Friday, September 18, 2009

Inspiration awards

I belong to a great Women's networking group, and every year they host the, "Step Up Inspiration Awards" honoring underprivileged teenage girls and well-known female role models.

Today, my day was inspired by three people/things and so, I present to you, the first ever Run Betty Inspiriation Awards:

1. Goes to dietgirl for not only being an inspirational (and hilarious) role model to those who struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but also, for posting the recipe for this healthy, tasty ,homemade granola.

2. Goes to Dr. Ed Wolfgram, a 76 year-old ironman triathelete (and open-heart surgery survivor) who, in his own words, "...frequently runs where I'm going when I run errands," including, but not limited to, the mile-and-a-half trek to his OWN OPEN-HEART SURGERY. (Article in this month's Runner's World magazine, or here.)

3. Goes to the pumpkin.

A's parents gave us this beauty last weekend and I've been itching to cook this cutie (and all its' little canned friends) all week long.

So - how did these people/things inspire my day?

It all started with an overripe banana. What do I do with this? (Just one overripe banana, mind you.) Not enough to make banana bread with, too mushy to eat plain, too wasteful to throw in the trash. And then, THEN! I remembered dietgirl's granola recipe called for a mushy banana.

I started in on the recipe in typical fashion (i.e. not reading through the ingredients or instructions very well and just hoping for the best.) I got so far as the, "toss the banana goo with the dry ingredients" step when I realized, quick-cook instant oats probably don't make for the best granola, now do they?

What to do?

And then the inspiriation from Dr. Ed struck. I'd just read the article over breakfast - while sipping a cup of pumpkin spice coffee - and before I even had a chance to think about it, I was pulling on a sports bra and running shoes, grabbing my credit card, and dashing out the door to Ralph's (one of the many benefits of living 0.4 miles from a grocery store.)

Ten minutes later (no joke - I timed it with my handy running watch - thanks Vita's!), I was back in the kitchen, spreading banana-goo covered old-fashioned oats onto a baking sheet.

I now had 40 minutes to kill, but not a passive 40 minutes mind you, because granola needs to be flipped, mashed and broken apart every 10 minutes while baking.

What to do?

Since I've been running a lot this week, I'd planned to rest today and go to yoga instead. But seeing as I already had my running gear on and a good endorphin rush going, I did what any other runner in my state would do with three 9-minute-ish intervals on their hands - I ran sprints on my treadmill.

Yup, that's right. 10 minutes is just enough time for me to walk the ~50 feet from my kitchen to my treadmill, sprint a mile, cool down, and walk the ~50 feet back to the kitchen to rescue the granola from the oven.

Now, Kara Goucher I am not, but let me tell you, I am pretty darn pleased with myself for those 3 miles - 8:58/8:52/8:44 splits - not too shabby for someone who usually crawls along at a 10:xx/mile pace.

After I pulled the granola out of the oven, I jogged another half mile to cool down, and headed back to the kitchen and made myself the most delicious post-run snack I can remember having:

Pumpkin pie yogurt

(Mix 3/4 cup fat-free greek yogurt, 1/4 cup canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and splenda to taste. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup granola, and tell me that doesn't taste just like a creamy, delicious pumpkin pie?) Nutrition facts: Calories - 218, Fat - 3g, Protein - 21g, Carb - 27g, Fiber - 4.5g

Still on tonight's agenda:

Pumpkin Risotto (thanks Susie for the recipe!), a fresh loaf of bread, another batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and a relaxing night at home with a bottle of Kennebunkport Pumpkin Ale.

Hope you all have wonderful weekends!

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