Saturday, March 31, 2012

50 miles and the gravel hill dream

My goal this weekend was to ride 75 miles.  My thought was I'd split it approximately in half, with the first half being just slightly longer. 

But then I got out there today and it was just SO GORGEOUS.  And I remembered that I tend to be pretty tired the day after a big ride.  So I decided on the fly to make today's 50 miles, so that tomorrow can be a nice short 25.  

I wore compression gloves under my biking gloves to help deal with my carpal tunnel syndrome.  (Don't know what compression gloves are?  Think "Spanx for hands/wrists.")  They helped TREMENDOUSLY.  Usually my hands start acting up somewhere between mile 7 and mile 10 and are a pain for the rest of the ride.  Today they didn't start until mile 30, and even then they were quite manageable - it was enough to ride along one-handed, opening and closing my fist to revive each hand as it went into numb/vibrating mode.  I'm pretty pleased with the difference it made.  I tend to stop every 7-10 miles for breaks maybe 10 minutes long because of my hands.  Not having to start that until over halfway through the ride...well, that was nice. 

A friend asked how I could ride in the "cold."  For the record, it was in the 50s here today, so maybe it was warmer here than where she was.  But in answer to her question, what I wore for the ride was:  blue jeans, wool socks with canvas sneakers, a short sleeved running shirt (one of those nice breathable mesh kind) and a light cotton zipped hoodie.  The helmet is probably a major factor for keeping me warm, too...after all, on 70 degree days I sweat my hair soggy in the helmet.  And...I'm just probably warmer than her in this weather because (despite the fact that I'm middle-age cold all the time when I am sitting still) when I exercise, I'm a heat-producing factory.  

The other day while riding, I saw something that took my breath away and made my stomach flop - a guy coming off the little mesh bridge to Arsenal Island didn't ride up to the turn-around to head for Moline.  He just popped down the gravel hill from the one path to the other.  I took some pictures of that hill today but I don't know if they properly capture the they are:

Okay, so here it is from the top looking down, at exactly the spot he rode down the hill. 
Here's a shot from the bottom path, looking off toward the turn-around spot, which is just beyond the picture.  See how much higher the top path is than the bottom one?

And here is from the vantage point of the bottom at just the spot he rode down, looking up (you can see the trail where people have been doing that, can't you?)
So why am I taking pictures of a gravel hill on the bike path?  Not just to scintillate you with what scared me when I saw it.  I was thinking today how many things I've done in the past year or so that I never, ever thought I could do.  And it occurs to me that maybe by this time next year or something...maybe I could be riding down that hill.  I mean...not definitely....but maybe...

Who knows?  

Won't it be fun to find out? 

Meanwhile, I came home and treated myself to a lavendar bubble bath with hot peppermint tea and candlelight.  Cuz you wanna be nice to your body when it's been nice to you, right? 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

biking in skirt

I am really enjoying riding my bike to work.  I do it any day that I can work it out.  There is the weather to figure, and then there are scheduling issues - some days there just isn't an extra half hour to ride my bike home before I do the next thing.  Nonetheless, I am getting to ride a lot!  

It is exactly 4 miles from my door to work, via the route I ride.  I have a choice between the Centennial bridge or crossing Arsenal island.  The Centennial is quite a hill, and the pedestrian area where I would ride is prohibitively narrow, IMHO.  So I ride the Arsenal bridge.  It terrified me at first (I met a nice kid today on the bridge who was doing as I was the first time I crossed it...standing there looking worried and trying to work the nerve up.  It was fun encouraging him, and he seemed grateful.) but now it's easy.  But there are TWO bridges for the island - the big one, that everybody notices, and the smaller one, that just feels like a road if you're in a car.  Bikes, on the other hand, cross that portion on a little silver mesh grating sort of bridge that is WAY TOO SEE-THRU, and despite the massive progress the Lord has caused in me, healing my fear of heights, this one is tough.  I sing hymns while I cross it, as the heights I cannot help from seeing in my peripheral vision scare the poop out of me.  I keep thinking that will get better, but thus far it doesn't.  But it's not enough to keep me from crossing, so all is well.

