Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Recap and 2013 Plan

Musings on last year and where I hope to go from here..
2012 was my year to become an adult. This isn’t wholly fair to younger Holly--in my first couple years post-college, I wasn’t not an adult. I paid my bills on time, lived away from home, and had a steady job. But I went out too much, I lived with roommates and then in a way-too-expensive studio, and I didn’t take good care of my body or mind. I didn’t look like an “adult” in the way I had envisioned it for myself--which was fine, because I was young and having fun! Real adulthood could come later.

Except I got tired of it. And I met Dan. And life started to change a bit. Slowly but surely, a shorter commute, bed at a reasonable hour, and way more cooking all started to sound more appealing than hour+ metro rides, constant late nights, and eating out all the time a “fast casual” places. I started to plan for my future (oh hey grad school apps!). I realized just how draining my long commute was (and just how fun living with Dan could be!). I figured out just how amazing consistent running is for my body, mind, and sleep habits. And things started to come together.

A lot of these changes started to take hold in 2011, but 2012 was my year for real action on the whole Becoming An Adult front. Let’s see:

  • I studied for and took (and did well on!) the GRE.
  • I moved in with Dan - to a location I originally resisted (due to its suburban nature) but now truly love (+ love my commute!).
  • I actually found living with someone else (Dan!) to be enjoyable and worth it (a huge step for me the frequent loner!).
  • I ran consistently and finally started to enjoy running outside.
  • I ran my first race - a 10k - and beat my goal time.
  • I started to floss and actually stuck with it for the whole year!*
  • I bought a new car using money I had saved up (though I’ll be paying the loan off for a while)
  • I put up some holiday decorations for the fall and for Christmas.
  • I did well at my job (and got a great interim 2012 review still pending!) while still maintaining the all-important work-life balance.
  • I started going to yoga weekly.
  • I applied to graduate school! (DONE with apps, finally)
[*Dan and I were talking a while ago about our biggest yearly accomplishments. I said mine for 2012 was definitely developing a flossing habit. He was like really? Not your first race, not your GRE? And I maintained flossing as my biggest. I’ve stuck to fitness routines before, and I’ve studied (and aced) tests. But I have ALWAYS had terrible oral hygiene (gross, I know) and never have consistently flossed. So go me!]

I feel really good about my progress this year--I made serious strides in planning for my future and developing daily healthy habits that will hopefully stick with me. Life looks a lot like how I wanted my "adult" life to look. And I'm happy!

But of course there is still work to do! I started to list out things I wish I had done more of in 2012 and/or want to do to continue my progression toward “adulthood”, however I’m defining it. The items honestly were fairly simple (e.g., read more, talk to my friends more, do something about my aging skin) and tended to fall into one of four categories, which are:

  • Take better care of my home
  • Take better care of my body
  • Take better care of my mind
  • Take better care of my relationships
So the theme of 2013 is to take better care of things. I’m getting old...but I'm happy with where I am. I just want to take care of all the good stuff I have and get the most out of the life I've established for myself. I want to continue to try to make the best use of my time and stop wasting life away on my computer.

Continued Happiness Project, kind of
So I suppose this means I'm back to that Happiness Project I started a while ago and kind of flaked on. But I'm going to approach it a little differently this time. The original HP focused on one topic area at a time per month. I only have a few (broad) areas that I want to focus on, and I don't want to wait until I reach the associated month to start addressing them.

I'm going to do a slight spin on the Happiness Project, and I guess I'll call it "Take Better Care of Things 2013." Or maybe something catchier if I think of it, though I bet TBCT13 will stick.

I'm going to address one item from each sector a month--so in January, I'll focus on four small tasks, one for each the home, body, mind, and relationships. I've brainstormed a bunch of items I want to tackle through the year, but I'm not going to plan them all out now. I want to give myself some flexibility, depending on how the year is going and what progress I'm making. I'm going to challenge myself to be specific in my monthly goals and not too overwhelming. 

I'll be back soon with my goals for January!

Running lately + big news

Yesterday I ran 5.5 miles in snow/sleet/rain! Not my best run--I just wanted it to be OVER. I ran inconsistently over the last three weeks, 4-5 miles per run but only twice a week. Oh well, at least I was out there. I even ran in the snow while I was home for the holidays--two factors that previously would have been significant deterrents!
This was NOT the snow I ran in. But this is what my
house looked like when I left for the airport!
Almost forgot to mention some BIG NEWS I received before the holiday. I got selected from the Cherry Blossom 10 miler lottery! I was not expecting at all to get in to the race on the first year, and I honestly am a little terrified at the prospect of running 10 miles in April. But I'll give it my best shot and hopefully will finish! Details to come on my planned training.

Today's workout

I hit the apartment complex gym for a quick cross-training session today--25 minutes on the elliptical + weights. Felt nice to be back to lifting!

Today's eats

Trying but failing to get off the sugar cycle I've been on since the holidays. I've been hungry all day today, and I'm guessing my sugar-heavy holiday diet is to blame. Oh well. No "cleanses" or "detoxes" here--I think I'll return to normal patterns once I'm back to my usual schedule after Tuesday. Today's lunch:

Leftover diner-style potatoes (boiled for a bit then cooked on the stovetop in some butter/oil) + sauteed kale + cheese + an over easy egg. I could eat this meal every day. So tasty!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Life since Thanksgiving

What I've been doing:
Woah. I had a blog at one point. Been busy living life and not blogging about it. Alas. I've been:

-Running. Two back to back highest-for-me mile weeks to date. Which is exciting! See the workout summaries at the bottom of this post. I'm excited about this. I upped my running from 3 to 4 days per week, which was the main cause of the increase in mileage. I'm actively trying to get to around 20 miles/week consistently. I think that'd be a good point from which to start thinking about longer races (10 miler or half-marathon).

-Working. Which isn't so bad. A few longer days, but not nearly as bad as it could have been. Though I've been told that January could be an entirely different beast. Trying not to get too worked up about it in advance, especially since the project keeps changing timelines.

-Family-ing. Dan's sister had a baby! He's so teeny tiny! So we went to see him, which was awesome, obviously.

-Kinda sorta doing those grad apps. I'm done with 3 out of 8 (full disclosure: the 3 were due end of November/early December--it's not like I actually got my butt in gear before the deadline). The next set are due early January, with some stragglers into mid-Jan/Feb. My goal is to have all of the essays done by Christmas and all of the applications done by January 1st.

-Decorating, just a bit. I made a festive mini tree! (idea originally from my mom, who made me a mini-tree in college with ribbons in my school colors. Too cute). If you asked me when I was younger, I would have told you I would never be the decorating type--too stuffy and traditional. But I've found that a few festive touches around the apartment really lift my mood and are visually appealing [Placeholder to myself to take a picture and insert it later!].

