Chocolate, Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

I’ve got the day off due to a blizzard that was supposed to hit here today! We ended up getting a few inches of snow followed by a wintery mix and lots of rain! Well, I figured today was the perfect time to try a new recipe & here I am to share it with you guys because it was so darn delicious!

I am a huge fan of Kodiak Power Cakes! Not only are they easy to make, they are:

  • High in protein – 14g per serving
  • High in Fiber – 5g per serving
  • NON-GMOΒ 
  • Contain no preservatives!Β 

nutrition

Here is what you will need for this recipe:

  • 1 Box of Kodiak Power Cakes – Protein Packed (pictured below)
  • 1 .85oz. packet of Chocolate PB2 or 4 tablespoons (pictured below) – for extra flavor add more!
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 spatula
  • 1 can of cooking spray
  • 1 non-stick frying pan
  • Approximately 1 cup of water

box n pb 2

Directions:

mixture

  1. In a mixing bowl combine 1 cup – 1 1/4cup pancake mix with 1 cup of water & 4 tablespoons of Chocolate PB2. Mix vigorously until you get a battery consistency. Add more water or mix as needed – should look similar to photo above.
  2. Spray frying pan with non-stick cooking spray and turn stove on low.
  3. With a large tablespoon add pancake batter to the pan. I cooked about 3 at one time – recipe makes 7-8 pancakes.
  4. Cook until lightly browned then flip to other side with spatula.
  5. Once both sides are lightly browned; remove from pan with a spatula & place them on a plate to cool.

They should look similar to the picture below:

pancakes

Β VOILA! ENJOY! Let me know what you think!!

Thank you as always for following my journey! @meretherunner14

Belcorva Giveaway

Just a few more hours to enter my giveaway from Belcorva Clothing – contest ends at 11pm EST! Head over to my Instagram, @meretherunner14 Β under this photo for details! Good luck!Β IMG_20170306_194446_156

My 4th BQ – Finally A Reality – Philadelphia Marathon Race Recap

On Sunday, November 20th I toed the starting line of the Philadelphia Marathon excited to run my 11th marathon & 2nd Philadelphia Marathon!!

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For days; I avoided watching the weather forecast knowing that was the one thing that would send me into a complete frenzy! Every time someone would ask “When is your marathon?” and I would reply with “Sunday!” I’d stop them before they could even say a word about the weather, but the expressions on their faces told me it wasn’t good! I stayed calm, knowing in my heart that I put in 16 weeks of the toughest training I had done in years. I trusted my training going into this race with the motto “everything I need is already inside.” A friend of mine saw the forecast and said to me “you are stronger than the weather, remember that!!” That was another motto I took with me that day as I ran the streets of Philadelphia! Going into this race – I had no pre-race jitters which is completely abnormal for me. I took my place in the black corral, made sure my shoe laces were tied tightly (something I always do before a race) and waited for our corral to start!! Although I didn’t watch the weather forecast; I could tell it was not going to be an easy race judging by the wind gusts! The temperature was around 42 degrees, which in my book is ideal marathon weather! Within minutes we were off! I knew I’d have to pace myself properly because I didn’t want the wind to tire me out! I maintained a pace of 8:15 for the 1st 10k running mostly throughout the city where the tall buildings blocked the wind. We then ran through the rolling hills of Philadelphia which I don’t remember from the last time I ran Philly! At the half marathon mark I was at 1:48:10 – averaging a pace of 8:16. Just before mile 14 we passed the art museum and we greeted by a huge crowd of spectators, cheering our names and giving us high 5’s!! I then spotted my husband and gave him a high 5 as he cheered “Go Mer Go!”

I was so excited to see him out there! At this point the wind really started to pick up as we headed into Fairmount park running along the Schuylkill River! I repeated to myself “I am stronger than the weather!” At this point not only was I conquering the wind but also the rolling hills in Fairmount Park. I held strong taking water and Gatorade at every single aid station. At the 30k mark my average pace was 8:18. I pushed through still feeling so strong despite the wind and the hills!! At mile 20 was the turnaround point & I wasn’t sure if the wind would calm down or pick up. At times I thought to myself “ok this is tolerable” but by the next minute I was thinking “am I going to blow away?” So unpredictable! I pushed through and kept repeating positive mantras in my head! Around mile 22; I spotted an Instagram runner friend; Bennett! I told him I was on target for a BQ! He said to me “you’ve got this!” Deep down; I knew I could do it! I felt so strong & if I could just push these final 4 miles the goal I’d been chasing for 4 years (running my 4th BQ) would finally become a reality!! I pushed through, some moments tougher than others as Bennett encouraged me to push through! We approached mile 26 and the crowds of spectators grew larger & larger! We were greeted by lots of smiles, motivational signs & encouraging words!!! I spotted the finish line; Bennett said to me “come on you’ve got this!”

