Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Blogging the Menu: Day 6

It's New Year's Eve!  I'm too old to really care.  Truthfully, I was never a "party" person.  I've been out on NYE until bar close, but I'm not sure I can honestly say I ever enjoyed it.  As I've admitted before, I am painfully introverted.  The bar scene exhausts me (always has), and I'm the kind of girl that gets hit on by two distinct groups of men:  The Very Old and The Crazy.

I know, I know.  All women think they get hit on by crazies.  I barely ever get hit on (which is totally fine by me, don't get me wrong), but when I do the dude is generally old enough to be my grandfather and/or takes high doses of psychotropic medications.  Seriously.  I once had a crazy dude hit on me, and when I rebuffed him? Asked me for a dollar for the bus.  I'm not what you'd call a dude magnet.

So.  This NYE I'm hanging out at home by myself.  This. Is. Bliss.  It is quiet, I did my speedwork on Torvald the Treader (800m repeats are fucking brutal.  B-R-U-T-A-L), and now I'm enjoying a lovely glass of red wine and giving myself a manicure.  I'll probably go to bed before 10pm.  Bliiiissssss.

So what did I eat this NYE?

My husband has been experimenting with making his own breakfast sausage.
The pork is from our pig purchase, and it's good, but not fatty enough we think.  The mouth feel is just a wee bit off.
To me NYE is a pseudo-holiday.  Shit closes early and doctor's offices shut down and stuff, but it's really just Tuesday.  So we went out for lunch.  Why not.  To Fajita Republic, which totally has half a red X.  Service is spotty, manager is...weird, and no one understands that it is impossible for 5 shrimp on a salad to be double shrimp.  Unless you only put 2.5 shrimp on the salad usually, you will never convince me that 5 shrimp is double shrimp.  I do math for a living.  And waitress lady?  Saying "Well, we usually only put 3 or 4 shrimp on the lunch salad, so that is extra" doesn't help your cause.  By that reasoning I should have SIX or EIGHT shrimp.  NOT FIVE.  It's ok.  I'm ok.  But this is the second time I have ordered "double shrimp" and gotten hosed.  One more bad experience and I'm out.  Forever. 

Sad thing is, it's a really tasty salad, and I like their iced tea.

So can you tell we had a boatload of clementines?

Cute and yummy.

Someone's kid is selling Vande Walle's candy bars for a Cub Scout fundraiser.  I tossed in my buck and got a dark chocolate bar to keep in my desk drawer.  I had two squares this afternoon.  They were pretty good. 

I really didn't know what to have for supper, and when I am feeling lazy or just don't feel like doing a bunch of clean up I eat eggs.  Tonight I made a Kai Jiao omelet (3 eggs) and just filled it with whatever chopped veggies I had in the fridge.  Leftover roasted peppers, tomatoes, a little onion, and some parsley for color.  And bacon.  Because...bacon. 

 I may never make an omelet without fish sauce again.  It makes eggs magical.
I got on the treader after dinner and watched an episode of Family Guy while I pounded out virtual laps.  400s are kind of fun, but 800s really suck.  Once I was done sweating like a pig, I had a little snack.  These pumpkin muffins are so good.  Lots of Paleo baked goods are dry or gritty, but these are so soft and muffiny.  Just like "real" muffins, without all the shitty grains and sugar.

I realize I've had a lot of alcohol this week (by which I mean 3 drinks).  That's actually not my norm.  I'll go months at a time without drinking, but I was feeling boozy this week, so I indulged.  Sue me.

A little Cab to ring out 2013.
I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around 2014.  My baby boys will be 4 in three short months.  My daughter will be 7 this summer.  Time flies. 
Be safe tonight, people.  It's amateur night, and that means lots of people out getting fucked up and doing stupid shit.  Stay warm, and choose a sober driver!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Blogging the Menu: Day 5

'Twas the night before New Year's Eve...and we just got back from the movies.  I haven't seen a grown-up movie in the theater for ages.  We saw Catching Fire.  I'll let you decide if that's grown up.  I'll tell you what though, that theater was full of idiots.  Direct quote:  "Like, seriously?  That's the end?  I mean, I know there's a part two, but seriously?"

Bitch, this is part two.  It's a motherfucking trilogy.  Did you (like, seriously?) walk in here not realizing this was the second of three? 

The dumbest thing I ever heard at a movie was right before Titanic started.  My aunt and I had been discussing the special effects.  I mentioned that I was most interested in the sinking scenes as I'd read they were longer than the actual sinking of the ship.  The woman behind me leaned forward and said "Thanks for ruining the movie for me!"  I turned around and said "The Titanic sank in 1912, it's not my fault you're ignorant."    Yeesh.

We ate out, but it wasn't a tragedy.  Behold the menu:
These should be looking familiar by now.  Also some melon.  We were out of bacon.
Oh, I also had a banana before CrossFit.  You'll have to take my word for it.

This happened.  That is one deep blister. 