It's a great way to commute.  It's too easy to be in a Big Damned Hurry in a car and to be irritable with traffic.  On a bike, I just soak in everything around me with a big stupid grin on my face and it really sets a nice tone for my morning...and is a nice de-stresser at the end of my busiest days.

Today I did my first ride in a skirt.  I've been seeing gorgeous ladies on bikes in dresses for awhile on the "Bicycle Chic" websites, so I knew it was possible.  And let's face Lulu NEEDS a skirted rider!  Here she is at today's train delay, bragging about how cute she is and smiling that I wore my skirt...

There's just something I love about this pic...
Anyway, riding in a skirt was fine.  I did my first ride in a long one with black footless tights underneath.  That turned out to be a good choice, as after work I drove straight into a strong headwind for most of the ride, and it worked hard on my skirt.  It went from long, to acceptably knee-ish length, and when I looked down and saw it was at micro-mini I stopped to hike it back down.  The tights look like what some people wear to ride in, so it was no biggie...but at my size, still not much of anyone really wants to SEE that, you know?  (And if you're one of those critical voices who goes around saying that, please be convicted that people like me feel like slaves to believing and avoiding it, and you could even consider knocking it off already...)  

Really and truly, I've been ashamed of my legs since I was 12 years old and was 5'2" and 96 pounds.  It's those darn touching thighs.  I saw this picture tonight on a FB friend's wall and it just about made me cheer.  It's a good note for the end of a Wednesday.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I'm feeling very "officially back in training for my century ride" tonight.  You might recall if you've been hanging around the naked blog awhile that one of my ambitions for this year is to ride a 100-mile ride in August in Chicago.  It's not a race - not competitive at all.  It's just a bunch of bike enthusiasts driving around to various points of interest in the Chicago area.  They go slowly, stretching the ride out to something like 12 or more hours.  They stop for a number of breaks, and there seems to be a generous amount of alcohol involved for many.  There is even (gasp) a spot where many of the group skinny dip.  Now, mind you, you already KNOW from reading me that I'd rather die at the end of a sword than get naked in front of...well....others!  But I'm thinking if it's a slow ride and everyone else's objective is to have fun and get some level of drunk and possibly naked, then I should be able to keep up with them, in my fully sober condition (and get to enjoy some Chicago highlights along the way).  Right?  Then in 2013 I wouldn't mind trying to ride Ragbrai, perhaps (another non-competitive ride, btw).  At 472 miles - from one side of Iowa to the other - over a 7 day span - well....let's just say I want to be still quite a bit lighter yet for that than I am now before I attempt that. 

So anyway.  Yesterday I was mostly busy with my mom, and it was rainy anyway.  I was thinking there would be no bike time.  But late in the day on an impulse I checked the weather, and while it was overcast, there was only a 10% chance of precip.  It was nearly sunset, so I hurried out and squeezed in a quick 8 miles.  That's how far it is if I ride over to Credit Island and take a spin all the way around it before coming home.  Nice ride.

Today I joined my church, and my family came to celebrate that with me and enjoy a meal at my house.  Everyone left around 3.  By 3:20 I was out on the bike trail.  Wilma and I got 33 miles in!  That was a nice, slow, easy pace (generally around 12 MPH) with plenty of breaks and took exactly 4 hours, right down to the minute.  While I no longer need breaks for bike seat pain issues - the Hobson EasySeat is a DREAM and I cannot possibly speak highly enough of it - my carpal tunnel tends to rage on the bike.  I ride 1-handed some of the time, opening and closing my "off" hand to revive it, but every 7-10 miles it accumulates to the point that my fingers feel like fat, overstuffed, inflexible sausages with that icky combination of numbness and tingling that makes basic things like operating the brakes a near impossibility.  So I get off and spend some time moving my hands and massaging my wrists and getting back to functional.  I am toying with the idea of trying out riding with my wrist braces that I sleep in during high hand-activity times like canning and such.  I wonder if it would help. 

Anyway the ride was GREAT.  So this was a 41-mile weekend.  I think I'll shoot for 75 next weekend (that's just 2 good rides instead of 1 short and 1 long - I have plans for Friday night, or I'd make the goal 100 - absolutely do-able when stretched across 3 days...)  Gotta stay after it...the plan is to return to my max ride of last year - 54 miles - by May 1.  Then I can spend May through July working up to be ready to do 100. 

