Transition Stress/Long Run/Meat

Today’s Happy Note: My day involved plenty of chocolate.  Always a good thing.

Mental Health Note: Transitions, of any sort, are always stressful and tricky for me.  At this point in my life, I have come to accept that, and instead of trying to pretend that the stress isn’t there (and thereby making it much, much worse), I just acknowledge it and do my best to soothe myself.  I find moving around — which, unfortunately, happens a lot in college — not just physically exhausting, but emotionally draining as well.  I get attached to places.  I go back and forth between NYC and Michigan (and sometimes Canada) quite frequently.  I am in NYC right now, but have to move back into my dorm.  I’m also making a shift from full-time worker to full-time student and part-time worker.  My life patterns are not all that different during the school year, which helps to ease my mind.  I know that I will still eat oats with nut butter or smoothies for breakfast.  I know that I will find some time in the day to squeeze my run in and that I will make time for friends and life outside of school.

All this is to say that the stress is creeping up on me already — I can see and feel it. It sort of drapes its way around me and sits on my heart and body like a heavy scarf.  I move into my dorm room on Saturday and start classes Tuesday.  I have been mentally preparing myself.  One thing I find very helpful is finding room for extra sleep during my day/night.  Stress often leaves me sleepy-tired, and if I can either sleep 9 hours at night or 7-8 hours at night with a nap in the late afternoon, I am much happier and calmer.  Other things that help include lots of self-care (doing stuff like painting my nails, getting a massage, strolling in the park and looking at the flowers, etc.), reaching out to people I love, and eating delicious but clean foods.

How do you deal with life transitions — physically or emotionally or occupationally?  How do you relieve the stress/anxiety/tension? I love consistency, but I understand that, for the next few years, my life will not necessarily be straightforward.  I am learning how to find the excitement in this.

I got my run in this evening!  It was way too hot at the beginning, but eventually cooled down with a nice breeze. I did ten miles and actually felt really great during it.  I held about a 10 minute per mile pace, but was probably around 9:30 at some points.  I feel like I may finally be back up to pre-hospital strength!  Yay!  I also lifted weights for a quick 30 minutes.

Long run eats:

I’m not showing everything because I think it’s boring.  But I have done a good job keeping track.  And I don’t have a picture since I only just made it, but I am currently eating a delicious chocolate banana smoothie with TJ’s dark chocolate in a nut butter jar.  Nut butter jars make everything better. Seriously, I would be so thrilled if I got my Christmas and birthday presents in (clean) nut butter jars from now on.  It would be so cute!  I’m pretty sure my relatives already think I’m a weird foodie though, so I probably will go ahead and *not* make that request…

Lunch was kinda epic: steamed carrots/yellow squash, green grapes/cherry mix, and a turkey/cheddar/avocado wrap on a TJ’s multigrain tortilla.  I have a lunchtime sandwich fear, for some odd reason.  But on longer run days, I find it helpful to have a sandwich for the extra carbs/calories.  It works out perfectly fine because, when eating more earlier in the day, I eat less in the evenings.

Awesome new snack!  TJ’s (do you see a TJ’s them here?  Hmmmm….) peanut butter crunchy granola bar.  This was a tad sweet but definitely tasty.

Dinner involved more meat — apple chicken sausage, in honor of my sister (it’s one of her favorite foods, but I also really like it as well) with a GIANT salad of romaine, peppers, avocado, and TJ’s peanut vinaigrette (LOVE).  I had okra fries a la Meghann on the side.  They were actually really good.  When I cut up veggies like carrots, squash, or, in this case, okra, into fry form and bake them, I am not intending them as a fry replacement.  I just like roasted veggies.  But these were actually legitimately fry-like!  I coated them in salt, pepper, and EVOO and baked at 400 for about 30-ish (maybe 40?) minutes.  Okra=my new friend.  Oh, and if you are wondering why it’s dark in the above photo that’s because it’s purple okra!  I love veggies in fun colors.

Hello, okra.  You can come over for dinner anytime you want.  Have you had okra?  Do you like it?

Meaty talk:

I don’t eat a lot of meat.  But I think it can be a very healthy part of a diet and I will probably never go vegetarian. I do believe in ethical, moderate meat consumption.  I get as much of it as I can from the farmer’s market or other local, natural, and/or organic sources.  I just realized, while posting, that I had meat twice today! Turkey at lunch and chicken sausage at dinner.  And you know what?  I feel great. The protein and fat really work wonders for me.

