Hot, Sweaty, Heavy

Today’s Happy Note: Sometimes a silly little kitchen failure, like the one pictured below, makes me smile!  Needless to say, this batch of oatmeal was ruined.  That is indeed a sea of oatmeal soup.  I smiled!

What was hot, sweaty, and heavy today?  My run, unfortunately!  I woke up at 9 this morning and felt like a sack of bricks.  I took the day off work in the name of packing — yeah, that didn’t happen.  I’m moving tomorrow and have not packed one. single. thing. I haven’t even started my laundry.  For some reason I operate best at night though — I do my best writing, my best cleaning, sometimes even my best yoga, after midnight.  Weird.

So.  I got distracted (happens easily).  Back to the run.  I accomplished nothing all day; my body literally felt like a sloth.  Minus the hairiness part.  But I was damn determined to get out the door.  And you know what? Sometimes getting out the door is an accomplishment in and of itself. I had to bribe myself with the promise of a massage — sometimes I am so lazy it scares me. 😉  But admit it, you have days when you have to bribe yourself to leave the house too.  I know I can’t be the only one.

The run was muy sluggish, but I finished my 8 hilly miles in a little under 90 minutes. I hit up the gym for some much-needed strength training afterwards — I actually crave lifting weights sometimes.  I did almost an hour of arms and abs. It felt great.  And at the end of my epic little workout, you know what?  I felt amazing!  It is so true that you almost never regret a workout, but you almost always regret not doing a workout.

After reading this post on Runner’s Trials, I was inspired to make my own nutrition goals for marathon training!  But first, I want to show you my excellent eats from today — I think this is a pretty good example of what a day like today (8 miles) should look like, ideally, for ME (every body and every runner is different).

Brunch was another avocado-cinnamon-vanilla SIAB, topped with some flax PB, some honey roasted nuts, and a half a TJ’s PB granola bar, crumbled.

I officially declare that I like rice — I used to hate it passionately, probably because my mom always made brown rice when I was little and all the other kids had white rice.  I refused to eat brown rice because I didn’t want to seem any weirder than I already was (I was reallllllyyyy weird).  So, for the last 20 years, I have mostly eschewed rice.  But I really like a nice grainy brown rice.  I ate it with cinnamon, stevia, sunflower seed butter, and TJ’s dark chocolate covered ginger for an amazing afternoon snack.

More snackage.  I had about twice that much chocolate.

Romaine, carrots, peppers, broccoli, avocado, two apple chicken sausages, and TJ’s spicy peanut vinaigrette.  I love giant salads for dinner, but I can never have one and then be satisfied for the rest of the evening.  An hour or two later, I need a substantial dessert.  Enter….

This was a bowl of 2% Greek yogurt, the other half of the granola bar from this morning, a small spoonful (teaspoon?) of sunflower seed butter, and chocolate trail mix, which I had a few too many handfuls of while preparing this.  In my defense, I was frustrated because of the microwave oatmeal disaster, which had just occurred. 🙂

That’s everything, minus two werther’s candies and the unpictured handfuls of trail mix.  I sometimes eat an extra spoonful or two of nut butter when preparing anything that involves nut butter (okay, so that’s pretty much everything I eat…) but I honestly can’t remember if I had any extra today.

Marathon Training Nutrition Goals

1. Four to six smaller meals per day. Time and time again I come back to this way of eating because it works for me.  I would much rather eat every three or four hours than six or seven, thank you very much.

2. Do not be afraid of the whole grains! I can’t tell you how satisfied I felt after that bowl of brown rice this afternoon.  I also love oats and quinoa.

3. Less processed food, more “clean” food. My diet is pretty clean as is, but there are a few things that could stand to be eliminated.  I am going to focus on whole foods, like fish, chicken, fruits, vegetables, greens, some plain greek yogurt, nuts, nut butters, tofu, avocado, healthy fats, and grains, of course.  I don’t intend to eliminate protein powder (especially the simpler ones), but I do want to use it less.  My staples are as follows: spinach, frozen berries, carrots, apples, salmon, tofu, peanut butter, oats.  So simple, so nutritious.

