That’s basically a daily thought for me anymore. I wake up, swing my legs over the edge of the bed, stretch my toes and the balls of my feet in the cool dark of morning…and think about my training. I shower, brush my teeth, and get ready for the day…and think about training. I go to work, I teach the kids amazing lessons, I grade brilliant and hastily composed essays…and I think about training. I finally leave work to go train, and while I’m working out, I think about…food. Obsessed? Perhaps a little. No, I’m not crazy obsessed like I was back in 2012. In fact, I think my obsession is a healthy one this time around since I now know to balance strength training with cardio. I’m also much more in tune with my body’s needs, and I don’t push myself when I know I should be resting and/or recovering.
Still, the thought that I am competing in a half marathon – something I never saw myself doing – is not only exhilarating, but it’s also slightly daunting. The 5K is where I live, and though I will do 5-mile training runs from time to time (as in once every 10 days or so), anything beyond that is foreign to me. I have been saving my long runs for Sundays, which I always do out on the trails. Stephen, my physical therapist from my surgery/post surgery days advised that I do 2/3 of my weekly miles on soft surfaces, so I have been doing exactly that. It’s definitely more challenging to run trails, but it’s excellent training and much easier on my knees and hips. Plus, when I do run on the road, it feels so much easier, and I have already gained in speed.
The past couple of weeks have been especially interesting since I am now at a point where the daily mileage is more than what my body is used to. I can pretty much tell when I have run three miles – give or take a tenth of a mile – so when I hit that 3-mile point, my body wants to be done. Though I’ve only added 1-2 miles to that total distance so far, my brain and my legs are quite confused. “Why haven’t you stopped yet?!” my thighs seem to scream at me with every stride past three miles. I may have yelled out loud a few times “Because we’re not done yet, so shut up!” undoubtedly creeping out all of the other people on the trails.
Despite my nervousness, I am having a lot of fun training. I’ve really missed the routine, and who doesn’t love to see the physical results of their hard work? I’ve already lost about five pounds and I’ve dropped approximately an inch and a half off of my waistline (thanks to those vacuums!). I feel like myself again, and there is no greater reward than that.
Twenty-eight more days to go. We can do this, legs!
I continue to play around with GF and Paleo recipes, and I am having so much fun experimenting in the kitchen. Loving all things pumpkin, I made up my own protein pumpkin smoothie. It reminds me a lot of the sweet potato smoothie from the Racing Weight Cookbook in terms of flavor. Here’s the recipe. The serving size is for 2 medium-sized portions…or one GIANT smoothie. To each his own.
- 2 cups of almond milk (unsweetened vanilla is best)
- half a can of organic pumpkin puree
- 3 tbls natural peanut butter
- scoop and a half of vanilla protein powder
- splash of vanilla extract and a dash of pumpkin pie spice
- 4-5 ice cubes
- blend until all ingredients are incorporated and smooth
I follow a blog called Cookie and Kate, and I tried one of her recipes for a GF/Paleo/Vegetarian quiche containing arugula, cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, and goat cheese with an almond meal crust. It was delicious! I’m going to attempt to make her “no noodle” Pad Thai for my lunch tomorrow, so I’ll be sure to post about how it turns out.
Lastly, I found a Paleo stew recipe on Pinterest that was super tasty! The recipe suggested that I shouldn’t add potatoes since they get mushy, but I did anyway. I added sweet potatoes during the last hour and a half of cooking (I cooked mine on high for 4 hours), and they turned out just fine. This stew makes for the perfect fall dinner. Click here for this easy crock-pot recipe.
Stay happy and healthy, friends!