Day 2: Adjusting

Today’s Happy Note: I had an interesting class this evening!  Score.  So far I have felt mostly sleepy and bored in school, but I think it’s just my body/mind transitioning back into student mode.  The one this evening was called Narrative and Human Rights.  Cool, no?

I only had two classes today.  I have three, normally, but Iyengar Yoga doesn’t start until next week.  I’m pretty excited about it!  Confession: I feel asleep about eight times in my seminar this morning.  It’s the same slightly crazy prof I wrote about yesterday.  I have the pleasure of having him for two classes.  Happy happy joy joy.  He seems interesting though, and most definitely knowledgeable.  The problem is that he is so knowledgeable that he spends the entire class talking about the background to the background of the history of the material he’s teaching.  That doesn’t even make sense but I swear that’s what he does.

Harumph.

Marathon Training: Wednesday’s are usually an “easy” day on my plan.  Today consisted of four sloooooowwwww miles with 6×100 meter strides in the last mile.  I took advantage of my very open day to squeeze in 40 minutes of weights at the gym too (arms/abs).  I always forget how much I walk during school days.  I probably did about 3 miles walking today as well.

Eats:

Gloppy-looking 1/3 cup of oats with a fresh peach and an invisible scoop of sunbutter (~2 tablespoons).

Snacky day (also had another spoonful pb).

Lunch!  Don’t let this innocent looking smoothie fool you; it has four servings of produce!  Frozen berries, half a banana, spinach, and cucumber slices (plus almond milk and vanilla protein powder).  I really liked it, but it needed ice.  This is one of the great dilemmas of my life: my mini fridge freezer is too small for an ice tray. I need ice in my life.  I crave it — I chew on it (I know it’s a terrible habit) and think it makes smoothies infinitely better.  I can easily go through a whole tray in one smoothie.

So now my life (and my smoothies) are iceless.  I don’t know what to do.  Help!  Anyone have any ice-making solutions?

I did indeed bring my own nut butter to The Lite Choice (in my defense, I only had the AB in my bag because I was on my way back from WF).

Stir fry leftovers (shrimp, rainbow chard, yellow squash, broccoli,  yellow pepper, coconut, peanut dressing) with brown rice for dinners.  Just had some hot cocoa to end the day, with a little dark chocolate melted in (my favorite way to eat it).

I feel like this is a good, healthy intake for a day of moderate exercise.  I can never tell if I am eating too little, enough, or enough. Eating is a funny thing because every body is different. I am proud of myself, though, for trying to figure out what works for me.  I feel pretty good right now, like I had enough but not too much.  I don’t want to fall into the comparison trap, so I try to think of my eating only in terms of myself — also, I need to remember that most of my friends and peers are not training for a marathon and running 40-50 miles a week right now.  So when I’m with friends and they don’t snack after dinner (or after lunch, or after breakfast, or after snack, or…), I need to not freak out and think I’m being weird or overeating.  I just need to remember to listen to my body.  It gets easier everyday that I do it. 🙂

I hope you all had splendid, happy Wednesdays!

FYI, L has been on vacation so I’ll be at therapy on Friday this week.  Thereafter I *think* I’ll be switching to Thursdays for the rest of the semester.

Goodnight friends!

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Hungry Caronae/Back To School Adventures

Today’s Happy Note: I survived the first day of classes!  Definitely something to celebrate.

Okay, so I’m going to go ahead and be straightforward about something: I have senioritis, and I have it bad.  I want nothing to do with lectures or seminars or expensive textbooks or essays.  I do not want to write response papers or sit still for two hours at a time.  I’m just not good at it.  I’m tired of it.  But alas, I do want to graduate from college and have come to terms with the fact that I need to make it through this year.  Some of my classes seem like they could potentially be interesting.  Others seem downright snore-inducing, at best, and offensive to my sense of self at worst (case in point: I had a professor say to us today “This is my last year of teaching; I am retiring next year.  Therefore I can say and do whatever I want and there are no consequences — I can teach you total bullshit if I want!”).

That pretty much sums up the day.  Blah.

