people – so off I went!

I hasn’t been a very hot summer by Atlanta standards, but it has been helluva humid.  I am SO over the humidity.  So over it.  Saturday it was forecasted to be hot, so the Red Top Roaster would live up to its name.

I got up at 5AM and packed my essentials – a couple Naked Coconut waters (pineapple for before and mango/peach for after!) along with a Huma gel and some Muesli for breakfast.

This stuff is super good soaked in some homemade almond/cashew milk - I tried it the traditional way with OJ and didn't like it...Best part of this pic is Pooky's Chips a Hoy in the background!

This stuff is super good soaked in some homemade almond/cashew milk – I tried it the traditional way with OJ and didn’t like it…Best part of this pic is Pooky’s Chips a Hoy in the background!

I got there about 6:30 AM and after an emergency port-a-potty break, started to work check-in.

Elizabeth showed up and took some action shots of me at check-in!

Working hard, or hardly working?

Working hard, or hardly working?

I wasn’t feeling hungry, so I just had my pineapple coconut water and one Huma gel.  I figured I didn’t really need much fuel for a measly 15k after all the long running I had been doing.

2013-08-04 12.52.17

I was relieved of my check-in duties with a little less than 30 minutes to go time.  I stood in a really long port-a-potty line, jogged around a bit, ate my gel and got ready to go.

I stood towards the front and looked for some of the girls I usually chase.  I saw one, who I usually finish about the same time with.  And I saw a girl I met the week before at our group run.  So I decided I’d chase after them as long as I could.

And next thing you know, we were off!  I chased after the first couple girls for a while.  My legs felt great but my lungs felt wretched and I was huffing and puffing.  Hmmmm this is a bad sign seeing as I’ll be at altitude in ten days.  Yikes.  And I was soon regretting that my interval and speed work had dropped off in the last month or so.  Awesome.  More panic to add to the crazy taper time.

I kept moving and passed two of the girls I had been chasing, one of which is usually finishing right around me.  I thought she was on my tail for some time.  Eventually I looked back and realized I was alone save for a couple of dudes.

I remembered this course a lot less tough.  Perhaps I was in better shape (or different shape) and I guess we ran different trails on Red Top the week before, and this is why this felt so different.

But there was a guy next to me who usually works check-in too and encouraged me telling me to just relax but keep pushing. So I did just that.  Every time my lungs screamed and I couldn’t stand the huffing and puffing, I just focused on the fact that my legs felt fresh and awesome and didn’t mind the hills.

Through the first three miles, I could see signs for miles 7, 8 and 9.  So I unfortunately knew that I would have to face those same hills in the last 5k.  Blasted.

At the first aid station, about 3 miles in or so, I was pretty tired and thought I might just take it easy on the way in.  However, some of the volunteers told me I was the third place girl.  Blasted again.  Why did they have to go and tell me that???  I’m too competitive to give up then.  So I trucked on and tried to keep my current pace as to not lose my third place spot.

The next three miles came and went and I saw the Running Teacher volunteering.  She snapped a pic too!  Thanks and thanks for the much needed encouragement!

1020844_10151799246075149_2005571244_o

I pushed on despite my lungs hating me.  It was starting to get hot, so aid stations became places to dump water on the head.  Ahhhhh.  The weight I’ve gained in the last year was not making the heat any more comortable.

I know I'm not fat!  But my thighs are rubbing together and it super sucks in the heat.  Super sucks.

I know I’m not fat! But my thighs are rubbing together and it super sucks in the heat. Super sucks.

About a mile and a half from the finish, I spotted a girl!  Hey, another girl!  She must be number 2.  I was pretty far off, and I said, I’m not going to catch her.  And I just kept trucking on.

I was pretty slow up the hills, but ran the downhills fast and as fast can be.  There was one guy who we kept going back and forth passing each other who noted my speediness on the downhills.  This is a rarity for me, but these trails were less technical so I just went for it.  Plus, one of the best ways to gain an advantage in races is that as soon as you get to the top of a hill you just keep going as fast as you can. Most people get to the top of the hill and take a minute.  And that’s where you can get them.  Don’t take a minute, just push on as hard as you can.  If it’s a level or downhill, you’ll naturally recover even pushing it down the hill.

