One Big Date Night

September 30, 2010 at 9:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Training Calls For: 4 miles (5 miles in my case)

Miles Run So Far: 332.2

Days Left: 17 (?!?!!)

I checked out on you yesterday…but for a good reason:

No, Sam and I didn’t get married last night.  But we did get married three years ago as of yesterday!  While we’re actually going to celebrate our anniversary this weekend, we wanted to spend a little quality time together and bopped out to a movie.  My life is one big date night with that guy 😉 and it all started on 9-29-07. ❤

If you’re looking up at the top thinking, “why did she run an extra mile this morning if training called for just 4 miles?”, here’s your explanation:

No, no.  I didn’t run an extra mile to burn off extra calories (please, you know that’s not how I roll!)

This delicious, pre-made lasagna was waiting for me at home Tuesday night and I just couldn’t bring myself to lace up my sneakers and run when all I wanted to do was heat a square of that bad boy up and chow down.  I know you understand.  Comfort food has a hold on all of us, no?  More like a vice grip in my case.  At least I made this one with whole wheat noodles, reduced the cheese and used ground turkey to “healthify” it. 😉

In addition to my Italian-related irreverence to the training schedule, I also reasoned that if I were to run 5 miles Tuesday night and then turn around and run 8 miles Wednesday morning, that was just asking too much of my body.  Could I do it?  Yes.  Would it be a quality run?  Prob not.

I’ve done that kind of back-to-back running in the past.  It’s problematic because:

😦 Your body is still recovering from the first run when you force it into the second.

😦 I find I can’t eat enough calories to replenish from the first run and then turn around and fuel for the second.  I may like to eat, but I’m not a fan of forcing food down my throat.  Unless it’s lasagna.

😦 Odd, but true: the peeps at the running store told me it can take your running shoes 24 hours to “re-inflate” to their full stability and support after a run because you’ve been compressing them with your body weight over the course of your run.  So let’s see, a 5 mile run at 7 o’clock at night and then an 8 mile run at 6:30 AM means I’m bouncing my feet off squished shoes.  Thanks, but no thanks.  We have three weeks left, I’m taking every step to protect my leggies — no pun intended.

This all means I ran 8 miles yesterday morning (nothing says “Happy Anniversary, old lady” like a hearty long mid-week run!) then 5 this morning to make up for Tuesday.  I’ll do 4 on Friday and keep on truckin’ with the regularly scheduled 12 on Saturday.

Sunday, I will rest.  Ah, rest.

Sometimes I think it’s silly to go into such an in-depth explanation of why I’m switching it up and how I’m keeping track — but I think it’s important to show you that you can follow a training schedule without going bonkers. Hal Higdon, the great Don of Running, says himself it’s okay to switch around.  Just don’t miss your long runs and try and keep your mileage up.

The point is to get to the starting line and then get to the finish line without injury or insanity.  I’m just tryin’ to make that happen, peeps.  One run at at time.

Finish this sentence:

The comfort food that warms my heart and has a vice grip on my decision-making skills is….?

Have a fantastic day.  When I come back, I’ll tell you all about an infestation that’s gripping our house.

No.  Not bed bugs *shudders*.

Source

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Switch Up

September 28, 2010 at 9:38 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Training Calls For: 5 miles

Miles Run So Far: 319.2 (holy cow)

Days Left: 19 (eeeeeeek!)

This day is less than halfway underway and already, I’m switchin’ it up, flip-flopping things left and right.

I woke up this morning and was pretty proud of myself for getting out of bed with the first alarm (not the second, third or fifth — curses to the inventor of the snooze button!).  If you have a spouse, the alarm clock conundrum is even worse.  You lay there and think, “well, I’ll get up when his alarm goes off.”  Then you lay there and wonder if you really know what time he’s waking up.  What if it’s later than you planned?  What if it messes up your schedule?  Is this wager worth it?  Then you decide you don’t really care and fall back asleep, hoping for the best.

In this case, I beat my demons and got my bum out of bed.  My running clothes were all laid out, all I had to do was chow down on my pre-run snack, dress and hit the door.

Except that it was raining.  Not just a little, but a bonafide downpour.  I know, I know.  All the “experts” *cough cough Hal Higdon cough cough* say you need to follow your training runs no matter the weather because who knows what the climate will be come race day.  I agree with this.  It’s not like on the day of the rain, I can convince my friends the race organizers to hold off 15,000 people from running because I’m not really a fan of puddles.

