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?

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A Post From The UK

Today’s Happy Note: Receiving lots of fun things in the mail today, including a sweet stack of magazines from my aunt and uncle!

No, I’m not in the UK.  But I did receive some post from the UK!

The highlight was a special letter from my special friend Sarah. Sarah and I decided to do a little writing exchange about a month back.  We both wrote about our favorite summer memories and then mailed them to each other.  It was the most fun I’ve had in a while; there is something so joyful about writing a letter, knowing someone is writing one to you too.  I loved reading Sarah’s piece — she wrote about childhood trips to a seashore.  I had vacations to Northern Michigan exactly like that!  Crazy to think that two girls, living on different continents, can have such beautiful, shared experiences.  Makes me think that people across the world have more in common than we think, sometimes.

Look how pretty her letter and card are:

It’s Royal Mail!

Thank you Sarah for such a delightful activity!

Workout: Today marks the beginning of marathon training — I am creating a day by day plan for the next 14 weeks, based largely off of this plan from Runner’s World.  I’ll let you know more about the plan as I work through it.  Mondays are actually going to be rest/cross-train days (depending on how I feel).  Obviously, I wasn’t too tired today. I did my usual two mile walk, thirty minutes of yoga, and kickboxing (boxing?) class. I love punching things.  So much.

Tomorrow should be six miles.   Excited!

Today’s Eats:

Frozen blueberries with cereal (kashi H2H) and Ronnybrook Farm milk: heavenly breakfast simplicity.

Lunch: giant salad with refried beans and hummus as a dressing.  More blueberries (fresh this time).

Afternoon snack (also had a few spoonfuls of PB and a chunk of cheese before dinner because I waited too long to start cooking and was super hungry).

An egg (sunny side-up!), a veggie sautee (avocado squash and purple pepper) along with baked eggplant with cheese. Random but yummy.  I love dinners like this, with a few different components that work together really well.

Protein ice cream: milk, chocolate-peanut-caramel protein powder, lots of ice, topped with chocolate and maple PB.   I have been craving chocolate a lot lately.  I blame my screwed up hormones.

Good news: my INR is finally high enough! I will have to get it tested weekly or monthly from now on to make sure it stays high enough (i.e., that my blood is thin enough).  I am kind of afraid I look like an IV drug user right now, so it will be nice not to have IVs so often!  Although I do have two more this week.  Awesome.

Goodnight friends.  Tell me about your weekend!

Running Love and Wrap Love

Today’s Happy Note: Just saw the Karate Kid movie with a friend and it was awesome!  Also got in some much needed social time.  I adore Jackie Chan and totally want to be a kung fu master now.

One of the reasons I love running is because it gives me time to think.  Don’t get me wrong — not every run is a blissful hour of perfect thought.  Sometimes my runs are sluggish, sweaty, messy heaps of boredom or pain.  But those runs when you get your head nice and cleared and you can spend 20 or 30 minutes daydreaming or planning — those are one of the main impetuses behind my running.  I love the endorphins and the sheer joy that comes with flying down a new trail.  But I also treasure the alone time.  I have learned how to lose myself in my own head, even on a hot crowded afternoon in Central Park.

Today was terribly humid, but after a few miles I sort of filtered that out and just…thought.  It was a very pleasant 7 miles.  I threw in 5 or 6 speedy bursts as well.  I am a terrible speed runner.  I try to go fast, I really do, but my muscles just don’t seem to want to move that way.  I would rather run longer and slower than shorter and faster.  The problem for me is that anything less than 6 or so miles falls clearly into the “shorter” category.  I don’t mind this, it just means there aren’t a lot of races available for me.  And to be honest, I don’t like racing.  I said it.  I.  Don’t.  Like.  To.  Race.  I love ultramarathons and like half-marathons and presumably marathons, but I don’t necessarily want to race them.  Is this weird?  Do you run for speed or distance or both?  Do you find it easier to go faster or to slow down and go longer?