I like all kinds of protein sources.  My favorites: salmon, shrimp, steak, turkey, tofu, lentils, black beans, tempeh, whole grains, greek yogurt, veggie burgers, cottage cheese, nut butters, and certain protein powders.

Your fave protein sources?

Bedtime for this stressed chica.  Goodnight friends! 🙂

Mysterious Caronae

Today’s Happy Note: Just got back from Sunday night candlelit yoga.  It’s so romantic and relaxing.  Love it!

Hello hello!  I hope you all had a most wonderful weekend.  I sure did.  What were you all up to?

I went out again last night!  I am really loving my social life right now.  Relationships and connections with people are so healthy for my mind and body and soul.  Friends make the world go round!  I am not and never will be a social butterfly, but I do open up to people eventually when I feel close to them; it’s such a wonderful feeling for me when I start to really share myself with someone.

Marathon Training: Easy four miles yesterday followed by an hour yoga class.  Today was supposed to be a long run, but I was up way too late last night (bad Caronae!) and failed on getting up early.  When I did get up it was way too hot. Runner fail.

Tomorrow morning I’ll do it though, I swear!  It’s only 10 miles so I can definitely get that in before work. Sometimes I actually find it easier to do a long run on a weekday, oddly enough.  I hit up the yoga this evening and did some abs as well.

Weekend eats highlight reel:

I really love my oats to be a bit soupy!

This was dinner.  Giant pile of carrots and cucumbers and a banana-chocolate milk-cinnamon smoothie with roasted nuts.  This was perfect.  I love eating weird dinners.  Good thing I live alone, otherwise I am pretty sure there would be some serious judging going on.  Especially after I did this:

Yes, that is indeed chocolate smoothie with a carrot and a pecan.  Don’t knock it till you try it.

Coming up for the rest of the week:

Therapy Tuesday (maybe — not sure if I’ll talk about it this week or not)

I may or may not reveal what I have been up to and why I have been a bit mysterious lately

School talk (blech!)

Fall plans

Lots of marathon training reports

One year since moving back to NYC check-in! (I moved here in fall 2007 and left from March 2009-August 2009)

Okay, so maybe some of these things are not the most exciting.  Or are really, really vague.  But (a) I’m a woman and (b) it’s my blog, so I can be vague if I want to be!

That’s all I have for tonight my loves.

In Which Caronae Has Fun

Today’s Happy Note: Raspberry herbal tea — just bought some the other day (it’s Stash); it’s somehow creamy yet subtle. Also, I made my evening a mini spa event — got a 15 minute massage after work and just made myself an oatmeal face mask using this recipe. It felt really wonderful and scrubby.  It would be great for a girls’ night.

Social Life: I went out again last night, to a friend’s birthday party.  What has come over me?!?!  I’m having fun, being social, being open.  This is crazy, but in a good way.  I am pretty sure I’m being a normal twenty year old.  It’s summer.  I was talking to someone important to me the other day and all the sudden realized (out loud) “fun is allowed!”  Being with friends and connecting with the people in my life is really important right now.

Marathon Training: Yesterday was a rest day — I ended up with three miles of walking and 20 minutes yoga.  Today was a speed workout on the track.  I put it off all week because speedwork overwhelms me.  But it ended up going really well!

2 mile warm-up

4 x (1200 “fast cruise pace”, 400 easy)

2 mile coo-ldown

I did the 1200s in 6:15, 6:16, 6:13, 6:15.  I was happy with that, especially since these were not all out by any means. It totaled 8 miles. I also did weights this evening for 30-ish minutes.

Eats:

Just got a new batch of sweet cherries.  I have been loving fresh fruit this summer!  Faves: blueberries, peaches, cantaloupe, raspberries, and cherries.

We had a birthday party at the office yesterday!  I had a cupcake yesterday and today.  I wasn’t weird about it at all! I didn’t agonize over eating the cupcake nor did I eat one and proceed to eat ten more.  I had one yesterday and one today, because, well, there were leftovers and I couldn’t let them sit there over the weekend, could I?

