Middle of The Week Blues

Today’s Happy Note: Free food.  Seriously, what is better in this world than free food?  Okay, I will admit that I am kind of a free food snob — I won’t eat anything that looks suspicious, greasy, etc.   But still.  There are a lot of options.  Today alone I garnered a piece of pineapple cake, hors d’oeuvres, and a fudgy brownie.  I am a free food expert.

Ooof.  I am suffering from those middle-of-the-week blues.  I can’t seem to get in gear.  My brain feels foggy.  My body feels tired.  For some odd reason (warning: sarcasm ahead), I have no interest in wading through 800+ pages of Ibn Khaldun…

But enough of my complaining!  When I am feeling down or overwhelmed, I remember how many good things I have going for me. Here are a few:

  • I have a pantry and a fridge stocked with delicious, wholesome foods.   Right now I am loving TJs sesame honey cashews, frozen blueberries, and fresh mozzarella (not all together though!).
  • I got an A on the first paper of the semester that I have gotten back.  I never get A’s on papers, so I was super thrilled about this.
  • My laundry is clean.
  • Lovely fall weather.
  • I am going to be running a very exciting marathon in less than two weeks.  I have two legs that do amazing things!
  • I have kind, sweet friends and a loving, thoughtful boyfriend.
  • I have an awesome, if a little bit crazy, family.  My mama might be coming to visit me for my birthday/marathon weekend (I turn 21 on Saturday November 6th and run the ING NYC Marathon on Sunday November 7th)!
  • I’m resilient!
  • I write well.  I’m working on an essay right now about the color red.  The entire thing consists of different ways of saying “red”.
  • I have a lovely long weekend to look forward to, full of baking and friends and USB and five whole days of no school.
Much better. 🙂
Marathon Training: Yesterday as a rest/cross training day, as Mondays always are.  I was too antsy to rest, so I did Level 1 of the 30 Day shred in the evening followed by 10 minutes of kettlebell swings and yoga.  Easy peasy 30 minute workout.  I love reminding myself that sometimes, it is so not necessary to spend hours working out.  Today I did 7.5 miles: 2 warm-up, 4 Tempo, 1.5 cool-down. The Tempo part went really well, and I felt like I was flying.  Afterwards I felt dead though.  The cool-down was pretty much a joke.  I looked like a dying animal staggering home.  Meh.
It’s taper, and weird things happen during tapers, so I’m not going to worry about it.
Food time!
I have been craving a ton of snacky food lately — I’d rather have a handful of nuts or yogurt with pumpkin and blueberries than real meals.  Sometimes I wonder if I should try eating less frequent, bigger meals, instead of constantly being snacky all day.  But at the same time, I like being snacky: it means I get to eat a wider variety of delicious things more frequently!
Hmmm,  decisions, decisions.
I don’t really plan on doing any fooling around with my diet until after the marathon, so I have a week or two to think things over.  I’m seeing endocrine soon (FINALLY) and can’t wait. I don’t like being poked and having tests done and whatnot, but it will be worth it to figure out what’s going on!
I know I promised a post about the way I eat last week.  Stay tuned, I promise it’s coming this week!
Oh, and the jeans I mentioned the other day.  I figured I should share (by the way, I am morally opposed to mirror pictures and would never take one outside of the context of trying to show you guys what something looks like when no one else is around to take the picture.  I hope you will forgive me):
They’re super comfy and make me feel confident.  A winning purchase, in my book.
Anything you want to complain about?  Middle of the week got you down? Let me hear it!
What do you have going for you?  How do you make yourself feel better when you’re feeling blah?

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!

Dear Peanut Butter: I Love You

Today’s Happy Note: Mission room packing = successful!  I have a few more clothes to throw in here and there, but I’m pretty much set.  Yay!  It was actually quite tricky since I had to pack for three separate categories: stuff being stored over the summer, stuff being moved into my apartment tomorrow, and stuff going home with me for the next two weeks.  Crazy!

Good news friends: peanut butter is back in my life! I ran out about a week ago; I ran out of almond butter a few days ago.  A life sans nut butter is a sad sad life indeed.  I “borrowed” some from my friend Jonathon today and he let me take the whole jar!  It was almost empty and will be perfect for some OIAJ tomorrow morning.  Yum.

I enjoyed my “borrowed” pb with frozen yogurt and m and ms.  I needed a mid-week pre-packing pick me up and this fit the bill.  Sweet, melty, nutty, chocolaty, creamy, and cold.  I have a serious crush on frozen yogurt.