Broccoli soup.  Chicken stock, onion, broccoli, aaaaaaaaand blend.
Bam, soup.

After lunch I was sorta bored so I ate some carrots. 

Then I was still bored so I ate some clementines.  They didn't really help with the boredom for long.  I successfully avoided the stupid candy that was EVERYWHERE today for some reason.  Stupid candy.

After work I came home to a quiet house.  My husband and I decided to hit Red Robin for dinner before our movie.  I had a cider.  It was good.  I also had sweet potato fries which are so much better than regular fries.  Every time I see them as an option on a restaurant menu, I smile.

Guacamole bacon burger, no bun.  I had to have some bacon today.  It's the rules.
Also the guac was really good.
And now it's off to bed.  Think I might sleep in tomorrow in preparation for a speed session tomorrow night.  Torvald the Treader and I have work to do!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Blogging the Menu: Day 4

Wow.  I just finished watching the Packers beat Chicago in the weirdest game ever.  Two things:  Randall Cobb is awesome and Aaron Rodgers is Jesus.  Ok,not like Jesus Jesus, but a strong Hey-zeus.  Can it be blasphemy if I'm atheist?  Probably not.

I'm on call this weekend and New Year's while my husband pulls a 48 hour shift at work.  My wonderful ILs have the smalls at their house, so it is quiet here and I got to hear the whole Packer game.  Not that listening to Joe Buck suck up to Troy Aikman is that great, because it's not, but still.

So, what did I eat today in all this silence?

Best part of Paleo pancake recipes?  Leftovers.  No walnuts today.
The coffee is Maple Sleigh from Brooklyn Bean Roastery. It is the bomb.
I went out for a bit this morning, including to Woodman's for a few items.  That place is great.  The produce is spotty, but they have every possible specialty item-it's really fantastic for the Paleo shopper.  Today I got some ghee, some pastured butter, some fish sauce, some organic sriracha, and boring stuff like milk and eggs.  I for lunch I took a half a dozen eggs, the fish sauce, some lime juice, some sriracha, and some tapioca flour and made these:

Kai Jiao from Nom Nom Paleo.  By rights it should be on a bed of cauliflower rice,
but ricing a whole head of cauli seemed like a lot of work and I was really hungry.
As you might imagine, 6 eggs leaves a person pretty full for a while.  I did have a little snack in the afternoon as I enjoyed the movie Lincoln (which I have been trying to watch for close to a month, but who can hear dialogue with three elephant children crashing around?) and knitted a hat.

Muffins with a little grass fed butter.  Butter rules.  I will forgo all other dairy,
but I must have butter.  I'll pay extra for the pastured stuff.
My loving husband made it home just after kickoff and we were able to enjoy the game together.  I drank about a gallon of water during the first half in preparation for this:

Pork rinds (ingredients: pork skin, salt) and a 90 minute IPA called Dogfish Head that the
neighbor brought over.  It's really delicious.  Also 18 proof.  I had one.  Now I feel a little silly.
The Packers won!  Yay!  That means a home playoff game against what appears to be the 49ers.  That is huge for this community, economically and from a hometown pride standpoint.  Normally at the end of a stressful game like that I'd be cramming my face full of whatever or pounding beers, but I didn't. 
I might have joined a yarn club and purchased the pattern for a handknitted dress.  Clean eating is expensive.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Blogging the Menu: Day 3

Today's eating is ending early.  Why?  I don't feel well.  I thought my neck/traps were just sore from wall climbs/forward rolls (which it is), but the swollen glands would seem to indicate that I may also have a cold.  Blah.  The achy stage of a cold is the worst, so I'm drinking a shitload of water and tea and trying to head this stupid thing off at the pass.

Since it's Saturday, I didn't have to hurry to get breakfast on the table.  That means I got to make something a little special.

 Paleo pumpkin spice pancakes with grassfed butter, a sprinkle of walnuts, and just a little real maple syrup.
And bacon. Of course.

I was kind of at a loss as to what to eat for lunch, so I pulled a chicken breast out of the fridge, grabbed the George Foreman and made faux-jitas.  
 The lettuce is really only there because it wasn't enough for a salad and I didn't know what to do with it.
The dressing is homemade mayo mixed with hot sauce.

After lunch I was tempted by a container of brownies on the counter.  Rum brownies that a neighbor brought over at Christmas.  I think they actually have a proof rating.  So instead of eating brownies I made these:
 Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins from PaleOMG.  
What can I say? I had some pumpkin left over from breakfast.

After putting the kids down for a non-nap I tried to rest a little.  It didn't go well.  The boys are like a herd of extremely heavy elephants banging around.  No one slept, including me.  Instead I had a cup of tea and a few Christmas cookies.  Not Paleo, but not processed either.  
 My MIL made these.  It's a recipe her mother used to make at Christmas.  It's a sandwich cookie, the center is made from dates.
They are just a little sweet, and very soft.  They pass the "Is it special?" test, and these are the last three.

I started feeling really cruddy this afternoon, so I made-you guessed it-more tea.  Lots more tea.