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I kicked the pace up running beside Bennett & crossed the finish line with a BQ; running my fastest marathon since 2012′!!! I am still on cloud 9! I can only imagine what I could’ve done in perfect weather conditions but I am completely ecstatic!! I not only accomplished my goal, but I earned myself another BQ!

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Official time – 3:39:01!!! Almost 10 minutes faster than my March Marathon on a more challenging course!

Definitely a proud moment for me!!

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2 Philadelphia marathons – 5 years apart – both BQ’s on the same exact date – 11/20!!

I am still on a runners high!

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A huge thank you to my husband who puts up with the madness of marathon training; waking up early on weekends for races, carb loading with me etc. He is truly the best & I am so lucky to have him in my life! None of this would be possible without his support!

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Thank you as always for following my journey!! Mere @meretherunner14

NYRR France 8k – Race Recap

Another hot/humid summer day in NYC. I drove into the city bright and early; called my friend H & we headed to Central Park for our long run. I was running the France 8k as part of my long run so I decided to log a few miles before. I logged 2 miles in the park with my amazing friend Haley before looping around to head back to the starting line & wait for the race to begin.

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My only goal for this race was to enjoy the run. I had no time goals as I was using this toward a 12 mile long run while earning credit toward my 9 + 1 for TCS NYC Marathon 2016. I took my place in my corral and minutes later the Star Spangled Banner was sung. Halfway through the song; it started to rain. In minutes we were off! By mile two it started to downpour and my sneakers began to fill with water. They got heavier and heavier with each mile! I had no goal time so my only goal at this point was to finish without slipping. I refused to give up no matter how heavy my sneakers got. I kept moving! I crossed the finish line, took a quick photo and tried to dump some of the water out of my wet shoes.

I was soaked & it was more humid than it was before the race began, but I knew my work was not done! I had a few more miles to go to complete my 12 mile run so I got to it. I continued running in Central Park in & logged my 12 miles! Not a bad pace for running in soaked clothes. πŸ™‚

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After I completed my run; I met up with Haley & we grabbed some protein smoothies before heading back to her place to watch the Men’s Olympic Marathon. H was nice enough to give me dry clothes to change into so I didn’t have to drive home completely drenched! She’s such a good friend!

By the time I left the city; the sun was shining and it was just beautiful outside!

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It was a good day!! Next up – 5th Avenue Mile!

Thank you as always for following my journey!! @meretherunner14

 

Neptune City 5K Race Recap – 1ST in Age Group

A little behind with my race recaps – racing, marathon training and a busy work schedule have kept me from blogging as much as I’d like to. Thinking back to August 6th; a cloudy, humid morning. As many 5k’s/races as I’ve done – this distance still gives me the pre-race jitters. The thought of going all out for a shorter distance gets my nerves going, but I continue to register for them constantly testing my limits!! It was a hot/muggy morning – high humidity so I quickly took the pressure off myself by simply saying to myself “Be safe let’s see how this goes in the heat – listen to your body!” Before the race start we all said the Pledge of Allegiance. I took my spot at the front of the pack & within minutes we were off. It was hot/humid so I made sure to pace myself! I was feeling good at mile 1 and continued to pace myself through mile 2. With 1 mile left, I picked up the pace a bit in hopes of a strong finish. I don’t run well in heat/humidity but I crossed the finish in 23:07 feeling strong!

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I felt like I still had something left in the tank & that was a good sign considering I had my long run the next day!!

I found my hubby & we headed over to check the results. I placed 1st in my age group, 4th female and 24th overall.

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I received my medal on stage and after I went to breakfast with my hubby to celebrate. I am so thankful for his constant support!!

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Next up – NYRR France 8k.

