Saturday, May 18, 2013

9.5 Miles

Today's 9.5 mile run felt a lot more difficult than it should have.  We kept a pretty quick pace, but I've done longer runs at that clip before.  However, today, I was dragging the whole time.  Oh well.  Sometimes there are days when running just doesn't jive.
We finished our run in the midst of a parade!  How cute!

Enjoy your Saturday!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Weeks Fly By

Sorry for being M.I.A. lately.  The weeks have just been flying by.  I have about one month left of my junior year of college.  Only one month?!  Crazy.  Time to live it up and work hard!  <- Are those two things even possible to do simultaneously?

Today also marks the one month anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon.  After the marathon, I spent about a week parked on the couch catching up on schoolwork and then another week doing some yoga.  But then, it was time for The Relay!  My friends and I had an awesome time on this insane 200 mile event.  I also used it as a way to jump-start my exercise regime.
With no real races on the horizon, I have been focusing on becoming a stronger runner.  For me, this means diversifying my workouts and including more strength training and yoga.  I have also been "retaking my mornings."  In order to make the most of my time, I really need a set schedule.  Sophomore year, I would be up at 6:15 everyday and out the door for my run by 7:15.  This year, partially because of general exhaustion and partially - though I hate to say it - because of my light-sleeping roommate, I fell off this routine.  With such an erratic student schedule already, I need all the constants in my life I can get.

This is the workout routine I am currently pursuing:
Sunday: Yoga
Monday: Run
Tuesday: AM Spin Class + little ab workout, PM gentle yoga
Wednesday: Run
Thursday: AM Spin Class + little ab workout
Friday: Run
Saturday: Longer Run with the Running Club

It's nearly 7:15!  Gotta run!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sorry for my Silence

I apologize for being M.I.A. this past week.  Schoolwork has been out of control lately.  I don't think I've done anything but work, eat, and sometimes sleep all week.  Thursday night, I was on campus until 3:00 AM working on a problem set.  That is unheard of for me!  The worst part is, I had started the problem set the weekend before.  Crunching numbers for econ just takes me a looooong time.

I have also been sick with a nasty cold, which has kept me on a daily dose of Mucinex and out of my running shoes.  I'm starting to feel better and will hopefully get a few workouts in this upcoming week before The Relay.

In the meantime, I've been winning the "Efficiency Game."  It's amazing how much more time and energy I have when I'm not working out or fretting about when I'm going to work out next.

I will leave you all with a few photographs from this week:

I don't know what I would do without Starbucks.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

One Week Later

One week has passed since the Boston Marathon.  I still tear up every now and then when I think of all the people who have been affected by this tragedy.  And, as much as I want to, I will never forget the sound of the bombs exploding.  But, keeping these memories at the forefront of my mind isn't doing anyone any good.  Authorities have captured the man behind the attack.  We will find some sense of justice.  Now, it's important that we apply what we've learned from this attack to prepare a safer future for our running community.

I will probably write a race recap of the Boston Marathon sometime soon, but, for now, enjoy some pictures of this past week's eats and happenings:
Ezekiel cereal, blueberries, banana, strawberry, and mango; with coffee, of course

Reading outside of a stunning day

Iced Green Tea.  Obsessed.

More Starbucks and an awesome salad of spinach, chickpeas, avocado, mushrooms, bell pepper and tomato


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Boston Marathon

Yesterday, at 2:20 PM, I crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  As a volunteer placed the finisher's medal around my neck, I started crying tears of complete joy.  The race was brutal.  There were many times I felt like walking or completely giving up.  But, I didn't.  I kept running and finished the Boston Marathon in 3:59:54.  Crossing that finish line meant so much to me, just like it meant so much to the thousands of runners and spectators who kept spirits high for those 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston.

Thirty minutes after crossing the finish line, my family and I were standing on the corner of Stuart St. and Dartmouth St.  We had just met up and were walking back to our car.  BOOM.  What was that?  BOOM.  Something wasn't right.  We looked to the sky.  No smoke.  Car bomb?  But there were no cars.  Electrical failure?  But, we all knew that that was not the case.  Sirens wailed and emergency vehicles rushed down Dartmouth Street.  We didn't know what to do.  Nobody knew exactly what had happened.  The tall buildings shielded us from seeing the explosions.

I am fortunate to have crossed the finish line and to have met my family before this tragedy took place.  But, I am constantly plagued by the what-ifs.  What if I had stopped and walked?  What if I had started in Wave 3?  When I finished the race, I ran right past the site of the bomb.  My family was right there, in the stands.  What if it had been us.  I don't like thinking about it. 

My heart goes out to all those injured.  My prayers are with the people of Boston, my fellow runners, and with the spectators, all of whom made the Boston Marathon one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Today, I’m wearing my marathon jacket.  Every time I wear this jacket, I will remember the events of April 15, 2013.  I wear it to commemorate the lives ruined and lost.  I wear it as a testament to human strength.  Let us never forget the 117th Boston Marathon and let us move forward together, resilient, and vigilant.    