By dinner I was feeling worn out, and all I really wanted was something hot, I didn't care what.  So I heated up some chicken broth (free range, organic) and called it dinner.  My heart of hearts wants some saltines with butter to go along with it, but I'll pass.
Mmmm.  Dinner.

Last night I cut the shit out of my thumb on my spiral slicer.  I was cleaning the blade and not paying enough attention, clearly.  You know how much is sucks to crack eggs when your right thumb is out of commission?  A lot.  I've been through a lot of band-aids today.

So that's it.  I'm hoping that I'll feel better after a good night's sleep.  I'm certainly well hydrated.  I'm going to skip the treader tonight in hopes that I'll feel well enough to go out for 4 miles tomorrow.  Tomorrow is Packers/Bears and I have to be home to watch that for sure, plus the neighbor brought over some IPA that must be tried.  

2 hours until bedtime...

Friday, December 27, 2013

Blogging the Menu: Day 2

Hello again!  This morning I got up at 4:20am so I could go have my ass handed to me at CrossFit.  We did a hero WOD called "Adrian".  It involved somersaults (which I suck at), wall climbs (which I have never done before but guess what, I suck at), toes to bar (which I used to be able to do, but for some reason can't lately), and box jumps at 30" (I did 20" because overly tall slightly tubby white girls can't jump).  It took me 23:50.  On paper it looked kind of fun, in practice it was kind of ouchy. 

This was not enough food prior to that WOD
Banana has always been my pre-workout go-to food. 
After a while they get a little sickening.  Might be time to switch to oranges.
I discovered the hard way that I can't eat grapes pre-workout.

Afterwards I came home and made myself some real breakfast.  No avocado this morning. Have you ever noticed that avocados are perfectly ripe for about 28 seconds?  And it's never when you want to eat them.  Hardasrocks hardasrocks hardasrocks perfectcreamyawesomeness brownmush

Ye olde standby.  Clucks and pork.

I could eat bacon every day.  Oh wait.  I do.  And yet my LDL cholesterol is 92.  Go figure.

These carrots were awesome.  Crunchy and sweet. 
I hate it when a bitter carrot ruins my morning, don't you?

I was going to post a picture I took of myself with a carrot moustache.  Then I looked at the photo and not only did my nose look huge but also oddly phallic (I hope due to the lighting, otherwise I've been walking around with genitalia on my face), and I'm not that confident a person.

I had a hankering for a buffalo chicken salad.  I love Frank's Red Hot. 
Seriously, I could drink that shit.

After lunch we went for a walk.  It was not that cold, but holy jeebus did we run into wind.  Every time we go walking we discuss walking the loop in the other direction because of the wind.  We never actually do it, but we discuss it!

Who's a cute little Clementine? 

 I ended up in the office until just after 5pm waiting for a phone call that never came.  By the time I got home I was ravenous.  I had planned to have scallops and sautéed zucchini, but I opted for some schmancy spiral cut zoodles with a little toasted almond meal and red pepper flake (and garlic, duh) for my scallops to rest upon.  This is 4 small zucchinis worth and I ATE IT AAAAAALLLLLLL!!

This was sooooo worth every moment it took to prep and cook it. 
Kombucha again as beverage.  A little fizzy, a little fruity, and ever so slightly alcoholic.

I'm not normally one for a "dessert".  I'm more of an "eat a whole sleeve of Oreos while watching The Biggest Loser" kind of girl.  That said, this mousse is really delicious and the fact that the only sweet thing in it is a green tipped banana is kind of incredible.  Find it in the 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook.  


La la laaaaaaa....day 2 down.  Tomorrow I've got the kids while the husband works, I might brave the on call plus kids plus CrossFit combo, but more likely I'll do my long run (if you can count 4 miles as a long run) on Torvald the Treader and hit the box on Sunday.  Let's see how well I stay on the clean eating train with three little vultures circling...

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Blogging the Menu: Day 1

Day 1: I decided to go all 21-Day Sugar Detox today.  After eating everything that was not nailed down yesterday (none of which was actually food) my teeth actually hurt.  That is not an exaggeration.  My teeth hurt.  So I was on a mission today to get off the sugar-heroin train.

Here it is.  Wow.  This is going to get reeeeeally boring for you.

2 fried eggs, 3 bacon, and half an avocado.  Coffee, black. 
Bacon makes the day brighter.
Roasted chicken salad with peppers and avocado.  Olive oil and balsamic with cracked pepper for dressing.
That's not a soda, BTW, it's a sparkling water (lime flavored if you care, and I know you don't)
Sliced red peppers, a hard-boiled egg (which did not peel worth a DAMN, I HATE peeling eggs!), and
a soothing cup of mint tea.

