Awesome Speed Workout/Awesome Food

Today’s Happy Note: finding pomegranate tea again!  Haven’t had any in so very long, and it is one of my favorite herbal teas.  It was accompanied by lovely conversation, more importantly!

I have to be a speed blogger tonight (haha, NOT my forte — I like talking, in case you haven’t noticed) because USB is coming to visit.  It is going to be such a nice night for a walk!

Marathon Training: I really wanted to do my speed workout and weights today, for some reason.  I knew there was no way both were going to happen before work, since I didn’t go to bad until after 2 (bad Caronae!).  I start work at 11 on Fridays.  This is sad, I know.

I tend to become more of a morning person as the semester wears on, oddly enough.  Anyways, I dragged myself out of bed at 10 and headed to the gym for a half hour of arm weights. Sometimes a half an hour is all you need to get your muscles nice and sore!

I followed that up with a delicious, steamy, spicy chai tea latte (made with soy — I was not feeling the dairy today) and an apple with honey PB:

A delicious bite of cinnamon roll from the guys at the mail room was also had 🙂

I am fully aware that the icing on my hands in this picture does NOT look like icing.  It is, I swear.

I had a late afternoon lunch-snack of a chocolate chip muffin, in honor of Cookie Friday.  Sometimes I think muffins are better than cookies.  I think they *might* be my favorite baked good!  Shhh, don’t tell the cookies that I told you that.

I came home after work and lazed around.  I just did not want to start my run at all.  I was feeling very grey, I suppose.  I finally had a Luna Bar and got my butt out the door around 6:00, only because I knew that if I waited any longer it would be dark by the time I finished and I didn’t want to get mugged in the northern end of CP (which is a wee bit isolated/quiet at night).

The run ended up being wonderful! I felt really fast and strong and smooth.  Some runs you just get into a rhythm and other runs…well, you don’t.  I definitely found my groove today, which was nice after Wednesday’s sucky run.

2 Miles warm-up (10:00-10:30 min/mile pace)

4 x (1 mile “Cruise” Pace, 1/4 mile easy)

2 Miles cool down, easy

I don’t know what the difference is, necessarily, between “fast” and “cruise” and “tempo” and “speed.”  And to be honest, I don’t particularly care.  I have a few paces: 8:30, 9:00, 10:00, and slower than 10:00.  I go based on how I feel.  I think that the important thing for me is just practicing speeding up, learning how to move my legs faster.  I definitely accomplished that today — I would say I was maybe running 8:45s?  Hard to tell, but I worked hard and felt fast on the miles, so I was happy! 🙂 Nine miles in total.

Dinner later on was the giant burrito that I wanted yesterday but didn’t let myself have!

What, you don’t have your giant burrito with a side of steamed broccoli and roasted carrots/okra doused in TJS spicy peanut vinaigrette?

Inside the burrito: green peppers/onions, pinto beans, barbacoa meat (beef), corn salsa, a little cheese, lots of lettuce.  It needed some spicier salsa, but other than that it was divine!  If you ask really nicely at Chipotle, they’ll let you have the peppers/onions (which are normally for the vegetarian burritos) instead of rice.  Rice+burrito+beans would be way too many carbohydrates for me to handle at once.

I love having the options of multiple fats at Chipotle: cheese, sour cream, or guacamole.  Do not fear the fats ladies!

I had a few squares of plain TJs dark chocolate after dinner (which I learned form Averie’s post today might be Scharffen Berger????), followed by about five gallons of water — I can always tell when I haven’t had enough to drink throughout the day based on how thirsty I am in the evenings!

Now onto a little activity inspired by the lovely Janetha G.! A few days ago she did a list of her favorite food for each letter of the alphabet.  I got really bored in Harlem Renaissance Literature the other day and started my own. 🙂

This is a really fun and oddly soothing thing to do.  I might just have to go back and expand the list one day so that I can include all my favorite foods.  For example, I feel like “avocados” and “almond butter” got left out on A.  I don’t want to exclude anybody!

