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Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year everyone! Just a quick post to say thank you for reading, and that I hope 2014 brings you the very best!  🙂

I didn’t do anything crazy exciting last night – stayed home due to a lingering chest cold and it being freezing here in the northeast. Today started off with a quick mini-yoga session at home (one of my resolutions for 2014 needs to be to try and go to yoga once a week), a lazy breakfast, talk with my parents, dog walk and then an inordinately large amount of time spent shopping for a wool coat, and clothes for my baby nephew. (Coat shopping took forever because I’m so indecisive). Ideally, I would rather live in South Florida and never have to wear a coat or jacket ever again. (Sigh). Anyway, I came away with a navy blue wool coat – it’s slightly big in the shoulders but I loved the style over the “more practical” basic black pea coat….Just don’t like buying clothes/shoes that I don’t love. I also wanted to buy a pair of Nike running capris for $30 – which I would totally wear, but I’m trying to be frugal since I have other capris that I can use at the moment, and I’m still in grad school (last semester!!!!).

Also made some cashew flour pancakes this afternoon (still need to tweak the recipe so will post it later) and managed a 4.0 mile treadmill run in the evening even though I didn’t feel like running. Since one of my resolutions for 2014 is to get back into the running groove, I felt compelled to start the year with a run 🙂 How did you spend NYE and New Year’s Day? Do anything fun?

All the best for 2014!!

Not a Quitter…Rock n Roll RI Half-Marathon Recap

Hi guys,

Hope you had a good weekend. Mine has been a mixed bag of emotions and I think I’m both mentally and physically worn out from it right now. This morning I ran the Rock n Roll Providence Half-Marathon in Providence, RI.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I registered for the race a while ago but haven’t been able to train for it very well due to various injuries and some personal reasons. Well rewind to yesterday, Saturday August 18th. I went for a quick 45 minute swim at the gym and then drove down to Providence RI to pick up my race packet. It took longer than I expected due to traffic delays (and some random guy stealing my parking ticket?! Fortunately the parking attendants gave me free parking in light of it – thanks guys!). Anyway, I was really nervous about the race and annoyed about my sore ankle, and wasn’t even sure I still wanted to do the run. But part of me didn’t want to give up on it either. So I tried to psych myself up for it – saying I’d run slowly and stop if anything hurt.

Truth be told, I’ve also been feeling a little (OK – a lot) depressed and lonely lately, especially since my on-line class and internship hours have ended. A lot of the time I come across as being very “chipper” and optimistic, but the truth is that I still struggle with pent up emotions from something that happened earlier this year (I don’t want to go into details but suffice it to say that it took a huge emotional and physical toll on me). Earlier this year I was constantly tired, upset, sleep-deprived and trying to maintain my grades in school while applying to the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at my university. I got through those months partly because I was so busy with Biochemistry and my Food Science class that I didn’t have time to brood. But the pent up emotions  built up and the floodgates opened up again yesterday. Some days are better than others but days like yesterday are the worst. I don’t know what triggered it, or if it was a long-time coming – but on my way home from the Race Expo I had a meltdown in my car which continued until 11pm last night. Hysterical sobbing – from so many things that have gone wrong for me this year – mostly personal. Furthermore, the emotional strain kept me from training well and consequently I’ve also suffered from several running injuries this year, from strained hip flexors to recurring plantar fasciitis – and now  a sore ankle. My ankle was probably the last straw and last night I was just so bummed out about EVERYTHING that I fell apart. At 11pm, I finally wrote a little note to myself of how sobbing was not going to help and listed the steps that I can actually take to go forward. And one of them was to do the race today as best I could, but to stop if I needed to.

I finally fell asleep just after 11pm and woke up a while later thinking it was 4am already (the time I had to get up to get ready for the race). No. It was actually 1:30am. Fabulous. I don’t know if it was my disbelief at the time, the fact that I was hungry (since my sobbing had dulled my appetite and lead to a light dinner), whether I was still emotionally distraught/nervous/anxious, or a combination of all of the above. Anyway – even after having a snack I couldn’t fall asleep again…and the minutes ticked away till 3am.

