What could be better?

Than sunshine? Sunshine, the beach, running and then to top off a perfectly lovely day, gluten free dark chocolate brownies. Today was another beautiful day in Seattle, slightly warm, nearing 50 degrees and crystal clear for most of the day. Working away at my desk I was beckoned outside and half tempted again to hop in my car and head towards the mountains for a 15 mile loop on Tiger Mtn. I checked the weather out there....raining, so I strapped on my road shoes, filled up my Nathan waterbottle with Nuun and off I went! I headed out towards Greenlake and looped around to the north and continued on past the lake towards Ballard to do a 15 mile loop. I ran, quiet and methodical through the very plain city streets (silently wishing it were the trail) until the sun warmed my back and I got the sense of one of my favorite things in life: Seattle in Spring. I could smell it, like a tantalizing tease, just on the edge of the moment, ready to scamper back into hiding for a few more weeks of winter. But it was there, I felt it. And it felt soooo good. It is something I haven't had in a long time, a Seattle springtime, years, too many years. I made it to the beach at Golden Gardens and took pause and jokingly said in my head, "ha ha, I am at the beach on a beautiful sunny day in February". And then off I went. I wrapped back past the locks, into Ballard and down along Burke Gilman to connect to a section I normally do (in reverse) from Fremont to my house via Burke Gilman. Somedays I can run 20 miles and never need food or water, some days I am not so lucky. It had been about 6 hours since breakfast and as I turned the corner past Fred Meyer onto the Burke Gilman, I could tell it was one of those days when it would have been a good idea to have some Clif Shot Bloks or something stashed in my waterbottle pocket. No such luck. I had assumed wrong that my breakfast was going to sustain me, but we all make mistakes. I know, I know....NGWS, but I never carry anything with me on road runs under 16 miles, except my Nuun. Ok, ok, I hear the peanut gallery shaming me already, so I will carry it, just in case. Just as I was having a mini-bonk (I knew I could keep clipping along, albeit with a bit of a lightheaded feeling), I see a runner coming towards me and I immediately think two things. One, "that person must be an ultrarunner" and therefore, two " I must know them". I could tell by the fact that they were carrying a backpack while clipping along, as well as warmup pants and coat (very run to regular life look). And lo and behold, I was right. It was Matt Hart, coach extraordinare, ultrarunner, adventure racer as well as the man in charge of Team Nuun! We greeted each other and stopped for a chat. I was rocking my Nuun Visor which we both agreed was one of our current favorite accessories. He was heading to the grocery store to get some food after teaching spinning at Sound Mind and Body. We chatted for a bit and then off I went for the final five miles of my run. The sun started to fade a bit behind some clouds, the temperature dropped a bit and I was once again reminded that it is, in fact, still only February. I made it home, at some food and then headed to the grocery to get some ingredients to make gluten free brownies!

I had been looking on Karina Kitchen's blog for something else when I came upon this recipe for Brownies . I knew at that very moment that I must have them. I had intended on making them earlier in the week so my faithful taste tester could try them (Alison) but I hadn't gotten around to it. This afternoon was the perfect opportunity and wow are they delicious. In fact, the only reason I decided to do this blog right this very second (being my second post today) was to give the brownies time to cool so I could eat them! I made them with the chocolate chip and walnut options and noteworthy to mention, I used peanut oil to oil my pan which added a seriously, seriously delicious hint to the batch. I used organic dark chocolate (which I melted not with a microwave as the directions say, but in a double broiler i.e. a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water) Here are some pictures....

Try these. I mean it. Even if you are not gluten intolerant. They have no weird gluten free texture feel and the dark chocolate is absolutely decadent. And they take no time at all... I am going to have mine with some fresh organic blueberries and a local organic fuji apple. Yum, yum. What a way to finish off the afternoon and power up for a short (5 miles!) night run.