But, this morning at 5:30, it was dark, too. *scared childish face*

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.  I’m going to run those 5 miles tonight.  Chances are it will still be raining, but at least it won’t be pitch black.

Since I suddenly had an extra hour on my hands, I crawled back in bed for half of it and used the other half to make dinner for tonight: lasagna.  I figured I was just trading the hour of running for the hour of lasagna baking and it will all even out and I will still be late in the end.

Switching up running for cooking though, lead to a lackluster breakfast:

Plain ol’ cereal.  Kashi Go Lean Crunch, but still.  Boooooring.  After making a whole pan of lasagna, I had a hard time thinking about dirtying up even more dishes for a stellar breakfast.

Sometimes I like to think if every other meal is something good, the ones in between can be boring.  Last night’s dinner was spectacular, so this morning’s breakfast can be straight from a box.

Spaghetti squash!  If you haven’t tried spaghetti squash, we need to talk.  It’s probably the easiest meal I put together.  15 minutes, start to finish.  For this dish, I used the following:

🙂 one 3 pound spaghetti squash (enough for me, La Samuel and leftovers)

🙂 one ripe tomato, chopped

🙂 one onion, chopped

🙂 one pepper (color of your choice — I had orange on hand)

🙂 one tsp. minced garlic

🙂 Feta cheese

Salt, pepper and EVOO.

It’s as simple as this: stab the squash.  Seriously, poke air holes in it (four or five) and stick it in the microwave.  I think I nuked this one for about 8 minutes total.  It should be soft to the touch.  While the squash is getting squishy, saute the onion, pepper and garlic in a pan with a little EVOO.  Pull now-squished squash out of microwave (probably using hot pads) and cut lengthwise.  Scrape out seeds, discard.  Using fork, pull the squash flesh away from the skin.  It will come apart in strands, hence the brilliant name: SPAGHETTI SQUASH.

Toss in big bowl with onion, pepper and garlic, top with tomato and sprinkle with Feta.   Season with salt and pepper.  Pat yourself on the back for a delicious, healthy meal prepared in the blink of an eye.

🙂  When you make a good meal in a short amount of time, it’s like a Monopoly game pass: “You made great meal and still had time for yourself — proceed to breakfast!”

Even if breakfast is boring. 😉

Have a great day, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing — whether it’s raining or not!

File this one away…

September 27, 2010 at 9:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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…in the “you’re never going to believe this” category.

Only this time, it isn’t something fun I’m sharing, it’s something sad.

Yep.  Last Thursday, the 16th, my hometown was hit by a tornado.  No, I’m not kidding.  Yes, we’re okay.  No, our house was not damaged…but plenty of other people became uprooted and homeless in the blink of an eye.

It happened so quickly.  I had just gotten home from work and the next thing I knew, Sam herded me and the monsters down to the basement.  I even said to him, “are you sure it’s a tornado warning? It must be a watch — we’re never under a warning.”

It only took a few minutes for the tornado to apparently pass down the road behind our house.  It’s spooky to know that a tornado can rip through the neighborhood one street over where trees fell on houses and our little home was untouched.

The power was out for about 3 days, so I fled to civilization with Sam where he had to work an event for our university.  Our wonderful friends, Joe and Kathy, took us (and the monsters!) in as refugees.  We promised to return the favor if a tornado ever hits their hometown…although I hope that never happens.

Sam and I completed our scheduled training run of 14 miles along the beautiful Olentangy River trail under near civilization and it was a pretty good run.  The trail is beautiful and has so curves and winds, so it isn’t a boring old straight-arrow path.  Very nice!

When we got back home Sunday afternoon, there was so much to do to get the house in order.  Food to throw away, cleaning to do, groceries to buy (and replace) and this week just took off like a freight train.  Every time I had a minute to sit down, the last thing I could think of doing was firing up the laptop to try and explain what had been going on over here in my little land.

I know it all seems like a big apology — and that’s because that’s kind of what it is.  If you read this blog with any regularity, I know you expect to see something new every once in a while.  I kind of got a big, fat “F” in that department.  I’ll try and make it up to you :).

Saturday night, my friend Kelly and I took advantage of a pretty cool local event.  The 30-mile meal was the final event in a week long program celebrating local food production in the form of a dinner made completely from food grown or produced within a 30-mile radius.

