I had a 7.5 mile run on my schedule today and the idea of it was stressing me out. Running more than 5 or 6 miles alone can get a little boring, and it’s hard to stay properly fueled and hydrated when you’re out for so long. So I decided to split my run into two 40 minute sections with a stop back at my house to refuel.
I ran 20 minutes out, turned around and came home to fill up the water bottle and eat half a banana with a spoonful of honey. The first 3 miles were pretty easy and I was keeping a steady pace of just under a 10 minute mile. I was trying to keep it as easy as possible since lately I’ve been struggling with hills and anything over 5 miles. The fourth mile is where I started to feel the heat-it was in the mid 70s and sunny when I left at 10 a.m., which was a bit warmer than I had expected it to be. Plus, this part of the run back to my house is up a mean hill that has been killing me these past few runs.
The second time around wasn’t any better. The first mile out is mostly uphill and I thought I was going to throw up. But things started getting better as the road flattened itself out and mile 5-6 felt much better. Then I hit about a half mile uphill stretch around mile 6.5 where I started fighting with myself about whether or not I should give up my bib for the Army 10 miler. I finished the last mile and almost cried when I walked back into my house and tried to stretch out my sore back and legs.
Stats: 7.5 miles, 1:17:23
Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through so much torture, but in the end I’m usually glad I did. Especially since I came home to this. Mmmm carrot cake.
I found this recipe at 101 Cookbooks. The author of this blog is a genius.
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used 1 cup spelt flour and 1 cup all-purpose GF flour)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, heated until just melted
- 1/2 cup dried dates, seeded and finely chopped into a paste
- 3 ripe bananas (1 1/4 cups), mashed well
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrots (about 3 medium)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (2% or lowfat is ok)
- 2 eggs, lightly whisked
- 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup (or to taste) – I used the maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9x5x3 / 8-cup loaf pan (or 8x8 cake pan) and line it with parchment paper.Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the walnuts and set aside. Stir the dates into the melted butter, breaking up the dates a bit.
In a separate bowl combine the bananas and carrots. Stir in the date-butter mixture, breaking up any date clumps as you go. Whisk in the yogurt and the eggs. Add the flour mixture and stir until everything just comes together. Spoon into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean in the center of the cake - it'll be less if you are using a standard cake pan. Remove from oven and let cool.
While the cake is baking whip together the cream cheese and agave nectar. Taste. If you like your frosting sweeter adjust to your liking. When the cake has completely cooled frost the top of the cake with an offset spatula.
I didn’t frost my cake with it since after it cooled, I cut it into single servings, wrapped them up in aluminum and threw them in a freezer bag to store. I can’t eat my baked goods fast enough so this keeps me from forcing myself to eat and also from anything going bad.
There are a few things I would do to make this recipe a little more to my liking (such as adding a few more spices) but overall it was the perfect texture and had great flavor. And the fact that it was sweetened only by bananas and dates made it even better.
It was so moist and thick…so good. A great compliment to a long run.
Off to watch my team play Sunday Night Football!