Running Outside.

My Running View

We’re driving home from the cabin today, which is a tragedy all its own.

Since we have been in Crosslake instead of Plymouth, I’ve been logging all of my runs outside.  I got to run in the rain, which we all know that you could not pay me to do at home.  I also logged my longest run to date since the 2013 Twin Cities 10 Mile – 7 miles!  It felt good and gave me a reasonable amount of hope for the race on October 5.

Last week, I realized that my running shoes were 100% on their last leg.  My feet felt like crap and my legs were getting weird cramps.  Kittens, there are many different ways to figure out if your shoes are shot.  But, if mileage tracking does not help, leg/joint pain definitely should tell you that it is time for a new pair.

Shoes

I didn’t realize how bad the soles were until I took this snap.  Yikes.

I ordered a new pair and Marcus fetched them Up North for me because they happened to arrive the day he was driving.  One of life’s small joys is the Brooks Running free two-day shipping on orders over $75-deal.  Yes, please.  Always.  Everything on my Sunday run felt instantly better.  Running in new shoes is always like running on clouds.

I know I don’t usually lump food talk in with my running discussion, but it’s the start of a new month, and the race is only a month away so I feel that it’s appropriate.  August has always been a funny month for me.  Even though it is the month with The Most Produce, it’s also the month where for one reason or another, I end up putting on a few pounds.  This year, I would have to say that the sweet corn harvest (my favorite) plus an all-carb weekend at the cabin were the culprits.  On the whole (and in the grand scheme of things) this is a meaningless difference because in  few weeks it will be gone.

But, for the next few weeks, I will be spending 100% more time paying attention to what I’m eating and what junk food I do not need to be snacking on.  All of this will make me feel better at the start line.

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Lunchsperiment

I know that each week I post the meals that we cooked at home.

But last week, I thought that it might be nice to photograph my lunches too.  I took two days of PTO last week, so I only have three days worth of work lunches.  When I’m really on my game, I might have a week worth of leftover salads (leftovers in a chopped salad format with romaine) but that simply has not been my life lately.  I feel like the odd variety shown here pretty much captures how it has been going.

Monday – 1/2 Mashed Avocado on Toast

Monday

Since we didn’t cook on Sunday night, this was my fallback lunch.  Actually, this is always my fallback lunch.  Each week, I put two avocados on our shopping list because if we don’t make them into guacamole, there is a 100% chance they will become lunch.

Tuesday – Marcus’ Leftover Red Curry from Thanh Do

Tuesday

We didn’t cook on Monday night either (family projects) so Marcus offered me his leftovers (this is love, people).  They were incredibly tasty, but as you can see from the photo, it was not what anyone would consider a full lunch.  I did pack more snacks with the intention of eating them, but I was lucky enough to have the five minutes to slurp this down cold.

Wednesday – A Gyro and some (unpictured) Fries from a Greek takeout place

Wednesday

Amy bought me birthday lunch and we agreed that gyros were more exciting than Subway.  Amen.

Thursday – “The Kat” aka Baked Sweet Potato with Wilted Spinach, Two Soft-Fried Eggs and Hot Sauce

Thursday

This is what I usually eat for breakfast, but since Brady and I were busy eating donuts for breakfast on my birthday, I made this my lunch instead.

Friday – A Chocolate Raspberry Shake, Small Fries and an Individual Serving of Coleslaw from Happy’s

Friday

We always stop at Happy’s on the way up/down from the cabin.  Sometimes I get a burger.  Sometimes I get their taco salad.  Sometimes I have even been known to go for their chicken wild rice soup.  I really love this little pieced-together meal of coleslaw, french fries and a shake.  The slaw makes me feel like I’m trying to eat my vegetables.  We all know fries and a shake are The Best Combination Next To Pizza And Beer.

What do you usually eat for lunch?

 

This Is Not Your Practice Life.

Not Your Practice Life

There will never be enough pets.

In the three hours preceding Spot’s death, there were a hundred tiny heartbreaks.  But as we sat there, the most selfish one of all was petting him.  Because while we continuously ran our hands down his back, held his paws, scratched his head and captured his tail, I wanted so badly to fit a lifetime of pets in.