My delicious plate:

Trust me when I say I took a nibble of everything on this menu:

By biking to the dinner, Kelly and I saved $5 off our admission.  I’m always up for a little exercise and it helped work up an appetite.  The dinner started at 6 and the line was supah long.

Peeps recognize good food when they see it!  I’m glad there were plenty of carb-friendly options on the menu, but I was prepping (mentally and physically) to run 20 miles the next day.

Sunday morning, Sam and I got up nice and early to found a good, cool morning awaiting us.  The weather was in the upper 50’s with a slight breeze.  Perfect.  We had agreed ahead of time that we wouldn’t be running these 20 miles together.  It was a hard decision to make, since we’ve been running buddies for all of the long runs, but in reality, we won’t be running the marathon together.  Sam is a faster runner and I don’t want to hold him back.  Besides, the kind people of the Columbus marathon have decided to place us in different corrals. 😛

I packed my Clif Blok shots, filled Alice the Camelbak with Gatorade and started to gear up for this run.

It’s going to be fine, it’s going to be fine, it’s going to be fine.

Running a long distance like that is more mental than anything else.  Your body can do almost anything — it’s your mind that needs convincing.  Think of your body as a leaderless pack of cattle and your mind as the sheepdog that corrals them.  If you’ve got your mind focused and in agreement with your plan, your body has no choice but to follow.

The plan was to follow our 10-mile route twice.  10+10 = 20.  From the bike path to our house one direction was 6.4 miles, from our house back to the path in another direction was 3.6 miles.  We parked a car at the bike path and used both the vehicle and the house as “aid stations”.

I totally surprised myself by making it back to the house and feeling great.  Six miles in and I was doing good.  I made the decision to keep with the momentum and not stop at the house for water.  I had my Camelbak and I wanted to just keep running.

Um, I ran the first 10 mile lap without stopping.  I probably could have kept going, except I knew I needed to actually stop and conscious drink water and take energy gels.  Since I’m prone to dehydration, things could get nasty if all the hydrating I was doing was taking little hits off my Camelbak.

I stopped at the car, drank up, chomped down and stretched a little.

A little walk break and I got back to business.  I ran the whole 6 miles back to the house without stopping.  Who am I??  That’s 16 miles and just one walk break.

While I was running, I thought a lot about my parents.  They are undoubtedly my biggest cheerleaders on this planet (besides Sam).  When I was younger, my dad always told me, “your best is good enough“.  On this run, I really felt like I was following that idea.  I could have stopped and walked earlier, I could have taken it slower or given in to the sore legs and achy feet, but that wasn’t my best.  If I was going to give forth the effort, only my best was going to be good enough.

My best is good enough.  My best is good enough.  My best is good enough,”  I repeated over and over.  It became a mantra.  Incidentally, it was a better mantra than what I started the run with: “lookin’ good and feelin’ fine…feelin’ fine and lookin’ good“.  😉  A little self-absorbed, no?

Around the point when I started back towards the path (miles 16-20), I was starting to lose steam.  My legs were achy, my IT band started to flare and I was ready to be done.  I had walked for almost .75 miles after I hit 16 miles and it was a little too long.  My body had tasted the temptation of a walk break — and it wanted more.

No way.  We’re going to do this, I told myself.  I kept trucking through to mile 18, took a mini-walk break (maybe .10 mile) and pushed forward.

This is where it starts to get silly.  I had about a mile left, I knew I could make it and then, I started to lose my mind.  No joke.  I’m glad no one was around to hear the things I was saying out loud to keep moving.  But since this is an honest blog, I’ll tell you anyway. 😉

With a half mile left, I started to talk to myself about the girl I was.

I am the girl who could only run a quarter of a mile last year.  I am the girl whose butt was glued to the couch.  I am the girl who was thin but out of shape.  I am the girl who was hooked on fast food.  I am the girl who listened to that little voice too much.  I am the girl who told herself no.”

It morphed in to me talking to myself about who I am now.

I am the girl who ran a half marathon.  I am the girl decided to do this.  I am the girl who told the little voice to get lost.  I am the girl who is running, who is a runner.  I am the girl who will dominate a marathon soon. I am the girl.  I-am-the-girl.  Iamthegirl.

Flying down the last hill, I powered through and hit the exact point where I started 3 hours, 38 minutes and 4 seconds earlier.

I am the girl who just ran 20 miles,” I whispered to myself as I hit the button on my stopwatch.

And damn, it feels good.

