Weekend Recap! Half Marathon Training and Homemade Almond Butter

After last weekend’s excitement at the half marathon in Pittsburgh, I decided I just couldn’t wait to sign up for another half.  Sooo I hurriedly signed up for another half marathon in West Virginia (wild & wonderful) on June 1st.  I figured I might as well keep my training and mileage up for a few weeks and score myself another 13.1 bib!  This half will be a much smaller-scale race than the one in Pittsburgh– it’s limited to 600 participants.  I’ve done both large and small half marathons, and I honestly like both styles equally.  They each have their positives and negatives.  I’ve never done this particular upcoming half, but it is reasonably priced ($50– woohoo!) and supposedly very scenic.  Sounds awesome to me!

In 2011 and 2012, I did two half marathons each year.  The half on 6/1 will be my third half this year already.  And I’m planning on doing at least one (if not two) more before the end of the year.  What can I say?!  13.1 is my favorite race distance!! =)

I convinced my bestest running friend Emily to run the half with me– wahoo!  This will be her first half of the year, so we ran our “first” training run over the weekend (we only have 2 more weekends to prepare!).  We ran a pleasant 10-miler on our favorite trail, taking breaks every mile to walk for a bit.  Our goal in the next two weeks is to run the 10 miles non-stop.  When I train for a half marathon, I always make it my goal to hit 10 miles without stopping– I never run further than that in training.  I like the last 3.1 miles of the race to be a surprise.  That always seems to work the best for me.

I decided to try out yet another new running app to track our training run (as if the ten million bazillion others I’ve downloaded wouldn’t have done the job. ha!).  The name of the app is “Runtastic.”  I think this one might be a keeper– I was really impressed with all of its features and its accuracy.  I like to pause my GPS tracking when I take walk breaks, and this app did that automatically very accurately.  If you’re in the market for a new GPS app, this one is definitely worth checking out!

Ah.  I love running.  =)

As part of this weekend’s meal prep, I decided to try making my own almond butter.  I’m super thrilled about the good deal I’ve found on MaraNatha Almond Butter at my local Sam’s Club, but I’m not super thrilled about the added sugar and oil that’s on the ingredient list.  I had a bag of almonds and a food processor on hand, so I figured I’d give homemade a shot.  It was super easy and it turned out yummy, if you ask me!  (Not to mention it’s a lot cheaper than buying pre-made almond butter, especially if you buy almonds in bulk like I do at Sam’s).

I started off by putting 2-3 handfuls of almonds into my food processor…

I turned the food processor on and let it works its magic.  It was really loud at first until the almonds started to crumble.

Just look at that creamy goodness starting to form at the bottom of the container!

I only let the food processor run for about ten minutes and ended up with smooth, creamy, homemade almond butter!

As you can see, mine turned out a little grainy– I think when I make it again, I’ll leave the food processor run just a little longer than 10 minutes.  Despite the graininess, it tasted awesome!! I’m definitely planning to make homemade almond butter from now on unless I have to buy pre-made in a pinch.  Not only is it easy and cheap(er), the ingredients list is much better, too.  Here’s the ingredient list to my homemade almond butter:

Almonds and nothing else.  And here’s the ingredient list to the MaraNatha Almond Butter I’ve been buying:

I really don’t like that added sugar, oil, and salt in there!

In the future, I plan on adding some variety to my homemade almond butter– maybe I’ll throw in some crushed almonds to make it “crunchy” almond butter or some cinnamon & raisins to give it a different flavor.  You could even add cocoa & sweetener to make it chocolatey-almond-butter.  You could use peanuts or cashews, too!  There are so many possibilities.  For this first time, I just ate my almond butter on some toasted Ezekiel bread– plain and simple.  My homemade almond butter is on the slice on the left, and what was left of my store-bought almond butter is on the right.  A great way to start my Monday morning! =)

What exciting healthy things did you get into this weekend??

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One thought on “Weekend Recap! Half Marathon Training and Homemade Almond Butter

  1. Pingback: What I’m Eating This Week (5.13.2013) | Cristi Rae

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