Chocolate Protein Ball Recipe

These days it seems like when we aren’t pounding the pavement we are constantly running from one activity to the next, one job to another or from work to the gym. In order to fuel your body properly to perform your best, and to stay healthy, it is helpful for you to have your snacks prepared for you to grab and go. One snack that has made a huge difference for me is these Chocolate Protein Balls. They fill me up and are so easy to take with me and eat in the car! Lauren P. shared this recipe with a few us a long time ago and when I tried them out I wondered why I waited so long!  Try them out and let us know what you think!

chocolate protein ball

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate (I bought mini chocolate chips and they worked fabulously!)
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate flavored protein powder, or to taste

Directions:

10 minute prep

Ready in 40 minutes

  • Stir all ingredients together in a bowl until evenly mixed
  • cover bowl with plastic wrap
  • refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • Scoop chilled mixture into balls
  • Keep cold until serving

If you have a recipe you think the group would love please email it to: gmmrttblog@gmail.com

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Going BIG with Big Sur Marathon | A Race Recap

When I decided years ago that I would run a marathon I decided my first one would be a BIG one.  I didn’t necessarily mean in terms of people in the race, but I wanted something epic.  A race that people would recognize.  A race that would inspire me through whatever challenges lay ahead.
After having my second child in February 2015 I decided to start looking into chasing my next big scary goal.  I looked at a few lists of Marathons to run and found a race that sparked my imagination and my first marathon goals of:
  1. Scenic
  2. Big enough to have company but not a crowd
  3. Reasonable temperatures
  4. Well supported
  5. Memorable
Big Sur was like a checklist.  I had my name in the lottery as fast as I could despite the fact that I didn’t think I would be running the race in 2016.  After all tried to get in to NYC marathon for 4 years before deciding I didn’t want to run it my automatic entry year.
Then Mikaela posted about how we had both gotten into Big Sur.  I was in shock, I was in awe, I was beyond excited.   I trained as best I could despite getting injured due to stepping on an ice ball during our relatively mild winter and prepared to travel to California for the race.
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On to a more traditional race recap.
Big Sur Marathon 
 
Cost: $160 if you get in through lottery, $320 if you want to pay an extra charitable donation to get in  + flights, hotels, food etc
Location:
Big Sur Marathon runs 26.2 miles from Big Sur Station to Carmel California along the gorgeous coastal route 1.  I had driven the road during my honeymoon in 2007 so I knew it was a gorgeous race.  The race also offers a variety of other distances if you have any friends that want to race, but don’t want to run a marathon.  My best friend who lives in California ran the 9 miler.
That whole area is gorgeous too, we made the race the focus of our yearly family vacation.  We went on marine life viewing boat rides, played on the beach, went hiking in Pinnacles national park, went to a discovery center, it was worth the trip out there.
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Course:
The course may be gorgeous and straightforward (kind of hard not to follow the only road running along the coast) but it is not easy by any means.  Conservative estimates of the elevation gain are 1700ft, my strava reported a gain of 2000ft.  As a comparison strava reports Manchester City Marathon as being about 1200 ft of gain.  As part of the race one must run a 500ft gain hill over the course of 2 miles to a point called hurricane point.  On race day this point was so windy that I think I still have flashbacks of being in some crazy weather.
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Bib Pickup/Expo etc: 
Smooth and easy in downtown Monterey a short walk away from fisherman’s wharf.  They had a separate tent for bib pickup and for the Expo.  After we picked up our bibs we went to get our tickets for the bus where a volunteer gave us such a complex and long winded explanation of where we had to park and where we had to go to get our bus that we got a little nervous.  We went over to the expo and picked up our shirts.  The expo was relatively small but nice.  It took us a while to find the Big Sur backdrop and we stood in line for it when we did.  Big Sur also has a lot of merchandise available to purchase.
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Logistics:
Coastal Route one is not very heavily developed south of Carmel.  Because there are limited places to stay most people stay in Carmel or Monterey and you must take buses down to the start of the race.  Warning: Hotel costs are insane during this weekend, and with a 3:30am bus loading time it’s hard to avoid staying in a local hotel.  We did have to wait in line for the bus (because we didn’t have the VIP option it was a school bus) but it wasn’t too long.  We had no problem parking and going to the Starbucks that opened at 3:30 am to serve us.
When we got to Big Sur Station it was a bit of a mess.  There was lines going everywhere by the time we got there and we needed to use the rest room.  We worked our way through the crowd to find that most people were in line for coffee and bananas, the porta-potties were quick.
The staging area was crowded and confusing because it was a really small area for 4000+ people.  I did find a small patch of ground to sit down and tape my ankles.  Then we dropped off our drop bags and promptly missed the loading of our intended pace group’s corral.  We got quite confused but made our way as far back as we felt like going.
The Race
The race was fantastic.  There were pace groups for every 15 minute goal time up to 6 hours (the cutoff).  I mostly ran alone but did chat with a few people.  The temperatures were perfect (I think in the 50s) but the winds were I.N.S.A.N.E.  I was trotting along at a 10:30 min/mi pace.  As soon as I started hitting wind I looked down to see the same effort was now giving me about a 12 min/mi.  In a way the many hills were a respite from the headwind.
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There was plenty of aid stations along the course and they were very well manned.  We got water, Gatorade and a medical table every few miles.  I grabbed some Vaseline from a board being held out near the edge of the road a couple times once I realized I was getting chaffed under my arms.
Your family can only come see you at the finish (probably the only real disadvantage I can think of other than the hills) but the course organizers made sure to have musical acts all the way along the course.  My favorite was the group playing war drum type music as we were about to head up the worst hill on the course and the piano signifying we had come down that hill and reached the half way point.
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The half way point was immediately after a famous and historic bridge known as Bixby bridge.  I actually found that area to mess with my head a little.  There were news vans and people hanging around taking pictures.  I just wanted to keep enjoying my run and the nature.
I planned the race with a few key hills that I would walk.  Other than hurricane point, most of those hills were in the second half of the race.  Actually the last hill was right at the 25 mile mark.  Are you kidding me!  I managed to get to the top of that hill, found the aid station that was handing out strawberries and enjoyed the last stretch near the ocean.  Then a girl I had run with earlier (who lives in Merrimack NH), came up to me and said, “lets do this”.  I flew at the end I was so excited and emotional.  I couldn’t wait to see my parents, my kids and my husband.  They were there… but they didn’t see me run by.  I guess I was just going too fast for them.
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Post-Race
The post-race village was nicely set up.  You picked up a box of food and were funneled into a large center courtyard with a family reunion area.  There was a beer tent, entertainment, some more food, massages etc.  Only problem was that you couldn’t see the rest of the finishers unless you had a VIP package.  So when I wanted to go see Mikaela finish, I had to hobble all the way around this village to go stand in the commoner section and watch her finish.
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And finish we did 🙂
Miriam