Marathon Training: I took advantage of yesterday’s rest day and did a lot of yoga and stretching.  I took a class at Yoga Vida and the instructor showed me a few poses that help stretch out the back of the hip.  They have been feeling great so far and I had no pain on today’s run!  Today was speed work day.  I did 2 miles GP (goal pace — 10:00 miles for me)/2 x 2 miles Tempo (about 9:00 miles for me)/3 miles GP.  Same as last week.  I felt a little bit stronger, especially on the second set of 2 miles.  I might have been just under a 9:00 pace — I don’t have a watch so I don’t know precisely what my time is.  To be honest I kind of like it that way.  There is no pressure and I feel physically freer.  I ended up with about 9.5 miles in about 95 minutes.

I was hangry today — like so hangry that I was ready to gnaw my arm off twenty minutes after every meal.  I think there are two things going on here:

1. I did not eat enough Sunday after my 16-miler (or Monday, for that matter) and

2. My metabolism has officially entered what I like to call “Marathon-training-overdrive-mode.”

Hmmmm.  At this point I am still in the noticing-and-not-judging phase.  I think I have been doing a great job with healthy fats (I have incorporated things like avocados, plain nuts, flax meal, more oils like EVOO, etc.).  I think that helps.  I think eating more frequently also helps.  It’s bothersome because gaining weight is the last thing I need right now.

I am feeling strong and fast though, so that’s a good thing.  Higher mileage makes a hungrier Caronae, I suppose.  One other thing I like to do is photograph everything I eat because it helps me keep track of how much I have had and not snack mindlessly.

Any other runners out there who know how to deal with that bottomless-pit feeling?

I realized yesterday that I have not shared an Adventure with you in weeks!  I have been having small adventures here and there, but nothing blog-worthy.  Until yesterday! USB happens to be an avid adventurer and explorer, which is wonderful.  I love people who like to do things.  He had a surprise adventure for me yesterday!

Can you guess?

It’s the US Open! Somehow USB’s friend had extra tickets to see Roger Federer’s fourth round match vs. Jurgen Melzer.  I’ll be the first to admit that I do not follow traditional sporting events, but this was quite fun (although perhaps USB’s presence had something to do with that… :)).  My dad is obsessed with Federer and always used to make me watch his matches on ESPN, so it was neat to see him play live.  He was clearly very talented (although Melzer put up an admirable fight).

I love getting out and seeing the world, in whatever way that may be — travelling, exploring a new neighborhood in the city, or seeing a sporting event, in this case.  I think that my adventuresome, open spirit is one of my favorite things about myself.  If I hadn’t gone out for a run to the Union Square Park Farmer’s Market a few weekends ago I never would have met USB!

What is one of your most favorite things about yourself?

Onto dinner…

This was my first time really cooking in the new dorm kitchen.  It is not an ideal kitchen, but it gets the job done, and this was pretty damn tasty.  I sauteed a giant pile (as in it was the size of a tennis racket) of rainbow chard in EVOO, salt, and pepper.  I then added in broccoli, yellow bell pepper, and yellow squash.  I rinsed and drained some thawed TJ’s precooked shrimp and threw those in, along with a “sauce” of TJ’s spicy peanut vinaigrette and shredded coconut.  I topped it all with avocado.  The asian-inspired flavors here were amazing!  I hardly ever measure anything, but the combinations were just right.  It turned out sort of stew like, because the chard was half-frozen and released a lot of water.  I didn’t mind though!  I might try this same stir-fry combo again in the future with the goal of making a soup.  It was the best homecooked meal I have had in quite some time, and the best part is that I made enough to have about four rounds of leftovers.

I won’t lie, I was a little bit proud of myself.

I am more than ready for bed!  Goodnight.

Tell me how all of your days were — I feel like even if you didn’t start school or a new job or anything, today was sort of the beginning of fall.  What’s new and exciting and autumnul in your life right now?

Important Discoveries: Food Edition

Today’s Happy Note: I try to avoid making food my happy note, but today was a very grumpy day and not much else seemed joyful.  So I’m gonna go ahead and say that my frozen yogurt (cookies and cream/vanilla) with chocolate chips made me happy.  TLC is better though.