What's on deck:
-Lots more family. Tis the season, right? Going to see Dan's family this coming weekend then my family the next. I accidentally scheduled myself to be at my mom's house for a week over Christmas...I don't think I've been home for that long since college. Dan will be there for half, and then he'll leave before the actual holiday. I'm looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the time.

-Maintenance running. With lots of upcoming events/travel, I know I won't get to continue to increase my weekly mileage until January. My goal is just to get a couple of quality runs in each week to mostly maintain my fitness. Then it's time to build in January, with some sort of longer race on my mind for spring.

-Finishing those damn grad school apps. Once I get them done I will have NOTHING besides normal life duties on my plate. And it will be glorious. For the past 1.5 years I feel like I've had to be working toward that next step (finding a new job, studying for the GRE, grad school apps, etc.). Once the applications are in, there isn't much more I can do but...wait.*

*This is me lying to myself, a little bit. I know I'll have tons of financial aid and some fellowship applications to do. Let's ignore those for now.

So that's what is coming up. Before vacations/life disruptions I often get antsy and start wishing for the time to pass so I can go back to real life. Which is terrible! I just crave the return to normalcy and to knowing exactly what to expect. So I'm going to do my best to live in the moment and enjoy the time, knowing that normal life will be on the other side waiting.

It is very possible that you may not hear from me until the new year, but I'll return with lots of thoughts on next year's goals and running plans!

Weekly Workout Summary x2, November 26 - December 9, 2012:

Monday: 3.5 mi @ 11:38

Tuesday: 75 min vinyasa yoga

Wednesday: 3 mi on the treadmill (1.0% inc., 5.0-5.8 mph). Damn this was hard. Way harder than running outside. Never thought I'd be one of those runners that prefers the outdoors!

Thursday: 3.7 mi @ 10:39. I was in a rush to get a package from our leasing office before it closed. Intentionally pushed it!

Friday: OFF

Saturday: 6.3 mi @ 11:41

Sunday: OFF (Baby visit!)

Week of November 26 mileage: 16.5 mi

Monday: 4 mi @ 11:17

Tuesday: 75 min vinyasa yoga

Wednesday: 2.5 mi @ 11:11 (outside), then I went to our apartment gym for a strength session. Felt good to lift again!

Thursday: 4.5 mi tempo run. My first attempt at a tempo! I did two miles at 10:02 average pace, which is  fast for me (especially to maintain with no breaks), so that was exciting.

Friday: OFF

Saturday: 7 mi @ 11:29. This was sort of hard, but gorgeous weather. I need to map out a new running route because I always feel like I'm circling back and weaving around to try to tack on more miles to my long runs.

Sunday: 90 min hatha yoga. I only did this because I have a pass that's expiring before Christmas. I wouldn't go back to hatha in the studio--it was nice and stretchy, but I feel like I'm capable of leading myself through a hatha session at home (vs. vinyasa I really like having someone push me).

Week of December 3 mileage: 18 mi

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mindy Kaling and Weekly Workout Summary

So Mindy Kaling
I hesitate to even share my Mindy Kaling thoughts, but I keep ruminating on them, so I'll share. Slash just try to work through them here. I just finished Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and have been following The Mindy Project since the start. I like both of them. I just don't love them the way I expected to and am bothered by this for some reason.

I really want to like Mindy Kaling, in general. A kinda chubby woman of color in comedy! So important! Etc. Plus I probably assumed all the backlash she received was rooted in men generally fearing confident women and feeling uncomfortable with her shtick. And that backlash made her an underdog in my mind, which duh, more reason to root for!

But then I started watching The Mindy Project. And I was kind of like, hm, she's a little bit awful, but kind of awful in that likable way. Kind of. Other times just regular awful. Her quick one-liners are brilliant--biting, fast, and often unreacted to, just the way I like them. But the overarching theme of "Mindy as a romcom character" isn't subtle or ironic or satirical or something enough for me, and I find the almost-SATC shtick tiring at some points. I was willing to give the show some time to figure itself out though.

Then I read Mindy's memoir/story collection (in literally like 4 hours, tops, of reading--how the hell did something so short/with such little actual content get printed). And again, parts of it were funny, and there were lots of times where her commentary on simple life things really resonated with me. But I was left with this overall bad taste in my mouth about 20% into the book that kept up through the end. I finally realized what was bothering me mid-. The note I jotted down to myself: "problem with MK is that she knows all her flaws and clearly thinks they're adorable*, and then mentions them under the guise of self-deprecation. I don't like people who think they are above self-improvement!" And that's it, I think, what was bothering me with the book and with the show too. Mindy is supremely satisfied with herself, to the point of pretty much thinking she's perfect--which would be annoying on its own. But to intersperse all that confidence with false self-deprecation and an overwhelming dose of unrecognized privilege...just ugh. I can't stand people in real life who think they have nothing to improve on--or who kind of get they have flaws, but think they are endearing or what makes them "them" or something. I'm all about accepting flaws, but there are some things that can and should be improved. Self-improvement and self-examination is for everybody, not just for the un-awesome.

*Dan, my main (only?) reader, is likely rolling his eyes right now, knowing that I'm sometimes guilty of the same thing--I can definitely think my flaws are endearing. But I do try overall for self-improvement!

Weekly workout summary: November 12, 2012 - November 18, 2012
I'll add this in here because I really do want to keep up with them! And also because I had a good workout week which makes me proud. So let's see:

Monday: 3.5 miles @ 11:32 average pace. Pretty standard easy Monday run.

Tuesday: 75 minute vinyasa yoga class. Written about here!

Wednesday: off

Thursday: Another attempt at speed work - 4.3 miles. What the description said: "Speedwork Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 3x800 in 4:59 w/400 jogs; Cool." What I did--1 mile warm up. Ran .5 mi in 5:04 (I stupidly didn't look at the time here to figure out whether to hurry or not), jogged for .25 mi, ran .5 mi in 4:49, jogged for .25 mi, ran .5 mi in 4:53, and then jogged as a cool down for about 1.3 miles (the way home). Those 800s were hard! But it felt really good to exert myself like that--I'm definitely enjoying the wiped feeling that speed work brings.

Friday: off. I would have liked to do a light cardio + strength session here, but I just couldn't muster the energy to do it Friday after work.

Saturday: 6.2 miles @ 11:35 average pace. Another beautiful fall Saturday for a run. Had a bit of an incident where I thought someone might be following me, but everything was fine, obviously. Too much Law & Order. I should buy some mace.