I'm thinking between that bike ride and sleeping with the windows open - I'ma sleep like a baby!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

back online, biking frenzy, and shrinking pains

I'm back online!  WOO HOO!  Getting internet on and up here at the new apartment was a 19 day ordeal, the details of which I won't bore you.  Just let me say I coulda kissed the technician yesterday when he got me back online (but I didn't....okay?!...calm down...) 

Been getting back to more regular biking over the weekend.  I am now officially in "getting ready for the century ride" mode.  I'd like to have myself back up to 50-mile ride status by May 1 at the latest.  To that end, I had a nice 20 mile ride on Saturday and 9 very wind-gusty miles on Sunday (that's the beauty of the new bike seat...I can do consecutive days of riding without feeling like I'm gonna end up at the gynecological hospital.)  Didn't bike to work yesterday because it was Monday (I have an after-work commitment on Monday that doesn't leave time for riding the bike home).  This morning, I am absolutely TWITCHING because I want to ride to work.  Before bed, the forecast showed rain this morning.  But rain isn't here.  The morning is beautiful.  It's the perfect weather for a ride.

Nonetheless, the forecast is showing rain and (if I read the goofy little pictures right) lightning all afternoon.  I'm not interested in discovering what it feels like to get hit by lightning on the Arsenal bridge, so though it's taking every bit of my willpower and I'm protesting all the way, I am being reasonable and driving to work.  Ugh.  

I had another morning of trying all my clothes on and discovering they all hate me (have had a number of such mornings's heck on the morning routine).  This is a dilemma that always comes with any change of size for me.  You EXPECT it when you're getting bigger.  But it is, at least to me, surprising to experience it while getting smaller.  I realized what the problem is:  as I move down to smaller pants to fit my butt and legs, the smaller waist keeps my belly from falling down into my pants (how's THAT for a gruesome morning image!  LOL)...and the "spare tire" effect becomes more pronounced.  So smaller pants make me feel like I look fatter (while bigger pants have all these weird icky baggy spots in awkward places that I just don't like at all).  So I tried and tossed many, many outfits this morning before finding something I could live with.  I guess we'd call that "shrinking pains"? 

Happy Tuesday, all.  Let's do this thing!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

she falls again, bikes to work, and shrinks out of some more clothes

Well, I got a further demonstration this morning that I "bounce" well when I fall.  This time, I was running.  In Davenport, I've been on the sidewalks rather than the streets (for reasons explained in an earlier blog).  I came to a spot where the sidewalk was especially uneven and I just simply tripped and fell.  This time I landed on my LEFT knee and elbow, which evens up all the bruises and scrapes.  Here are my ever-so-lovely elbows (and you know it MUST be the naked blog if I'm showing these floppy chicken wing arms for the world to see):

No more sidewalks for me.  I'm going back to running on the street, at least when I'm down on 2nd - the sidewalks just aren't even enough for this lady who barely lifts her feet at all while walking or running.  

The bits of good news:
  1. I didn't swear at all.
  2. I didn't stay on the ground for more than 5 seconds.
  3. Three steps later, I was back to running.
Woo hoo!  So I'm rocking double band-aids  today and feeling like a dork (thank you Lord for 3/4 length sleeves!)  But once again, my body has proven to me that being more fit is its own reward (no limp, no ongoing pain, no nuttin').  

I rode my bike to work this morning for the first time.  It was AWESOME.  It's a spectacular way to start the day, hearing the birds and breathing the morning air.  The Arsenal bridge was a bit of a sensory overload, as there were not only a whole bunch of cars on level 1, there was also a train crossing on level 2.  That's a lot of noise on an all-metal bridge.  Awe inspiring.  

Here are the things I did that I learned from my Chicago bike list to make the ride work:
  1. Didn't wear makeup.  Just packed that in my bag to do when I got to work (why start with sweaty makeup?) 
  2. Also packed wet wipes and my extra blow dryer for the sprucing-up upon arrival at work. 
  3. Rode at an easy pace (5-10 MPH) the whole way so as not to get excessively sweaty (the back of my hair was still drowned, but that's what the blow dryer is good for, along with fixing my "helmet hair.") 
It works.  And I'm super excited that I get to end my work day with another ride.  

