Spring Has Sprung

Finally – today I woke up to NO RAIN outside, and cherry blossoms everywhere. Including blossoms stuck to the roof of my car. Hmph. Whatev, that means it’s spring and it needs a wash anyway!

I bet you can’t guess what’s in my breakfast… it’s pretty unusual… sike. It’s the usual – 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water, 1/2 banana, pumpkin, cinnamon, topped with peanut butter. I’m trying to use up the enormous can of pumpkin I opened last week since I’m leaving on Wednesday to go to Boston to visit Harvard (eee eeee eeee!!!!!). Slowly but surely I’m making it through.

See the sign of spring in my coffee cup?

It’s a reflection of a tidbit of blue sky and blossoming trees outside!

Lunch was a remix from last night’s Cuban-ish creation. I heated up some Cuban black beans and leftover brown rice in the microwave and served it over a bed of spinach, topped with some pineapple chunks. I also had some spring mix topped with a little bit of BBQ sauce for some extra greens. My drink of choice was diet ginger ale – I was craving something bubbly and this hit the spot! Ginger ale always reminds me of airplanes, since that was always what I ordered when I was little. I guess I’m getting ready to fly!!

Sunflowers make me so cheery 🙂

Note to self: don’t eat black beans less than 2 hours before running. There was no disaster, but I was certainly asking for it!!

I set out for a 5 mile run around 3pm and finished in 37:30, a 7:30 pace. My legs were DRAGGING. There is no way to run in my neighborhood that doesn’t involve some difficult hills, which is good for training, but even if I run slow, I can’t exactly get an “easy” run in.  I ran harder than I meant to, too, so I was wiped when I got back and my knee was hurting. Damn IT. Any good tips on how to strengthen it? I stretch it a ton and ice when I get back from running, but the dang thing is always a problem. *Please please please don’t get worse before the marathon…*

Knowing how sore I was, yoga sounded lovely. I downed some vitamin water zero and a few dried apricots on my way out the door to a 4:15 yoga class.

The class was great – challenging in all the right ways without being overly strenuous. I love the teacher of this class – gym yoga can be so variable, but I’ve found three great teachers at 24 Hour Fitness that I really enjoy. All of them teach yoga at actual studios as well, so they bring more of the yogi mentality than the “fitness instructor” mentality to it. It really makes it so much more enjoyable.

I swung by the grocery store on the way home for some snacks to pack to take to Boston with me so I could save a little money in the airport and in the city. Food while traveling can really add up. The prices at the airports are so ludicrous now – I swear you can’t find a salad for under $8.00. Seriously? For some wilted lettuce and tomatoes on their deathbed? Lame. My plan is to bring an oatmeal packet, a banana and a travel packet of PB I snagged at my parents’ hotel on Sunday, and get hot water at the airport to make an easy, cheap breakfast. I will also pack a baggie of granola and bring a Chobani for the airplane so I don’t have to buy one of their packaged lunches.

Pre-dinner snack was Cascadian Farms Cinnamon Raisin Granola with a smidge of milk. Our dinner ETA was 7:45 and I was staaaaaarving post-5 miler and yoga. Edging on hangry.

Our late dinner was breadcrumb mustard chicken, mixed green salad, and wild rice. No picture here, but the chicken recipe is about the easiest (and cheapest) thing ever – it’ll be a go-to meal next year in grad school. All you have to do is put breadcrumbs (I prefer panko) in one bowl and good dijon in another. Simply dredge your chicken breast in the mustard and roll it in the breadcrumbs until covered. Pop in the oven at 400 degrees until done (depends on whether your chicken is partially frozen or totally thawed). Yum!

Sunday’s froyo excursion put ice cream in the front of my mind so J and I made another trip to the store to pick up some. I relaxed in front of the TV with Jon and Steve and a serving of Umpqua Birthday Cake. Sooo gooooooooood – yellow cake ice cream with chunks of cake, fudge frosting, and sprinkles 🙂 It’s ALMOST as good as the Tillamook Cake Batter, which reigns supreme over any other ice cream out there. Try it, it will change your life.

(This is a teeny tiny bowl, FYI)

Happy trails to you! I have lots and lots of things to do on Tuesday to get ready to go so bedtime for this girl.

