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Monday, May 26, 2008

Banana Pecan Coffee Cake & The Half Marathon

Yesterday was race day. In the morning I relaxed with a cup of coffee and warm bowl of oatmeal. At 6:22am the weather was already sunny & warm and I knew it was going to be a hot run. The previous night I watched my husband finish his 10km in a great time (Congratulations!). Seeing him cross the finish line at his goal time and being around all the other athletes pumped me up for Sunday.

After coming back from 2 years of injuries, my goal time was to break 2hrs. As my training progressed, I felt that I was a stronger runner and figured if I had the best race I could have I could complete the half marathon in 1:50 hrs or even break that time by seconds.

The first 14km of the race went much energy and spring in my step (had to stop for 30 secs to tie my shoe though). By km 15 the heat from the hot sun was starting to taking a toll on me... with no hat... I could feel the sun beaming down on me. The sun can be your worst enemy out there if you are not well covered up and do not get plenty of water. Unfortunately there were a few runners who literally dropped to the side lines with heat exhaustion/stroke.

Kilometers 15 to 20 were good and I was still pumped, looking at my watch I knew I could not slow down now, in fact I would have to speed up slightly to reach my best goal. However, the legs were begining to get stiff by 18km and it was difficult to push any harder... but I dug deep and pushed on. The last kilometer was as expected - the most hard... I kept my pace and struggled for each breath. I tried to sprint to the finish line, but my legs felt like cement blocks and it was too hard to pick up any faster of a pace. I did hold onto an already good pace of 5:23 per km.

When I crossed the finish line I was more than elated with my performance and time of 1:50:38.

The anticipation of having to race can be overwhelming - you get this nervous, anxious, excited takes a lot to calm the nerves. For me the best way to relax and keep my mind off the race is to cook or bake.

So on Saturday to keep distracted and busy I made a coffee cake. If you are like me you always have tons of bananas in the freezer and sometimes get to the point where they begin to take over. So I decided to make a banana coffee cake. I found this recipe at the Bob's Red Mill website. I have used some of this company's product's such as their flax seed and find them of good quality. They also offer a lot of gluten free and organic products. Unfortunately in my anxious state I missed a step of the recipe and rather than pour 1/2 the cinnamon mixture in the center I put it all on top. Regardless it turned out moist and tasty.

1/2 cup chopped Pecan Halves
1/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 cup Banana, mashed
1 Tb Vanilla
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 cup White Flour, Unbleached
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a tunnel or bundt form pan and set aside.

Combine the chopped pecans, ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, bananas and vanilla. Add the sour cream and mix until blended.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this to the batter and beat until just blended.

Sprinkle half the sugar/nut mixture into the greased pan. Top with half of the cake batter. Follow with the second half of the sugar/nut mixture and end with the rest of the cake batter. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove springform rim to finish cooling. Makes 18 Servings.

Me after 21km (1:50:38) enjoying water, bagel, yogurt and flip flops.
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Forts said...

Way to go Tray. Although I knew you could hit that time, seeing you come in at 1:50 was unbelievable. You did amazing, just watch out for those bubbled things coming out of your toes.

Parker said...

Ha! yes they were something out of a medical text book weren't they. I still think I might lose that entire toe.

Peter M said...

Congrats on the race and you deserve a fine cake like to munch on afterwards.

Vicarious Foodie said...

This looks so awesome, and your pictures are lovely.

Congratulations on your great performance!

ChichaJo said...

That coffee cake looks fantastic...I love banana breads and I'm sure I could eat more than my fair share of this!

Cingratulations on your race!

SBP said...

Way to go Tracy!

Kevin said...

Congratulations on the run! That banana coffee cake looks really good!

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