4. Sugar in moderation. I feel better, think better, and run better when my diet is mostly free of processed sugar (i.e., granola bars, flavored yogurts/nut butters, non-homemade baked goods).  I fully intend to continue consuming honey, maple syrup, stevia, baked goods that I have made, good dark chocolate, and farmer’s market pastries (because they’re too damn good to give up).  Once I have a little bit of sugar, I tend to want a lot more, so Iam really going to try to be careful and moderate here.

5. Say no sometimes and recognize hunger vs. not-hunger.  I do not have to eat anything, ever, if I do not want it.  Training for a marathon does not mean that I can (or even should) eat when I’m not hungry.  I can say no to food at parties, extra food on my plate at restaurants, late-night snacks, etc.

6. Above all, listen to my body.  If my body is saying “feed me a giant pile of veggies!” I shall listen.

I should probably start this whole packing monstrosity now.  Blogging is so much more fun though!

My nutrition goals are really just guidelines.  I think that one of the most important things is not to get mad at myself if I have an off-day.  It won’t kill me.

Do you have general nutrition goals/guidelines/thoughts that you live by?  And does anyone out there happen to be an expert on losing ten nagging pounds while training for a marathon? If so, please share. 🙂

Blog Meetup And Happy Yoga Feelings!

Today’s Happy Note: Alicia Keys’ song Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart — it’s just got a really soothing but also penetrating rhythm and oddly makes me really happy.  I’m listening to it on repeat. 🙂

I swapped today’s eight hilly miles for tomorrow’s rest/yoga because it was blazingly hot/human today!  I did walk about four-ish miles over the course of the day and took a really nice advanced flow yoga class at my favorite studio.

Part of my walk today was with Maggie (Say Yes To Salad)!  Lynn of The Actors’s Diet was in town and we had a lovely little meet-up with some of my favorite bloggers, including Ada (NYCollegeEats) and Gabriela (Une Vie Saine).  We had The Lite Choice then strolled then chatted at a new to me cafe where I had a tasty orange carrot juice.

I was having so much fun I never got a group picture!  Above is Ada, Lynn, and reader Danielle.  I love meeting fellow bloggers because we already have something in common and they are almost always sweet, kind, and caring. It’s sort of like you already know one another and genuinely care for one another.  Blog friends are real friends! 🙂

I loved getting to know everyone better today.  Gabriela and I have gotten to see each other several times now and Ada and I ran the ultra together! I had not met anyone else previously.  I think blogging had really helped expand my social circle, in a good way.  If you’re a blogger (or a reader!), have you made new friends through blogging?

I had a really nice moment in the cafe: I couldn’t decide between an iced tea or a juice.  I had a very tiny appetite at lunch and was starting to feel hungry again (it was late afternoon).  At first I thought to myself “I should just have a plain unsweetened iced tea; why do I deserve to consume extra calories at this time of day for no reason?”  But then I said to myself, damn it, I want a carrot-orange juice.  Not only is freshly squeezed juice full of amazing vitamins and nutrients, it tastes good and I wanted some sustenance.  So there.  Take that, crazy brain.

Sometimes I feel like my silly brain gets in he way of just letting me live.  I am learning how to let go of being so obsessive about everything.  I find that my body fits into its natural size and shape perfectly when I do the least obsessing.  Yoga has taught me that.  I went into class tonight feeling sad and angry (not for any particular reason — they were just random moods) and came out feeling calm again.  I love that my practice constantly reminds me to do the best I can — and that I can only do my best.  Miracles can happen, too, though.  Yoga has given me a nice balance and perspective.

Okay, no more seriousness.  I promise!  Onto some rather delicious eats from today…

This is an almost-empty container of fage 2% with about 2 tablespoons of sunflower seed butter, a handful of grapes and a tablespoon of flax peanut butter.  I have decided that sunflower seed butter and I are in love.  It’s like frosting only better.  I had another several spoonfuls straight from the jar after this bowl.  It has this creamy, full, earthy flavor.  It does sort of taste “healthy”, but in a good way, I think — like raw tofu.  But then again, not everyone loves raw tofu.