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Couch Potato

Today epitomized the lazy Sunday.

We headed downtown to meet my parents at their hotel, the Mark Spencer, for a light breakfast. Jacob’s mom had never had the chance to meet my parents in the 2+ years Jacob and I have been together, so this was a special occasion! She’s a flight attendant and usually works weekends, so she was unfortunately never around whenever my parents came down. My parents got pastries from the Stumptown Coffee down the street and we helped ourselves to the coffee in the lobby. Everyone got along well and enjoyed each others’ company.

I was super wiped out when I got home, so I spent some QT with the TV and then napped in my bed for about an hour and a half. By the time I got up, it was after 2pm – time for lunch!

I put together a sampler platter of 1/2 apple, carrot slices, and raw broccoli, and had a peach Chobani with raw oats and sliced strawberries on the side. The raw oats with yogurt and fruit has really grown on me; I love the texture! It’s chewy, but not crunchy like granola, and the oats make the already thick Greek yogurt even creamier and doughier, to borrow a descriptor from Kath.

I continued the laziness by parking my butt on the couch with my newest book, “Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America’s Teachers.” It was written a few years ago by Dave Eggers (who is 100% wonderful) and two co-authors that I’m not familiar with, and it is a fascinating look into exactly what we ask teachers to do on a daily basis. Eggers and his co-authors interviewed hundreds of teachers all across the country, some of whom have since left teaching because they couldn’t raise a family on their salary, and raise important questions of how teachers’ low salaries, the lack of respect they feel for their profession, and their enormous job demands may impact student achievement. He argues that good teachers are worth far more than what we pay them right now, and we should pay and respect them for the professionals that they are. I’m halfway through already and I have a feeling this is a book I’ll lug to grad school with me! (I haven’t read far enough to find out whether he’ll argue that a decrease in benefits, which is a large chunk of teachers’ actual pay, should come in exchange for higher salaries.)

My legs were still v.v. sore from Saturday’s run, so I got myself up and moving to start flushing the lactic acid from my legs. There was a break in the rain and we could even see a bit of blue sky peeking through, so I decided to walk the 1.25 mi to the gym instead of drive. I always mean to do this but never do, so it was really nice to get out in the fresh air! Once at the gym, I did a vigorous 50 min on the elliptical with the April Runner’s World, followed by some abs and arms. It feels good to be reintroducing weight training to my life!

My there and back walk, ellip and weights worked up quite the appetite, and I brainstormed meal ideas all the way home. I settled on quite the creation: a black bean, pineapple, and cheese quesadilla.

I used a 1/2 cup of Trader Joe’s Cuban Black Beans, which has bits of pepper and onion and are lightly seasoned, about 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese shreds, and a few chunks of pineapple as the filler for my brown rice tortilla. It was delicious, but as you can see, the brown rice tortilla wasn’t the best wrapper… I forget they’re so brittle. I got a bit of greens in on the side, dressed lightly with BBQ sauce.

It looks gross, but I promise it was delicious. And no, that’s not the world’s largest block of cheese – it’s a teeny weeny super cute shredder. Not the most efficient thing in the world but it was fun to use 🙂

Hunger struck again only 90 minutes after finishing dinner, so I treated myself to froyo from Mango Tango. It is dangerous to have a froyo place just a 3 min drive from our house!! This beauty was a combo of mint, cookies n’ cream, and chocolate, topped with strawbs and rasps, oreo crumbles, and a spoonful each of white chocolate chips and Reese’s Pieces. (Side note: do you pronounce them Reeehseeh’s Peehcees, or Reesis Peesis? I do the latter.)

Yum x 10!!! So much for watching my sugar intake close to bedtime…

Family Time

It’s so funny how easily I can bound out of bed for a long run with TNT, yet I can’t get myself out of bed before 9am these days for pretty much anything. I didn’t even let the raindrops I saw falling outside compel me to snooze a few more minutes, and I dressed myself in rain-appropriate gear, grabbed my Garmin, a GU, and was good to go. I ate a banana bread Clif Bar (one of the best flavors they’ve got, in my opinion) and sipped coffee on my way.

