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Scott Jurek is not the best writer I've ever read, but he's sort of changing my life right now. I can't put down his book. I bought nutritional yeast today.
I decided to take the day off since I put my legs under a lot of stress yesterday, probably running more than I should between the basketball and the run. On my drive home from a friend's late last night, I noticed a very chilling familiar soreness in my right shin and on the outside of my right knee, exactly the area that was locked up and excruciating last April. I did an hour of yoga and some core strengthening. Upside: with nothing better to do than read and plank, I think my abs are stronger than they have ever been in my life.
This book is coming at a good time for me-- I am beginning to have doubts about whether I am really cut out to be a runner, physically and mentally. But if I'm going to sit out another season, I'm going to do it while being the fittest, best nourished, healthiest injured person ever, so I know for sure that I didn't fail just because of inattention. I want to run the marathon this December.
I finally get to see my new physical therapist on the 25th of this month, and I am counting down the days. I have always been really cautious about injury, which might be why I will never be an ultra runner. That's kind of fine with me.
In the meantime, I discovered the most delicious thing this morning: 1 packet of Amazing Grass "Green Superfood" powder, 1 peach, 1 banana, a splash of orange juice and a splash of almond milk, 3 huge spoonfuls of chia seed. Blend thoroughly, then stick in the freezer for a few hours. It'll start to freeze but still be stirrable, and then if you stir it up it is like the most amazing super grass cold chia-gel masterpiece. If anything it is a little too sweet and could use some dark greens. It's some next level s--. For lunch I ate a big vegan salad with a million veggies, some microwaved mushrooms and hummus for protein, and jalapenos and kalamata olives for a little salt.
Only downside to Eat and Run: reading it makes me kind of hungry all the time. It also makes me want to run all the time, which I think is sort of the same feeling.
I hope you are all having a perfect weekend.
Day 3 as a closeted vegan. I cheated a little: I was baking (GF) blackberry-peach pies for tomorrow, and I made them with my signature crunchy oat topping, which is made with butter. I tasted it to see whether it was working. It was. I will probably cheat again tomorrow. All men are sinners.
Swam a mile plus about 400 in warmup and cooldown. I'm thinking of working up to two miles now that one is fairly manageable. Distance swimming; is that a thing? Related: what do you think the running equivalent of swimming a mile is?
Ran about half a mile completely barefoot. No shirt, no shoes, no problem.
Day 4. Half mile on the treadmill, then a 700 with my cousin to train her (she's doing conditioning for her upcoming season of club soccer). Worked out on the elliptical, a few pullups, normal stuff. Spent the rest of the day in the pool drinking wine with my not-ex-boyfriend and his family.
Still liking the vegan thing.
No running today, since I ran almost a whole mile yesterday.
Basketball and swimming. Off to New Orleans for the weekend tomorrow. I will probably have to eat meat there, which is gross, but whatever.
In love with NOLA. Walked a million miles in Toms-- turned out okay.
Forty minutes of basketball. Baked bread with the bug. Drank some very good wine from California and watched New Year's Eve (her choice). Family nights in are actually my favorite.
Still feeling some pain but I'm mostly ignoring it. I think I'm going to renew my gym membership. Really, I think I will get my money's worth out of it, even once soccer starts again: I could use the cross-training of swimming, and I think I'll be declining some games as a referee so that I can take some yoga and do other things that aren't so stressful. I don't want another season like last one!
Ran an actual mile, with actually running. On a treadmill, but
exciting nonetheless. Followed with yoga class to open up my hips and
re-align-- despite the lack of running, I've been feeling kind of bunchy
and crampy lately. I keep getting these sharp pains in the center of my
chest, at the top of my sternum. Not sure what that's about.
on I went for a 4-mile hike up on the mountain-- ran just a little of
it, but I was in my TOMS so I didn't want to do anything stupid. It was
Ate my weight in guacamole and chips, because the
family wanted me to go out to dinner with them. I hate eating out. It
never tastes as good and I know it isn't good for me. I had the "chicken
salad" but without the cheese and chicken, so basically just iceberg
lettuce and some of those weird canned orange slices. And of course some
chips and salsa and beer. Maybe the overall effect will balance with my
incredibly healthy yogic morning.Whatever. Legs feel medium. T-11 days til doctor!!!
More rest. Threw away four trash bags full of junk and talked to my mom for two hours.
Set some goals for the week:
Monday: AM: Half hour of basketball, PM: yoga OR ballerina pilates, run 1/2 mile.
Tuesday: AM: yoga, PM: Swim 1 mile.
Wednesday: Run 1 mile. Maybe yoga.
Thursday: Lift for legs and core. 1 hour elliptical.
Friday: "Power yoga." I don't know what that entails, but it's on the gym schedule.
Saturday: AM: Run 1 mile, yoga. PM: Long hike or 1.5 hours on elliptical.
