Recently, in a moment of weakness, I did something incredibly out of character for me. I signed up for a 5K race. On purpose.
Yes, I realize this is not that big of a deal for some of you out there. Running a 5K is certainly nothing new. However, for me, a Momma of three who doesn’t run unless someone is chasing her, this was huge. So huge in fact, that I rendered my husband completely speechless when I told him the news. He is an avid runner and has been trying to convince me to join him in this sweaty sport for the entire thirteen years of our marriage. I have always resisted, making it clear that I have the utmost respect for runners, but that I have never had any inclination to be one of them.
So what changed?
I had kids. Three beautiful hoodlums that left me with a condition called diastasis recti. If you aren’t familiar with this, it is a separation of the transverse abdominal muscles (your 6 pack muscles) that often occurs during pregnancy. This issue usually resolves itself postpartum, but mine did not. I am left with a large gap in the middle of my belly. There are several exercise you can do to help alleviate this condition and while I have added those to my workout routine, some of my usual go-to sweat sessions only exacerbated the problem. Running, I discovered in my extremely unofficial research, can help because it strengthens core muscles gently and consistently, without aggravating or overly stretching the separation. *sigh* So … a running I will go!
I decided to sign up for 5K before I could talk myself out of it and the first thing that popped up in my search was the One Run Columbia race. It takes place the last Saturday in March which gave me plenty of time to get my butt in gear. Local races are a great way to get involved in your community by either participating or volunteering. Even as a spectator, it is hard to resist the contagious spirit of athletic events! You can check out this link to find a local race happening right here in the Midlands. I am now several weeks into the Couch to 5K program and I should probably confess that I don’t totally hate it. I might even be enjoying it a little bit, but do NOT tell my husband.
In an effort to fuel my new found sport, I pulled out all my easy, protein packed snack recipes and these little gems may be my favorite! These gluten-free snack bites are great for pre or post workout and makes life as a running mother much easier. They are no-bake (awesome), use few ingredients (score), and have chocolate chips in them. Win-win all around! They are also freezable. I like to make a few batches ahead and then pull them out as a handy, ‘as needed’ pick me up. My kids are also crazy for them so they get tucked into school lunches, stashed in road trip snack bags, and hurriedly pressed into hands to fill in the gap between after school sports and the ever looming dinner hour. They are totally customizable to your individual tastes and are so simple to make, my 8 year old can whip up a batch on her own. Her ratio of chocolate chips to oatmeal differs from mine, but they are still good and definitely enjoyed by the whole family. No 5K registration required.
Honey Oat Protein Bites
1 c peanut butter or almond butter
1 c ground flax seeds
2 c rolled oats, gluten free if desired
1/2 c mini chocolate chips or 1 c raisins or dried cranberries
2/3 c honey, preferably raw
Combine all ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Cover and chill until the mixture firms up. Scoop by level tablespoonfuls and roll between the palms of your hands until they are smooth and round. Chill. Enjoy! Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for … I don’t know! We always eat them too fast! 🙂 I like to freeze them in bags of six to pull out later and make them last longer.
Have you prepared for a race? What’s your favorite “go to” recipe to keep you fueled?