Thank you as always for following my journey! @meretherunner14

Boomer’s Cystic Fibrosis Run to Breathe 4 miler – Race Recap

With summer here; although I am training & racing – I’ve fallen a bit behind on my blogging! Here I am, back & catching up!😊 On Saturday, July 16th I got out of bed bright & early to head this NYC. Today, I would be running my ” 6th NYRR race toward my 9 + 1 for

NYCM 2017. It was another hot, humid summer morning in the city. I did not have any time goals going into the race & decided not to put any pressure on myself to run a certain pace. My thought was “its hot – its humid – I’ll run with no music – listen to my body & see how this goes.” The race began with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, announcements from the race director – telling us to run safe in the heat and some inspiring words from Boomer Esiason. Within minutes, the race started. It was a hot one but I felt good. My goal was to not focus on the time on my watch but instead ruin by feel & hydrate along the course! I crossed the mile 1 marker at a pace of 7:58. I wasn’t all out racing, I was running a comfortable pace & feeling good! I made sure to grab water sip some of it & pour the rest over my head at every water stop. At mile 2 I was at a pace of 7:59, still feeling good. Halfway through, the sun was shining bright & it was getting even warmer but I was so determined! I crossed the mile,3 mark at 7:44 pace and at that point I said to myself “finish this race strong!” We came to a downhill in the park where there was a crowd of spectators yelling “less than a mile to go!” I kept repeating to myself, you’ve got this! I conquered the heat finishing mile 4 at 7:37! Average pace was 7:48/mile – finishing just 27 seconds off from a 4 mile PR even in the scorching heat.

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Overall, I was very happy with the way I paced myself in this race & content with my time. Below; I’m sprinting full speed to the finish line!

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After the race I ran into my amazing friend Martina who ran the race as part of her long run for TCS NYC Marathon! It’s always so great to see this girl!!

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I headed back over to the finish to stand with my hubby & brother- in-law as we cheered on my amazing sister-in-law Jess as she crossed the finish line!! 😊

boomer 18.jpg

We hung out in Central Park, took some pics & just enjoyed the beautiful summer weather in the city!!

As always our hubby’s were there to support us & to be silly!

We grabbed some Starbucks coffee!

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Of course Jess & I got our Instagram names put on our cups!!

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After we said goodbye & headed back to the parking garage where our car was. The guy in the parking garage was nice enough to let us know that if we came back in 30 minutes (which would be 4 hours of parking) the cost would be half. We decided to grab some protein smoothies so we found this cute little place nearby and that’s exactly what we did!!

It was a wonderful day with wonderful company!!

Thank you as always for following my journey! Mere @meretherunner14

Β Next up – Neptune City 5k – 8/6 (I placed 1st in my age group – blog coming soon)! 😊

Tiux Compression Sock Giveaway

There is still time to enter my giveaway from Tiux! One lucky person will win one pair of Tiux Compression socks (your choice of colors). Visit my Instagram @meretherunner14 & look under this photo (on my Instagram page) for details. “Run. Jump. Go.” Contest ends at 11pm (EST) today 8/4. Winner will be announced on Instagram tomorrow 8/5.

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Belmar Five – Race Recap

This summer has been quite busy; putting me a little behind on my blogging but here I am on “Throwback Thursday” ready to tell you all about this awesome race! I am blogging as I wait for my car to get an oil change so here goes!! On July 9th I ran the Belmar Five! This is a local race that takes you through beautiful Belmar; one of the Jersey Shore beach towns.

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People from all over New Jersey & even outside NJ come to participate! This race is known for being one of the hottest races of the year (last year’s race pics below).

However this year was quite different! This year it was cloudy, humid & misty & the rain picked as the race started.

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This was my second year running this race. Last year I ran this race with a sesimoid stress fracture in my foot (with my doctors ok) so I knew this year’s time would most likely be better!I went out running with no music; as I’ve done in all my race & training runs since early June. I went out with no pressure on myself; no high expectations but simply a goal to just run strong! I’ve found in the past that when I set goals for myself prior to a race; I would spend the whole race looking down at my watch stressing myself out if I’m not where I need to be. That took the fun out of racing for me. With that; I’ve recently stopped running with music, stopped starring down at my Garmin constantly to take the pressure off myself & just focusing on listening to my body & running the best race I can. The start was a little crowded which helped me to pace myself for the first mile – keeping it at 7:43! The rain was coming down but with the high humidity, it just felt perfect!! At mile 2; I was feeling good and I spotted Heather – a fellow instagrammer on the course so I ran beside her and said hello!! We saw one another out on the course at Runapalooza in April, but never actually met so it was so great to see her!! I continued on pushing through the humidity & enjoying the rain falling on me; keeping me cool!! I crossed the mile 2 mark at 7:39. As we headed into mile 3 and approached the Belmar boardwalk; we were greeted by a large group of people cheering for us!! I was feeling determined & loving these cooler temps! We ran through a bit of wind as we ran along the ocean, but I pushed through strong holding a 7:43/mile pace. With just 2 miles left; I looked down at my watch and knew the chance of running a PR was pretty good!!! I stood clear of focusing on the time on my watch prior to this to keep from stressing myself. I was determined; pushing the pace crossing the mile 4 mark at 7:38/mile pace. I was feeling good!! I said to myself “1 mile left Mere; you’ve got this!” I focused on staying strong as my SparkletΒ  bracelet from Momentum Jewelry says and you know what – I did!!!