Before I knew it, the girl in green was right in my sights.  It was maybe a mile out.  I thought maybe I should hang back and wait until closer to the end to surge and pass.  But that’s not really my style, so I thought, let me pass her now and if she catches up with me – fine.  Let the best woman (or goat) win!  (don’t you love the fake drama I’m injecting into this race for 2nd place in a totally random small local trail race)!

I don't really.  It was really this exciting.  Really.

I don’t really. It was really this exciting. Really.

Well I passed her and just kept going as fast as I could and tried not to look back.  I heard someone coming up on me and kept pushing.  Turns out it was a dude, so I was ok.  About a third of a mile out, it turned to pavement. I looked back.  Not a lady runner anywhere in sight.  And I have to admit, at this point I was tired, and over it, so I just trotted it in.  Let me tell you, that last .3 miles was SO long.  It never seemed to end!

I finally rounded the corner and was done.  2nd place female.  22nd overall.  1:22:44.  Yay!  I didn’t even have a chance of getting the first place woman.  1:14:42.  Zoom!  But I saw her before the race.  And she is fit.  And there is just no other way to put it.  I mean when you see me, you’re probably like, oh, she looks pretty fit, but she also likes a pizza and a candy bar every now and again.  But this lady, you’re just like wow.  She’s fit.  And she has never even heard of a pizza or a candy bar.  Sigh.  One day I will have that kind of discipline.  One day.  But today’s not that day.  But I digress.

Afterwards I went for a little run a round and did an extra mile or so.  I forgot to hit the Garmin, but it’s ok.  I went inside afterwards and got myself a new State Parks Pass and changed my clothes (that blasted disgusting humidity, I was literally pouring sweat on the floor of the visitor’s center…I had to stand off to the side where they had a little carpet so I wouldn’t sully the floor completely).

I meandered over where I saw the awards had started.  Opps. I missed my award.  But Tim stopped things and  gave me my award. I got all sorts of stuff!!  Including a case of beer and a case of Cliff bars and an Inov8 shoe certificate!  Wowzers!

2013-08-04 12.42.12

The office will be happy about this one.

The office will be happy about this one.

I then out of the side of my eye saw Elizabeth coming in to finish her first trail race!  And under 2 hours!  I ran down and snapped a finish photo!

Yay!!!  And...another trail runner is officially indoctrinated in...bahahaha!

Yay!!! And…another trail runner is officially indoctrinated in…bahahaha!

Afterwards we B.S.ed for a while.  I also saw that Matt from Zulu Racing was there.  He was first in his age group and 4th overall with a speedy 1:12:19.  Yay Matt!  Too bad we both didn’t get the number one spots like Troop Trot!

2013-08-03 10.15.09

This post would be no good without the jazz hands.

This post would be no good without the jazz hands.

We then chit chatted with Matt, his wife and their ridiculously cute new puppy.  Oh, and also discussed the awesome race Matt puts on – Hill Country Trail Race at Serenbe.  It’s November 23rd. I’ll be there, Jamaican Sensation will be there, and so should you!  (See last year’s race report here).

Zulu racing rocks!

Zulu racing rocks!

OK so I need to work on a pre-TransRockies post…so yeah, time to go. Happy trails til we meet again!

2013-08-03 10.16.41

Second place.  First one to lose. But exciting none-the-less to this goat.

Second place. First one to lose. But exciting none-the-less to this goat.

Cocoa Cherry Berry Smoothie

Pooky must have read somewhere that it is good to eat purple things.  He is always asking me to give him purple things to eat so he can get his antioxidants.  So I’ve been making a lot of berry smoothies…like the Very Berry Detox Smoothie…

So when he asked for purple again today, I thought I needed to mix up the berry smoothie a bit.

Makes 2 Smoothies:

Chocolatey goodness!

Chocolatey goodness!

