*Weekly mileage & August review*

Mileage for the week of August 25th – 31st

Total weekly mileage: 24.75

Total XC mileage: 8

Total August mileage (to-date): 178.5

Total year-to-date mileage: 1,470

Run review:

8/25       23:59 min./3 mi./7:58 pace

8/26      34:00 min./4.25 mi./8:00 pace

8/27      36:18 min./4.5 mi./8:04 pace

8/28      38:41 min./4.75 mi./8:09 pace

8/29       24:11 min./3 mi./8:02 pace

8/30       42:03 min./5.25 mi./8:01 pace

8/31       No run/rest day

August Review:

Total miles: 178.5

Longest run: 20

Total days running: 26

YTD mileage: 1,470

Miles to goal (2,104 for the year): 544

Some of my favorite August moments included:

  • Watching a movie under the stars.
  • Celebrating my daughter’s17th birthday with family and friends.
  • A crazy game of volleyball in the pool on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
  • Running my longest training run on a beautiful, local trail with BFP and a few new running friends.
  • The entire experience of going to Seattle to meetup with my Nuun team and then running Hood to Coast.
  • The beginning of cross-country season and jumping into my new role as a coach.
  • A visit from my sis-in-law and nephew and celebrating his first birthday.
  • An impromptu gathering with friends to watch football, eat pizza, and drink wine.
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Bring on September!

I’m ready for a fresh start. Turning to the September section of my planner this morning created a sense of optimism that I’ve been struggling to feel lately. It is going to be so, so busy but I’m looking forward to welcoming my favorite season full of running and XC, watching my girl play her last year of high school soccer, enjoying the return of football season, the end of season harvest that provides so many delicious and cozy meals, the changing colors of the landscape, the crisp autumn air… YES! Bring on September!

*Preface to my HTC recap*

The words are finally starting to surface. While this past week was crazy-busy, I spent a lot of time replaying my Hood to Coast experience with Nuun Hydration in my head. I think a part of me didn’t want to write a recap because it would force me to face the fact that it was over. The truth is, I never wanted it to end.

The past few weeks have been really stressful. I know everyone has their shit… health issues, failing relationships, financial trouble, debt, miserable jobs… so I know I’m not alone by a long shot. Many bloggers are often accused of only highlighting the positive aspects of their lives and I’m probably guilty of it too. But who really wants to come here to read about my problems? I wouldn’t want to.

My point is, leading up to HTC, I was in a rough place. The happy-go-lucky and upbeat Hyla that everyone knows and loves had been replaced by gloomy, bitter Hyla. I was not a lot of fun to be around. In the midst of feeling like I was being consumed by my troubles, I would find myself feeling twinges of excitement whenever I thought about my impending trip to Seattle to meet my  HTC teammates, who now feel more like family than just teammates, and take on the massive adventure of running 200 miles together.

The break in my regular routine, connecting with 28 fantastic fellow runners and Nuun employees (Nuun sponsored two teams and provided drivers for each van), and being a part of something bigger than I’ve ever experienced was so therapeutic. It was as if, for a few short days, I was extracted from the situations getting me down and I felt the weight of my burdens lift.

Reentry back into normal life, the regular routine, in addition to my new role as a cross-country coach, all while nursing the post-relay hangover that was intensified by the millions of posts, pictures, videos, and banter on social media made it all the more challenging. But now, a week later, I’ve finally started to organize my thoughts a bit better and look forward to sharing the tale of HTC from my perspective. Finding the time to sit down and write has been the biggest obstacle so bear with me. It’s coming.

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying reading some of the recaps written by my teammates. I thought you might too. Here is a partial list that link to their stories.

Dirty Old Sneakers (Check out the super cool video!)

JPC Marathoner

Liz Glomb

The Weekend Warrior

Doug Cassaro

Running Backwards in High Heels

Nuun Blog

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Meet the team(s)! I love these people!! (Photo credit: http://www.nuun.com)

*Eaten alive by laundry*

Earlier in the week I had hoped that by today I’d already have at least a partial recap up of my experience running Hood to Coast last weekend with Nuun Hydration.

