On August 1, I ran the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, and it was AWESOME! You may remember that I ran the half-mary for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation endurance athlete program to raise funds to kick cancer’s ass. I am 100% certain that my marathon was awesome BECAUSE I ran for a cause I’m passionate about. The people who run marathons for charities are an amazing bunch. I volunteered at the ACS booth at the expo before the race to help check-in our runners and met so many amazing people who shared their reasons for running for ACS, and found myself tearing up many times while talking with our athletes.
Then, there was the DetermiNation Team Dinner before the race – I met even more amazing athletes there, and the inspiring, emotional program speakers really set the tone for the weekend ahead to go out and make every step count for the loved ones we were running for. Sunday morning, I was ready. I checked-in at the ACS tent, met up with our team, and headed for the starting line for a team picture before the race.
And then, I was off. I started the race running with a few friends who were running the same pace – 10:30 miles. My friend Jeff ran with me for the first half, and I know that I ran far faster and had more fun than I would have without his company. I left Jeff at the halfway mark, and finished the race on my own, running up to any ACS runner I found along the way to chat for a few, and offer encouragement…it was a blast! My legs felt solid for the whole race, and the ACS cheer teams along the route and the rock bands at every mile mark kept me moving and motivated. I’m proud to say that I finished the race faster than my 2:30 goal, with a finishing time of 2:22! (View Race photos HERE.)
After the race, Mark and I immediately hopped in the car to drive up to Tofte, MN for our annual camping trip with our friends. Sitting in a car for 11 hours after a half-marathon may not be the ideal plan, but I had a cooler of ice at my side and an ice pack that I refilled for the entire journey to ice my legs, and it did the trick – I wasn’t nearly as sore the next day as I expected. Following a big race with a week on Lake Superior with dear friends camping is probably the best finishing line I can think of!
Back home in Chicago in the land of heat and sweat, I decided it was time to dig out the popsicle molds. I’ve been frozen banana obsessed all summer – eating a couple chunks of frozen banana has become a pre-run ritual, and sometimes I dip them in melted chocolate and peanut butter for an extra decadent treat. So taking a note from my banana bon-bons, I decided to go for a chocolate peanut butter vegan fudgcicle.
I gotta say, you need to make these – NOW. They have that perfect creamy fudgecicle consistency with no dairy, and no added sugar. I know I’ll be making many more batches of these treats.
Finally, thank you ALL for your support and encouragement during my training for the half-marathon! With your help, I raised $2100 to help cancer patients and fuel the discovery for new treatments and cancer cures!
What’s your favorite frozen treat in the heat of summer? Share your favorites in the comments below!
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Banana Popsicles
4 large bananas, peeled
1 T vanilla extract
1/4 c peanut butter (natural unsweetened, unsalted creamy peanut butter)
1/3 cup good-quality dutched cocoa powder
pinch of salt
- Add all ingredients to the food processor and puree until smooth. Pour the pudding-like mixture into a two-cup measure for easier pouring. Pour the batter into your popsicle molds and let them freeze until solid, about 4-6 hours. Unmold the pops by dipping them in a glass of hot water for about 15 seconds before pulling the pops from the molds.
- UPDATE: Someone stop me, I can’t live without these treats! I took a new approach and poured the mixture into my silicone muffin pans, then froze them solid, popped them out of the molds and cut each “banana cake” into quarters, so now I have chocolate banana bon-bons, for quick, easy snacking!
173 cal per popsicle, 30 cal from fat, 8g fat, 10mg sodium, 260mg potassium, 22g carbs, 3g fiber, 12g sugars, 3g protein