Weekend Update

Today’s Happy Note:

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

Marathon Training:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enough running!

Eats hodgepodge:

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

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

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

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

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

Good weekend.

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

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Nut Butter Sneaking Habit

Today’s Happy Note: Napping.  Self-acceptance.  Let me explain: I have felt pretty sleepy and a wee bit lethargic this week.  Normally when that happens, I get angry at myself (“gee Caronae, why can’t you be more productive; you’re so lazy; you suck”).  Not this time.  I had a splendid afternoon nap and I just took it for what it was.  I am not a terrible person.  I don’t spend all my time sleeping.  My body knows when it needs a little extra love and rest, and I listened to it.  I am proud of myself for that.  Small victories people.  Small victories.

Something else I’m proud of: My run today! Tuesdays are speed work days.  I’ve said it before: speed work scares the crap out of me.  It’s really hard for me because my fast twitch muscles are kind of non-existent.  Because I know it’s hard, I work myself up into an anxious fit and then make it even harder for myself!

Not today.  The plan was 2 mile warm up, 4×1 mile @ tempo pace, 2 mile cool down.  I did 1/4 mile easy run/walk between each fast mile, for a total of 9 miles.

My tempo pace goal was 9:00 minutes per mile.  I crushed it!

Mile 1: 8:36

Mile 2: 8:34

Mile s: 8:30

Mile 4: 8:27

I was so shocked.  I worked hard, it felt hard, but I did it!  I love that amazing feeling you get after a good hard speed workout.  I enter into a state of physical, emotional calm and my body and mind become so content and relaxed.

I’m proud of myself indeed.

No Therapy Tuesday today because my therapist had an emergency and had to cancel.  I felt really bad for her; I could tell how stressed and anxious she was when she called; she seemed really upset and I actually felt like the inconsistency bothered her more than me!  Then, as I was walking home from work, I ran into her outside the grocery store. It was really weird to see her outside of the office environment (her office is actually in her apartment, which I really like because it seems more comfortable and less stiff)!  I could tell how completely harried she was; I was actually a little bit nervous that she was about to have a panic attack or something.  Anyways, I told her not to worry and to calm down.  Sort of a weird little reversal of roles.  We rescheduled for tomorrow.

I heart frozen berries.

And chocolate-topped smoothies.

Dinner was epic, not to mention that it took five minutes to prep.  I combined a can of tuna with a few spoonfuls 2% Fage, garlic hummus, chopped bell peppers, and guacamole.  Holy easy dinner.  Holy tastiness.

I just ate a weird iced tea slushy concoction.  It looks really weird so I’m not gonna share any pictures.  It’ for your own benefit, trust me.  It was iced chamomile tea (sweetened with stevia and honey) blended with a boatload (yes, that’s a word) of ice cubes.  Random, but I was craving something cold and icy, and this did the job.

Confession: I have a nut-butter-sneaking habit. I take pictures of most of what I eat, since it is helpful for me to have a record.  But spoonfuls of nut butter and tiny handfuls of nuts often escape the camera.  I don’t deprive myself, ever, but I also know that I don’t necessarily need those extra calories. So I’m making a promise to myself to photograph everything I eat; even those tiny spoonfuls.  I don’t share all my eats on the blog everyday (today there were maybe two spoonfuls of unpictured nut butter and a serving of TJ’s mini PB cups).  Can you tell I like PB?

I didn’t eat a lot today given that I ran nine miles (and maybe walked two more?), but I think it makes sense given that I ate more than I needed to yesterday.  I love how my body balances things out and really figures out what’s going on and what it needs or doesn’t need.  Bodies are so smart.

Be back tomorrow with Therapy Wednesday!

I hope you’re all having a most wonderful week.  Relax, smile, breathe!

Workout/Eating Habits

Today’s Happy Note: I’m in tune with my body!  I noticed a lot of other women in yoga class really struggling to connect with their bodies and realized how close I am to my own body.  I wasn’t judging them or anything, just noticing.  I know where my joints are, the way things move.  I have years of gymnastics, running, swimming, and now yoga to thank for this.

Workout: Thought about kick-boxing, but my heart wasn’t in it, so I skipped it and did 30 minutes of seriously heavy arm weights and an hour yoga class at the gym.  I really enjoyed the yoga class at the gym, actually.  Sometimes the studio feels a  little pretentious and tiresome and elitist.  Also walked a mile or two.  I have a hard speed workout for tomorrow so I’m conserving some energy. 🙂

Workouts are not always going to be joyfully fun, but you shouldn’t ever force yourself to do something that you just don’t want to do.  I have so many friends who ask me things like, “how are you so healthy when you’re so busy?” or “how do you make yourself workout all the time?”

