Reteaching Wonder

Today’s Happy Note: Spending a wonderful weekend with USB!  He loves to talk/cuddle/eat/have adventures/walk…pretty much all the same things I like to do!  It is nice to have someone who wants to have adventures with me.  We still do lots of things by ourselves though — yesterday I went to a map-making class while he did an introductory yoga workshop!  It’s a wonderful balance.  I have been hesitant to say this, because I am afraid of somehow jinxing it, but I’ll just go ahead and say it anyways, because it’s true: USB is, plain and simple, the most wonderful thing that has happened to me in years. I even have a picture today.  Look!

Okay, so referring to that as a picture of him might be a bit of a stretch, but take what you can get!  I don’t have a lot of pictures and wouldn’t really feel comfortable having him on the blog, at this point.  But he does have nice hands, right?

Thanks for your sweet comments about it yesterday.  I feel silly talking about him sometimes, but it’s a good silly. I’m completely smitten and it has all happened so suddenly.  Each moment with him is a new lesson in blessings and gratefulness.  He has retaught me how to wonder. I was a hopeless romantic before, and now, well, I’m downright sappy.  So I apologize for my sappiness.  You’re just going to have to deal with it for a while. 😉

In the above picture, we are eating delicious wraps from this Noodle Shop. We got one of the tofu and one of the duck, and each had half of each.  They were really tasty!  They are definitely snack-sized and not meal-sized though.  Or maybe that’s just my marathoner’s perspective.

I squeezed in a long run today, between studying, cleaning, and cuddling.  I did about 12.4 miles in 2:10-ish. Somewhere thereabouts.  I think I was probably around a 10:30/mile pace overall.  Didn’t feel great, didn’t feel terrible.  For parts of it, my legs felt powerful and strong; at other times, they felt sluggish and sloooow as molasses. Sometimes within minutes of each other.  Weird, no?

It was my last long run before the marathon, so I’ll take it.  My body was happy for the shorter run, and is happy about the lower mileage in the next two weeks.  Less than two weeks from today I will be an official marathoner!  I even got my number in the registration pdf today!  I am number 40920.  Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

Other eats today weren’t too exciting, but did include this very necessary froyo monstrosity:

It’s a mixture of pinkberry original and pumpkin flavors, with my own toppings (seriously, always bring your froyo home and do your own toppings — so much cheaper!).  And yes, pinkberry now has pumpkin flavor.  It isn’t very strong at all and I kind of like it!  I added chunky pb, a part of a crumbled chocolate chip pumpkin cookie, and more chocolate chips.

I’m not sure if you noticed, but I have been *sort of* making an effort to eat less carbs.  The key words here are *sort of*.  I  would estimate that I’m eating about 20% less carbs than I was a few weeks ago, in the heart of marathon training.  I have always liked my carbs, but I have never been obsessed with them.  I don’t love bread.  I actively dislike rice.  I like quinoa but am usually too lazy to cook it.  I also like whole wheat pasta but again, it takes a long time to cook, and it is more of a treat for me.  I have been consuming more sweet potatoes and squash (they’re in season, so it’s easy), about the same amounts of veggies, a little less fruit, and less sugary carbs.

I have made the switch to totally plain yogurt.  I have also started actively buying more proteins and fats lately. Here’s whats in my fridge/cupboard at the moment:

Protein — natural honey maple turkey, TJs grilled chicken, Fage 2%  greek yogurt, eggs, Amy’s spicy vegan chilibeans (refried pinto and plain), natural tuna, and half a block of tofu.

Fats — avocados, TJs guacamole hummus (it’s alright — but not better than either hummus or guac on their own), an assortment of nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts), peanut butter, earth balance vegan butter, Fage 2% greek yogurt (does double duty!), TJs goddess salad dressing, olive oil.

I think that variety in protein and fat sources is key.  I make an effort to do different combinations and flavors and textures.

I am not doing this as part of some silly diet or fad weight-loss craze.  You guys know I wouldn’t do that!  Rather, one of the most widely accepted treatments for PCOS is a lower-carb diet.  For many PCOS patients, it is the only way to manage their weight. I don’t event know if I have PCOS or a different disorder, but I have, in the past, experienced success with a lower-carb diet overall (I am using “diet” in the general sense of what I eat here, not to refer to any type of restriction).