Lulu was a huge show-off about it all, catching the attention of everyone I passed as I came into the workplace.  She drew commenters like flies to honey, all the way in, all the way up the elevator, and even as I was stuffing her into a closet people kept stopping for a look and a "WOW!"  Oh yeah, she liked it a lot.  I reckon she'll keep that up until people around here get used to her.  

I haven't bought a bike basket for the commute yet, and I can't find my little canvas bag that fits the bikes, so today I'm enjoying a huge salad, fresh fruit, and a bit of cottage cheese all from the Bistro.  Hopefully I'll find that tote tonight and can juice for lunch tomorrow.

In other news, I had to re-pick clothes 3 times this morning because stuff kept being too big.  Umm...


Monday, March 12, 2012

small changes over time, bike wreck, and smoothie and juicing my morning away

I've read all sorts of things about how changing our habits takes a long time, how we need to be patient, how small changes over much time make big differences.  This weekend, I've come across evidence of those truths.

First, a big difference.  On Saturday evening I was out for a bike ride.  Rolling on the street through downtown Davenport (a place I used to be afraid to drive MY CAR, much less a bike), I was jockeying to work the stoplights.  I hate stopping at red lights.  While I'm not one to run them, I WILL hang back very slowly, barely moving, so as not to reach it until it's about to turn, and then I shoot through when it's green.  So I had done that for two lights, and was working my third and final, River Drive, before I'd be on the safety of the bike path (which I do prefer to the streets).  Watching the pedestrian sign count down seconds, I knew the green light was gonna go red pretty quick, so I was booking down the hill to beat it and feeling pretty slick.

Just as I pulled into the intersection, a car appeared on my left side, ALSO hustling to beat the light.  In my heightened state of excitement, my judgment sucked and I just panicked, thinking maybe it was about to turn right into my path (I am especially fearful of drivers around here, who are not all that accustomed to watching out for bikes) and...I dumped my bike.  It wasn't on purpose, it was just a clumsy over-reaction.  I landed on my right elbow and knee, sadly to say swearing aloud as I hit the pavement. (And the car turned LEFT, as in, AWAY FROM ME, thus no need for such drama...ugh.)

There's where one of the big changes kicked in:  for years, I wouldn't have had any agility to deal with such an event.  But now I do.  I was moving to get back up almost before I finished hitting the ground.  I had myself and the bike up and out of the path of traffic remarkably quickly, IMHO. 

The next big change:  I wasn't tempted to go home and put my leg up and baby my knee along and feel sorry for myself.  I stretched and bent it a few times, got back on the bike, and enjoyed the ride.  I have a tiny bit of soreness in that knee and am avoiding going DOWN steps right now where possible, but UP is still quite possible.

And then there was this morning.  I woke up hearing sounds that told me it was raining...and I thought maybe I heard lightning (hard to tell, as there ARE occasional big noises in this area that aren't lightning.)  I looked at my iphone weather and the little icon looked like it meant “storms.”  While I'm willing to put a slicker on and run with rain falling on me, getting struck by lightning on the Centennial bridge is NOT my idea of a fun Monday morning.  This is normally where I'd go back to sleep for another half an hour. 

But I didn't.  I got up and took the stairs to the 6th floor, where there is a workout room.  I ACTUALLY WOKE UP NEGOTIATING FOR A WAY NOT TO MISS MY WORKOUT!  How crazy is that?!  Now, mind you, it didn't pan out for me.  The workout room must have “hours” - the door was locked and my key doesn't fit it.  I took the back stairs, planning to just come back down to my apartment for some T-tap, but then I had to go all the way down to first and around, as the back stairway locks one out of the building apparently.  By the time I did that and then climbed the stairs back up to my apartment, it was too late to start T-tap and finish in time to still do my morning grats.  Grats generally trump all other activities, so my “workout” this morning was basically just 6 flights of stairs – not enough, but hey, I'm still overjoyed that I WANTED to work out.