I get the weirdest health-food cravings sometimes: in addition to raw tofu, I also crave plain steamed broccoli, spoonfuls of sunflower seed butter, avocados, brown rice, salmon, spinach, and plain nuts.  My body really does know exactly what it needs most of the time.  I like that about myself.

What are your “health-food” cravings?  Or junk food cravings! I don’t judge!

This just might be the best dinner SIAB (Smoothie In A Bowl) I have ever made.  It consisted of a cup of vanilla soy milk, a whole lotta ice, half a banana, a scoop of vanilla whey/soy protein, cinnamon, and half an avocado.  Topped with TJ’s honey roasted nuts (aka crack).  The avocado/vanilla/cinnamon combo is amazing.  Move over sunflower seed butter.  I have a new lover.

I’m feeling surprisingly content right now considering the number of things I have on my mind.  Hmmmm.  I like having a clear head, I suppose — it’s a good feeling.

Goodnight friends!  I hope you all have a most happy Friday.

And thank you for your sweet comments/thoughts yesterday. 🙂

Risk Taking Anxiety/Vulnerability

Today’s Happy Note: Piers.  Who thought these up?  Seriously.  A long platform extending out over the water affording better views and a nice breeze?  I’m all over it.  I love the piers that extend out over the Hudson all along Manhattan’s West Side.

Sorry for disappearing on you last night!  I genuinely wanted to blog (which is why I am apologizing) but didn’t get home until 1:00 AM!  This is veeeerrrrryyyyy late for me for a weeknight when I have work/school the next day.  I pretty much collapsed into bed and had to supplement with a nap after work. 🙂

Mental Health Note: I am really glad I went out.  I am NOT a bar/club/crazy party girl at all but I do deserve to have a little bit of fun (whatever that might entail) once in a while.  I saw a movie, then went to a restaurant/dancing.  It was the best evening I have had in a long time and I am so very happy I went for it.  This may sound like a typical weekend night for most of you, but my anxiety does not often allow me to do that sort of thing.  It’s days like this when I know how much therapy with L has affected me.  It is really exciting to watch (and feel) myself growing emotionally and socially.  Letting myself have fun and letting people into my life has been such a rewarding experience thus far.  I am looking forward to a lot more of that in the next few years.  So, going out last night was a “risk” of sorts for me — I made myself vulnerable — but it turned out beautifully.  Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith with something or someone and sometimes you have to hold your heart in your hands and let someone else touch it and sometimes it pays off.

That’s all I’m saying for now.

What “risk” have you taken lately? I don’t care if you think it sounds silly!  Everyone’s experiences are different — people have varied anxieties and likes and hurts and dreams and fears.

Marathon Training: I did indeed get my 12 miles in bright and early yesterday morning!  I felt surprisingly good, although I was a little bored.  I love the way running makes me feel, but even the most dedicated, passionate runner will admit that once in a while, it gets boring.  I tend not to get bored on trails, but doing laps around CP is, well…not the most scenic thing in the world.  I never listen to music while running — just a personal preference.  I like that it gives me time to think though.  I did 4 miles with 5×100 strides thrown in tonight plus 40 minutes full body strength training.

Today’s Eats (I think this is everything, minus two spoonfuls of Mighty Maple PB and a few more cashews than are pictured):

That’s oatmeal with vanilla soymilk, a wee bit of vanilla protein powder, and sunbutter in the first picture.  Skinny vanilla latte in the second.

TJ’s cashew/dried hibiscus trail mix.  LOVE, by the way.

I ate a little over half of this smoothie and froze the rest.  Score one for intuitive eating!

I went in and added chocolate PB and honey to the yogurt to make it a little more filling/dessert-like.