So it’s just something I am trying.  It is easier now that I’m running less.  I am seeing an endocrinologist next week, and will start dietary/medication experiments the following week (after the marathon is over).  It is going to be an interesting journey, to say the least.

Favorite protein?  Favorite fat?

Best part of your weekend?

Are you sappy and romantic or serious and collected?

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Veinte Tres

Today’s Happy Note: Completing the third longest run of my life!

(photo credit goes to Ada)

So. Today. (Hint: “Veinte Tres” means 23 in Spanish):

I have eaten multiple pumpkin smoothies.

I have spent most of the day in bed (but wait!  Some of it was productive because I was cuddling with USB!)

My hips and ilio sacrum are not happy with me.

I have a headache.  And I have to pee.

BUT most importantly I FINISHED.  More accurately, WE finished.   Yup, I had a special friend to do this run with!

Ada!!!!!!

Seriously, this run would not have happened (or I would have wimped out by mile ten) without the lovely Miss Ada. She was a lifesaver.  I always forget how nice it is to run with someone.  We chatted, motivated each other, and just generally collaborated.  It was spectacular!  She even knew a really fun route that I have never done before: we went down the West Side of Manhattan, along the Hudson, around South Street Seaport, back up the East Side to the Brooklyn Bridge.  We then crossed the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn then came right back into Manhattan on the Manhattan Bridge (such creative names, really genius).  Then we continued up the East River to the Williamsburg, crossed that into Brooklyn and continued North in Brooklyn towards the Pulaski Bridge.  We crossed the Pulaski into Queens, ran to the Queensboro Bridge, and made it back into Manhattan.  We then followed E 61 street to Central Park and headed Northwest to West 72nd.  We ended at 72 and Broadway.

Total: 23 miles.

Time: About 4.5 hours (we did a few breaks)

That description probably makes no sense if you don’t live in NYC.  You can get a rough idea of the layout of the bridges and the boroughs from this map:

One of the best things about this run was that a lot of it followed the route for the NYC marathon (which is officially less than three weeks away!!!!).  So now I feel like I have more of an idea of what to expect in the outer Boroughs.  Yay!

Overall, I was really happy with this run.  I had already run 46 miles this week so my legs were pretty tired (I ended up with 69 miles — easily the highest weekly mileage of my life).  And you know what?  They still performed.  They still worked.  They were sore in some parts and creaky in others, but they carried me through.  Thank you, legs.

The last five or so miles were tough, but not undoable.  They could have been much, much worse.  I am right on track to make my goal of covering the whole 26.2 in just under 4:30.  🙂

I think I did a good job listening to my body in terms of food today.  I ate what I wanted, when I wanted.  And most of it was pretty clean, delicious, simple food.  Some of today’s epic eats (FYI: this is most definitely not everything I ate!):

I ate toast with PB and banana (I have discovered I can eat a small amount of PB before running) before starting.  I ate one package of shot blocks during the run and two diluted gatorades (bought one during the run).

I find myself insanely thirsty during long runs — like, I drink five or six bottles of water thirsty. Is this weird?

This cheddar and spinach panini was FREE.  And it was tasty.  A winning snack, in my book.

Many of these (leftover cookies!) were consumed.

I made a delicious dinner for USB and I.  The above was for both of us.  I am very poor and only own one plate.  I know, sad.

I cooked salmon with peanut/maple/ginger sauce, roasted cauliflower, and steamed delicata squash topped with cinnamon and avocado.  It was all really good but I only wanted a few bites — most of the avocado, some cauliflower, some salmon.  I have leftovers.

USB is 29 years old and has NO idea how to cook.  It’s kind of cute, actually.  I’m teaching him.  He is a very good learner and is quite useful in the kitchen!

I saved room for dessert a few hours later though.  This was a pumpkin/peanut butter/banana smoothie topped with more PB, chocolate chips, and a crumbled cookie.  It was epic.  That is all.

Lots of exciting things on the horizon this week:

-How I Eat Post

-Therapy Thursday

-Something involving bacon, I suspect (I have been craving it obsessively lately)

School is pretty light this week, which will be a nice break.