Since I was uncharacteristically not nauseous this morning, I rocked the green smoothie for breakfast.  2 cups unsweetened chocolate soy, an entire bag of spinach, 2 bananas, ½ cup blueberries, ½ cup mixed tropical fruit.  I must be getting better at this, cuz I'm not needing to do the “suck, chew, swallow” tactic – I seem to have utterly pureed that bag of spinach.  Here's to figuring things out!

In case you're wondering how my body processed that much wonder that was good.  No discomfort, and no unusual amount of trips to the bathroom.  Oh, my gut made all manner of spectacular growly noises and such all morning, but without pain or grossness...hey, it was fine!

For lunch I juiced.  Not having the presence of mind to read a recipe and pack accordingly on a Monday morning, I just grabbed a lot of stuff out of the fridge and brought it to work.  So my juice was made from:  a huge double-handful of purple grapes, half a bag of spinach, 2 green apples, 1 peeled orange, 4 oversized brussels sprouts, 3 carrots, and a cucumber.  YUMMO!  I'm thinking I'll be just fine without fussing too much over recipes, at this rate.  

In between I had a couple of handfuls of nuts.  Mondays are always Very High Appetite days for me - my body is thrown by the change of schedule over the weekend and responds by pushing the hungry button all day long.  Thus far, I am liking this approach to managing that.  It's safe to say there will be more nuts in my afternoon.  

Final bit of news on that small changes over time I am wearing my size 16 dress pants.  I've only worn them 1 or 2 other times, and that was with the extreme support of multiple items like Spanx and Shapeware and tights and such.  Didn't bother with any of those today, and in truth, my pants fit better (looser) than they did with all that squeezing help before.  YIPPEEEEEE!!!!

Basically, this day rocks. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

a birthday lesson that hits home

This week, my birthday gave me an opportunity for further real-life instruction on some of the things I've been learning lately. 

I mention this often, so it has probably come up before on this blog, but a reminder:  the people I work with are just absolutely AMAZING.  They prove it basically every day, and my birthday was no exception.  I was inundated with niceness that day.  One of the many ways that happened:  an abundance of sweets.  I got 2 dozen filled cupcakes, as well as a whole other separate cake, and then a coworker also took me out for lunch at a place where one really MUST do dessert. 

Since I am not “on a diet” and since no scale was waiting to wreck my world if I enjoyed my birthday, I went ahead and enjoyed the day.  Shared a killer dessert with my friend that was called “Nutella Skillet Cookie” with ice cream on top.  Had one of the filled cupcakes before lunch (chocolate, with raspberry filling) and one later in the afternoon (vanilla, with lemon filling) and then another one later that night.  OH YES I DID.

I have been reading in multiple sources (most recently being Dr. Fuhrman's book) how sugar, fat, and white flour are the trifecta of hunger stimulants when consumed together.  Oh golly.  SO TRUE.   I might have only thought it was true on my actual birthday, as I noticed how much more I wanted that sweet stuff, once I started.  But yesterday (the day AFTER my birthday) showed me further. 

I was hungry ALL DAY.  Just absolutely craving food.  I'd eat, and I'd just want more.  This was the old Karen, who can never eat enough, who always wants ridiculous amounts of food and just can't eat reasonably, trying to be resurrected.  I ate healthy all day (well...ALMOST all was a really high pressure, high stress day as far as the workload, and I came home and compensated with more filled cupcake yumminess, which was A BAD PLAN).  Even eating healthy all day didn't quiet the raging foodaholic in me. 

My tactic for fighting back (and I have no idea if this was the right way to go):  I didn't try to go hungry.  I just (until that tragic end of the day cupcake misstep) ate lots of healthy stuff.  At my desk before lunch I ate an apple and an orange and 2 different handfuls of nuts (and lunch wasn't late, so that was A LOT of snackin' know?) and then for lunch (which I ate at my desk, being too busy for a break) I had a gigantic greek salad and tomato soup, and still more nuts directly after as my body was hollering HONGRY HONGRY FEED ME FEED ME.  I hit the nuts again later in the afternoon....that will be the fastest that I ever wiped out a can of mixed nuts.  And I came home and ate vegan chili for supper. 

And I still did the cupcake thing, cuz my body and my stress and fatigue levels were just screaming to be pacified.