I think we all did the best that we could, but in the end it was an insurmountable task.  Even if it had been Spot’s first hour, I know that even over the course of 12 years, it was not enough time.

There is never enough time.

For some things in life, we will be forever hungry.  As we leaned in Eden, far more great and terrible is the burden of knowing instead of not knowing.

Many times over the course of a life, our worlds will be shattered by the people and things we love the most.  To try to escape pain is to run into the labyrinth.  There is no end.  There will never be a point we reach where we say about these beloved people and things, our most prized possessions, that we have had our fill.  There will never be a point where we find ourselves exhausted and empty, grasping at straws, immune from that hurt.

Unconditional love is everlasting.  There is no way out.

There is always going to be a point where we are forced to either walk into pain so bright it nearly blinds, or to declare surrender.  To continue to put one foot in front of the other is how we keep going.

Friday Food Round-Up!

If you feel like you’re experiencing deja vu, just take a look at last week’s meals.  Some of the duplication was inevitable, the other part was entirely due to the fact that I did not assemble a coherent meal plan for the week and this is what sounded “good.”

One BIG bright spot in the week is that the newest Dinner: A Love Story cookbook came out, Dinner: The Playbook.  I pre-ordered it AGES ago and since the release date was two days before my birthday, I considered it a bit of a self-birthday gift.  The recipes are more basic and much faster to execute and I think that is going to be a sanity saver for us this fall because I do not know where the time has gone, but we simply do not have it to cook.

Tuesday – Grilled Chicken Thighs with 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub, Oven Fries, Corn on the Cob and Green Beans-Asparagus Salad-Style

Tuesday

We were supposed to eat this for dinner on Sunday, but after watching The World’s Longest Twins Game (4 hours, people!), there was zero chance of me lifting a finger.  So we made it on Tuesday instead.

Wednesday – Breakfast Sausage, Caramelized Onion and Extra Sharp Cheddar Pizza on Grilled Pizza Crust

Wednesday

Grilled pizza crust is delightful, but I really have no idea as to why we had to eat this, specifically, on Wednesday evening.  This whole dinner was a major case of me thanking Past Kat because she is the one who prepped a bunch of breakfast sausage (and froze it) and saved the extra marinara sauce from Passover’s matzo pizzas (and froze it).

Anyway, it was delicious and comforting and all of the things that dinner should be.

A Birthday

It is my 27th Birthday today.  Since I neglected to write a The Blog Is 6 post, we’ll be doing a belated observance of that as well.  Why not celebrate all of the things?

I am not sure if this place is the magpie’s treasure trove of shiny things, if it is the reflecting pool in which the reflection is amplified by the water and the proximity to it, if it’s a shop window with noses pressed to the glass for a better look, or if it is simply an extension of our living room.  Sometimes it feels like all of them.

Six years later, I am still writing, and you are still reading.  I know that even if you did not, I would still be writing because like the people who have to make music or dance or sing, these words are inside of me always waiting to escape.  But as I share my stories, it is continually humbling to hear that I am not alone when things are Hard.  That I am not the only one.  And I hope that I am able to stretch that branch out to you as well.  For the days when things are spectacular, I am glad that you are here too.  Joy shared is joy doubled.

I know that it is not uncommon for bloggers to share their birthday/Hanukkah/Christmas gift haul with their readers.  So let me take a moment to share with you the magnificence of this year’s offering.  Some of you may remember that about two weeks ago, we headed over to Benihana to use my birthday BOGO coupon.

Our photo was taken to commemorate this special and momentous occasion.

Benihana 1 And then Marcus ordered me my own special Benihana coffee mug.

Benihana 2

Really, could it get any better?  Because I know that it could not.

I believe that technically speaking, I am either in my mid-twenties (a broad term) or my late twenties (an ominous term).  All I know is that this is the first birthday ever where I have looked in the mirror and thought to myself, Girl, this is clearly not your 21st birthday all over again.  How tragic, I know.