See you all tomorrow night!  Thanks for being in my life, bloggies. 🙂

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. 🙂

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!

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!

Crazed Runner Thoughts

Today’s Happy Note: Getting started on schoolwork.  This is “happy” because it has been a big source of anxiety for me over the last few days and now that I finally have just started it doesn’t seem so bad!  I will have lots and lots of reading this semester, some interesting, some not.  Right now I’m reading about Harlem Renaissance Literature!

Marathon Training: Yesterday was a very lazy day.  I ate a lot.  When I wasn’t hungry.  Then napped.  Then remembered that I had to run five miles. Crap.  Had to do it on the street because it was already getting dark.  Boring.  Sweaty.  Came home and did 20-30 minutes of yoga. Felt better afterwards.  Marathon training really screws with your metabolism/hunger cues.  I want chocolate.

Sometimes I don’t even understand my thought process surrounding running. 🙂

Today I had to tackle 16 miles.  It’s funny how sometimes a long run can be wonderful (like last week) and sometimes it can really, really suck. Unfortunately, this week was of the sucky variety.

I decided to sleep in, rather than waking up at seven on a Sunday (contrary to popular belief, I am still in college and sometimes I do partake in college-like activities on weekends….).  This meant that I had to go to yoga before my long run instead of after.  Meh.  It was a really nice class, actually, although I probably tired out my legs a bit too much.  I love when we focus on mediation and emotional balance in tandem with the physical asana practice.

I set out for the 16 miles right after yoga, heading down the Hudson river, around Battery Park City, and back up the East River.  Thoughts:

Mile 1: Why do my calves hurt so much?  Why are they so tight?  I can’t think of any explanation for them feeling like this.  This does not make logical sense.  Oh wait, sometimes running makes no logical sense — I am running 16 miles and my friends are eating bagels and cream cheese in their PJs.  Ugh.

Mile 2: Now my calves hurt and I have to pee.  Okay, that’s sufficient discomfort to merit a quick stop.  I peed (in a bathroom, of course) then did some calf stretches, which helped.  It’s drizzling.  I like drizzling.  A little water never killed anybody.

Mile 3: Calves are easing up.  Good.  But now my hip and hamstring hurt.  But not a lot.  Just a little.  I should keep going though.

Mile 4: Why did I decide I was going to keep going, again?  I jsut ran four miles and now I have twelve more.  Also, why is there a random festival taking place on the running/walking path?

Mile 5: There is clearly a sign that says dogs are not allowed in this part of the park.  So why is your dog here?  Oh crap, it’s raining harder.  But I only have 11 miles left and it would be wimpy to stop now, even though the trajectory of the degree of raininess is clearly increasing.

Mile 6: I’m in Battery Park City, by lots of 9/11 monuments and memorials and such.  This is very sad.  I have never been able to fully organize my thoughts surrounding 9/11.  I didn’t live in New York then, but I do live here now.  I’m scared, sometimes.

Mile 7: Why in God’s name is anyone taking the ferry to Ellis Island and Liberty Island right now?  Why is the Staten Island Ferry orange?  It’s officially pouring.

Mile 8: the Lower East Side is unnecessarily confusing.  When am I going to get to Houston?  Shouldn’t I be at Houston already?  Why can’t there be real beaches in Manhattan?  I want to go swimming in the East River.  That would be really gross.

Mile 9: I do not like running up stairs.  I think my body wad not built for stairs — seriously, I get exhausted after a single flight.  Damn UN tourists.  Damn UN traffic.  I don’t like the streets on the Upper East Side.  The avenues should have been better organized.  If I were a municipal politician, I would be so good at organizing streets.  But I don’t think I would make a very good civil engineer.

Mile 10: Snacktime!  I don’t like cranberry flavored stuff (I also do’t like tomatoes, beets, olives, pickles, ham, american cheese, or white chocolate) but these cran-razz shot blocks are pretty good.  Like really sugary juice.  What classes do I have tomorrow?  Do they involve food?  Maybe I should make my own energy gels with dates and stuff.  It would be cheaper.  And healthier.  And I am far, far too lazy for that. It’s.  Still.  Raining.

