Friday, November 28, 2014

Goblintown

Or should that be Gobblin'town, since it's Thanksgiving weekend?  For the fun part of this post, skip to the links at the bottom.

(here is the not-fun part of this post)

Down
       Down
              Down

Argh.  So depressed I don't even feel like writing about being depressed.  Sad during the holidays--it's extra depressing that I'm a cliche.  Sweet merciful heavens, let this be shortlived.  What about the silver lining, you ask?  Well, I'm depressed enough that I don't feel like eating, which is good because I need to lose weight, since I'm nearly too big for my britches and can't really afford new ones.


My little buddy, who doesn't really care if I stay in my jammies all day

(here is the fun part of this post)

Also was briefly cheered when my latest trip through the interwebs rabbit hole found this article.  Cthurkey.  It's what's for dinner.  Thanks, Bloggess!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Bloomin'



A few weeks ago, I had a brief but dramatic bout of whining about something.  I had been trying not to be needy and failed completely.  This prompted me to try once again to make a change in how I experience the world.  In my explorations of religion and philosophy, I've run across the idea of living in the moment many times.  It generally sounds like a good idea, but it's tough to put into practice in everyday life.  After the grand whine, I started paying attention to how often I was wishing that things in my life were different.  Big things and little things, all the time I was wishing for other things.  Once I realized how pervasive this discontent was, I started trying to change that into something that is both more positive and more realistic.  Whenever I wish for something to be different, I am ignoring the reality of my situation as well as putting more energy toward negative feelings.

I've been trying to work on this for a couple of weeks.  I've stopped saying “I wish” and started using those moments to stop and observe where I really am at that moment.  This still requires nearly constant vigilance, but I'm beginning to see a slight shift.  I am starting to look a little harder for a silver lining in situations that are not much fun.  Starting to appreciate what I do have, instead of wishing for something that I can't have. 

The phrase “Bloom where you're planted” used to seem like giving up, a way of being cheerful about settling for a less than wonderful situation.  Now, it seems more like a way of enjoying life without requiring stagnation or resignation.  Those “I wish” moments still happen, and they certainly help me identify what areas of my life need some work.  Knowing that I can take tiny steps to increase the chances of change, I'm free to enjoy the good parts of the things that are happening around me.  And if I am unable to get happy about the moment, it gives me a chance to reframe my thoughts and imagine how I would feel if my wishes were reality.  Either way, I wind up with a more positive outlook.  Win!

Sources say this probably isn't actually Cherokee, but it's still pretty cool.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Art of Running in the Rain



Before I even opened my eyes on Saturday morning, I could hear it raining.  Usually I depend on the sound of tires on wet pavement, but not this day.  Before I even made my coffee, I put on my running gear.  That seems to be the simplest trick for getting motivated.  Once you're dressed and have your shoes on, you might as well go out and try.  Knowing that rain was likely, I'd gotten everything ready the night before.  No excuses! 

Still.  I stood on the porch, arms clasped tight around me, and watched the rain come down.  NO desire to go out in that mess.  It was chilly, it was wet, my friends had bailed.  Inside there was coffee, breakfast, more sleep.  Oh man, did I NOT want to go for a run.  Then I said to myself, “you're an endurance runner.  Endure.”  And off I went.

I ran the first mile as quickly as I could manage, to warm myself up.  It's been so hot for so long that I'd forgotten what it was like for the breeze to be cool.  Running in chilly rain is an excellent way to convince yourself to keep running.  Walk breaks are seriously uncomfortable in that kind of weather.  Almost no one was out on the greenways.  I ran at least 2 miles before I saw another person, and nearly 5 before I saw another woman.  (Probably all the women were at the gym doing Crossfit.  Tough ladies, those crossfitters.)  It was so early that my brain refused to focus on anything in particular, not even my long-run mantra. (When I run for hours by myself without music, I find a mantra helps to keep me rolling.)  No breakfast before long runs, so the churning river reminded me distinctly of chocolate milk.  That kept me distracted for a couple of miles.  I tried to compose this blog post, but couldn't keep the ideas in line.  Not that that is particularly unusual in my writing anyway.  (Yay, tangents!)  I imagined what it would feel like to be in the kind of shape that the other women runners appeared to be in.  Tried to figure out if the white shapes on the opposite bank of the river were birds or plastic bags. (Then realized that I was using that as an excuse to slow down.  Not okay, too chilly for that.) 