I have been trying to lose about 10 nagging pounds that crept on over the summer, especially while I was in the hospital.  I think I have maybe lost 2?  I am stressing a little bit about it and am not really sure what to do.  I refuse to go down the obsessive path — it does NOT work for me.  I have been working on eating intuitively.  I don’t think it is making enough of a difference in my actual food consumption for me to lose weight, but it has helped me feel better emotionally.  It’s nice to sit down in the evening and realize “okay, I want a few bites of chocolate and that’s it” or “hmmm, I just made a giant bowl of oats but I don’t think I am hungry for these last few bites.”  These are small accomplishments.

Another thing: I really want to switch up my healthy fat consumption. Confession: I had a smoothie and several spoonfuls of sunflower seed butter for dinner tonight.  When I crave nut butter like this, it usually is because I am in need of some fats.  So I’m going to make it a goal to diversify my fat intake: avocados, EVOO, 2% yogurt, lowfat milk, raw nuts, eggs.

Anyone have any favorite healthy fats suggestions?

Time to get to bed.  I may or may not be going out again tomorrow!  Crazy.  I think I like this side of me. 🙂

Risk Taking Anxiety/Vulnerability

Today’s Happy Note: Piers.  Who thought these up?  Seriously.  A long platform extending out over the water affording better views and a nice breeze?  I’m all over it.  I love the piers that extend out over the Hudson all along Manhattan’s West Side.

Sorry for disappearing on you last night!  I genuinely wanted to blog (which is why I am apologizing) but didn’t get home until 1:00 AM!  This is veeeerrrrryyyyy late for me for a weeknight when I have work/school the next day.  I pretty much collapsed into bed and had to supplement with a nap after work. 🙂

Mental Health Note: I am really glad I went out.  I am NOT a bar/club/crazy party girl at all but I do deserve to have a little bit of fun (whatever that might entail) once in a while.  I saw a movie, then went to a restaurant/dancing.  It was the best evening I have had in a long time and I am so very happy I went for it.  This may sound like a typical weekend night for most of you, but my anxiety does not often allow me to do that sort of thing.  It’s days like this when I know how much therapy with L has affected me.  It is really exciting to watch (and feel) myself growing emotionally and socially.  Letting myself have fun and letting people into my life has been such a rewarding experience thus far.  I am looking forward to a lot more of that in the next few years.  So, going out last night was a “risk” of sorts for me — I made myself vulnerable — but it turned out beautifully.  Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith with something or someone and sometimes you have to hold your heart in your hands and let someone else touch it and sometimes it pays off.

That’s all I’m saying for now.

What “risk” have you taken lately? I don’t care if you think it sounds silly!  Everyone’s experiences are different — people have varied anxieties and likes and hurts and dreams and fears.

Marathon Training: I did indeed get my 12 miles in bright and early yesterday morning!  I felt surprisingly good, although I was a little bored.  I love the way running makes me feel, but even the most dedicated, passionate runner will admit that once in a while, it gets boring.  I tend not to get bored on trails, but doing laps around CP is, well…not the most scenic thing in the world.  I never listen to music while running — just a personal preference.  I like that it gives me time to think though.  I did 4 miles with 5×100 strides thrown in tonight plus 40 minutes full body strength training.

Today’s Eats (I think this is everything, minus two spoonfuls of Mighty Maple PB and a few more cashews than are pictured):

That’s oatmeal with vanilla soymilk, a wee bit of vanilla protein powder, and sunbutter in the first picture.  Skinny vanilla latte in the second.

TJ’s cashew/dried hibiscus trail mix.  LOVE, by the way.

I ate a little over half of this smoothie and froze the rest.  Score one for intuitive eating!

I went in and added chocolate PB and honey to the yogurt to make it a little more filling/dessert-like.

Another day of deliciously healthy eats.  I typically find that I have several days in any given week where I am unintentionally vegetarian/vegan.  I am fine with that.  I like my meat and my dairy just fine and have no intention of giving them up.  But I also enjoy non-animal protein sources too.  A lot of times I am just plain old too lazy to cook meat.  I want to get some deli turkey, although I am afraid that might be ethically questionable….

I feel like tomorrow shall be a good day!

And just realized school starts in two weeks.  Crap.  I don’t want to go to class.

Any other students about to start?  Looking forward to it?  If so, why, might I ask?

Marathon Training Thoughts + The Best Thing I Ate Today

Today’s Happy Note: Rain!  I love rain — my favorite type of weather by far.  It makes the air cool and grey and calm and lovely.