Mile 11: I miss USB.  Crap, I can’t miss USB because I saw him 36 hours ago.  Pull yourself together, Caronae.  Wow, the water is really swirly and choppy here.  Good thing I took a class about the history of the city — I know exactly why it’s choppy!  It’s because there are a bunch of channels merging in this area and lots of people have drowned here.  I hope I’m not one of them.  I hope this creepy man doesn’t push me over the edge.  I can swim really well though, so at least I have that going for me.

Mile 12: There are many bridges on the East Side.  I can never remember which comes first.  My NYC bridge knowledge sucks.  My NYC street knowledge is, however,  excellent.  For example, I know that the hill pathway under the Queensboro Bridge at 60th Street is closed; therefore you have to go up York Street to 63rd in order to cross over FDR drive and get back onto the East River Esplanade.  sometimes I am so smart.  Other times I am terribly, terribly dumb.

Mile 13: I want to eat a burrito tonight.  Or maybe a taco.  Something Mexican.  Except I am feeling sort of queasy so that might not happen.

Mile 14: I am so soaked that my face is cold any I have officially gained about 7 pounds via the water that is weighing down my clothing.  Yup, I can see my yoga pants flapping about at the bottom because they are officially too heavy to stay put.  I am eating the rest of these shot blox now.  There are lots of homeless peopler under these bridges and overpasses and archways and such.  I feel bad for them.  It’s rainy.  I would give them my hot chocolate, if I had any.  I should have some hot chocolate when I finish this.

Mile 15: I am pretty much dragging my left leg at this point.  I look like one of those people struggling to finish an Ironman.  Except I have only done 15 miles, which is approximately 1546 times less hardcore.  Hip.  Hurts.  I hope this doesn’t derail my marathon training.

Mile 16: I have never loved the sight of Central Park so much.  I am almost hooommmmmeeee.  Except wait.  There are three giant hills standing in between me and home.  Yuck.  At least there are more runners here, who are also soaking wet, so maybe I don’t look like such an idiot.  I wonder what kinds of birds stick around for the winter.  Definitely swallows.  I always see swallows, everywhere.  But not cardinals or robins or blue jays.  Those only come back in the spring.  But they haven’t left yet because there is a blue jay, right there.   I think bird migration patterns are really cool.

End of Mile 16: This is the longest block of my life.  Look, there’s the hospital I was in!  I am glad I am not there anymore.  I want to have some sunflower seed butter now.

There you have it, 16 miles of one crazed runner’s thoughts.

Food from the weekend!

A fig and hazelnut scone.  Definitely…interesting.

That wrap was an excellent combination of TJ’s cilantro-jalapeno hummus, cheddar cheese, avocado, and yellow pepper.

Tomorrow is gonna be a long day.  Blech.  Morning workout, doctor’s appointments, work, class (yoga is starting!!!!), job recruitment meeting (with a company I really don’t want to work for but they would not stop harrasing me so I’m going because I feel bad), more class, activities, reading, laundry, dinner, more reading.

I need to remind myself to smile.  Nothing is ever so bad when you smile. 🙂

Happy Monday to all of you, my loves!

Tell me about your weekend!  And feel free to share any crazy-runner-thoughts, if you have them!

What Healthy Means…

Today’s Happy Note: Today was just a really happy, full-but-not-too-full Sunday; a perfect day to close out the summer.  I ran, talked with friends, had a blog meetup, unpacked, decorated, talked on the phone with mom and then with USB (Union Square Boy), rested, cleaned, ate delicious food.  Productivity+Relaxation=Good Sunday.

Taking care of me=healthy.

Marathon Training: Yesterday began with 5 easy miles and an hour long vinyasa yoga class.  The run felt sluggish, but whatever, it was only five miles so I didn’t really get that worked up about it.  I spent the rest of the day moving, which is always a workout in itself.

Today began bright and early (kidding — I had to drag myself out of bed at 9:30) with a long run!  I was feeling anxious about the 15 miler I had planned.  Not so anxious that I couldn’t get out the door, but anxious enough that I felt physically “tight.”  That went away after the first mile or two and I ended up feeling wonderful!  My legs and lungs felt strong and I maintained a 10:00-11:00 minute per mile pace.  I think there were times (especially towards the end, oddly enough) where I was between 9:00-10:00 minutes per mile.  I conserved energy in the beginning, which was definitely a wise choice.  There ended up being some construction along my planned route — I remapped it once I finished and discovered I had actually covered 16 miles. Go me.

