So last week I ran my second half marathon. Yeah - really. I'm impressed too.
Keeping up with my training plan was much harder than I had anticipated. I did better when I was training in the early spring. I like running in cooler weather and my work schedule is less demanding at that time of the year. Summer running is just not my thing. I don't like running when the sun in beating on my back. I don't like being hot. I prefer wearing long sleeves - gloves and a hat even - over running shorts and tank tops. On more than one occasion I found out the hard way that the smallest inconsistency in the seam around the armhole of a tank top is not only annoying but is down right painful after 10 or so miles.
But I soldiered on. Because I'm a solider - 🙂 Ha! No, I'm not fearless, just good at putting my head down and just getting it done. Maybe a little stubborn even.. just a little.
Overall, my second half marathon was very much like my first. I ran. I walked some. I did it by myself. My time was fairly consistent. The difference this time was I picked a training plan that pushed the long runs to 12 miles rather than 10. And even though I don't think my running has improved much between May and September -- I certainly didn't get any faster - the distance didn't feel so intimidating. During my first half I had a little panic just after the 10 mile mark as I entered unknown territory. And for a while I just couldn't run. The remaining 3 miles just seemed impossible. This time around knowing I had just completed 12 miles the weekend before made it, mentally at least, possible to keep going.
I've always been a fan of a good protein smoothie, but when I'm running I rely on them. A smoothie for breakfast or after a long run made sure I was getting good nutrition and enough protein for those long runs. So when Vega (yes!! Vega) contacted me to show you their new 5-Day Starter Kit I was really excited. The Starter Kit includes 5 single size packets - 2 French Vanilla, 2 Chocolate and 1 Berry - for a reasonable price. I love this idea. I'm always reluctant to try a new protein powder because I'm not sure if I'm going to like the flavour. It's expensive and I hate the idea of spending a lot of money on a full sized canister and then not liking it. This is genius. The Starter Kit allows you to try the flavours and see which one you like best. Who knew -- I actually really liked the berry flavour.
For this smoothie I kept things simple. French Vanilla is my favourite so I started with that. I mixed in cashews - because they lend the most creamy texture, chia seeds for a little extra thickness and fresh mint for a little something special. I love adding fresh herbs to smoothies. They blend right in and add a little spark. Every smoothie needs a little spark. Parsley, basil and mint are my favourites.
VegaOne French Vanilla is a perfect base for a smoothie like this. It tastes great on its own (mixed straight-up with almond or rice milk) or with a few extra add ins. It's vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free.
Vanilla Mint Smoothie
- 1 package vanilla vega
- 10-12 cashews
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ a banana frozen
- ½ cup ice
- Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.