Thoughts On Running Long And Strong

Today’s Happy Note: I’m officially in love with my creative writing class — the people, the teacher, and the materials are all great.  It’s about Lyric Essays.  Today we reviewed one of my pieces.  It is a piece I am tremendously proud of — it sort of encapsulates the last three or four months of my life.  I feel like a lot of times with writing, my best work comes out of nowhere.  I start putting words on the page without knowing where I’m going and then all of the sudden there are pages full of words and ideas and I have no idea where they came from.

I will always be writing. Always always always.

Marathon Training: I was supposed to get in my second 20 miler (read the recap of the first 20 miler here) on Sunday, then do a rest day yesterday, then a speed work day today.  Unfortunately, the LSAT sucked the life force out of me on Saturday.  I didn’t wake up until 3:00 on Sunday.  Yeah, long run wasn’t gonna happen.  Especially since I needed to see USB. 🙂

I took Sunday as a complete and total rest day. Yesterday I had yoga class (it’s not really vinyasa-style so we always just hold a bunch of random poses for a long time; this is actually kind of nice because it increases the stretching factor) and did 6 miles.

I was determined to get in my 20 miles today and I did! It meant getting up at 6:00 which is insanely early for me.  But I did it.  I wanted to run it at about an 11:00 minutes/mile pace.  I was almost exactly on target!  I finished just over 3:40,  which would put me just over 11:00 minute miles.   BUT I stopped for water bottle refills several times, along with some stretch/walk breaks.  I used some leftover pear cider mixed with water for some sugars instead of plain water.  I liked the idea in theory, but cider does not taste good while running.  You would think that would be obvious, but my groggy self thought it was a great idea.  I think for future long runs and the marathon I will do watered-down gatorade.  I also took about ten small dates along with me to eat (they’re really mini).  They tasted really dry and I had to force them on.  I find it so hard to establish an effective fueling plan for long runs.

Anyone have any ideas?

I am also torn about walk breaks.  I can’t decide if they make me faster or slow me down.  I don’t have any kind of ethical problem with them — I think they can be a great tool for runners — but I just can’t seem to figure out if they work for me.  I took maybe four or five today, one every four-ish miles.  They felt good, but I also felt like it would have been less disruptive to just run continuously?

I had a lot of joint pain on the run.  Grrrrr.  Especially afterwards — I actually found it pretty difficult to walk today.  My muscles feel great — worn out but still strong — but the damn joints hurt.  I notice it in my hips and sacrum a lot during longer runs and I honestly don’t know what it means.  Sometimes it is worse than others.  It isn’t bad enough to necessitate stopping training, but I know that I will take a break from running after the big day.  I feel like a good anti-inflammatory would help, but you can never take anti-inflammatories with blood-thinners.  Also grrrr.

That was a lot of running talk!  Phew.

Today’s eats:

After many long-runs worth of experimentation, I am quite confident that the only thing I can safely eat before one is a banana.  Many other runners eat full on breakfasts beforehand, but that would never work for me.  So bananas it is.

I got back and had 20 minutes to shower, edit a paper, and get to class.  Crap.  Not to mention eating.  I felt a little queasy so just decided to sip on gatorade during class.  Afterwards it was noon and I was ready to eat!

I had the weirdest craving for Chinese noodle soup.  So that’s what I had.  Long runs have taught me to always listen to my body!

The salty broth was perfect.  I had all the soup (minus some of the chicken, which I am saving for later) and about half the noodles.

About an hour later I had a cinnamon raisin bagel with walnut raisin cream cheese.

Late afternoon snack of pb pretzels and trail mix.

Dinner was light and refreshing — I don’t have a huge appetite on long run days much of the time.  Don’t worry, my hunger will be back tomorrow! 🙂  This was a smoothie with vanilla soy milk, lots of ice, vanilla hemp/whey protein, a banana, and half an avocado.  Topped with a crumbled granola bar and sesame almonds.  I had another serving or so of the almonds while “cooking.”