Apparently last year I declared that watching the Kentucky Derby Live was on my bucket list (check!) and that I wanted to catch a walleye (I’m going to attempt it on September 14!).  I am apparently nothing if not consistent in my whims and wishes.

For all of the really great things that happened in the past 365 days, Year 26 was a profoundly difficult year.  Spot died.  Friends got incredibly sick.  Things were challenging.  I am sure I could dedicate more time to ruminating over all of this, but at the end of the day, it happened and I am changed.  It is time to move on.

This year, I just want to have fun.  Period.

Very truly, this is probably the last full year of my life that I will be Not Pregnant or Mother To A Family Of Children.  Marcus is four years older than I am, and even though he happily would have accepted the mantle of fatherhood years ago, I am lucky he understood that I needed those extra years and that extra time.  The five years since college have been filled with so much adventuring and sorting out and creating.  I don’t want to say that this year is about tying up loose ends (because it isn’t) but it is about having fun and doing things for no other reason than the fact that we can.

Even though 26 left a mark, it is also a year that made me comfortable.  I have become more and less patient with myself and others.  I have become 100% unapologetic about loving the things that I do.  I have become 100% intolerant of bad behavior.  I learned how to drink whiskey for real and I took up a regular flossing habit.  I finally feel like I “get” adulthood, which is a godsend.  Because the first few years after college were like some sort of life-sized game of playing pretend.

So with all of that, let’s begin the 365 day countdown to what will (finally) be my Golden Birthday.

Birchbox: August 2014

I just want to take a moment to enjoy the fact that I’m actually sharing a Birchbox properly in the month it was sent.  Finally.  I feel like the Birchboxes this summer have been really excellent.  Good samples, things I actually want, things that are actually interesting to try.  I’m glad that they’ve upped their quality game, because we all know that I’m 100% in this for the actual box and not the opportunity to purchase these goodies later.

Birchbox

In the box: Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris Fragrance, Dr. Jart+ Dis-A-Pore Beauty Balm, ModelCo Shimmer Bronzer, Neil George Shampoo and Conditioner

Dr. Jart+ has made more than one appearance in my box and I’ve been pleased overall with the quality of their products.  The bronzer sample could have come earlier in the summer.  I mean, I’m pretty much at the point where I have to switch back from bronzer to pressed powder.  But, maybe I’ll use it to add a glow as the fall progresses.

I am pretty sure that the only way this box could be better is if they threw a nail polish sample in there.  That’s only sort of hilarious because I haven’t dealt with my mitts properly since June.

Are there any beauty products you have tried lately and loved?

New Watch (and other things)

Last Monday, I finally caved and bought a new running watch from Target.  I briefly considered ordering some sort of Garmin, but I realized that for what I do, I really really don’t need one.  Sure, I could learn about my heart rate and pinpoint exact distances, but at the end of the day a $100+ watch will not make me a better runner or a happier runner.

Sorting through the watches at Target was quite honestly, terrible.  Old Running Watch (RIP) was a simple timepiece, never beeping, never asking me to do things like count my heartbeats to do heart rate math in my head.  These new watches?  All so noisy.  Beeping here, beeping there, requiring intermediary screens to inform the user that we are entering “chrono” before displaying the watch face.  Why.  Why.  Why.

After about twenty minutes of pressing buttons and investigating colors (as well as the man-options!)and comparing prices, I settled on a hot pink TIMEX IRONMAN for $32.99.  It (unfortunately) beeps, but it seems to sit on my wrist the best and from a functional standpoint, it is the least confusing.

Watch

I dragged it out for its first run on Saturday morning (because wearing a watch on the treadmill is The Most Pointless Act) and I would say overall, it was a success.  It doesn’t rub or sit uncomfortably.  I did get confused about hitting the stop button vs. the split button (it can do 10 laps worth of splits) but if that’s the biggest issue I have, I suppose I can be troubled to learn how to hit the right button properly.

Since I have, functionally speaking, been running indoors for the past few weeks there is really nothing too exciting to report.  I’ve been incorporating speedwork per my incredibly non-scientific plan and I’ve started adding an incline to my running so I can approximate outdoor running as closely as possible.  It’s not a bad situation.