Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pancakes and a Poem

or in other words, I couldn't sleep.

The other night I couldn't sleep, so I just opened my journal and started writing. Kate had made pancakes the day before, which I couldn't eat because they have sugar in them and I'm still in the middle of the Fed Up 10 Day No Sugar Challenge. (I will be getting everyone the DVD for Christmas. you're welcome)

So I had pancakes on my mind. I also wanted to use up the almond/hazelnut pulp leftover from making this caramel vanilla hazelnut milk, which was extremely delicious by the way. And I had bought buckwheat flour a while ago when it was way on sale but I've never actually made anything with buckwheat so I decided it was time. Normal flour would work too though! I didn't add sweetener but once I topped them with sliced bananas and some strawberry peach ginger chia seed jam, they were really good. Here it is:

topped with peanut butter and jam. buckwheat isn't the most photogenic flour...
Banana Peanut butter Buckwheat Pancakes
Makes 5-6 4" pancakes

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 banana
1/4 cup almond pulp (or almond meal, or the other half of the banana)
1 cup almond milk or other milk
1 T apple cider vinegar (optional)
1.5 T peanut butter
1 T coconut oil
1 t vanilla

optional -
2-3T liquid sweetener (honey, maple syrup, etc.)
1 T chia seeds

Add vinegar and chia seeds if using to almond milk, and set aside for a few minutes until the milk is curdled and the chia seeds have started to gel. Mash a banana in a medium bowl and add vanilla, peanut butter, coconut oil, almond pulp, sweetener if using, and the milk you set aside. Mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. I added some unsweetened shredded coconut too just for fun.
Cook on medium heat. Buckwheat takes longer than normal pancakes so don't turn the heat too high or it will burn before the middle's cooked. I put a lid on the frying pan for a while to help it out.

I also wrote this enlightening poem. Enjoy.

the calm
should put me to sleep
but really
it just makes my hair smell good

Thursday, July 10, 2014


I had a great and much needed summer break! I relaxed and cleaned the apartment, which I hadn't had time for in forever between working like crazy and running.
Betsy came, and I ran the 50k. We touristed around Seattle and had a pole vault family reunion! 4 of us together, which hadn't happened in over 2 years. We just need Floydface to come visit now. We hiked up to Rattlesnake Ridge, which I'd done a couple times before but it had been raining both times so it was nice to do a it in the sun!

at Fremont Brewing

#pvfam reunion
downtown Seattle
Betsy at the gum wall
we ran into the Pride parade and fest
at the top of Rattlesnake

Luckily the clouds had cleared for the last couple days Betsy was there and we spent a lovely night at Golden Gardens drinking Summer Shandy's and hanging out with some new acquaintances.

Golden Gardens
4th of July was fun. A former coworker Mary, Kate and I went to the house of a couple that goes to Kate's church. I didn't really know anyone, and Kate only knew some people, but it was still fun and there was lots of food. It was drizzling all evening (typical...) but the fireworks were still cool over Lake Union.

I ended summer by actually working at Zootunes, a concert series in the Woodland Park Zoo. We set up a kids area for all the kiddos that get bored. I really liked the band and even stayed after we were done cleaning up till the end! There were the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

I'm excited to be here for summer. Everyone's just so happy here when the weather's nice, and I'm excited to have consecutive days off and more chances to go hiking and exploring the area! It comes with struggles too like finding a new place to live and not actually working a full schedule, but mostly things are going pretty well right now!

right after the 50k. soaked


Friday, July 4, 2014

Taylor Mountain 50k Race Recap

Hello! I am indeed alive, and I recently survived a 50k trail run! This is a long one, beware.

I did the Taylor Mountain 50k, which is (unofficially) one of the Issaquah Alps just outside of Seattle. The trails are not that developed because it's kind of unknown, and the race was even cancelled for a while because the trails were in such bad shape! But thanks to the Washington Trails Association, I got to run.
beginning and end of the half marathon loop

Kate was supposed to run with me, and actually this whole thing was her idea, but she sprained her ankle a few weeks ago at work so she unfortunately couldn't. But that meant I got both Betsy and Kate for my crew!