Sunday: 60 minute yoga class. This was a freebie "community class" with teacher trainees. So I can't really complain. I'll leave it as my normal Tuesday classes are definitely better!

Weekly mileage: 14 miles. 

I'm currently at my mom's house for Thanksgiving and have been enjoying a "cut back" week for mileage, aka a well-timed intentional laziness week to save my body and sanity. But I made it out for a 5.2 mi run today!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What is it about yoga

Something about yoga just makes me feel so...awesome. I was trying to think through the reasons why on my way home tonight, so I'll take a stab at breaking down what parts of yoga practice I'm enjoying lately:

Feeling like a person that does yoga. Somewhere along the line, I've created an idea of nearly every type of athlete in my head. These imaginary people are probably a mix of people I've known combined with whatever persona the media has crafted for the given sport. For various reasons, runners and yogis have always been my most coveted among the athlete personas (and oh hey, what a coincidence, look at what I do for exercise!). I don't know quite what it is about yogis--perhaps it is the relaxed attitude, or maybe it is the 'I eat whole foods and only do yoga but am strong and thin and never have to watch my calories' shtick they've got going. Or their perky butts. I don't know. But what I know is I want to be them, so when I go to yoga class, I get a little bit of fake-it-til-ya-make-it feeling going on, like I get to adopt the yogi persona for the night and feel cooler and more at ease than I actually am.

Wearing all my pretty yoga gear. Okay "all my" is probably a stretch because I have one pair of crops that I like to wear to yoga. But I do have a few tanks that I like to rotate, and in general, I think that my standard yoga outfit of cropped leggings + Lululemon CRB is quite flattering! Plus I have this great slouchy grey sweater from Urban Outfitters yearsss ago, back when I thought skinny jeans + slouchy cardigans were a great look for my body type (hint: they aren't). So now the sweater is mostly relegated to an around-the-house sweater because it is cozy and has giant pockets for toting tissues around. But then I realized it was the perfect sweater to wear over my slim-fitting yoga clothes before and after class. The first time I wore it--bam. I felt instantly chic and like I could reasonably run errands after class even though I was wearing leggings as pants (butt-covering FTW). Plus it was great to get more use out of an old piece of clothing.

Not feeling totally gross if I don't jump in the shower right away. Let's be clear--I never actually feel totally compelled to take a shower post workout. I do, mostly because I know I need to and out of consideration for Dan. But I'm normally pretty happy to linger in my own sweat for a little bit after a workout (am I completely gross? Don't answer that) and wait until after dinner/clean up etc. to shower, or at least until Dan starts giving me verbal nudges about not being a dirty person. But yoga is the perfect exercise for a lazy person like me--I get sweaty, but not that gross red-faced, salt chunks coming off my skin sweaty that running makes me. I can often justify skipping a hair wash too and just using dry shampoo, which, serious bonus!

Pretending like I have friends. Okay so I do have friends, just not any that live near me. Plus, I've never really been one to hang out with friends mid-week--during the week, I'm all about function over fun. Just trying to get my shit done so that I have actual time on the weekend to devote to my social life. That being said, there is something nice and novel about interacting with people other than Dan or my coworkers during the week. Getting to yoga a few minutes early and chatting and then participating in a class with others makes me feel part of something and social while still checking something off the list!

Getting my strength training done. I don't mind strength training, honestly. Sometimes I get super into it at the gym, and I definitely like the powerful-strong-awesome feeling it gives me. But I'm all about it for like...once a week, max. I get bored and distracted and just want to get in and get out at the gym. So yoga ends up being the perfect second strength session per week. I still get that great muscle burn the next day, but it keeps me interested and helps work different parts I'm not normally great about hitting (oh hello random tiny ankle muscles and inner/outer thighs). Also, yoga is just the perfect complement to running, much more so than regular strength training. I feel sore but still flexible after yoga, which sometimes doesn't happen with normal strength training. It's enough to get a workout, but not so much that I don't want to run the next day.

Feeling so effing bendy and relaxed. Seriously, this one just tops them all. I leave yoga most of the time feeling like a beautiful, bendy pile of mush. None of my other exercise sessions leave me feeling so relaxed and serene, but simultaneously strong and flexible. It's a great change of pace from high intensity running!

Today's workout
Yoga, obviously! A 75 minute vinyasa class. A really great class--I'm liking the Tuesday night instructor. She's in school currently for some sort of meditative arts degree (??), so she likes to use some of her techniques during a slightly extended shavasana (she lets the class go a little long--doesn't cut our practice time!). I end up feeling even more relaxed than normal after she guides us through some deep breathing/visualization/body tensing and relaxing.

Also I held dancer for a while and didn't fall over. Growth!

Today's eats
Okay not today's because Dan and I shared a frozen pizza tonight for dinner, and though delicious, it was not deemed picture worthy. Last night's was the very picture of health and god was it so boring and bland, even the parts I put cheese on. All I really wanted was eggs and potato hash, which I should have just made, but I wanted to use up the kabocha squash and make some quinoa for the week (and the tofu needed to be used up from last week). So now I have leftovers of the blandest dinner ever, so, yay?

Even random bits of cheese could not save this meal.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The habit of fitness

Maintaining my fitness habit

Man, I started this post a week ago and am only now getting back to it. Let's see.

One of my favorite things to go on about to Dan is how "it's easier to maintain a habit than it is to start one." As much as he probably gets tired of it, I say it all the time because I find it to be accurate and broadly applicable. Inertia, depending on the circumstance, can be my best friend or foe. If I have a positive habit started, it is easy for me to continue it. But if I'm stuck in a rut, it is impossible to break it (or rather, easier to continue the habit of being stuck in a rut).

It was only this  last weekend, in my post-10k laziness, that I realized this applied to fitness too. I had started to realize it on Saturday, after a week of not doing anything post-10k due to Hurricane Sandy/having a cold/being lazy. Oh shit, I thought, if it goes until tomorrow it'll have been a week since my 10k, since my last physical activity. And it wasn't until I read Leo Babauta's Zen Habits post that I realized why that freaked me out so much. I had actually formed a fitness habit, and I was terrified to lose it.

[Side note: I used to like Leo a lot more but have grown a little tired of him in the past year (but still read him, apparently), particularly how he keeps monetizing fairly simple ideas with these online courses. But I found this article pretty compelling!]

I realized that maintaining my "fitness habit" has become the key to actually sticking with my healthy habits this time, as opposed to letting them drop after a month of working out. Getting used to coming home after work and going right back out again to run, making quick dinners to refuel me after working out, going to bed at a reasonable hour on Friday so I can run Saturday's all part of my routine now. There's no question whether I'll do it--I just go on autopilot. The minute I give myself room to question is the minute I sit back on the couch.

