Crazed Runner Thoughts

Today’s Happy Note: Getting started on schoolwork.  This is “happy” because it has been a big source of anxiety for me over the last few days and now that I finally have just started it doesn’t seem so bad!  I will have lots and lots of reading this semester, some interesting, some not.  Right now I’m reading about Harlem Renaissance Literature!

Marathon Training: Yesterday was a very lazy day.  I ate a lot.  When I wasn’t hungry.  Then napped.  Then remembered that I had to run five miles. Crap.  Had to do it on the street because it was already getting dark.  Boring.  Sweaty.  Came home and did 20-30 minutes of yoga. Felt better afterwards.  Marathon training really screws with your metabolism/hunger cues.  I want chocolate.

Sometimes I don’t even understand my thought process surrounding running. 🙂

Today I had to tackle 16 miles.  It’s funny how sometimes a long run can be wonderful (like last week) and sometimes it can really, really suck. Unfortunately, this week was of the sucky variety.

I decided to sleep in, rather than waking up at seven on a Sunday (contrary to popular belief, I am still in college and sometimes I do partake in college-like activities on weekends….).  This meant that I had to go to yoga before my long run instead of after.  Meh.  It was a really nice class, actually, although I probably tired out my legs a bit too much.  I love when we focus on mediation and emotional balance in tandem with the physical asana practice.

I set out for the 16 miles right after yoga, heading down the Hudson river, around Battery Park City, and back up the East River.  Thoughts:

Mile 1: Why do my calves hurt so much?  Why are they so tight?  I can’t think of any explanation for them feeling like this.  This does not make logical sense.  Oh wait, sometimes running makes no logical sense — I am running 16 miles and my friends are eating bagels and cream cheese in their PJs.  Ugh.

Mile 2: Now my calves hurt and I have to pee.  Okay, that’s sufficient discomfort to merit a quick stop.  I peed (in a bathroom, of course) then did some calf stretches, which helped.  It’s drizzling.  I like drizzling.  A little water never killed anybody.

Mile 3: Calves are easing up.  Good.  But now my hip and hamstring hurt.  But not a lot.  Just a little.  I should keep going though.

Mile 4: Why did I decide I was going to keep going, again?  I jsut ran four miles and now I have twelve more.  Also, why is there a random festival taking place on the running/walking path?

Mile 5: There is clearly a sign that says dogs are not allowed in this part of the park.  So why is your dog here?  Oh crap, it’s raining harder.  But I only have 11 miles left and it would be wimpy to stop now, even though the trajectory of the degree of raininess is clearly increasing.

Mile 6: I’m in Battery Park City, by lots of 9/11 monuments and memorials and such.  This is very sad.  I have never been able to fully organize my thoughts surrounding 9/11.  I didn’t live in New York then, but I do live here now.  I’m scared, sometimes.

Mile 7: Why in God’s name is anyone taking the ferry to Ellis Island and Liberty Island right now?  Why is the Staten Island Ferry orange?  It’s officially pouring.

Mile 8: the Lower East Side is unnecessarily confusing.  When am I going to get to Houston?  Shouldn’t I be at Houston already?  Why can’t there be real beaches in Manhattan?  I want to go swimming in the East River.  That would be really gross.

Mile 9: I do not like running up stairs.  I think my body wad not built for stairs — seriously, I get exhausted after a single flight.  Damn UN tourists.  Damn UN traffic.  I don’t like the streets on the Upper East Side.  The avenues should have been better organized.  If I were a municipal politician, I would be so good at organizing streets.  But I don’t think I would make a very good civil engineer.

Mile 10: Snacktime!  I don’t like cranberry flavored stuff (I also do’t like tomatoes, beets, olives, pickles, ham, american cheese, or white chocolate) but these cran-razz shot blocks are pretty good.  Like really sugary juice.  What classes do I have tomorrow?  Do they involve food?  Maybe I should make my own energy gels with dates and stuff.  It would be cheaper.  And healthier.  And I am far, far too lazy for that. It’s.  Still.  Raining.