At that point, I think I fell apart again and sent my friend Jill a text at 3:15am (sorry it woke you up Jill) saying that I just didn’t have it in me to do the race. I was just too worn out and sleep deprived. I sent the text and then sat on my couch – still unable to sleep and feeling like a failure. And then, I don’t know what happened. I suddenly decided that I was going to do the race dammit….If I couldn’t sleep then I might as well go and try my best. Even if I couldn’t complete it, I was NOT going to be a quitter.

So…quick dog walk, coffee, breakfast #2 packed to eat in the car, KT tape on my ankle, race clothes on and I left.

And I did the race: 2 hours 5 minutes and 50 seconds. My slowest time for a half-marathon ever (I always aim to do it in under 2 hours) but in light of everything that has happened this year, the past month (ankle strain and poor training) and last night’s sob session and insomnia, I’ll take it. Don’t get me wrong – the race was tough – much, much tougher for me, both mentally and physically than the Spartan Sprint that I did last weekend. But I did it – and I’m glad. I think I needed this race for some sort of self-redemption after last nights emotional outpouring. I needed it to show myself and to believe that I can get through things.
And so even though my time was much slower than what I typically would want, I’m still proud of myself for finishing. For not quitting. To be fair – at no point in the race did I experience any intense or sharp pain, or else I would have stopped immediately. It was more of an intense fatigue that got progressively worse – from emotional, mental and physical srain. The effects of my insomnia hit me at mile 8, and by mile 11/11.5 I was SO ready to be done. But I made it 🙂 (BTW – never have I eaten my GU gel as quickly as I did at mile 8.5/9 today – and never has it tasted so good!)

After icing my ankle in the medical tent, grabbing food and texting my friends, I made it back to my car and drove the hour home to a real meal, coffee and my adorable dog. After a much needed shower and more ice, I’m spending the rest of the day relaxing with my compression socks on:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m still tired and will probably be sore for  a few days. I’m also taking the next few weeks off of running and will just be swimming, biking and doing some yoga and strength training. I’m glad I did and finished the race today  – more for mental reasons than anything else. I just needed to do it…for me. However, I also know that I’m mentally and physically burnt out from running and my running struggles this year, and need a break – to refresh and recharge myself and also to let any nagging injuries heal. So I’m not running for the next few weeks or month…I’ll start again when I’m ready – both mentally and physically. This year has been tough for me but I’m looking forward to starting over, and 2013 will hopefully be a better year of running (and other things!) for me.

Sorry for the epic post here – and thanks for reading if you’re still with me 🙂 I hope you all had a great weekend – something less emotionally and physically demanding! I’ll be back later this week with more posts…Till then –  Cheers 🙂

A Morning Run

Hi guys,

Happy Friday to you all! Here is the face of a “not-a-morning-runner:”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes that’s me after a 4.5 mile run this morning. (Note: the photograph is really for my mom’s benefit since she lives in India and we don’t get to see each other very often:( Hi Mom!)

I haven’t done an early morning (well, 7:30am is early to me) for a long time, but I figured that if I want to get better at this running thing, then I just need to do it and actually be more consistent about it. That may mean running slower but that’s OK. I’ll be the turtle and get there eventually. So 4.5 miles were done this morning, 4 in one stretch and 0.5 miles in sprints at the end. Not so surprisingly, I feel more energized after having worked out in the morning and it feels great to have gotten it done before the heat and humidity set in.

Post-run, I had a strawberry protein smoothie, and egg & egg white and a peanut flour protein pancake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I actually made this stack a while ago and then just frozen them for easy breakfast options – so I didn’t eat what you see above. It was more like a messy plate of eggs and a pancake, wolfed down in record time).

The original recipe for these pancakes can be found on Monica’s blog, and I followed her directions except for the cottage cheese, since I can’t do dairy. I subbed in 1/4 cup of mashed banana which added a “banana” flavor to the pancakes and also probably changed the texture. Mine turned out a little “rubbery,” with a faint banana flavor and were pliable, like a mini tortilla. Flavor-wise, they weren’t bad at all, but just had a very different texture from your traditional “fluffy” pancakes. I may try these again with a coconut milk or almond milk yogurt instead of the cottage cheese and see if that makes a difference. The pancakes are also much lighter and higher in protein than your traditional fare – so I would say give these a try if you’re looking for something different. You could also use almond flour/meal instead of the peanut flour for a high protein, gluten and peanut free option (I may actually try the almond flour version next time).