Reality just smacked me in the face!

I jumped into this week full-speed and have barely stopped! Being gone for four days last week and then diving into this week… well, there will be a lot of catching up this weekend! I’ve got family coming for a few days too so if I’m absent here, know that it is for good cause. ; )

Cross country officially started on Monday and so far, so good! It is going to take me a week or two to adjust to my new schedule but the kids that have come out to practice are great. I think we are going to have a fantastic season and a lot of fun.

What I didn’t take into consideration is how much more laundry I’d be doing. Holy moly! My running wardrobe isn’t very big to begin with but when you add in two running gear changes each day… I feel like I’m being eaten alive by laundry!!

Alright. Off for now. Time to get my run done. And start another load of laundry! I leave you with a little teaser of my HTC experience. Have a great day!

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Happy to cross the finish line and see my teammates cheering me in!

*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of August 18th – 24th

Total weekly mileage: 29.75

Total August mileage (to-date): 144.75

Total year-to-date mileage: 1,437.25

Run review:

8/18      No run/rest day

8/19      30:40 min./3.5 mi./8:46 pace

8/20      42:41 min./5.25 mi./8:08 pace

8/21      32:16 min./3.65 mi./8:51 pace

8/22       47:59 min./6.25 mi./7:41 pace (HTC leg #1)

8/23       29:10 min./*3.86 mi./7:33 pace (HTC leg #2)

40:12 min./5.16 mi./7:48 pace (HTC leg #3)

8/24       No run/rest day

*HTC leg #2 was 4.86 miles but my Garmin didn’t sync until about a half mile in so I waited to start it until I saw the one mile marker.

What a week(end). I cannot wait to share my Hood to Coast experience with you. The words have not yet surfaced to describe how incredible it was and I find myself still pinching myself. Did that really just happen? Watch for my recap of the trip to Seattle to Nuun Hydration headquarters, the meeting of my teammates, and the Hood to Coast adventure itself, in coming days.

It is full-speed ahead this week. Cross country started today and I dove right in! More on that to come too.

Have a great week!

*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of August 11th – 17th

Total weekly mileage: 52.5

Total August mileage (to-date): 116

Total year-to-date mileage: 1,407.5

Run review:

8/11      26:01 min./3.25 mi./8:00 pace

8/12      41:40 min./5.25 mi./7:56 pace

8/13      43:26 min./5.25 mi./8:16 pace

8/14      29:56 min./3.5 mi./8:33 pace

8/15       1:22:55 min./10 mi./8:18 pace

8/16       50:33 min./5.25 mi./9:38 pace

8/17      1:09:13 min./7.5 mi./9:13 pace

1:54:48 min./12.5 mi./8:57 pace (Watch reset after we stopped at 7.5 so one in our group could turn back.)

A solid week if I do say so myself! Yesterday I got suckered into running 20 miles on a hilly, gravel (somewhat uneven) trail. (And by suckered I mean totally willing!) While it was beautiful, a nice change of pace, and fun to run with some new peeps, I had to really dig deep the last 6 miles! I had 19 miles scheduled anyway so what’s an extra mile, right? Slow going, but glad to have 20-mile long run in for this training cycle.

I realized, seeing my year-to-date mileage, that I’m just over 600 miles away from my goal this year. I’m pretty sure I’ll even exceed my 2,014 miles in 2014 goal at least by a little bit if I keep it up!

*The final HTC prep begins!*

I’m bracing myself for what is most likely going to be a whirlwind of a week!

I hate to think that in one week from right now, it will all be over and I’ll be back home. Boo. (Note to self: don’t think about that and stay in the present moment. Geesh!)

