My training progress is pretty minimal – I have developed plantar fasciitis – an inflammation of a band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, which runs under your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. This inflammation results in a deep, stabbing pain on the bottom of the heel, making it difficult for me to run. As a result of this, I’ve had to scale back my mileage and have had to stay in shape through other modes of exercise – mostly by riding my bike. I’ve found that switching to cycling while dealing with a running injury has been helpful because it helps strengthen the complementary muscles in my legs, and helps to increase leg turnover. Both of these things are crucial to being primed and ready for an upcoming race, and it is the next best thing to actually being able to run. Hopefully, with diligent attention to my aches and pains, and supplementing my normal running schedule with cycling, I'll still be able to finish the race, and with any luck, run it at pace!
In the meantime, to fuel my bike training I have been enjoying these homemade cherry-almond granola bars – these are incredibly easy to make, healthy and provide lasting energy for long rides.
Adapted from PowWow.com
MAKES 12 BARS
START TO FINISH: 25 MINUTES
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 cups quick oats
1½ cups almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried cherries
3 tablespoons brown sugar
⅓ cup honey
1½ cups almond butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sides.
2. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oats and toast until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, combine the oats with the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. (This can be done by hand, but it’s especially quick in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.)
4. Press the oat mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Pop the pan into the refrigerator or freezer to let the mixture set for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into 12 evenly sized bars and serve. The bars will keep in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic for up to five days.