The marathon is officially less than a month away!  I am getting a bit nervous, but also very excited.  New York is supposed to be a very fun course with tons of spectators/cheerleaders.   Any readers/bloggers running and want to meetup?  I’ll probably plan something closer to race day!

Alright, time to go call my mom and USB.  Separately, though.  That would be weird if I was calling them at the same time…

Goodnight dearies!

Update: I just had the most delicious, satisfying snack I have ever had in my entire life.  Two eggs scrambled in earth balance with babybel light cheese (x2) and maple turkey and salt.  I was craving salt, fat, and protein like nothing else — I literally felt like I would collapse if I didn’t have some!  I am now munching a big apple. 🙂

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 A Day’s Eats

Today’s Happy Note: I was feeling a lot of anxiety last night and sent my therapist a rant email and she sent me back a very soothing message.  She really is a major comfort.  It’s pretty sweet that she is there for me even on the weekend.

Thank you everyone for your kind, insightful comments yesterday. One thing that a lot of people pointed out was that I am still me, regardless of my size.  Additionally, most people on the beach are not looking at me at all!  They have better things to do than pay attention to the minutiae of my body. And in fact I have better things to do than pay attention to the minutiae of my body!

I feel like I have been lazy today.  The weird thing is that I can’t decide if this is actually true.  I mean, I did stuff, I just feel like it wasn’t enough stuff. I feel like Sundays should be devoted to getting-things-done.  I didn’t even workout (although I did walk maybe two or so miles).  Meh.  I guess maybe some Sundays are meant for total relaxation, perhaps?  What do you prefer — crazy busy Sundays that prepare you for the week ahead or lazy Sundays?

I did manage to pick myself up off the couch for a quick Adventure to the farmer’s market and the Cathedral. Fresh local peaches from the farmer’s market in summer are truly heavenly.  They might be my favorite food, ever.  I can’t even eat store bought ones anymore.  Other finds: crunchy cucumbers, rainbow chard, pea shoots, and mixed lettuces.

Started the day with a giant, real NY bagel (seven grain) with walnut raisin cream cheese (which, by the way, is cream cheese perfection).   I feel like bagels are a traditional NY Sunday brunch, so how could I say no?  I went with the family.  I am not a big bread person, but I really like a good bagel once a week or so.  And the cream cheese is wonderful because it’s so full of fat and keeps me full for hours.  I had this around eleven and didn’t even begin to think about eating again until after four.

My late afternoon snack was a SIAB made with vanilla soy milk, a splash of kefir, vanilla hemp/whey protein powder, lots of ice, frozen blueberries and frozen cherries.  Toppings: kashi heart to  heart cereal and Justin’s maple almond butter.

I also had a tiny bowl of cereal afterwards to satisfy my  giant cereal craving.

At some point between this and dinner I had a tiny handful of nuts and a piece of chocolate.

Dinner=meat. Dear meat, I love you.  I will never, ever leave you.

This is a multigrain wrap stuffed with home made meatballs (from farmer’s market ground beef), jarlsberg cheese, and baked yellow squash.  I made my meatballs with EVOO, salt, lemon pepper, garlic, and dried basil.  I had lots of cukes and carrots on the side.

At this point in my life, I know that eating meat (of all varieties — red, poultry, seafood) is the right choice for me.  I physically feel so much better with it in my life.  I have more energy, stay fuller longer, and I feel healthier on the inside too.  I try to eat red meat once or twice a week, along with a few servings of fish/chicken/turkey/shrimp, etc.  I know that some people may have trouble digesting meat or they just don’t like it or it does not work for them in some way, and I absolutely respect that.  But I crave and need protein.  And not just any protein: meat protein. And if I have learned anything about my relationship with food in the last few years, it’s that denying what my body wants is asking for trouble.

Phew, glad I got that out.  After dinner I had two spoonfuls of Maranatha dark chocolate peanut spread before making my real dessert.

Coconut peanut butter protein ice cream!  Topped with dark chocolate.

So pillowy.  I also had a Godiva dark chocolate truffle.

