Monthly Archives: August 2011

Birthday #1

Much of the day was spent in positions apropos of a contortionist… there is just no way that I can sit comfortably at my desk at work without hurting my knee.  (It doesn’t hurt when I walk / run… just when I’m sitting in a chair with my leg bent, or when I’m going down stairs.  Going up stairs is fine.  Bizarre.)

Anyway, before that, I took my newest pair of shoes out for a test run… the short easy runs are the perfect time for that, I think!

Okay, yes, this is getting a little out of control.  I think I’m done for a while!  Anyway, I was wearing the New Balance 890.  (Obviously, I went with the green.)

It’s not fair to judge the shoes by this, since my ankle was aching a bit and so I didn’t lace them up using the two eyelets on the top, the way I normally would.  But I think they’re okay — they’re definitely more lightweight than what I’ve been wearing!

Weirdest splits ever.  Side note, the “start time” of my runs has been getting later and later … because I have to pry myself out of bed first!  This is a problem.

Just for kicks, I mapped out the route I took this morning and got the elevation profile.

Interesting.  Sure didn’t feel like what I see here!

Back home again, time to try a new-to-me cereal.

It tasted like… bran flakes.  Genius observation, considering they essentially are bran flakes!  There was a strange sort of “chewiness” there, though.  Maybe that’s because of the honey… see my new wildflower honey bear?  😉

When I arrived at work, I discovered a lovely present: Mr. J was out today!  Apparently, my useless co-worker decided that meant that he could leave for the majority of the day, too, which annoyed me because I would have loved to go home as well… but whatever.  I played contortionist instead.

On with the “new products” parade.

I actually opened this a few days ago, but I wasn’t wild about it.  I threw it in a couple of salads, but I really didn’t like the flavor, especially not with the dressing I have at work (raspberry vinaigrette)!  I finally finished the package today.

In a multigrain wrap with alfalfa sprouts and Bragg’s… my alfalfa seeds sprouted like crazy this week.  Odd.  Background: oven-roasted sweet potato with (what else?) maple syrup.

And, finally, I could not wait for the weekend to try this, because I was just so excited… I know it’s not new per se, but it’s been marked dairy until now, so I couldn’t try it.

Chocolate peanut butter swirl coconut milk ice cream!  I definitely liked this better than the chocolate peanut butter So Delicious and Soy Delicious ice creams, but it was almost too rich.  I absolutely loved that it didn’t taste like coconut, though — just chocolate chunks and peanut butter swirls.

And then I went for an abbreviated swim, because even though I can run without much pain, I can’t swim.  Like I said: bizarre.  Well, I can, but I can’t kick / push off the wall, so I felt all unbalanced, and the water was too cold to just be floating along, so I went home.  Reeking of chlorine, since the showers were even colder than the pool!  (I happen to love the smell of chlorine.  My mom, however, does not.)

And that was my oh-so-exciting day.  I actually was supposed to see my therapist today, but I politely informed her that I could think of a million and one things I would rather do on my birthday, so we skipped it.  But she did send me a “happy birthday” text.  Aww.  Though around these parts, my birthday is actually on Thursday… um, hooray?  I get to do it all over again!

Since I am now truly ancient, I will drag my decrepit old self into bed.

Happy Hump Day!

“There is still no cure for the common birthday.” 
~John Glenn

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I’m Getting Old

Literally.  Since tomorrow is Birthday #1, and all.  But that’s not what I mean.  No, I’m referring to the fact that no amount of sleep seems to be enough for me these days, and I just don’t understand why.  I am getting what always would have been considered a sufficient amount of sleep for me, but apparently that doesn’t cut it anymore.  It is a huge struggle to drag myself out of bed in the morning, regardless of whether I “sleep in” or not.  So I am a perpetually exhausted and achy zombie, since my knee and my ankle are both being obnoxious right now… come on, you can’t tell me that doesn’t make me sound like I’m a senior citizen.

Random babbling to follow… if it makes zero sense, blame it on exhaustion.  And possibly my dismay that it is now officially cool enough to sleep without an air conditioner.  The end of summer is extremely depressing.


My love affair with figs continues: with Nature’s Path Smart Bran, wildflower honey, and almond milk.  Though I think I should have skipped the almond milk and just quadrupled the honey!

I stumbled across this in the supermarket… after waffling between the tapioca and rice puddings, I chose the tapioca because I’ve never had tapioca pudding before at all.