Ingredients:

  1. 1-1.5 cups plain unsweetened pure coconut water + 1-1.5 cups water (you want to aim for about 2-2.5 cups of any combination of liquid – and go for unsweetened liquids like coconut water, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, etc)
  2. 2 scoops chocolate Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Vegan protein powder (or favorite protein powder of choice.  you don’t have to use  protein powder, but I like to have protein first thing in the morning to kickstart my metabolism)
  3. If you’re not using chocolate protein powder, use 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.  Use unsweetened and don’t use dutch processed.  I use Nativas Naturals Cocoa Powder.  (You will also probably need to double your stevia or preferred sweetener especially if you’re using good cocoa powder)
  4. 2 spoons stevia in the raw (or other sweetener of your choice.  You may need to up this if  you use the cocoa powder in lieu of protein powder)
  5. 2 spoons organic flaxseed meal or 2 scoops chia seeds pre-soaked in about 4 oz water
  6. 2 big handfuls organic spinach (don’t be shy!  if using kale, just probably want to go with a few leaves)
  7. 1 small handful raw, organic almonds (optional – could use cashews or pecans too! OR a few spoons of organic, unsweetened, unsulfered dried coconut might be good too!)
  8. 1-1.5 cups frozen pitted organic sherries + .5-1 cup frozen assorted organic berries (I used about 1.5 frozen cherries and about 3/4 cup frozen mixed blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  9. A few drops pure almond extract

2013-07-31 07.29.49

Directions

2013-07-31 07.35.01

Put all ingredients in blender in the order stated.  Make sure to use frozen fruit for a nice frosty shake. Select smoothie function on blender or blend for 1-2 minutes depending on strength of blender.

2013-07-31 07.35.52

Enjoy!

Breakfast for two ;)

Breakfast for two 😉

Very Berry Detox Smoothie

Eat a little too much crap last night?  Feel like you need to start a new this morning?

Well you’re in luck!  Here is the perfect breakfast smoothie to help you detox while being nutritious and delicious at the same time!

2013-07-29 09.15.40

Very Berry Detox Smoothie (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  1. 11 ounces plain pure coconut water + 1 cup water (or whatever amount you want depending on how watery you like it – also you could use water instead or unsweetened almond or cashew milk – essentially you want a little over 2 cups liquid)
  2. Large handful raw organic cashews or almonds (I prefer cashews…and don’t use either if you’re using nut milk in #1)
  3. Two scoops Vanilla Sunwarrior Warrior Blend vegan protein powder (or powder of your choice – or omit if you don’t care about protein or don’t have it.  I like to start my day with something high in protein to kick start my metabolism!)
  4. Two big spoons ground flaxseed or chia seed (if using chia, pre-soak it in a little water first to help your body absorb it)
  5. Two spoons of stevia in the raw cup for cup (or one packet – or you can omit or replace with agave, honey, etc if you don’t mind the extra sugar/calories)
  6. Two large handfuls of spinach (or kale/spinach mix. I used all spinach today because it’s milder and the smoothie was for Pooky.  Don’t be shy about it either.  You won’t even taste it in there, I swear!)
  7. Two heaping cups of mixed frozen berries (I used blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries one day.  Another day I also added cherries)
  8. Optional: a few drops of pure vanilla extract and/or almond extract; a few spoons of unsweetened, unsulfured dried shredded coconut

2013-07-29 09.05.432013-07-29 09.05.54

Directions:

Add all ingredients to  your blender in the order specified above.  If you have a Vitamix or Blendtec or other “fancy” blender, choose the smoothie setting and let her rip!  If you have a regular blender, then you’ll probably need to blend for a minute or two depending on the power of your blender and how smooth you like it.  Also, don’t forget to use FROZEN berries, or your smoothie won’t be nice and cool.  I like using frozen fruit instead of ice because it makes the smoothie richer and less watery.

Pretty in purple!  Hello antioxidants!

Pretty in purple! Hello antioxidants!

Finished product!

Finished product!

Enjoy!

Simple Grain Free Banana Breakfast Cakes

Simple Grain Free Banana Breakfast Cakes

So the other day my fellow Swim Bike Mom friend, Katherine, posted to my wall asking me if I had given her a recipe that she found delicious.  The recipe was as follows:
One egg, one banana, fry in butter and top with cinnamon and sugar.  Simple enough.  But I did not give her such recipe.

