Carrot Cheesecake Oatmeal

Ever since I posted my recipes for jam and pumpkin cheesecake oatmeal, I’ve been wanting to try creating another cheesecake oatmeal flavor but wasn't sure what. Until I recently got sick of throwing out carrots since I wasn’t using them up between recipes. And then it came to me, carrot cheesecake oatmeal! It is the perfect way to get in more vegetables and mix up my morning oatmeal.

Enjoy the recipe and let me know in the comments how you like it!

Carrot Cheesecake Oatmeal

20180220_051025 (1).jpg
  • ½ cup oatmeal

  • 1 cup liquid

  • ½ cup shredded carrots

  • 2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese

  • Brown sugar and cinnamon to taste

Cook oatmeal, shredded carrots and liquid according to instructions. Stir in whipped cream cheese, brown sugar and cinnamon.


What I'm Eating Before My Workouts

During my training for Twin Cities Marathon, I did a couple of “What do I eat in a Day” posts where I talked about what I was eating on different types of days. I’m planning on bringing them back but for now I wanted to share what I’m eating before workouts. Mainly because it’s changed up from what I was doing last year and I think it’s helping.

First of all, what I’m eating beforehand depends on when I’m working out. Most of the time, I’m working out after work but I also workout in the morning. Mainly on weekends but I’ll also workout in the morning on any days off. I’m not doing any runs before work during this cycle because it’s just too darn cold.


If I’m working out in the morning, I’ll just eat my normal breakfast about 90 minutes before. Typically this is oatmeal (because I am the Oatmeal Runner) but sometimes I mix it up with Kodiak cakes or some other type of waffle. Plus, I make sure to drink 20 oz of water and have a cup coffee too.

These combinations work best to make sure my stomach isn’t still digesting when I got out on a run but that I have enough energy to get me through a long run. So far, I haven’t been taking any gels on my run and have been feeling pretty good through my 13 miler. I’ll probably start taking gels when I get up to 15+ mile long runs which is just around the corner!

But, the majority of my workouts are after work and that’s where I’ve been mixing up my pre-workout meal the most. For the most parts, I’m eating something with a combination of fats, carbs and protein before my cross-training on Mondays. Sometimes Greek yogurt, sometimes a bar or something from our Naturebox. Which is pretty much what I was doing for all my post-work workouts last year.


The big change has become in what I’m having pre-run if I’m heading out after work. I found I was getting side stitches really easily (even on short three milers) when I was eating a heavier pre-workout snack. It was especially bad if I had Greek yogurt as part of my pre-workout. So now I’ve changed to a piece of fruit (right now it’s been an apple) and my stomach is feeling so much better! And I’ve just added on to my lunch or post-workout meal on those days to make sure I’m still getting in those nutrients.

Do you have a pre-workout snack? Let me know what your favorite one is in the comments!


Training Tips Tuesday #5

For week’s training tip, I want to talk about how I treat myself after a long run. Besides with a hot bath and a good nap.

One thing I’ve been doing is having a treat meal for dinner on Sundays, along with an alcohol drink (usually a craft beer or wine). And I’m still staying within my macros (although I’m looser with my calories on long run days since I’m running double digit mileage).

I’m not usually hungry right after my long run since I’m so worn out. I usually just drink my shake while foam rolling and having something more substantial quick to eat before my nap. Which means that by the time it’s dinner, I’m pretty hungry. So it’s nice to have something that’s more of a treat meal (like a homemade pizza or pasta meal) along with a drink (or two).

What’s your post-long run treat? Let me know in the comments!

What's my plan for Eau Claire Marathon training?

We're almost at the end of 2017 and that also means marathon training is starting soon. Like really soon. Like eight days from today. On the very first day of 2018 I will officially be training for my second marathon. Which seems so crazy to say because it feels like I just started training for Twin Cities Marathon not that long ago.

But it's already been over seven months since I started training and over two months since I ran my first marathon. So I thought I’d take some time to talk a little bit about my plan for the Eau Claire marathon is (including what my training plan is, what my nutrition will be like and what my goals are).