I am not sure to what lengths I would go to get pb or another nut butter if there was a situation where I had been deprived of it for a long time or if it was scarce.  Peanut butter and peanuts are actually a really important food in diets all over the world.  Certain nations in Africa that have, sadly, gone in and out of famine situations over the past decade, have seriously benefited from mass donations of peanut butter and especially a product called PlumpyNut , which delivers a high calorie high protein punch to malnourished children.

Peanut butter is really a great food, as long as you don’t get a version that has added sugars (although sometimes I do splurge for tasty specialty nut butters with sugar or other flavorings, such as Naturally Nutty or Peanut Butter and Co.)  It has protein, healthy monounsaturated fats, and vitamins E and B (info from wikipedia).  In my mind, peanut butter is like, a super-super food!

My top ten peanut butter uses:

1. Spooned into warm oats (it gets all melty).

2. With apples!  Especially honeycrsip and granny smith.

3. With carrots.

4. Mixed into yogurt.

5. With ice cream for a decadent dessert.

6. With chocolate.  This combination works in any way, shape or form!  I like to take a few squares of dark chocolate and make a pb “sandwich.”

7. With pumpkin or pumpkin butter.

8. Good old fashioned pb and j sandwiches (I like blackberry or raspberry jams).

9. In protein smoothies: I eat it with tons of fruit, yogurt, and protein powder all mixed up for post long-run recovery.

10. Pb and spinach sandwiches!  They’re amazing!

What are your favorite uses of peanut butter or other nut butters?  Or are you — gasp — not a nut butter fan?

Exercise: I was going to run this morning but realized that that was really not what I wanted!  I quickly packed my gym bag instead and hit up the icky school gym for 30 minutes of arm weights (did some new exercise today and I’m feeling it!) and 40 minutes on the elliptical (10 minute warm-up, 20 minutes HIIT, 10 minute cool down).  Twas a nice little workout.

I have been a good girl and used up most of my food.  I had to throw a few things out, but it was all stuff that takes forever to get through, and I did try valiantly.

Purple overnight oats!  I don’t like overnight oats, but the flavors in this somehow worked.  Blackberries, a wee bit of vanilla oikos, kashi vanilla oatmeal, water, cashews, and mango butter.

Work lunch:

I tried this new bar for my afternoon snack and it was wonderful!  One of the best bars I’ve ever had.  It’s clif’s version of a lara bar, but actually better than a lara bar.  It was cherry-pomegranate flavor.  Noms all around.

Hodgepodge but yummy dinner — Amy’s lentil vegetable soup with a side of steamed broccoli, refried pinto beans, and an EVOO drizzle.

I just finished eating more oatmeal with more pb.  Hey, it’s that good.  That is one of the best foods that blogs introduced me to.  I tried it after seeing it on Kath’s blog right after I started reading blogs about a year and a half ago.  It made me like blogs very much. 🙂

I’m going to have to buy most of my meals tomorrow, which I don’t love doing.  But there are worse things!  I’m looking forward to having Mexican tomorrow night!

What’s your favorite takeout food?

Goodnight loves!  Happy Friday!

Health Changes!

Daily Creativity:  Markers.  I have some.  And they are begging to be used.  Honestly, I much prefer pastels, but those are at home, so the markers will have to satisfy my coloring craving.  What’s your favorite way of drawing?

Today was hands down one of the rainiest, wettest, windiest days of my life.  I left my dorm a total of three times and went through three pairs of pants and three jackets, because each time I returned home so soaked that I needed new ones to be dry again.  I love the rain far more than most people, but this was some serious business.  Normally I even like to run in the rain, but I think it actually would have been legit dangerous to do my long run today.  Instead of whining about that and moping around the house  (aka room) all day, I made a backup plan last night!  I headed to the gym instead with a fresh, crisp newspaper.  Well, it wasn’t so crisp by the time I got there, despite being tucked into the bottom of my bag.  It was wet and droopy.  But alas, we don’t get everything we want in life.  I was really pleased with my workout; it was 90 minutes of cleansing, sweating, powerful, invigorating joy.

Workout:

4 miles on treadmill, shifting between speeds from 6.0-6.5 mph

30 minutes strength training: I did three sets of four exercises, with each set containing 3 sets of 12 reps.  I alternated between arm and ab exercises.

2 miles on treadmill,  1 @ 6.5, 0.5 @ 6.2, 0.5 @6.0

1/4 mile walking cooldown.