So this past week, and ongoing through the holiday season, I'm focusing on maintaining my fitness habit. Even when things get crazy and even while I'm traveling--I just want to stick with it so that January 1 isn't an impetus to finally start losing weight, but instead is just another day to keep doing what I do.

Chore chart update
Ha! Hahahaha. I clearly was kidding myself when I thought that November would be the right time to start my chore habit. Between various travel to see our families and (the big one) trying to get my grad school apps done, this was not the best month to start that. The priorities this month are: grad school and fitness (with the always present priority of family + Dan!). For what it's worth, I still think the chore chart is a great idea and will be feasible to try once life calms down a bit. I'm still using it to check things off on the fridge, but I'm on more of a two week cycle (and still lumping the chores into longer sessions) than the weekly do-something-everyday cycle.

Weekly workout summary - November 5, 2012 - November 11, 2012
I haven't done one of these in a while since I hadn't been doing very much! But with my renewed commitment to sticking with it, I figured I'll post what I did this past week. In hopes of gaining some speed, I've started following a free plan from Runner's World Smart Coach to guide my Wednesday speed sessions. I'm not following the whole plan to the T, but it provides a good guide for what to do with "speed work" for an unsure newbie like me.

Monday: 2.5 miles on the treadmill + strength. I threw some speed intervals in there for good measure--mostly just to finish faster. I forgot how effing boring the treadmill is!

Tuesday: 75 minute vinyasa class. This felt soooo good. I hadn't been to yoga in a while, and it felt fantastic to finally get my sweaty stretch on again. I have a class pack with several left that expires around Christmas, so yoga will be a frequent fixture here over the next few weeks!

Wednesday: Rest!

Thursday: First attempt at one of the Smart Coach workouts was only partly successful. It was mile repeats, but I totally failed to check the actual speed I needed to go for the miles before my run. So stupid. So I kind of guessed that it was around 10:40, which was incorrect (10:31 was the goal).

Anyway, the workout was listed as such: "Speedwork Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2x1600 in 10:31 w/800 jogs; Cool." Let me break that down for you. Total distance = 4 miles, which includes the warm up and cool down. The mildly confusing thing about the Smart Coach workouts is that they don't tell you how much to warm up or cool down for, so you just do the math yourself. This one worked out to be: warm up for .5 miles, run 1 mile in 10:31 (10 minutes and 31 seconds), then jog for .5 miles, then run another mile in 10:31, then jog for .5 miles, then cool down for .5 miles.

I preprogrammed the workout into my RunKeeper app on my phone so that I would hear cues when the intervals were done. Another benefit was that it timed the splits for me. So my interval miles were 10:43 and 10:04. Oh well--I got it half correct anyway! This workout was definitely tough, even though the average pace was only 11 min/mile for the whole thing--I've kept that before on my shorter runs, no problem. Keeping that consistent and fast-for-me pace for the full mile was challenging.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 6.2 miles at 11:52 min/mile average pace. I learned an important lesson from this run: if you feel comfortable, temperature wise, when you go outside, you'll probably feel too warm in about ten minutes. But I made it.
Beautiful day to be on the trail
I don't have any intent to run a longer race until next spring (though I'm toying with the idea of a 5k in January), but I want to keep my weekly long runs in the mix so that I don't have to rebuild my mileage. And because Smart Coach told me to.

Sunday: 35 minutes on the elliptical + strength at the apartment gym. I pretty much had the gym all to myself, so that was an unexpected treat. I actually did lower body strength exercises (squats, hamstring curls, booty stuff, etc.) for the first time in a few weeks, which felt awesome. I have that fun sore but still able to walk feeling today, which I love.

Weekly mileage: 12.8 miles.

Pretty good week of exercise for me! It actually looks a lot like what my ideal exercise week would look like--minus using the treadmill, plus maybe another yoga session. That's what I'm aiming for this week!

Final programming note:
If you happened to stop over here from Shelby's blog re: a slightly inflammatory comment I left over there...hi! I'm not an immature asshole; I promise! I just look like one sometimes when I get riled up post-election. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November goals

So about that HP
My Happiness Project goal for November had been to "live like an adult", which included resolutions such as wearing a small amount of makeup to work so as to look not like a hobo, get a better/consistent skin care routine down, deal with my mail when I walk in the house (as opposed to letting it pile for days)...etc. But if there is anything that my first month's experience taught me, it was that introducing many resolutions in a month was a little overwhelming. That, coupled with the fact that November is crunch time for my grad school apps (and I am not in as good of shape for them as I had planned!), I've decided to just focus on two, non-themed items for the month:
  1. Get my mother effin' grad school apps in at all costs.
  2. Use a weekly cleaning schedule to tackle one task a day.
One of my original resolutions for the "live like an adult" month was related to cleaning--I wanted to stop waiting until right before we had company over to go on a cleaning rampage and instead do it consistently. I feel SO much better about the apartment when it is decluttered and neat, and I always end up stressing myself out pre-company to get everything done. Plus, it is gross that I was only doing our bathrooms once a month. Yes, please, publicly shame me. I am narsty. 

Dan usually helps with some of the cleaning tasks--wiping down counters, vacuuming, changing the sheets, etc. But given his current status with a broken arm and the fact that I am doing this chore challenge for my peace of mind, I'm not expecting him to help with this. I really think that if I can stick to a schedule, it is feasible to clean our medium sized apartment (1 bedroom + office) in approximately 20 minutes a day. If I can demonstrate to myself that it is, then I probably have a better shot of sticking with it!

So! There are a gazillion of these online, but here's the one I came up with for our place:

[Click to enlarge. There are minor errors on there that are driving me batty, but you get the idea. Let me know if I missed something!]

I think this pretty much encompasses the basics of any smallish apartment. I included tasks that are easy to do daily and make a big impact (seriously, do you have a Swiffer vacuum? It is a cordless vac that works fantastically to get crumbs and stuff up. So easy to use and keeps the kitchen floors spotless). I tried to group like tasks so that I would use the same set of cleaning supplies each day (which is why it makes more sense to de-hair the bathroom floors/baseboards on dusting day, not bathroom day). It doesn't include all of those Martha Stewart-type tasks like cleaning your fridge shelves, cleaning windows, cleaning out vents, etc. That's just not happening on any sort of regular basis for me. Also, I like doing laundry on Friday nights if my schedule allows for it (something so nice about getting it out of the way for the weekend, and it can easily be done while relaxing!). That can easily be moved to Saturday or Sunday if I have something to do on Fridays since it is a relatively low maintenance activity. 

