*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of January 19th – January 25th

Total weekly mileage: 46.25

Total January mileage (to-date): 169

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 169

Run review:

1/19         No run/rest day

1/20         1:03:43 min./8 mi./7:58 pace

1/21         55:03 min./7 mi./7:51 pace

1/22         55:49 min./7 mi./7:58 pace

1/23         29:35 min./3.25 mi./9:06 pace

1/24         20:32 min./2.5 mi./8:13 pace (short interval sesh.)

56:39 min./5.5 mi./10:18 pace

1/25         1:47:01 min./13 mi./8:14 pace

Last week was a challenging week for training. I started off pretty good but a busy day Friday threw a monkey wrench into my plan. I was only able to get a few easy miles in instead of the 10 I had scheduled which would have put me at 53 miles for the week instead of 46.25. Once again, I am reminded to “roll with it”!

In all areas of my life…

It is never a great start to the day when a child wanders into your room in the wee morning hours to tell you they feel ill. Good thing for a flexible job and a rest day so I can focus on tending to my little guy.


Have a great Monday!!

*Hope is a Hail Mary*

Running induced epiphanies are not uncommon. I do some of my best thinking, problem solving, and processing of life’s crap while I run so it isn’t really surprising that I had a big aha moment this morning. That said, credit where credit is due, it may have been inspired by Jim Carrey. Yes, the actor.

Last year, Jim Carrey gave a commencement speech at the Maharishi University of Management graduation ceremony. The original video is 26 minutes long and worthy of taking some time to listen to (it has a lot of comedic stuff too) but there is also a version that is a shorter compilation of some really thought-provoking ideas. The longer version can be found here and the shorter one here.

I listened to the shorter one just before I went on my run this morning, his words still dancing in my head around mile three, when I realized that hope is a Hail Mary. A last-ditch effort to fulfill an expected desire. Yet there is no mention of the work it might take to manifest what you hope for. Or that sometimes you have to ask for it.

I HOPE my hamstrings behave on my run today… I HOPE I set a new PR at my next half marathon… I HOPE I can still find a hotel room in Boston for the marathon…

This has been my typical approach. Wishful thinking that what I need or want will magically happen. By definition, hope is the longing or desire to for something accompanied by the belief in the possibility of its occurrence. I can believe in the possibility of occurrence all I want but if I don’t stretch, ice, roll, or rest my hamstrings, can I be hopeful that they’ll behave?

“It’s about letting the Universe know what you want and working toward it while letting go of how it comes to pass”.

The wise Mr. Carrey suggest we take a chance on Faith instead.

I have FAITH that my hamstrings behave on my run today… I have FAITH that I will set a new PR at my next half marathon… I have FAITH that I can still find a hotel room in Boston for the marathon…

Since I stretched really good yesterday, rolled out, and rested my legs, I have faith that my hamstrings will behave on my run today. I’ve been working really hard, getting in some speed work, and pushing myself. I have faith that I will set a new PR at my next half marathon. There are always cancellations and last-minute changes of plans. I have faith that I will find a hotel in Boston.

Our perception, our reality, is very much our own. I don’t want to rely on hopeful thinking. I want to put my faith in the possibility of occurrence because I am willing to tell the Universe what I want and work toward it.

I have faith in knowing you will have a great Sunday!

*Fuel Friday ~ Black Bean Chia Brownies*

I know, I know. Where the heck has Fuel Friday been?! Here’s to hoping that I can return to a more regular Fuel Friday posting schedule because my Boston fueling strategy is high priority!

(But I refuse to give up chocolate.)

Several years ago there was a popular Weight Watchers recipe floating around for black bean brownies. From what I remember, you basically bought a boxed brownie mix and a can of black beans, which you pureed, and added to the mix before baking. They were decent. But when I came across this kicked up, and nutrient dense, version a few months ago, I couldn’t wait to give them a go.

I found the recipe in a free healthy living publication that is distributed at one of my local markets. The recipe is from Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without Dieting by Joy McCarthy. She has a super cute website and blog which you can check out HERE.