I won’t continue posting all my meals for long. It’s just something that I think I need to do for myself for a few days. I am getting used to “closing the kitchen” after a small-ish dessert, and not mindlessly munching my way through the evening.  I am hoping this will become a habit!  There are so many other things I like to do in the evening instead, especially reading.  There is never enough time for all the books I want to read, sadly.

I am a little nervous about working again full time this week.  I have lots to do, but hopefully I will give myself a break if need be.  I also need to make sure I get enough sleep.  Goodnight friends!

Summer Projects and TWO Dinners

Today’s Happy Note: Chatting with my dad on the phone and getting excited to go home so that I can visit the bakery!  Is this what normal people get excited about when they get to go home?  Probably not.  But I’m a food blogger, which is mutually exclusive to normal.  And my little town has the best bakery in the entire world.  I want to have an eclair.  And an apple fritter.  I am, of course, also getting very excited to see my crazy but beautiful family!

The no good icky bad mood has lifted! Thank the Lord.  Or hormones.  Or my therapist.  I don’t know who to thank but I do know that it’s gone!  (Insert happy dance here).  I let myself sleep in today, went for a nice (ish…) run, had my favorite mid-week treat breakfast, worked, then came home and relaxed.  No obligations.  I’m really not exactly sure what my work schedule will be like in the evenings (I am working two jobs) this summer.  My guess is that it is going to be crazy busy/late on some days and really chill on others.  But after a week of coming home from work at five fifteen and having not not much to do, I know that I am in some serious need of summer “projects.”  I am not going to start any of these until I have “officially” started my summer schedule and am back in NY, which will be in two weeks.  But I’m making a list now so I can plan and keep myself entertained!

Caronae’s Super Spectacular Fun Summer Project List:

1.  Stay in touch with old friends/family members who don’t live in the city.

2. Make regular plans with school friends who are in the city.

3. Meet new blog friends!

4. Start a planter in windowsill.  I want to grow lavender and maybe some rosemary and thyme.  I would like a flowering plant, but I’m afraid a planter won’t allow its roots the room that they need.

5. Find muffin recipes.  Make said recipes.

6. Cook a few fancy dinners.

7.  Places to visit: museums, aquariums, botanical gardens.

8. Weekly yoga sesh with my cousin.

9. Learn to knit?????

10. Buy a set of pastels and use them (sidenote: I adore pastels; they are my favorite artistic tool by far).

11. Learn more about trees and (geek alert!) take walks around the city identifying different types of trees.

12. See some dance shows.

13: Library.  Books.  Read them.  Last summer I had a “reading project” in which I read as many major Russian authors as I could (Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Pushkin, etc.).  I need a similar project for this summer!  It’s actually really fun if you are a word geek like I am.

14. Expand blog.

So that’s the plan for now!  This doesn’t include everything I’ll be doing, of course (read: running), just some fun and/or new projects.  I don’t really consider running a hobby so much as a part of my life, like eating or working or writing.

What are your favorite hobbies or activities?  Anything I should add to my list?  I’m totally open to suggestions!

Exercise: I did get in my 7.5 mile run today, and it was going really well — my legs were churning pretty fast, I thought — until I had to go to the bathroom about halfway through.  Stat.  Why are public bathrooms in this city so hard to find????  I had to walk for a mile before I found one.  Ick.  I hate when a pit stop derails my run, it’s one of the more annoying things about running.  Other “interesting” things that have happened to me while running: being chased (and almost mauled) by dogs, being stopped by annoying tourists asking for directions to Columbus Circle, getting very very lost in East Harlem, becoming convinced that my mother and sister were eaten by mountain lions, and sneaking into some very sketchy woods (on many different occasions) to go to the bathroom.  Runners have interesting lives and good stories.  You should befriend one 🙂

Eats: I had my special weekday breakfast treat today: a bagel with peanut butter and sweet iced tea from the deli/bakery.  This is one of my favorite things in the world.  I used to think it was so wrong that I would let food make me happy, but life is too short not to feel happy about having your favorite foods once in a while.  I freely admit that toasted cinnamon bagels with peanut butter make me very happy indeed!