However, I have been craving pancakes for weeks.  Now that I’m mostly gluten free, my pancake options are limited.  I can make them myself at home from some yucky weird gluten free mix that is probably not very nutritious and full of empty rice flour calories and sodium.  I can make my Goat Crunch Cakes (or whatever the heck I named them at the time).  They are good, but not quite the light fluffy pancakes I have been wanting.  I have found one restaurant where they are amazing.  Stone Soup Kitchen in Atlanta makes vegan, gluten free, cornmeal blueberry pancakes.  They rock.  But it’s always so busy on the weekend, and well, we’re just too lazy to drive there and then have to wait.  Plus, they use the standard Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour blend, which is fine, but not super nutritionally in my opinion.

So I remembered Katherine’s recipe which had stuck on my mind. I had some icky looking bananas on the counter; a fridge full of organic brown eggs; and I had a 20 miler on the horizon and could use a substantial, yet not heavy breakfast to fuel me.  And thus, this recipe was born.

2013-07-21 11.32.38

I tweaked it a bit to suit my needs.  The pancakes came out sweet, light, and dare I say – fluffy!  And all without any icky ingredients!  Plus, they took no time at all.  I ate about half the batch

And I paired it with a very light homemade green beverage packed with antioxidants and chia seeds to fuel my run (I call it my homemade Goatorade)!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 cup mashed ripe organic banana (mine were brown spotted on the outside, but still firm on the inside. I don’t think it’d be good with the super mushy ripe ones)
  2. 2 large organic eggs
  3. A little baking powder (make sure it’s aluminum free…and it’s probably about an 1/8 of a teaspoon…I don’t have an 1/8 measuring spoon, but I used about half of my 1/4 measuring spoon…)
  4. One Tablespoon of organic brown sugar (I actually probably didn’t need to add it, but it was delicious either way.  Again, I didn’t measure precisely… I just stuck my hand in the bag and grabbed a little.  Seemed like a tablespoon to me)
  5. A good dash of cinnamon (Sorry, as you can guess, I don’t know how much…it was a few dashes)
  6. One Tablespoon of Almond Flour (You probably could get away with it without this, but I haven’t tried it without)

Directions:

First I took my banana (I started with one small one and ended up using about one and a half small ones) and mashed it with a fork in the measuring cup until I had it pretty mashed up and had a half a cup.

Did you all see that article that a Japanese study found that brown spotted bananas can help combat cancer cells???  Who knows if it's legit, but this recipe will make you want to eat brown spotted bananas regardless ;)

Did you all see that article that a Japanese study found that brown spotted bananas can help combat cancer cells??? Who knows if it’s legit, but this recipe will make you want to eat brown spotted bananas regardless 😉

I put this in my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and added all of the other ingredients.  You could also probably just beat by hand as well…but I’m lazy and I have this fancy device, so I might as well use it!  Plus I think it helped make them fluffy because the Kitchen Aid isn’t lazy and beat the hell out of it.

I meant to take a picture of the batter, but when I remembered to, this was all that was left ;)

I meant to take a picture of the batter, but when I remembered to, this was all that was left 😉

While it’s beating, heat your pan or griddle over low-medium heat.  Grease with some coconut oil or your spray of choice.

Once it was all thoroughly mixed and my pan was heated, pour in batter.  These cook best over lower heat…so just be patient!  Also they come out much better in small pancakes – think IHOP silver dollar size 😉

You’ll probably have to wait at least 5 minutes or so for the first side to get done (at least on your first batch when the pan is still heating…)….when you note the sides firming up and some bubbles on top…then flip and cook through to your liking on the other side.

OK not the best picture, but you get it!

OK not the best picture, but you get it!

I found these really good plain….but if you want add some pure maple syrup, or as I ate the later, topped with walnuts and bananas.  You could also top with mini dark chocolate chips or some pureed fruit and they’d be awesome.

I'm proud that I took decent pictures this time, so you'll get more pictures than you need ....

I’m proud that I took decent pictures this time, so you’ll get more pictures than you need ….

I ate the rest of the batch at room temperature out of the fridge by hand – like little cakes – the next day and they were delicious!

Enjoy!

I think I finally took a good looking food picture!!!

I think I finally took a good looking food picture!!!