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My Goal for the Boston Marathon

I only have one goal for the Boston Marathon, and that is ...

To enjoy the race!

I'm terrified, to say the least.  My poor family put up with a complete nervous breakdown the other day.  Somehow, I need to overcome my "I don't know how I'm going to do this" attitude and just have a good time!  I worked hard to get here and I want to enjoy the moment.

See you all at the finish line!


Friday, April 12, 2013

Lucky Girl

New York City was my first stop on my journey up to Boston for the Marathon!

I took the train up to visit my sister who is a freshman at Columbia University.  We had tickets to see a new show, Lucky Guy.

Before the show, we had dinner at Franchia, a vegan Asian-Fusion cafe.  Highlights of the dinner included:
Persimmon Tea!
Papaya Kimchi Salad
Vegetarian Bimbimbap

...and a delicious unpictured Blueberry Coconut Cake.

We were running late for the show, so we took a cab.  Once inside the cab, my sister realized she forgot the tickets!  Don't take this as me being mean, but sometimes I wonder how she functions.  She has no sense of direction and forgets things with an alarming frequency.

I called the theatre and they were able to print the tickets for us.  Phew!  Even though we missed the first fifteen minutes, Lucky Guy was an amazing show!  I absolutely loved it!

Afterwards, I crashed.  But, I didn't sleep well.  New York is a very loud (and grey!  Just look at the pictures!) city.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Travel WIAW

I was pretty good about taking pictures of my meals today ... Until it got awkward in the closed quarters of the airplane.
Oatmeal with walnuts, apple, and cinnamon. Tea with Almond Milk on the side!

A pre-flight snack and an Americano.  Energy levels were lagging at this point and I knew I needed to get quite a bit of schoolwork done on the flight.

Vegan eats were pretty hard to find in the airport. So, I had a garden salad - basically just lettuce, a handful of shredded carrots, and a slice of tomato- with a sweet potato that I brought from my apartment mixed in.

My salad barely held me over until 2, so I broke into the Go Picnic that I found at the airport snack store for some protein.

The Go Picnic was pretty good! I wouldn't go out if my way to purchase one, but if I'm stuck, I'll certainly buy one. I especially enjoyed the dried edamame.

Towards the end of the flight, I started to feel a bit nauseous. I really wanted some hot tea, but the flight attendants stopped serving beverages due to the turbulence. To calm my stomach, I had a few more crackers from my Go Picnic box.

Finally, we landed and my dad brought me home, where I nom'd on some (unpictured) tempeh curry, salad, grapes, strawberries, crackers, and raisins. I was totally in that weird travel exhaustion state, where I'm both tired and not tired because I didn't actually do anything except sit for most if the day.

How do you deal with dietary needs/restrictions in an airport?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I'm Taking a Break from Packing

My flight leaves tomorrow!

Before the marathon, I will be spending a day at home, a day visiting my sister in New York City, and a few days of downtime in Boston with my family.  I decided to take time off from school before the marathon rather than after because I really need to calm down.  I have been an anxious mess recently.  Spending time with my family will allow me to relax (as much as one can possibly relax before a marathon) and get some needed rest.

An update on my leg:
I haven't run on it yet.  I plan to run on it Thursday morning since I have an appointment with a sports masseuse for later that day.  My IT band bothered me yesterday, but I haven't felt anything today!  I think it will be fine by Marathon Monday, it just gave me quite a scare.  

Here is the current state of my suitcase:

I'm almost all packed.  I'm still not sure what I want to wear for my marathon yet, though.  I guess I'll gauge the weather when I get there.

What are your plans for the Boston Marathon weekend?
What do you like to wear when you race?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

One of Those Days

Since I'm taking four days off of running to prevent a potential injury flare up, I have been rather unproductive lately.  Yesterday was certainly one of those days.  And by 'those,' I mean, I woke up, ate my usual bowl of Ezekiel Cereal and promptly went back to my room with my Economics readings and didn't get out of my pajamas for most of the day (you could say whole day if you consider yoga pants to be pajamas).

While reading yesterday morning, I actually fell back asleep again!  For anyone who knows me, I never take naps.  Ever.

I spent the rest of the early afternoon belaboring an essay assignment that should have been done in an hour tops.  It's still not done as I type this.

I gave up trying to write around 2:00 and watched The Art of Getting By for some seriously mindless entertainment. I love a good boy-meets-girl-and-you-find-yourself romance, but this one was really dull.  I stuck with it until my roommate wanted to know if I would accompany her on some errands.  Leaving the apartment would require putting on some clothes ... but luckily I had a clean pair of yoga pants!  So, I went.
Fresh air does the body and mind wonders.