A: apples

B: bananas

C: cupcakes

D: dark chocolate

E: eggs

F: fish

G: gaz (a Persian candy made with rosewater and pistachio and AMAZINGNESS)

H: hummus

I: Indian

J: jumbo shrimp

K: kiwi

L: linguine

M: muffins

N: nuts

O: oats

P: peanut butter (duh)

Q: quinoa (blended, preferably)

R: raspberries

S: spinach

T: tofu

U: upside down cake (it’s a tradition in my dad’d family — a tasty, tasty tradition)

V: vanilla

W: whey protein

X: xantham gum

Y: yogurt (especially2% plain Greek)

Z: zucchini bread

Thanks for the idea Janetha!

What is your favorite baked good?

How do you know when a run (or workout) is good?

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!

Long Run Eats

Today’s Happy Note: Got in a really good balance of friend time and relaxation time.  This balance is always hard for me to find, so it’s encouraging when it works out and I get to see people I love without feeling overwhelmed.

And see the people I love I did! Starting bright and early this morning…

Bloggers!  Left to right in the picture above (taken in a weird digital window thingy): Jess (Fit Chick In The City), Kath (Kath Eats Real Food), Tina (Carrots ‘N Cake), Me, and Roni (Roni’s Weigh).  Tara (Tall Tara) also ran with us but left before the pictures.

We set out for 6 miles in CP (the main loop, hills and all).  These girls are fast and I had to work!  It was good for me though.  I did another two and a half afterwards for an 8.5 mile long run, plus a mile walking.

Came home and made a giant blueberry-banana SIAB topped with a crumbled blueberry muffin (I had half on the smoothie and half as a snack in the early evening).

I read and relaxed in bed for a bit then met up with my friend Joy for yoga.  It was a good class — a lot of leg work but not too much.  Lots of binds and stretchy poses too.  And the teacher used the most amazing lemony-citronella lotion or oil when she massaged our faces at the end.  Best part!

Time for lunch with my cousin.

We went to a pretty good macrobiotic place  — I was craving some simple veg, brown rice, and tofu.  I rolled with a tofu scramble with tempeh bacon.  It pretty much made my macrobiotic lunch dreams come true (what, you don’t have those dreams?).

Got back to the apartment and rested/watched netflix.  In other words a perfect lazy Sunday afternoon.  Also prepped veggies, went for a little walk, and chatted with my parents.

Afternoon snack was big:

Chocolate-peanut-caramel protein smoothie with extra PB and a clif mojo bar.  So I wasn’t too hungry for dinner.  In fact, it had been over four hours and I still wasn’t hungry so I freaked out a little bit.  I have been practicing listening to my body and eating intuitively while I lose weight (and I think it’s a good habit in general), but didn’t want to skip dinner altogether.  I got a wee bit panicked, actually.  I made a light dinner and dessert which seemed like a good compromise.  What do you do in this kind of situation?

I am, however, proud of myself that I am getting better at understanding when I am hungry and what that feels like and what I need to satisfy it.  That’s an accomplishment.

Two scrambled eggs and lots of scrambled veggies (yellow squash, green pepper, and avocado squash) with a bit of cheese melted on top.  Nice and delicious.

I’m munching on a pear with maple PB and a few squares of dark chocolate right now.  It’s an amazing combination!  If I could only eat one food for the rest of life, it might be PB; it’s got great taste, fats, protein, and carbs.  Pretty wonderful if you ask me.  What food would you choose?

So here we have another full day of (long run) eats.  I think it was probably a good amount but I just kind of feel full.  Maybe it’s just hormones/bloating?

Whatever.

Busy week ahead.  Things to look forward to:

~Lots more running

~Celebration/graduation for the students (my babies!) in second job

~Time to cook/bake/experiment in the kitchen in the evenings

~Top Chef

~Lots of magazines and books to read

What are you looking forward to?

The Sneaky Hate Spiral: Antidote

Today’s Happy Note: Got a lot of work done!  I was in my office from 9-4 (very productive!) and then did stuff for my other job (phone calls and computer work) from 4-5 and 7-9 (hit the gym in between!).  About ten hours total, which is a lot, but I don’t feel so overhwelmed, and not feeling overwhelmed is the best feeling in the world.

Happy Note #2: This post from Joanne.  I thought I was the only young twenty-something woman who wanted to go on real dates!  Apparently there are other people who are not into the frat party make-out scene and who don’t consider sloppy drunken dancing romantic.  Yay, I’m not alone!