Another day of deliciously healthy eats.  I typically find that I have several days in any given week where I am unintentionally vegetarian/vegan.  I am fine with that.  I like my meat and my dairy just fine and have no intention of giving them up.  But I also enjoy non-animal protein sources too.  A lot of times I am just plain old too lazy to cook meat.  I want to get some deli turkey, although I am afraid that might be ethically questionable….

I feel like tomorrow shall be a good day!

And just realized school starts in two weeks.  Crap.  I don’t want to go to class.

Any other students about to start?  Looking forward to it?  If so, why, might I ask?

Weekend Update

Today’s Happy Note:

Hello hello hello!  I have to blog and run because I have more work to do before tomorrow’s (procrastinator much?) early morning long run.  Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I reaallllllyyyyy suck at time management.

Marathon Training:

Yesterday I had five easy miles on the schedule.  I did that along with about 40 minutes of arms and abs.  My leg strength training falls by the wayside whenever I am training for a race.  My legs are tired enough from running so many miles, I can’t bear the thought of putting them through sets of lunges and hamstring curls and calf raises.  I have decided that I officially love lifting weights.  It is almost as fun as running and yoga for me.  Makes me feel strong, powerful, confident, and sexy, in a weird way.  I ended my run at the Union Square Farmer’s market.  That is the absolute best way to do a Saturday morning run — then you can have a little snack when you get there and sit in the sunshine in the park and think about sunflowers and sunshine and other sunny Saturday morning things.

There was a chocolate chip coconut scone (yes, you heard that correctly) with my name on it at the FM!  With a side of honey-vanilla yogurt.

This was the best scone I have ever had.  I am normally totally a muffin person, but I think I am becoming a scone convert.

So.  Something really good and awesome and happy happened at the farmer’s market after I ate my scone but I don’t want to tell you all about it because I don’t want to jinx it.  So I kind of just told you, without really telling you.  So there.

If you’re a blogger, are you ever afraid of jinxing something by “saying it aloud” on the blog?

Today was supposed to be a Sunday long run day, but I didn’t want to wake up super early, then it ended up raining the whole day anyway.  I moved around my scheduled runs for the week so that I can do it tomorrow (hello 6 AM).  I love Google calendar because it lets you drag and drop events from one day to another.  I ended up doing a 30 minute abs class at the gym today followed by a six mile run that included 4 fast 800s (half-miles).  The 800s were hard but not killer hard.  I used to flat-out hate speedwork but now I think I have more of a love-hate relationship with it.  It feels so goooooood afterwards but during it I just wanna die (usually).  Regular running never gets my heart rate up or makes my face red or anything.  Today’s speedy 800s sure did though!

It ended up pouring for the whole second half of my run.  Somehow I don’t have a problem running less than an hour in the rain.  I just couldn’t face two hours.  Not sure why.

Enough running!

Eats hodgepodge:

Yogurt with a warmed peach and honey and granola.  Afternoon snackage perfection.

I’m pretty sure I ate an entire half of a big cantaloupe over the last two days.

Dates, carrots, PB, and more PB plate.  I am loving dates lately!

Pasta, lots of veggies, and tofu.  With a side of more veggies with guac.  One of the smartest things my mother ever taught me: you can never have too many vegetables.

Good eats (although maybe a little too much last night?  It’s so hard to tell with marathon training!).  Good running.  Good friends.  Good adventures.

Good weekend.

Update me on your lives my friends!  What’s going on where you are?

Nut Butter Sneaking Habit

Today’s Happy Note: Napping.  Self-acceptance.  Let me explain: I have felt pretty sleepy and a wee bit lethargic this week.  Normally when that happens, I get angry at myself (“gee Caronae, why can’t you be more productive; you’re so lazy; you suck”).  Not this time.  I had a splendid afternoon nap and I just took it for what it was.  I am not a terrible person.  I don’t spend all my time sleeping.  My body knows when it needs a little extra love and rest, and I listened to it.  I am proud of myself for that.  Small victories people.  Small victories.

Something else I’m proud of: My run today! Tuesdays are speed work days.  I’ve said it before: speed work scares the crap out of me.  It’s really hard for me because my fast twitch muscles are kind of non-existent.  Because I know it’s hard, I work myself up into an anxious fit and then make it even harder for myself!