Proof of sweatiness.

Eats!  I haven’t shared anything in what feels like years.  Some highlights:

Wraps — lots and lots of wraps.  Why didn’t I realize how good wraps were before?  Seriously so much better than sandwiches.  I have been using various combos of hummus, beans, guacamole, cheese, and veggies.  The flavors get all melty together and they’re oh so wonderful.

Tastiest thing you’ve eaten so far this week?

For me?  Piles and piles of plain shredded coconut.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week.  Only two more days until the weekend!

Yogunancing and Stuffed Quesadillas

Today’s Happy Note: Running in the rain!  Dancing in the rain!  Thinking in the rain!

I had an awesome yogunancing workout today.  Yogunancing=yoga, running, dancing.  It ended up being an epic 6 hour adventure because I kept getting caught in the rain and waiting and then having to take the train and then waiting some more.  It was quite fun actually.  The adventure included a 90-minute vinyasa yoga class followed by a 9-ish mile run and a 30-minute dance/gymnastics sesh in the park.  I actually just remembered during my run/dance sesh that, two summers ago, I did adult gymnastics classes at Chelsea Piers. I am signing up again!  FYI to new readers (feel free to say hi!): I was a gymnast from when I was 4 until I was 14.  I sometimes miss it.  Tumbling is pure joy.  I’m starting this week and I’ll let you know how the classes go!  I need to find an outfit first though…

Other than that adventure, my day involved some food experimentation, some Real Housewives watching (why why why are they so mean to each other), reading, writing, and, currently, some Nat Geo Great White Shark show viewing.

Breakfast fail:

It actually was not a taste failure.  But please note that these were supposed to be pancakes.  Ummm, yeah.  That didn’t happen.  But it’s entirely my fault because I just threw tons of stuff into a bowl and hoped they would magically turn into pancakes.  The taste was spot on though!  Berries, flax meal, blueberry yogurt, pb.  So I would call them yummy piles of mush rather than pancakes.  But at least I tried!  It is Pancake Sunday after all.

Frozen mango chunks. They never fail me.  Unlike pancakes (see above).

Okay.  Dinner.  This was one of the easiest, yummiest dinners I’ve ever had.  Ten minutes from fridge to plate and bursting with nutrition and flavor.  I used  a TJ’s habanero lime tortilla (after seeing them at Gabriela’s blog!) to make a quesadilla of sorts.  I stuffed it with a serving of low fat refried pinto beans, gouda cheese, and TJ’s cilantro jalapeno hummus.  I can see myself eating this dinner every day for like…all of summer.

I slathered some guacamole on top and had carrots, cucumbers, red pepper, and pineapple on the side.  So gooey.  So warm.  So many flavors — spicy, dense, creamy, cheesy.

Eat this combo.  Now.

I had to follow it up with something else that felt tropical-ish.  Which meant coconut.

Round one: warm brownie topped with WF coconut dark chocolate, snowy shredded coconut, and a few chocolate-covered pretzels.

Round two: mixed a tbsp of crunchy pb, a few tbsps shredded coconut, and a splash of soy milk.  This made a delicious dip for more chocolate covered pretzels!

This was an awesome dessert dip.

It’s been such a busy weekend!  Time for me to wind down for the work week.  Lots to do tomorrow and all week, really.  Stay tuned for recaps of my gymnastics classes and a super awesome Adventure next Saturday!

What are you up to this week?

Long Run Tips And Eats

Today’s Happy Note: Writing in my journal.  It has a drawing of a vegetable patch  on the cover, with a rooster and flowering plants in the background.  I love it.

Busy day!  Long run, farmer’s market, loads of writing, acquired a plant for my windowsill (!), a few work emails, chatting with family on phone, eating fun dinner, reading, lounging, snuggling.  Perfect things for a mellow Saturday!