I did the whole two dinners thing again today and it worked wonderfully.  No more Hangry Caronae!!!  Yay. 🙂

Dinner #1:

Vanilla-pear protein oatmeal eaten at 5:15.

Dinner #2:

Hodgepodge salad: mesclun base with carrots, steamed broccoli, refried pinto beans, brown rice, and a 2-egg puff.  So nom nom nom nom.


Pineapple chobs with crumbled raspberry chocolate luna bar — I maintain that this is not only the best luna bar flavor but the best bar out there.  Period.  It tastes like a raspberry-infused brownie that you might get for dessert at a fancy restaurant.  For twelve dollars.  I’m  not exaggerating.

Do you have a favorite dessert? I like almost anything with chocolate, especially brownies and homemade bake goods.  I have also been known to eat Ben and Jerry’s (ahem, Phish food) straight from the pint.

Goodnight friends!  Happy almost-weekend!

Today’s Happy Note: Hard to pick one thing!  I’m going to have to go with walking/running through two parks today that were stunningly, verdantly green!  There was yellow and lime and forest and bright jade and chartreuse and pear and bud green and a million other tones.  It had just rained and everything simply felt so wonderfully alive!

Oh happy Sunday!  Most wonderful day full of most wonderful things.  I want to make a list since it was all so refreshing:

1. Brunch with my contemporary civilization class (there’s only 8 of us) at my professor’s apartment!  I have never dined with a professor before and thought it might be intimidating, but it was actually really relaxing!  She had the most adorable two year old son and cats.  I played with both, of course! 🙂  Her son was obsessed with lox, it was so cute.  It was a very New York brunch with bagels, cream cheese, lox, frittata, and banana nut muffins.  I didn’t take any pictures, but I have good news: I wasn’t afriad of any of the food!  I told myself, “this is a fun event with a professor that doesn’t happen everyday, with delicious (free) food; just relax.”  And I did!  And had fun! I snagged a leftover  muffin and had half with pb as an afternoon snack:

2. Movies with friends: It’s nice to see B-grade comedy movies sometimes and just laugh and smile.  I really do feel healthier after laughing; I think there is soemthing healing about it.  That reminds me.  My steaz cap today:

I munched on my own trail mix at the movie.  I don’t believe in exhorbitant movie theater prices and the options generally aren’t the healthiest.  This baggie had cashews, dried cherries, and kashi goLean crunch honey almond flax cereal.

A good cap for the day, I think!  After brunch there was plenty of relaxing, reading (school) books in bed, and just generally having a nice indoor-afternoon on a rainy day.

4. Run!  I got my friend Jonathon to go with me again today!  I was planning on doing five miles with him and then adding another two or three on at the end.  But we saw an awesome playground in the middle and he wanted to stop.  At first I was like “No way!  I can’t interrupt my run!” but I eventually conceded and I am SO glad I did!  We played on the swings, climbed the jungle gyms, did push-ups on the benches (even though I am push-up challenged), jumped around and went on the see-saw!  It was honestly the most fun with a friend I have had in a while, and I really needed that.  I needed to restore confidence in my human relationships and my ability to just let go and have fun and this adventure did that.  It is amazing what one little afternoon of feeling free can do for your spirit.  Thanks Jonathon 🙂

5. Evening: Dinner/homework time (blech — to the homework, not the dinner).

My stomach was feeling a wee bit off before eating this, but now it’s hurting a lot!  I have two hypotheses: too much fiber (that is one giant salad with romaine, spinach, asparagus, and cucumbers) or the animal protein.  Every once in a while meat seems to make my tummy a little crampy.  It only happens once in a while though, so I’m not sure what that means.  I don’t plan on ever being a vegetarian or even vegan though.  I just need to do a better job on balancing my meat/fish/dairy consumption, I think…

I guess it was a pretty spectacular day, looking back.  Sometimes it just takes one really nice day with friends to get me out of a funk, ya know?

What made your day special?  What makes you happy?