The course was 2 half marathon (13.1 mile) loops and a 5 mile loop.
creek crossing

The excitement started right away at the end of the first mile with the first creek crossing. It got deep in the middle, but I'm no stranger to creek crossings. They were two other slightly smaller ones throughout the course. Then it goes straight uphill in a creek bed. Think mud and rocks. Luckily, the first time up wasn't terrible and there were lots of people around me. The trail kept going up and there were beautiful purple monkshood flowers lining the trail! And blocking the trail... Eventually I made it down to the first aid station! I didn't want anything salty the whole race, only sweet.

pretty much the only trail
with an actual name
We continued down a fire road to the trail at the lowest elevation of the race. It was raining on and off, and started raining pretty hard. I was soaked by the time I made it back to the aid station. I put on my ankle wrap because I knew the way back to the start was very steep. It was a good call. The last 3 miles are brutal. I finished the first 13 miles with my knees hurting from the downhill. After a quick snack, I grabbed my iPod in case I needed it and was off. It was much quieter the second time around! And after a couple hundred people had been through combined with the rain, it was quite muddy. Up to my shins. There was a woman running in vibrams and jeggings and she was struggling walking up the hill through the mud.
preventative ankle wrapping

I made it to the aid station but Kate and Betsy were nowhere to be seen. Luckily I wasn't too desperate, and figured I would see them in a few miles. It was really pouring now, and this part of the trail was literally a river. I'm talking monsoon level here folks. Plus a horse almost ran me over. I'm not sure who thought it was a good day to go riding in that weather. I was really wanting some of my snacks and a change of socks, but I missed my crew again! The aid station was pretty much out of any real food, so I had to grab a clif bar. The 3.5 miles to finish the second loop were brutal. Luckily I saw Kate and Betsy where we crossed the fire road and changed socks. There was about 5 lbs of mud in each shoe.
My eyes hadn't been focusing right for most of the loop, but this part has steep uphills and downhills. The downhills are fast switchbacks, so being able to see is nice. Plus it was basically a slip n slide covered in ankle sprainers, aka rocks. Luckily I did not sprain my ankle but I was hurting. I dropped my waist pack and iPod, and started walking up the fire road for the final 5 mile loop.

My dedicated crew

not a fan of the cold and rain

This was right after I pulled myself out of the shin deep mud and was running in a creek bed train in the pouring rain
 I met up with Kate and Betsy and they walked up with me. I took ibuprofen and that combined with the long walking break gave me new life. Plus, there was watermelon at the top! It started pouring again and I started running. They ran a little with me, but I got ahead on the trail. I don't think they realized what I meant when I said "this part's really wet." But they got standing water mixed with horse poop!

this is what it feels like when you finish 31.25 miles
I finally made it back to the start/finish! Alive! It was pretty anticlimactic because they didn't even have the finish arch up anymore since it had been raining too hard. I finished in about 7 hours which was pretty much the best I had hoped for.
 I ate the nutella off a gross bagel and then we left and went to a restaurant in nearby Issaquah. I got a veggie burger WITH CHEESE that I hadn't had in many months. Verdict: the cheese wasn't that great. Not worth it. The best part of the meal was tea. And the fries. I was craving salt at this point!
lunch at the Issaquah Brewing Co.

Betsy warming up at home.            Gotta put my legs up!

We got home and washed everything and I felt surprisingly good. I was a little sore the next two days but not worse than normal soreness!

I'm really glad I did this race, and would take monsoons over way too hot any day. But I'm not sure I'll be doing another ultra any time soon. I got annoyed with training! I'm looking forward to just running for fun this summer and staying active by playing this summer!

Update: here's the course from my Garmin before it died. The distance is not entirely correct because I forgot to turn off auto pause, so anytime I was going too slow (often) the watch would stop - there was 4500ft elevation gain.