Twas the perfect Saturday afternoon pick me up.

Health Change #1:

I didn’t sleep well again last night, yet again.  I was still awake at four and realized that I was hungry.  I think this was actual hunger because it had been over six hours since dinner, so I decided to have a snack.  Then another snack.  And another.  TJ’s mini peanut butter cracker sandwiches are dangerous with a glass of chocolate soymilk.  I think my biggest “food issue” (and we ALL have them, in some way or another, I think — no one is a perfect eater) is not so much about food but about sleep.  I tend to be either the most tired or the most wired in the evening/night; both of these states leave me feeling very emotional.  Emotions often lead to snacking.  I wish so much that I could just fall asleep consistently at the same time night after night.  I think that would make things easier, and so, after break, I am going to try to make an effort to be consistent with my bedtime and sleeping.  The goal is to be in bed at 10:30, lights out at 11:00, and up at 7:00-7:30 so that I can workout before classes.  This pattern has hands down been the most effective for me in the past.  If I finish classes at 6:00, I have 4 hours to study and make dinner.  This is doable.  And getting my workout done before I start my day is great; I’m usually too tired after classes.

So that’s the very long-winded plan.  I think better sleep will potentially lead me to better health.  Not that my current state of health is bad, but I genuinely do want to nix the nighttime eating habit and my general drowsiness.

Health Change #2:

Another change I’m making is starting food journaling.  I joined SparkPeople because I’ve heard good things about it.  I really would like to banish for good about 8-10 pounds, and I tend to eat mindlessly/emotionally.  I know that I will have to be very careful not to take the journaling/counting too far.  I will NEVER restrict when I am genuinely hungry; I aim to eat intuitively, and if there is a day when intuitively leads to 2500 calories, so be it.  I just want to record things so that I end up with 2500 on that day, and not 3000.  Does that make sense?  I also want to use the journal to record my strength training!  I would like to be more toned come spring and summer, ideally.  Not just because of bikini season — I enjoy feeling strong and powerful, and I know that strength training has plenty of health benefits.  In fact, I don’t even think I own a bikini right now, oddly enough…

I do NOT intend to banter about my journal, recording, or calories on my blog.  I respect my readers of all backgrounds and I don’t think this would be enjoyable or useful for a lot of you; I also do not want to become obsessed.  The blog will stay the same; I’ll still be talking about what I do for my health, like running, yoga, attending therapy, and coming up with fun wholesome recipes.

Health Change #3:

A few weeks ago I did a no-dairy/low-dairy challenge, and noticed that my digestion seemed a bit better.  After reading Caitlin’s (BTW, go wish her good luck in her triathlon tomorrow!) decision the other day, and reading Averie’s comments/advice on the subject, I’ve decided to continue eating only one serving of dairy a day, be it yogurt, milk, cheese, or ice cream.  I think I feel better with this amount and if it turns out later on it isn’t working, I’ll reevaluate!

Random Eats From Today:

I bought myself a giant puzzle and have been working on it today!  I also hung out with my best friends for a while and then went to see Alice In Wonderland with one of them.  It was just okay — the visuals and design were stunning, and the acting was quite good, but the plot seemed to just drag along.

Have an excellent Sunday bloggies!

Fears, Foods, Friday, Fun

Daily Creativity: More writing.  Not very interesting, but it’s so important for me.  I’m officially on spring break now (yay) and last night I just did a giant freewrite about all the things I don’t have to do.  It was such a relief to see this massive list and just feel free of obligations for a while.  Now if only I were going somewhere warm…

I’m going back to Michigan over break and am hoping to get in some serious trail running.  I guess not too serious seeing as the race is the 21st, which is sad because I’d love to just hit the trails for an exhausting ten miles everyday.  But I *probably* shouldn’t do that.  Sigh…

This is probably the last time I’ll be home before late spring/early summer.  For me trail running in the summer means one thing and one thing only: snakes.  I am beyond terrified of them and this is utterly and completely ridiculous because the only snakes that ever come out on the trails are garters or other non-dangerous snakes.  There are massasauga rattlers where I live but they mostly stay in the woods.  I have run into snakes on hot, dry trails in summer on a few runs (like less than 10% of the time) but I am still so scared.  I’m really ashamed of it; my mom often hikes while I run and she’s all like “get over it!”   But I can’t.  Just seeing the snake sitting on the path in front of me makes me freeze up.  Plus, on a trail with a ton of hills, curves, and roots, I’m afraid I won’t see the snake in time to stop and I’ll step on it or get too close or something.  I totally avoid the trails in summer, actually, unless I feel really really brave.