Yoging II

Today’s Mini Goal: Since I only have one class tomorrow and I’ve already finished the readings I am going to get a head start on the rest of the week’s readings and assignments.  I am normally a major procrastinator, but I’m working on taking baby steps away from that.  Hopefully this will help!

Before I start, major congrats to Meghann on her amazing running accomplishments this weekend!  Wow!

LONG to do list today but I got through almost everything!

The day’s “blah” stuff included studying, cleaning, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and email catch-up.  Now onto the more FUN and HEALTHY things!

Today was another yoging day (see the original Yoging post here).  I just realized both my yoging adventures have been on the last day of the month.  Weird.  Maybe I’ll have to make it a tradition.

I headed down to Yoga Shala around 11 for the donation class.  I really like their studio and would like to support it more — and many other studios around the city too — but honestly, at $15-$20 per class, I really can’t afford to.  Sad.  ‘

Today’s yoga class was the perfect combination of relaxing, breathing, challenging, and strong.  I love the teacher, but I am totally blanking on her name.  We ended up doing a lot of leg poses like chair, warrior, and down dogs.  I thought this would make the run, which I set out on directly from the studio, really tough, but it actually didn’t.  It kind of felt like a brick triathlon workout, a la Caitlin.

When I first started yoga I couldn’t do even a single chatturanga without falling on my chest.  Now, I can do them through a whole vinyasa class pretty easily.  My arms have gotten so much stronger.  I can also consistently get into side crow now!  I love how we can see immediate, noticeable improvements in our yoga practices.  And the best part is that since it’s our own practice, we don’t have to be able to do the same things at the same time as everyone else!  Some days I can hold a nice, tight headstand for 10-20 breaths, others I fall flat on my back after one.  I love how yoga is always changing us.

After my happy little class I set out to run!  The plan was sixteen miles.  My legs felt very heavy for the first two-ish miles and I was mentally/physically struggling and then something just clicked.  All the sudden I felt like I could fly — it wasn’t an effortless sort of flying, but the effort that I put in felt amazing.  I used the Garmin again and it worked spectacularly for most of the run, with two serious hiccups: at various points during the run it just sort of deleted my mileage.  The first time it did this it missed at least a mile, based on my pace calculations.  I looked down at the watch, saw 52:00 and thought, “great, since I’ve been flying around a nine to nine-thirty mile, I should be at about 5.5 miles, give or take a few tenths.  Nope.  Garmin said 4.45.  I was quite peeved, but just added a mile on (mentally) from there on out and finished at 15 miles, assuming that it was actually 16.  And just so you don’t all think I’m one of those crazy people who insist that I’m going way faster than I am, I timed the next mile (from 4.45 to 5.45) and it took me exactly 9:30.

But despite the minor technical snafu, I was still feeling really good.  It was just one of those days when my legs clearly wanted to be running.  I felt like without this run, they would have been angry at me!  I did almost the entire thing along the Hudson River waterfront and it was so perfect.  Temps in the 30’s, a sprinkling of wind, sea birds making their sea bird sounds, rivers of melting snow, wonderful little wave patterns in the bays.  Speaking of birds, I have officially seen a robin, a cardinal, and a blue jay on various runs in the last week.  Spring is most definitely on its way.  Hooray!  This is one of the best bonuses of being a runner: you get to see the seasons up close and personal, and you come to notice all the little details that foreshadow the transitions from one season to the next.

Every time I looked down at my watch between miles 5 (ish) and 13, I was cruising along at paces ranging from 8:45 to 9:45.  I was so happy with myself.  I was occasionally in the low tens, but I quickly made my way back down again.  I am normally not this fast on long runs at all, so I was really surprising myself and having fun with it.  I knew I would finish well under my 2:45 goal.  I had half a clif bar between yoga and running and the other half around mile 6.  I also had a bag of dried berries and almonds that I munched on at approximately miles 9, 12, and 14.