That’s 20 miles, peeps.  Twenty whole miles.

So bring it on marathon, bring. it. on.

P.S. Don’t fret pets, I’m back with more regularity now.  Sorry for the hiatus, I’m doing my best.  And isn’t my best good enough?

Difference of Opinion

September 14, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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FIRST:  Thank you for all the sweet comments and encouraging words!  It never ceases to amaze me how kind blog land people can be.  The combination of your wonderful words and a runner’s high made for a GREAT day.  Let’s get to it. 🙂

Training Calls For: 5 miles

Miles Run So Far: 265.2

Days Left: 34

Buenos dias, peeps!

Another day, another early morning run.  I fueled up with an English muffin and PB plus a smidge of coffee.

Delicious.

The weather this morning was eerie.  It was nice and cool, about 50* but the fog was incredibly dense!  Since it’s getting lighter later in the mornings, I spent the first three miles looping our neighborhood just waiting for enough sun to come up enough to venture out on the State Route that connects our neighborhood to the one down the street, er, State Route?

Overall, I ran the entire 5 miles without any pain and I think I made good time.  I didn’t run with an iPod for safety reasons and I left my technology at home.  I just wanted to enjoy the run.  It was a great way to start the day.

Of course, you know my mind wandered as I traveled those 5 miles…let’s do a little off-roading, shall we?

You all know how I work on a college campus, yes?  So one of the fun things about this atmosphere is that every once in a while, marketers show up to target the elusive 18-25 group with the latest and greatest.  Back in the day it was Red Bull…all too often, it’s booze, but yesterday, it was something new to my eye.

Um, a Smoothie-Mobile?  This refreshment RV was set up outside a local bookstore with a table full of “REAL” fruit smoothie samples.  I was tempted to snag one on my way into work, but then I remembered that McD’s and I have a slight difference of opinion when it comes to the definition of “REAL”.

I base this on the following conversation I had this past weekend while I ordered one of the few things I’ll get at McDonald’s: coffee.

Drive Thru Diva:  Here’s your medium, black, iced coffee.  Are you sure you don’t want cream and sugar mixed in?

Me: No, but I’ll take one of each on the side.

Drive Thru Diva:  Well, here’s four of each…

Me: No, no, it’s okay, I only want one.  In fact, I’m only going to use half the sugar packet.

Drive Thru Diva: (stumped) Um, okay.  Just so you know, when we make it mixed up in the back, it usually has six creams and five sugars.

Me: (stumped) Oh.  Uh, that’s okay.  I just want one.  One.  ONE.

That actually happened — check with Sam.  WHO PUTS SIX CREAMS IN THEIR COFFEE???  FIVE SUGARS?  Pardon me while I go ballistic.  It’s coffee, people!  Get a grip.  You should not turn coffee into a magical, jet-propulsion, go-power tool with armed with caffeine, sugar and liquid heart attack.  That’s not “REAL”ly coffee.

*sigh*

I know I can get all high-horsey about food and the natural is better thing, but c’mon.  This has to shock someone else, too.

My REAL food for the day: 😉

Green bubbles for breakfast:

One scoop vanilla whey protein powder, one cup fat free skim milk, one frozen banana and three huge handfuls of spinach — blended until hippity bippity bop — it became a Green Monster Smoothie.

A lil’ lunch after a mega staff meeting (complete with a chorus of growling stomachs):

SSB and J.  Wha??  Sunflower Seed Butter from Trader Joe’s.  Uh-mazing.  So good.  Made a fabulous sandwich on all natural whole wheat bread.

Numerous handfuls of grape tomatoes — fun-size fruit.

Fresh pineapple.

An orange…

And a nectarine…

Completely gratuitous pictures to showcase a new haircut ;).  Good-bye pony-tail, hello Audrey Hepburn inspired ‘do.  Comparison picture:

Change is good. 🙂

An afternoon snack of the Mom’s Best Shredded Wheat cereal I absolutely….

LUV <3.

Dinnah:

Two sweet potatoes topped with delicious, all-natural baked beans.  Yes, two potaters.  They were small.  I am a running machine.  It all evens out.

In fact, it’s just fuel for the 9 miles I gotta run tomorrow morning!  Nighty-night.

The Answer is YES!

September 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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Yes.  I did it.  I ran 18 miles…18 long miles on Saturday.  Ankle/foot be darned.

After a week of progressively better runs, I decided to go all out and run the 18 miles the training schedule called for.  I was back at it.

