All Kinds of Accomplishment
Guess what I did this morning?
I ran (almost) 18 miles! I’ve done this before, but I definitely did NOT feel as good about that run as I felt about this one. On my previous 18 miler, I started feeling tired after mile 15. I could feel my form becoming sloppy, my feet were dragging, and all I could think about was finishing. Not so this time. Even though my ankles started aching a bit towards the end, I felt good, even speedy, up until the last steps. I don’t have a fancy watch so I don’t know what my splits were for this run, but I’m pretty happy with that final time. I’d like to run my marathon somewhere in the 4:10 range, and if I plug 9:57 min/mile into the Runners World pace calculator it puts me in at around 4:20. I hope that I can shave off those 10 minutes come race day! I think I can.
My other running accomplishment for the week was hitting a new weekly mileage high of 44 miles. It’s kind of crazy to think that just a year ago 20 miles a week was a big deal. Of course, just a year ago if you had told me that I’d be training for a marathon I’d probably have told you you were crazy.
I like to attribute my successful run this morning to my expert night-before fueling strategy, which consisted of eating 3 giant pieces of the most delicious banana bread I’ve ever baked.
(Sorry for the terrible quality of this photo. I don’t own a camera, so everything is taken with my extremely grainy cell phone…)
This is not your standard banana bread with walnuts and chocolate chips. This banana bread is far more cosmopolitan than that. It’s moist and dense, but fluffy at the same time. It’s got a crispy cardamom and sugar crust and a rich cinnamon-y interior. It’s something you could serve at a fancy restaurant with a scoop of artisanal vanilla ice cream, though it’s just as at home being eaten warm out of the pan in while reading a good book. Basically, you need to buy yourself some bananas and bake this right now.
Here’s the recipe, somewhat adapted from Five and Spice
Cinnamon Banana Bread with Cardamom Sugar Topping
2 cups ap flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
3/8 cup brown sugar
3/8 cup white sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbs. plain Greek yogurt
½ cup vegetable oil
3 Tbs. raw sugar
1 tsp. cardamom and a pinch of nutmeg, for the topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and nutmeg and salt
- In a medium bowl, beat together sugars with eggs for 3-5 minutes. Add mashed banana, vanilla, yogurt and yogurt and stir till combined.
- Add oil to wet ingredients.
- Gently mix dry ingredients into wet. Do NOT overmix! This is how you get the bread to be awesome and fluffy and soft.
- Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Mix together raw sugar with cardamom and nutmeg and sprinkle over the top.
- Bake for about 45 minutes until a fork inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- You could wait for this bread to cool for 10 minutes like a real grown up person, or you could succumb to your ravenous crazy friends and eat it out of the plan. Should you choose the second route, you won’t regret it!
How do you feel after a long run? What do you usually eat the night before? Do you like to bake?