Rough Night+Chocolate

Today’s Happy Note: Pandora.  Customizable music stations?  No CDs or MP3s or iPods?  I can listen to whatever I want when I’m studying?  Me likes.

Marathon Training: Yoga class today followed by an easy 4-miler, with 6×100 meter strides in the last mile. Yoga was slow but nice; I definitely felt my legs and hips opening and stretching.  The run was slooooowww.  This is a pattern, following speedwork or long runs, that I have just come to accept.  Meh.

Tonight was rough. Rough.  It started when I decided not to go to my last class.  Then I felt guilty.  Then the guilt was compounded by stress because my INR is too low.  Then there was a laundry fiasco.  Then I was so hangry I almost ate my ears off.  Then the printer wasn’t working properly.  And now my whole left forearm itches.

Blech blech blech.

I’m drowning my sorrows in hulu, some frozen yogurt, and, per my mom’s advice, maybe a bit of meditation.

There is school work to be done.  And it ain’t happenin’ tonight.

So I’m settling into my bed, with my crossword puzzle and some tea.

After blogging, of course. 🙂

Leftover stir-fry topped with avocado.  This stir-fry consisted of sweet potato, onion, broccoli, EVOO, salt and pepper, ginger, tofu, and peanut sauce.  This is one of my fave stir-fry combos ever.

Do you have any fave stir-fry combos?

I reappropriated my leftovers into dinner too!  I wanted to make something else but was too hungry to wait.  Do you ever feel to hungry to cook?  this time, I put the stir-fry into a cup of TJ’s carrot ginger soup with two big handfuls of spinach and ate it stew-style!  Also very successful.

Sometimes I get fro yo and then bring it home and add my own toppings.  Shhhh, don’t tell.  You can’t even see the yogurt under my mess of toppings!  It was half mango/half plain topped with dark chocolate, coconut, and TJ’s cat cookies.

Other food highlights of late:

Chocolate.

Chocolate.

More chocolate.

USB may or may not have given me not one but two boxes of chocolates last weekend.  Did I mention that he wrote me a poem tonight?

Um, yeah.

He’s a keeper, I’m pretty sure.

Goodnight friends! Hopefully when I see you tomorrow I’ll be less stressed!  And happy almost-end-the-week!

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It’s All Mental (And Physical!)

Today’s Happy Note: Sunbutter.  I know that sunflower seed butter is made from a kind of a modified sunflower seed and has some added sugar and oils.  But I. Don’t. Care.  It is my new favorite nut butter and I am in love.  Nut butter heaven.  If that is a real place, I am so going there.

Marathon Training: Yesterday was a day off running.  I did about 15 minutes of yoga then lifted my beloved weights for 45 minutes. I really do love weight-lifting.  It’s oddly relaxing.  Anyone with me on this?

Today was a speed workout day.  It may officially have been the longest speed workout of my life:

2 mile warm-up

4 x (2 mile @ Tempo pace, 1/2 mile easy)

2 mile cool-down

It ended up being a whopping 14 miles! That’s longer than my long run on Sunday.  It was a really good workout — I felt strong and fast, but not too fast; I think I paced myself pretty well.  I definitely needed a succesful workout, mentally.  I was super anxious to get started and have been feeling a bit down about running lately.  This brought my spirits back up! I estimated the distance for the fast portions using the street numberings on lamp posts in CP (a well-kept but amazing secret — the first two numbers on any lamp post correspond to the street cumber you are at, and there are 20 blocks to a mile).

An awesome mid-week workout, although 14 miles is kind of a time-suck.

All-Around Health

I want to talk a little bit about the intersections between mental and physical health today.  I think that it’s easy to become too focused on the physical aspect of health: mainstream media frequently portrays a narrow, singular conception of health which is framed largely around the exclusion of non-physical elements.  For example, you see advertisements at drug stores with people working out at a gym and eating salads and taking supplements.  Or there are segments on news shows telling us “how to get healthy” by doing this new exercise or eating this new superfood. One of the reasons I think that Caitlin’s book, Operation Beautiful, is wonderful (and has been so successful) is because it addresses a legitimate need for emotional health information and empowerment, both amongst individuals who already consider themselves to be relatively healthy(e.g., bloggers) and amongst those who don’t know where to start, physically or emotionally. I try to deal with things holistically, although I am not always successful.  But the fun part is the journey, not perfection.