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I ran mile 5 at a 7:26/mile pace crossed the finish line with an overall pace of 7:37/mile!!! πŸ˜€ This was huge for me; not only a course PR (shaving over 3 minutes off of last years time) but a new 5 mile PR! 😊

I managed to run negative splits and place 11th/ 165 females 35 – 39 years old, 76th/1,216 women and 355th/2,438 overall!! I was so proud! After the race; I ran into Heather, we chatted and of course took some pics as we Instagram folks do!

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She told me of a post race BBQ for all runners at a local Bar/Restaurant in town so hubby and I decided to go!! 😊 Each person received their choice of a hot dog or hamburger platter! We also received a medal & a flower at the finish-line, a T-shirt and a Belmar 5 souvenir cup for the races 40th anniversary!!

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Hubby and I hung out and just relaxed for a few hours; it was so nice!!

Overall it was a wonderful day; I earned my 53rd medal & put my 84th race in the books!

Although it tends to be a hot one every year; this is one of my favorite races along the Jersey Shore & I will definitely be back next year!!! 😊

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And… my car is ready – talk about using time wisely!! Thanks for reading!

Do you go into every race with a time goal? Do you enjoy running in the rain as much as I do? Do you race with music?

Thoughts? Please share.Β 

Next up – Boomer’s Cystic Fibrosis – Run to Breathe – 4 miler – NYRR – NYC (already ran it – recap coming soon).

Thank you as always for following my journey!!! Mere @meretherunner14

Tasty Treat Tuesday – A Hint of Mint

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This green smoothie inspired by Hungry Girl is DELICIOUS, less than 100 calories and is so easy to make!!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of spinach
  • 1 1/4 cup of ice
  • 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup of mint leaves
  • 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder (you can add more if you would like)
  • 2 packets of Stevia (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened coconut – vanilla almond milk

Blend it all up in a blender; pour it into your favorite glass, add a straw & a pretty umbrella of course & ENJOY!!!

Mere @meretherunner14

Tasty Treat Tuesday – Guilt-Free Ice Pops

Looking for a refreshing treat on a hot summer day without the extra sugar & artificial flavoring? Here it is – Guilt Free Ice Pops! A co-worker of mine recently introduced me to an antioxidant beverage called “bai“. Being someone that drinks only water & coffee for the most part; I was skeptical at first. One Saturday; after spending the day hiking my hubby & I stopped at a store for some extra cold water. I saw “bai” on the shelf & thought “I am going to finally give it a try! After checking out the selection of flavors; I decided on “Molokai Coconut Cocofusion!” Why? Because it reminded me of Hawaii; the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited! My 1st reaction was:

delicious

Even better “bai”contains no artificial preservatives! It is:

– Gluten Free – Low Glycemic – Non-GMO – Kosher – Vegan – Soy Free – Contains only 5 calories per 8oz. serving – 1g of sugar – no artificial sweeteners

* contains 35mg of caffeine per serving

I thought; “this is so refreshing – I wonder how this would taste if I made it into an ice pop!” So I decided to give it a try! I purchased 1 18oz. bottle of “bai” – Molokai Coconut Cocofusion (If you are not a fan of coconut there are a variety of other flavors to choose from)!!

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Frozen Ice Pop Tray

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Poured the “bai” into each tray, put it in the freezer overnight & let it freeze. The next day; it was another hot/sticky day so I decided to give them a whirl!!

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My reaction “This is the perfect summer treat without the sugar & artificial sweeteners! I hope you enjoy this refreshing treat as much as I do! Thank you “bai” for giving us these healthier options!

Thank you as always for visiting my page & for following my journey!

Mere @meretherunner14