Long run: I *think* I ran somewhere between 13 and 14 miles.  I ran for 138 minutes and roughly mapped it out at mapmyrun.com, which is useful but by no means perfectly accurate.  I actually don’t miss my dysfunctional garmin.  I find it kind of freeing to run based on feeling alone.

Caronae’s Long Run Tips:

  • Bring water and a snack — invest in a waist pack or a camel bak (I have this one from amphipod –works perfectly).  If possible, plan your route so you  will run by a few water fountains or public bathrooms so that you can refill or make a pit stop.
  • Don’t be afraid to stop and stretch or walk for a minute or two if you need to.  The heat and humidity right now make long runs that much harder and sometimes just a quick break helps you recharge during the middle of a tough run.
  • It can be fun to pick a destination and run there.  For example, I love planning long runs so that I end up at the farmer’s market and can buy myself a tasty treat.  Just make sure you have a way to get back, or make it a round trip.
  • Make sure you carry a cellphone, keys, ID, and any other important items in a zippered pocket.  Another trick for keys is tying them into your shoe laces.
  • Consume plenty of potassium and magnesium on the day of your run, before and after.  Your body needs these nutrients to replenish lost electrolytes.  They help prevent cramping.
  • Don’t worry about anyone else.  If a long run is 5 miles for you right now, that’s fine.  Build up slowly.  Add a mile or two every week, or every other week if you need more time to adjust.  Eight miles is an accomplishment for anyone.  Before you know it you’ll be able to do a half-marathon.  Just don’t set out to run a half-marathon if the farthest you’ve ever done is 4 miles.
  • The key to long-runs is listening to your body.  Your legs and chest and lungs and muscles and hips will tell you things.  Your legs might say “slow down” or “walk for a minute” or “faster turnover, please!”  Listen.

This morning’s long run ended at the farmer’s market.  One of my most favorite places in the city is the Union Square market on Saturdays.  Busy but in a pleasant sort of way.  I’ve become an expert at weaving in and out of crowds of yuppies wielding Whole Foods bags and reusable tea cups.

I really wanted to bring my camera, but it doesn’t fit in the aforementioned amphipod.  Sad face.  I had a lovely brunch in the Union Square park of Ronnybrook chocolate milk, sumac tea, and a blueberry- cranberry scone from a place called Hudson Valley Farmhouse.  Admittedly, it wasn’t really a scone.  It was light and airy and more muffin-y. But whatever it was, it was amazing.  I might just have to make this a weekly engagement.

Other purchases: Ronnybrook skim milk, mixed baby lettuces, sugar snap peas (fresh local sugar snap peas are indescribably delectable), and a fuschia!  I have a plant for my room now! I am so excited.  I named her Fanny Fuschia and I am going to take such good care of her this summer.  Pictures to come, I promise.  My next plant is going to be a set of herb seedlings.

Long run eats!

This is the boldest color I’ve ever achieved in a smoothie.  I like it!

Dinner might win the random award but if that’s the case then it also deserves a random-but-tasty award.  Sometimes I think random dinners are the best.  This was a wrap filled with a mixture of the following: smashed Dr. Praeger’s tex-mex veggie burger, 1 egg, and white cheddar cheese.  I mixed it all together and microwaved it.  I came out like a souffle.  A tasty tasty souffle meant to be eaten in a wrap alongside a sautee of mushroom, asparagus, and sugar snap peas (with olive oil and poppy seed dressing).  See, I told you it was random.

Okay.  Confession time.  Now that Stephanie mentioned the whole asparagus-urine issue, I feel like it’s my turn to come out of the closet.  Asparagus makes my pee smell.  Very very much.  I know this doesn’t happen to everyone, so I’m just curious: if you feel comfortable answering, I have to know.  When you eat asparagus, does it make your pee smell like asparagus?

Wow, that was incredibly unappetizing.  And yet my dessert was too good not to share!