Not today.  The plan was 2 mile warm up, 4×1 mile @ tempo pace, 2 mile cool down.  I did 1/4 mile easy run/walk between each fast mile, for a total of 9 miles.

My tempo pace goal was 9:00 minutes per mile.  I crushed it!

Mile 1: 8:36

Mile 2: 8:34

Mile s: 8:30

Mile 4: 8:27

I was so shocked.  I worked hard, it felt hard, but I did it!  I love that amazing feeling you get after a good hard speed workout.  I enter into a state of physical, emotional calm and my body and mind become so content and relaxed.

I’m proud of myself indeed.

No Therapy Tuesday today because my therapist had an emergency and had to cancel.  I felt really bad for her; I could tell how stressed and anxious she was when she called; she seemed really upset and I actually felt like the inconsistency bothered her more than me!  Then, as I was walking home from work, I ran into her outside the grocery store. It was really weird to see her outside of the office environment (her office is actually in her apartment, which I really like because it seems more comfortable and less stiff)!  I could tell how completely harried she was; I was actually a little bit nervous that she was about to have a panic attack or something.  Anyways, I told her not to worry and to calm down.  Sort of a weird little reversal of roles.  We rescheduled for tomorrow.

I heart frozen berries.

And chocolate-topped smoothies.

Dinner was epic, not to mention that it took five minutes to prep.  I combined a can of tuna with a few spoonfuls 2% Fage, garlic hummus, chopped bell peppers, and guacamole.  Holy easy dinner.  Holy tastiness.

I just ate a weird iced tea slushy concoction.  It looks really weird so I’m not gonna share any pictures.  It’ for your own benefit, trust me.  It was iced chamomile tea (sweetened with stevia and honey) blended with a boatload (yes, that’s a word) of ice cubes.  Random, but I was craving something cold and icy, and this did the job.

Confession: I have a nut-butter-sneaking habit. I take pictures of most of what I eat, since it is helpful for me to have a record.  But spoonfuls of nut butter and tiny handfuls of nuts often escape the camera.  I don’t deprive myself, ever, but I also know that I don’t necessarily need those extra calories. So I’m making a promise to myself to photograph everything I eat; even those tiny spoonfuls.  I don’t share all my eats on the blog everyday (today there were maybe two spoonfuls of unpictured nut butter and a serving of TJ’s mini PB cups).  Can you tell I like PB?

I didn’t eat a lot today given that I ran nine miles (and maybe walked two more?), but I think it makes sense given that I ate more than I needed to yesterday.  I love how my body balances things out and really figures out what’s going on and what it needs or doesn’t need.  Bodies are so smart.

Be back tomorrow with Therapy Wednesday!

I hope you’re all having a most wonderful week.  Relax, smile, breathe!

Workout/Eating Habits

Today’s Happy Note: I’m in tune with my body!  I noticed a lot of other women in yoga class really struggling to connect with their bodies and realized how close I am to my own body.  I wasn’t judging them or anything, just noticing.  I know where my joints are, the way things move.  I have years of gymnastics, running, swimming, and now yoga to thank for this.

Workout: Thought about kick-boxing, but my heart wasn’t in it, so I skipped it and did 30 minutes of seriously heavy arm weights and an hour yoga class at the gym.  I really enjoyed the yoga class at the gym, actually.  Sometimes the studio feels a  little pretentious and tiresome and elitist.  Also walked a mile or two.  I have a hard speed workout for tomorrow so I’m conserving some energy. 🙂

Workouts are not always going to be joyfully fun, but you shouldn’t ever force yourself to do something that you just don’t want to do.  I have so many friends who ask me things like, “how are you so healthy when you’re so busy?” or “how do you make yourself workout all the time?”