Mile 11: I miss USB.  Crap, I can’t miss USB because I saw him 36 hours ago.  Pull yourself together, Caronae.  Wow, the water is really swirly and choppy here.  Good thing I took a class about the history of the city — I know exactly why it’s choppy!  It’s because there are a bunch of channels merging in this area and lots of people have drowned here.  I hope I’m not one of them.  I hope this creepy man doesn’t push me over the edge.  I can swim really well though, so at least I have that going for me.

Mile 12: There are many bridges on the East Side.  I can never remember which comes first.  My NYC bridge knowledge sucks.  My NYC street knowledge is, however,  excellent.  For example, I know that the hill pathway under the Queensboro Bridge at 60th Street is closed; therefore you have to go up York Street to 63rd in order to cross over FDR drive and get back onto the East River Esplanade.  sometimes I am so smart.  Other times I am terribly, terribly dumb.

Mile 13: I want to eat a burrito tonight.  Or maybe a taco.  Something Mexican.  Except I am feeling sort of queasy so that might not happen.

Mile 14: I am so soaked that my face is cold any I have officially gained about 7 pounds via the water that is weighing down my clothing.  Yup, I can see my yoga pants flapping about at the bottom because they are officially too heavy to stay put.  I am eating the rest of these shot blox now.  There are lots of homeless peopler under these bridges and overpasses and archways and such.  I feel bad for them.  It’s rainy.  I would give them my hot chocolate, if I had any.  I should have some hot chocolate when I finish this.

Mile 15: I am pretty much dragging my left leg at this point.  I look like one of those people struggling to finish an Ironman.  Except I have only done 15 miles, which is approximately 1546 times less hardcore.  Hip.  Hurts.  I hope this doesn’t derail my marathon training.

Mile 16: I have never loved the sight of Central Park so much.  I am almost hooommmmmeeee.  Except wait.  There are three giant hills standing in between me and home.  Yuck.  At least there are more runners here, who are also soaking wet, so maybe I don’t look like such an idiot.  I wonder what kinds of birds stick around for the winter.  Definitely swallows.  I always see swallows, everywhere.  But not cardinals or robins or blue jays.  Those only come back in the spring.  But they haven’t left yet because there is a blue jay, right there.   I think bird migration patterns are really cool.

End of Mile 16: This is the longest block of my life.  Look, there’s the hospital I was in!  I am glad I am not there anymore.  I want to have some sunflower seed butter now.

There you have it, 16 miles of one crazed runner’s thoughts.

Food from the weekend!

A fig and hazelnut scone.  Definitely…interesting.

That wrap was an excellent combination of TJ’s cilantro-jalapeno hummus, cheddar cheese, avocado, and yellow pepper.

Tomorrow is gonna be a long day.  Blech.  Morning workout, doctor’s appointments, work, class (yoga is starting!!!!), job recruitment meeting (with a company I really don’t want to work for but they would not stop harrasing me so I’m going because I feel bad), more class, activities, reading, laundry, dinner, more reading.

I need to remind myself to smile.  Nothing is ever so bad when you smile. 🙂

Happy Monday to all of you, my loves!

Tell me about your weekend!  And feel free to share any crazy-runner-thoughts, if you have them!

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Transition Stress/Long Run/Meat

Today’s Happy Note: My day involved plenty of chocolate.  Always a good thing.

Mental Health Note: Transitions, of any sort, are always stressful and tricky for me.  At this point in my life, I have come to accept that, and instead of trying to pretend that the stress isn’t there (and thereby making it much, much worse), I just acknowledge it and do my best to soothe myself.  I find moving around — which, unfortunately, happens a lot in college — not just physically exhausting, but emotionally draining as well.  I get attached to places.  I go back and forth between NYC and Michigan (and sometimes Canada) quite frequently.  I am in NYC right now, but have to move back into my dorm.  I’m also making a shift from full-time worker to full-time student and part-time worker.  My life patterns are not all that different during the school year, which helps to ease my mind.  I know that I will still eat oats with nut butter or smoothies for breakfast.  I know that I will find some time in the day to squeeze my run in and that I will make time for friends and life outside of school.