In the last two years, I have had a physical health crisis and a mental health crisis.  My experiences with each were very different, but both were powerfully formative for my conception of myself — I learned so much about my unique strengths and talents from each.  I began to understand my way of seeing the world; where I fit into things.  I think these crises helped me to figure out love — how to love myself and others.  I am not saying that you need to have a crisis in order to take care of yourself though!  There are simple things that we can all do, everyday, to make our lives the best they can be.  After all, I think that’s what health is about: living our happiest, most vibrant lives.

If my years in college have taught me anything, thus far, it is that I need to take the time to be healthy.  Taking time for myself has saved my life.

Before talking about the spaces between emotional and bodily health, I want to share some research/articles on the matter.  Some of these are more scientific than others, but I think that they all involve a good overview on the relationship or specific facets of the relationship.

How Does Exercise Improve Mental Health?

Psychoendoneuroimmunology — relationship between stress and mental coping skills and somatic illness

Meditation Can Boost The Immune System

Exercise As an Antidepressant

Finding Thinner Peace II — eating right for our mind and body

Exercise, Mental Health, and Mental Ability

The Connection Between Mental and Physical Health — great roundup of articles

Improving Emotional Health — a more general but still useful overview of emotional wellbeing and its intersections with physical indicators

Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health — this has almost nothing to do with bodily health, but is a comprehensive overview of mental health (including disorders)

Most of these articles focus on the relationship between mental health and exercise.  I think this is certainly important, but it would be shallow to consider it the only significant aspect of the way our emotional and bodily health intersect.

For me, physical health means a constellation of things: regular exercise/movement (running, yoga, and weights), a good diet full of lots of plants, protein, and healthy fats, regular communication with my doctors, management of my clotting problem and my hormonal/endocrine disorders, and generally taking care of my body — proper rest, attention to appearance, stretching, etc.

Mental health also means a variety of things, for me: managing my depression/anxiety/mood, actively seeking happiness and contentment, healthy social relationships and connections, a sense of calm/inner peace/spirituality, and a general awareness of my place in the world.

By no means do I think that people conceive of physical and mental health in the same ways.  Even a more generic inquiry into “health” would yield vastly different responses from similar individuals.  My point here is to notice and acknowledge what being physically and emotionally healthy means, for me, and to think about how these definitions relate and overlap and inform one another.

There is a certain calmness that washes over me on occasion.  It happens when I feel best about my body and content with my life.  It represents my ultimate healthy state. In it I feel alert, safe, and well.  I notice what my body is thinking and wanting and what my mind is thinking and wanting.  Sometimes these things are different, and that’s okay.  I accept myself for where I am at in that moment.  I am exquisitely attentive yet also tuned out from the rest of the world.  My body has moved sufficiently and been well-fed, and my intellect has been active and my emotions have been even-keeled.  This is, I suppose, my ideal intersection point.

Of course, this is not my everyday reality.  No one who knows me well would ever think to describe me as a calm or collected person.  I can be hysterical or just plain crazy.  On a regular basis.

My thought patterns have a huge effect on how I feel, physically.  When I notice that I am harshly judging myself and hating my body, I tense up — I can feel the pit of my stomach clenching and my shoulders hovering up by my ears.  Or, for another example, when I hear from my doctor that my INR is too low (for the third time in two weeks, as was the case today), I start panicking.  My thoughts race, I can’t do school work, I am suddenly unhappy.

I wish I had a graph or something scientific whereby I could chart the precise overlap of my mental and physical health over a given period of time.  For now, vague descriptions like this will have to do.  All I know, in conclusion, is that there is a connection between my body and mind beyond my spinal cord: yes, my spine runs into my brain stem which opens up into the cerebrum.  But something more is happening here.  I have a sudden change in mood after a quick, sweaty run.  I feel different sensations in my chest and lungs and stomach when I have more fulfilling interactions with those around me.

I think the conclusion is that I don’t know precisely what is going on.  Rather, I am attuned to the patterns and the existence of the connection.  And I think that the details of this connection are probably different for different people.

And that’s okay.

How do mental and physical health intersect for you?  Or you more appreciative of one over the other?  How do you balance the varied roles that they play in your life?  What would you change, if you could?

Long Run Eats

Today’s Happy Note: Fall weather.  I may have already said this.  But it’s that awesome that I get to say it again.  I love the colors, the temperatures, the wind, and the leaves.