Well, first of all, I think we need to change the way we look at “working out” or “exercising.”  For me, it is not an hour of my day where I drag myself to the gym, force myself to get through a boring routine, and then come home and watch TV.  Working out is a part of my life.  It’s as integrated into the way I live as eating or writing or going to class or work.  Further, I would get pretty tired of working out too if I spent an hour on the elliptical at the gym everyday. I think it’s actually pretty easy to work some movement into your day: it might be an hour and a half walk in the evening or an early yoga class or half an hour of dancing in your room.

It takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to form a habit.  I am lucky in that I was very active in high school and carried that pattern relatively easily into college,so I didn’t have to start from scratch (like I have had to with my emotional eating patterns).  Many people struggle to workout in college — but I think of it as a little escape from the schoolwork.  When you look at it as an important part of your day that will help you focus better and think more clearly, you’re less likely to skip out.

Eats:

Look!  My lentils are crawling on my tofu like ants.  I couldn’t help but share my adorable lunch find with my coworkers.

Probably didn’t need the small bowl of granola pictured above right but whatever.  I have found that eating 4-6 (depending on my activity level) meals of about 400 calories each.  A 100-200 calorie snack is always too small for me, while a 600-700 calorie lunch or dinner feels too big.  I am really enjoying this way of eating — I don’t follow any rules or plans and don’t deny myself if I’m hungry.  This just seems to work, for now.  And when it doesn’t work, I’ll change things up.

Goodnight goodnight goodnight!  Time for me to sleep.  Even though I took a nap like five hours ago.  Don’t judge.

Happy Tuesday!

Therapy Monday

Daily Creativity: Writing; it’s so refreshing to have some time on Monday’s to just free write about therapy and thoughts/reflections/ideas.  It can turn into an essay or an idea for a poem or just a channel for some really necessary expression.  I really need time immediately after therapy to write; unfortunately I have to grab lunch and then rush off to class.  I find time later in the day usually though.  This weekly writing session is so important to me; it spawns off new ideas and takes my thoughts, and therefore my creative work, in a new direction.  Love it!

Random breakfast food pics to entertain you:

As you can see, I’ve received my galaxy granola samples!  I’ve tried the vanilla almond and raspberry flavors so far and am loving them.  They taste very clean, earthy, natural, and lightly sweetened/fruity.  I’ll do a full review later on.  This is my first ever product sample and review and I’m very excited!

I’m not going to elaborate on the breakfast photos because they’re going into my guest post for Sophia, which is coming along slowly but surely.

Did some gentle walking today, probably three to four miles and nice easy yoga for my legs.  My quads are surprisingly sore from yesterday.  Might do the elliptical tomorrow…

Therapy Monday:

Lots of thoughts today.  Lot lots lots.  I think I sort of had a process breakthrough today, which was wonderful but exhausting.  A lot of my therapy process involves telling stories. This is what I do best, and it’s actually something I sort of want to base my life and career around.  But anyways, I tell my therapist stories about past events, memories, ideas, interactions, whatever.  Just stories.  And usually as I go through my story we look at what’s going on, what’s upsetting me, what this might mean for my present circumstances.  One part of the story leads into another part of my life and this is how we talk.  We go back and forth, me telling, her interjecting thoughts or advice, etc.  Today, for the first time ever, I felt like I could provide my own analysis and reflections.  I have definitely done this in bits and pieces in the past, but I felt like I went a bit further today.  I felt insightful, I suppose.  It felt like we were working together to come up with conclusions; like she was a friend or a confidant as opposed to someone who just listens to me talk about my problems every week.  And I was proud of myself for coming up with insights.  It made me feel more ownership over them; I certainly trust what she says most of the time and usually believe her thoughts and think they are relevant, but it just felt refreshing to provide more of my own thoughts.  I think that, one year plus some after my breakdown, I have moved away from the pain of the immediate situation/crisis enough to examine things.  Not just tell them and think about them lightly, but really dig into them.  Oftentimes this is painful, confusing/anxiety-inducing, or just plain scary.  But it’s necessary.  And ultimately, I find that looking closely at parts of myself — the good, the bad, the terrified, the hysterical, the sad, the anxious, the joyful — is rewarding.  It makes me understand things and makes my life easier to live.  It makes me more happy with myself and more able to relate to others.  It helps me heal.  I guess this is why I enjoy therapy.  There, I said it.  I actually like to go every week.  It can be frustrating, tearful, or just plain depressing.  But I like it.  I get something out of it.  At the very least, I have an hour to verbalize my problems to someone who never judges me.  And that in itself can even be helpful.

Okay, I know this is getting long, but bear with me.