Gak!  I wanted to post last night, but discovered that the internet at my new apartment is not yet functional.  I’m going to get a new router tonight so hopefully that will solve things (by the way — I discovered that this is what I needed after talking, for free, with an agent at geeksquad online — it was incredibly helpful!).

I flew back to NY yesterday.  I can’t decide to say whether I “flew home” or “left home”.  Weird.

Plane lunch and snacks!

Shrimp/garlic hummus/spinach sammy on seedy whole grain bread.  This combo was a wise choice indeed.  I am in love with garlic hummus but am afraid to bring it in lunches for fear that my breath would smell.  But seeing as I was on a plane where I knew no one, I went for it. 🙂

Other snacks: orange pepper strips, apple, peanuts, cinnamon roll larabar, cashews in the evening.

Always, always, always plan ahead for travel! You can save money, eat healthfully, and enjoy your food when you do this.  For most flights, I recommend packing a variety of snacks and a sandwich.  Portable and convenient.  I wrapped my sammy in cling wrap and then put it in a plastic bag.  Travel is the one time when I am not nice to the environment with my lunch — tupperware just doesn’t cut it.  Ideal travel snacks: cut up fruits and veggies, granola bars, trail mix, plain cereal, sandwiches, etc.  FYI: don’t bring yogurt.  It is, apparently, a gel — I’ve had it taken away before.  Another thing I like to do is bring my own water bottle (EMPTY) and then fill it from a drinking fountain when I get through security.  No overpriced plastic bottles for me!

What are your favorite travel snacks?

When I got to the new apartment, I did some unpacking and then faced the grocery store monster (I was tired).  Thankfully, WF was not crowded (the one on the UWS almost never is) and it wasn’t so bad.  I got a tasty, easy dinner there as well:

Delish.  Serious question: has anyone ever spent less than $10 at the WF hot/cold/salad bars?  Is it possible? I figured I needed a treat after all that travelling (which, by the way, I totally count as exercise.  Especially when getting lost on the E train and having to walk everywhere with my heavy suitcase.  Dear JFK airport, YOU ARE THE WORST AIRPORT IN THE WORLD.  And this girl has done her fair share of travelling).

This morning I got up bright and early.  Okay, well it was actually seven.  I know some bloggers get up at 5 or 6 to exercise.  I have no idea how they make it through the work day.

I ran a decent five miles along the river.  It’s fun planning out new routes and paths from my new place — it’s less than a mile from my dorm, but the perspective and mileage is totally different!  I like switching things up like that once in a while 🙂

Today’s eating discoveries:

I made a major discovery at breakfast: you CAN cook instant oats (from a packet) on the stovetop!  And they get thick like regular oats.  Why would I do this?  Well, normally I am rushed in the morning and hate cooking oats on the stove, but the apartment seems to lack a microwave and I have no intentions of buying one.  Grumph.

Other extremely significant discoveries (seriously, I should become, like, a food reporter or something.  How fun would that be?)…

~Crack wraps taste good un-melted too!

~Frozen yogurt makes me feel better after a terrible day at therapy, everytime!

~Kashi dark mocha almond granola bars are yummy.  I was always afraid to try them because I thought, “a coffee-flavored granola bar, really?  Gross!”  But good thing this is so not the case.  It had that palatable, sweet, chocolaty coffee taste.  Like coffee ice cream.  I like this better than I like their cherry dark chocolate (my former favorite).

~Cooking dinner for yourself, by yourself, day after day, gets a little lonely and boring. 😦  I need a dinner companion!

I had therapy today (instead of Monday since I was travelling).  I think I’ll share my reflections tomorrow because I don’t want this post to be a massive text-monster and I need more time to think.  I just have not had a good month or so with therapy.  It’s frustrating for every session not to go the way I want it.  What’s even more frustrating is that it’s kind of my fault — I basically refuse to talk to my (sweet, kind, understanding) therapist about everything.  It’s very strange.  As soon as I arrive and sit down, I feel angry and sad and stubborn and like I would rather die than tell her anything about my life.  I have no clue why this might be happening but I hope I will get over it very soon.  Anyone have any ideas?