Hello friends!  Happy Sunday evening!  I should be reading for school.  Confession: I have not done one single ounce of schoolwork all weekend.  Nada.  I only have yoga and one “real” class tomorrow, but it’s in the evening, so I have all afternoon to study, right?  Right? 😉

I just finished watching a very moving video of HLS session on the impact of reading food/fitness blogs, led by Caitlin (of Healthy Tipping Point) and Gena (of Choosing Raw).  You can watch it here. I highly recommend it.  It made me think about what I get out of blogging and reading blogs and existing in this little sphere we call the healthy living blogging community.  It sort of cemented some thoughts that have already been floating around in my head:

  • The way that I eat and the way that I move is something unique to me.  I cannot compare myself to other bloggers (or celebrities or friends or whoever) in this regard because eating and exercising are endeavors that will be the same for no two people.  I will not be ashamed if I eat more than another blogger (or less).  If I eat more protein or more carbs.  If I eat more scones and muffins (I’m pretty sure I could trump almost any blogger on this one).  I will not be ashamed if I practice yoga less.  I will not be ashamed that I have struggled with depression for many years, or that I go to therapy.  In fact, I freely admit that I really enjoy therapy.  Basically, I will not be ashamed for being me in the only way I know how.
  • I have decided that I really enjoy having a “smaller” blog.  Less pressure, more fun and games and friends.
  • I have always been a little bit unsure of my blog’s content.  Sometimes I share stories/memories or other forms of writing.  Sometimes recipes.  Sometimes food pictures or running tales.  And sometimes I talk about a moment in which I really struggled with my mental health — in which my anxiety or depression or sadness took over.  This happened just last night, in fact.  I almost allowed the loneliness to take over, but I stopped it in its tracks by going for a run.  My point is, I have a lot of content.  I understand that the point of a blog is supposed to be focused, but I think that, in its own way, my blog is very focused.  I have come to realize that when I talk about my social life or share thoughts on therapy or describe what is working in my diet — all of this is related.  All of this comes together to form the bigger picture of “Caronae’s Health.”

Onto today’s long run!

It was twelve miles and took me a little over two hours.  It was decent, certainly better than the runs of weeks past.  I am still having the nagging pain in my back left hip, which is slightly worrisome.  It actually feels worse when I try to stretch it out?  I definitely had stretches in the run where I was able to speed up to a 9:00 mile pace or so, which was nice.  I did not feel nearly as dead as usual.  Overall, a success.

I signed up for a half-marathon next weekend on a whim a few days ago.  It’s called Grete’s Great Gallop and is entirely in Central Park.  That was a nice way of saying the course is going to be really boring, and hilly too.  My long runs are normally on Sundays, and next weekend was supposed to be 18 miles, so I’ll have to add in a few miles before or after.  But on the whole, I think it will be nice to have a “race” in this training cycle.  I say “race” because I will not be going all out.  My goal is actually going to be to maintain just under Marathon Goal Pace (which means that I would like to run the race at a 9:30-10:00 mile pace).

Enough running talk!  Onto food.  This is everything I have had thus far today, minus about two unpictured spoonfuls of crunchy PB.  I am doing this not for anyone else to compare but because it’s useful for me to keep track of what I have had on a long run day and see if it is enough and see if there are things that aren’t working. 🙂

Bad picture, but it’s a banana smothered in PB, eaten pre-run.

This was one of the best post-long run brunches I have ever had, because it was exactly what I wanted.  A glass of icy pear cider (amazing!!!!), pile of green grapes, and a warm chocolate chip scone with more PB.  Can you tell that PB and I are friends?

Gabriela and I went to Levain in the late afternoon.  We had delicious cookies and a lovely chat session!  We both agreed that these were the softest, thickest, most satisfying cookies we had ever eaten.  I bought one for USB for later.  It’s a surprise! 🙂

Thank you for the lovely afternoon Gabriela!

Dinner was a tasty sir-fry of onion, sweet potato, broccoli, tofu, salt and pepper, ginger, and TJ’s spicy peanut vinaigrette.  This was a really good combo!  I had some carrot ginger soup with a dollop of plain 2% greek yogurt on the side.  I have decided that I officially like stir-fries more than salads, fyi.

Might have some dark chocolate or cocoa or tea or an apple later on.  We shall see. 🙂

I actually don’t tend to eat a massive amount on long run days just because I often don’t have an appetite or don’t have the time.  I’ll probably eat more tomorrow, I suspect.

Fun blog announcement: I bought the domain name caronae.com yesterday!  You won’t find much of anything there just yet, but I am anticipating a switch-over to my own domain soon!  I’ll still be wordpress-hosted (it’s very convenient), but will have an easier URL.  I was rpetty excited that I could get my first name as my site.  How many other people can say that?  Hehe.