I don’t think I’ll be having it again once I finish this package, either.  There are things in it!  Yes, I know they’re tapioca pearls.  Still.  It creeps me out.  The flavor is fine, but I’m kind of finicky about texture sometimes, and this is just… *shudder*

Savory oats!  It’s been way too long.

Kale, shredded carrots, ground “beef,” Bragg’s, and raw bi-color corn.

In other news, I now own a fluorescent yellow Dri Fit jacket.  Clearly, this tiredness is doing weird things to my brain.  If you can shed any light on this mysterious phenomenon, I would be most appreciative.

Happy Tuesday.

“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” 
~Russel Baker

The Whole Enchilada

Hurricanes are boring.

Tropical storms are even more boring.  Particularly when the entire city shuts down because a certain mayor might be a little paranoid after the way he handled (or, um, didn’t handle) the massive snowstorms this past winter.

Knowing I wouldn’t be able to do much this morning, I didn’t bother going to bed early.  I had a banana that was so overripe, it was practically black… but I didn’t want to make a loaf of banana bread or an entire batch of muffins.  Nothing better to do during a hurricane than bake, right?

I have no idea what to call this… it’s not exactly a muffin!  It was really dense, but I like it that way.

It included a (very large!) mashed banana, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 2 T soy flour, 2 t brown sugar, 1/3 T chia seeds gelled in <1/4 cup water, cinnamon, and banana extract.  Shoved in the oven and hoped it wouldn’t be disastrous!  And it wasn’t.

However, I stayed in bed much later than I normally would have — not much reason to get up when there’s wind and driving rain lashing against the house, is there?  I did put out a bucket for a leak in the ceiling around 4.00 AM, but that doesn’t count as “getting up.”  As a result, I didn’t eat this until around 10.00 … which is when the rain finally let up.  I had a small window of time before the crazy winds were due to arrive, so I decided to use it to get in my weekend long run.

Just in case the splits don’t give it away, this was tough!  There is a reason why I like to run first thing in the morning: I can’t stomach food beforehand.  And even though my mom told me I’d be the only crazy person in the park, that wasn’t the case at all — people came out with their children and their cameras to photograph all the fallen trees.  Funny choice for a Sunday morning outing with the kids, but hey, whatever floats your boat… (Oh, yes, there was a lot of floating potential.  Let’s just say my new running shoes no longer look so new and shiny!)

After dragging my aching self to several stores in an attempt to buy a full newspaper, I brilliantly opened one to read that the section I was after (the one with the crossword, which is obviously the most important one!) had apparently been included with yesterday’s paper.  Drat.

Came home, dug out this freebie left over from the tri:

I hated plain coconut water, but I love this stuff.  Too bad it’s so expensive!

Right now, it’s just windy.  I’m not in a low-lying area, so I didn’t have to evacuate… and even though I did see some uprooted trees and downed power lines during my run, my priority did not lie with photographing them.  Near my house, for the most part, there’s just a lot of this:

But my office is located in an evacuation zone.  And there likely isn’t going to be any mass transit running tomorrow… so I might get the day off.  That would be awesome.  Especially because my knee is not going to be happy if I have to bike there…

Oh, the post title… “the whole enchilada” is not generally a phrase I use!!  But it’s fitting here.  I finished off the package of sourdough wraps

Sourdough wrap with mustard with horseradish, “steamed” kale, shredded carrots, and falafel; sugar snap peas on the side.  I intended to add some cucumber to the wrap too, but I completely forgot about it until I stumbled across them in the refrigerator the next day.  Oops.

But that has nothing to do with enchiladas.  However, this does.

This idea just popped into my head because I have that “ground beef” in the refrigerator, and I also have a reluctance to freeze things for fear of never seeing them again.  So I cut the last wrap in half (just so it would fit in the dish) and rolled it up with some of the “beef” inside, topped it with pasta sauce and nutritional yeast, and baked it for about twenty minutes.  And I absolutely loved it.

However, I exhibited admirable self control and did not buy more of the sourdough wraps today.  Considering I still have the rye wraps, and all.

I’ve been intending to clean my room for weeks… but I just never seem to get around to it.  Maybe I’ll finally do that if I don’t have to go to work tomorrow.  Because its state is getting to be a bit frightful.  Just like my hair… I really need a haircut!!