This week, we were running in Beaverton (my hood), so I only had to drive about 10 mins to meet my team and had the upside of knowing exactly where we were going. Tyler asked me if I was up for running race pace for our 14 miler to see how it went, and we settled on shooting for an 8:15. We started out on the slow side (8:33 for the first mile, 8:20 for the second) because it was chilly, mine and Darin’s legs were super tired from our Thursday uphill climb, and we were all somewhat lethargic. Once we got in a groove and started chatting, though, the miles began speeding by and we dropped our pace down. The only downside to the run was that we had a bit on the lovely Fanno Creek Greenway, which happened to be flooded in parts. At one point, around mile 5.5, there was no way around a ginormous puddle and we had to go straight through. We had a very symphonic squish, squish, squelch chorus going for the next few miles! I took a GU (espresso love, mmmmmmmm) at mile 8 + a cup of Gatorade, and a few gummy bears at mile 12. All in all, a good run! We ran 13.6 mi in 1:50, which is a pace of 8:08.

My IT band has really started to bother me, and in multiple places. It’s on the outside and inside of my knee, and the band has enormous knots all up and down my right quad. I spent a good chunk of time icing and foam rolling as I ate my brunch of pumpkin banana oats with PB. I also had the genius idea of slicing the other half of the banana and nuking it so that it caramelized. It was SO. DAMN. GOOD. on top of my oats.

I would be a very unhappy girl without any of these things:

Little foam roller self portrait… I spared you a picture of my facial expression, but imagine someone in intense but amazing pain. OW. OW. OW.

After a nice hot shower, I headed into PDX to meet up with my parents. We wandered around downtown for a bit and then went to Henry’s Tavern in the Pearl for a late lunch and some March Madness. Everyone was happy – their alma mater, Florida, was playing; I had a delicious brown ale (Rogue Hazelnut Brown) in my hands; and the table was full of yummy snacks. We ordered salt and pepper calamari; a flatbread with apple, italian sausage, basil, hazelnuts, and blue cheese; and a salad of manchego, pears and walnuts. I had one piece of flatbread and a few bites of calamari and salad, since I hadn’t eaten long before.

(Get out of my picture, Dad’s hand!)

I left my parents for about an hour to go to the Green Dragon Pub for a mentee’s fundraiser, which was really fun and successful. I made out well – I won a $25 gift certificate to Fit Right, a local running store, and a 3 pack of running socks, a reusable bag, and a running hat!

After the fundraiser, I met my parents at the Laurelhurst Theater for a showing of “Inside Job,” a very well done documentary about the global financial crisis. I highly recommend it if you don’t understand or know a lot of what happened over the last few years; I can’t say I came away from it totally understanding subprime mortgages or credit default swaps, but I do understand the role they played in the economic implosion. It was a pretty damning look at everyone who was even close to the crisis as well – it traced the history of economic deregulation back to Reagan and its continuation under Clinton and Bush, and introduced us to the CEOs of the major financial and insurance firms that are responsible for the crisis and their lobbyists, as well as the economic advisors who were complicit. It was actualy pretty balanced (as opposed to leaning left), because it definitely critiqued what Obama has done (or rather, not done) to address some of the fundamental problems that were happening on Wall Street. Overall, a really interesting film! Not exactly a feel good movie, though – you walk away pretty pissed off about the whole thing, especially CEO compensation and total lack of accountability.

After the movie, we met Jacob and his dad and stepmom at The Farm restaurant for dinner. This place is a real Portland gem. It’s situated in an old renovated house just off of Burnside in SE PDX, and their menu is as organic, local and sustainable as can be, including their booze list. The table started with a few apps – clams and mussels (which I passed on), broccoli fritters, and baked brie with hazelnuts, apples and cranberries. MMMMMMMMM.

Good conversation and flowing Sokol-Blosser sauvignon blanc kept us going until our entrees arrived. I ordered the “Braised Greens and Toasted Pecan Stuffed Ravioli: Handmade ravioli stuffed with braised greens, caramelized onions, pecans, sharp white cheddar and ricotta cheeses, and then drizzled with tarragon brown butter.”

I wasn’t terribly hungry between my late lunch and the apps, so I only managed about half my plate. Jacob set out to polish off the rest. He had a dungeness crab risotto that was outstanding. I did save room for a few bites of dessert, though. Between the six of us, we shared a garnet yam and chocolate pecan tart that was delicious, as well as a sunken chocolate souffle with coffee ice cream.