I hope you are all having the most lovely of weeks.  Summer is coming!

Home Is Where…

Today’s Happy Note: Family dinner!  I have not had a beautiful, home cooked family dinner with all members of my family (mom, dad, sister, me, cat) present at the same time in months, if not a year or more.  It was delicious, comforting, and loving.  🙂  And yes, my parents are divorced.  They’re still best friends!

Vegetables galore!

Pad thai cooking away!  My sister has the best pad thai recipe outside of Thailand.

My sister and me! Some people seem to think we’re twins, others think we look nothing alike.  She’s actually five years older.

Exercise:

Yesterday (Friday): 6 mile run plus four hours worth of MOVING  which I did entirely by myself.  It was a serious workout.  At one point a friend helped me lift a huge box back onto a dolly, and another friend returned a rolling bin for me, but everything else was all me.  Independent women rule.

Today (Saturday): Travelling with heavy bags.  Hey, that’s serious — I was lugging my bags around for five hours.  Won’t go into the details of why (JFK airport=evil) but suffice it to say my arms are feeling it right now.

So as you’ve probably noticed by now, yesterday I MOVED and today I am “HOME”. But, proximity does not imply relationship!  I did move, but not back home.  I moved into my apartment for the summer and then flew back to Michigan today.  Needless to say it’s been an exhausting two days, and I want to go cuddle with my sister and have some ice cream right about now.

Up in the air!

Random selection of eats from the past few days:

Biscoff.  In honor of Kath!

Cookie Friday and caramel fudge lite choice in one day.  It was that kind of a day.

Storytime: Home

Two and a half years ago, after about a semester of living in NYC, I felt decently at home there.  I knew that I felt a special connection to the city and that it would probably be an extraordinarily meaningful place for me.  I knew how I felt looking across the rivers, finding beautiful buildings, or noticing a depth of cultural diversity.  I knew these things made me thrilled and happy and I even referred to the city as my “home.”  Well, actually, I thought of the city as one of my homes, with my town in Michigan and the house that I grew up in being my other home.  They were both my special places.  In Michigan, I have open spaces with the most lovely pumpkin fields and running trails that wind lazily through meadows.  In New York, I have wonderful buzzing streets and 20-story buildings and thousands of restaurants in reach.

My father picked me up from the airport this afternoon.  As we made our way along the highway and then along smaller city roads and then onto the little side street where my house sits — looking content and almost serene — I had one of the biggest realizations I’ve had in a long while: New York is not only where I live now.  It is my home.  New York being my home was a story that I told myself for the last three years, and in a small sense, it was true.  But in the larger sense — of “home” being where my life and love and passions and future and everyday joy comes from — I wasn’t quite ready to declare the city my home.  It is now, and I suddenly knew this quite clearly today.

At the same time I feel a deep longing for my family.  I am not a child, but I am still a rather young person: I’m twenty years old.  I have been living on my own for three years now and I still miss them deeply, daily.  Many people refer to “home” as a place where their family is, and in that sense, I will always have a home in Michigan.  But in 5-10 years I think I will have my own family and I believe that it will surely be in New York.  With that said, being here, with the three people in the world for whom I have the most powerful, beautiful feeling of love, is a gift.  My mother, sister, and I have not lived together in seven years.  That’s more than a third of my life.  I intend to treasure this time with them (a week and a half) as I suspect that, outside of vacations, it is the last time we will be together in one place.  And not any place either, our original home.  Where we climb crab apple trees and jump from thick ropy willows and hide under the sleeping bags in the basement and sit at the same mahogany walnut wood dining table that we have sat at since before I was born.

The conclusion?  I love both places — among other places that are meaningful,including a special spot in Northern Michigan and Ottawa, the capital of Canada — but New York has moved from a place that I live to a home.  When I walk down Broadway and know exactly how the ground feels at every street corner, I know this.  I feel it.  When I lie down in the sun in Central Park I feel a bit like a compass, sometimes.  Like a compass that knows exactly where it’s pointing and wants to point in that direction.  I sprawl out into a star shape, my limbs different places in my life.  And through all this, I am centered in the city.  The gorgeous, flying city.  City like a flock of birds.