Goodnight friends!  I hope you all have a most wonderful week!

Super Spectacular Really Good Yummy Pancakes

Today’s Happy Note: Spending time with my wonderful cousin before she moves to San Francisco.

Today felt both really busy and really lazy, at the same time.  Do you ever have days like that?  Sort of an odd feeling, I guess, but also kind of pleasant, because I wind up feeling both energized and relaxed.  I spent the morning making (and consuming) awesome pancakes,  the afternoon teaching a band of very sweet high schoolers, late afternoon with my cousin and her husband and then LSAT studying (mostly the dreaded logic games), and the evening working out.  I squeezed some grocery store shopping and tv watching in there and that was my day!

I like to procrastinate my schoolwork until Sundays. 🙂

Let’s start with the pancakes!

I made these up on the spot and they turned out splendiferous.  They were soft on the inside (that “ohmygoshthisissopillowy soft” not that “thisissosoftitmustberaw soft”) but crisp on the outside.  Thick, with plenty of volume.  And made with totally wholesome ingredients, and not a lot of added sugar at all.  Basically, these are love, in protein pancake form (I am only calling them “protein pancakes” because the “base” is mostly protein-y and not carby — they are not some weird health food or anything, I promise!)

I was stupid and didn’t measure things out precisely or write the measurements down but this is roughly what it was:

1/4 C peanut flour (yes, I know this is a blog “fad” but it is an awesome fad that I actually like)

2 Tbsp oats

1 scoop vanilla hemp/whey protein powder (half serving)

1/2 Tsp baking powder

1/2 Tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp flax meal

1 whole egg

1/4 C pumpkin

Water (as needed) to thin out

Earth Balance or butter, to coat the pan with

Combine all dry ingredients, then add in wet ingredients until pancake-consistency is achieved (I know, I am really scientific).  Heat the butter in the pan (you don’t need more than a teaspoon, at most) and when it starts to pop, dollop on your batter.  I made three generous ‘cakes.

Top with more butter, real maple syrup, and fruit or nuts of choice.  I used sesame almonds!

Don’t let this up close picture fool you.  These pancakes are generous.  Also, far more nuts than that were involved. 🙂

This morning meal made my day.  Bonus: it kept me full for five hours of teaching bleary-eyed high school seniors. I needed a meal with some serious stamina and this was it!  I have not made a “real” weekend breakfast in a long time. I forgot how much fun it is.  It’s nice not to have oats or yogurt or a smoothie for once!  Mmmmm.  Now I just need some bacon and we’ll be all set…

I got home from my afternoon shenanigans around 6:00.  I was technically supposed to run 8-10 miles, since I had skipped out on yesterday’s run, and tomorrow’s run isn’t going to be very long (10-12 miles).  But I just was not feeling it.  I don’t think it was a matter of laziness, either.  It was a matter of “I need to have some oatmeal with nut butter and lie on my bed and read blogs and snuggle up in my fleece blanket right now“, in all actuality.  And so that’s exactly what I did.

I find it sort of odd that oats with nut butter and melted dark chocolate and maple syrup are my comfort food.  But hey, there are worse things.  These are all whole foods.  Delicious whole foods.

What’s your idea of comfort food?

BUT after a few hours of winding down, which my brain/body needed, I felt ready for a workout.  Normally, I am an all-or-nothing girl and I either feel like I have to “waste” my day by eating poorly and not working out or have a hardcore workout and eating perfectly.  Silly, right?  By this point, I genuinely wanted to run, but was feeling anxious about it, because of said all-or-nothing mindset. I felt like, “how can I go run now if I have been lazy all evening?  Aren’t the two mutually exclusive???”  Um, no.  Duh, Caronae.

I ended up having a lovely workout!  I lifted (arms and abs) for about 30 minutes then ran a slow, easy five miles, which was exactly what my body needed.  Sometimes I just need my brain to shut-up so that I can listen to my body. 🙂

All in all, a lovely Saturday.

And I’m looking forward to making tomorrow a lovely Sunday.  And then having a lovely week.

Thanks for your support yesterday about my “busyness” — for lack of a better word.  I truly don’t think I could do it without you all as friends. 🙂

On the schedule for Run Write Therapy Life this week:

~Long run (tomorrow)/Long run eats

~Easy college student dinners

~Mental/Physical Health Intersections

~A fun announcement about the site

Should be a fun week!  Stay tuned, friends.  Goodnight for now!