 Grilled steak and roasted peppers, taco salad style with a little impromptu guac.
The glass contains citrus flavored kombucha.
A little dessert.  Fake mousse made from an avocado, a banana, coconut milk, and cocoa.
A few cacao nibs tossed on for crunch.
I swear my diet is not usually so avocado heavy.  I do eat a lot of peppers.  Those things are delicious.  I doubt these will look as pretty as the days and weeks wear on, but my food was lovely today at least.  Another personal goal...don't eat ugly food!
How did you do today?  Did you go for the cookie tray, or did you end up like me...hiding from the cookie/candy tray and feeling slightly nauseated?



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Time for a Little Saturnalia Blogging

Happy Saturnalia, bitches!

Saturnalia was the Roman festival honoring the god Saturn (duh) with parties, gifts, gambling, and owners serving their slaves (sound like Christmas and Boxing Day to anyone?).  It fell on or around Dec 17th and lasted between 3 and 7 days depending on who was emperor at the time.  It was a national holiday for Rome, meaning the government shut down and people partied it up.  On the Julian calendar, Saturnalia fell on or around Dec. 25th.  As Christianity became the Roman religion of choice, Saturnalia was re-adapted to fit the Christian church calendar.  In any case, it was a celebration of the days getting longer and the darkest days of winter passing by. 

Whatever holiday you celebrate-Saturnalia, Yule, Christmas, or Festivus, I hope you had or are having a lovely one.  I'm hanging out inside my house with a bunch of highly sugared, deeply greedy, suddenly unbelievably mercenary little rugrats.  A small sampling of the carnage:
Radio controlled cars.  Both antennas are already broken. 
We had Christmas with the ILs yesterday.  My kids were appropriately excited and thankful (for which I am glad-they might be monsters for me, but at least they're polite in social situations).  Today?  Their behavior is shameful.  Sneaking candy before breakfast (I asked them to not eat the candy before breakfast-not an unreasonable request), breaking toys, leaving things all over the place, and just generally being insanely loud and irrational.  At the moment they are "napping" which involves jumping up and down and screaming, then falling and hurting themselves.  Napping also involves waiting for me to get in the shower at which point all children (who protested that they absolutely did NOT need to go to the bathroom) design a coordinated group poop which requires me to wrap myself in a towel and drip down the hallway to wipe their butts. Apparently the shower turning on is a powerful laxative.
I did not get my husband a gift.  You know, that whole 270 bottles of whiskey thing?  That's going to cover a lot of holidays.  He did get me a gift.  Here's a picture.  I laughed pretty hard.  You will too if you're aca-awesome.
What?  You have juice pouches and Rocky!
I got myself a little Saturnalia gift in the form of a goal journal.  Food and workout tracking for the New Year.  I've fallen pretty hard of the wagon a few times in the last few weeks and I'm starting to feel it physically.  I've seen pretty substantial gains in my running fitness over the last month or so, but that's going to stop if I can't lock down my nutrition.  I want to do it, and my gym owner has agreed to be my conscience going into this project. 
Big things could happen this winter.  This spring could be my best racing season yet.  The path to that place is clear and simple:  Live well. 
Super trite.  But it has to be true.  The CrossFit Open is in March.  I could be in a place to be my very best by then with some well placed effort now.  I'll amend that by saying I have no interest in actually competing in the Games.  None. Still, I'd like to make a good showing for the box.
I have a goal 5k in February...there's a PR there.  I can feel it.  Every time I run, I can feel it. 
The Point Bock is March 1st.  It's high time for a new 5 mile PR as well.  My best there is about 48 minutes.  If I keep up my speed work, could I hit sub-45?
A Ragnar friend implied that with all the races on my spring calendar, a sub-2 hour half should be in my future.  It sounded crazy at the time, but why?  The Dam to Dam in Des Moines was always a 20k, but this year they are making it a half marathon...there's a lot of downhill on that course, maybe it's a sign?  Or the Cellcom, site of my best half time of 2:12-a race day that included running straight into the howling winds of hell for the last three miles...if the weather is favorable for once, could that be the one?
A lot of what keeps me from achieving my goals is fear.  Fear of failing.  With runs it's fear of running completely out of gas and not being able to finish.  Thing is, I've never really pushed myself during a race.  I've bullied myself into finishing races when I wanted to quit (Grandma's 2013, anyone?), but I've never truly pushed the limit.  I've run hard, but I've never finished a race feeling like I left it all out on the course.  Granted, many times I have to drive home and pay a sitter then care for three highly energetic children for 18-24 hours, so leaving it all on the course is ill advised.  Still, I've never gone balls to the wall in a 5k.  Not once.  Isn't that sad?  I don't even know where my limit is.  Might be time to find it.
I have no intention of truly racing every event I've signed up for.  Most of the running I do is for the experience (and the medal and t-shirt and beer-I have priorities).  I train for my sanity and for some quiet time with my thoughts...or with loud angry music. 
All these things begin with fuel.  The right fuel.  Whole food.  I've put together 3 months of whole food meals starting Jan. 1.  We'll be making old favorites and getting some new culinary experiences.  Eating well and pushing my limits.  The plan for 2014.  Just because I'm getting old doesn't mean I can't get (more) awesome.
I'm thinking of taking pictures of my food all day and blogging it.  Three months of pictures of my lunch.  That is going to be boring as fuck.  Better than cluttering up Facebook with it.  Might also inspire me to make my plate pretty, and presentation counts.  Or so I hear. 
If you've been thinking about keeping a fitness journal, might I recommend JournalMenu 
They are the best.
During the Lurong Challenge I had a sweater project to keep my hands busy.  It took me the whole challenge to finish it, and I wore it to the afterparty.
Nine weeks of work.  That shit is handcrafted.
So I obviously need a busy hands project for Balls Out New Year 2014.  I am a member of a sock knitting club (I know.  Lame-o McLamerson.) for 2014 and I started early with these babies:
Solfar by Cookie A in Tardis Blue from StitchJones
These bitches are being finished TO. DAY.
I love hand knitted socks.  They are warm and infinitely more awesome that store bought socks.  You laugh it up.  By the end of the year I'm going to have a drawerful of woolies custom made for me by me.  When I get my first real pull-up this spring, I might do it in hand knitted socks.
A shiny New Year to everyone reading (all 4 of you).  Go out and push your limits! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Challenge is Over, but the Fun is Just Beginning