In three days I will be heading to Seattle to Nuun Headquarters to meet my fellow teammates. They have some fun stuff in store for us and I can’ t wait to meet my team! There are actually two teams running Hood to Coast for Nuun: team Wild Berry and team Lemon Lime. I’m on team Lemon Lime! ; )

There is plenty to keep me busy over the course of the next few days… outfit planning, laundry, gathering gear, packing, preparing snacks for the trip up and throughout the relay, squeezing in a few more training runs, getting a little extra rest, hydrating (and more hydrating!), organizing some scheduling stuff for the rest of my family in my absence (but who am I kidding because MOM WILL BE GONE!), and trying to keep my cool because I’m so, so excited! Oh, perhaps I should get a train ticket too…

You’ll probably notice that my postings here will be limited this week but you can follow my journey on my Twitter and Instagram accounts while I’m away.

Okay, I guess I should go be productive… maybe get a head start on that laundry. ; ) Have a great Sunday evening!!

*Fuel Friday ~ Chocolate zucchini muffins*

If you aren’t up to your eyeballs in zucchini, I’ll assume you live A) in Antarctica, B) under a rock, or C) in some other desolate region of the world where either it doesn’t grow or you live more than 200 miles from any other form of human civilization.

Joking.

But if you aren’t growing it yourself, I’d confidently bet that you have at least been given, or offered, some zucchini from a friend, neighbor, or over zealous new gardener that had no idea how much zucchini a single plant will produce in a season.

I love zucchini and it kills me in the winter and spring months when I have to buy it from the store because this time of year I eat it nearly every day. It is such a versatile fruit. Yep, if you didn’t know that, zucchini is technically a fruit but I still consider it a vegetable as do most in the culinary world.

There are so many fantastic ways to prepare it, and perhaps I’ll share a few of my favorites in the coming weeks, but as I discovered a few years ago, zucchini and chocolate pair together wonderfully!

First, let me give you a couple of tips on selecting, and preparing a zucchini to use, specifically for baking purposes. Smaller zucchini, like the size you find in the store, are better suited for eating raw (zoodles!) or in stir-fry’s and such. Home-grown zucchini often is left to grow a little larger than ideal so you’ll often get really large ones and they are great for baking with.

When they are larger, the skin tends to be a little tougher and they will be seedy. The skin is edible, and I did leave some on when I grated it, but I tried to use more of the fleshy insides. I don’t own a food processor so I grated it by hand. I cut off the ends and then cut it in half both lengthwise and across. I then scooped out the seedy part with a spoon. This recipe calls for roughly two cups of grated zucchini which was 3/4 of the one I had on hand. It will vary depending on the size you use.

CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE-CHIP ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

Ingredients:

2 cups zucchini, grated

1 cup flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour)

1 cup oats

1/2 cup almond meal/flour

1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tbsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

3 eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tbsp. honey

1/4 cup agave

1/2 cup milk (I use almond milk)

2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate chips)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and coat a muffin tin with cooking spray. Prepare the zucchini following my tips above and set it aside.

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The grated zucchini will be added last.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips, and mix together. In a separate bowl, gently whisk the eggs together and then add the remaining “wet ingredients.

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Dry ingredients: flours, oats, cacao powder, etc.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and thoroughly mix together until well combined. Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips last. Transfer the batter to the muffin tin, filling each space nearly full.

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Ready for the oven.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of one of the muffins. If it comes out clean, they have finished baking and can be removed to cool. If not, let them cook for another couple of minutes, keeping a close eye on them.  Let them rest for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to finish cooling on a rack. This recipe will produce a dozen muffins.

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The final product.

These muffins are slightly dense and while they are fairly moist right from the oven, they may dry out a little. I would suggest warming them up before serving. As a straight-up muffin, I added a little drizzle of coconut oil to mine before eating it. (Butter or nut butter would be an option too.) But then I did this:

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Oh yes.

Remember my Guilt-free Chocolate Sauce recipe a while back? You’re welcome!

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