I could lie and tell you everything just clicked in to place — that is was magical and Disney-like and some woodland creatures scampered alongside and we all laughed and sang, but since this blog is dedicated to the newbie in all of us and this counts as my first injury experience, I’mma be honest wit you ;).

It was awful.

No, really.  The first 9 miles weren’t so bad.  Sam and I followed the same route we ran on Thursday night, with the intention of looping it twice.  After the first loop, back at our house, I made an executive decision.  I cut loose from my man moorings and let Sam go on ahead (I seriously hold him back in terms of speed) while I made up the remaining 9 miles in our neighborhood and the neighborhood next to ours.  Please keep in mind, our neighborhood has a 1 mile loop and the next-door neighborhood has a 1.5 mile loop.

This was going to be a long 9 miles.

All those loops and swoops and figure-8’s gave me a lot of time to think about this injury experience.  It would seem injuries are contagious — or at least fall under the category of “bad things happen in numbers”. Everywhere I turn, I know a runner coping with an unexpected physical shortcoming.

My father-in-law is always wary of his hamstrings.

My sister-in-law is nursing a troublesome ankle.

A friend just emailed me to tell me she’s out of marathon training due to shin pain.

Her running partner has a bum knee and is out of training as well.

Sam’s battling shin splints…and I’ve got an ankle, that until lately,  I would have removed in a heartbeat if I thought I could still run without it.

Like chicken pox sweeping through a preschool, runners all around me are stricken with injury.

My dad made a wise observation recently when he said he didn’t really think anyone got to the starting line of a marathon without suffering some kind of injury. “Think about it: you run so many miles for four and a half months straight.” He’s right — you can’t push like that and expect nothing to happen.  Of the people I listed above, we all have one thing in common: pain. The other thing we have in common, the thing less obvious, is that we all have willpower and desire. We want to keep going and overcome the issue, but it’s out of our control.

If you are forced to drop out of training or change your plans, are you a failure?

I answer with a resounding NO.  Never.

Failure, to me, means you know you could do it, but you opt not to “just because”. No real reason — you just decided to quit because you couldn’t push yourself to stick with it. You didn’t have the heart to keep going.  Knowing when to throw in the towel and pick up the ice pack is different from failure. That’s a judgment call and if you’re wise and you have your body’s best interest at heart (no pun intended), then you make the right call even if it feels terrible.

Of course, this is all well and good and easier said than done. I reached a point Tuesday where I got dressed, laced up my sneakers and headed out for my first run back.

I’ve had just about enough of this injury nonsense, I told myself. We’re going to run.

I finally got what I wanted — I basically got to tell my ankle to shut up. Stop whining at me about how you hurt, suck it up and let me run. Just let me run, for crying out loud.

While injury has forced others to re-think their plans, I’m not there yet. I know if I come to that crossroads, I’m going to follow their lead and make the smart choice.

Because I know it’s not failure.

Because I know it’s best for my body.

Because I know there will be other marathons.

But for right now — I’m still in it.  I’m not going anywhere.

All of these thoughts on injuries and training and changing plans came in a jumble through what was probably the most mentally taxing 18 miles ever.  I came to a point where I was battling a stitch in my side after just a mile, so from mile 12 to mile 18, I was running a mile and walking, then running a mile, then walking.  My legs were bricks, I could actually feel the muscles bunching up and my caboose wanted to derail.

I gave serious thought to stopping at 12 (what I should have run the Saturday I took off) and then again at 16 (wasn’t that close enough?!).  I gave serious thought to crying.  I gave serious thought to cutting through our neighbor’s backyard just so I could shave off a half a mile.

I gave that all serious thought, but I didn’t give it serious permission.

There comes a point in anything worth doing where you realize, indeed, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  That’s when it really counts.  The part where you keep pushing because you know, deep down, nothing is really wrong.  You’re tired, but you have to move forward.  It’s a mental game at this point — train your mind to believe it’s possible.

So 18 was ugly, I’ll admit it, but I am darn proud I finished 18 miles and am back on track to dominate 26.2.  Those 18 miles were as much about training my mind as they were about training my legs.  Should marathon day be an ugly run too, at least I know I can keep moving forward.

There’s no happy picture with fingers displayed to document this, but it doesn’t matter.  I’m not going to forget that run for a long, long time.

Let’s get back on track,  shall we?

