Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 2010!

Happy 2010, everyone!

I know I'm quite a bit late in posting and wishing you all a fantastic and blessed new year, but I figured I should get a post up later, rather than never, right? I REALLY do enjoy food blogging, so much, and I want to be better about doing it!

I had a busy December, but I'm back! I spent the week of Christmas in with my sister, which was lovely because she lives 400 miles away (yes, I drove) and it's always good to see her! I played gigs on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve! I really can't complain, because they are good money and give me something to do when I wouldn't otherwise be working (teaching) and none of my friends are in town. And there's something very nice about sharing the gift of music on a holiday!

I've also been running quite a bit.


OK, sorry, I'm done. Can you tell I'm a little bit excited?! Yesterday I ran 12 miles!! I almost feel like I cheated because I did it in 4 + 8 mile segments. (Before and after work.) But it feels like such an accomplishment!! It was my longest total time running ever and I feel pretty good today, except for my right ankle which is incredibly stiff. (Maybe from an old gymnastics injury?!?) My knees barely even hurt! (I am thankful for excellent cartilage in them! I never even had pain as a gymnast!) Coming from someone who could barely run 1/4 of a mile in August 2009 (only 5 months ago!!) this is pretty remarkable! And I get even more excited just looking forward to what I'll be able to do. This just goes to show that with hard work and determination YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR MIND TO!

EDIT: Speaking of post-run pain, check out Emily's awesome giveaway! I REALLY want to win this!

And while I'm at it, here's another awesome giveaway from the Voracious Vegan. (I just started reading her blog and I ADORE it, due to the fact that she lives in Saudi Arabia and has traveled extensively, both of which I find fascinating!)

OK, now what have I been eating to fuel these runs? Well a lot, but here are a few catch up pictures. (These are from a while ago but I promise the next post will have more current ones!)

My usual breakfast: oat bran, cottage cheese, cashews, frozen berries, and almond butter!

And here's another almost identical one:

A very common meal: veggie omelet (broccoli, zucchini, onion in EVOO) with some Sun Chips equivalents on the side!

I snacked on the last of my samples from Larabar! This is my personal favorite flavor (tied with Cashew Cookie!), despite it seeming to have gotten mixed reviews from the blog world.

I was hungry before a workout so I fished this out from the bottom of my purse:

It's OK. A little too chemically for me, but better than nothing.

Lastly, VERY importantly, I bought some bottles of liquor to make winter drinks!

-on the left, a bottle of 101 proof Peppermint Schnapps (I.e VERY strong!)
-on the right, chocolate cream liquor

I mixed them in with sugar free hot chocolate for a great drink:

I just finished this book which was really good. Florence Nightingale is one of my personal heroes and I loved reading what she had to say!

Best quote came at the very end (added emphasis is my own):

I would earnestly ask my sisters to keep clear of both the jargons now current every where (for they are equally jargons); of the jargon, namely, about the "rights" of women, which urges women to do all that men do, including the medical and other professions, merely because men do it, and without regard to whether this is the best that women can do; and of the jargon which urges women to do nothing that men do, merely because they are women, and should be "recalled to a sense of their duty as women," and "because this is women's work" and "that is men's," and "these are things which women should not do," which is all assertion, and nothing more. Surely woman should bring the best she has, whatever that is, to the work of God's world, without attending to either of these cries. (My favorite line!) For what are they, both of them, the one just as much as the other, but listening to the "what people will say" to opinion, to the "voices from without?" And as a wise man has said, no one has ever done anything great of useful by listening to the voices from without. You do not want the effect of your good things to be, "How wonderful for a woman!" nor would you be deterred from good things by hearing it said, "Yes but she ought not to have done this, because it is not suitable for a woman." But you want to do the thing that is good, whether it is "suitable for a woman" or not. It does not make a thing good, that is is remarkable that a woman should have been able to do it. Neither does it make a thing bad, which would have been good had a man done it, that it has been done by a woman. Oh, leave these jargons, and go your way straight to God's work, in simplicity and singleness of heart."

Keep in mind that she was writing (and working!) in the 1840s and '50s!!!

OK, I'm off to go do some work!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I ran 11 miles!


Remember all of my posts about how I struggled with running? Well, I've been working really hard at it, trying to get about 15-20 miles in a week, and I bought an excellent new pair of shoes: (Mizuno Wave Alchemy.) I am so excited about the shoes because my left shin pain has greatly diminished and I have really noticed a difference during and after running!

Yesterday I made an excellent play list and I noticed the weather today was going to be in the upper 40s (high for here!) and NOT raining or snowing! So I took advantage of the day and plotted out a 10.7 mile course on I started running and things just felt really good! I was at a slow-ish pace because I was more excited to see how long I could keep it up for!

About 6 miles into the run, I decided to extend it by a little bit, hoping to push the run to a full 11 miles and when I mapped out this change at home afterwards it came to: 11.16 miles!!!!

My official time was 1:59:52 which only included 3 one minute walking breaks! (Plus about 5 minutes to use the restroom at Starbucks, but I stopped my watch!) said I averaged a 10:40 minute mile or averaged running at 5.6 mph, which I realize is far slower than most of the women in the blogging world, but I'm still pretty freaking proud of it! I also realized that I thrive on accomplishing goals, and I think improving at running has made me exceptionally happy lately! (After I finished college, then grad school, I didn't really have any huge goals--as I had always worked so hard towards those ones!) But my next BIG goal: a half marathon in May 2010!! It is much less scary to think about after having gone 11 miles today!

And I also hope that I can be an encouragement to other beginning runners because 5 months ago in August I could not even run 1/4 of a mile without being completely miserable and out of breath. But I kept at it, and even though I'm not the world's best runner, the fact that I was able to make such an obvious improvement in my ability shows that anyone can, if you're just persistent and stay positive mentally!

I also got to try my first GU gel today! I had purchased 3 when I bought my running shoes because I knew I was planning on running longer distances! So I brought the Espresso Love flavor and I ate it around mile 8 (when I stopped at Starbucks!). Honestly, I didn't love the flavor, but it did an EXCELLENT job of giving me some calories that DIDN'T cause my stomach to cramp up, which is amazing, because almost any food does! I also purchased the Mint Chocolate flavor and the Vanilla Gingerbread Seasonal flavors, as well as a CarbBOOM Watermelon flavor and I look forward to trying all of these on other runs! Now I wish it wasn't getting so cold here, now that I'm really starting to enjoy running outside! If and when I make it back to Los Angeles (my parents live there!) I will be definitely doing a one or two long runs!

OK, I am SOOO sorry for slacking so much on posting! I want to get back to it! And I do plan on posting, so if I still have any readers would you be nice enough to leave me a comment? Thanks!

But now, time to ice my legs! By the way, I played racquetball for 1 hour this evening, just 5 hours after the run! I'm pretty sure that I would die happy if I could just exercise, eat good food, play good music, read good books, teach only the students who practice, and be surrounded by friends and wonderful people my entire life!

I PROMISE, I'll be back with a catch up food post soon!