And this has absolutely nothing to do with anything else, but I arrived very late to the party and finally read Sarah’s Key last week.  I fully admit that I only got it because I thought my mom would be interested in it, but when a book is around, I need to read it.  And it gets two thumbs up from me.

Have a great Monday!

“A rainy day is the perfect time for a walk in the woods.” 
~Rachel Carson

Minutes

Oh, goodness.  Someone just shoot me now, please?  I spent several hours of my day thinking that.  I had to go to the bi-annual departmental meeting for work… and somehow, I got roped into taking the minutes.  (Because I always end up doing what nobody else wants to do!)

One reason why I always felt so out of place in grad school was that my career field is definitely not my passion.  I don’t hate hate hate it, but it’s not something I really care about either way.  And these meetings are mind-numbingly boring.  But at least I’ll never have to take the minutes again, once they see what a disaster these are… heh.  (Nope, didn’t even do that on purpose.)

Went for a little run yesterday…

I keep my knee straps in my shoes, so that I shouldn’t forget to put them on.  But even though I moved the foot pod from my Brooks to my Asics, I left the knee straps in the Brooks.  I didn’t even realize it until I was more than halfway through, which I took as a good sign.  Except that my knee hurts now.  At least I know what’s wrong with it: this is exactly how it felt when I had to wear a knee sleeve for a few days.  That sucked, but at least I was able to run, and it went away fairly quickly.

Actually, I was freaking myself out yesterday, because after hearing that my friend has a stress fracture, I became a little bit paranoid about my ankle.  It didn’t seem like that’s what it was, but I think a little paranoia is justified here — I do, after all, get injured like nobody’s business!  My acupuncturist tells me it’s just a little inflamed.  No biggie — Po Sum On to the rescue!  (Seriously… that stuff is a total lifesaver.)  In fact, the bottle I ordered on Amazon last week arrived today.  Along with my four (!!) bags of nutritional yeast.  And these:

Errr, hooray for free two-way shipping?  I got about 30% off on these, which is why I didn’t get a color I actually like.  So now I’m trying to decide which of these I hate the least.  Since I don’t like running shoes that are white, or black, I think I might end up going with the green… opinions??

Apparently, we’re going to be hit by a hurricane on Sunday.  Which is annoying, because that’s my long run day.  Still trying to decide how to work that out… I like running in the rain, but not when that rain is accompanied by 115 MPH winds.

Anyway, I don’t think I’m going to want to go to Trader Joe’s in that weather, either, so I went today.  And I bought figs, even though I already had some, because I am just so happy it’s finally the season for fresh figs again!!

That looks like yogurt.  But it’s not.  It’s actually cottage cheese.  I thought that I’d be able to stomach small curd cottage cheese, but no dice — I nearly gagged, and so I pureed it in my mini food processor with some Truvia.  Layered with All Bran Buds, fresh black figs, and wildflower honey.  It was good, but yogurt would have been better.  (Duh… yogurt > cottage cheese!!)

Another Trader Joe’s purchase:

I don’t know whether this is new, but I’ve certainly never seen it before!

I liked that it wasn’t as insanely high in sodium as many other fake ground beef products are.  Sprinkled on a “pizza” made on a sourdough wrap with pasta sauce, baby bellas, baby peppers, broccoli, and nutritional yeast:

Those are roasted green beans and yellow baby carrots in the background.  And this is actually on a plate, but I had to put the foil on the plate, because when you use pasta sauce instead of pizza sauce, the tortilla gets rather… soggy.  Oops.

Since this is me, cereal:

I’d never tried it before, so it’s new to me!  It reminds me of Kashi Go Lean, but with a slight sweetness added to it.  I liked it, but if I had to choose between the two, I’d go with the Kashi, if only because it has nearly three times as much protein.  (Necessary for people who are forever recovering from some injury or another!!)

Some more Epsom salt is calling my name… so I shall take my aching head that way.  I may or may not have ordered forty pounds of the stuff.  Eep.

Happy Friday!  (Finally.)

All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than animals that know nothing.” 
~Maurice Maeterlinck

Earthquake!

Actually, I didn’t really feel anything beyond a mild dizziness for about three seconds, but it makes for an exciting post title.  😉

Just because I am a bored soul, I tallied up all of the produce I consumed today and concluded that I ought to live on a farm.  (Strawberries, cherries, dates, raspberries, banana, romaine lettuce, kale, cucumber, carrots, corn, cauliflower.  I think that’s it, but probably not.)