Sometimes I bring my own fro-yo toppings.  That way I can have exactly what I want in the quantity I want for free.  It’s a win-win situation.  This is semi-sweet chocolate chips, TJ’s PB and A mix, and TJ’s chocolate covered cherries (meh, too sweet).

Eaten in the park with a side of Jhumpa Lahiri.

My legs often cramp up in the evening after a long run so I went for a two-ish mile stroll and then settled into some very tight, but relaxing, pigeon poses.

After writing last night’s post, I realized that I was feeling very anxious, and this was stemming from two sources: feeling upset about therapy (I’ve been thinking about it all week) and feeling lonely (thanks everyone for your soothing comments!).  I decided I could do a few small things to alleviate both of these problems!

I have one friend in the city right now and I asked her if she wanted to do something tomorrow and she actually mentioned there was a music festival she wanted to go to.  Score.  Then, another friend called tonight and said she doesn’t have plans for Memorial Day either, so we’re going to go to CP!  I’m much happier now!  Friends make the world go round.

I also decided that I needed to do a free-write letter to my therapist; not one that I’ll actually send, but just as a way to get my thoughts out.  I’m really happy with what I came up with and I think I’ll read it to her next week and see if she can help me feel comfortable in therapy again.

How do you like to spend your Saturdays in summer?

Sweaty Run And Food Fun

Today’s Happy Note: Getting loads of new running gear all for free (over $300 worth)!  I’m doing a little mini-job this weekend for a running company, but I’m not allowed to talk about the details or share pictures with you guys, according to my manager.  Boo.

Thanks everyone for your congrats on the job.  I am really excited about my summer.  I love working in my current job (a library archive) and it’ll be fun to get to do that and the non-profit work.  Yay!  If you”re a college student, what are your summer plans?

Exercise: 6 mile very sweaty run, with 8 one to two minute sprints sprinkled throughout.  I was dying today; it was definitely over 70 degrees when I ran and humid humid humid.  Do you prefer to run in the heat or cold? I am much better adjusted to cold!  I can easily throw on a few layers and get out the door in a Canadian snowstorm, but ask me to run in the city on a 90 degree July day and I will quake in my boots.  My metaphorical boots.  I am really looking forward to doing some swimming in an outdoor pool this summer though!

Eats: Hardly remembered to take pictures of anything today, but in my defense, I was consumed by reading.  Have you ever had to wade through Nietzsche?  He is miserable.  And kind of evil.  AND he doesn’t make any sense, to top it all off.  He is not my friend.  There are a lot of philosophers who I think I could be friends with, like Kant and maybe even Hegel or Rawls.  But not Nietzsche. I wish I could flush my Nietzsche book down the toilet.

Oh yeah, I was going to tell you about food.  Not school!

Believe it or not, this breakfast (two sunny side up eggs, one giant honeycrisp apple) kept me full for almost five hours, including a six mile run!  I had had some m and m’s as a late night study snack so I wasn’t too hungry in the morning and planned on a small breakfast.  But wow, this meal delivered!  I’ll have to do it more often.

Eggs: I like my yolks runny.  Always have, always will.  I do occasionally appreciate hard-boiled eggs though.  If you aren’t vegan, how do you like your eggs?

Ignore the fact that my bread is slightly burnt; it still tasted just fine.  This lunch sammy was hummus and white cheddar!  It was amazing; a very unique and satisfying combo.  I think it is, when in wrap form, referred to as a “crack wrap”. Does anyone know who first started calling it this? Served with a side of veggies, of course.

I had a yummy smoothie for dinner, but there is one major problem.  My blender doesn’t seem to be very powerful; it can’t chop up frozen fruit or avocados, even, which seem pretty benign to me.  I mean, what if I was putting root veggies in there?  When I make my smoothies, no matter how many times I stir the mixture around and for how long I keep it whirring, there are always pieces of uncut fruit left.  Am I doing something wrong?  Is there a special blending trick?