Well, first of all, I think we need to change the way we look at “working out” or “exercising.”  For me, it is not an hour of my day where I drag myself to the gym, force myself to get through a boring routine, and then come home and watch TV.  Working out is a part of my life.  It’s as integrated into the way I live as eating or writing or going to class or work.  Further, I would get pretty tired of working out too if I spent an hour on the elliptical at the gym everyday. I think it’s actually pretty easy to work some movement into your day: it might be an hour and a half walk in the evening or an early yoga class or half an hour of dancing in your room.

It takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to form a habit.  I am lucky in that I was very active in high school and carried that pattern relatively easily into college,so I didn’t have to start from scratch (like I have had to with my emotional eating patterns).  Many people struggle to workout in college — but I think of it as a little escape from the schoolwork.  When you look at it as an important part of your day that will help you focus better and think more clearly, you’re less likely to skip out.

Eats:

Look!  My lentils are crawling on my tofu like ants.  I couldn’t help but share my adorable lunch find with my coworkers.

Probably didn’t need the small bowl of granola pictured above right but whatever.  I have found that eating 4-6 (depending on my activity level) meals of about 400 calories each.  A 100-200 calorie snack is always too small for me, while a 600-700 calorie lunch or dinner feels too big.  I am really enjoying this way of eating — I don’t follow any rules or plans and don’t deny myself if I’m hungry.  This just seems to work, for now.  And when it doesn’t work, I’ll change things up.

Goodnight goodnight goodnight!  Time for me to sleep.  Even though I took a nap like five hours ago.  Don’t judge.

Happy Tuesday!

Grainy Day

Today’s Happy Note: Sleeping in!  I don’t work until 10 some mornings.  I passed out at eleven last night and woke up at nine this morning.  I felt wonderful!

Today was just one of those days where I wasn’t happy, wasn’t sad, wasn’t angry or excited or anxious.  It’s not that I didn’t feel anything, it was all just sort of murky.  Hard to describe.  Not really like I was in a funk but just sort of…cloudy?  Not gloomy though.   I am generally a very emotionally sensitive person and I feel things very deeply; this was almost a welcome break.  I wasn’t depressed or moody at all.  I guess the day just sort of glided by and now that it’s over I can’t quite characterize it — like it was a grainy photograph.

I spent two hours with friends this evening doing stuff for work.  I had a really wonderful moment somewhere in there where I forgot about all my problems.  I love how friends can do that.  I realized that I wasn’t thinking about food or money or sadness.  I wasn’t berating myself over my size.  I was just me.  I love how being with people I care about sometimes solves all my problems.

Friends and loved ones, of course, cannot fix everything.  Sometimes there is a deeper sadness.  But, as L has helped me figure out, it is possible to survive the sadder times.  I will survive.

A few weeks ago I was having a particularly anxious day at therapy and L asked me what helps me calm down.  Running, reading quietly, taking a nap, and just sitting with someone I love who cares about me.  That last one really is a big thing, and I am coming to see more and more lately how healthy relationships affect me.  When I told her my list, she said simply, “I care about you.”

It was one of the nicest things someone has said to me in a long while. Reason number 14224 why I love her.

Do I add nut butter to everything I eat?  No.  Just most things.

Confession: I just realized that part of the reason my dinners never fill me up is that I am afraid to have it in more than one plate or bowl.  Which means there is usually only one thing involved, and that is never enough!  Tonight I had a big bowl of oats with peaches and dark chocolate and a small bowl of yogurt with coconut and a sprinkling of trail mix.  It did the trick.

I have been loving me some grains lately — literally craving them, which is pretty unusual for me.  I tend to fear excess carbs, but let’s face it: no one ever died because they were eating too much oats and brown rice and millet.

Today was a rest day.  Normally I do weights and kickboxing on Mondays, but between a long run yesterday and speed work tomorrow, I wanted something a bit calmer.  I did a little over three miles walking and 20 minutes of yoga and abs.  I don’t like waking up super early to run and would prefer to do it around three or four, ideally, but it is going to be hot hot hot tomorrow so I know I have to get out by seven.  Uh-oh, that means it’s past my bedtime now!

Goodnight, sleep tight.

Oh, and hello new readers!  Don’ be afraid to say hello. 🙂

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