I'm not sorry it went like this.  Why, you ask?  Because I NEEDED the proof of how completely deadly that union of sugar, fat, and processed white flour is for me.  How large amounts of it turns me from someone who can easily and joyously do portion control and eat beautiful, body loving food into a ridiculous eating machine, just doing everything in my power to pile the pounds back on.  I DO really believe that the “large amounts of it” was key in this, as along this journey I have not at any point banned any foods from my diet.  I've been having a little sugar, some fat, and occasional processed white flour, and it has been manageable.  Large amounts all together, though...I am now convinced are one of the most body-hating choices I could ever make.

Color me grateful for the lesson. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

bridge running and i am a superhero

I haven't dropped off of planet earth – I moved this past weekend, and the Mediacom guy didn't make it to my house for the internet installation appointment.  We're going to try again Saturday; meanwhile I'm enjoying a very “light” internet presence, wherein I type out my grats and blogs on my internet-less laptop, save them to a flash drive, and then work posting them into my before- or after-work schedule or perhaps my lunch breaks.  Ahhh patience.

Monday was my first run in the new neighborhood.  I live in downtown Davenport, Iowa, just a few blocks from the Mississippi River.  My neighborhood, like many downtown areas, is a mixture of awesomeness and poverty.  This has challenged me a bit, considering where I might run.  Can't use the bike path at 5 AM, cuz it's pitch black on the unlit path, and I know that the few times I tried biking the path before sunrise on the other side of the river, I disturbed homeless people who were waking up and starting their days.  So, no bike path before dawn.  I'm told there is no shortage of crack houses fairly close to here, which means a certain population is likely just winding down to the end of their nightly activities as I'm out there.  So between the danger of getting mugged and the possibility of impaired drivers, I'm not fond of the idea of jogging down the streets at that hour.  And then there's that vicious, giant hill that I WILL be interacting with in some manner regularly for fitness' sake, but probably not at 5 AM. 

Happily, I have come up with the perfect solution, which I tried on Monday:  I jog over to the Centennial bridge (2 blocks down the hill and then something like 4 blocks over) and then...cross it!  I haven't measured, but my guess is this distance should be almost perfectly the 2.5 miles I'm used to running.  The bridge is brightly lit and nothing about it is inviting for people to hang out and make trouble on it.  And hey...I get to see the pre-dawn light on the water, and when I get to the other side and turn around, there is the coolness of downtown Davenport, all lit up and pretty as I head back toward it.  Good stuff!

Monday was a challenge, as the whole world was a sheet of thin ice.  The sidewalks and roads on the way to the bridge were very slick.  I went extremely slowly and with great caution – not really into falling, and my feet were slipping and sliding the whole way.  The bridge was NOT was just snowy.  Had somewhere between a quarter and half an inch of snow – not so much that I COULDN'T jog, but enough that it was a bit of an impedance.  So I was going slowly there, too, between the snow and learning to watch for the spots the bridge is joined together and there are these inch-wide spaces between that look perfect for tripping me when I'm oblivious.  So I didn't make it all the way across the bridge this time, but I think when I'm not negotiating with ice and snow, it should be a breeze (or at least highly possible).

This weekend taught me the great reward that fitness is, within itself.  Saturday I had a moving truck scheduled for 8 AM to 4 PM and the time to take care of business.  My originally planned help fell through, and the awesome guys who stepped in to fill that void had a morning commitment, so they couldn't start at 8 with me.  I had worked Friday from 12:30 to about 11 PM on preliminary moving stuff (hauling my clothing and food to the new place in my car, putting it all away, and finishing packing last-minute stuff at the old place) and had gone to bed Friday night feeling like I'd been beaten with a baseball bat. 

But Saturday morning I was up and excited, ready to just DO this thing.  So I dug right into loading the truck, figuring I'd do what I could while I waited for the guys.  Bit by bit it went, until I was down to the last 3 things that had to go in:  a couch, a mattress, and a box spring.  By this point, I was like don't let them come!  I want to prove I can do this!  And...they didn't.  And...I did!


So when they came almost an hour later, all there was to do was disassemble the bed frame (as I had packed my tools too soon) and then get everything over to the new place.  It took me 3 hours to load the truck.  It took 3 of us about 2 hours to unload it. 