Training plan

Once again I'm going with one of Hal Higdon's training plans. I've used his training plans for all of my races except for my first 5k and most recent half marathon at Lake Minnetonka and they’ve always been great for me. I use the Intermediate One training plan for the Twin Cities Marathon. I did look at a couple of other training plans but I really liked the multiple 20 miler runs and marathon pace runs with Higdon’s plans. So I’m moving on up to the Intermediate Two plan, which has the marathon pace runs and three 20 miler runs. I'm looking forward to starting off my long runs in the double digits since to get up to the three 20 milers you have to start off at ten miles. Which I've been running recently and it feels really good, so I’m just backing off the mileage right now before I start training again.

I'll be using the same training paces for Eau Claire marathon as I did for Twin Cities. I know I was so close to hitting sub-5 hours at Twin Cities that I can do it with keeping at those training paces. I'm not concerned about keeping pace on the Saturday pace runs as much as slowing down on my weekday runs and Sunday long run. I've been finding myself going a lot faster on my normal runs at the moment since I'm not training for a specific pace and I'm keeping around a 10:30 average pace. So I'm really trying to use these days before I start marathon training to slow it down and get used to running at an easy pace again.

I’ll be using the Strong Curves template for my cross-training on Mondays and also going back to a regular yoga practice on Fridays. I’ve really been enjoying how Strong Curves gets me a full-body weights workout in about 30-35 minutes plus it really challenges me.

As I mentioned in a previous post so I'm hoping to make core workouts a regular part of my marathon training, after my Tuesday and Thursday runs. Especially since I’ll be doing my marathon training in the Minnesota winter, core stability is going to be really important to prevent injuries.

I’ll also be getting back on that foam rolling routine!. I found it really helpful while training for Twin Cities Marathon and then just haven't been keeping it up. So my goal would be to foam roll after every single workout whether it's strength training or running which would be six days of the week. And if I feel like I need some extra foam rolling on my rest days, I’ll be doing that too.


I’ll continue counting macros during marathon training. I find it really helpful to make sure I'm eating enough food in. Since I'm coming off of a cutting phase into marathon training I'm really used to eating a lower amount and that just isn't going to be  enough to fuel my runs anymore. I'm going to start off pumping up my calories to the 2,000 calorie mark with the increase coming mostly from carbs, but I’ll be increasing my fat and protein as well.

I'm also thinking about incorporating macro cycling again for my weekends so I’m fueling that long run and also recovering from it. Especially with doing a higher mileage training cycle than the last time, I want to make sure my body has enough fuel so I don’t start bonking on my long runs. I’ll keep you updated on how I chose to do that when.

Of course I'm going to continue using Nuun Hydration products and Gu gels on my training runs and in my day-to-day life. If you missed the news I am a Nuun Ambassador for 2018! I just love using their products on my long runs to give me a little bit of extra boost versus something like Gatorade. I've also recently started using their vitamins product day-to-day usually in hot water since it is mighty chilly here in Minnesota. It's a nice variation on water or tea with that extra boost of vitamins in it.


For the Eau Claire Marathon. the thing I've been saying over and over again is how I want to go sub five since I was so close at Twin Cities. In a way my big goal for Eau Claire marathon is to PR but I want bigger than a four  minute PR that going sub five hours would get me.

My A goal for the Eau Claire Marathon is to finish in 4:45 or faster. I feel like I have a really good chance of that with how well my off-season has been going. And if my training goes perfectly and race day weather is perfect I feel like I can easily hit that goal. My target pace for marathon pace workouts is a faster than what I would need to get a 4:45 so I'm building  in a buffer by training myself up to run faster but having a little bit slower of a goal time. So that if something happens at the end where I've been keeping on track perfectly and start bonking towards the end I'll still have a chance of getting that 4:45 time since my marathon pace runs were done at a 4:35 marathon pace.

It's pretty daunting to put out there that I want to run a 4:45 Marathon, which would be taking almost 20 minutes after off my marathon PR. But I feel prepared going into the second one. I gained a lot of knowledge running the Twin Cities Marathon. I know how my body reacts to marathon training and I've had time to both decrease my weight and increase my strength.

Are you starting training on New Year's Day like I am? Let me know in the comments below if you are or what your big goal races for 2018.