I’m a Type A capricorn.  100% through and through.  I need structure.  I need a schedule.  I need a routine.  And until a week ago, I had that.  My day was wake, work, home for lunch, back to work, home, run and/or walk dogs, shower, start dinner, eat, and chill.  Last Monday I started a new assignment at work.  I’m doing the same job, but in another office.  A larger office.  An office with different hours.  Slightly later hours.  I no longer have time to stick to my previously established after-work routine.  Two nights this week I worked until 6:00 (after having gone in at 6:30 a.m.).  A third night I had to drive to the CSA farm an hour away, so it was after 7:00 when I got home that night, too.  Two of those days I didn’t get to take a lunch hour either.  It’s not that my new office is that much more demanding.  The problem lies with the fact that the office transfer happened so fast that I wasn’t able to spend enough time with the girl taking over my old office.  She was basically thrown in there by District with no clue what she was doing.  So, because I may still have to go back to that office and don’t want to come back to a giant shit storm, I’ve been going to that office on my lunch and after I close my office to help her out.  Because of this disruption, everything has suffered this week.  I’ve run 3.5 miles, I’ve eaten like shit, my house is a disaster, and my poor doggies haven’t gotten walked once.  I had my alarm set for 5:30 Saturday morning for my long run.  I did get up when the alarm went off, but I could barely keep my eyes open as I stumbled down the hall to the bathroom.  The week of 4-5 hours of sleep per night had caught up with me.  At that point, I said “fuck it” and went back to bed with intentions of doing it today instead.  So I set my alarm for 5:30 again last night with similar results this morning.  Only this morning I had a headache on top of it.  (One word: wine.  Does it to me every time.)  So I won’t get in a long run, but all isn’t lost.  It’s too hot right now to start out, but I’ll still be able to get in some miles tonight before it gets dark.  And work this week has GOT to be less hectic.  I feel like the girl in my old office is getting more of a grip on things, so I shouldn’t have to spend as much time with her this week.  As long as I can get off at 4:30 when I’m SUPPOSED to get off, I should still be able to get home and get most of the things done that I need to.  It’s just going to require a little juggling and better meal planning on my part.  I’ve gotta figure something out and make it work.  This marathon ain’t gonna run itself.

*** Edited to add the fact that it clouded up and cooled down into the 80s about 1:00, so I set out to get in as many miles as I could.  I ended up getting my 8 in, so long run is DONE!

Filling In the Gaps

Ever since I went vegetarian last July (My vegiversary was July 9th and I totally forgot about that until just a few days ago.), and went a step further and eliminated most dairy in January, I have been adamant that I could get everything my body needed out of a plant-based diet.  Protein?  No problem.  Calcium?  Please.  Iron?  Got it covered.  It’s not like I’m sustaining myself on junk food.  The vast majority of my diet is wholesome, fresh, unprocessed, good-for-you stuff.  I’ve done the research to find out what things I could add to make sure I was getting well-rounded nutrition (pumpkin seeds, kelp, etc…).

But apparently it wasn’t enough.  For the past several weeks–maybe even months, I can’t really remember–I’ve found myself just getting tired.  Really feeling the day taking its toll.  Just really feeling fatigued.  Perpetually on the verge of falling asleep.  And then one morning while putting on my makeup I noticed that the pinks in the corners of my eyes weren’t really so pink anymore, so that left me thinking that maybe I was missing something.  Just to see, last weekend I started taking a multivitamin, iron, and B12.  I seriously can’t even describe the difference.  I knew I was tired, but I didn’t realize just how run down I had been feeling until I didn’t anymore.  Am I really deficient in something?  Is it a placebo effect?  I don’t really know.  I have my regular yearly doctor appointment on Monday, so I think I’ll bring it up with him and maybe ask for a blood draw.  Until someone can tell me a good reason to do otherwise, I’m gonna stick with what seems to be working.

Do you take supplements?  Have you ever been anemic?  Were you self-diagnosed or did you have the lab work to back it up?