Anyway, enjoy the weekend and the weather. Have any of you tried any variations on traditional breakfast options like pancakes and waffles, e.g with a different flour? What were your thoughts?

Redefining Goals

Hi guys,

Happy Wednesday to ya’ll – well I guess it’s over but that’s another day closer to the weekend, right?! Yesterday, I finally completed my 200 hour food service requirement for my nutrition internship program and so I mailed off my evaluation plus other paperwork today. That was a relief! I’m still going to my volunteer internship a couple of times a week because I’ve really grown to love working there and have made quite a few friends in the process, and so I couldn’t just “not go” anymore. It’s become a part of my weekly routine and I actually look forward to my time there with with chefs and the other volunteers.

The title of this post though, doesn’t refer to my volunteer work or anything related to school. It refers to my goals for running. I know I’ve written about my struggles with running this year, and dealing with strained hip flexors and now a strained ankle, and it’s really forced me to take a good, long, hard look at my relationship with running. I realize that in the last few months, I really haven’t been running enough to be able to do races –  and yet I’ve still signed up for them, or gone ahead and done them with inadequate preparation. I’ve sustained injuries because I’ve tried to jump back into training at a pace that I used to be able to maintain when I was running more frequently – but let’s face it. If you don’t run, you lose practice and you lose your pace. Ideally, I would have started out at a much slower pace since my hip flexor injury in February, and not simultaneously tried to train for races and start a program of learning to run naturally. But – given my Type A personality, that’s exactly what I did, and that’s why I kept getting injured and ended up with a strained ankle. For the last few months (and it’s totally my own doing), I’ve felt a constant pressure (self-imposed of course) to get faster, be a better, “natural” runner, register for more races, get back to my old pace etc, etc – without taking the time to actually recover and pace myself (no pun intended). And yet, through it all, I don’t think I’ve really enjoyed running at all. I can’t even remember the last time I ran just because I loved it – and not because I was “supposed” to be doing a 4 mile tempo run that day, or sprints, or a long run, or training for such-and-such a race. I think I liked running more when I didn’t have a Garmin and I couldn’t keep track of my pace; when I registered for races for the fun of it, just to be able to do them and finish them – not to get faster or beat a certain time. I miss those days. I miss the days when I ran because I could, because I loved it so much.

So I’m redefining my running goals for the remainder of this year. I’m not going to set any. I’m not going to register for any more races (sorry NYC peeps) till I can run again injury free, without worrying about my pace, form, whether I’m heel-striking or maintaining a mid-foot strike. I just want to run again – without thinking about it so much. I want to re-kindle my love for the sport and not feel so overwhelmed or stressed out by it anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a hard decision to face just before a half-marathon. Oh yes, – I have a half-marathon coming up this weekend – the Rock n Roll Half-Marathon in Providence, RI on Sunday. I feel so un-prepared for it and anxious about injuring myself that I don’t really want to do it. But I’d also feel like a wimp if I didn’t at least try it (Part of me hopes that it’ll rain on Sunday so I can be justified in skipping it due to “bad weather” 😉 ) In all honesty though, I will probably give it a go but leave my Garmin at home (so I don’t obsessively check my pace), and go in with the attitude that if I need to walk or stop because something doesn’t feel right, then I’ll walk or stop. I’m OK with taking a DNF (Did Not Finish) at the race – but I don’t want to face a personal DNS (Did Not Start) for the sake of my own pride. (By the way, whoever said that pride is a dangerous thing was SO right).

So we’ll see what happens this weekend. My goal will be to not get injured and then take a break from races. (Though, like I said, I also hope that it rains on Sunday ;))

My other goal will be to find headphones that don’t fall out of my ears whenever I start to run 🙂

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