Snakes are my biggest fear, more than being alone forever or men or having too many people around me.  They’re just so tangible.  I kind of had a tramautic episode with a snake as a child and ever since I’ve had this very real, visceral fear of them.  Yuck.  Any suggestions?

Okay, sorry for just talking about snakes for so long on my healthy living blog.  What’s your biggest fear?

Eats!

Breakfast: yogurt, banana, cinnamon in a pb jar topped with a few nuts (I picked the almonds off because I wasn’t in the mood).  I have to really be in the mood for almonds or it’s a no-go.  I’m glad I was able to recognize the fact that I really didn’t want them and therefore didn’t need to eat them.  Also had some British Breakfast tea with milk and honey.  I can’t decide which I like more in the mornings, British Breakfast or Green tea.  Do you have a favorite tea?

Lunch = SIAB!  Mandarin orange passion fruit smoothie from the bubble tea store.  Topped with yogurt, granola, and cashews/brazil nuts.  I bought a little single serving container of granola because I really wanted some but didn’t trust myself with a box.  That was a good choice because I went back for the rest (with a little chocolate soymilk) immediately after eating this (about half the granola was on the smoothie).  This was a very yummy lunch.  I think anything is more fun when it can be eaten with a spoon (see dinner).  I’m trying to cut back to one serving of dairy a day, like Caitlin.  I had two yogurts today though.

Snack was about a serving of these dried pineapple rings, which I actually like more than regular pineapple, consumed throughout the afternoon.  And a small unpictured apple.  He was very disappointing; no crunch whatsoever and a total lack of flavor.  Yuck.  Must get more apples at farmer’s market tomorrow.

Dinner: TJ’s carrot ginger soup (about two cups worth) that I caronae-ified with spinach, carrot-sweet potato-apple mixture, hummus, and steak.  This was a really wonderful combination.  I love big, veggie-filled one-bowl dinners.  Consumed entirely with a spoon.  The steak was the most tender, wonderful piece of meat I have ever cooked.  I was so proud of myself!

Dessert was his sweet, juicy, and very pink orange.

I didn’t run or workout today, i.e., it was a total rest day for me.  This feels so strange.  I definitely struggle with feelings of guilt when I do this but I haven’t completely rested in a while, it’s the end of the week, I’m tired.  So there.  I just have to remind myself that I am very physically active so much of the time that the occasional rest day is a good thing!  It’s weird how un-hungry I’ve been compared to usual.  I definitely feel like I did’t need to eat as much at all!

Okay, off to go watch Numb3rs (yes, I know how painfully nerdy I am) with a cup of tea.  Hope you’re having an excellent Friday night!

Any fun weekend plans? I plan on doing my last long run followed by a museum adventure!  It’s so nice to have a weekend in this wonderful city that isn’t going to be consumed by studying.

I Like Me.

Today’s Mini Goal: RELAX.  Tomorrow I am going to stay calm, stay in the present, unclench my jaw, unfurl my fists, and take slow, counting breaths.

My training plan technically only calls for five days a week of running at this point.  As I get to my peak, I’ll do six for a few weeks, but right now, five is fine.  I was going to head out today after work, which would have made it a six day week, but then I told myself that I needed a break, it was dark, and I was tired.  I’m glad I made that call.  I think I’m going to do the shred (probably level 2) and some abs later, and I walked about two miles earlier.

Okay, let me repeat that.  I’m going to do the shred.  Do you know what that means????  Probably not, in less you have been an extremely perceptive reader, but it means I have my laptop back (obviously, I can’t so much do the shred in my school computer lab or my floor’s tv lounge)!  Presumably,  this would be an extremely joyous event, but it actually turned out to be extraordinarily stressful.  Let me explain…

I went for a walk after work.  Deposited a check, got a small snickers flavor at The Lite Choice (using one of my coupons, talked about here), and headed down to Best Buy to pick up my computer.  On the bus ride there, I started having a little mini panic attack.  For some reason, I felt like I was seeing couples everywhere around me, and I just started feeling intensely, painfully sad.  About being single (which, to me, means alone), lonely; feeling “unlovable.”  This is how my depression talks to me — it tells me these very negative, sad things that make me retreat into myself.  Honestly, that was a very scary bus ride.  Briefly, I was transported back to a place I never want to go again.  When I got off and walked into Best Buy, I asked one of the saleswomen where the Geek Squad section was (they had my computer).  When I heard my voice, I almost jumped backwards, not recognizing it as coming from my own body.  It was small, diminished, weak, unclear, fearful.  It was not my voice.  I was wearing a lavender sweater with a hood on it, and I felt distinctly as though the front of me was collapsing into the back of me; like I would eventually just fold inwards so many times that I wouldn’t be visible.  I have no idea why this was going on.  Maybe it was hormonal or chemical or I was tired or stressed from a difficult week.  I don’t know, but I don’t like that place.