When we returned, I wrote a few more sentences on my essay and then finished reading this book.
For anyone who wants to get back into writing or just write better, I would highly recommend it!  I have a notebook full of scribbled notes and tips and even a story idea!  Now, I just need to write it.  Writing is the hard part, as is evidenced by my unfinished essay.  Speaking of which, I should probably get back to that right now.

Hopefully, I will be able to run on Monday!  My life just isn't the same without it.  At least it gets me out of my pajamas everyday.

Friday, April 5, 2013

I Don't Know What to Do

As some of you may know, I was injured last summer with severe IT band issues. And now, with 9 days to go until the Boston Marathon, I fear they are returning.

As much as I love my new shoes, I think I will switch back to my old ones for the remainder of training. Perhaps my new ones don't have the support I need, or perhaps I jumped into such a minimal shoe too soon, or perhaps I did too many hills.

Whatever the reason, the side of my left knee is currently throbbing.

I have one more long run of 12 miles, and a handful of 5 milers. Do I run them? Do I skip them? Do I elliptical them?

Thoughts? Experiences? Advice?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Community Farm Project

I decided to take the Principles and Practices of Sustainable Agriculture class!  Which means I will be out on the farm quite a bit this quarter.

Today was our first field course.  I was nervous earlier in the day; I have bad anxiety issues.  But, everything on the farm was so peaceful, slow, and enriching.  I realized within minutes of walking onto our patchwork of a farm that I had nothing to be anxious about.

Our farm includes our educational plot as well as plots that belong to faculty and graduate students.  My teacher said that farming is as much about growing food as it is about sharing it. Farming brings communities together.  

The idea that food should strengthen community is one that I find particularly important to the future of America's agriculture industry.  While my economics courses all strive to demonstrate the benefits of globalization; I tend to lean towards a more localized system when it comes to food production.  Meeting a professor (and farmer!) who shares my views was interesting in that it showed me the divide between economic policy and farming practice.  This difference in understanding has predominated the history of America's agriculture industry and has tended the industry towards undiversified and detrimental growth.

This quarter, I hope to learn more about what it means to be a farmer so that I can bring that knowledge back to my policy studies.  To fix the issues within our current agriculture sector, America could really use more people who have both economic background and farming experience.

Anyway, later in the day, I went back with my roommates to explore the farm more and take some pictures.  The lighting isn't too good, but don't worry, there will certainly be more photos to come!
Sunset at the farm

Feeding the Chickens!

Do you have a garden?
Have you ever worked on a farm?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Back to School

Today was my first day back in class after spring break.  What a whirlwind.  I'm really in for a tough quarter ... so what else is new.  Did you know that I have maxed out on units almost every quarter I've been here?  It has been a difficult three years to say the least.

I'm doing a bit more course shopping this quarter.  Locked into my schedule are: Microeconomics, America and the World Economy, and Russian Language.  For the remaining class, I cannot decide among ...

a class on sustainable agriculture - we get to work on a farm!
a creative writing class
a class on Russian literature

I'm leaning towards the sustainable agriculture class or the Russian literature class.  The sustainable agriculture class sounds really interesting, but quite time consuming.  The Russian literature class sounds great (I miss reading fun books!) and it will allow me to complete my Russian minor this year.  Such a tough choice!

Which classes interest you?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Days like Today

Days like today make me reconsider my decision to spend time at home this summer.  While I know I need the break, I will miss my friends an awful lot.

I woke up before the sun (again!) for my usual bowl of oats, lemon water, and coffee.  After doing some blogging and letting breakfast digest, I set out to meet my running club for a long run!

I had 15 miles on the agenda, but I figured that doing 14 (12 with the club + 1 to meet them and 1 back) was good enough.  It was a great run!  There were some parts where we were really pushing the pace, but I felt totally fine!  I think my awesome new shoes and elongated sleeping patterns helped.  Throughout the run, I just kept thinking ... ok, so now only 16 miles to go and it's a marathon!

After retrieving my laundry from the now-opened laundry room, taking a shower, and flopping for a while; I headed to campus to pick up some coursebooks and help my friend move into her new housing assignment.  She didn't enjoy apartment style living, so she reassigned back to campus for the spring.  I think it was a good choice for her.

We hung out, chatted for awhile, then headed out to a nearby town to pick up some take-out.  We ended up grabbing some pho.  I'm now obsessed with Asian noodles!

I only snapped a picture of the broth because there were these weird, well, my friend called them a rather inappropriate-for-the-blog body part, but I'll just go with 'things' floating in it.  Any ideas?  I know it wasn't meat.

Stuffed to the brim, we watched some episodes of Scrubs (I still don't understand the obsession with this show) and called it a night.