BSG- Big Scary Goals

Over the past two weekends, we’ve had many of our members successfully complete a marathon. 26.2 miles will absolutely change you. So will a 5k, 10k or half marathon if you’ve never done one before or have specific goals you’re trying to reach.

One of our members, Kristen C, shared with us in our Facebook group about how we provide inspiration, motivation and support for each other and how we can use this group to help achieve our goals. She went on to say:

“Keep setting your goals, share them with others. Commit to your plan. Consistently work toward your goal, reach it and set some more. Set mini goals while working towards big goals. No goal is too big. Set a Big Scary Goal (BSG) -one you may not even fully believe (for now anyway) you will ever reach. Commit to it. It may take a long time but you get out what you put in. Believe in yourself.”

Since then our group has started talking more candidly about goals and some members are even sharing their BSG. It’s  an incredible feeling to put out there on a message board, or say out loud, a goal that you’ve been turning over and over in your head. Once it’s out there, you can’t take it back. You have people that read it or hear it and could possibly, so kindly, check in on how your doing with that goal and that’s the scary part. Once you say it out loud you have to commit and there is a slight added pressure to make it happen. However, that’s the thing… use that pressure to motivate you, to light that fire inside and find the courage to make that BIG scary goal something you can proudly check off your list.

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While sharing your goal is scary, it’s so important because now you have people around you that can support your goals and possibly help you achieve them! In fact, you might find that someone else has that exact, or similar, goal and you can work together on achieving them. If you share your BSG we can celebrate the mini goals you’re achieve along the way. Running is amazing like that. We are all working alone to push our bodies to do different things but we’re all moving forward in the same direction together: to be better in some way. We are all together in this!

Once you have your BSG here are some things you should do:

  1. Write it down and put it some place you can see everyday
  2. Commit
  3. Share it with someone
  4. Set up smaller-attainable- goals for you to achieve along the way
  5. Be consistent
  6. Believe
  7. Celebrate mini goals
  8. Repeat 4 through 7 until BSG is achieved!

You got this ladies!!! Guess what!? Whatever you have in that far corner of your mind that you feel you’ll “never” be able to do,  is possible! We support you and all of your BIG SCARY GOALS! Whatever they may be. So, get after it!

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Spread your wings and fly!

Do you have a BSG that you’d finally like to share? Comment below, we’d love to hear them! Dream big baby!