March 7, 2012 § 6 Comments
Wonderful Wednesday has left me feeling great!
I’m not sure why I ever veer off from this kind of healthy eating (that I know is so good for me), but when time is not managed properly my diet is always the first to go down in flames. Weeks can go by and I start to feel sluggish. My jeans become tighter and I suck in my stomach extra hard and pose sideways as I pass mirrors. Standing face on reveals the lumpy truth. It’s always at that point when I get out the juicer and start again; such a disheartening cycle.
I drank my smoothie after this morning’s run and it felt like a good choice for recovery. On the way to grab the girls I toasted two pieces of Ezekiel bread with a tablespoon of peanut butter and some jelly. I was feeling the need for crunch so I took along an apple and a cup of lower fat tortilla chips and headed out the door. I know it’s bad to eat in the car, but when I’m on the go there is no other way.
The weather today was warm, so the moms met up at the playground to chit and chat. The kids played nicely and I realized how much I love the group of ladies that come to the lower playground under that big old tree.
Most of the pre-school moms meet up at the enclosed playground where they don’t have to watch their kids as closely. There’s always a flutter of activity up there, but my kids like the swirly thingy that they can wind down and the triple slides, so to the smaller lower playground we go. In a way, it feels a little like high school with all the cool girls up in the quad, while I hang out with the smokers and rebels behind the bleachers. None of the moms I hang out with are actual smokers or rebels, but I like that we are a little off from the bigger group. It’s always been how I roll.
To say I had the best time I’d had all week would be an understatement. I left after an hour of really amazing jibber jabber about boogers and baby weight, cancer and gallbladder removal, feeling happy. Really connected and happy. Isn’t that amazing? That booger talk and gall stone removal could inspire such a reaction in a person? I think it’s why mommy groups were created to begin with, though I wouldn’t know because I never joined one. I thought all mommy groups were created by those girls in the quad.
On the way home I talked my little gals into a little trip to Whole Foods. I reminded them that it’s not a super huge deal if the car cart is being used, so if it was gone we needed to act like four-year olds and not crying babies.
We ran through the doors and spotted the red one; the car with both wheels still in tact.
Like gold had been struck, we ran to it. They hopped in and we roamed around collecting more stuff for juicing and some fishies for dinner.
My kids have eaten fish since they were little. As a Mainer, it is my responsibility to feed them the gifts from the sea and generally they like what they’ve had.
When they saw a bunch of fish still attached to their heads and tails, they got out of the cart for a good look. They examined the fish and asked questions about how they ended up dead under glass. Were they real? Why were they different colors? It was like a spur of the moment Science lesson, right there in the fish department.
I felt proud when Sophie pointed to a crustacean tail and shouted out,” Look mom, lobster!”
Mainers know lobster.
I ended the day with a dinner of quinoa and a salmon burger with fresh avocado. Brian’s bean and veggie salad from last night was the perfect addition and I appreciated his thoughtful preparation. Sometimes we work pretty well as a team, though often it isn’t so obvious.
A piece of dark chocolate and I’m perfectly good and satisfied.
I made it through Wonderful Wednesday. Maybe I should have called it Wicked Wednesday in honor of that Maine lobster under the glass?
Today was wicked wicked good!
February 18, 2012 § 5 Comments
The past few weeks of running, including my nineteen miler, were done without audio books. I finished the last chapter of Dead Until Dark a few weeks back, while sitting in my car at Whole Foods, eating kale salad before going to pick up the kids. I knew how it was going to end, since I’d watched it play out on t.v., but even so I was sad to say, “Goodbye,” to the book version of Sookie.
Yesterday I downloaded the second book in the Hunger Games series; Catching Fire. It started little ahead of where the last book finished, but I was pulled right back in and excited to see where we would go. I feel a sort of kinship with Katniss, Girl on Fire. It isn’t logical, but she did get me through some of my very first long runs, while at the same time running for her own life in the games. As I’ve mentioned, I’ll be channeling her with flaming fingernails on March 18th, so it was appropriate that she would be my choice for heroine du jour during these final weeks of training.