Okay.  So.

Have you ever read Hyperbole and a Half? It’s definitely one of the funniest blogs on the Internets.  If you’re ever feeling down, the first thing you should do is go there.  My point in all this is to reference the ubiquitous Sneaky Hate Spiral post.

Allie describes it better than I ever could, but in sum: the SHS occurs when a bunch of little, annoying things start building up and you get more and more angry until an explosion results.  My SHS began first thing this morning when I woke up fifteen minutes before I was supposed to be at work.  I have been doing this thing lately where I wake up to my alarm, press snooze a few times, then press “dismiss” (i.e., “off”) and close my eyes and think “oh I’ll just lie here for another minute.”  Then, of course, a minute turns into a half an hour.  So I woke up at 8:45.  I was only fifteen minutes late though!

Anyways, the SHS continued with the worst headache of my life accompanied by a terrible feeling of misalignment in my spine and neck.  It felt like someone had twisted up my back like a rope.  And the head pain:I  felt like I was 50 feet underwater (I used to be a diver and regularly dove down to the bottom of a 20 foot pool; this was approximately 2.5 times worse).

There honestly weren’t that many other serious things, but the headache just magnified every tiny nuissance.  I ran over my big toe with a cart at work.  Then I dropped an interview and all the pages fell out and came out of order and I had to put them all back in by hand.  Then I started getting really angry at L (who I didn’t even see today) and could not stop thinking about how much I suck at therapy.  Things just sort of continued in this pattern.

But then.  I only had twenty five minutes to book it home from work and make it to the gym before five (I have a student membership, so I can’t go between 5-7:30 BUT I can go at 4:58.  Ha.).  I was determined to get there, if only so that I didn’t feel guilty later on.  I was just going to make myself get on the elliptical and sweat it out for 30 or 40 minutes.

When I arrived, I noticed that there was a 5:30 kickboxing class.  I thought, “why not?”  I lifted for about 25 minutes and then headed in.

I think this kickboxing class changed my life.  Let me restate this:

I am in love, my friends.  Sadly, there are no boys involved in this relationship (unless the super hot instructor counts).  But there is me: a very strong, sweaty me.  I have no idea what happened in that 50 minutes but the SHS snapped.  And not only did I rid myself of the SHS monster, I left happy. It was a deep, pervasive happiness that I haven’t felt in a long time.  I am not sure if the relief came from the hundreds and hundreds of punches into the punching bag or the me time, or what.  But a little thing inside me clicked.  I realized that I can manufacture my own happiness. And maybe this means going to a kickboxing class, rather than coming into some sort of serene internal peace.  I don’t care.  Happiness is happiness, and I’ll take what I can get.

I left the class headache-free and practically glowing.  At the beginning, as I was looking in the mirrors, I was fiercely angry at my body — “why can’t my thighs be smooth, and why do I have this massive bump of fat on my stomach, and why are my breasts so painfully large?”  At the end, I actually felt a confidence in my body that has not been around in a long time. I felt so strong; like I could take on the world.  I felt better than I ever have lifting weights or pounding away on the elliptical (both of which are considerably fun).  I felt like I could actually see my muscles firming up.

I was no longer angry at L.  I was no longer angry at myself.  The anger just poured out of my body.  And I am so unbelievably thrilled.  And content.  Right now.

Have you ever had a workout that left you feeling strong, confident, and healthy?  Has a workout ever turned your day around completely?

The eats:

Swirly raspberry overnight oats.

I refuse to give up my once-weekly diet Snapple with aspartame.  I have a little pile of empty bottles that I’m stashing behind my computer at work — I don’t think that we have a glass recycling container and I am feeling too lazy to take them outside.

Monster leftovers lunch topped with a two-egg puff and a side of granola bar.  Snacked on a TJ’s single-serving bag of trail mix before my workout and many handfuls of WF chocolate cherry trail mix afterwards (SO good!).

Blueberry-banana smoothies are so good.  I was craving a muffin, so I walked to WF to get one (theirs are always good and fresh).  I meant to just get a muffin, bananas, and a non-dairy milk.  I left with said muffin, coconut milk, dark chocolate, dried mango, mushrooms, trail mix, and coconut milk.  The muffin is chocolate chip.  Nom!