I'll tape the schedule to the fridge, to be started next Monday. The blank cells next to the items are intended to be checked off as I go. Again, I require public shaming to get this done. I hate having to clean the apartment, but I also hate feeling like a slob and feeling like I'm not following through with something. So I'll take a picture at the end of each week and post it for you all as incentive to stick with it. 

Action plan for the grad school apps is just basically Get Shit Done ASAP. One of my favorite mottos in stressed out times (almost always self-induced due to procrastination) is: "it will all get done because it has to get done." I have my master list of pretty much everything I need to do for them, and every time I look at it I feel all stressball-avoidant and panicky. But I need to really use my weekends to push through to get them done!

My nose/tissue box is getting a serious workout with this cold. Other than that, nothing. Potentially will do some push ups/core work before I shower. Really hoping for the cold to dissipate by Saturday so I can run!

I feel gross right now..Dan and I ordered pizza for dinner. Mistake! And we used a deal so we each got our own pizza--a lot of leftovers. Not really a mistake, but a decision made out of laziness/sickness/not having frozen pizza on hand for pinch. Ah, well.

Healthy lunch at least:
Mixed greens with goat cheese, reheated kabocha squash, and edamame.
Piece of toast with hummus.
And now for more OJ!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Further musings on the race and racing

Some thoughts on "racing"
So I did my first real race. And it was good--definitely an experience I'm glad I did! It was an exciting event to be a part of, and mostly I was just happy that my mom got to see me run. Dan sees me come home sweaty from my runs multiple times a week, but my mom hasn't really seen me run since I've only gotten into it in the past year. I was excited to show her what I had been working towards and help her understand the whole scene.

I completely failed to get a picture of me with my mom on
 race day, so you get to see this one again.
But beyond that...I don't know. I haven't really told my whole former-chubster-gets-into-running tale on the blog yet (coming soonish!), so it is a little hard to explain. I had built up running a race as such an EVENT in my mind. That all the sudden I would feel like a real runner and would be part of the ranks of all those effortless track girls. Obviously this didn't happen. Even though I finished, and in what felt like a respectable time, it didn't make me feel more authentic or more like I belonged in the running world. I just felt like...okay, I did my weekly long run with some other people this week. Not anything life changing.

I also expected to get the "racing bug" that everyone talks about. And that didn't really happen either...I came home and was excited to have finished but just kind of moved on to the next thing mentally. I did start tossing the idea of signing up for a 5k around in my mind because I'm interested in testing my speed a bit. I got as far as looking up some local races, but I couldn't commit to the idea of putting money down for one. I just kept returning to the notion of why pay money for this when I get just as much out of running solo. 

That all being said...signing up for the race is 100% what caused me to follow through with my training for the 10k and is what helped me push myself past that 3-4 mile hump. If I hadn't made a public declaration (here and in real life) that I was doing a 10k, I would have felt comfortable slacking on my training or bailing on the race. So I am glad I did it for that reason, and would recommend that others struggling with motivation do the same. I'll probably sign up for another race for the same reason in the future--I'm toying with the idea of a 10 miler in 2013. 

But I discovered that I'm not one of those people that will be looking for a race to do every month--not interested in racing just for the sake of doing a race. Which a little bit surprised me! I'm fairly competitive, and I generally like being able to measure my progress and to evaluate myself against external benchmarks. But somehow running has become more personal than that. Racing too much and constantly trying to beat my times would somehow feeling like I'm tainting it? Turning this truly relaxing and rewarding activity that is all mine into another thing to try and succeed at and that others can use to measure progress. There is something particularly comforting in doing it without external pressures and just for me. 

Thoughts on the MCM 10k
My thoughts can be pretty much summarized in what I said to Dan after the fact: "I don't want to do another race where I'm running the sideshow event to the main race." The 10k is clearly an afterthought on MCM weekend--as it should be, seeing as the marathon had about 4 times as many finishers. But that made being in the 10k kind of sucky. Not enough portapotties, not enough (or really much at all) crowd interest, shitty course, eagerness to clear us out to make way for the marathoners...meh. If I'm going to shell out the cash to run a race (and deal with the crowds of a major race vs. a local one), I'd rather feel like I'm part of the actual event, not just the warm up act. But now I know!

Also, our shirts were hideous. Cotton long sleeves with mock turtleneck. Mock turtleneck! Why. At the least the medals were awesome! 

Man, nothing since the 10k. The first couple of days I was stilted by Hurricane Sandy* and the corresponding laziness of being cooped up inside and working from home. And yesterday I started to develop a cold! It seems to be peaking today, so I'm hoping it clears up for the most part by the weekend. I'd like to get a run in. 

*My thoughts are with everyone re: Hurricane Sandy, of course. I feel like that should go without saying, but I also feel like I'm not allowed to mention Sandy without saying that. So, there you go. Hope everyone is safe!

Today's eats
I made that kale/apple/red onion Real Simple recipe (sans bacon) again last night. Just a really tasty side that reheats well! I ate it with a grilled cheese (with pickles) tonight for dinner--that grilled cheese totally hit the spot. Followed by lots of Milk Duds and Whoppers. Best candies ever that little kids seem to hate. Oops. More for me. 
Grilled cheese and pickles. Sandwich of champions.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

MCM 10k Recap!

First race--check! It was a great experience. Starting on race day AM--

My mom and I rode the metro in from Virginia. It actually wasn't as bad as I expected it to be, crowds-wise--I think the marathon people all got there earlier. We got off at the Smithsonian metro stop and followed the crowds to the mall. There I made a beeline for the portapotties, but sill was greeted with huge lines. My mom guessed around 750 people, and I think that sounds right. Not enough of them!

I was still in line when the official start happened but close to the front, so I decided to stick it out. Others started to abandon, but I knew I would be in a later corral anyway so I wasn't concerned. I finally got in there and came out to them shouting over the megaphones "one minute until we take away the timing mats!" I shoved my stuff into my mom's arms and started sprinting toward the start. And I made it! [Sidenote--this was only at 8:15 AM and the race started at 7:55. I really didn't think it would close down that fast, especially since they could see how long the portapotty lines were!]

And then I started running. One unexpected perk of literally sprinting to make the cutoff was that it was initially pretty uncrowded. Not too much weaving to be able to pass people. I came around the mall after the first half mile and saw my mom! After that she hopped on the metro to meet me at the end, so I was happy that she was able to see me run at least a little bit, even toward the beginning.