At 13, I suddenly and totally hit a wall.  Not a wall like “crap, I’m tired but I can still maintain a pace just a bit slower than this”, but a wall like “crap, my legs won’t move and I’m running 12 minute miles.”   I have never experienced this during a long run.  At.  All.  Sure I’ve gotten really tired and slowed down at the end plenty of times before, but it was never quite this bad.  Not sure if I was insufficiently fueled or just tired from yoga or if my unusually fast pace was taking a toll.  Whatever it was, I told myself to just suck it up since it was only three miles left and I certainly wouldn’t die.  Admittedly, the slowness wasn’t entirely my fault; I was running into a very gusty headwind and for a while it was even hailing in my face.  I was also running portions through snow/slush/ice and my left hip started hurting really bad.  But I’m not going to complain because overall, it was a good long run and definitely helped boost my speed confidence.

Okay.  Too much running talk.

Food talk:

I’ll let the pictures talk today.  I really wanted to record everything I ate to make sure I wasn’t over- or under-fueling, so there are a lot of pics.  I think I did a pretty good job, although it’s almost impossible to replace 2000 burned calories, and I don’t aim to.  For an endurance athlete of my size, it’s totally fine to not make up all the calories I’ve expended on a really long training day; my body has a bit of “extra”, so I’m not worried.  With that said, I certainly tried to consume lots of nourishing things for my hungry, worn-out body!  At the same time though, I will admit I had some disordered-eating thoughts, like “OMG, Caronae, are you really going to eat a whole 250 calorie clif bar?”  Um, yes, self, I’m in the process of running 16 miles, so I am going to eat that whole clif bar if you don’t mind!

Breakfast: soy chai latte, diet lemon snapple (hey, I was really thirsty and not in the mood for water), and 7-grain bagel with pb and coconut.

Yoging snacks: clif bar and berry-almond mix (I’m out of gus).

Post-yoging: toast with PB, pb, and banana, pb pretzels, and chocolate raspberry sticks.  Mmmm.  Oh, and in that mug is plain soy milk with about a teaspoon of maple syrup stirred in.  This is one of my best kitchen inventions ever.  The flavor combination just works wonderfully; smooth, nutty, sweet, creamy — all at the same time!  Probably works with almond milk and regular milk too.

Afternoon tidbits: gala apple, granola nubbin.

Dinner: steamed broccoli, massive pile of random veggies topped with spinach, vegan dumplings with white cheddar (paradoxical?), cornbread, and lamb burgers.  Lots of delicious food that made my belly happy.

Dessert: raisin bran crunch (a bit too processed, but I was randomly having a very serious craving for it), chocolate chips, plain soy milk, and chunky PB.

So there you have it.  My eats.  I probably had a few more chocolate chips and bits of PB thrown in there, but that’s pretty much everything.

What are your favorite meals to eat on the day of a long run?  If you’re not a runner — which, btw, is fine by me! — what are your favorite post-workout eats?

Sick Day and Storytime

Today’s Mini Goal: Draw.  Or paint or color or use pastels or whatever implement of my choice.  For some reason I really love making art, but hardly ever do it.  It’s such a nice emotional break, and I enjoy having a different sort of creative outlet.

Sorry for the lack of blogging last night.  I ate a salad for lunch that didn’t sit with me very well, and by 5:00 I was…well, let’s just say that my poor tummy was very unhappy.  I was sick all evening and then ended up really dehydrated and weak all night.  I did not sleep well and was exhausted and weirdly sore in the morning, but felt much better by late afternoon.  I feel fine now; still no appetite, but much better.  I think it was some sort of God-wants-to-punish-me-but-only-for-twenty-four-hours kind of thing.

I stayed in my sweats and my favorite leaf-print long underwear all day today, and watched lots of online TV and caught up on blogs.  I totally could have been catching up on readings for school, but who wants to do schoolwork when they’re sick?  Not me.  Ironically, all three of my classes were cancelled today because of the “blizzard”. Everyone in New York is freaking out  over, like, six inches of snow.  Seriously, calm down people.  And it’s not even cold.

