A Different Mindset (And a recipe involving chocolate and peanut butter!)

Last spring, at the ripe old age of 48, I experienced a “first”.

I ran the Green Bay Marathon as part of a relay team.

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I hadn’t been part of the marathon environment since September 2014.

(You can read about that experience here. It wasn’t pretty. Actually, it was pretty ugly. I only wrote about it because I teach ELA and I needed to model “Generating Ideas” for narrative writing to my 6th graders. This idea fell under the category of  Times I Learned a Lesson.)

Anyway, one day last winter I decided something needed to change, and that something was me. I was tired of feeling frustrated. I was tired of feeling jealous. I was tired of feeling like my running identity was gone because I wasn’t training for anything big.

I needed to get a grip and come to terms with where I was in my running journey. So I ventured outside my comfort zone BIG TIME. I sent out a school wide email inquiring if anybody had an interest in running the marathon as part of a relay.

I had three takers.

26.2 miles. 4 runners.

So, I trained for a 10K.

And this past May, I ran my first relay marathon.

I have to admit, I had mixed feelings going into race day. While I didn’t feel the  nerves I normally experienced when running a marathon, I did feel the pressure of being part of a team. It’s one thing to experience personal disappointment, but it’s another to let down your teammates.

What I (re)discovered while I was running my leg of the race, was that I absolutely love the atmosphere of the marathon…the camaraderie out on the race course…the exhilaration of crossing the finish line…the feeling of accomplishment driving home. (Oh, and I really like the t-shirts.)

It was then I knew that there wasn’t any reason I couldn’t have this experience again…it was totally in my control..but I would need to demonstrate a lot more intelligence than I have in the past. I would need to listen to my body during training. I would need to be flexible.

And, I would need to accept that my fastest running days may be behind me.

Ouch! That was a tough one. But I decided to accept the challenge.

So, I signed up for The Fox Cities Half Marathon. My training has been less than perfect, but I am healthy. I am running injury free.

And so just how does this realization tie into this dessert?

Well, I don’t think it does, but I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for a long time now. This has been a wonderful addition to my summer dessert rotation. Definitely a crowd pleaser!

I’ve simplified it a bit.

Kinda like my training.

Hmmm….I guess that’s the tie in.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

Recipe slightly simplified from a recipe by Rachel of Bakerita.com

Crust:

1 c. crushed pretzels

1/4 c. melted coconut oil

3 T. maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray an 8 inch tart pan. Combine pretzels, coconut oil and maple syrup. Press into tart pan. Bake until golden (10-12 minutes).

Filling:

1/2 c. peanut butter

1/3 c. maple syrup

1/4 c. coconut oil

1 T. vanilla

1/4 t. salt

Place all ingredients in small bowl. Stir until well combined. Pour over top of cooled pretzel crust and spread. Place in refrigerator.

Topping:

3 oz. dark chocolate bar, chopped

1/4 c. full fat coconut milk (use the thick stuff on top)

Combine chocolate and coconut milk in small sauce pan. Stir constantly over low heat until chocolate melts.  Remove crust/topping from refrigerator. Spread chocolate layer over the top of the peanut butter filling. Refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator about 10-15 minutes before serving to make cutting easier.

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