So that’s the beginning of the saga.  When I went down to pick up my computer, everything seemed fine.  That is, until I turned it around and realized that they had failed to secure the hinge in the back on the left side.  The reason I sent the computer in in the first place is because the entire hinge was broken off so that I could lift up the left side of my screen, and wires and tubing were poking out of everywhere.  This is all fixed.  But they didn’t secure the hinge.  I asked the sales rep if this was a problem, and he examined it and concluded that the repair people had made a serious mistake.  Um, okay?  I just had my computer sent off to another state to be repaired for a month and you basically didn’t fix the whole thing?  I almost burst into tears right there.  Instead, I decided to be authoritative.  I told the salesman (who was quite nice; it wasn’t his fault) that there were two options here:

1. It could be fixed immediately; i.e. over the weekend.

OR

2. They could furnish me with a replacement while they shipped my baby off for another month.

Apparently these people have low customer service standards, because neither of these options were palatable to them.  Basically, my only option was to send it back, “free of charge, of course.”  I was actually really insulted by this point — did they think that I would even consider paying them to fix part of the problem that they created in the first place????  Am I being irrational, or does this sound ridiculous?  I tried to explain to them that I’m a student and a writer — I’m kind of computer dependent.  But to no avail.  Disaster not averted.  Ugh.  At this point I have my computer, which I am grateful for, but the hinge remains open in the back.  I can take it down to Best Buy and have them ship it out again within 30 days if I decide I want it fixed, or, I can pay them another bajillion dollars the next time I have a month during which I don’t need my computer.  Which will be never.  Computer fail.

Sorry, rant officially over.

I called my mom when I left the store and just cried for a while, and felt marginally better afterwards.  Then I headed to Whole Foods for some retail therapy of the very best kind (I actually needed some groceries, so it was semi-legitimate!).  Finds:

My new vegetable!  Chayote squash!

Maranatha honey almond butter!!!! I had a few spoonfuls when I got home and it is so smooth and creamy with the perfect hint of honey.  Oddly enough, this was 9 dollars (I considered it my splurge purchase of the week) and the regular almond butter was 19 dollars for a jar???

I bought myself some flowers to cheer me up.  Tulips.  White ones.  Here’s my theory on flower buying: roses can be tacky, carnations are usually just plain ugly, lilies can be big and overwhelming, and pretty multi-color bouquets can clash with a room.  But you can’t go wrong with monochrome tulips.  Ever.  My mother has the most massive, gorgeous garden at home, and while I was there healing from last February through August, I picked lots of bouquets.  My favorite thing to have in a vase is peonies.  There aren’t many things more beautiful than freshly cut peonies sitting in a little bath of sunlight on my mother’s ancient mahogany dining table.

I also had some delicious apple pumpkin soup at WF:  Mmmmm….

Salad for lunch.  I was hardcore craving some tuna.  Weird.

And for breakfast I was hard core craving a chocolate chip muffin.

There are times in life when you just need a giant pile of carbs for breakfast.  This muffin satisfied that need, and despite the lack of protein, fiber, or fruits, kept me full for over four hours.  Score one for muffins.

I got some maple buckwheat flakes cereal and had a bowl of that with my soup (things you eat in bowls are always tastier).  It was really good, just sweet enough to be satisfying, but not sugar-coma/craving inducing.  Score one for maple buckwheat flakes cereal.

I am spending the evening with some books, some online tv, 20 minutes of shredding, jasmine tea, and me, myself, and I.  Last night I went out with friends, and I can usually handle only one night out per weekend.  I know, lame.

I really need some positive self talk right now.  Please feel free to ignore this; I’m kind of talking to myself here.  Okay, here goes.  I am a good writer.  I am training for a half marathon.  I get good grades.  I’m a good friend.  I have a good heart.  I am a good baker.  I love me.

Why do you love you?

Alright, hope everyone has an excellent weekend.  Let me know what you’re going to be up to (I have many fun things planned!)

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