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!

Protein+Fat=Happy Caronae

Today’s Happy Note: Crossing things off my to do list. ¬†I still have a lot to get done before this insane weekend, but I’m getting there. ūüôā

PS — Does anyone else add things to their to-do list that you have already done, just so you can experience the joy of crossing it out?

Marathon Training: Yesterday I did four and a half miles, with an easy mile and a half warm-up, 4x (400 fast/400 easy), and a mile cool down. ¬†It wasn’t terrible, but I just felt weak. ¬†Today, even more so. I feel lightheaded,blurry vision, etc. No idea what is going on, but I’ll be sure to monitor things and be careful.

I had my super easy yoga class today. We literally sat on chairs half the time and stretched. ¬†I’m taking it very easy this week, so this was perfectly acceptable.

I never told you about my endocrine visit on Monday! The doctor was extremely nice and extremely knowledgeable. ¬†She also seemed obscenely young (early thirties?) for a faculty practitioner (meaning she is a professor) which made me a bit nervous. ¬†She was very thorough. ¬†We talked about everything — diet, exercise, hormones, habits, genetics, blood sugar, endocrine/metabolic systems. ¬†She is running a really broad panel of tests to see if there is something significantly wrong. ¬†If nothing is found, then the “answer” is simply going to be that I have a little bit of a weird metabolic/hormonal system.

I am not freaking out as much as I was before though because of two things:

1. She basically told me that my weight “problem” actually isn’t a problem. ¬†Because of my healthy diet and exercise choices, being a few pounds over the recommended weight for my height isn’t a big deal. ¬†She was actually really soothing/comforting in this regard.

2. I have been making a conscious effort to eat more fat and protein lately and have lost seven pounds.  My period just ended, so some of this might be hormonal/water weight.  But still, seven pounds is a good chunk of my overall body weight.  I am hoping that continuing this eating pattern will help me lose a few more pounds.  But if not, I am not going to freak out.

I promise. ūüôā

So what have I been eating of late?

One carb I REFUSE to get rid of is oats (above: 1/4 C with 1/2 serving vanilla protein powder, 1 C vanilla soymilk, chopped apple, and walnuts). ¬†Other than that, I am not eating too many grains. ¬†And I am not giving up carbs entirely either. ¬†I kind of love them. ūüėČ ¬†I’m just making sure to reduce them and then pair them with more fat and protein.

One trap I have fallen into in the past is eating more protein without reducing carbs. ¬†That just results in more overall calories, which isn’t going to help anybody. ¬†Unless you are trying to gain weight, obviously.

Other eats:

Squash “pizza.” ¬†In reality this was actually a squash bowl stuffed with veggies, ground beef, and cheese. ¬†I cut it into little slices and ate it like a pizza though, which made it 10x more fun.

Really random lunch with two mini corn tortillas (which aren’t that good; I wanted wraps and thought these would be good since they were smaller, but they are dry), almond butter, carrots, and a protein cake (a la April) made with peanut flour and cocoa powder with PB.

Dinner was full of fat, veggies, and protein.   Exactly how I like it!  I used a base of pumpkin puree, topped that with ground beef/mushrooms/carrots and brussel sprouts/broccoli cooked in EVOO.  Enough to feed one small army OR one hungry Caronae.

I have heard a lot of different research about diets higher in proteins/fats. ¬†Some of what I have seen has indicated that a diet high in protein/fat, even of the saturated variety (think whole milk, meat, butter) is not harmful. ¬†I tend to agree with this with the caveat that people have very different metabolic/digestive systems with very different needs (I talked about my wants and needs with ¬†my diet in Monday’s post). ¬†I think that it isn’t animal fat or protein that’s killing us/making us obese, but processed crap full of chemicals, like candy bars and pop and snack foods.

I think that there is evidence on both sides of the spectrum, at the moment.  In my opinion, this just furthers my conclusion that different people are suited to different diets.

On the horizon the next few days: CRAZY INSANELY BUSY Caronae.  I promise to post before the marathon though.  Is anyone interested in tracking me/coming out to cheer and wants to know my number?

If so, email me!  I know a few bloggies have already mentioned that they would like to know, but I have lost track.  So please leave a comment/email me and I will let you know.

T-4 days!  Ahhhhhh!!!!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Walnut Bread

Today’s Happy Note: Baking. ¬†I love baking. ¬†Never fails to make me feel better.

Marathon Training: I did my yoga class and 4.5 miles with strides on Wednesday. ¬†Yesterday I started the 30 Day Shred and then USB got here so I didn’t finish. ¬†Today I did 20 minutes of hip-opening yoga before work, and 6.5miles after work.

For the first time in a long time my legs felt great! ¬†It felt like I was gliding along. ¬†I felt light but also strong. ¬†Win. ¬†I did 6×400, two per mile for miles two, three, and four. ¬†It was spectacular!

I am starting to think that all of my hard training may have paid off!  Hopefully the rest of taper keeps going this smoothly.

And now, a recipe! ¬†It’s been a while since I have come up with anything. ¬†And to be honest, I didn’t exactly create this myself. ¬†It comes from my Uncle John! ¬†So, thank you, Uncle John! ¬†It’s in our family cookbook. ¬†It’s really cool! ¬†It has pictures of my grandparents, an extended family tree, and recipes from everyone!

Caronae’s Pumpkin Walnut Chocolate Chip Bread

Adapted from John’s Banana Nut Bread

  • 1.25 C Wheat Flour
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 C Oats
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 C pureed Pumpkin
  • 1/3 C melted Butter/Earth Balance
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 C Milk/Soy Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 C chopped Walnuts
Mix all dry ingredients together.  Add in wet ingredients.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Bake it all at 350 for about 50 minutes.  Let cool before removing from pan.
It’s pretty! ¬†Look!
I shall be back with deeper thoughts tomorrow!
Any exciting weekend plans? I plan on a trip to the farmer’s market, some pumpkin carving, and lots of friend time!

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