All this is to say that the stress is creeping up on me already — I can see and feel it. It sort of drapes its way around me and sits on my heart and body like a heavy scarf.  I move into my dorm room on Saturday and start classes Tuesday.  I have been mentally preparing myself.  One thing I find very helpful is finding room for extra sleep during my day/night.  Stress often leaves me sleepy-tired, and if I can either sleep 9 hours at night or 7-8 hours at night with a nap in the late afternoon, I am much happier and calmer.  Other things that help include lots of self-care (doing stuff like painting my nails, getting a massage, strolling in the park and looking at the flowers, etc.), reaching out to people I love, and eating delicious but clean foods.

How do you deal with life transitions — physically or emotionally or occupationally?  How do you relieve the stress/anxiety/tension? I love consistency, but I understand that, for the next few years, my life will not necessarily be straightforward.  I am learning how to find the excitement in this.

I got my run in this evening!  It was way too hot at the beginning, but eventually cooled down with a nice breeze. I did ten miles and actually felt really great during it.  I held about a 10 minute per mile pace, but was probably around 9:30 at some points.  I feel like I may finally be back up to pre-hospital strength!  Yay!  I also lifted weights for a quick 30 minutes.

Long run eats:

I’m not showing everything because I think it’s boring.  But I have done a good job keeping track.  And I don’t have a picture since I only just made it, but I am currently eating a delicious chocolate banana smoothie with TJ’s dark chocolate in a nut butter jar.  Nut butter jars make everything better. Seriously, I would be so thrilled if I got my Christmas and birthday presents in (clean) nut butter jars from now on.  It would be so cute!  I’m pretty sure my relatives already think I’m a weird foodie though, so I probably will go ahead and *not* make that request…

Lunch was kinda epic: steamed carrots/yellow squash, green grapes/cherry mix, and a turkey/cheddar/avocado wrap on a TJ’s multigrain tortilla.  I have a lunchtime sandwich fear, for some odd reason.  But on longer run days, I find it helpful to have a sandwich for the extra carbs/calories.  It works out perfectly fine because, when eating more earlier in the day, I eat less in the evenings.

Awesome new snack!  TJ’s (do you see a TJ’s them here?  Hmmmm….) peanut butter crunchy granola bar.  This was a tad sweet but definitely tasty.

Dinner involved more meat — apple chicken sausage, in honor of my sister (it’s one of her favorite foods, but I also really like it as well) with a GIANT salad of romaine, peppers, avocado, and TJ’s peanut vinaigrette (LOVE).  I had okra fries a la Meghann on the side.  They were actually really good.  When I cut up veggies like carrots, squash, or, in this case, okra, into fry form and bake them, I am not intending them as a fry replacement.  I just like roasted veggies.  But these were actually legitimately fry-like!  I coated them in salt, pepper, and EVOO and baked at 400 for about 30-ish (maybe 40?) minutes.  Okra=my new friend.  Oh, and if you are wondering why it’s dark in the above photo that’s because it’s purple okra!  I love veggies in fun colors.

Hello, okra.  You can come over for dinner anytime you want.  Have you had okra?  Do you like it?

Meaty talk:

I don’t eat a lot of meat.  But I think it can be a very healthy part of a diet and I will probably never go vegetarian. I do believe in ethical, moderate meat consumption.  I get as much of it as I can from the farmer’s market or other local, natural, and/or organic sources.  I just realized, while posting, that I had meat twice today! Turkey at lunch and chicken sausage at dinner.  And you know what?  I feel great. The protein and fat really work wonders for me.

I like all kinds of protein sources.  My favorites: salmon, shrimp, steak, turkey, tofu, lentils, black beans, tempeh, whole grains, greek yogurt, veggie burgers, cottage cheese, nut butters, and certain protein powders.

Your fave protein sources?

Bedtime for this stressed chica.  Goodnight friends! 🙂

Hot Running, Frozen Treats

Today’s Happy Note: Top Chef!  Anyone else watching this season?  I have never watched it before this summer, but it’s a lot of fun (except Padma’s voice is really annoying)!

I raaaaaaaan today!  Happy face.  I set out for 3-5 miles and ended up doing 4.  At first, I let the angry/bad thoughts come up (“you suck, you’re only doing four miles”, “you’ll never be thin and beautiful when you’re this lazy!”), but then I said, you know what “shut up self” and realized that for me, right now, 4 miles is an acocmplishment.  And I am proud of it.  It may have taken me 50 minutes, but it was also 90 degrees at seven AM and I was pretty tired.  I would love to run again tomorrow; we shall see.

