Homemade Granola and Staying on Track with Training

I have always wanted to make homemade granola and I finally did last night. It's healthy, it's clean, and it's super easy. It was a nice addition to my meal prep for the coming week to add into yogurt, on top of peanut butter and banana chunks, or on its own.

I've been completely MIA this past week from my blog. I was cramming for a finance/accounting test to get a designation at work, and let me tell you - I am not a finance person. I studied English and have avoided any class that required a calculator since freshman year of college. However, I want to get better at my career and advance myself by getting the appropriate designations... but I am sooooo glad that test is OVER! And then my internet went out on Friday! Talk about relief followed by stress. But I am back now!

Enough about ridiculous finance classes and internet drama. Let's talk about running. Even though I was focusing on my test, I stuck with every planned workout and run this week in preparation for my next race. The Operation Jack Half Marathon is my final race for 2014 and I am really pleased with how well my training has gone since the Long Beach Half Marathon where I over trained.

One struggle this past week with sticking to my training was the rain. I'm a California girl and am so lucky to live by the beach - and I know how lucky I am when I read about all of my fellow runners who are confined to a treadmill because it's -5° outside. Either way, us Californians are not ones who deal well with anything other than sun. My Monday night run was followed by 2 days of cold, wet downpour. I was not going to let that ruin my workout routine though. So Tuesday was a cardio day again with an awesomely tough hour long cycle class that left me drenched followed by a back and shoulders workout on Wednesday morning. I'm very excited to do one final long run (12 miles) this weekend and then tapering to race day. I'm hoping to break my average 1:45 finish time and keep each mile under 8 minutes.

10 mile long run on Saturday at 8 min pace

10 mile long run on Saturday at 8 min pace

This is by far the toughest time of the year for myself, and many runners, to stay in shape and in a routine not only because of weather, but because of the festivities - there's parties and family gatherings or events that just mean tons of food and things your body may not be used to eating. One thing that has helped me with staying on track is MEAL PREP. I spend Sundays getting together a meal plan for the week - all of my lunches and breakfasts that need to go with me to work, and deciding what days I will have to cut back on treats or minimize my snacks due to work lunches, dinners, or happy hours with friends. Keeping healthy, fresh food around at all times is a lot of work - it means more frequent visits to the grocery store and more food preparation, but it's worth it to feel good and see your body perform well because of it.

How do you stay on track with your race training, fitness routine, or nutritional goals during the winter months?


Homemade Granola

1 cup oats (quick cooking or old fashioned)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin or pepita seeds
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1. Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Honey or Agave Syrup

Preheat oven to 200°. Combine all ingredients in a shallow baking dish and mix well. Cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool before serving.