The Monster Post That Almost Wasn’t

Today’s Happy Note: USB. Makes me oh so very happy.  It stuns me every day.  This morning, he was getting into a cab to go to the airport and I walked the other way, towards the train station.  As the cab pulled away, he called me and said “you have a beautiful smile; you were beautiful walking away.”

Um, is he purposely trying to make me melt???

Okay, so this is going to be a monster post!  Lots of running and workouts and meals and snacks and thoughts!

First, where have I been?  I know that you all probably don’t care about the mundane details of my life, but I like to make lists.  So I am making this list.  Of the ten billion things going on in my life right now. It clears my head (FYI: these are not necessarily in order of importance):

1. School. School school school.  I have six classes (okay, so one is yoga) and I’m a history major.  Which means I spend my evenings reading hundreds and hundreds of pages about early Sumerian writing systems and the intricacies of Iran’s 19th Century civil service system.  I have to keep everything on track and get a lot of forms and such in so that I can graduate on time this May (wow, I can’t believe that it’s only eight months away).

2. LSAT/Law School Applications. Quite frankly, I have been neglecting my LSAT studies.  Hello more logic games and less fun.  I think that part of the problem here is the anxiety surrounding my future.  I am quite confident that the LSAT/law school application thing is the right thing for me to do at this moment in my life, though.  And the anxiety dissipates more and more as I become surer and surer that this is what I want to do.  And if I don’t get in, so be it.  The world will not end.

3. Health. I had. A. Pulmonary. Embolism. Two. Months. Ago. My Warfarin management is going decently, but my INR levels have been inconsistent, at best.  I have, currently, seven doctors, you read that right, seven, plus doctor mom and doctor dad.  A PCP, a warfarin-management doctor, a gynecologist, an endocrinologist, a pulmonologist, a hematologist, and, the most important, a psychologist (L).  I will most likely have to undergo some genetic testing soon to see what caused my emboli and if I have a serious long-term clotting disorder.  I also have to sort out my endocrine/hormonal problems.   So there is quite a lot going on here.  Not to mention taking care of my depression and anxiety, which is muy importante right now.

4. Marathon Training. Need I say more?  Last week I hit 45 miles, next week and the weeks after I will be at 50-55.  Not to mention the amount of non-running time I spend stretching, eating, sleeping, thinking about running, eating, more eating.  Lots of mental and physical energy is expended here.

5. Social Life. My friends are super important to my sanity.  I love them.  They love me.  They keep me happy and healthy and glowing in a way that no amount of exercise ever will.  Spending time with them, whether it’s studying or eating cupcakes together, is something I have learned cannot be sacrificed.  Not to mention USB.  And love.  And sharing things.  And understanding another person like that.

6. Blog/Writing. Not to much to say here besides that these things are super important to me and I won’t be giving them up entirely either. I need them.

7. Family. Duh.  Most important people in the world.

8. Work. I love my job and wish I could work a bit more, but I’m having to squeeze in 8-10 hours in a week where I can. No working=no money, therefore it is absolutely necessary.

Reading this back over, I feel like I am sounding a bit wimpy.  I should be able to handle this.  I can handle this.  Time management.  And self-love.  those are the crucial things right now.

I can make it through these next few months, I know I can.

I have changed my mind about the direction of this post.  Don’t really want to talk about running at all.  I took an extra day off this week (today) which I am feeling guilty about.  But I know I needed it.  I ran this week.  Lifted weights and did some yoga.  The end.

Mostly, I just want to stop talking and show you pictures of yummy things:

Annnnnnnnnd my pictures aren’t uploading.  I think that signals the end of this post.

Goodnight my friends!

Thank you for always being there; I truly feel so supported by you guys!

Double-Fisting.

Today’s Happy Note: Being sick=extra nap time.

I am not actually in any muscular pain today, which is good!  I think that your body adapts to running longer distances — the first time you do 20 miles, it’s going to hurt like hell after.  But once you have done it (or even longer runs) multiple times, it starts to hurt less.  My quads are a little sore, but nothing I can’t handle.

My sinus system, on the other hand is another story.  No work or morning class for me today.  I did make it to my evening class though.  I am having the standard cold/flu-like symptoms.  I am hoping that today is the worst it will be and the rest of the week will be bright and sunshiney and wonderful!  Positive thinking, people.

If, however, I do not feel better tomorrow, I will not force myself to run.  I will not force myself to run.  I will not force myself to run.