Long Run=Healthy (for me).

I have a tiny but nagging pain in the back of my right hip — almost under my butt.  It’s hard to describe.  It feels like a simple overuse injury that can probably be cured with sufficient ice, rest, and stretching.  I’ll be careful, I promise!

After the run, a shower, and a giant brunch, it was time to head off for a blog meetup with Meghann.   Some of my best blogging buddies were there as well — Gabriela, Ada, Ashley.  Love these girls!

We met at Stogo, a vegan ice cream place in the East Village.  The East Village never fails to impress me — there is something new and unique and exciting around every corner.  We all spent a good ten minutes staring at the options and sampling and, of course, photographing before deciding.  I got a scoop of key lime (coconut base) and a scoop of peanut butter fudge (soy base).  Both were excellent and surprisingly creamy!

Socializing=healthy.

We match!  Left to right: Ada, Ashley, Me, Gabriela.  I had a lovely time, as I always do with blog friends.  I truly love blogging, and making (and meeting) new friends is one of the best parts about it.

We had a wonderful, refreshing conversation about ways of eating.  We basically agreed that food and eating and healthy living are such individualized things. We all take care of our bodies in different ways — and this is okay.  It sounds silly, but it is important to remember that no two bodies have identical nutritional or activity needs.  Some individuals might need to eat more than me, some less.  Some people run more, some less.  Some people don’t run at all.  Some people walk.  Some people eat more vegetables.  Some people eat more fats.  Some people have not struggled with mental/emotional health in the exact ways I have.  All of this is okay — I love the healthy living blogging community for exactly those reasons — we are each unique and exciting.  For example, I love the way Kath lovingly prepares delicious, home-cooked dinners so often.  But I also love my own, easy, student-friendly dinners, which often consist of combining just a few things.   And I also love  Mama Pea’s awesome family-friendly vegan creations.  Or Sophia’s hearty, meaty dishes.  Or Gena’s inspired, fresh raw cuisine.

My point here is that being healthy is a journey.  A delicious, fun, active journey that is unique to each person.  So thank you, ladies, for reminding me of that this afternoon! 🙂

Stimulating conversation=healthy.

A lot of my things arrived from storage today.  I had to unpack and set up my whole room (I slept in my sleeping bag last night).  I don’t have the best sense for design, but  I think I did a decent job.

For newer readers/anyone who is curious: I am about to start my senior year of college!  I study history and human rights and creative writing.  I live in NYC. 🙂

But before the unpacking could begin, I had to set up my fridge, of course.  I didn’t have time to do a full grocery run today, so I just picked up the essentials (pictured above).  Priorities, people: peaches and apples from the farmer’s market, spinach, yogurt, a muffin, and dark chocolate.

I could have done worse. 🙂

Good (nutritious and delicious) food=healthy.

The room before, strewn with suitcases (notice the sleeping bag on the bed!):

And after (left side, then right side):

Much better.  It feels homey already.  I don’t have quite enough shelf space for all my books, but I think I did pretty well.  I get so comforted by the sight of books. I have them organized into sections: poetry/prose, fiction/novels, history, writing/academic instruction, Middle East, human rights, and cooking/baking.

The kitchen space, so far:

There are approximately 25 people on my floor.  There are seven cupboards in the kitchen.  I have usurped two of them.  BUT I don’t feel that guilty because no one at my school cooks.  Literally no one.  Last year I think I saw three other people in the kitchen the whole year.

It’s way too small.  Le sigh:

So that is the living situation right now.  I am glad to be settled in, to have a roof over my head, and to live in a consistent space that is mine and mine only.  I am very grateful — many, many people in my own city (not to mention the world over) do not have such nice accommodations.  It may seem small to me, but it is clean, warm, and safe.  I have lovely clothes, books, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a soft bed.   I am grateful.

Gratitude=healthy.

What are you grateful for right now?

Anyone else out there about to head back to school, or just moved in?  Tell me about it!

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