Did I tell you that I am running the Berlin marathon in September this year? Well, training starts next week. And I can't wait. The marathon is on 29 September. And apart from running it, I will be away from my family, on my own, for four full days, for the first time ever since my kids were born. They are 5 and 7. I think I deserve that.
After the Dubai running season, which is over the winter months between October and March, I had three months that I dedicated to relaxing, re-energizing, slow, low heart rate base training. At the same time I tried to keep my weekly mileage up, so the shock to the system will not be too massive. I am feeling so ready for the training and the marathon. Bring on the mileage, the intervals, the LSDs.
Looking back at the last running season, I believe that my marathon was my weakest performance.
I ran the Dubai Marathon in January is 3:26. I had trained for a 3:20 marathon, but that didn't happen. I never really believed it could happen either. Perhaps it was due a little injury and a bout of flu during the training. The height of my running fitness came on about a month AFTER the Dubai marathon when I smashed my half marathon and 10k PB times.
So the expectations for Berlin are big. I think I have improved a lot in the past 6 months. And the last three months of base training set the right tone for what's coming now.
The plan for the Berlin marathon is to train for a 3:10 finish time. On race day, I will be happy with anything under 3:15. The Berlin marathon course is flat, so it will be similar to Dubai. I will have to do weekly mileages between 60-85k during my 12 weeks of training.
Why am I telling you all this? It's basically a warning that a lot of calorie-dense recipes will come up in the next 3 months, as this what I will be eating while running my 60-85k every week. What would be a better start than another chocolate cake? It's a wholesome one, but it's still chocolate cake. I replaced the fat/oil with mashed avocado. It's otherwise a very simple recipe with very little ingredients. I hope you enjoy!
CHOCOLATE AVOCADO CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE DRIZZLE
2 cups almond meal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup/1oz unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup/8oz palm sugar or grated Jaggery
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ripe avocados, mashed (ca. 2/3 cup)
100g/4oz chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Line and grease medium sized spring form.
Pour boiling water over cocoa powder and stir until dissolved and smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine almond meal and baking soda Set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream eggs and sugar with an electric mixer. Add vanilla, avocado and cocoa mixture and blend until well combined.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and blend until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared spring form. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely.
Melt chocolate together with the heavy cream in the double boiler or a
bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until melted and
Drizzle the mixture over the cooled cake. Let stand until ganache has hardened. Ready to serve.