- eat three or four times per day, be vegan (such a small word, such a big challenge)
- good breakfast every morning
- no alcohol, two or fewer cups of coffee per day
- remember that life is beautiful
Very grateful today for the width of the world and, weirdly, the internet for always reminding me that there is more out there than just what I can see. T minus 10 days til doctor!!
AM: more like 25 minutes of basketball.
PM: Half mile on the
treadmill, barefoot, as in literally barefooted. It hurts the first
couple of days but you'd be surprised how quickly that goes away.
Yoga was good for my hip flexors. I always feel so calm afterwards. I
have been very frustrated with my life lately, feeling as though I am
caught in stasis, doing only what is required for upkeep: I eat, I
sleep, I clean, I work out, I go to work. I drive myself around and
every day I end up exactly where I started, with almost no change. I
worry constantly that I am getting fat; I never am.
Today when I
left work to drive to the gym, it was raining. I could hear it on the
roof at work, earlier. While I was on the treadmill, Jeopardy! was
interrupted by a weather advisory, and they had closed the pool. But
when I got out of yoga class at quarter of eight, feeling straight and
calm, it was over: there were a few swimmers repopulating the pool and
when I went outside, the stormy heat had given into a warm, slightly
tropical evening, comforting and close. The sky was covered with every
shade of grey and muted pink and dusty orange, in delicate washes like a
watercolor painting, punctuated by the jagged outlines of the cloud
cover in retreat.
Walking to my car, I felt light through my
shoulders and chest, as though all the connections in my whole self had
been eased and smoothed. I had no seams anywhere, even where my body
becomes my mind, no gaps and no crushed parts. I had driven a little
ways down the road, which began to curve to the left, when I noticed
over my left shoulder a vibrant rainbow arcing into the sky just behind
the gym. Every color shone vibrantly, from the bright red to the crisp
purple, just the way we drew it when we were kids trying to get our
crayon lines close enough without letting the colors blend into each
When that kind of thing happens, the best thing to do is
just stop the car and look, so I did that. I put my blinkers on and sat
in the right-hand lane, staring over my shoulder at the rainbow, passively letting it sink in. I thought about how A would pull out her
iPhone and begin snapping photos of it. I realized that no photo would
ever capture this moment sufficiently. I made peace with that thought,
and let it fall away from me.
Lagging on that mile, it's been too long. It took about 43 minutes, but I
was interrupted twice. That is the worst thing about the pool,
especially after running in the state park. It is as much like a
treadmill as you can get while not actually on a treadmill.
okay healthwise so far. I ate a huge bowl of soup when I got home last
night. I think you're not supposed to eat something or something after
8pm or something.
I don't think I'm eating more now that
I'm vegan, but I am so much more aware of what I'm eating that it feels
like I'm eating more. Or maybe I actually am. I don't know.
last night kept me from yoga this morning. Not the worst thing. Called
my mom this morning and we decided I'll go visit this weekend. I like
last-minute travel plans; they feel like adventures.
I was feeling inspired and wrote a long post about stress fractures on the discussion board in the "Injuries" section. In case anyone else out there has them.
Today I must unfortunately swallow two pieces of bad news,
1. my legs are still broken, and
2. I have failed already at every single one of my general 'health goals' for the week.
I have been listening
to a lot of Elliott Smith and acting really weird. I had tickets to see Shut Up and Play the Hits
tonight, so I went, although I wasn't really in the mood. It was good,
though. Last night I was up until about 1 finishing Andre Dubus III's Townie: A Memoir.
It was incredibly moving; I can't recommend it highly enough. Sometimes
you meet people who lived in the same place as you and had the same
kinds of experiences as you, but despite all the similarities you find
that there is some kind of disconnect or misunderstanding: the
challenges might have been the same, but somehow the struggle was
different. I found that I identified strongly with the young Dubus
although our lives are very different.
As promised, here is the
recipe for the cookies I made this weekend... stolen from some random
blogger, I forget. Sorry. They are amazing, and as you can see have NO
added sugar and are completely vegan. If you are careful about the
chocolate chips you buy, they are even soy-free. I put mine in a
Tupperware in the fridge and was very happy with them. It is pretty
difficult to eat just one.
- 2 bananas, cut in chunks
- 1 c. chocolate chips
- 1/4 c. almond butter
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1/3 c. almond milk
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 c. raw rolled oats
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients EXCEPT the vanilla and oats. Heat for
2-3 minutes or until just beginning to bubble.
- Using a potato
masher or fork, mash the bananas in chocolate mixture
until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes. Mine
didn't boil very well but it was definitely hot, so I just stirred it a
little to facilitate the chocolate melting.
- Remove from heat and
stir in the vanilla and oats. Stir until the oats are well-coated and
the whole thing is uniform in texture.