Do you see why I danced and sang and celebrated and have shamelessly bragged, since then? 

I love physical fitness.  I love it that even at still at least 75 pounds overweight, I am fit enough to load an entire U-haul truck BY MYSELF, and still have the energy to help with unloading it, and then still have the energy to unpack and put stuff away afterward until bedtime.  If my body can do ALL THAT, I am sure having fun imagining what it will be able to manage when more of that weight comes off. 

Think of it!  Awesome. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

a juice plan, and an insane challenge

Today I had an appointment on my lunch break - I had to go pick up my keys for my new apartment.  That didn't leave much time for eating.  I ate about a half a cup of my rice and lentil dish as I rushed out the door to the appointment, but that wasn't going to run me far.  So when I got back, I quickly made a nice glass of fresh juice and took with me.  This one's a winner!  It is called "Bright and Alert Juice" and I'm sure it's supposed to be a breakfast dealy, but the thing is early afternoon is by far my lowest energy time of the day, so I figured it was worth a shot that the juice might live up to its name.  Here's the abbreviated photo story:

Ingredients:  1/2 pineapple,  carrot, 1 apple, 1 celery stalk
Finished product.
And the taste:  Eat your heart out, Orange Julius!  This is some goooooood stuff!  

I forgot to notice whether it made me perkier.  Too busy to pay attention.  I guess that's a good problem to have! 

I was complaining to my daughter that I didn't quite know how I was going to juice once I move.  I prefer doing it at lunch rather than breakfast, for the simple reason that ever since the harrowing 9 months of morning-noon-and-night-sickness I had when pregnant with my (now 22 year old) son, I still struggle quite regularly (not every day, but regularly) with morning nausea.  So an all-fluids breakfast sounds like a gamble on a morning thank you.  

It has been easy, living where I work, to just wander down the hall on lunch break and make whatever I want for lunch, in no particular hurry.  My plan to bike to work after I move (a 30 minute commute) means no going home for lunch, starting next week.  And I'm pretty sure juice made in the juicer has to be consumed immediately, for maximum vitamin absorption.  I mean, I never READ that anywhere, but it makes sense to me - it's raw, after all.  So, no making it ahead of time.

My lovely daughter pondered all that and called me up today on my lunch break, while I was at the new apartment, and she made the coolest suggestion:  what if I leave the juicer in my office, and just bring veggies and fruits each day to make my lunch in it?  

WHAT A BRILLIANT IDEA!  I'm gonna do it.  I have access to a sink, which will be a great spot to run the juicer.  I can juice for lunch 5 days a week (and I had been thinking I wouldn't mind walking a bit on my lunch break, which would be EASY carrying fresh juice) and I won't have to think of what's good to pack for lunch - it'll just be a matter of quickly choosing a recipe and tossing the ingredients in a bag in the mornings.  If I want a boost on the weekends or in the evenings at home, I can make smoothies in the blender. 

In other news, a certifiably insane but very dear friend has challenged me to join her in a true athletic feat in September:  a triathlon.  300 m swimming, 13 miles biking, 3 mile run.  OH.  MY.  GOSH!!!  I mean, the biking part would be easy.  And the run is absolutely possible.  And I could even do them both on the same day...I'm quite confident of that.  But here's the thing:  I am one of the slowest cyclists I have ever seen.  I am one of the slowest runners I have ever seen.  But my cycling and running are JET SPEED compared to my swimming!  Uhhhh.  She's suggesting just shooting to finish, not win, and that's definitely the best I could do.  I just have these visions...I did track for just a little while in high school (dropped out before the end of the season) and my event was the mile.  If I remember this right, a mile was 4 times around the track.  

The other runners ALWAYS finished at least one full lap ahead of me.  So the event was, like, totally over except for little ol' Karen, toodling away like that rhinoceros at the end of the animal parade in Jumanji. Hard on my pride, especially when I finished breathing so hard I wanted to puke - and this was at a size 10 or 12. 

I think a triathlon would leave me even further behind the others than even THAT. 


I say ugh because...I'm prayerfully considering it.

Darn great friends, anyway.