See You In December

Today’s Happy Note: All your wonderful comments on the marathon! ¬†Each one has been like a little gift in my inbox. ūüôā

This post is ALL over the place. ¬†I have a lot of random thoughts floating around, some blog-related, some not, ¬†and I just need to get them out! ¬†So here goes…

I am feeling pretty good by this point! ¬†For the first 48 or so hours after the marathon my quads were super sore — I could hardly walk! ¬†But today they feel fine, almost back to normal. My left knee is really bothering me though and something feels not quite right, so I am going to see my doctor about it tomorrow. ¬†I have to talk about blood work and lab results and stuff too so I’ll be there anyways. ¬†The Health Services offices are kind of my second home anyways.

My iron levels are still low and my INR is completely off so boo on that. ¬†It seriously makes no sense: two weeks ago my level was in the normal range, now, on the same exact dosage, it’s way too high. ¬†I thought science was supposed to be predictable. ¬†Grrrrrr.

So: iron. I actually am not taking any supplements or eating iron-rich foods right now, while they do various tests to determine the exact source of the problem (although I think it’s pretty obvious: I am a woman of reproductive age who takes blood thinners. ¬†Duh).

My appetite has been raging since the marathon. ¬†I have been trying not to overeat and to just be mindful of my hunger levels and intake. I haven’t been explicitly “exercising” so much, although I did run 2.5 miles yesterday to try and loosen up my legs (it didn’t work, sadly) and today I had my easy yoga class then lifted weights for 30 minutes. ¬†I’ll increase things slowly. I get really antsy if I don’t move around a bit anyways.

Some Thoughts on Marathoning!

I absolutely loved training for and running the New York City Marathon.  I worked hard and it payed off on a tough course.  I trained a lotРprobably more than someone needs to for a first marathon in order to finish, but I am not a beginning runner and I also had a time goal.  I trained five days a week, and typically did yoga and strength once or twice a week as well.  It was, admittedly, exhausting.  In the future, I might do less speedwork and more yoga.  But overall, I think my plan worked relatively well.  I had peak weeks of 68 and 57 miles (although the 68 was sort of an accident, because I had two long runs in one week).  In the end, it feels so good to know that my hard work was all worth it.

My official time was 4:19.42, which is a 9:55 pace. ¬†I am still sort of in shock that I ran 26.2 miles at a pace under 10 minutes per mile! A marathon is exhausting and¬†exhilarating¬†at the same time. ¬†At the end I felt like I was going to collapse, but I also felt the happiest I have felt in a long time. ¬†It’s sort of a strange duality!

At first, when I finished, I thought “that was really fun but also really crazy; I’m never doing another marathon again!” But I think I might have already changed my mind. ¬†Four hours of intense pain isn’t really that bad, when you think about the benefits. ¬†Even better is the feeling of accomplishment. ¬†I want that feeling again. ¬†I am already looking up marathons in spring!

I loved doing the marathon, but training for it was a complete and total time-suck. ¬†I did not have as much time to focus on my studies as I wanted, and quite frankly, if I wasn’t running, I was usually eating or mentally exhausted — not studying. ¬†I have some studying to catch up on and a veritable mountain of LSAT studying to get through before December 11th. ¬†I took the October test and did well above average, but not exceptional. ¬†In order to get into the law schools I am interested in, I need to significantly raise my scores. ¬†I have a (very expensive) tutor, a mountain of practice tests, and books about strategies up the wazoo. ¬†I have been trying really hard to blog every other day or so; I love it, it is a good outlet, and I love having so many wonderful blogging friends. ¬†But with that said, it does take up time too. ¬†I am going to take an extended break until the December 11th test. [Edited to Add: The test is¬† indeed December 11th.¬† I made a mistake the first time I posted this!]

Hopefully this will help me to reset some priorities, figure out my goals, have time for studying and LSAT review, and give me a break from some of the craziness that is happening in my life right now.  And I will come back a better, more dedicated, fun blogger!

By no means am I stopping blogging!  I just need to take some time off while I get through the bulk of the rest of the semester and this LSAT test.  I have big dreams for the next year (or three, wink wink) of my life, and a little work now will pay off a lot later.