The Lurong Challenge ends today!  I made it!  With minimal cheating and a whole lot of success.
I would encourage you to visit the website and learn more about the challenge, it was a really cool experience.  This company sells a deer antler velvet supplement, which you don't have to take to do the challenge, and I didn't.  I don't take supplements.  I tried once, but I keep forgetting to take them, so I figured why bother?  I'll just eat better and not have to worry about it.
For the last 8ish weeks, members of CrossFit boxes all over the country have been competing to see who can eat the cleanest and improve the most on a few benchmark WODs.  My results were awesome!  There was no weight component to the challenge, but I did do a before and after and I lost 11#.  That made me pretty happy, because I'd slipped off the wagon a bit before the challenge began and I was feeling kind of bloated and blah.  Measurements wise I lost 4 inches overall, which sounds small compared to some of the others I've seen, but that included an 1.5 inches off my hips and an inch off each thigh (which are still bizarrely uneven, but it is what it is).  My jeans are thankful for the reprieve.  More than these visible effects, though, I just feel a lot better.  I feel stronger, and my lifts got better, and I improved my time on each and every benchmark workout.  That was pretty cool.
I also got back into my red scrubs, which I refer to as being "red pants skinny".  They are a size small, and while I know that scrub sizing is bullshit, I am a girl (no really, I totally am, I crapped out a few kids and everything) and that makes me feel a little good.  Or a lot good.  Depends on the day.
Now that the challenge is over, I'm really looking forward to half and half in my coffee.  I'm tired of coconut milk. It doesn't take bad, but it's a little grainy.  The no dairy at all thing was hard, not that I eat that much of it.  Still, sometimes a girl likes a cheese curd.
I went to a party last night and had an odd realization:  It's been so long since I had a drink that I forgot what I used to like to drink.  I ended up having a couple of vodka cocktails, but they were sort of anticlimactic.  In retrospect I almost wish I hadn't had them.  I didn't even get a buzz on.  Snore.
In other news, I've made great strides in my effort to assemble a sweatpants based wardrobe.
NC state sweatshirt and Tennessee Volunteers pants.  Total expenditure? $13

I also bought a couple of ginormous pairs of men's sweats.  Drawstring = fitting.  They are so comfy.
I just finished getting my Winter/Spring running calendar together, and it's pretty exciting (if you like running and racing, which I do.  If you don't, prepared to be bored stiff).
Run Less, Run Faster has resurfaced!  I'm going to spend 12 weeks working on running my fastest 5K (goal = sub-28).  I have it all planned out and scheduled.  I even went so far as to program each workout into my Garmin.  I'm going to do actual speedwork, consistently, for 12 weeks pre-race.  I've got a warm up 5K in January with the goal race in February.  March and April will be fairly quiet, but May?  May is going to be CRAZY!!!  A race every weekend, with 3 of them being out of state.  I'm am beyond excited.  Here's the round-up.
Icebreaker 5K (indoors)
Seroogy's Valentine Run 5K
Point Bock 5 miler (my PR is going down on this one!)
Two Rivers 10-mile
Drake Relays On-The-Roads half marathon
Door County Half
Ragnar Cape Cod
Cellcom Green Bay Half
Soldier Field 10 miler
Des Moines Dam to Dam 20K
Bellin Run
HFM marathon relay?
Ragnar Trail Lake Tahoe
It looks a little nutty, but I love having a full race calendar.  It motivates me to keep moving forward, even if I'm having a bad day.  Some of these races I've done before, but a lot of them are brand new, and I can't wait to get started. 
Hooray!  It's time to run again! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Just Need to Say This:

I just have to get this off my chest.  Stores are going to open on Thanksgiving.  Get the fuck over it.  I've seen this thing circulating on Facebook over the last few days.

What disturbs me about this is the last statement.  Everyone Deserves a Holiday. 