Dessert was a few pieces (this is a really small container) of banana chip bread with melted dark chocolate.

Mmmmm, meltable.

Overall, today was a bad day that turned into a good one!

Have you ever had a Sneaky Hate spiral day?  How do you get rid of it? Sometimes I feel like you just have to let it run its course…

Also: Mama Pea (one of my most favorite bloggers; she is so sweet) is giving away a cookbook! Check it out.

Adventures In Carb Lovin’ And Clean Eats

Today’s Happy Note: Got my blood work back and everything is roughly normal!  My iron and blood cell levels are all a bit low but that is to be expected at this point.  Nothing that requires hospitalization=a good thing.  I kept having nightmares last night that I had to go in and get a blood transfusion.

They are still doing tests to figure out what I actually have.  Probably some sort of creepy bacteria.  Yuck yuck yuck.

But wait.  There is more good news.  I can now eat things besides bread and plain noodles!

Exhibit A:

That, my friends, is melted dark chocolate.  Which may or may not have been on the list of approved foods.  But screw it.

Exhibit B:

Scone.  It had a weird texture (a bit dry) but a great flavor.  Tomorrow, I might venture into muffin territory.

Exhibit C:

This is pasta with a little EVOO and a lotta salt.  An inappropriate amount of salt.  And basil.  I’m supposed to be consuming salt like it’s my job, don’t hate.

Other things on the safe food list: bagels, toast, gatorade, vitamin water, dry cereal, and rice.  I can’t actually remember the last time I had a vegetable, which is scary.  I have been eating little bits of frozen fruit here and there.

I want meat.  Bad.  I want some ribs and some fish and some chicken.  And eggs.  And meatballs.  And cheese.  And hummus and sandwiches and peanut butter and waffles and tofu.  And protein ice cream and smoothies.  Not all at once though.  That would be weird.

I actually have no interest in dairy right now.  To be honest, I am a little grossed out by the idea of it.  I know it is hard to digest and supposedly mucus-producing; normally I don’t have a problem with 1-2 servings a day, but I think I’m going to skip out on it for a little while.  I read that sometimes even after a bad GI issue like this clears up, people can’t eat dairy products.

I have felt simultaneously very alienated from and intimate with my body these past few days.  A strange feeling.  I trust in my body and love it’s ability to recover but it is scary to think how sensitive we are; one tiny strand of bacteria can knock us out for days, or even kill us.  I already know how “dirty” the American food system is, but this just made me even more afraid.  How do I know that my lettuce in a bag from California never encountered bacteria, or that my milk is completely clean?

I guess we don’t really know.  Part of me wants to say “that’s why we should choose local, seasonal, and organic.”  Okay, but I already do that.  Literally half of the stuff in my fridge right now is from the farmer’s market.  In fact, I have a suspicion that that might be where the contaminated food came from.  I always wash my produce, but I suppose I could be better at it.  The frustrating thing is that there aren’t many answers here.  Short of growing everything I eat, it’s impossible to ensure my diet is perfectly clean.

I am honestly a bit afraid of food right now.  I hope this doesn’t persist; I like food too much to be afraid of it!

But what can we do?  How do we keep a food supply clean when we don’t know where most of it is coming from?  How do we ensure that bacteria or diseases don’t have a chance to enter our tummies?

Therapy Monday

Today’s Happy Note: Listening to the Jackson 5 and The Temptations!  Will instantly lift your mood, I promise, try it.

I was definitely sore yesterday, but not to the point where I couldn’t walk, like last time.  I wasn’t sore today at all!  I walked about three miles yesterday and was going to run a few today, but I got to the gym and it was smelly and crowded and I would’ve had to wait, so I decided I needed another rest day.  Maybe some yoga later?