I did seven miles yesterday morning (good thing I did it before lunch I suppose) on the treadmill.  I just did not want to run outside.  Weird.  Anyways, I was supposed to do 6×1000 with short rests in between, but because I have been loving doing timed speedwork instead of distance speedwork, I made it 5×6 minutes (I was too tired to do a sixth).  I did the first, second, third, and fifth at 7.5 mph and the fourth at 7.0 mph, with three minutes at 6.0 mph between all and a mile warm up and cool down.  This was quite a tough workout!

Needless to say, no workout today.  I might do a few yoga poses to stretch out and move a little bit later on.  I’m thinking of doing Polly’s yoga for digestion.

I’ve been drinking lots of this stuff today:

Dragon pearl jasmine tea!  So good.  And having the name dragon in its title makes it that much better.  These tea leaves are rolled into tiny little balls, and when submerged into the hot water they unfurl.  It’s really fun to watch.

With real sugar.

Leftover leaves.  They look a bit like seaweed.

My mom told me that my eating options are pretty much limited to easily digested carbs.  Breakfast?  Cereal.  Lunch? Muffin.  Dinner? Plain toasted bagel.  Ugh.  I love my carbs, but too much is too much.  I can definitely feel my energy being sucked away, but I know my tummy isn’t ready to digest much fiber, fat, or protein just yet. Hopefully tomorrow.  A day without fruits or veggies is a sad day in Caronaeland.

Carb sandwich!  Hey, no one said anything about not eating my carbs in chocolate form…

I love muffins.

Muffins are one “bad” food I will never ever leave.  Plus, it’s pretty easy to make them decently healthy.  I like making them with oats, whole wheat flour, fruit, and nuts. Anyone have any go-to healthy muffin recipes out there?

Since I don’t have much food to show you guys or too many workouts to talk about, I thought I would do some storytime!

Now, this may seem totally random, but it’s not.  I swear.  I’ll even let you in on my thought process as proof: the evil little salad I mentioned earlier was a pretty typical lunch for me.  I’m not sure what the bacteria-laden culprit was but I’m guessing either spinach that wasn’t carefully washed, slightly old pineapple, or slightly expired cottage cheese.  I tend to get very paranoid about these sorts of things, and I am guessing that I won’t be interested in any of these foods for at least a month, probably more.  Once something bad happens that I associate with one thing, however random, I will do my best to avoid that thing for a long long time.  See story below.


Rain boots.  Floral rain boots.  Rain boots covered in tiny pink, yellow, and fresh blue flowers.  With pink rims, if I recall correctly, ordered by mail from the Lands’ End catalog.  Perhaps LL Bean, but I think it was Lands’ End.  I’m standing at the end of my driveway pacing feverishly.  Well, feverishly for a five year old I suppose.  And it’s not raining; I don’t think there were any puddles even.  It was fall, probably September or October.  But I was wearing my rain boots because rain boots are very easy to put on: no complicated laces, and you can always tell if you’ve got them on the wrong feet.  So here I am, at the end of my driveway, next to our very large pine tree. Pine trees, while beautiful, are not the best for playing in.  The branches form sticky, thick nets around their bases, and it’s hard to find your way through this thicket to the trunk.  But this is not a story about pine trees, or fall, or my beloved little rain boots.

It’s the beginning of first grade.  The first month or so.  I lived across the street from my town’s middle school, and just down the hill from the elementary school I went to.  Usually, my dad walked me to school in the mornings.  It’s funny to think how small I must have been to him then.  In fact, I still feel small around people I have just met.  My mother always left for work early, but my father was not (and still isn’t) a morning person, and so it was his duty to ship us off to school every morning.  My sister had already left; everyone in fifth grade and higher started at eight; I started at nine.  I almost always ate cereal in the mornings, often with hot chocolate that I insisted on carrying around in a bottle and  referring to as “cocoa baba.”  Yes, my weirdness was apparent from a young age.   I can’t quite remember what I was eating that morning.  Was it Fruit Loops?  Cheerios?  My sister’s favorite puffy rice cereal?  I was so proud that I could pull up a chair to the cabinets, stand on it, and reach the cereal off the highest shelf.  But I had not yet mastered the milk pouring, so I usually just let my father do that.