After the mall, the rest of the course was a lot of this:
So much highway
Never having done a road race before, I'm not sure if this was typical? They did break it up with groups of marines along the course! They were very friendly and eager to give high fives. But there weren't a ton of spectators beyond that--some groups of cow people (not sure what their cause was, but they all had cowbells) and occasionally a few others. I had been dreading the turning/weaving in Crystal City (I tend to prefer to run straight) but that ended up being my favorite part of the course because there were spectators and music! Shout out to Lululemon for having a great crowd.

I might be selling the course short--I honestly don't remember a ton of it beyond the highway ramps and bridges, but the map shows me there might be more I'm forgetting. I was focused on running and weaving. After the first 1.5 miles I started to catch up to the bigger group of people and had to do a bit more weaving than I had expected (seeing as I am slow and usually the one being passed, not doing the passing. I ended up with an extra .14 mile, according to my watch). I was really surprised how many walkers there were at the race. Lots of people walking in honor of someone, etc. Definitely a meaningful race for a lot of people.

I wish I could give a mile by mile play by play, but it honestly all kind of blends together a few days out. With about 1.5 mile remaining, I realized that beating 1:10 (my A+ goal!) was feasible and got my head in the game. I wouldn't let it feel easy--that was when I really started to feel like I was participating in a race, not just a regular long run. It was exciting!

And finally, I came to Rosslyn. All of my "on the course" proofed photos look like this:
where I'm slightly looking up. I'm nearly positive that is because they were all taken right at the end (notice the crowds in the background) before the massive hill that leads up to the monument. I'm just so clearly thinking "you have got to be fucking kidding me" in all of them. But I did it! And I finished.

I honestly thought I would cry when it was over, but I held it together. (I'll do a second post on my takeaways/thoughts on doing my first race). The closest I came was when I got teary as the marine placed the medal around my neck and told me congratulations.

[Side note: people that know me in real life know that I'm not much of a military worshipper. Don't get me wrong, I'm immensely grateful for what they do and how they serve our country, but I sometimes think that the constant adulation they receive is a little much, especially when compared to others (e.g. paramedics, doctors, firefighters) that also save lives. That being said, I was truly touched by the significance of this race for many people--so many people running in memory of someone. There was a moment at the beginning of the race when we were all waiting for the portapotties and the race was starting. It was loud and jovial and then the Marines starting singing the National Anthem. A hush fell over the crowd, and I had this moment of...ohh, I get it. Awe and gratitude and a sense of being part of something.]

I want to buy this photo if they can remove crazy pink lady.
Bam. I did it.
Chip time
Coming in to the race, I knew it was only my first, so I didn't really need to set any goals. Finishing and not getting picked up by the course-clearing truck would be an accomplishment. But a little part of me knew I had a bit more in me than that. So I told my mom on the metro ride there: "I'll be happy if I finish in under 1:20, but I think I might be able to go for under 1:10." To which she just told me to have fun and finish. But I beat my goal! I'm so happy with that time. 11:09 average pace (although 10:55 when you account for my phone's distance measurement of 6.34 miles, not 6.2). Here are my splits:
miPace (min/mi)Elevation (ft)

I feel like I ran a solid race--relatively even splits! So proud to wear that medal:

Lots more to come on my thoughts on finishing my first race, whether I've got the "racing bug", and what my new running plan is. But for now I'm enjoying thinking of myself as a 10k finisher!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A series of unfortunate events (and a weekly workout summary)

The most unfortunate

Sooo long story short, Dan broke his arm. It happened on Tuesday and is a bad break. He's recooping okay (and being a good patient!), and we will know more about what the next few months will bring at his doctor's appointment tomorrow. So I've been mostly helping him (my job offers the flexibility to work from home) and have not been thinking about blog posts!

Smaller issues

I broke my laptop cord (Dan has an extra laptop that I'm borrowing for the time being!), I'm stressed about grad school apps, the apartment is a mess, and I feel like there are a bunch of nagging tasks over my head. All of this is immensely stressing me out, and I seem to be reverting to my old coping mechanisms (well, aside from drinking at least)--eating like crap and basically curling into a fetal position stress ball to ignore the things that are stressing me out (although the stress fetal position is taking the form of "watching shit tons of Law & Order" recently). The avoid, eat my feelings, and ruminate with inaction coping method. Bad!

So this week I'm hoping to reclaim things a bit. Tackle one grad school task and one nagging task (including the cleaning) per night. Just one small one. I think I can handle that.

Weekly workout summary - October 21, 2012

At the very least I've gotten in a few runs this week, though I'm regretting not having worked out today-- I think that wold have made me feel a little less stressed right now!

Monday: 45 min pilates/random internet workout videos in the apartment.

Tuesday: 4 mile run @ 10:51 min/mile average pace. Thank goodness I was relatively quick on this--I came home to Dan having broken his arm (and being unable to move/get to his phone). I felt so terrible!

Wednesday: Rest day/caring for Dan!

Thursday: Dan insisted I get out and go for a run (the man knows how to keep me sane :) ). 4 miles in 10:53 min/mile average pace. Unintentionally quick--probably just anxious to get home!

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday: 7 miles @ 11:40 min/mile average pace. I did my long run close to home this week (not on the bike path), which made for some good hilly challenges. I felt pretty good about this run--not super tired at the end and relatively even paced throughout. I feel ready for next weekend's 10k!

Sunday: Skipped cross training. Ah, well, it happens. 

Total weekly mileage: 15 miles. My highest to date! Next week will be lower in an attempt to give my legs an easy week before the 10k. And in an attempt to give myself some more time to get things done!

Keeping this quick--hopefully I get back in the regular picture-taking and posting habits soon!

Monday, October 15, 2012

About that Happiness Project

Happiness Project
The Happiness Project  month on finding focus at work is going...okay. Just okay. Definitely not stellar--the end of last week was a disaster. But when it works, it works! I am focused at work, am finding my flow, etc.  But I haven't gotten it to work consistently yet.

I had additional goals this week--use the Pomodoro method to take breaks and go outside for a walk or do push ups for a break. The original idea was the have prescheduled breaks to look forward to, as opposed to just taking them when I want--which is good in theory. I'm realizing though that I probably tried to take on too many mini-goals for the month and still need to work on mastering the goals I started with. And honestly, the break thing is not really what I need--I'm still struggling with finding my focus to begin with--planned interruption doesn't seem like a good fit right now.