Marathon Training: So.  My alarm went off at 6:05 this morning.  I felt like a slab of concrete — there was no way my body was getting any further than the end of my bed to turn off my alarm.   I figured I could sleep another two hours and then do the 12 miles after work.  Got home from work and listened to my body, which wanted a snack and a nap.  I rarely genuinely feel like not running.  A lot of times I am just being lazy, but I really don’t think that was the case today.  I just could not move.  I ended up sleeping for another two hours and woke up still exhausted.  My body was telling me something.  I still wanted to move, just not run.  I headed to the gym in the late evening for an hour vinyasa yoga class and a half an hour of arm weights. It was exactly what I needed.

Do you get obsessive about exercising a certain way everyday — like if you don’t follow whatever is on the “plan”, something terrible will happen? I used to be like that but realized how unhealthy and restrictive it was.  Not to mention that it was just annoying and boring to feel like I had to do a certain thing for a certain amount of time on a certain day.  There is a fine line between following a training plan for a race (in my case, the NYC Marathon) and becoming obsessive about things.  It can be a little hard to figure out what works, but I think I am getting there by both listening to my body and making sure that I keep my training plan in mind.

Thoughts?

I have decided that, for my mental and physical sanity, I am going to take a macro-view of my marathon training plan, like Caitlin. I still fully intend on getting all of the runs I have planned for any given week done, I am just going to be flexible about it.  If I need to switch things around a bit, it is not the end of the world.  As long as I don’t end up with two long runs in a row I will be fine.

I do fully plan on attacking this baby tomorrow though!  Wish me luck — this will be the longest I have run since before I was in the hospital the first time.

Just realized none of my pictures from today uploaded.  Grrrr.  I am far too lazy (and tired) to do it again.  Which means this post is officially pictureless.

I will tell you about the best thing I ate today though.  Because I can do that.

Fage 2% yogurt (NEVER going back to the fat-free version again; low-fat Greek yogurt will change your life, if it hasn’t already) with a spoonful of honey, cantaloupe and a drizzle of Justin’s cinnamon peanut butter (I think it has been discontinued — this was an old packet).

I used to not use honey that often.  But I think it might be my favorite sweetner.  I’m pretty sure it isn’t going to kill me.

Fun Caronae fact: I am actually deathly allergic to bees/hornets/wasps/yellow jackets.  But I could eat honey all day long!  Other allergies: mollusks (NOT shrimp), nickel, and narcotics!

What are you allergic to?

Alright.  I’m going to sign off before this post gets any more random.

Weekend Update

Today’s Happy Note:

Hello hello hello!  I have to blog and run because I have more work to do before tomorrow’s (procrastinator much?) early morning long run.  Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I reaallllllyyyyy suck at time management.

Marathon Training:

Yesterday I had five easy miles on the schedule.  I did that along with about 40 minutes of arms and abs.  My leg strength training falls by the wayside whenever I am training for a race.  My legs are tired enough from running so many miles, I can’t bear the thought of putting them through sets of lunges and hamstring curls and calf raises.  I have decided that I officially love lifting weights.  It is almost as fun as running and yoga for me.  Makes me feel strong, powerful, confident, and sexy, in a weird way.  I ended my run at the Union Square Farmer’s market.  That is the absolute best way to do a Saturday morning run — then you can have a little snack when you get there and sit in the sunshine in the park and think about sunflowers and sunshine and other sunny Saturday morning things.

There was a chocolate chip coconut scone (yes, you heard that correctly) with my name on it at the FM!  With a side of honey-vanilla yogurt.

This was the best scone I have ever had.  I am normally totally a muffin person, but I think I am becoming a scone convert.

So.  Something really good and awesome and happy happened at the farmer’s market after I ate my scone but I don’t want to tell you all about it because I don’t want to jinx it.  So I kind of just told you, without really telling you.  So there.

If you’re a blogger, are you ever afraid of jinxing something by “saying it aloud” on the blog?

Today was supposed to be a Sunday long run day, but I didn’t want to wake up super early, then it ended up raining the whole day anyway.  I moved around my scheduled runs for the week so that I can do it tomorrow (hello 6 AM).  I love Google calendar because it lets you drag and drop events from one day to another.  I ended up doing a 30 minute abs class at the gym today followed by a six mile run that included 4 fast 800s (half-miles).  The 800s were hard but not killer hard.  I used to flat-out hate speedwork but now I think I have more of a love-hate relationship with it.  It feels so goooooood afterwards but during it I just wanna die (usually).  Regular running never gets my heart rate up or makes my face red or anything.  Today’s speedy 800s sure did though!

