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?

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