I am already itching to run, so definitely tomorrow.  It’s kind of addictive 🙂

Random eats from the last few days:

I think I have had a pretty good balance of nutrients and treats over the last few days, but I’m ready for the hunger monster to subside and to get back into my regular eating habits and workout routines.  I find that it is easiest to maintain a healthy lifestyle when I have a clear routine to follow.  It just makes things simpler.  Do you thrive off of structure or do you prefer a little chaos in your life?  I do, however, appreciate the occasional chaos 🙂

Therapy Monday:

We sort of had three segments in our conversation today, not intentionally, that’s just the way it happened.  First we talked about the ultramarathon, then blogging, then my body image.  Since I like order, you know I’m going to do a list 🙂

1. Ultramarathon: I’ll admit it, being able to run for six or seven hours at a time makes me feel special.  I was never very fast, I never had good aim, I couldn’t catch a ball.  But I can run for a long time and I like this about myself.  I feel like I could run for a whole day sometimes.  In fact, it makes me feel primal.  I don’t know if my endurance was inherited, learned, or pounded into me.  I was a gymnast from when I was four until I was fourteen, so I had to get used to four or five hour practices several days a week.  But my mom also has incredible endurance (she used to do half-marathons but then developed a devastating neurological problem; I know she would have been a marathoner).  In high school, sometimes I would have to swim for four hours a day, and I always gravitated toward the “distance” events in track.  Even as an eighth grader I knew I wanted to run marathons.  Here I was, this geeky little 13 year old telling everybody confidently that some day I would run marathons.  And I have!  (Well not technically, but I’m sure I will run an official marathon in the next year).  Everyone besides the track coach laughed at me and said I was crazy and would never want to run further than a 5k — most high school runners don’t.  But I proved them wrong I suppose.  So I feel proud of myself for this.  I mentioned to my therapist that I had gotten a neat job(s) for the summer and she seemed so happy for and proud of me; this is something I very rarely feel for myself. But with endurance running I feel it.  I feel proud and accomplished.  I still don’t feel “proud” about the job or most things in my life, but maybe one day I’ll get there.  For now, I have running.  I used to never feel any kind of pride or worthiness, so I think this is a good start.

2. Running is my “thing” — my passion and hobby.  Blogging has become my other “thing.”  I told my therapist about the blog when I first started blogging and have mentioned it a few times, but I think she forgot or didn’t realize that it was an important part of my life.  I have come to realize that blogging takes the hour or two in the evening when I often feel lonely and trapped and has turned that into a positive social outlet.  I used to feel so alone in the evenings, and because I need a consistent schedule (bedtime=11 pm), I don’t want to be studying with friends or out to dinner or cocktail hour or whatever.  As I was explaining my blogging habits and what I like about it to her, I realized that the fact that it fills this little evening void is one of my favorite things about it.  I’m alone in my room every single night; I have floormates, but it isn’t really a super social thing.  I feel like I have actual blog friends and connections with other bloggers and readers (I even went on a meetup this weekend; I’ll probably post about it tomorrow).  I also feel like health is kind of one of the overarching themes of my life.  My eating, exercise, self-care, sleep routines, stress management — all of these come back to my health, and in that sense, I feel like healthy living blogs (my own and other peoples’) are the perfect safe, comforting space for me.

3. I realized that I still have body image issues when I told my therapist that after running the ultra — all 34 miles — I still did not appreciate my body or see it as especially powerful.  I had no problem despising it after 6 hours of running.  This is not good.  Not good at all.  It’s something I haven’t actually talked about that much in therapy; my therapist asked me if I wanted her to ask me about it (does that even make sense, lol?).  I do, but at the same time, I think it has to be something I open up about very naturally.  I guess up until now I had sort of discounted my body hatred and my issues with food, but they are most definitely still there and still extremely upsetting at times.  It’s already been eight months that I have been seeing her and I am at a place where I feel very comfortable, so I think it is something that will start to come out more as we move forward.  There are several things I want to address directly, including my relationship between food and emotions and my physical activity level.  We’ll get there I think.  It’s frustrating because sometimes I have an issue that I mention to her and it’s like “duh, there is such an obvious, simple solution!”  I want this to be one of those things, but obviously, it isn’t.

I was sort of absent from blogging this weekend between the ultra and schoolwork.  Anything I’ve missed out on?  Fabulous happenings or news or giveaways?

I hope everyone has a most fabulous week.  Find something to feel proud of yourself for!

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.

Storytime:

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.

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