My running guru once told me that you could switch over to burning body fat as fuel for running within an hour or so.  Mark Sisson claims that exercising in a fasted state will help train your body to do that even quicker.  I'm not convinced.  I suspect that it takes at least two solid hours before my body starts working on its stored fuel.  Ugh.  My mental IQ is pretty decent, but my body IQ probably needs to ride on the short bus.

All in all, it was a damned good run.  Soaked to the skin by the halfway point, I felt stronger than I have since the marathon training days, and I kept up a decent pace from start to finish.  I'm not where I'd like to be as a runner, but I'm much closer than I was a couple of weeks ago.



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wobbling



I was reading a post by "Jen" e sais quoi the other day, and now I’m wondering…what would it be like if you really did fly instead of falling?  This has almost nothing to do with her beautiful post, and everything to do with the goofy things my brain does to entertain itself when I’m supposed to be getting things done.  But no, really.  What would it be like if you thought you were going to fall and then you didn’t?  Like an avian first timer, would you go through a few clumsy flaps, then suddenly manage the trick of it?  Would a human instinctively feel how the air currents would lift or drop you?  Or would it be a wobbly, wild ride full of startling falls and random graceful glides?  I’m betting on wobbly, but that may be because I’ve been feeling a bit wobbly myself lately.  I think my depression is finally beginning to lift, but it’s been with me so long this time that I’m having to re-learn how to be okay.  It’s like climbing a staircase where you suspect one of the steps may break.  You continue walking up, but there’s this tension in your body because you keep expecting to have to catch yourself.  A part of me wants to start running—just haul ass up the steps, let them break behind me if they want, I'll zoom upward and at the top I'll fly off into amazing.  Sometimes I think that part of me is brave, sometimes I think it’s foolhardy.  Either way, wobbly or wild, things are improving.  That’s the important part.



Monday, July 28, 2014

Pizzukes



New recipe!  My friends had a party this weekend to celebrate their snazzy new grill/smoker.  They provided the meat and the beer and the rest of us brought side dishes and dessert.  A darned good time was had by all.  It also provided me with a captive audience of taste-testers (muahahaha).  I’m forever craving pizza, but money was tight so I invented a new recipe involving zucchini (which is in season and therefore pretty cheap).  You may recognize the sauce from my previous pizza casserole recipe. It’s the best pizza sauce ever IMHO, but I can’t credit the author because I have no idea where it originally came from.  Sorry, pizza genius, I wish I could thank you personally for this sauce.


Pizzukes

Sauce:
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves minced, or 3 heaping tsp of minced garlic from a jar
15 oz can tomato sauce (use a good name brand--Muir Glen organic is my fav)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook about 1 minute.  Add herbs, then stir in tomato sauce.  Cook a few minutes until flavors are blended then set aside.
Big pile of zucchini, sliced
1-2 onions, diced
1-2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
Heat oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion and cook 3-5 minutes until translucent.  Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini texture is where you like it.  Stir in pizza sauce and heat through.  Serve with mozzarella or feta cheese.

I’ve never been a big fan of zucchini.  I come from the sort of place where people leave sacks of it on the neighbors’ porches in the middle of the night and run away.  Pretty sure that one zucchini plant can supply an entire small town, so why does everyone plant a couple?  That said, this is one of the ways that I am willing to eat the green monsters.  (The previously posted zucchini noodles is the other way—tomato sauce and cheese makes everything better).

Drooling commencing now. 



Friday, July 25, 2014

Zounds--zoodles!



Some days it’s the little things that give you your smile back.  Today at the farmers’ market, I found some really large zucchini, so this weekend I can have zoodles (zucchini noodles, for those of you who don’t do the primal/paleo thing)!  Now I just have to find some good Italian sausage and it’s finally time for a big plate of spaghetti.  Eating pasta simply doesn’t occur to me most of the time, but it’s one more reason that I love summer.  You can’t get ginormous noodle-sized zukes any other time and spaghetti squash just doesn’t have the right texture.  Yay, summer!  

Lookin' so tasty!