I really want to spend more time with my friends this spring.  Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my work and stress that I hermitize in my misery.  They always make me feel happy :)

Do you like pho?
Are you a fan of Scrubs?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Five for Friday

1.  I went to an awesome yoga class at noon today.  It left me weak, yet "buzzed" at the same time.  Does anyone else feel somewhat emotional after yoga?  The sensation is difficult to describe, but for the rest of the day after a yoga class, my emotions are on a roller coaster.

2.  I took myself out to lunch at Sprout Cafe today!  The restaurant was so crowded, so I opted to take my salad out and eat it in this gorgeous park.  I got a little sun burt too.  Oh the woes of California life.
Sprout Salad

Park panorama
3.  I bought myself two new dresses at Anthropologie.  Thinking back over my winter wardrobe, I didn't nearly make enough use of the cute clothes I have.  This spring, I want to really make an effort to wear something other than yoga pants / workout gear out and about.

4.  I haven't been very good about going to church these past ten weeks, even with it being the holiest time of year.  Today, though, I went to the 8:00PM Good Friday mass.  As I walked towards the church, its gold mosaics of Jesus and Angels bright and welcoming despite the night sky, something came over me and I nearly cried.  I have neglected religion for quite some time now, yet I am grateful that I am able to return, reflect, and feel a part of something more.

5.  Apparently, when my apartment complex says the laundry room hours are from 9:00AM - 10:00PM, they mean it.  I am going to look like the running hobo tomorrow.  All of my clothes are locked in the laundry room in the dryer.

15 miles on the agenda tomorrow!  Good night!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Before the Sunrise

Today was the first day I woke up before the sun this entire spring break. I've been sleeping an absurd amount recently; somewhere around 9-11hours a night! I guess my body needed the rest.
Ezekiel 4:9 Cereal in Almond Milk and Lemon Water
Lit by the my standing lamp, (not the sun).
I've still been having a tough time getting my day started, though, and I'm not sure why. I've just been feeling really burnt out lately. But, hey! Good News! Only 11 more weeks until summer!

Even though most of my friends are pursuing intense internships with big companies, I have decided to take the summer "off" and go home. I will still have a job, just not an intense one that will stress me out. I think I need a break and some familial companionship. This is probably the last time I will ever have an actual summer anyways. Unless I become a teacher, summer vacation will not exist in the working world.

I also want to be well-rested for my internship this upcoming fall semester.  I will be spending this fall in Washington DC taking classes at night while interning at a government organization! It will be an exciting, yet exhausting experience. I know I will need all the energy I can muster.

I can be go-go-go all the time if I want to be, but what is the point of working myself into the ground?
Summer is on its way!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Already Time for WIAW?

Now I understand why bloggers are always amazed that it is "already time for another WIAW" post.  I can't believe how quickly the week has gone by.

I woke up pretty late today.  It happens.  I'm on spring break!  So, I made some coffee and had my usual pre-run snack of a banana, and two crackers spread with Sunflower Butter and topped with raisins.  Sorry, no picture.

I didn't feel much like running.  But, once I got out there, I flew!  I don't know what came over me, but I managed 8 miles in one hour!  I don't think a run that speedy has happened this entire training cycle!  Bring it on, Boston Marathon.

I came back home feeling the high, guzzled water, and made my favorite post-hard-run lunch:
a baked sweet potato, greens, red bell pepper, tempeh, and a dollop of hummus.  It totally hit the spot.

I finished lunch off with ... more sunflower butter and raisins!  I have a problem.

Later, I had some apple and more tempeh with hummus.  I think my body was craving protein.  And, before I set out to do some errands, I ate a few bites of a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabar and had a few more crackers.

I came back home with a few new course books and one for fun book, Cloud Atlas.  Has anyone read it?  I've heard it's pretty mind-blowing.

I threw together a pretty lazy dinner of a massive salad bowl filled with greens, quinoa, red bell pepper,  cucumber, brussels sprouts, and cannelli beans.  Then, I sautéed a zucchini, some swiss chard, and mushrooms in a little vegetable broth and served it alongside the salad.


I cleaned up the kitchen and am flopped on the couch about to start my new book!  I hope you all enjoyed your Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Taking it Easy

I woke up multiple times last night to go and sit by the toilet.  My stomach was so nauseous.  I'm not sure if it was something I ate - last night was the first time I had nutritional yeast - or if it was caffeine withdrawal symptoms.  Eventually I gave up trying to empty my system and went back to sleep, hoping that I would feel better in the morning.

Nine hours later, I rolled out of bed, still feeling ill.  I chugged some water and, even though I didn't want to upset my stomach further, I made some coffee.  I figured that if my nausea was indeed caused by caffeine withdrawal, the only remedy was caffeine.  A mug of coffee and a big bowl of oatmeal later and I'm doing okay.  Not great, but okay.

I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the day.  Maybe I'll do some shopping and hunker down at a cafe to get some work done.