My father had gone downstairs to the bathroom several minutes before.  I sat patiently with my cereal waiting in the bowl.  I think I had a spoon ready; spoons are easy to get.  You can’t screw up a spoon.  But where was my dad?  I most certainly needed my milk.  Eating dry cereal hadn’t occurred to me, plus, I didn’t want to walk to school alone.  Eventually I got tired of waiting and went downstairs to fetch him.  Something wasn’t right: the bathroom door was cracked open and I could see my papa’s feet and legs sprawled out on the floor, just to the side of the cat food bowls.  I peeked in a bit and could clearly see that something was drastically wrong.  My father came down here to use the bathroom.  He does like to sleep a lot, but I don’t see why he would be taking a nap when it’s time for me to go to school.

This is when I go outside and pace in the driveway with my pink floral rain boots.  I thought, maybe I should just go fetch my sister from her school; it was, after all, exactly across the street, which I knew how to cross.  Stop.  Look.  Listen.  I knew who her teacher was because my sister talked about how mean she was all the time; Mrs. Smith.  I could go to the office, politely tell them who I was looking for, and that she was in Mrs. Smith’s fifth grade class.  Surely they could help me.  But alas, I did not want to ruin my sister’s day before it had even started, and I was a bit nervous to go into the middle school anyways.  I went back inside and thought some more. Thought about my poor dry cereal and my cold hot chocolate and my unbrushed hair.  I did not cry, though.  Just sat and thought.

But wait!  Just last week the town fire department had come to our school and shown us their red trucks and their nifty ambulances.  They told us all about what fire departments do.  They help people.  Not help people by pouring the milk into their cereal, but bigger things.  Like helping people who are sick.  And my dad seems sort of sick, if he’s just lying there.  I knew what I had to do.  Short of dragging my father’s 200 pound body up the stairs and into the front yard and waiting for a car to drive by, I didn’t have a lot of options.  Strangely, I was very calm about making the call; I understood exactly what had to be done and was, perhaps, even a little bit methodical about it.  That trait has lasted, for better or for worse.

The ambulance came, bringing several fire trucks with it.  This annoyed me; I had told them that my father was ill, not that my house was on fire.  Why did they need this whole parade?  I suppose it was a good thing, though, because my neighbor saw and called my mother from work.  They took my dad into the ambulance while I waited on the porch.  The ambulance didn’t go anywhere.  It just sat there like a bug stuck under a log.  I don’t remember talking to anybody or even hearing any sounds at this point  — a quiet world is a very scary place to be.  After a while, my mother came home.  I didn’t know why she was there or who had told her to come; I certainly hadn’t. But she was there and I needed her.  My favorite thing in the world used to be to cling to her leg like a leech.  I held on very tight, for a very long time.  I don’t really remember the rest of the morning, but I do remember winding up in school for the afternoon.  Or maybe it was the next day.  It’s funny, time is so clear and organized and infallible to me now, but it wasn’t then. One morning could be another; one hour could be five or six.

My father had had a serious seizure resulting from a unusual drug interaction between different medicines he was taking.  To this day, I do not understand why this happened.  My parents are doctors: could they both have failed to notice such a dangerous potential hazard?  Were other things going on?  Apparently, my father had another seizure at work a few months later.  I was not told about this until at least eight years later.  My sister had been forbidden to mention it to me.  Typically, she wasn’t afraid of scaring me.  It was part of her duty as an older sister.  But not this time.  She was true to her word.

I lived in terror of my father for close to a year.  He had always been a loud sneezer, and whenever he sneezed, I fled from the room in panic.  I refused to be alone with him for quite some time.  Here was this man — this banana-loving, napping, sweet kind of man — and I could not get over my fear of him.  I think I was afraid that he had died that morning.  Died a little death.  Not a complete death, but nonetheless, a sort of death.  A death that I had witnessed.  And it had been so quiet.  I never want dying to be that quiet again.