Jacob and I had made plans to go out with his best friend Tony for his birthday, so we stayed downtown while everyone else headed home. Jacob’s friends are notorious for their total lack of decision making and event planning skills, so we killed time waiting for them to get into Portland by going to the Green Dragon (yup, twice in a day) for a drink. I had the Buckman Village Chamomellow, which was excellent. I’m partial to darker beers like porters, stouts, browns, and the occasional red if it’s not too hoppy, but every once in a while a lighter beer is really enjoyable. It was sweet and smooth with a bit of grapefruit flavor. ‘Scuse the terrible lighting.

We passed the time by asking “would you rather…” questions.

Apparently, Jacob would rather share a bedroom with an elk than share a bathroom with a man with strange skin problems. Go figure.

Tony and the boys took literally forever to get into town and then changed their mind approximately 10 times about where they were going to go, so we ended up driving back and forth across the river twice before they told us where to meet them. Then, we could not find parking for the life of us, so after 40 total minutes of driving around and my patience diminishing by the city block, I told Jacob just to hop out, I was heading home. I was in no mood to keep looking and then go out to a crowded loud bar. I was totally happy to head home, though, and caught up on blogs before turning out the lights at 12:30. Drunky McDrunkerson stumbled in the door at 4:30, which is very very out of the ordinary for him, and had a rooooooooough time getting up this morning! Sounds like I made the better choice last night…

Making Up for Lost Time

Uhhhh, woooooooops. Somehow it became Sunday night, and I realized I haven’t blogged since Tuesday, even though I’ve been diligently photographically documenting my life (when I remember my camera, haha!). Instead of going through the “and then I ate (x, y, z)…” rigamaroll of Wednesday – Friday, I’ll let the photos do the talking… with a little help from me, since I’m not good at keeping my mouth shut 🙂

Wednesday:

Oats in a choc PB jar – cooked 1/3 c oats with 2/3 c water, 1/2 banana, salt and cinnamon in micro, then spooned into jar – topped with strawberries. Ooey gooey chocopeanutty wonder…

Tastin’ plate. Check out the color on this ruby red…

Enter 75 lovely minutes of sweaty, detoxifying, twisting, heart-pounding, quad-shaking hot yoga.

Dinner at kickoff party for the Race for the Roses team I’m mentoring… pulled pork, triscuits, brownie bite, broccoli crunch and kale w/ quinoa from WF, baby carrots. Also had a smidgin of red wine…

Thursday:

Breakfast, I’m sure, is very surprising. Not. Typ oats with pumpkin, banana and PB. Seriously, a day w/o oats is WACK. I shouldn’t use the word wack, I wear glasses.

Went to gym at noon for a “kickbutt boot camp,” only to be told by the dbag at the front desk that since I was the only person who showed, he wouldn’t teach just me. Sweet, awesome. I figured if I was already there, though, I may as well kick my own butt. I did the following circuit 2x, 15 seconds in between exercises and 2 min between sets:

  • 1 min jumping jacks
  • 1 min squats with dumbbells (12.5s)
  • 1 min overhead press (with 12.5s)
  • 1 min walking lunges (with 12.5s)
  • 1 min bicep curls (with 10s)
  • 1 min spiderman lunges (30 sec each side)
  • 1 min lat raises (with 10s)
  • 1 min crunches
  • 1 min bicycle
  • 30 sec plyo jumps, 30 sec mountain climbers

This sweaty hot mess ate cashew carrot ginger soup, kalamata olive bread (yes, it’s finally gone), sugar snaps, & grapes for lunch. As if you couldn’t ID those yourself. Tx Captain Obvious.

Headed into PDX to meet Coach Mike and fellow mentors Christine and Darin for a brisk 3 mi VERY VERY UPHILL (800 ft + elevation gain) run into Washington park. We’re clearly awesome and are great at taking pictures. Sikeeeee.

Followed by din at Lucky Lab Brewery – hummus, guac, feta, tomato, onion, cuke on ciabatta, side of chips + a porter that I forget the name of. This was devoured. Note to self: hummus + guac = winning.

