Monthly Archives: July 2015

This (Third) Time Around

When embarking on a new adventure, I typically approach the situation thusly: “I got this!” My attitude toward adventures that are similarno_thang to previous adventures (i.e., my third marathon) is a bit more like this: “Ain’t no thang!” Benefits of this approach include an overwhelmingly positive outlook and joyful naiveté that actually gives me quite a bit of momentum into whatever it is I am doing. Drawbacks include finding myself at a bit of a loss when I run into unanticipated obstacles (because I didn’t anticipate any obstacles).

Two weeks into training for Marine Corps Marathon, my mindset keeps swinging between two thoughts – “Ain’t no thang!” and “Crap!” I’ll start with that first thought. This feeling is rooted in the life experiences and hard lessons learned from having run two marathons before. I know what training feels like, I know what the race feels like (at both the extreme of really awful and really great), and I know generally what the marathon experience feels like. Hard, irrefutable facts born out of lived experience. That’s how history works, right?

On the other hand, we have “Crap!” This comes from the fact that I have run two marathons before, meaning that although I have experience with marathons, I don’t have quite enough experience to know everything about them. My sample size of two has provided me with vastly different training plans and incomparable race experiences (though the overall experience, influenced by runner’s amnesia, was pretty much the same). So whenever I encounter something that adds even the slightest level of adversity to my run (i.e., a ridiculous heat index, summer thunderstorms, side cramps, big hills, little hills, that kinda tired feeling you get after the exhilaration of running wears off a few miles in, etc., etc.), I wonder why running isn’t as easy as I remember it having been in the past.

Both of those thoughts are equally valid and important to my current marathon training, but the trick is finding the balance between the two. Yes, past experience with running marathons helps me better prepare for my third marathon. No, past experience with running marathons does not mean that everything will be easy for my third marathon. This marathon is my third marathon, and that is a unique experience. Though similar, it will be entirely different from anything I have ever done before or might do again in the future.

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Malted Chocolate Cheesecake

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No need for an introduction to cheesecake, we already know it’ll be delicious!

DSC01221Crust
1 C graham cracker crumbs (about 16 squares)
¼ C sugar
1/3 C butter, melted

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Combine ingredients, press into the bottom of your baking implement*, set aside.

 

Cheesecake
3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
¾ C chocolate malt powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla

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Beat cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth.

 
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Add malt powder, mix well.

 

 

 

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Add eggs, beat on low speed until combined. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla until just blended.

 

 

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Pour over graham cracker crust.

 

 

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Bake at 325 until center is almost set.

 

 

*Bake time depends on how you choose to make them. For DSC01230the cupcake variety, I baked them for 18-20 minutes (the top will rise and crack). I put the remaining batter in an 8×8 clear glass baking dish and baked it for 50-60 minutes. Just keep an eye on it (I set my timer every 10 minutes) and it should be fine. To give you an idea of how much this recipe makes (a lot!), the original called for a 9-inch spring form pan, bake time of 60-65 minutes.

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