- Scoop out tablespoonfuls
onto wax paper. You can make bigger or smaller cookies, depending on
your taste. Shape into cookie shape and let cool.
- Eat a bunch of them; feel proud of yourself for your cooking chops and slightly smug about your health-foodie-ness.
Legs hurt. No other significant news.
In Virginia visiting my parents. Mom and I went to her gym and I swam my mile. Have I mentioned my mom is an Ironman? An Ironman Ph.D. in Math. I know, right???
Blog hiatus due to the theft of my computer-- brand new, too!-- in Kingsport, Tennessee. Ah well, you win some and you lose some. The circumstances under which it was stolen reveal to me that the person had been watching me and waiting for his (her?) chance, so given that fact I'm just glad nothing worse happened.
Swam today, still depressed generally. Might use FRB to document the progress of the side projects I will undertake in the interim until I can run again. I see my new doctor tomorrow to find out when that is. Projects: 1. attempt #3 at learning to play guitar, 2. tear down the ugly awning and build a pergola off the back of my friend R's house. Fun with carpentry!
Today I learned a few songs on guitar and started the design for a wooden guitar stand to build next week. I swam only 900-- still a little drained from yesterday's nine-hour drive, maybe? I had a conversation with my friend A today over lunch about body types: she enjoys lifting weights, and she speculated that she is built for strength, whereas her boyfriend, a pretty fit dude in his late twenties who likes mountain bike races, is built for speed. This did have some sense, I think-- it's true that everyone CAN run, but it's just not true that everyone will be good at it. I also realized I couldn't tell whether I was built for strength or speed. Both? Neither? (more likely) -- then she said, "I think you're built for distance. You can take a lot of pain." And that's when I realized God is going to let me run an ultramarathon.
I LOVED reading everybody's Des News accounts-- it's always so exhilarating and a big honor to be included in the culmination (or at least one culmination) of all you elite runners' training. I love to hear in your own words how it feels to have those kinds of goals, which seem so far away from the life I live, and really race competitively. I dunno I'm just PROUD OF YOU, everybody, anybody who ran today, yesterday, or the day before, or will run tomorrow. You're all amazing.
Superset 1: Bodyweight Squats (3 sets of 8) / Kettlebell Plie Squats (3 sets of 8)
Superset 2: Jump Squats (3 x 15) / Stiff-legged Barbell Deadlift (3 x 8)
Superset 3: Walking Barbell Lunge (3 x 30 steps) / Leg Press (3 x 15)
15 incline situps, 20 calf raises, 10 minutes on the punching bag.
Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing to do. But to hold it
together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s
Lifted heavy for arms and back: tsuki press, shrugs, bench flyes, bench press, pull ups, chin ups (I can never remember which is which), incline situps, and push ups.
I AM HECK OF SORE.
Barely made it through power yoga. The instructor kept tsk-ing and correcting my hip positioning, and I wanted to yell, "I am only doing yoga like this because I feel like I don't have hamstrings!" Yes, that's right: in addition to some very sore shoulders from yesterday, I can STILL feel Tuesday's workout in my legs. Gee whillikers.
Around 4pm today, I had just had it with work, so I ditched (I put in 8 hours!) and came home to play guitar. I had planned to just come home, rest, and then hit the gym for a 6:40 yoga class. But I completely misplaced my mind, and arrived at the gym at 5:40. So I swam to pass the time, 5 sets of 200 yards at 70% with easy 100's in between for a total of 1600 yards including warmup and cooldown.
For a while now I've had a problem with stiffness located on the outside of my hips, just at the top of my femur. It is worse on the left and gets worse if I stand with one hip jutting out, leaning against a wall or something. When I got out of the pool today, the left one was hurting bad-- I jumped through the shower and hurried to yoga. We did hip opening, fortuitously, and practiced crow pose. The hip was hurting bad through the first sun salutation but eased up a little by the end of class. I'm still kind of creaky in general though, and now lying in bed about to go to sleep, both my hips are aching.
I go to the physical therapist tomorrow afternoon to see about my stride and put together a stress fracture recovery plan, so I'll ask him or her about my hips while I'm at it. I have a sneaking suspicion it has to do with my desk chair, but that's probably just the California hippie talking.
Speaking of which, I did okay food-wise today, but not great. I think I need to eat slightly bigger meals, and up it to four meals a day at 7:30, 11, 3, and 6:30 (approximately). I find most of my bad habits can be squashed so long as I actually eat enough. I am starting, slowly but surely, to lose the couple of pounds I put on in June when I was just laying around feeling sorry for myself at the beach, not running and drinking piña coladas. Self-pity is so unappetizing.
I also decided this weekend that I'll eat meat one day a week: Sundays. I told everyone this is for experimentation and balance but really it's just so they won't get on my case. I ate some chicken but it did make me feel kind of gross. I <3 plants.
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