This carrot cake wasn’t for my birthday, but we can pretend it was! It was actually for my dinner with Jess on Saturday!
I also want to start by saying that I ran one mile today! An entire mile! There was a dull ache the entire time but no searing pain! Progress is being made, my friends! And I have more exciting news that I will relay to you in my next post!
Three years ago for my birthday, my parents gave me a Garmin GPS running watch. The Forerunner 305 to be exact. It would be an understatement to say I am a little obsessed.
I like to track things. I like even numbers. I like meeting my goals. This makes the Forerunner perfect for me! I know if I need to run 0.02 more miles to hit mile 15, I can do it. I also use the heart rate monitor. When the group from my office runs together, we always have a mini competition to see who was able to keep their heart rate the lowest during our run. #runninggeeks
But the reason I love the watch the most is that I can just run anywhere and not have to plan a route. I can take a detour if I see a new path or a hill I want to avoid without having to worry about mileage. And it automatically calculates your pace. These watches are amazing. I think it can tell you more about my running than I ever could.
After my first year of having the watch, my mom asked how many miles I had run on it. Now, remember–these are only the miles I have run outside. They do not include treadmill miles which I do a lot during training for pace workouts and speed drills as you have seen in my Weekly Wrap-Ups. During my first year (March 27, 2010 to March 26, 2011) I put 411.6 miles on my watch. Not too shabby. Those miles took a total of 91 hours 14 minutes and 22 seconds. And according to the watch, I burned 34,214 calories.
I decided to clear out the mileage and keep tabs of how far I go every year. Stats for Year 2: 692.1 miles. 94 hours 31 minutes 12 seconds. (I got A LOT faster.) 64,978 calories burned. (That’s a lot of food I got to eat!)
Year three. Not quite as impressive. But I was injured over the summer. And in the fall. And in the spring. And it gets cold here in Wisconsin in the winter. I know, I know. I’m just making excuses. Stats for Year 3: 560.8 miles. 80 hours 17 minutes 16 seconds. 52,926 calories burned. Still, I’m pleased with myself.
Goal for Year 4: run more miles than Year 2. I totally think I can do this. =)
Running Tip of the Day: Don’t run with dumbbells in your hands. They alter your running form and can cause injury.
This weekend I made carrot cake. I told Madame M on Friday that I planned to make carrot cake and asked her if she was a fan. She said she enjoyed carrot cake but only if it had cream cheese frosting. I am in total agreement. Cream cheese frosting is what makes carrot cake. Carrot cake is pretty much nothing without cream cheese frosting. And lots of it. Lots and lots. This recipe was a little different from carrot cake recipes I have tried in the past–it had a little citrusy flavor from the orange marmelade. I wasn’t the biggest fan, but Madame M LOVED it. She said it was the perfect addition! I usually use crushed pineapple, but the Food Network seems to disagree. However, the cream cheese frosting (which is pretty much my go-to cream cheese frosting recipe) is to die for. I promise. I will have to post that recipe some time. Anyway, everyone should have a slice of cake this weekend. Cake is fantastic.
Three-Layer Carrot Cake
– 3/4 cup vegetable oil
– 1 cup walnut halves
– 2 cups AP flour
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1.5 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp salt
– 2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1 tsp ground ginger
– 3/4 cup granulated sugar
– 4 large eggs
– 1/2 cup orange marmalade
– 3 cups shredded carrots (about 3/4 pound)
– Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350*. Spray three 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and coat with flour.
– Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then pulse in a food processor until very finely chopped.
– Combine the walnuts, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and granulated sugar in a large bowl.
– In another bowl, whisk the vegetable oil, eggs and marmalade. Stir in the carrots. Then fold the carrot mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Divide it among the prepared pans and spread evenly (it won’t look like a lot of batter, but the cakes will rise in the oven). Bake until the cakes bounce back when touched and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 20-25 minutes, witching the position of the pans halfway through.
– Transfer the pans to racks until cool enough to handle, then invert the cakes onto the racks to cool completely.
– Frost with cream cheese frosting.
Adapted from Food Network