Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Starting Over

I don't feel very well equipped to make a substantial statement on what happened in Boston this week.  I have a lot of friends who are from/have moved to Boston, many of whom were at the marathon that day, and I'm really lucky that none of them were harmed in any way.  Without turning this into a political statement, I do hope that the people of Boston will continue to go out, run, enjoy the city -- and it looks like they will.  For those of you who are not from the east coast, all of these cities are deeply connected.  A very ambitious train traveler could be in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. all in the same day if he/she really wanted to.  So there's a unique sense of solidarity between us whenever something like this happens.  There.  That's all I really wanted to say.

I screwed up.  If everything had gone according to plan, I would have been finished with my "30 Days of Workouts" by now.  But I let myself skip one day, then another... then I was basically just working out a couple of times a week (and one week, not at all), completely ignoring the challenge I initially set for myself.  A week of vacation bookended between a holiday and my birthday was a recipe for failure and I wasn't really sure how to post about it because I hate disappointing people (including myself).  I haven't gained any weight, but that's not the point.  The point is that in a month and a half, I will be running 3 miles (plus a little extra) through the woods, climbing over things and crawling under things, trying to escape a simulated zombie plague, whether I'm ready for it or not. So I'd better just keep on training and not get lazy about it.  

This is the last workout I did with my trainer:
Note my comment to myself!

I also cut my 5K time down by a couple of minutes, but still on a flat, paved track.  I might start meeting with my trainer twice a week to make sure that I get my non-running workouts in.  I need to be accountable to somebody, or I lose motivation.  My plan between now and the day of the 5K is to do weight training three days a week, run three days a week, and rest one day.  That gives me a little more flexibility, so I don't feel like I have to start all over from the beginning if I miss one day for whatever reason, but will still get me ready to race at the beginning of June.

I've been engaging in a little retail therapy this week.  My most important purchase was this blender:
It's not a Vitamix, but it's a giant leap from the $20 blender I bought for my apartment in Iowa (which I ended up throwing away before I moved).  It's only been out of the box for 36 hours, but I've already given it plenty of use.  Once the weather gets warm, I like having a smoothie for breakfast instead of oatmeal or eggs.  I might experiment with protein sources in a later post.  I'm trying to avoid both dairy and soy for a few weeks (which I'll write about tomorrow), so right now I'm mostly using peanut butter or almonds.  I have to research various protein powders to see if any of them will fit into an all-natural, organic diet that doesn't rely on dairy or soy.  Maybe hemp seed?  Also, if you guys aren't using frozen bananas in your smoothies, you're just not doing it right.  It gives blended drinks that thick, creamy, ice cream texture without watering them down the way crushed ice would.

Using the new blender, I made my own almond milk this morning, so I'm definitely never buying it from the store ever again.  I love almond milk in my cereal and coffee/tea/smoothies, but I have yet to find a brand that is not full of chemicals (to prevent separation and add texture, preservatives, etc.) so I am really excited that making it at home worked out so well.  I would link to the "recipe" I used, but it's too simple to even warrant a recipe.  Get some raw almonds.  Soak them in water overnight.  Put them in a blender with a lot of water if you want it thinner, or a little water if you want it thicker (I did about 2 cups of each).  Blend.  Pour through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into your container of choice.  Congratulations, you've made almond milk.  I added vanilla extract and a little bit of coconut sugar to mine for flavor.  All of the recipes I've read say that you can save the almond meal that's leftover and dry it out to use as a gluten-free flour.  I might try that!

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