Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Phantom slippers

My feet are often cold. I have a thick pair of slippers at home that I rarely wear because they make my feet sweat, but somehow still feel cold. I wore them this morning at home first thing, mostly because I had worn them upstairs to bed and I had to take them back downstairs to put away.


Sitting at a desk at work, my feet feel that same cold, sweaty feeling and the fleece lining of the slippers. I can't believe I forgot to put on real shoes before leaving the house!

I squidge my toes and realize it's just the sensation. I'm wearing real shoes and socks.

I feel the sensations again, and squidge again. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The fog retreats

I was running alone in Forest Park, climbing Dogwood Trail from Leif Erikson to Wildwood. We had snow two days prior, which had melted into ice and frozen pretty solid up in the hills. It was treacherous and slow going.

I heard a booming sound behind me, probably all the way down by the river. Alone in Forest Park, my paranoia often sparks and I think it's The Big One (earthquake). I paused for a moment and turned to hear better, wondering if the sound would also knock more ice off the trees or send more branches cracking down.

As I stared in the general direction of the sound, a group of maybe six small trees seemed to be either coming towards or moving away from me (I can't remember which), like the rack focus effect in a movie. I blinked a few times, looked away and looked back, but it kept happening.

It wasn't exactly foggy, but there was a bit of mist hanging around. I chalked it up to the trick of the moving mist.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

March food and running resolution reflections

Worst month ever.  I was gone for two long weekends. I didn't even think to start til halfway through the month. And then I still failed miserably. Let's take a quick look at the month's resolutions I resoundingly ignored.

Food: eat smaller meals
Take a smaller serving. Split restaurant food in half before digging in. Leave a few bites on the plate. Use smaller plates/containers.

Running: stretch
Before and/or after. Morning and/or night. Use the foam roller, MELT balls and other tools.

Ha! Neither of those happened. I spent a weekend in New Orleans, a city known for excess, so you can guess how that went. As for stretching, it happened exactly twice, and one of those was becaust Ann threatened me.

So what's on tap for the month of April, which is already half over? Well now that I'm over the week-plus of stomach flu my family endured, it's time to switch things up a bit. Instead of mid-week tempo runs, I'm switching with June to incorporate some speed work.

My food goal will stay the same, and I've actually done a great job of it, accidentally, so far this month. Instead of eating a dessert, I'll drink a tall glass of 80% sparkling water and 20% juice, which tastes like a dessert.

Running: speedwork
Hit the track once a week.

Food: eat earlier
No more eating after dinner.

My first speed workout is tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

February food and running resolution reflections

Food: make eating its own event
Don't eat in front of a screen. Chew more.

Running: run through it
Go straight through the mud, water, rocks, whatever. Use momentum.

February was a success all around. I ate breakfast and dinner each day without screentime, reading, or other distractions, for the most part. Lunch is another story, because I use my break time to work out and then end up eating and working at my desk. I still think that's the best use of my time.

I ran straight through lots of mud, puddles, and running water throughout the month, and after the first couple of weeks it became second nature. The funny thing is that my shoes and pants haven't really gotten wetter or muddier for it. Several times, in fact, I could swear I've stayed cleaner. The main benefit is that it really conserves energy-- I no longer pause and then have to accelerate, or spend time trying to puzzle out the best way through. I just keep going!

Coming up: two tough ones that will prove extremely valuable.

Food: eat smaller meals
Take a smaller serving. Split restaurant food in half before digging in. Leave a few bites on the plate. Use smaller plates/containers.

Running: stretch
Before and/or after. Morning and/or night. Use the foam roller, MELT balls and other tools.


I'll have my first go at them tonight. We're eating out at a restaurant that serves way too much delicious food, and I've scheduled recurring time on my calendar to stretch in the evening.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Running resolutions

I'm starting a month in, and this doesn't cover the whole year, but here it is: a schedule of monthly running resolutions. Not listed here, because it's more of a year-long goal is that I want to focus on fuel. Instead of relying on sugary blocks or pre-made chemically goo, I want to work on making my own whole food, nutrient dense snacks for the long haul. So far these healthy brownies are my favorite.
 
Monthly running goals
Things to concentrate on each month. I'll keep what works and ignore what doesn't-- after giving it an approximately 30 day trial.

February: run through it
Go straight through the mud, water, rocks, whatever. Use momentum.

March: stretch
Before and/or after. Morning and/or night. Use the foam roller, MELT balls and other tools.

April: tempo runs
No more race distance to prep for-- bring on the speedier mid-week runs.

May: hills
Add in some gnarly hills and elevation gain. Repeat.

June: speedwork
Hit the track once a week.

July: new terrain
Search out new routes and trails to try.

August: double up
Try two runs in a day-- great training for Hood to Coast.

September: MacKenzie River 50k
And then a long vacation!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January food resolution reflections

It's the end of January. This month's mantra was "simple meals." My guidelines were:
 Focus on the veg. Try new side dish recipes. When in doubt, roast it. Maybe even try steaming.

How did my first monthly food resolution go?

A half-hearted okay. I did try to go simpler with meals I cooked, separating the parts. I served rice, veg, and a saucy faux meat, rather than heaping everything together in one magnificent curry with seven different veggies, for example. But for some reason this month seems like it had more than its fair share of eating out, which feels like a failure.

Next up: "make eating its own event: Don't eat in front of a screen. Chew more." Sounds easy enough, right? Perhaps I can turn the whole (short!) month into an exercise in mindfulness, even though I often don't want to be in the present (rush hour traffic, waking up at 5am!). Strive for the balance.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New years resolutions

It's been two years. Far too long. Worse than that, to start a post with such a cliche! Regardless, the reason for my absence is also cliche: I had a baby.

The new year started, and I'm still mulling what I want 2013 to be. What should I keep, and what should I leave behind? For the things I hold onto, what's my goal? For the things I get rid of, with what shall I replace them?

As always, my two focuses are eating and running. Although I eat healthily in general, there is always room for improvement. Like everyone else, I'd like to focus on eating more whole foods, simpler and closer to the source; fewer white starchy things; less sugar; smaller meals. Running is easy. I'd like to get faster and run farther.

Normally I'd just leave it at that, but it really does help to have concrete goals and a schedule. I know what I need to do, and there's an obvious direct line to get there, but that's not the same thing as the day-to-day of staying there. So I am going to take the time to formulate a real plan.

Monthly food goals
Things to concentrate on each month. I'll keep what works and ignore what doesn't-- after giving it an approximately 30 day trial.

January: simple meals
Focus on the veg. Try new side dish recipes. When in doubt, roast it. Maybe even try steaming.

February: make eating its own event
Don't eat in front of a screen. Chew more.

March: eat smaller meals
Take a smaller serving. Split restaurant food in half before digging in. Leave a few bites on the plate. Use smaller plates/containers.

April: eat earlier
No more eating after dinner.

May: add in the power
Research nutrition. Sub in more nutritive options, like sweet potato instead of white potato. Try new superfoods, like coconut oil instead of veg oil.

June: cut the sugar
Use fruit for sweetness. Search out healthy dessert recipes.

July: abstain
Try a month without sugar, alcohol, oil, coffee.

August: add herbs
Experiment with herbs.

September: reduce sodium
Use less salt. Low sodium soy sauce/tamari

October: eat less starch
Up the veggies-to-grain/starch ratio. Skip the bread.

November: live it up for Thanksgiving! Gotta have a break some time.

December: drink before eating
Drink a cup of water before eating-- sometimes the feeling of hunger is actually thirst.


Running goals next, and then on to some other general things...