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Homemade Energy Bars

Posted by scharffbrothers May 19, 2010

If you are like me you love the benefit of a good energy bar right after a run, but you HATE spending a fortune for one little “granola bar”.  So after some research and creative work in our kitchen, I have created my own homemade energy bars.


I will start off by saying that these things not only taste great, but they also are a bargain at about 20-25 cents each (depending on your coupon skills!).  You can also be creative with making them your own.  Whether you use different types of nuts, add coconut or even add a little chocolate drizzle on top they will be awesome.


My only issue, is that I need a really cool name for these things!  Any ideas????  Check out the recipe and give them a shot.



2 cups of well-chopped nuts (I prefer Almonds and Pecans)
1 1/2 cup oats
1 3/4 cups rice crispies
1 cup Wholesome Sweeteners Cinnamon Agave Syrup (you could use maple syrup or honey instead)
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground coffee beans
1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 8x12 pan with spray or butter.


Toast the nuts in oven.  This will take approximately 10-15 minutes depending on the nuts you use.  Keep an eye on them and stir them around a couple times.  Once they appear toasted or slightly brown pull them out.


Transfer the toasted nuts into a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the oats and rice crispies


In a separate saucepan, over medium heat, stir the Cinnamon Syrup, Brown sugar, salt, coffee grounds and vanilla until it boils (about 4 minutes).  Pour the syrup mixture over the dry nuts/oats mixture in the large mixing bowl and then stir together until it’s evenly coated.


Spread into the prepared pan (you can use same pan you used to toast the nuts).  The mixture will be stiff enough to mold into whatever size and thickness you’d like, so spread to the thickness and size you would like.  The trick is to get the mixture VERY compact and pressed down.  Make sure to press really well into the edges of the pan.  You might need to wet your hands to allow them to work with the sticky bars.


Let bars cool on counter or in fridge for about 30-60 minutes.

This will make approximately 16-25 bars, depending on the size and thickness you prefer.



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I sit here and write this latest post with a good bit of guilt sitting in my stomach.  Thankfully though it’s taste is disguised by the really awesome free donuts my family and I just snagged from our local donut shop (if you live in Chattanooga or ever come this way you have to check out Julie Darling Donuts).

Yes, after a month and a half of solid training with only an occasional missed run I have now officially missed 4 days of running in a row!  (I will add here that David did actually get up and run this morning, so at least one of us in doing ok)  You would think that for a dedicated runner such as myself I must be going through some difficult injuries to have missed so many days, but alas that would be false.

Sadly, my tale of woe isn’t quite that woeful.  Friday I was lured away from my workout by a full day of golf with some friends and family (always better than a day at work!).  We then spent Saturday and Sunday with both our families and some good friends at the lake just playing around and having fun.  While we didn’t get any miles in, we did catch our fair share of really small fish. (and despite what the picture below implies, I didn’t use my son as bait!)


So that brings me to today.  Instead of hitting the roads and pounding out some good miles to start off the week I decided to sleep and eat donuts.  Yes folks, life is really good!


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One plus to having a constant training partner is that you reap the benefit of both someone pushing you to your best, but also someone telling you to take it easy when need be.  Yesterday I learned this lesson the hard way.


With David out of town and a 13 miler on my training schedule I headed to meet up with our Saturday running group like I would on any other Saturday run.  Things actually started off well as I did my warm up couple miles and shot the breeze with Jed (one of our local runners).  This though, is where things got crazy (or stupid, you pick which best fits!).


With my ego in full bloom and a large storm looming in the sky behind me, I decided it was time to leave the rest of the group and settle into my real pace.  I proceeded to then run the next  9 miles at a 6:30 (aka…stupid!) pace.


As I backed off my last couple miles and cooled down, I thought I had just ran a killer workout (and in many ways I did).  Unfortunately I also managed to do something to my left knee, which didn’t gain my notice until last night when I realized walking down the steps REALLY hurt!


Only time (and tomorrows run) will tell if this was a good finish to a strong week of workouts, or the beginning of yet another nagging injury.  Regardless of the outcome though, I have no doubt that two really is better than one!!

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What’s your favorite way to start a Saturday morning? Maybe a good long run, your morning coffee, time to read the paper or even just the hope of a relaxing day with your family. These are the things that get me excited about weekends, and help me wake with a positive attitude, even when my long run needs to start at 5:30am.


Well this Saturday I started a new tradition that might put a damper on my Saturday morning utopia. As my mileage has started to climb I’ve realized that I am no longer the same 21 year old kid that never gets hurt. So to help combat my many nagging issues, I am reacquainting myself with a team ritual from my college days…the ice bath.


Now, I SO wish I had photos of this team bonding activity to share with each of you (if you are an old teammate and have some please send them). Just imagine 2-7 runners crammed into the trainer’s whirlpool tub up to our waists soaking in 48 degree water. Not only was this a crazy sight to see, but it was quite painful for the first few minutes until everything went numb.


While the first time is not fun (and will make even a grown man want to cry some really cold tears), I have to say it is well worth the effort. After our 14 miler this Saturday (averaging 7:14 miles) my body ached. But thankfully with just 20 minutes in a not so relaxing tub I felt good as new.


For those that don’t know the benefits of ice baths, check out this link below. I would also suggest if you don’t want to spend the money on bags of ice (it takes a lot to get the water to the ideal temp) you stock pile during the week.,7120,s6-241-285--12810-0,00.html#


So to all of you runners out there, I challenge you to add one more thing to your “relaxing” Saturdays. Grab that coffee, snag your weekend paper or even light some candles. While you might not love life during the following 15-20 minutes, I promise you will be thankful for the rest of the week!


Happy bathing!



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How it all began...

Posted by scharffbrothers Apr 23, 2010

Over the past twenty years, the two of us brothers have covered the full spectrum of what this sport of running can bring. From our humble beginnings as the best third grade runners our little elementary school could offer, we discovered that our skinny little legs could actually be good at something. We might get pushed around on the football field or basketball court, but who needed the glory of those bottom tier sports when we could win all the glory in the hotshot world of elementary running clubs!


As time progressed through high school and into college with the help of phenomenal coaching and great family support we were able to experience the thrill of championships (against kids over the age of 10!) and the indescribable feeling of conditioning your body/mind into top tier shape. With these years of countless workouts, restless road trips and tiring races we also slowly began the process of becoming what we call “bipolar runners”! With this I mean each day brought a different feeling. It was either…I LOVE to do this, or…this REALLY sucks! As you can imagine, this made for a very volatile attitude about the sport.

State Champs

Without realizing it, by the time our NCAA eligibility ran up we had lost the love for the sport that had meant so much to us. Instead it had become at best a job that suddenly no longer “paid the bills”, but did provide quite a few cool race t-shirts! With our lives taking us to different parts of the county and our time being filled with more important things, we hung up the flats and walked way.

It wasn’t until four years later (and about 20 pounds!) that we both started getting curious about whether we should give the running thing one more try. After a year or so of off and on training and a few random races we are ready again to see what we have left in the tank. This time though, we aren’t in it for the glory or championships (but we do still like those t-shirts!). Instead these next miles are only about discovering again the joys of running and brotherhood. Because after all life (and running) often repeats itself…



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Country Music

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Member since: May 21, 2008

Two twin brothers giving this whole competitive running thing one more try...

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