Friday:

Hastily thrown together smoothie of 6 oz almond milk, 1/2 c frozen berries, a banana, spinach handful, scoop of TJ’s whey protein, ice. Glurped (sure, it’s a word, why not) down on the way to our storage unit where I met dudes from the Salvation Army to take all our furniture away! Half yippee, half sad face.

Lunch repeat from earlier in the week: spring mix, TJ’s jalapeno chicken sausage, avocado, raw zuc, dressed with BBQ sauce.

A super late snack of oats (to dewackify my day, obvs) – Better Oats Maple and Brown Sugar instant oats packet, scoop of pumpkin, half naner. It held me over well until my parents got here 2 hours late (8:30 instead of 6:30) and we went to Old Town Pizza for dinner. Forgot my camera, use your imagination!

That’s all folks…

Satisfaction for the Whole Self

I’ve been in a terrible habit of staying up, and then getting up, far too late. This morning I didn’t even roll out of bed until 10:30! I guess I need the sleep if I’m staying up until 1:30, but it makes me feel like kind of a bum. But not bad enough about it to stop 🙂

I decided to make a yogurt mess to get my day going. I had blueberry chobani; remnants of 2 minibags of Target brand granola (pecan sticky bun and cashew apricot); and sliced strawberries, rounded out by a ginormous cup of coffee. Times 2 on the joe.

Droolworthy, yes? I also nerded out and continued the droolfest by looking at the course descriptions and syllabus for the Harvard classes I could potentially take. Politics and Public Education in the United States? Don’t mind if I do. Pursuing Teacher Quality: Policy, Research and Practice? Yes, please! Building a Democratic School: Pilots, Charters, and Alternatives to Traditional Schools? Sign me up! Eeeee eeeee eeeeee – so excited/scared/nervous/READY TO GET GOING on this next stage of my life!!

After satisfying my intellectual side, I satisfied my more primal side – my rumbly tummy. Lunch was a beautiful plate of green beans with hummus; orange; and kalamata ciabatta with butter. I’ve eaten half this loaf in 2 days. I guess I hated it.

We spent our afternoon down at the Woodburn outlets, because I wanted to look for a tight longsleeve dri-fit shirt that could go under a short sleeve tech tee when I’m running. I didn’t find anything good at either Under Armour or Niketown, which was disappointing – they either had heavy long sleeve tops, or just tee shirts. I guess it’s that weird in between seasons time?

I also came up short everywhere else – I was hoping to find a few good things at J.Crew, but the quality of the stuff at the outlet stores is so disappointing. I’ve bought multiple cardigans there that I’ve only been able to get one or two washes out of because they get so misshapen. I guess it makes sense to splurge on the real, quality stuff at the retail store and be able to wear it more than a few times! I love the Jackie cardigan but at $72.00 a pop…

On the way home, we stopped at Starbucks for a pick me up. I had a tall skinny Caramel Macchiato, light on the syrup. On a whim, we popped into Portland Running Company to see if they had what I was looking for, and I totally scored. I get a 25% discount at PRC for being a Team in Training Mentor, and I came away with a royal blue long sleeve Nike Pro Combat top, new Nike tempo shorts, 2 Clif bars, and 6 GUs for $53!!

Right by PRC, there is a bakery I’ve been meaning to stop in – Bungalow Bread Co. It’s kind of like a smaller scale Great Harvest, but they don’t have sandwiches and stuff to take out. I had to indulge my silly side when I saw the front window…

I had to rush right back out the door to get to track, so I took a Luna Bar with me to snack on. I found a new flavor,  Chocolate Dipped Coconut, at Trader Joe’s earlier this week, and it was everything I was hoping for. So good!!!! It tasted just like a chocolate macaroon and I was mm-mming all the way back into Portland.

Check out those cherry blossoms! A sign of spring! I was so encouraged by the sun, the flowers everywhere, and the above-50 temps that I busted out the short sleeve tech tee and running skirt at track. My hands were freezing by the end due to wind, but it was fun to pretend it’s summer 🙂

Track was HARD. Our workout of the night was a ladder, which are always challenging because you’re not sure how to pace yourself. We warmed up with 1.5 miles, did some dynamic stretching, and jumped right in. The workout was 400/800/1200/1200/800/400 with 2 min rest in between each. My goal was about a 6:50 pace for each, and I blew it away – I was actually around 6:30 for all the intervals, and busted out the last 400 at a 5:40! I didn’t even know I could move my legs that fast, I was so worried I was going to trip!