It sounds nice, doesn't it?  Everyone deserves a holiday.  Sure they do.  What annoys me is the implication here that the families of retail workers are somehow different or more important than those of us who work in other service industries.  I speak here of those who work in Public Service as police, firefighters, and EMS workers.  For those of us who work in health care settings.  For people who serve the public working at TV stations, radio stations, power stations, and gas stations.  For retail workers at grocery stores and in restaurants. For the motherfucking football players that you watch as part of your family Thanksgiving tradition.


You might say something like "Well, you chose to be a doctor/pharmacist/paramedic/power worker etc etc ad nauseum.".  Sure.  I did.  You, retail worker, chose to work at a store.  People shop in stores.  The money that the store rakes in by opening up at midnight on Black Friday, or at 8pm on Thanksgiving?  They use that to pay you.  Probably to pay you holiday pay. 

Have you ever run to the grocery store on Thanksgiving Day?  I'd wager you have, or a member of your family has.  Maybe you ran out of eggs, or forgot the whipped cream.  It sure was nice that they were open, wasn't it?  That year Grandma forgot to use a potholder and burned the shit out of her hand?  I bet you were glad the ER was open, and the 24 hour pharmacy down the street was able to fill her burn cream and pain pills.  When you were almost to Aunt Mary's place and realized the car was out of gas and that BP was open so little Jimmy could take a piss-sure was nice that cashier was there.  That nice old man that came into Jerry and Pat's every day was happy we were there on Thanksgiving, because we were his family-he didn't have anyone else. 

I'm on call this Thanksgiving.  My husband works a 24 hour shift.  We aren't making holiday pay, but I'm guessing if your TPN pump goes kablooey or your house catches fire you won't hesitate to call us.  Guess what?  WE HAVE A FUCKING FAMILY.

Sure, you don't NEED a discount sweater on Thanksgiving Day.  You don't need it at 2am the day after, either, but I don't hear anyone bitching about doorbusters. Do you really NEED to watch football/TV on the holiday?  Make a beer run?  Eat out?  No, you don't.  If you don't want to shop on Thanksgiving, then don't.  I won't be.  I never shop at all if I can help it, and certainly not anyplace that doesn't end in ".com".  But let's not pretend that it's because we value family so much or because "Everyone Deserves a Holiday".  That is total horseshit unless you're prepared to forgo all of the other conveniences of modern life so everyone else can stay at home, too.

Rant over.

Friday, October 11, 2013

It's That Time of Year Again!

No, not the holiday season.  Fuck that shit.  Halloween is fun for the kids, but I won't be eating candy this year and aside from a themed party at the end of Lurong I don't much care about it.  The party is a WWE themed "come as your favorite wrestler".  I'm going to go as Lita. 