So with that in mind, and as I'm finding that certain things becoming more important than others, I'm going to focus on these goals for the rest of the month:
  • Planning my next day the night before. Before I leave work, I take stock of the day and what I have coming up tomorrow. This is definitely helpful for getting focused immediately at work the next day, and generally helps me clear my mind of anxiety before leaving the office.
  • Getting something done by 10 am. This is absolutely key. If I get something done before then I feel accomplished and set a focused tone for the day. If I let myself get distracted after breakfast it is hard for me to refocus until after lunch. 
  • Setting an intention for the day. This was one I didn't even include originally in my list of goals for the HP, but I'm realizing just how important it is. I literally create a post-it note every morning and set out my reason for working hard that day (...because apparently just doing my job is not sufficient incentive for me. I suck). But really, I find this so helpful--when I get distracted, I can look at my post-it and remind myself why I'm working. For the most part they tend to be related to things I want to do after work, and that's okay. Whatever gets me through the day at this point--we can work on super lofty career ambitions later.
I took pictures of several different examples of these and tried embarrassingly hard to
make a collage on one of those photo collage sites. I failed. So you get only one. 
So I'm going to track those habits for the remainder of the month, with an added one:
  • Get something done by 2 pm (after lunch). I tend to eat lunch around 12:30, done by 1 pm, and I have a hard time refocusing again after that. I'm going to try to use the morning strategy again in the afternoon. 
I will also continue to use the internet blocking program. I haven't found that to be particularly motivating, but it does serve as a reminder (and makes me feel sufficiently guilty about getting off track). 

Meh. It was raining when I got home from work today and I wimped out on running outside. Coupled with the fact my apartment gym (which is my only gym currently) has a whopping total of 3 treadmills, one of which is broke right now...and yeah. The run didn't happen. I ended up doing about 40 minutes of various workout videos--a couple of pilates ones, a dumbbell one for arms, and then topped it off with some exercises of my own. So let's call it a cross-training/strength day.

I'm determined to still get in 3 runs this week though--and luckily tomorrow's 0% chance of rain is cooperating.

Two meals to share today! Lunch was pretty simple, but I remembered to take a picture:
Except it was sideways.
Mixed greens with avocado and edamame--I always try to get the toppings chunks to show up on top of the salad for photos but when I adjust one piece the other one falls through the lettuce. Oh well. With a side of leftover pizza, which was the actually filling part of the meal.

But dinner was the real star of the show today. I followed this recipe from Real Simple, though halving it, because that is a lot of food. I had made it once before and knew it was tasty. I probably could have cooked my kale a little longer to give my jaw a break, but it was really good and garnered lots of leftovers. I also roasted up some butternut squash because I needed to use it up so I threw some in there too.
Topped with pesto and toasted walnuts!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekly Workout Summary - October 14, 2012

Weekly workout summary

I'm going to make this quick! I spent a fair amount of my Sunday watching the Bills game in DC with my friend Jess (we won, woohoo!). Lots of fun, but means I'm shorter on time than I usually am on Sundays!

I battled some knee pain after my long run last week, so this week only included two runs. I still tried to stay active on my usual days though!

Monday: 3.5 miles @ 11:05 min/mile pace. Battled some knee pain here but mentally/cardiovascularly felt good.

Tuesday: Rest day.

Wednesday: Should have been a run day, was a failed cross-training day instead. Mostly just did strength training.

Thursday: Skipped yoga for fear it would be tough on my knee--did about 30 min of pilates at home using some random web videos. I should start doing these on Tuesday (and go back to yoga on Thursday)--they were easy enough to do at home quickly before starting dinner, but not so tough that it would defeat the purpose of having an easier day.

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday: Awesome, new PDR-setting long run! 7 miles @ 11:45 min/mi average pace.

Sunday: I went to yoga in the park this AM! Took a nice 75 min yoga class at 9 am this morning. It was a new instructor for me (though from the same studio I normally go to), and it was a more strength-style class, as opposed to more vinyasa flow like I'm used to. Think lots of chair holds, planks, lunge holds, etc. It did a good job of keeping us warm in the slightly nippy weather. But it was awesome to be outside--we practice to the left of these fountains:

Good way to start the day.
The best part was that my knee was actually feeling BETTER after yoga. I didn't push myself too hard, but the stiffness that was there in my knee beforehand ended up disappearing by the end of class. Unexpected but I'll take it!

Total weekly mileage: 10.5

My goals for this week workout-wise are just to get through the week injury free and with some miles under my belt. I am really starting to get a sense of how soon the race is--I just want to be able to run it!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Low key weekend

Low key weekend so far

Weekend so far has been good! Dan hasn't been feeling well so it has been low key, but we've still be enjoying ourselves. Last night we stayed in and watched Beetlejuice, which is an incredibly odd movie. It was one of Dan's childhood favorites (or rather one of his sister's, so he just watched it a lot) and I had never seen it. It really is incredibly weird--not just regular Tim Burton weird, but also just kind of oddly paced and using random music. But still fun/funny!

Such an odd ending.
Image source
Today I did my long run (report below) and then we went to lunch and checked out the new Target! I am way too excited for the Target. The grand opening is tomorrow (obviously I will be going again), but they did a soft open earlier this week. It is a really nice store and they had a lot of "new store discounts," which really serve to entice me to buy things I don't need, which is pretty much the entire purpose of Target.

Then I hit Trader Joe's solo because Dan needed to rest, poor guy. This was a mistake though. I had just received the new "Fearless Flyer" that they send out in the mail and decided that I needed ALL THE PUMPKIN. Seriously. I left with way too much, but that's how it always goes with Trader Joe's (and why I don't do my weekly shopping there--well that, and Wegmans is awesome).


Long run today! I hadn't run since Monday due to the knee pain, so I was looking forward to this. I covered 7 miles today--another new personal distance record [PDR--spelled out at Dan's recommendation :)]. The weather was FANTASTIC. Seriously like 20 degrees cooler than last week--cold at the beginning but I warmed up! I got to break out the long sleeves again:

Don't mind the messy bathroom. I was trying to
show off the thumb holes but just look odd!
I ran the whole thing in 1:22:15--for an average pace of 11:45 min/mile. Not bad! The knee held up for the most part--I'd describe it as discomfort, not true pain (I had told myself if I felt anything like true pain or shooting that I would quit). It'll depend on how I'm feeling, but right now I'm thinking that I can just resume a normal running schedule. The significant amount of rest didn't really make it feel much better, and running on it didn't make it feel worse. So who knows.

I am mad at myself about one thing though--a girl approached me while I was running to chat (about the tights I was wearing) and we talked for about a mile. She ended up moving past because she was faster than me.But I didn't end up getting her contact info! No I wasn't trying to hit on her, but I did want to friend hit on her (that still sounds creepy). I have been trying to make fitness friends in the area! Oh well, hopefully I'll see her out the trail again, and if Beth sees this, shoot me an email!