Road to Recovery

September 12, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Training Calls For: Cross Training

Miles Run So Far: 260.2

Days Left: 36

Bonjour, blog-babes!  I know I disappeared this week and I apologize.  When life gets crazy hectic, blogging takes a back seat.  This week, starting school again, working the morning shift, adjusting to a new schedule (Sam started a PhD program — smarty pants) and making sure everyone was fed and cared for all took the front seat, back seat and middle seat.  Blogging was basically in the car top carrier.

But I’m back…in more ways than one ;).  Let’s recap!

Tuesday, I headed out after work for a run.  I had had just about enough of that ankle nonsense.  It was time to put up or shut up after a week of babying my foot and I really wanted to run.  I set out for a 4 miler, but cut it short at 3.  The weather was fairly summer-like and the humidity is really what shut me down, not my foot.  It was still tight and uncomfortable, but there wasn’t any pain which gave me a hope.

Post-run, I iced it and took some Aleve to help with inflammation.  Even later, there was an epsom salt bath to help loosen it up.  I’m no doctor, I’ve never taken an anatomy class, but after poring over Google images of the anatomy of a foot and ankle, I have reason to believe I’m dealing with tendonitis.  The fibrous bands that connect my toes to my ankle are what I feel pulling when I walk and run.  I wondered if I had sprained them and in the week of recovery, they had gotten less stretchy and were resisting movement.

Source

At least that was my theory and I was sticking to it.  I decided this was the week to get back into it and move those tendons.  Stretch stretch stretch, troublesome tendons!

Wednesday: I waited for Sam to get home from work before we hit a 5 mile run.  My foot felt even looser than the day before, I was super hopeful things were going to be a-ok.  The weather was much better (less humidity and heat) and the only thing that deterred from a fabulous run was the fact that I’ve lost some endurance in the week I took off from training.  It’s frustrating, but I know it will come back over time.  I’m not givin’ up.

Thursday:  With a major case of nerves, I ran 9 miles with Sam.  I decided before setting out that this would be the determining factor if I was really back in the game with my training.  It took a while, it wasn’t pretty and I had to walk a couple of times, but I did it.  Nine miles with no pain and minimal discomfort.  EXCELLENT.

I was so incredibly sore Friday, I couldn’t believe it.  Well, that’s a lie.  Yes, yes I could.  I could hardly move in the morning and only limbered up slightly after some serious stretching and foam rolling.  Running is the kind of thing you either use or lose.  I didn’t totally lose it, but it’s going to take time to build back up.  Thankfully, I have a while to do just that before marathon day.

So all this update begs the question: did I run 18 miles on Saturday as mandated by the Hal Higdon training schedule?

Well the answer deserves a post of its own, so stay tuned ;).

A rock and a hard place

September 4, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Training Calls for: 12 miles

Miles Run So Far: 234.2

Days Left: 43

*sigh*  See that 12 miles up there that training calls for?  I didn’t run a single one of them.  In fact, since last we talked, I’ve only run 2 miles.  Those two miles still hurt, foot/ankle-wise, so I extended my time off.  I don’t like doing so, but I also don’t want to run through an injury and end up not being able to run the marathon I’ve been so faithfully training for.

I did a lot of thinking about being stuck between a rock and a hard place while I ate my PB and toast with banana this morning for breakfast.

I don’t know exactly what the phrase was meant to infer, but when I say it, I picture myself squeezing in between a boulder and the edge of a cliff.  Quite literally, I imagine myself momentarily stuck between a rock and a hard place.  It’s that moment when you’re trying to pass through a space not intended for you to journey through and you have that second where you think, “oh, oh, oops, I shouldn’t have done this, I should go back”, but in reality, you know you can only move forward. Forward is where you want to be, forward is where you’re meant to be journeying.

You can be stuck between a rock and hard place as long as you want — but you’re the one who decides whether or not you move forward and how you do so.

Lunch: (Tuna on a sandwich thin with spicy brown mustard, pickle and applesauce on the side)

I never intended on injuring my ankle to the point of not being able to follow the training schedule to a “T”.  I never intended to go from averaging 32 miles a week to 2.  But I hurt myself and now, I’m caught between a rock and hard place deciding how to proceed.

How do I move forward?

I’ve decided the best course of action is to keep resting, test the ankle with a little jog here and there and get back on track next week.  I won’t be pushing myself to follow a plan and run through pain.  Pain > plan.  I’ll trust that once I squeeze through this tough spot, I’ll be back to clear sailing and a happy victory picture when I cross the finish line of 26.2.