I might have some guest posts between now and then —¬†if anyone wants to do a guest post about anything related to mental health, physical health, running, eating, or whatever, let me know (email me at caronaeh [at] gmail.com)! I am also trying to talk my parents into writing a guest post. ¬†I know it sounds boring, but they are medical professionals, and I think that the world of health blogs is, ironically, sorely lacking in perspectives from actual health professionals. ¬†My dad might be writing about coconut oil (he thinks it’s bad; I think it’s good).

I warned you that this post was all over the place. ¬†Hopefully I’ll be more organized when I come back from my break! ¬†I don’t think I will be reading blogs, but we’ll see. ¬†I am going to miss you all so much! ¬†Feel free to email me — I’ll definitely still be checking my email!

Happy Thanksgiving!  See you in December!

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Birthday/Marathon Weekend

Today’s Happy Note: Cake with friends. ¬†That’s what birthdays are all about. ¬†I had a large slice of Cookies n’ Cream from Make My Cake with six of my closest friends and USB.

I will admit, I am nervous for the marathon.  Scared, excited, panicky.  But I know I can do this.  I have trained so hard for this.  So what if it takes me five hours.  I am ready.

Yoga and abs for fifteen minutes on Thursday, three and a half easy miles yesterday, and two miles today. ¬†My legs felt nice and light today. ¬†Let’s hope they stay that way!

Okay, got that off my chest. ¬†Now let’s have some fun!

Expo!

Best brunch ever.  I treated myself to it this morning (I turned 21 today): scrambled eggs and a wheat waffle with maple syrup, bananas, peanut butter, and bacon.  Seriously, an amazing combo.

A wee little spot of bad news. ¬†I found out the results of my blood tests yesterday — I had a lot of tests done. ¬†One major problem: I’m a bit anemic. ¬†Nowhere near enough iron in my blood, and my cells are shrinking. ¬†Uck. ¬†It will take months to build my iron stores back up. ¬†I am taking iron pills now, so hopefully I’ll feel less weak and tired during the race. ¬†Eek!

Mom.

And me.  At the finish line.  That I will hopefully cross tomorrow.

And there was cake.

With friends.

In a few hours I will be up, heading South to Staten Island. ¬†One of the biggest days of my life. ¬†And I’m terribly nervous — more nervous than ¬†I thought I would be, actually. ¬†Hopefully I’ll be able to manage it. ¬†I’ve come a long way since being in the hospital in July and running 12 minute miles in August!

If you’re running, good luck! ¬†If you’re spectating, I can’t wait to see you! ¬†I will probably have my name in tape on my shirt.

Goodnight friends!

The RWTL Diet

Today’s Happy Note: Rediscovering the best hair conditioner ever! ¬†I used to use this stuff in high school and then it disappeared — it used to be the Dove light blue bottle (NOT the dark blue bottle) and now it’s just called Dove Daily Moisture. ¬†It makes me hair softer and smoother and less frizzy than ANY other hair product. ¬†And I am not easy to please when it comes to hair products!

Marathon Training: I cannot believe it is 6 days away! ¬†It feels like I just started training yesterday and now we’re in the final stages of taper. ¬†I am definitely nervous. ¬†I think that this week is primarily going to be about anxiety control. As long as I can get my mental game under control, I have a feeling the physical side of things will take care of themselves.

I did the 30 Day Shred Level 2 and lots of walking yesterday and my last “long” run today — 6 miles. The rest of this week I’ll do a few 3-4 milers. ¬†Hopefully I will feel nice and rested and relaxed on Sunday. ¬†I am thrilled that my first marathon is going to be the NYC Marathon. ¬†I have wanted to do it since I moved to the city in fall 2007. ¬†I have watched every race since then. ¬†There is something mystical and intriguing about fall in the city, especially in Central Park. ¬†It’s my home. ¬†I couldn’t be more excited.

The RWTL Diet

I wanted to do a post about the way I eat. ¬†It is an endless source of fascination for me to learn about the different ways people feed their minds and bodies. ¬†I think there is both a physical and mental/emotional component to eating/fueling — and in fact, I think that duality is part of what makes eating lovely and fun.

Most bloggers (and people I know in real life too) eat in a very nuanced way. ¬†What works for one person doesn’t work for another. ¬†Everyone likes and needs slightly different things. ¬†This post is about finding the overlap between what I like and what I need.