It ended up pouring for the whole second half of my run.  Somehow I don’t have a problem running less than an hour in the rain.  I just couldn’t face two hours.  Not sure why.

Enough running!

Eats hodgepodge:

Yogurt with a warmed peach and honey and granola.  Afternoon snackage perfection.

I’m pretty sure I ate an entire half of a big cantaloupe over the last two days.

Dates, carrots, PB, and more PB plate.  I am loving dates lately!

Pasta, lots of veggies, and tofu.  With a side of more veggies with guac.  One of the smartest things my mother ever taught me: you can never have too many vegetables.

Good eats (although maybe a little too much last night?  It’s so hard to tell with marathon training!).  Good running.  Good friends.  Good adventures.

Good weekend.

Update me on your lives my friends!  What’s going on where you are?

Thoughts On Yoga

Today’s Happy Note: Best. Yoga. Class. Ever.

I know that not everybody is into yoga, and that’s fine, but it really has been life-changing/saving for me.  I can enter class seething, panicked, distraught, weepy, or in pain.  And leave relaxed, smiling, calm, joyful, spiritual.  Today we did a lot of inversions, balances, and twisting, including one pose I have never done before that I could not find any name for or picture of online.  It is basically what the top person is doing in this photo, only upright, with back foot and hand on the ground:

Hangle Dangle

Source

Anyone have any ideas?

What I loved most about class today was that my emotions started coming up, uncontrollably.  As my body physically opened up I could feel the things in my heart pouring out as well. I have heard Averie (who is giving away some awesome hemp products here) and other yogis talk about this before but have never felt it.  Well, I have news for you: this is not one of those crazy newfangled yoga things.  It really happened — I was alternately smiling and crying during class.  It was wonderful and soothing to let things out of my body like that.

I think yoga has made me more spiritual and more comfortable in my own body.  It calms me down and lifts me up at the same time.  It helps me realize that I do indeed know God, in some guise or other, and that I have this wonderful, amazing body that I need to treat well.  I run because it makes me feel clean and strong, in heart and body and mind, but yoga adds an element of spirit, I think.

Have you tried yoga?  It seems like most healthy living bloggers either love it or hate it.  I am definitely in the loving it camp.  I do recommend trying a few different classes, styles, studios, gyms, or videos before giving up; each experience is different and you really need to find what works for you.  Polly’s videos are always a good place to start!

My absolute favorite studio in NYC is Yoga Vida. Highly recommended, and relatively inexpensive.

The eats:

Diet snapple iced tea and plain oats with soymilk and PB.

Tuna made with plain yogurt and hummus, giant pile of steamed veggies.  I know everyone thinks they’re boring, but sometimes I lover plain and simple lightly steamed veggies.

Two afternoon snacks is the way to go.  PB and chocolate chip Larabar and a basically empty AB jar with plain 2% Fage (I’m in love  — the fats are pretty much miraculous), frozen blueberries, and Justin’s chocolate PB (didn’t really go with it, taste-wise).

I realized that recently I have been falling into the blogger-comparison trap.  I think, “healthy living bloggers should have one afternoon snack, dinner, then a small dessert, or two afternoon snacks and no desserts — I must be overeating!”  BUT this is what works for me.  And I never eat (or want a morning) snack, and I keep main meals a bit smaller.  So there.  I can have two afternoon snacks and a dessert if that’s what my body wants.

Random WF bowl.  It had arugula, walnut/grape chicken salad (my favorite kind), a few bites of potato, black bean udon noodles, shredded zucchini/summer squash, and marinated kale salad.  I am NOT a kale girl, but I really liked this one.  It had shredded carrots, cabbage, and lots of balsamic.

Blurry raspberry protein shake: vanilla soy milk, half a banana, handful frozen raspberries, lots of ice, half scoop of vanilla whey/soy protein, and a few spoonfuls of coconut sorbet.  Topped with dark chocolate and chocolate PB.

A good day of eats — lots of variety, lots of nutrients, good portions that kept me full but not too full.  My belly is a happy belly right about now!

Some days I feel like all my meals/snacks involve nuts or nut butter.  I really truly believe that, if it came down to it, I would say PB is my favorite food.  Oats, Greek yogurt, apples, and carrots are all tied for second place. 🙂

What’s your favorite food?

Thoughts on yoga?

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