I also did some strength training tonight since I have no idea when else I would be able to do it this week.  I lifted for about 40 minutes, doing leg, arm, and ab exercises.

The heat. Oh the heat.  If you live in the NYC area, you know what I am talking about: the dripping bodies, the sweltering, deathly subway stations, the cracked hydrants.  For everyone else: it’s been 100+ degrees the past few days.  I have had to do work stuff in the afternoon, which has meant being outdoors in the middle of the day.  Even if only for very brief periods of time, being out has been unbearable.  And I sweat.  And sweat.  And sweat.

There is no point to this anecdote.  Other than reminding you all to be careful when walking around or working out in the heat!  Which you all know anyways so I’m being silly.

Thanks for your comments yesterday.  Blog friends never fail to make me feel better. 🙂  I love blogland because it’s like a whole new social network of friends and comrades and supporters!

I have had no less than three delicious frozen treats today.  Two smoothies and one “frozen dessert” from The Lite Choice. Speaking of TLC…





TLC people are so nice!  They’re doing a promotion with Scoop Street, who features local businesses.  They have a special flavor throughout July called Scoopstachio, made from pistachio flavor and ground peanuts.  I think that it sounds tasty!  Anyways, if you go to a TLC you can sign up for more info, win prizes, try the new flavor, etc.

My other frozen treats:

Breakfast (and dessert tonight!): Peanut butter peach protein smoothie!  Frozen peaches, ice, vanilla almond milk, vanilla protein powder, and a giant scoop of PB.  This was perfect.  It filled up that giant 32 ounce water bottle almost all the way!  Had to eat it with a spoon on my walk to work. 🙂

I had an afternoon meeting for my other job.  I brought a hummus/cheese/spinach wrap with greenbeans and blueberries.  But when I got to the meeting it turned out they had provided lunch: pizza.  I tend to be afraid of pizza, but it actually is something that I really enjoy, every once in a while. At first I was going to eat my wrap in the corner while everyone else ate their pizza.  But then I decided that if I really wanted it, I should just enjoy it and save the wrap for dinner!  And that’s exactly what I did.  I had one slice of mushroom and one of pepperoni, with my green beans on the side and blueberries for an afternoon snack.  Alongside this, of course:

Half mint and half chocolate with oreos!

Just ate an unnecessary bowl of cereal.  Meh.  Need to practice some of my self-soothing techniques I learned form this book.

Alright friends, I’m off to start compiling my therapy posts into one monster booklet for L!  Happy Thursday!  Almost the weekend!

Workout/Gear

Today’s Happy Note: I have heard.  From an Exclusive Upper West Side source.  That there is a Trader Joe’s planned for 72nd and Broadway.  Breather, Caronae.  Breathe.  This is the greatest thing to happen in New York.  Since Union Square Trader Joe’s.

Today was decent but would have been much better if my sleeping hadn’t been so…disrupted…last night.  I kept waking up tangled in my sheets in deep panic that either (a) there was an axe murderer in my closet or (b) my fan, which has creepy red lights on it, was an evil monster.  I forgot to take my sleep medication last night and I am guessing that was the cause.  It was a very eerie experience.  One minute I would be wide awake craving a moment of sleep, the next moment I would be waking up from a nightmare never wanting to fall back asleep again.  Very bizarre.

I left the office early to do stuff for my other job and just ended up passing out back at my apartment.  Meh.  I had a great workout after I woke up though!

40 minutes full-body strength training.  I lifted hard and heavy for a lot of different exercises.  My arms, back, abs, legs — everything was screaming afterwards.  It felt amazing.  I love when you have a great strength session and you feel physically and mentally stronger afterwards.  I hit up the elliptical for an insane 30 minute HIIT sesh after the weights.  Not sure why it felt tougher than usual but I was drenched and my heart was racing!

I have made an important discovery of which I must inform you: I have found the most comfortable, fitting, soft, stretchy, breathable workout shirt ever.