After gabbing with Tyler during a .5 mi warmdown, we headed to Suki’s for post-track hanging out. I had a Gardenburger + fries + Oatmeal Stout beer (I think it was Ninkasi?).

I ate all of the Gardenburger and about 1/3 of the fries and left with a satisfied belly. The rest of my night was spent catching up on blogs, and my sweet tooth was satisfied with a bit of dark chocolate while winding down with Jon S. and Steven C. (Be still my beating heart…. Jon Stewart, I loooooooove you! Please be my boyfriend)

Full House, Full Stomach

It’s a rare Monday that I bounce out of bed, ready to tackle the day! Actually, right now it’s hard to discern Monday from Friday, but you know how some days just have that certain day feeling, even when you’re on vacation? I’m not a churchgoer, but Sunday just always feels like Sunday – not sure why! Ok, enough with the tangent.

My breakfast definitely deserves some credit for my productivity today. I jazzed up my usual pumpkin-banana-PB oats with a dollop of vanilla pear butter, which spread out over the top of my hot oats in a delicious puddle. I got a taste of PB and pear butter in almost every bite, and it was goooooooood 🙂

After making all the calls I needed to to inform school board candidates that they either had or had not been endorsed (loads of fun, as you can imagine), I headed to the gym for a long-missed class: spinning!! I used to go to spinning at least once or twice a week, and I have gotten away from that during the past year of back to back marathon training cycles. Fun fact: When I first moved to Portland in 2008, I used to go to the 7pm spin class at 24 Hour Fitness in Hollywood religiously on Tuesday and Thursday. It turns out that Jacob did as well! I always sat in the front and he in the back, so we were in the same class for a few months and never met. We probably never would have talked to each other if match.com hadn’t worked its wonders 🙂 (Yes, we’re part of the “1 in 5” couples who meet on match.com and we’ve been happily together for over 2 years!)

Anyway, tangents seem to be the name of the game today, but spinning was glorious. It was hard, it was sweaty, it made every muscle in my legs burn in that hurtssogood way, and I walked out feeling energized and wondering how I’d ever let myself get away from this class!

I ate lunch while chatting with Jacob’s younger sister, who is home on spring break from U of O and will be heading to Delaware in a few short months as a Teach for America corps member. I delivered my happy news about Harvard, which is sounding more and more like where I’ll be next year (yippeeeeeee!), and we started making fun hypothetical plans about adventures out East that will likely never happen because we’ll be so busy working!

Lunch: cashew carrot ginger soup, kalamata olive bread with butter, and snap peas.

The baking urge hit me with a vengeance this afternoon, and I happened to have a jar of chocolate peanut butter that needed to be used up (I had dropped the jar last week and the top splintered, and I “was worried that it would dry out if I didn’t do something with it”…). The solution: chocolate chip-choc PB cookies.

Check. those. chocolate. chips. OUT. Amazing. The dough = died and gone to heaven.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup chocolate peanut butter (like Dark Chocolate Dreams by Peanut Butter and Co; Target Brand; etc).
  • 1 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and peanut butter together in a large bowl. Add sugars, eggs, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Slowly add flour mixture to batter and mix to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonful onto baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake approximately 8-10 minutes, or until edges of cookies are rounded. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack. Hold yourself back from eating entire batch. Eating while warm and gooey is highly recommended, however.

I had been feeling tight after Saturday’s run and cycling this morning, so I went to a late afternoon yoga class at the gym to stretch out. I may have also gone to get myself away from the cookies! It was excellent – I asked for poses that would help my IT band, and Pamela, the instructor, delivered.

Jacob’s older sister, Caitlin, had been cooking up a real treat when I arrived home: chicken and beef kabobs and stuffed peppers. She is currently living with Jacob’s dad and stepmom as well (it’s a party, of course…) and tries to cook dinner once a week for everyone, and usually comes up with some great stuff. Between her, me, Jacob, J’s stepmom and dad, his younger sister Meaghan, and Caitlin’s friend Kevin, we had a full house. I had two glasses of wine, a skewer and a half, a pepper (stuffed with rice, veggies, sausage, and topped with grated parm), and two of my cookies and some enormous strawbs for dessert.