Post run car thumbs up (that is cut off):

I don't normally wear a headband when I run, but I thought it could
double as an ear warmer in a pinch today! (Unnecessary)

Beer reviews

I've tried a couple beers in the last few days (insert usual caveat that I am no beer expert, just interested in documenting what I like)--

Schlafly Pumpkin Ale (bottle): Drinking this right now actually! Almost done. I like this a fair amount. Definitely more of a dessert beer, not something to be consumed with food. The pumpkin spice is strong, and it has a good amount of sweetness. But I don't know...I actually don't love this?! In years past, I've been somewhat fixated on pumpkin beer, but this year it isn't really hitting the spot for me--not beer-y enough. Is it possible that my palette has matured beyond pumpkin beers? But still, this is a very solid pumpkin beer--strong pumpkin pie taste with a nice amount of sweetness. The flavor is really there--I'd say this sets the pumpkin beer standard, if that's your thing. Woah, and surprisingly strong, just looked up the ABV (8.0%). You don't really taste that!

New Belgium Brewery Trippel (bottle): Shared this with Dan on Thursday night (debates require drinking--actually thats a lie, we were watching something else and only tuned in for the second half). I wasn't in love with this, but it was very drinkable. The bottle said it had tastes of coriander, but I must not know what coriander tastes like. Had a nice fruity grassy mix. I wouldn't seek it out again, but wouldn't turn it down at a party!

Harpoon Octoberfest (bottle): Consumed on Thursday. I was really surprised at how much I liked this beer because I can really go either way with Octoberfest beers. It had a nice malty taste balanced by the hops--some spice flavor that I couldn't place but very much enjoyed. Incidentally, other people online seem to really not like how this beer finishes ("astringent" seems to be the word of choice), but I didn't have that complaint at all. I'd get this again!


Not much too exciting on this front. Tonight Dan and I did our homemade pizza (with premade crust). On half the pizza, I did a mozzarella/ricotta/pesto combo, and on the other half, I used the rest of my kale/apple/red onion saute leftovers and topped it with some brie. This was surprisingly tasty! Definitely a fun way to use up leftovers.
I forgot to take a picture until I was halfway through.
Browsing my phone also reveals a picture of the lunch I had on both Thursday and Friday:

Mixed greens topped with edamame, goat cheese, and sweet potato that was warmed in the microwave. Great combination--I liked how the warmed sweet potato made the greens slightly warm. Then on the side I had my favorite combo--cottage cheese on Triscuits (the thin crisp kind). So tasty.

Annnd right now I think I have some TJ's pumpkin ice cream on the horizon...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An attempt at cross training

Cross-training fail
So tonight would have been my normal run night, but I knew my knee was still nagging me and decided to rest up. This made me grumpy. So I decided to attempt to cross train at my teeny apartment gym. This was largely a bust. I tried to use the bike (there is only one and it is a recumbent style) and noticed the knee pain immediately (when I was bending my knee). Then I tried the elliptical, which started out okay but after moving the knee for about 8 minutes I noticed the pain and got off. And then I just did arm and core weights. Blehhh. I barely got sweaty.

I think the thing that I'm the most frustrated with (besides being nervous about the race) is that it isn't actually THAT painful. Like I said yesterday, it is only mildly painful, more like a bad discomfort. Enough that I know that I shouldn't be running on it (and to be fair it becomes more painful the more I use it), but not enough that it feels like I couldn't just go for a quick jog. But I know I should rest it and risk doing more damage if I run on it while it hurts. I'm really really hoping that I can run by this weekend--I'd love to get my long run in. RICE RICE baby. Man I'm lame.

As a side note: when did I become a person that actually looks forward to their run? Somewhere along the way the transformation happened. Right now, I think it is mostly just feeling anxiety about my first race (and wanting to be able to run to show myself I have nothing to worry about) combined with wanting to enjoy this cooler weather after slogging through DC heat all summer! That being said, I don't think I'm truly a person yet that enjoys their run just for the sake of running. If you told me tomorrow that I could lose 10 pounds, never get less healthy than I am, and life a long life without exercise, I'd probably sit on the couch all day. But I know I need to exercise and running is currently the lesser evil.

A Happiness Project update was promised, but I had an all-day work training today. Which a) means I didn't get to put my HP goals into practice and b) am really burnt out on work and can't bear to think about it anymore tonight!

See above. Lame.

Also lame. Combined leftovers--cornbread quiche from the weekend and tofu and kale from last night. Another oddly down-home-cookin' looking meal.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Knees and kale

Knee pain?
Ugh I ran on Monday and cut it short to 3.5 miles. The knee pain was definitely not good--it was barely there for the first two miles but definitely started nagging after that. Blehhhh I am so frustrated. This is my first quasi-injury since starting to run (about a year ago). I'm RICEing and trying to take care of it (though I know running on it on Monday was supremely stupid), but confused. When do people go to the doctor for this kind of thing? I would rank it as uncomfortable, not painful--it edges to painful toward the end of the run/right after/if I twist it wrong, but for the most part it is just uncomfortable. So I'm not really sure what's wrong with it. Or how long to expect it to take for it to heal. I want to run! But I need to keep my eyes on the prize. There is no reason currently that I shouldn't be healed up for the race in 2.5 weeks if I properly take care of myself, so if that means missing a few shorter runs to heal then I should. Reluctantly.

Update on the Happiness Project focus at work progress tomorrow!

Ughhh see above. 3.5 miles yesterday that felt soo good except for the whole knee thing. The weather was glorious. I got to try out my new long sleeve running top too! It is this one in a pale lavender color that I got on sale. 

Confession, I have a minor Lululemon fixation. I don't know why--I'm not a major yogi by any means, I know how terrible the company's founder was, they are overpriced...but I find it amazingly comfortable, flattering, and functional, sooo I keep buying. Anyway, the run shirt worked amazingly, so much so that I bought another in teal. It is the perfect shirt for fall weather--hopefully I'll be getting out to enjoy it more!

Today was a planned rest day. Hoping I can run tomorrow but that is definitely TBD. 

The past couple days have been mostly boring (think salads and leftovers), but tonight's dinner was quite tasty! It was my vegetarian version of a traditional meat and potatoes meal. Barbeque tofu (meh, kind of bland, I needed to let it marinade longer maybe?), roasted sweet potatoes, and some kale. I cooked the kale with red onions and apples, as in this recipe from Real Simple (without the bacon). Loved the combination of flavors.
Down home cookin'. Kind of.
And in my usual fashion, I intentionally over-portioned so that there would be lots of leftovers for the rest of the week!