It’s a pink Under Armor tank with a criss-cross back. It is dry-wicking.  The best thing about it is the way it fits.  I have sort of a strange upper-body and it is very hard to find workout tops that fit right.  For one, I have a very long torso.  This shirt is amazingly long!  My other problem is that, compared to my relatively thin waist, I am, well, rather well-endowed.  I have never found a tank with a built-in sports bra that supports me.  This didn’t just provide plenty of support and coverage, it also seemed to make my chest look somewhat normal-sized!

Okay, so do you want to know the deal-breaker?

It was $12 at TJMaxx.  Everyone has a different body, but if you have any features similar to mine, I would highly recommend this.  I literally can’t wait to do the laundry so I can wear it again. 🙂  Your favorite workout gear?

Eats hodgepodge: had three delicious meals today, plus plenty of delicious snacks.  There are a few things I haven’t minded eating hot lately — namely eggs and wraps/quesadillas.  There are something about warm cheese and hummus that just melts my heart.

Love fun tops on bottled iced tea!

Giant colors salad!  Red, orange, yellow, many shades of green, white.  What are your favorite colors to eat?

About to enjoy some new ice cream/sorbet finds and maybe frozen fruit!

Happy Sleep, Happy Eats, Happy Self

Today’s Happy Note: I just saw the cutest commercial ever.  It was for chiquita bananas and showed a little baby banana traveling to our stores….adorable.

Seeing commercials for things like bananas makes me happy!  Better advertisements for bananas than Lucky Charms and Double Stuf Oreos.

Speaking of produce. Go read this article.  It talks about organic vs. non-organic produce in terms of pesticide contamination.  Holy wow!  Many common produce items contain 47-67 pesticides!  Egads.  I think the best option is local; I get as much produce from the farmer’s market as possible.  After that, I get organic when affordable.  Some organics are priced similarly to conventionals, while others are a bit outrageous (like grapes).  One of the scary things about this article was that it put forward the idea that some pesticides can’t even be scrubbed off of produce — the chemicals actually seep into the entire plant.  Yuck.  As a student constantly on a budget, this is something I worry about.  Do you worry about this? Maybe it’s not worth the worrying.  I do the best  I can.

No workout today!  I read a post on Fitnessista the other day where she mentioned she woke up tired and skipped a morning workout.  So simple (and obvious –duh Caronae) but so brilliant!  I often drag myself out of bed in the morning to get a workout in before the rest of the day takes over.  Today I opted for the sleep.

Early morning wokrout pros:

  • It’s over and done with
  • Energizes me for the rest of my day
  • Cool outside, not too humid
  • Leaves time in the evening to relax
  • I can’t put it off

Late afternoon/evening workout pros:

  • Sleeping in a bit
  • Leisurely breakfast/morning
  • Less likely to be late for work
  • Makes me tired for bed

In my mind, morning workouts work better for me.  The only problem is that I need an inordinate amount of sleep.  It’s taken me a while to come to terms with this.  I’m not one of these 6-7 hours a night people.  I need 8-9 hours if I am going to be functional and energetic during my day.  I’ve been doing well going to bed early, but sometimes I want to be out with my friends.  I think this is something I’ll have to play by ear; some mornings are going to be more inviting than others.

Lots of happy eats today!

Dinner: exactly what I was craving.  Vanilla Almond Butter and raspberry jam with a side of apple slices.  Disordered eating fact: I have a secret fear of eating fruit (as opposed to vegetables) with dinner.  Fruit has more calories and more sugar, obviously, but it is also perfectly good for you.  And I had plenty of veggies with lunch.  Tonight I was really craving an apple so I went for it!  Perfect little side dish.

Notice the little G&B?  Green and Black’s 70% is my go-to dark chocolate.  Never fails.  Creamy but also deeply chocolaty.

Mental Health Note: No therapy this week (L on vacation)!  Makes me a little nervous.  I’ll probably do some journaling tonight, maybe a little bit of stream of consciousness type of stuff.  I need to at least get some thoughts out; sometimes in therapy I just spew and spew and spew.  I’ll miss L’s insights and kindnesses this week.  But that just means I’ll have to come up with my own!  Here’s to being kind to myself!