Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Let Me Eat Cake

First off, some non-running highlights from the weekend. This Sunday Gabriele and Gabriele arrived to Barcelona. These guys, both seventy-three-years-old, left Switzerland on May 29th and rode all the way here. That’s quite far and quite fast on mountain bikes. We celebrated their arrival with paella at Els Pescadors.

I did a lot of cooking this weekend, but my greatest achievement was my peach cake, a simple adaptation of my mom’s traditional apple cake recipe. I didn’t do much measuring and simply replaced white flour with whole wheat and switched the apples for some juicy peaches. Juicy is bit of misnomer here; the peaches were about to rot, which, I think, is why the vegetable lady gave Charles a whole basket of them for free. I thought, what can we possibly do with so many peaches so I made peach salsa and then peach cake. The salsa turned out alright, the cake is absolutely delicious, a perfect texture and bursting with sweet cinnamony peachy goodness.


3 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup sugar / 1 cup applesauce (Original recipe for all sugar, but applesauce works well as a substitute)

3 teaspoons baking powder

4 eggs

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup fresh squeezed oj

6 very ripe peaches

Some extra sugar (I used all natural cane) and some cinnamon

1. Peel and slice the peaches. Place them in a shallow bowl and sprinkle them with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.

2. Mix dry ingredients and then add eggs, oil and orange juice.

3. Pour half the batter into a greased bunt pan and then top with a layer of peaches. Pour in the rest of the batter and finish off with another layer of fruit.

4. Bake at 350 for about an hour.

5. Let cool for several hours. Brew a strong pot of coffee and enjoy!

Week 5 Marathon Training

Monday: Planned: 5 easy Reality: Big fat 0.

Tuesday: Rest from running. Arms and abs. Reality: Big fat 0. Why? Well, I got home late on Monday night and thought I’d just run the next day, but the next day we had terrible thunderstorms and I forgot my socks and shorts for the gym. Big fail!

Wednesday: 7 miles, 5 miles at Tempo Pace Reality: 5 miles at lunch. The sun was winking at me from behind a cloud around 2pm so I decided to get a quick run at lunch.

Thursday: 5 miles. Arms and abs. Reality: The tempo! Kind of. 6.2 miles in 58 minutes. I was tired though and so hungry. I ate lunch around 2 pm and went running at 8:30 with a growling tummy, not a good plan.

Friday: run 3 / swim Reality: 0. I was super sleepy and grouchy because I had a work dinner at 9 and “nothing to wear.” Instead of running I tried to take a nap and then ironed my clothes for the dinner.

Saturday: 14 miles Reality: 13.3 miles. The first half of this run went well, but then I got really thirsty and could feel the salt on my face and the beginnings of chafing. When I got to the Hotel Vela, (about 11 miles) I really wanted to just call it a day and walk home, but I gave a myself a talking to and made it to the post office, where I stopped and basically bathed in a water fountain. I did do arms and core once home.

Sunday: swimming Reality: 5 miles with Charles sans Garmin. This was a great one. Sometimes it’s so nice to run without that stupid watch and when I keep up with Charles I know I’m running a fairly decent pace. Do you ever feel like the Garmin can bring you down?

Week 6 plans

Monday: easy 6

Tuesday: rest. Core and arms.

Wednesday: 7 miles, 5 at tempo pace

Thursday: 6 miles

Friday: 3 miles or cross training

Saturday: early am 6 miles and then at 7pm a trail run with Charles. We’re not so sure about the distance, but I think it’s about 6 or 7 miles.

What do you all think about splitting up a long run? This week it’s the best I can do with my schedule and the heat...

Sunday: swimming


  1. That cake sounds really good! I'll have to make it some time when we have company, as otherwise I'd be left to eat it by myself since M. doesn't like peaches.

    I've never split up a long run. I'm interested to hear how it goes for you!

  2. Well, not a good idea to read this "cooking" post at 1PM. In terms of training: it can be improved. You need to focus on two quality sessions each week, the rest is to rest at easy pace and to accumulate mileage. One quality session is obviously the long run, this is untouchable. The stress you suffer during a long run cannot be replaced for two runs whatsoever. The long run is key, it is your only chance for finishing the marathon "alive".
    I see you do not do speedwork, but at least do a good long run per week.
    People talk about 2:1 ratio for marathon, meaning running double miles per week than the distance you are going to race. You should be in the levels of 52 miles per week. Ok, you are not going to be in the front-of-the-pack you just want to finish. The concentrate on the long run day and make at least 35 miles per week.
    Heat is not too hard in the Canary Islands, it is like an eternal Spring all year around so I can more or les train in Summer. Which is the exact date of your marathon?

  3. Gonzalo! I like your strictness! You're quite right that I need to improve my plan, but thankfully I have a little time to play with sonce the marathon is Oct 31st. I am now rethinking my Saturday plan...
    Most people (ie my dad and Hal Higdon) are saying speedwork isn't needed for a first marathon...I do try to run fast for me on Wednesdays...

  4. I have always read that it's ok to split a long run *sometimes* but that you want to try and do as many true long runs as you can. So I'd say it's ok this time.

  5. Hi Scarlett! I have definitely split up my long runs in the past (most recently during my half training this spring I did 5 in the a.m. and 5 in the p.m. instead of 10 in order to do a fun run with some other ladies in the a.m.). I don't make a habit of it, but it can do the job.

    Barcelona is wonderful. I've only been once, and it was in the prior century :^) but would love to go back.

    Thanks for reading my blog!! Good luck in that heat. My hat's off to you.