I took out my new shoes on a test run this morning!

I’m pretty sure I liked them!  That “bump” on Brooks’ insoles that I said bothered me?  My PT says that I probably need it, because even though I have a pretty regular arch (as per the “wet foot test”), it does drop a bit, which could be why my shin is bothering me.  I’m sure attempting to run along the perimeter of the course on Sunday didn’t help — the road there is canted in a big way.

Speaking of races, my friend who was supposed to do the half marathon with me in September just called to tell me that she has a stress fracture and won’t be able to do it!!  Her kids were all excited to go watch, so I’m going to go visit her and run it anyway (G-d willing, of course), but it really sucks.  😦

Remember those pumpernickel wraps?  I knew that they supposedly came in rye and sourdough varieties, which I would have purchased instead of the pumpernickel had they been in stock, but they weren’t.

This week they were!

I decided to try the sourdough first.  Even though there are supposed to be four wraps per package, this one includes five.  (I guess that’s to make up for the time when I was missing a brown rice tortilla… never mind that it’s a different brand!)

Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter and strawberries.  Quite a lovely combination, if I do say so myself.  I liked the wrap, too; it’s pretty “mild” and can go either the savory or sweet route, as opposed to the pumpernickel, which for some reason just didn’t seem like it “belonged” with anything sweet.

Here’s a savory take:

Hommus + nutritional yeast, steamed kale, shredded carrots, and All Whites.  With roasted baby bellas and green beans in the background.  Can someone please explain to me why Trader Joe’s green beans get so… gross if you don’t eat the entire package immediately upon opening it??  They get all slimy!

But speaking of Trader Joe’s, that kale in there?  Yeah, it came from a pre-cut package, which is new at Trader Joe’s.  Finally.  I am very lazy and dislike removing the rib from kale, which is why I hardly ever ate it.  I also don’t like raw kale, so I prefer to steam it.  And because I am so lazy, it’s faster if I use already-boiled water from the urn, which is how I discovered that merely pouring said boiling water over the kale essentially renders it “steamed.”

Some of it made an appearance here:

Microwaved cauliflower, shredded in the food processor and mixed with nutritional yeast, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes; steamed kale; kidney beans, just because this needed some color; and raw white corn.  I can’t believe that I haven’t been inhaling raw corn by the bucketful all season — I guess I forgot how amazing it is, and now the season is nearly over!

I actually bought three ears of corn at the farmer’s market the other day.  Because I am indecisive, and couldn’t choose between yellow, white, and bi-color corn.  So I just bought one of each.

This is what happened to the yellow corn:

Steamed kale, red quinoa, ground seitan, raw corn, garlic salt, Bragg’s.

Guess where I’m going?… Epsom salt!!

Happy Hump Day.

“A man can stand a lot as long as he can stand himself.” 
~Axel Munthe

Happy Birthday

Okay, so it’s not really my birthday.  (Not until next week, and anyway, I’m trying to pretend that it isn’t happening.)  But this is my 600th post, so… happy birthday?  Whatever.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that my acupuncturist was dismayed to learn of my post-run icing habit.  I will confess that I thought he was a little bit crazy, telling me to use liniments!  Anyway, last week I had a double treatment (because I cannot levitate, it takes twice as long if I have to be on my back for some points and on my stomach for others), so I had a lot of time to think, since I don’t fall asleep like most people do.  And I decided that since he has yet to steer me wrong, I was going to trust him on this one.  Besides, it was Thursday, and I was registered for a race on Sunday… and not about to let this stupid injury screw up another race.

Seriously.  I only regret that I didn’t listen to him sooner.  This stuff is incredible.  It is amazing what a huge difference it made.  Not going to say I’m 100% percent, but I was able to run, and without being a total cripple afterward.

And oh, yeah, the race?… Well, I never intended to race it.  It just happened to fall out on the same day that my half marathon training plan called for ten miles, and the entry fee wasn’t too high, so I figured it might be fun.  I’m glad I did it, because otherwise I would have been all “oh, I have to baby this injury.”  But I ran 10 miles (well, 10.61, according to my Garmin), and obviously I didn’t run too fast: I was aiming for a 9:45 average, and wound up with 9:31.  The only problem is that since I had only run a cumulative 3.65 miles in the two preceding weeks, I am now dealing with a major case of DOMS… but that is infinitely preferable to pain I can’t run through.