I spent the rest of the evening having minor heart attacks about the price of housing in Cambridge, worrying about how the heck I’ll furnish an apt without a car (and $, for that matter), and distracting myself from worry with the return of Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert.

Here’s hoping the rest of the week is as good as today!

 

Lessons Learned

Some thoughts from today:

1. Running 18 miles makes you a HUGE couch potato. Totally deservedly, though!

2. Trying to do a detox during marathon training was a stupid idea.

3. It’s ok to NOT follow through on something you commit to, as long as it doesn’t impact someone else. Which not following a self-imposed detox plan certainly doesn’t.

Thoughts #2 and #3 were on my mind a lot during my 18 mi this morning. I certainly had plenty of time to think about them! Actually it started before my run this morning. My go-to pre-long run breakfast is a Clif bar (obvs not in the detox plan) and there was no way that I was going to mess with my standard before the longest run I’ve done since the Portland Marathon in October. Also, I consume GUs, Gatorade and gummy bears during my run – also not exactly all natural. Most like 10% natural, haha. I definitely was not messing with running fuel – if you’ve ever bonked, you know why.

So, I ate my Clif bar and sipped my coffee on my way into Portland for my run, already debating how I was going to manage my random and intense post-run cravings throughout the day. My coach always warns people against actively trying to lose weight during training, because diets typically involve a restriction of some kind. However, running for the distance and time we do at this point during marathon training makes your body crave things like carbs, salt and sugar (typical things that diets cut out or limit), and if you try to deny yourself those things and replace them with other substitutes (which, chances are, won’t satisfy you), you’ll end up eating the substitutes AND giving into your cravings – making for even more calories consumed than if you had just eaten the damn thing you wanted in the first place. Now, as I stated, I’m not trying to lose weight, but I think the same thing holds true. I don’t want to wreak havoc on my marathon training by drastically changing my diet just 6 weeks before the race, even if only for 2 weeks. I’ve put in too much time and energy and emotion into trying to BQ than to risk f’ing it up.

And it only took me 3 miles to work that out 🙂

The run was great – the sun was shining, Tyler and Darin and I chatted the whole way, and we finished strong! We ran a good pace and I felt like I could have run a few more miles at the end, which is a good sign!

I debated stopping for something on the way home but all I could think about was an enormous bowl of pumpkin oatmeal – and what restaurant makes that?? I walked in the door and didn’t even shower or foamroll first – I HAD TO HAVE FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. I whipped up 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water, pumpkin pie spice, pinch kosher salt (so key here!), half a banana (stuff the other half in my mouth while cooking, haha), blob of pumpkin, and topped it with lots of PB.

I spent a long time after breakfast (at noon) rolling everything – IT band, hamstrings, shins, the whole shabang. I also iced my knees, since post-18 miles, I felt like I’d aged about 10 years. Injury prevention, people!

Not surprisingly, I was hungry about 2 hours later and made a big, green salad with a TJ’s jalapeno chicken sausage, avocado, and zucchini over spinach. BBQ sauce was the only dressing that sounded good, so I went for it and the combo was actually great.  I also had some grapes on the side before I indulged in a much-needed nap.

Jacob and I had seen that The Fighter was at the cheap theater ($4.00 per ticket!!!!) and headed to an 8:20 showing. I LOVE the Valley Theater – they sell great beer and pizza, and some rows of the theater have built in counter tops to rest your drink or food on. I got a Porter from Southern Oregon Brewing Company and it was everything a porter should be – hints of coffee, just the right amount of chocolate, and not too heavy. The movie was really, really good. Christian Bale was excellent as the crack addicted, washed up older brother, and it was hard to believe he was the same guy who played Batman. Doesn’t hurt that he was still hot 🙂

The beer and my pre-movie snack of Irish soda bread with pear butter held me over until the show got out, and we went to Stanford’s for a late happy hour. I had another beer and went in the complete opposite direction of detox food by ordering chicken strips and fries. No regrets – I ran 18 miles today and burned 1700 calories, for goodness’ sake. Everything in moderation, right?

My new plan is much easier to stick to, and is expertly summed up by Michael Pollan: Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants. That I can do!