Random Notes:

I have realized something in the last few weeks.  Between four and seven pm, I often get hungry and overeat!  I usually have my afternoon snack anywhere between three and five, and if it’s too small, I’ll just keep snacking.  Sometimes I get home at six or so and don’t have anything to do immediately so I snack.  This is such an obvious pattern now that I think about it.  I don’t like eating dinner until seven or eight usually.  I think there are a couple solutions to this dilemma, which  I will try implementing throughout the coming weeks:

1. Eat two afternoon snacks.

2. Eat an earlier dinner (about 6:00).

3. Occupy myself (i.e, reading newspaper, getting a head start on school stuff, drawing, etc.) during the “danger hours”.

4. Notice when I’m hungry and write down my feelings when I’m not hungry.

I am really interested in the Body for Life program that I always see on Janetha’s blog.  It sounds really awesome (it’s not a diet guys, don’t worry).  I think smaller more frequent meals do work for me, typically.  Is there a book I should buy?  Has anyone tried it?

Happy Thursday all, it’s almost the weekend!

Beautiful World. Happy World.

Today’s Happy Note: Springtime.  Easter weekend.  Hardly any homework.  Walks in the park.  What more could I ask for?

Mental Health: I had lots to do today, but it was mostly fun stuff; it was like one big day of playing.  I thought that having such a long day planned would exhaust me and sad Caronae would emerge, but that didn’t happen!  Everything seemed to fit together perfectly; I felt happy, healthy, confident, and lovely.  This was really monumental for me.  There was no anxiety or melancholy present — I just went about, doing my business.  Talking with friends and coworkers, playing in the park, not being afraid or unhappy to just be me.  It’s days like this that remind me how far I have come.  A year ago, I would have been overwhelmed, confused, anxious, and depressed about a day like today.  I might not have had the energy or confidence to get out there and get things done.  I certainly would have felt uncomfortable in my cute new sundress.  But today was different; I still have many underlying emotional issues, but it’s learning how to manage them that has changed everything.  It’s such a new world out there now, and I am having a delightful time discovering it!

Exercise: HIIT and strength training!  Nothing like a 7:30 am speedy session on the elliptical to wake you up!  I love how challenging thirty minutes of tough intervals can be; I definitely think I was in a cardio rut before discovering it.  Now I’m having tons of fun doing stuff besides just running!  I also did a lot of abs and arms too.  No leg strength until after the ultramarathon next weekend though; my legs don’t need to be any more fatigued than they already are.

I also walked at least four miles today; this probably would have been sufficient exercise in itself, but I hadn’t planned on it, and this city just has so much that has to be seen on your feet!

Beautiful day in the park my friends.  Please spend time outside this weekend!  You will enjoy every minute of it, I promise. 🙂

Today I felt freeeeeeeee!  Like my food didn’t matter; I wasn’t angry at my body or my perceived failures, I didn’t feel like I needed to run 10 miles or else I’d be fat, I didn’t feel like I had to go to a party, I didn’t feel lonely or guilty or unsure or blue or anything like that. I did feel enthralled, curious, beautiful, strong, graceful, unique, joyful, and worthy.  A good day!

I don’t want to dump twelve thousand pictures on you so no foods today.  I’ll recap some highlights though…

~Sweet eggs!  Egg puff/sliced banana souflee.  Totally nom-able!  Next time I’m adding maple syrup and cinnamon.

~Grilled cheese and veggie soup.  Why haven’t I had grilled cheese in forever?  Oh yeah, because I was afraid of bread.  No longer, my friends.  No.  Longer.

~Dinner oatmeal with chocolate covered pretzels.  I went there.

~A grapefruit the size of my head.

I have a little surprise to tell you about tomorrow!  I guess I’m just full of surprises.  I actually hate them myself, but I don’t mind making other people wait in suspense. *Evil grin*.

Have a fabulous weekend; do something fun for yourself!

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