I’m terrible at following recipes and most often use them as a guide of sort but make adaptations to suit my own tastes and to utilize whatever ingredients I have on hand. I didn’t have to tweak this one too much but I am perplexed by the recommendation for using coconut sugar… why have I not heard of coconut sugar? I thought I was pretty well versed in all things crunchy/hippie. ; )

These brownies are good! The recipe states that it yields 24 brownies so they end up being teeny-tiny brownie bites. I’m not sure what the “serving size” is because it wasn’t listed (I’m assuming one brownie) but a serving is 107 calories with 3 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of fat if you were to follow the original recipe.


Nutrient dense and delicious!


The recipe below is my version but I’ve noted the original ingredients or quantity too.


1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

3 eggs

1/2 cup maple syrup (the recipe called for coconut sugar)

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup raw cacao powder (you could use regular cocoa powder)

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

1 tsp. vanilla extract (the recipe called for 2 tsp. but I felt that was a little too much)

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup cacao nibs (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a 8×8 baking dish by greasing it or using cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips and cacao nibs in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the cacao nibs on the top and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool completely before cutting and devouring.


Get. In. My. Belly.

Enjoy and have a great Friday!

*Rolling with it*

At 7 PM last night, I found myself 45 minutes from home with an hour-and-a-half to kill while my daughter was at soccer practice. It had been a long and busy day already and I was tired! I could have sat in my car, vegged out on social media, and called it good. But since I hadn’t been able to squeeze in a run earlier and I didn’t want to miss my only opportunity, I hauled my ass out onto the track where the practice was being held and ran 7 miles.


Seven miles on the track wasn’t a lot of fun but I was grateful that the opportunity presented itself. This week has definitely proven to be challenging as far as getting workouts in. With that, I thought I’d share my three top tips that I’ve been putting into practice for keeping up on training when life gets crazy.

  • Do more when you have time to do more. I call this the weekend warrior approach. I typically get the majority of my weekly mileage in between Friday and Sunday because I simply have more free time. When I do find that I have some extra time during the week, I’m trying to do a little more. For example, on Tuesday my afternoon/evening opened up so instead of running the 7 miles I had scheduled, I added an extra one to get ahead of the game. Look for those windows of opportunity!
  • Accept your personal daily rhythms and plan around them. At the beginning of this training cycle, I “scheduled” some early morning runs. Have I gotten up extra early to actually run them? No. I know, for a fact, that I will not get up during the winter months to run at 4:30 AM. I just won’t. In the summer when it is light outside, warmer, and I don’t have to get myself and two other people ready to function for the day, sure. But I was delusional when I put those runs on my training calendar. So I’m accepting it, crossing them off my schedule, and moving on.
  • Break it down if you have to. During the week, Tuesday through Thursday, I’m aiming to block out an hour to run each afternoon. However, there are some days that I can’t get a solid hour. I can A) sacrifice my daily mileage goal and just do what I can or B) break it up into two runs. Two 30 minute runs is just going to be more manageable some days and that is okay. Don’t fear multiple workouts but also don’t stress if one shorter session is all you can do.

Above all else, sometimes you’ve just got to roll with it and be flexible. Life happens. Things come up. I’m constantly reminding myself of this and think there is great value in going with the flow whenever it becomes necessary to do so.

Happy Thursday!

*A little bit of random*

Today has been a series of random events that have made for a pretty decent day. Taking time to get organized yesterday allowed for a flawless execution of what is typically a hectic morning routine, especially after a weekend. I arrived to this beautiful sight at work:


Outside my office door! No filter!

My co-worker surprised me with a divine, and much-needed, latte. All of my evening activities, including driving my daughter 45 minutes, one-way, to soccer practice, got cancelled so I got a bonus night at home. The free time resulted in an awesome, albeit hilly, 8 mile run in the sunshine after realizing that Boston is exactly three months away!

See? Random!

I’ve had a few other random things on my mind the past couple of days too. Some running related, some not. But I thought today would be a good day to share the random!

::  If you haven’t seen this video, which is a small portion of an image that NASA release of the Andromeda galaxy, take a few minutes to watch it. Apparently it is the largest photograph ever taken. Seriously mind-blowing!

::  I’ve been wanting to introduce you to a really neat guy that I met last summer. I met Joe, aka, the Recycling Runner, when we ran Hood to Coast with Nuun Hydration last August. I was immediately impressed with him! He is an Army veteran, father of three (including two adorable twins), an illustrator, an influential recycler, and a heart attack survivor! In fact, all of the recyclables he collects that can be redeemed for money is donated to the American Heart Association. I really enjoyed getting to know him and want to spread the word on his efforts to support a cause he believes so much in. Not to mention helping the environment too!