Another really big thing that came out of today was the idea that I can be non-judgmental towards myself: I can be an observer and a learner without hating myself for whatever perceived faults I am observing.  How novel!  I was mostly thinking about this in relation to my little man problem.  Okay, big problem, but whatever.  Over break I was telling a friend how not dating or interacting much with guys makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me as a woman.  And as I expressed this to said friend, for a brief moment, I realized, this is okay.  I can learn and grow by examining the situation, but I need not hate myself for it or feel guilty about it. Surely this is not useful.  My tendency towards self-loathing has typically extended into many facets of my life.  But it doesn’t need to.  It’s something I can begin to break down starting with this: I am a 20 year old woman.  I do not have the most relationship experience, but in the past few months I have begun to practice; I have met a lot of new men, gone on a few dates, and even had a nice kiss or two.  I am figuring things out and this is okay.  This is where I am right now, and I trust that I will learn more things as they come.  That said, I also intend to take an active role in this area of my life.  If I want to go on dates once in a while, I have to interact with men!  And I know I can do this because I am not so full of fear over men anymore.  I was chatting with a guy in the massage line after the race yesterday and noticed how comfortable I felt just talking about college, work, the city, etc.  So I’ve made progress.  And I know that I’m going to keep making progress.

I think that little examination of my life as a woman was sort of a microcosm or metaphor for my life in general right now: I am learning to accept things as they are, learn from them, and take steps forward.  I can make progress.

Whoa, that was long.  I actually write pages and pages in my journal after therapy every week (see Daily Creativity) and then sort of suck the most importan parts out of that and expand on here.  I can’t believe I used to dread going to therapy and thinking about it, when I was seeing my last therapist.  She always used to tell me that I should journal about it, but I never wanted to because she didn’t really help me figure all that much out.  Just goes to show you how important having the right therapist is.

Alright, how were your Mondays bloggies?  Mine was a bit icky, but tomorrow’s a new day, I suppose!

A Place Called Smoothieland

Daily Creativity: I plan on spending some serious quality time with my journal tonight.  Just me, my pen, and my endlessly bizzare thoughts.

Yoging:

I was *this* close to coming back to my room and vegging out with a book after my last class got out at six.  It was a looooonnnggg day and I was just happy I’d survived  But deep  down I knew my body had a lot of energy to burn off, which meant workout time!  I won’t lie, I was totally inspired by Cheryl from the Biggest Loser.  On last night’s episode she said something like “it felt really good to come back from a long day of working and just move.”  So true.

I ran downtown along the river; it was so lovely and mysterious in the dark (don’t worry, there were a lot of runners and bikers out in the early evening).  I did about 6.5 miles total with the following 35 minute speed workout thrown in the middle:

5 x (4 minutes hard, 3 minutes easy)

The four minute sections were basically half-miles.  It was hard but I also felt strong.  My legs were definitely ready to be done by the last one!  I ran all the way over to Yoga Vida for another advanced vinyasa class (I went to one last Friday too).  I didn’t love the teacher, but he did do a really nice and invigorating series of poses.  It really worked my upper arms — he had us going back and forth between upward dog and downward dog, coming in and out of crow, and doing a million chaturangas up to planks.  My arms were shaking.  Crazy hot handstand boy was totally there again and even crazier.  I know yoga is about looking inward, and I wasn’t comparing my abilities to him —  I’ll never have that kind of upper body strength — but it was fun to watch.  Today he went from a crow directly into a handstand and back down into crow then directly into chaturanga.  Amazing.

I ended my yoging adventure with a trip to Jamba Juice.  Why does JJ have to be right down the street from the yoga studio.  I was planning on going home and making a nice stir fry for dinner, but I was in the mood for a smoothie.  I’m not sure what’s up with this smoothie kick lately.  I think maybe I just get jealous of other blogger’s fun smoothie creations?

I had the mango peach meal thingy (i.e, it was topped with granola and banana).  So.  Nom. Nom. Nom.

When I got home I had dinner part dos, half a steamed sweet potato topped with flax pb and cinnamon.  Perfect!

Random, but the sweet and nutty flavors worked really together.

I got a steak at the farmer’s market the other day.  It was local, organic, and grass-fed.  My favorite.  I believe I paid nine dollars for it, which at the time felt expensive, but for two servings, that’s only $4.50 each.  I could probably get some really sketchy, low-quality, highly unethical ground beef for two or three dollars from the store.  But I don’t like my meat this way, plain and simple.  And I could probably eat that same steak at a restaurant for $25.  I won’t lie: I love meat — red meat, white meat, poultry, sea food.  I like it all.  I try to eat it in as ethical a manner as possible,but when it comes down to it, I believe that humans, especially carbohydrate-sensitive ones like myself, are meant to eatmeat.  There are many people for whom this does not work and I totally respect that!  But it works for me.

Glad I got that out there.  Now I can show you pictures of my lovely little steaks (which I pan seared until the smoke alarm was about to go off so I stopped.  They’re a wee bit rare, but I like them that way).

At first I wasn’t gonna talk about this because I know many of my readers are vegan or vegetarian or even raw and I don’t want to offend anybody, but then I remembered that this is my blog and we all have to make the health and dietary choices that work for us as individuals.  Do you eat meat?  If not, do you consciously seek out other protein options?