Rainbow Run

Last week, after a stormy night, I awoke to sunny skies. Of course, it was perfect for running. And of course, the moment I stepped out the door, a cloud rolled in overhead and pummeled me with rain.

On the bright side, I stuck it out, and about a mile later, the skies cleared and gave way to a beautiful rainbow. The colors and the full arc became increasingly brilliant as I made my way along the Schuylkill, past the boat houses, and to the bridge where I typically turned around. I was filled with such a pure sense of elation, fellow runners and bikers must have thought I was a crazy person; I simply couldn’t wipe the goofy smile from my face.

That’s about all I have for today! I couldn’t help but want to share this breathtaking moment with all of you. This is one of the many reasons that we not only run but that we push on through the cruddy moments, and emerge better for it in the end.

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What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve seen, or moment you’ve experienced, while running outdoors?

Runners’ Recipe: Baked Apples with Oats and Cinnamon

Last weekend, Noah and I went out to the orchards about 30 minutes away from Central Philly. It was a lovely afternoon, a much-needed escape from the city and, more importantly, a warranted break from my phone (besides taking pictures, of course).

Before hitting the orchards, we found a nice little trail not far from our destination called Ridley Creek State Park. While there are five miles of running trails, we decided to change up our routine a bit and hike around some of the non-paved paths. It wasn’t the longest or hardest hike–mostly flat and not all that tricky–but it was the perfect way to spend an hour breaking a sweat and breathing in fresh air.

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From there, Noah and I drove about 10 miles away to the small town of Media, PA for a lunch of fresh greens, tomato soup, and grilled cheese. With our tummies full, we were ready for the orchards and, naturally, even more food.

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The orchard we chose to go to: Linvilla, which sounds like one of the more popular establishments near Philadelphia come fall. The orchard itself attracts loads of eager apple pickers of all ages. Despite the crowds, the staff there happens to run it like a machine, so there was never a long wait or other moment of frustration.

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Between the apples (because you have to try one per tree, right?), the cider donuts (a non-negotiable when apple picking, and the roasted corn (this seemed the “healthier” option to a plate of homemade potato chips), I left absolutely stuffed. So of course, our next move was to turn those applies into a delicious apple crisp. More sugar! More food!

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After a week’s worth of apples and peanut butter for breakfast, apple snacks before dinner, and apple crisp for dessert, somehow, we still had about 15 apples in our basket to go. Here I thought it was impossible to get sick of pie, but after seven consecutive days, I was in dire need of something different. Hence, baked apples.

Baked Apples with Oats and Cinnamon

In reality, the baked apples I put together aren’t all that different than the crisp I devoured the week before. But it was just enough change to make me crave those sweet, autumnal flavors all over again.

The ingredients were simple and relatively healthy.

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Here’s what you need.

1. 4 large apples (if you’re looking for specifics here, I have no idea which kinds I used — apples are apples to me)

2. 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar

3. 1/4 cup of oats (heavy handed)

4. Cinnamon to taste (about 1 tsp)

5. Allspice to taste (about 1 tsp)

6. A pinch of kosher salt for that sweet and salty effect

7. Lemon zest

Here’s how to make it.

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Remove your apple cores. Don’t remove them all the way through — only as far as the seeds go.

3. Combine your dry ingredients, mentioned above.

4. Pack the mixture into your apples.

5. Place your apples in a pan that has a little depth. I used the same one I baked my crisp in. Add about 1 cup of water to the pan.

6. Cover your apples in aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.

7. After 25 minutes, remove the foil. The apples should be nice and sweaty. Bake for another 25 minutes.

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Any other great ideas for using way too many apples? I still have about 10 to go!