::  The Boston Marathon is three months away from today. THREE!!! Today, the Boston Athletic Association announced the 2015 John Hancock Elite Athlete Team. I’m happy to see three USA ladies on the women’s team. I’m pulling for Shalane Flanagan again this year. She wants it BAD! (And on the men’s team, of course Meb.) Do you realize how fast these runners are? Shalane’s PR is 2:21:14 which she got in Berlin last year. Wowza!!

::  For the past three weeks, I’ve been obsessed with snowboarding. I’ve only been once, several years ago. I tried so, so hard but I sucked at it. And totally loved every single minute of it! I’ve spent way to much time on Pinterest checking out cool gear and dreaming up adventures to the mountain. Having a board would be a good start I suppose so I’ve been educating myself on how to select the right one (should I win the lottery, otherwise I’ll just keep dreaming) on the Burton website.

::  Since I’ve been trying to keep my diet clean, clean, clean, I’ve been looking for a new twist on one of my favorites: the Buddha Bowl. Essentially, a Buddha Bowl is a hearty salad with a combination of raw and lightly cooked or roasted veggies, a grain (typically quinoa), maybe some seeds or nuts, and some type of healthy dressing. This Thai Peanut Butter bowl made my mouth water! So did this Kale Power Bowl with Miso Dressing! It caught my attention because of the miso dressing. I love miso soup but have never used miso for a dressing before. Sounds delish!

If nothing else, please check out the video of the Andromeda galaxy. You will not be disappointed and it will leave you in awe of the vast expansiveness of our universe. Really incredible! Have a great evening!!

*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of January 12th – January 18th

Total weekly mileage: 54

Total January mileage (to-date): 122.75

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 122.75

Run review:

1/12         No run/rest day

1/13         57:39 min./7 mi./8:13 pace

1/14         54:49 min./6 mi./9:08 pace

1/15         56:42 min./7 mi./8:05 pace

1/16         1:37:23 min./12 mi./8:07 pace

1/17       13:56 min./1.75 mi./7:58 pace (short interval sesh.)

50:56 min./5.25 mi./9:42 pace

1/18       2:03:07 min./15 mi./8:12 pace

Another decent week of training is in the books. According to my training plan, which I created myself using several sources for inspiration, I should have ran 8 miles on the 14th, broken into two runs. Five of those miles were intended to be a tempo run but I opted for 6 easy, and much needed, miles with a girlfriend. I tacked on two extra miles on Friday so it all balanced out.

The nice thing about the past couple of weeks is that they’ve been light on extra activities and commitments. I’m super grateful that today is not only a rest day but a holiday too (I didn’t get out of bed until 8:30!!! Super rare for me!), and I’m taking full advantage! But the rest of the week is going to be ridiculously crazy and I’m a little nervous about getting my prescribed mileage in.

Every third week I’m dropping my long run mileage back by two or three miles but I need to keep it up the rest of the week. I know that there will be weeks like this over the course of my training cycle and they will not necessarily “make or break” my overall efforts. However, I feel like I’m just finding my groove and I hate to break the rhythm!

I’m entering the week reminding myself of this quote:

“If it’s important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse”. 

So no excuses! But first, a rest day! ; )

Happy Monday in remembrance of an extraordinary man, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Have a great week!!

*And the winner is…*

Eric W., aka, gymnut2008!

Congratulations, Eric! Please email me at hylaridenour@yahoo.com so I can send you the code for your free entry into any open heat (non-confirmed start time), Reebok Spartan Race in the continental US!

Didn’t win? How about 10% off as my way of saying thanks for playing! Use this code: SPARTANBLOGGER at registration to receive your discount.

Also, if you’d like to save 50% of on the Spartan Cruise, (50% 0ff!!!), use this code: Cruise50.

I want to give a huge shout-out to the awesome team at Reebok Spartan Race for making this giveaway possible! And, another shout-out to my readers and followers! Thanks for all of the great tips and suggestions for getting Spartan Race ready!


Footnote: The winner was generated randomly using Rafflecopter and the free Spartan Race entry prize is being provided by Reebok Spartan Race.



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