Those few weeks without stories made me realize that I’ve got to have one (or two) going at all times. I had checked out When Margaret was Young, by my favorite author Jane Hamilton, but could never figure out how to get it to import to my phone. In a way I was glad, though, because what if I didn’t like it? Could Jane Hamilton be my favorite author anymore if I couldn’t connect with her book? I returned it without listening, but will try to go back to it later, when I have less on my plate. I would hate to be disappointed by my book of choice at this juncture.
After my lunch date with Sookie, which turned out to be a surprisingly calm and enjoyable addition to my schedule, I decided that I needed a car read. While at the library, waiting for the girls to fill their “library purses,” I hunted down the audio book for Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.
I’ve often wondered what it was about that book that kept me so entranced as a young girl in the sixth grade, reading it for the very first time. I figured that it would be good research as I ponder the kind of books I myself want to write, and at the same time, be my companion as I eat my lunch. It probably sounds like a pretty nerdy and isolationist thing to do, but it is very hard to get quiet these days, and it’s less sad than eating alone absolute silence.
As a side note, I have returned to the land of exhaustion. After writing about Sweet Sleep, where I felt recovered from the overwhelming tiredness that had been plaguing me, it took one night of a past eight p.m. bedtime to fall back into the realm of six p.m. crashing and burning.
I wonder if it’s this point of marathon training and part of recovery? Maybe I’m coming down with something?
With only twenty-nine days until the race, my most important goal is to stay healthy. Peach called me yesterday with another cold and cough, my girls have been blowing their own little noses, and I watched a coughing boy at pre-school wipe his hand down the entire banister as he descended the stairs, surely on his way to the doctor. Germs are everywhere!
It is my biggest fear that I’ll get sick within days of the race and be unable to compete. That scenario has occurred two other times in my racing history. There’s nothing worse than being ill with a deep lung cough and cold at the same time that hundreds of people are running your race.
Fear aside, books in place, continued rest, one more big run, and quiet car lunches are on the menu until tapering begins.
Tapering. The final stage of this journey. I can barely believe it’s almost here.
February 7, 2012 § 17 Comments
Exactly one year ago, upon my return from the ING Miami half marathon, I tried a cleanse. I didn’t do it (primarily) because I was searching for better health. I did it because my running partner Sandra had just finished week three when we met at Loews Miami and she looked so darned good in her tiny bikini (lounging by that beautiful pool), I wanted a little of the zex appeal that the cleanse might provide for me.
As soon as I got home I bought a juicer. I read the book CLEAN, a cleanse by Dr. Junger, and cut out the “elimination” foods like dairy, coffee, wheat, strawberries and peanut butter (apparently bad for the gut).
I ate garlic sandwiched between apple slices, a ton of kale, and chia seeds for a snack. My one real meal of the day was at the lunch hour, usually salmon and a steamed green, but Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Detox had a delicious chicken recipe that I cooked a lot, too.
Overall I felt great, but there was a weakness I didn’t enjoy. I fully expected to complete the three weeks that the plan called for, but on the last day of week two came down with the most horrendous flu like illness, complete with fever and shakes and all, and the cleanse had to be forfeited. I threw up the white flag and begged for some macaroni and cheese.
I had lost seventeen pounds and as you might imagine, it crept back onto my bones with a quickness.
It wasn’t a complete loss however, because it gave me the opportunity to analyze my diet. The ways in which I thought I had been eating healthily were (in truth) more about deprivation.
For me, food is like alcohol and drugs to those who abuse those things. Once you get off the stuff and climb aboard the wagon, you have to put in the effort to stay there.