To clarify: while I would obviously rather run pain-free, I will run if something hurts, but not if it will be harmful.  Two different things.  I also will not run if something hurts in a way that forces me to alter my form to compensate for it, because that’s just begging for another injury, and I manage to accumulate those just fine on my own, thankyouverymuch.

But as is often the case when I get depressed, I’ve been indulging in some retail therapy.  Ouch.

I was intending to get a pair of lighter shoes, and I nearly bought the New Balance 890, but I oddly felt that they were too light.  I got the Brooks Ghost 4 instead.  And now I’m wondering if I really should get the lighter ones.  Except that I want to keep these (um, pending the test run, of course… if I can move my legs tomorrow!).

And since I am accumulating so many pairs of shoes, and it will be a pain to constantly move the foot pod of my Garmin from one pair to another, I wanted to get a second Garmin, but this time with GPS.  I was thisclose to buying the Forerunner 305… until I realized that it doesn’t come with ANT.  (BOO.)  The 310XT is too much of an indulgence.  Sigh.

I’ve been going through Epsom salt at a rapid rate.  Seriously — I went through six pounds in one week.  (As a soak, not a laxative!!)  I’m considering buying it in bulk now.  Think 2200 pounds would be overkill?  (Yes, I am kidding.  Partially, at least.)

I’ve also been going through cereal at a rapid rate.  This, of course, is no surprise.  A couple of new ones of which I snapped photos:

Not exactly new, but new to me.  Sadly, I didn’t love this — it sounded so awesome in theory!!  But the cinnamon flavor wasn’t all that prevalent, and the texture was too “light.”  Kind of airy instead of dense, if that makes any sense?  (Hey, that rhymes.)

This, on the other hand, I adored.  So chocolatey!!

Oh, and I made porotos quebrados (I added tofu)…

This is seriously crazy insanely delicious.  Very eloquent, I know, but that’s the way it is.

I saw these yellow baby carrots, and the price was the same as for regular carrots (and apparently I got two of those as a bonus):

They tasted almost exactly the same as regular carrots, too.  But the novelty was nice.  😉

…And now, if you will excuse me, I have to go soak in a tub with some more Epsom salt.  (Seriously, I do not understand how people can find baths relaxing.  I get so bored!)

Happy Tuesday.

“Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is.” 
~Albert Camus

I’m Not Back

No, I’m not generally a cheery, bouncy sort of person.  But since the world hates being receptive to negativity, I avoid blogging when I am on an excessively downward spiral.  So you’ve been warned… if you prefer to view the world as a sunshine-and-rainbows sort of place, don’t read any further.

I have not run in ten days.  Not only that — I haven’t worked out at all, with the exception of one short (and painful) bike ride.  I’d love to know how the hell I’m supposed to run a ten-mile race in a week when I’m currently lucky I can even manage to walk at all.  Skipping it in an attempt to “save myself” for the “big race” (in this case, the half marathon) is almost definitely a futile effort anyway, since we all know how well that plan worked out last time.  As in, it didn’t.

All of this inactivity is doing nothing for me.  This stupid injury isn’t healing any faster, because my body hates me.  And even though I gave it whatever it asked for over the past few months, it still saw fit to ruin one of the most-important-to-me things I’ve ever done.  Because I had the audacity to actually be happy for three seconds.  I mean, how dare I!!  Everything I touch is destined to fail, so why the hell should this have been any different??

This isn’t me feeling sorry for myself, by the way.  It’s me being absolutely furious that I fell for it.  Again.  And yes, I know I’m a terrible person and all, but come on, isn’t there some sort of ****ing limit to how many times I am supposed to be all kind to my body, which, by the way, does not deserve it, when I effectively spend more time sitting on my rapidly expanding behind than doing anything else?!  Oh, and eating.  Because I am a pig, and I will just continue to be one, even though I am not moving and so obviously don’t need to eat as much.  And the whole “injuries need fuel to recover” excuse is not a good one, either, because it’s not working.

It didn’t help that I had a lovely run planned for this morning — had I actually been able to run, torrential downpours be damned.  Instead, all that’s happened is that thanks to the weather, my hair looks like something that just touched down from Planet Frizz, so I feel ugly on top of everything else.

I swear, if I have to spend one more sedentary second inside my own head, I am going to have to kill someone.  Most preferably myself.  Or the next person who perkily tells me to cheer up, it will get better!

…And this is why I am not blogging.