Today happened to be a rest day on the training plan.  But I have to remember that taking more rest days, if need be, will help me in the long run because I will heal faster.

I will listen to my body.  I will listen to my body.  I will listen to my body. 🙂

Other than complaining about being sick, I just wanted to pop in and show you guys this:

I’m double-fisting. Duh!  (And no, I do not know what is going on with my hair in this picture).

With herbal tea in one hand and two liters of water in the other.  At a senior drinking event.

I have said it before and will say it again: I am the coolest college student ever.

Don’t think that Ivy League students don’t take their partying seriously. 🙂

Worst 20 Miles Ever. And USB!

Today’s Happy Note: Udon noodles!  Much more fun than spaghetti. 🙂

Marathon Training: Today was, to put it nicely, a run from hell. It was absolutely horrendous.  Not horrendous in the sense that I couldn’t finish or didn’t want to do it.  Horrendous because I literally felt dead for about 3/4 of the time.  Literally dead.  Ghostly.  I couldn’t feel some parts of my body and other parts hurt so much that all I could do was tell myself to put one foot in front of the other.

Did I mention that it was 20 miles? Miles 8-15 felt pretty good, but before and after that…ugh.  I almost don’t want to write about it because it is bringing back terrible memories.  Oh, and you want to know something really fun?

When you’re on blood thinners you can’t take ibuprofen.  Awesome.

And I’m allergic to narcotics.  Yes, I think this situation requires the strong stuff.  If I could take it.

The worst parts were my hamstrings, stomach, and bladder.  Yes, my bladder hurt.  The whole thing took about four hours, but I stopped to pee and/or refill my water bottle and/or stretch at least five times.  My pace really went downhill only for the last five miles.

And you know what was even worse than the run?

How I felt afterwards.  I literally started feeling sick as soon as I finished — like I have the flu or something.  I couldn’t eat for hours afterwards and felt like I was going to pass out.  Now my lower eyelids are all sunken in, which is a major sign of dehydration.  I’m trying really hard to drink, but even water seems nauseating right now.  I just had some brothy soup, so hopefully that helps.

I would rank this in my top three worst runs of all times. And the only reason I say top three instead of number one worst is because…well, there is no reason.  This actually might be the worst.

Reading this over, it sounds really negative.  But that’s the truth: sometimes marathon training is not pretty. Sometimes you feel like you’re half-dead.  Sometimes it takes you an hour to run four miles.  There is chafing and blood and pain.  And the sweat, oh the sweat — I was more soaked today when I finished than after last weekend’s 16 miles in the pouring rain.

And I almost peed my pants.  Multiple times.

My life is so glamorous.

The only good thing about this run is that it’s over. And even that isn’t so good considering how drained it left me. Thank God next week is a cutback week — my long run will only be 10 miles!  Hallelujah!

Okay.  Rant over.  Onto happier things.  Things like USB.

I figured that I should introduce you guys!  I told him about the blog but he doesn’t read it, at this point.  Anyways, here’s the need-to-know on USB!

  • USB stands for Union Square Boy!  We met there at the Saturday farmer’s market about a month ago.  I was eating a chocolate chip coconut scone next to a monument.  He was drinking some sort of smoothie thing from Whole Foods.  He came around the corner and  I thought he was cute.  We started talking about the monument and history and life.  We talked for over an hour.  I was so unbelievably nervous but I also felt like it was clear that we both liked each other.
  • Our first date was super epic: we started at one coffee shop then moved onto another and met some of his friends, then we saw a movie, then we had dinner and danced at a Cuban restaurant and then we walked.
  • He is Kenyan.  He likes running, but not very long distances, and not all the time.
  • He has nine siblings.
  • He is 29 years old, a little over eight years older than me.
  • He loves good film, especially independent movies.  He does not like romantic movies at all but he knows that I do and brought us some to watch the other night.
  • He likes non-fiction and reads a lot more of it than fiction.
  • He is very romantic and gentlemanly — he always offers me his coat or his umbrella or his arm.
  • He is super cuddly.
  • One of his fingers is bent out to the side at the tip, and I think this is perfectly beautiful.
  • He loves doing volunteer and charity work.  He is a generous soul.
  • He likes outdoor adventures almost as much as I do.
  • He is not in New York from Monday through Friday, sadly. 😦
  • He doesn’t notice the ten billion imperfections in my body that I obsess over.  He makes me feel good about myself the way I am.

That’s all for now.  Goodnight, friends.  Have a most excellent week!

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