I’m a busy girl. I’m a girl whose physiology makes too much sugar in the blood a very bad thing. Running has been used in place of metformin and has allowed me to stop pricking my poor little finger tips. I am addicted to sugar and once I start to ingest it (after a period of near constant analysis of life without it), it’s really hard to stay focused; much easier to grab a donut and plummet back down into Candy Land.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m back on the healthy eating wagon, but not entirely for health related reasons. I’m vain and I like skinny jeans. I’m going to try really hard to stay glued to my seat instead of swinging off the back end like some rodeo rider looking for a quick fix.
Unlike the full cleanse, I’m choosing to continue to drink coffee and dairy. I like peanut butter and strawberries, so those will stay too. Instead of reaching for a bowl of cereal the moment I crawl out of bed, I’m going to follow Gwyneth’s lead and have a glass of room temperature water with lemon to jump start the system. I wasn’t a huge fan of the almond milk that was a staple of Dr. Junger’s plan, but I will have an afternoon snack of chia seeds and chocolate milk, because the enrgy it provides is what I need at 3:00 p.m., otherwise known as the witching hour.
Since the day I joined Jenny Craig at the impressionable age of seventeen and throughout the next twenty three years, I’ve learned a lot about a good diet. Much of what I learned has been tossed away, some has remained, and new things that work for me have been added.
Learning to manage one’s health when it comes to food (and happiness with race photos) is a cumulative effort. A personal and lifelong cumulative effort.
And to that, a hearty, “Hee Haw!”
January 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
It’s actually dark and dreary outside, but the kids are in school and running is not a requirement. Who cares about the rain when my morning is free! This doesn’t happen very often.
At drop off I spoke to Shannon, one of the girls’ teachers. She herself is training for a marathon the same day as mine, so we talked for a moment about my plan for this weeks’ running post illness. It was funny, because I said I was thinking about doing (three runs); 4, 7, and then simultaneously we said, “15.” Like great minds, runners in training think alike. Maybe the 4 will happen Wednesday? Tomorrow seems too soon.
I took my free time to go to Whole Foods sans monsters. What a different experience it is to meander through aisles without pushing a car cart with drivers who only care about the cupcake department.
Millet or Quinoa? Both.
Red Kale or Green? Red today, since it’s local and there was a lot more of it for the same price.
I walked round and round an read labels and considered dinners I might actually like to make. I thought about the packages on the shelves and the contents inside. I looked at every single lovely platter in the warm food section and filled a bowl of hot chicken noodle soup for lunch. I watched a girl dump almonds into a plastic bin in the self serve bean and nut area. I heard a manager ask an employee how she was doing, but instead of eaves dropping, continued on without hearing her response. I checked out the fish selection under the glass and missed Maine; scallops were $25.00 a pound.
I paid and I left.
Before driving off I caught a glimpse of myself in the rearview mirror. I had this crazy goal to let my hair grow until the marathon as a sort of superstitious motivator, like those athletes that never change their socks through their season of training? I’ve been pulling my locks into the highest pony bun I could manage and using little H&M clips to keep up the back pieces.
Not the greatest look, so the decision was made.
I moved the car to a space (across the parking lot) in front of my hair salon, and ran in to see if anyone could fix me.
It must be my lucky day because yes, someone could and did; a sweet girl named Robin. She had a pretty tattoo that wrapped around her wrist; a green star and purple letters that said, “You are my favorite.” It was all yellow and red, too and I asked her to let me look at it.
My little black dandelions need color. I lost my mind for a minute last Summer and had them inked onto my left wrist. Looking at them so lonely in black, I’m thinking a rainbow of color swirls will make them (and me) happier. Please no judgement, life is short.
The trim made me feel a little more human, but my mousy blonde still needs help. Before skedaddling, I made an appointment for the week before the race. I’m thinking a warmish strawberry glaze over partial highlights will be perfect until it’s time for full on Sumer blonde.
Home again to drop off food, a little typing into the blogosphere, and I’ll be out the door again to collect my adorable genetic spawns.
All in all, a beautiful morning even without the shining sun.