Dinner: beef stirfry with wild rice and salad

Sounds a little too philosophical, but I think anyone who has committed themselves to the level of insanity this kind of training requires feels absolutely lost when something throws them off-track.

But isn’t that life? Raise your hand if your life has gone exactly as you imagined or planned.

No one?  Just what I thought.

Sometimes, we’re thrown for a loop and we have to squeeze between a rock and a hard place.  When we get to the other side and the scenery doesn’t look quite as we imagined, that’s when we have to take a deep breath and trust that everything we’ve done leading up to this point will carry us through until things seem okay again. It may take a while, but we’re not in charge of the time table.

So, hopefully, Tuesday, I’ll have good news to report and miles to add to the running tally.  It may not be pretty, it may be slow and I may be frustrated, but I still have 6 weeks before it comes time to lace up those shoes and run to realize a goal.

If there is one thing running (and life) has taught me, it’s that a LOT can change in 6 weeks.

Thanks for your patience and your kind words while I wait for my bum ankle to get its act together.  I’ll let you know when I finally wiggled free from between a rock and a hard place. XOXO

Recipe Rut

September 1, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Training Calls For: 8 miles

Miles Run So Far: 232.2

Days Left: 46

Lame: (leym) adjective: impaired or disabled through defect or injury.  See also: having to take another unscheduled rest day due to twisted ankle.

*sigh*

Another morning of getting up, getting dressed and then realizing my ankle is not going to let me run for 8 miles.  This little bugger better heal soon or I’m going to go stir crazy!  I continued my “icing” (hashbrowning) routine and wrapped it in an Ace bandage for today.  I hope it gets the message.  The troublesome thing is my ankle doesn’t bother me when I’m walking — only when I run.  I feel fine putzing around the house, but when I start to trot around the neighborhood — whoa, Nellie.  I feel kind of like a little kid faking sick to stay home from school. 😦

Since I can’t tell you about any running misadventures, let’s talk about the other love of my blog life: food.

I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been in a recipe rut lately.  I haven’t tried anything new, I haven’t gotten up the gumption to create any masterpieces or take any chances.  There were a couple of nights where I didn’t even think far enough in advance to thaw out whatever meat I needed and we ended up having “breakfast for dinner nights” or “Italian night” (read: easy spaghetti because I am a dingbat).

I called an end to this recipe rut this week while I meal planned.  I plopped myself down in front of the shelf of cookbooks and started thumbing through pages.  Pretty soon, I had three newbies to try out and I was actually excited to tie my apron strings and get cooking.

I believe that food is love.  Preparing a meal for someone (or yourself) is an act of kindness and generosity.  It means you like them enough to keep them around and not starve them on stale Cheez-its and a black and blue banana.

Sometimes, love means being a little goofy with your food…

…by channeling an exotic location instead of facing the fact you’ll be 15 minutes late to work because you were searching for tiny umbrellas in the cupboard. 😉

Sometimes, love means being a little daring with your food because you know you’re worth the risk if it could be really, really stellar.

…and you’ll forgive yourself if it’s terrible.  This wasn’t ;).

(“Pearpple” Salad — recipe below).

Sometimes, it means winging it with a new recipe because it reminds you of a time when you were engulfed by love.

(Jerk Chicken — one of the flavors I remember from our honeymoon in Jamaica).

(brand new married Bethany and Sam)

Whether it means you take the extra time to arrange that same old tomato salad a little nicer…

or use cookie cutters for your kids sandwiches or toads in the hole: take an extra minute and put some love in what you’re making or creating.  It will taste so much better that way, I promise. 🙂

Nothing busts a recipe rut faster than remembering you put love in everything you make — so don’t put your love in something crummy. 😉  You’re so much better than that.

“Pearpple” Salad:

🙂 1 medium apple (I used Gala), finely chopped

🙂 1 medium pear, finely chopped

🙂 1/3 cup plain yogurt

🙂 cinnamon

🙂 favorite nut of choice (I used pecans), chopped

🙂 granola (optional)

Mix first 3 ingredients, coat fruit in yogurt.  Sprinkle cinnamon on top and top with chopped nuts and granola.  Delicious and filling!  This baby has simple carbs from fruit, protein from yogurt and healthy fat from the nuts.  Granola just makes it taste so good. 🙂

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