As you can see, this is clearly a stupid idea.  I'm a 36 year old mother of three.  Then again with a full face of makeup, an outfit from Hot Topic, and my tits jacked up to my chin?  I might look kinda hot.  Or at least a room full of drunk ruggers will think I look hot.  More than likely I'll just look ridiculous, but whatever.  It's a party and I'll be wearing a party wig.  That wig is the bomb.  It was $7.35 on Amazon.  Free shipping.  Totally worth it.
Along the Holiday Schmoliday line, I'll be on call Thanksgiving day and the whole weekend following it.  So that means I either have to host at my house or my family will go to dinner somewhere without me.  Maybe we'll just hang here and eat pizza.  Holiday basically blown.
Christmas usually just makes me stressed and angry.  I'm atheist, so there's no religious connection for me (I will admit to a fondness for carols, but that's mostly because I'm an ex-singer and I know the alto and tenor lines for every one of them.  It's fun to sing harmony in church.  It really messes with people around you.).  I do like the baking part of Christmas, and I plan to get hammered and do a shitload of it. Then I will force feed cookies to my friends, family, and co-workers at every opportunity.  I find gift giving very stressful.  I despise shopping, and the hatred is amplified during the holiday season.  There is no sign of brotherly love in a mall.  If I can't get it on Amazon?  I don't need it.  I knitted Christmas stockings for the whole family last year, and I love the tree and the lights.  If we could skip gifts and just eat cookies, drink fizzy wine, and cuddle in front of the fire I'd be down with Christmas.  Happy Saturnalia, bitches.
As long as I'm on Christmas, I'm just going to say this:  My saying "Happy Holidays" is NOT a war on Christmas.  It is a freaking greeting.  It means "Hey you, person I may never see again, you have a banner fucking Christmas and a balls out New Year" and also handily encompasses Hanukkah (well, not really this year since Hanukkah starts in November), Kwanzaa, and Ramadan (when it falls in December).  You go right ahead and wish a Merry Christmas to all the godless heathens you want and I won't say a word, even when you say it to me.  It doesn't offend me.  I don't want you to stop saying it.  I just want you to not get all assed up when I say Happy Holidays.  Mkay? Mkay.
So what does "That Time of Year Again" mean?  I'm glad you asked. 
It's Athletic Stupidity Time!!!
The time of year when I sit down with my brand new calendar and plan my training for the year ahead.  I sign up for a crapton of races, meticulously plan my training, then look back and think HOLY JEEBUS I'M RACING EVERY WEEKEND IN MAY.
So what's on tack for 2014?  I'm gonna get faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssstttttt.  I've been on hiatus from training and really only running here and there for the last month or two.  I run when I want, no watch, no plan, just recreational.  It's been nice, but I haven't had the urge to go out much.  The last two weeks with the leaves turning and the air crisping up?  I want to run.  More than that, I want to train.  So train I shall.  Including speedwork. 
1. Post at least one sub-8 mile (PR is 8:05)
2. Break 28 minutes in the 5K (PR is 29:30-and I walked during this one)
3. Break 2:10 for the half-marathon (PR is 2:12)
1. Indoor 5K in January, just for funsies
2. Seroogy's 5K in February (this is my break 28 race)
3. Point Bock in March (I'd love to put up a sub 48 here)
4. Crazylegs in April (if we can get in-never done it and I wanna)
5. Door County half
6. Cellcom half (my break 2:10 race)
7. Soldier Field 10 miler
8. Des Moines Dam to Dam (I think it's a 20K-it will be my first)
Races 5-8 are in May.  It's going to be awesome.
My only real non-running goal will hopefully be accomplished in the next couple of months.  I got a pull up bar and some bands.  I am going to do pull ups.  Enough of them to get me to a place where I can do them unassisted.  It has been my goal for a long time, but I'm not going after it hard enough.  I have never been able to do one.  I failed the fucking flexed arm hang in the Presidential Fitness thing every. fucking. year.  Not anymore.  My 36 year old self will accomplish what my 15 year old self couldn't imagine.  Hell, if you told 15 year old me what 30ish year old me would do she would have laughed in your face.
I love a brand spanking New Year!  I love planning and training and racing!  And I can't wait to hang a bunch of new medals on my display.  If I can make it through the holidays. (Did I mention I'm also on call for almost an entire week over New Year? Because I am.)
What are your goals for the New Year?  Does this stuff sound crazy?  Can you do pull-ups?  Have you ever gone to a party with your tits jacked up to your chin?

These Christmas tree cookies are the bomb.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

I Was Going to Write Two Posts, but then I Said "Fuck That".

This is going to be long.  You've been warned. It's also going to be picture heavy, so there's that.

Hi!  It's been a long while!  I've been a little busy and a little lazy and a little sick and a little self-destructive.  I think I'm reaching equilibrium again, though, so no worries.


I've been around long enough to start taking call.  In fact, I'm on call right now, covering for a co-worker who is headed to the Packer game today.  So I'm getting paid an embarrassing(ly low) on-call rate to write this blog.  That's right, bitches, I'm getting paid to blog.  Ha.

Call is...weird.  I'm sure I'll get used to it but for the moment I'm treating the pager like a newborn.  Did I leave it in the dressing room?!?  Where is the pager?!?  Did it make any noise?!!?  I obsessively check it to make sure I didn't miss a page.  It's getting better, but I still pretty much sleep with it next to my head.  I've run errands, gone to CrossFit, and visited the zoo with the pager, but I have yet to take it out on a run.  I'm deathly afraid that it will be out of range on a long run and I'll miss a page.  Not that I get stat pages like a doctor, but still. 

Running or Should I Say Ragnar:

I just got back from running Ragnar Colorado.  See?
The Colorado finish line.  Snowmass village at the base of a ski run.
This was a corporate sponsored team, which is how I got sucked into going into high altitude.  Team Pawngo was formed by a Ragnar buddy and they needed a few runners to round things out.  Pawngo is an online pawn shop run by some extremely entertaining people.  If I had anything to pawn, I'd give them a go.  I don't though.  Have anything to pawn. 
So.  Ragnar Colorado.  It's really, really beautiful.  And pointy.
I would seriously consider training for this one with an altitude mask, especially if you have a longer leg or a higher altitude leg.  I was sucking wind big time on this one.  The weather was unpredictable (mountains, you know), but mostly nice.  The was very little air in the air, however.  It made everything feel harder.  I was runner 10 and had a 10.4 mile leg with a 1000ft altitude gain over the course of it.  It was noon, it was hot, and I got a combination of altitude sickness and heat stroke at about mile 3.4.  The world tilted and spun, and I barfed.  I have never, ever ever ever, barfed due to a workout.  I felt like a big weenie, but there were several others that crapped out on that leg-so it wasn't just me. 
My dark leg was terrifying.  I saw the route in daylight and it was gorgeous.  In the dark?  TERRIFYING.  It was under highway 70 beside a rushing river.  At 3am.  There was no light beyond my headlamp.  TERRIFYING.  I dithered over the way to go (there were a couple of poorly marked forks in the trail) and waited for other runners to come up on me so I would have someone to follow.  I think if I'd had knuckle lights as well it would have been better, and now that I know what it looks like down there I could do it again without the fear.  That morning though?  I felt like I was running down into the center of the earth and it was TERRIFYING.  I was so freaked out at the end that I actually broke down a little.  I'm going to blame that on the altitude, too. 
My first leg was beautiful.  Run into the setting sun alongside a babbling brook turned river.  So lovely.  I should've taken pictures.
Ragnar had trouble getting the medals through customs, so they weren't at the finish.  They scared up some temp medals though, and we got our Mile High medals for doing CO and another Ragnar in 2013.  Our team captain wanted to make sure we got a medal at the end, so we made some on the fly.  So I got 3 medals, and my official Ragnar medal is still on the way.
See?  Hardware.
Overall this race was well run, albeit in need of a few more signs.  I would recommend it, it is really beautiful.  It's fairly easy to fly to Denver and drive to the start, the race is run almost entirely on paved bike trails, and the exchanges provide a lot of creature comforts.  The towns you encounter range from rural to ritzy and there's lots of good food, coffee, and beer to be had.  The free beer at the end was Coors, which was somewhat disappointing.  So much awesome beer in the area and...Coors.  Coors is Coloradan for beer the way Foster's is Australian for beer.  Namely, it isn't.
I'm fairly certain I'll be spending a week biking, hiking, and golfing in the mountains around Snowmass/Vail in the near future.  Summer is the low season, but since I don't ski I can take full advantage of the awesome prices!
After the race, those of us heading to the airport got a chance to stop at Biker Jim's gourmet hot dogs in downtown Denver.  I had a Bat Dog and fried pickles. Delicious.  I also got to see some friends from college that I haven't seen forever!!  A great end to the weekend.
Nanannananananananana BAT DOG!

In other exciting running news:  THE BROOKS LAUNCH IS BACK!!!

You may not think that's exciting, but I do!  I ran my first marathon in those shoes and they are the BOMB.  I was so sad when the line was discontinued last year.  But now they're back!  And I ordered a pair!  And they'll be here this week!  Hurrah!


So I've been out of the box the last two weeks.  I had a great day of snatching and clean and jerking, and then I went to Colorado and came back totally hungover (not literally-sleep deprivation like) and kind of sick.  I thought it was allergies, but now I think it was more than that.  At any rate I was just tired as hell and headachy and sick feeling.  So how did I deal with that?  Not working out and being...


Do you do this to yourself?  Just totally fuck up your health and well-being for no good reason?  I do.  Yeah, I wasn't feeling well, but I could've stayed on track with my nutrition and just taken it easy in the gym.  Did I do that? No.  I ate shit and felt sorry for myself, and ate more shit and felt worse.  I have no idea why I do this, but it's a continual pattern in my life.  If I still smoked I would've been a chimney the last week.  I probably have some deep seated mental disorder selfsabotagitis or successophobia or somesuch.  Or maybe I'm just an asshole that needs to stop being such a slug.  That's probably it.

The Lurong Challenge:

The one thing that helps snap me out of a self-destruction spiral is a challenge.  Especially if it is one that makes me accountable to other people.  The Lurong Challenge is a new thing, last year was the first year.  It's a Paleo/CrossFit competition dealie wherein your box forms a team and tries to improve performance and nutrition over the course of 8 weeks.  It starts tomorrow.  I am pretty excited, because while I'm happy to fuck myself up, I generally don't fuck over other people, and as the team can collectively win stuff for the box, I'll be in 100%.  To that end:
I made my own mayo.  No shitty soy or vegetable oil here.  Just egg, olive oil, mustard powder, lemon juice, and salt.
Suck it, Kraft.

I took a leftover chicken carcass and made my own stock.  Today I'll make three kinds of soup with it.
Suck it, Swanson.

I have assembled my tools for food prepping and am drying kale for chips.
Suck it, Lays.

I have recipes for butternut squash and parsnip soup, broccoli leek soup, and coconut chicken lime soup.  All will be made today.  Waldorf tuna salad, zucchini "noodles", and jicama home fries, too.  Also scotch eggs.  Tonight for supper the husband is making Char Sui. 

I'm very much looking forward to getting back on track and feeling better.  


I've never been too great at this.  I have moments when I'm full of self acceptance, but more when I don't.  It's important to accept yourself.  That's not to say you can't be constantly trying to improve, but you have to appreciate yourself at every stage.  Recently, my husband and I dug our race medals out of the box in our office and displayed them.  Here's mine.
Pain is Temporary, Pride is Forever

That's a fairly sizeable collection, especially considering I didn't start running until I was 30.  These are just the medal races.  The 5Ks and 10Ks and assorted other events aren't represented here.  When I look at these (and there's no avoiding them, they're on the stairwell), I am forced to remind myself that I am capable of more than self-destruction.  These medals represent a lot of time and effort-and a lot of celebration.  We all need to celebrate more often. 

One last thing:
The back of my CrossFit journal

Gandhi was a smart dude.