Through much experimentation, I have figured out that my body needs the following:

  • Lots of protein from a variety of sources
  • Lots of fats (both saturated and unsaturated), again, from a variety of sources
  • Moderate carbohydrates — some grains and some fruits, maybe 2-3 servings a day
  • Tons of veggies; basically, an unlimited amount
  • Occasional desserts — if I don’t have some sweets, I feel deprived, which results in overeating
What my body wants:
  • Flavor! ¬†Spices, fat, sweet, sour, bitter, etc.
  • Variety — I like consistency, but I also get bored easily, so I need a good mix of foods.
  • Breakfast! ¬†Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day. ¬†I crave breakfast foods all the time.
  • Plant and animal sources of protein and fat. ¬†I think this goes with variety, but I have also found that I thrive when I include both types.
  • Pastries. ¬†I wouldn’t really call myself a junk food person — I have no interest in pizza, fries, wings, or candy. ¬†But I love good scones, muffins, or cookies.
So how do I balance the needs and the wants and get good things into my body?
The short answer: with frequent meals and snacks that are built around plants, protein, and fat. ¬†I never build a meal or a snack around a carb. ¬†It just doesn’t work for me. ¬†I am somewhat insulin resistance, and more carbs just don’t do anything for me — I feel sluggish and tired and they seem to make me gain weight. ¬†People have different body types and metabolic systems, so this is NOT something that will hold true for everyone. ¬†I follow some pretty simple guidelines:
Breakfast: build around a whole grain in tandem with protein and fat, sometimes with fruit.
Examples:
On the left we have 1/3 C of oats cooked with 2/3 cup of low-fat chocolate milk, 2/3 cup of water, cinnamon, a little less than a quarter cup of peanut flour, and a tablespoon of peanut butter.  On the right we have a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel (a little more carby than normal) with peanut butter and bacon.  It was a delectable combination.
I used to eat tiny breakfasts (100-200 calories; usually an instant oatmeal packet) and would feel SO guilty whenever I had a more substantial breakfast.  But I was always starving by 11 AM and miserably forced myself to wait for lunch. Satisfying breakfast=happy Caronae.
Lunch: Veggies with, surprise, more protein and fat.  I usually either build lunch around a salad, stir fry, egg scramble, smoothie, or, occasionally, a sandwich.  Has to be simple and quick: think things like pre chopped veggies, steamed/sauteed veggies, deli turkey, sliced tofu, avocado, whole eggs, or cottage cheese/greek yogurt.
Examples:
On the left we have half a can of Amy’s spicy chili mixed with a boatload of broccoli and topped with TJ’s hummus/guacamole mixture. ¬†On the right we have today’s lunch of two eggs scrambled in EVOO mixed with chopped brussel sprouts, broccoli, and mozzarella.
Both were quite tasty and filling. ¬†I often add a piece of carb-y fruit, like grapes or an apple, with lunch, depending on how much I’ll be running that day.
Dinner: I usually do more actual “cooking” here, often with fish, chicken, tofu, beans, ground beef, or steak, paired with roasted veggies, squash, and/or salad.
Examples:
On the left is tonight’s dinner of heated pumpkin topped with steamed carrots and a divine stir-fry of ground beef, EVOO, salt, basil, garlic, and portabella mushrooms. ¬†On the right we have baked salmon with a peanut/ginger sauce, roasted cauliflower, and steamed squash with cinnamon and avocado.
Snacks: usually a mix of fats and proteins, eaten in the late afternoon.  I like nuts, protein bars, fruit with nut butter, yogurt with various add-ins, low fat milk or soy milk, eggs, etc.
Dessert: almost always involves chocolate. ūüôā ¬†I like hot cocoa with dark chocolate melted in, oats with protein powder, peanut butter, and chocolate chips, pumpkin with cinnamon and yogurt, frozen berries, plain dark chocolate, and weird combinations of the above.
I make sure to eat enough to get me through lots of studying and running and yoga and life.  I would estimate about 2500 calories a day, although less when I am running less.
So there you have it. ¬†The RWTL “diet.” ¬†How would you characterize your “diet”?
Oh, and some Halloween pics for fun.  Guess what I am!
How was your Halloween weekend? ¬†Anything fun? ¬†What’s on the table for this week?