What’s Up 2016?

Hello 2016! I’m back! I’ve missed you all!

One of my 2016 intentions is to start my blog again.

Let me back up a bit. One of the many great things my boyfriend has bestowed upon me, is the idea of setting “intentions” at the beginning of the year (vs. a New Years resolution). Things we both “intend” to do/work on over the course of the year (relationship, work, personal, fitness, etc). Last year I set out 10 intentions for myself and saved them in a list on my phone and would check in from time to time. Before I could set my 2016 intentions, I looked back to see how I held up to my 2015 ones. Out of ten, I achieved 8.5 (whether I’ve actually been able to improve my golf game is hard to judge). I had two intentions related to running:

  1. Circuits/strength/cross train: once a week minimum

    CHECK! Looking back at my training log, in 2015 I attended 26 spin classes and did 77 strength/circuits over the course of the year. (If you do the math, that’s about 2 cross training/strength sessions per week – I had doubled goal after I got injured). I found this was one area that would always fall off when I started running a lot because I couldn’t fit it all in. But after my calf injury, I realized how important this ‘stuff’ is to help keep my limbs healthy, so I’ve made a concentrated effort to keep it going.

  2. Run a sub 1:26 half or sub 3:00 full marathon

    Key word being “OR”. So I can check that off because I ran a 1:25:54 half marathon in March of last year – just barely made it in there! If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know I had one failed attempt at a sub 3:00 marathon in Boston because of my stupid left calf.

After I set my 2016 intentions, I logged on to my blog and it so kindly reminded me it has been 4 months since my last post (but I had over 2,200 views in 2015 so THANK YOU!). Looking back, I think after my injury when I wasn’t running as well, I selfishly didn’t want to write about my not-so-great-running experiences publicly. I ran a half marathon in November that was the slowest I’ve run in two years. There I said it! I’ve had just as many bad runs as good ones and those are the ones I learn from and encourage me to work harder.

So while 2015 didn’t end up being the record breaking running year I had hoped for, I am ready to try again in 2016!

I knew I wanted to train for another marathon in the new year, but I wasn’t about to train in another polar vortex to stay local – and I am not emotionally ready to go back to Boston.

So, really, that only leaves EUROPE as my marathon destination. I have signed up for the Rotterdam Marathon (in the Netherlands) on April 10. (I have paid for the cancellation insurance just in case.)

After my less-than-stellar performance in the half marathon in November, my running group went on a much needed break. We enjoyed two weeks of optional running followed by a gradual, easy-does-it increase through December. It was nice to run when I wanted, and when I didn’t want to – it was nice to not feel bad that I was ‘slipping behind’ in my fitness because I knew the break was needed. Now that January has hit – the Angels are back in full force! Hill repeats until our legs fall off! Yippee!

I hit 100km this week for the first time in 10 months. While I have been excited to challenge myself again, I am a bit sleepy and my legs are starting to feel tired.  9:30pm is the new bedtime and if I don’t eat every 1.5 hours, I get hangry (hungry + angry). But nothing feels as good as running full time and pain free again. The excitement of my upcoming European adventure is what gets me out of the door before 5am in sub-zero temperatures lately.

Regardless how running goes this year, I promise to talk all about the bad stuff just as much as the good stuff. This is my solemn intention to you!

run4

FOOD! Well I can’t say I took the same break from cooking or baking like I did from running. These black bean brownies have literally changed my life. They are so easy and SO delicious. You won’t believe you’re eating a can of black beans! Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups black beans (One 15oz can rinsed and drained very well).
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (or agave or honey)
2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (NOT OPTIONAL)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top. Bake for 15-18 minutes (it usually takes 20-23 minutes in my oven). Cool completely for 10 minutes before serving. If they still looked undercooked, place in the fridge overnight and they will firm right up!

brownies

Black Bean Brownies – No Flour Required!

 

 

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