Tag Archives: dried cranberries

Recovery Monday Bars

13 Feb

Today is Monday. Monday is a recovery day. Now, before I go any further into what this particular Monday has looked like, I want to make sure we’re all up to speed on the lingo. Recovery does not mean that I am “off” or enjoying a day of “rest.” On off days, I don’t have a scheduled triathlon workout but I can take care of other stuff–like my job, my badly neglected social life, etc…I can do yoga, I can tootle around on my bike. On full rest days, I’m supposed to stay off my legs as much as possible. Full rest days normally come 48 hours before a race or 24 hours before a long training session, say a long run or a long bike or a long bike followed by a long run (a.k.a. a “brick.”)

On recovery days, I still have to run. In fact, the run that is scheduled on my Training Peaks (more on TP later) is referred to as a “recovery run.” The benefits of recovery runs are apparently hotly debated. I am learning that most techniques for effective endurance training are. Hotly debated, that is. There doesn’t seem to be any debate that recovery runs are good for the athlete, just a debate about why they are good.

I’ve been told that RRs get blood moving through the legs again after a long or hard training run the previous day and that promotes the clearance of lactic acid. This article I just found on Active, claims that the benefits are more about training the runner to run on fatigued legs. Whatever. It’s a win-win either way and I gotta do one regardless. Tonight.

I gotta recoverun (ya’ like that?) tonight because I didn’t get up and do it this morning because I really, really wanted–no, I needed–to sleep in.

Another translation: “sleep in” for triathletes means, “wake up a minute after sunrise.”

But I don’t mind running at night. And I actually look forward to Monday night recovery runs because a) they’re easy (depending on where I am in the training schedule, they can be anywhere from 30-45 minutes at a luxuriously slow pace in a luxuriously low HR zone) b) I normally do them with the group (although tonight, I have to go it alone a little on the early side so I can make 6:30PM yoga so I can get home and get to bed before 10PM so I can get up at 6AM tomorrow to get my swim in before the work day begins) and c) …wait, what was I talking about?

Oh yeah, Recovery Monday. Yoga has to happen on a Recovery Monday otherwise I won’t be able to get to class until WEDNESDAY! Oh, the humanity! Before I started participating in this ridiculous sport, I was doing yoga 4-5 days a week. Now, I’m lucky if I can get eight classes in a month. If I don’t practice 2 days a week, I find that my running suffers. My sleep suffers. My brain suffers. My mood suffers. My friends suffer. My students suffer. There’s a whole lot of unnecessary suffering.

Also on Recovery Mondays (“RM,”) I like to catch up on “life” stuff. As in, I do laundry, I grade, I prep for classes. I’m feeding my teammate’s dog this week so I did that on RM. I bought a new vacuum last week so today I took that little red devil for a spin around the old casa. I also went grocery shopping.

And the same thing happens that always happens: I go off-list for a second and suddenly find myself in the granola bar aisle. This happens constantly. I never buy anything but it has become a kind of grand dream that I will find a box of granola bars that does NOT list High Fructose Corn Syrup (or even SUGAR) as its first ingredient. And even grander still, is the dream in which I find said bars and they don’t cost $5.99 for six of them.

So I stood in the aisle and I picked up every box of granola bars on the shelf and I scrutinized the labels, trying to find ONE that had less than say, 10g of sugar per serving. I’m sure I looked like a right ass, studying a box of Fiber One bars like it was a Biology text and finally I was like, “I never studied for biology.” And I threw the box at the head of a woman standing next to me (no, I didn’t) and I ran home in a rage (no, I didn’t)  to make my own (yes, I did).

I’ve tried making protein bars and granola bars in the past and I’ve never had much success. But this batch, I think, might be a winner. I also decided to experiment with soy flour (since I never have before and it packs a mega protein punch). It’s working for me.

I can’t remember exactly what I did–silly me, I didn’t write anything down–but I think it was like 2 2/3 cups oats, 1 cup soy flour, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, a handful of dried cranberries, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1 cup canned pumpkin, like 1/4 cup blue agave nectar, some cinnamon and a twee pour of almond milk. Mixed it all together, baked it in a 9×9 pan at 375 for 25 minutes and voila. Here they be:

I kinda can’t stop eating them. But I will. I will freeze half the batch (individually wrapped) and throw them in my lunch sack when needed. Oh, I also made those muffins on the rack below. Here’s their Sears glamour shot:

These are old hat at this point. Couple mashed bananas, more canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, white whole wheat (with some soy flour thrown in today), agave and almond milk. I make them all the time and freeze in pairs. I like to have one before a long bike. They’re totally vegan too. In fact, so are the bars!

But don’t worry. I roasted a chicken at the same time I was baking.  No pic of the chicken. That would be indecent. I will tear it apart and try not to think of it as it once was (alive) and use it in spicy chicken-vegetable hash and other such recipes this week.

So now that all that’s done, I can stuff myself into my “cold weather” running gear (it’s 60 degrees here today) and head out to recover.

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