Three Things Thursday

  • I’m in the middle of some changes at work, moving from one office to another.  I pray that this will turn out to be a permanent thing.  I don’t want to leave the office I’m in now, but it was impacted by employer’s cutbacks so I have to find another one to go to if I’m to remain employed full time.  I have until September of 2014 to find another office, but this would be a huge burden off my mind if I could just get this one and be done with it.
  • We went to a killer outdoor concert at a local marina last Saturday night with some friends.  The Jasmine Cain Band KICKS ASS.  I used to go see them every chance I got when I lived in a bigger town that they played in regularly, but this is the first time I’ve seen them in probably seven years.  You should totally check them out.
  • I think we have finally reached the end of an era.  “That’s what she said” has finally run its course.  I’ve had a TWSS shirt listed on eBay for almost two weeks now, and no one is even looking at it.  Ahhhh, it was fun while it lasted.

Glass Dharma Winner Giveaway Announcement – TAKE TWO!

Even after recruiting Glass Dharma’s help, hoping they could get in touch with her via their Facebook page, the winner of the $25 gift certificate has not yet come forward.  As stated in the giveaway terms, after three days another winner was to be selected.  So the new winner is…

…BETH!!!  Congratulations, Beth!  And thank you for including your contact information!  I’ll shoot you an email in case you don’t see this update.  🙂

CSA: Weeks 8 and 9

Foreword:  For those of you just joining the party, this summer I joined an organic CSA (which stands for community-supported agriculture).  For 20 weeks, I’ll get a share of the farm’s crops.  If the crops do well, we get more.  If the crops don’t do well, our baskets suffer along with the farmers.  I’ve been documenting this experience here.

BLOGGER FAIL.  I did not take a picture of the week 8 haul.  You see, when I went to take it out of my truck, I dropped it and produce went rolling every-freaking-where.  So by the time I finished picking up blueberries and tomatillos out of my driveway and mourning the loss of three busted heirlooms, I was pretty over it.

The heat really affected the yield this week.  There wasn’t a lot, and some of what we did get was pretty sad looking.  There were tomatoes, some PITIFUL broccoli, cucumber, tomatillos, eggplant, blueberries, sweet peppers, potatoes, okra (LOTS of okra), and… wait for it… yes, MORE CABBAGE.  I’m two heads behind on my cabbage now.  It’s the only thing I can’t keep up with!

This was by far the most interesting thing in the basket this week:

I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a white eggplant!  Although it does just make good sense.  It definitely looks more like an egg than the purple ones.  Who ever heard of a purple egg anyway?  Except at Easter…

Friday night, I wanted pizza.  So I stuck my head in the fridge and started pulling out anything I thought could go on one.  Onion, banana peppers, CSA bell peppers, CSA jalapenos, black olives, CSA broccoli, spinach, CSA tomatoes (was able to salvage one of the busted ones), mushrooms, and Daiya “cheese” on a whole wheat crust did the trick!

And then this week I found what has quickly become my favorite web site.  Have you ever heard of supercook.com?  Yeah, I hadn’t either.  I don’t even remember how I came across it, but I sure as hell am glad I did.  I’ve been using the “In My Bar” feature on webtender.com for a long time and have always said that there needed to be a food version of that.  Well, that’s what supercook is!  You enter the ingredients that you have on-hand in your kitchen, and it tells you all the recipes that you can make from what you already have.  How cool is that???  Now maybe I’ll actually use up some of the stuff in my cupboards.  I am bad about buying something that I need for one recipe.  Now I can use this to find other things to make with that stuff!  After you enter in everything you have, you can click on any one or any combination of those things to narrow it down to recipes using only those things.  Monday night I used it to find a recipe for the eggplant and squash that I had in my fridge and were quickly approaching their toss date.  This was the first thing that came up.  BAM.  There you have it.  Dinner!

Mine doesn’t look as pretty as the picture on the recipe, but I’m super lazy when it comes to chopping stuff.  Quarter-inch cubes quickly become one-inch chunks when it’s left up to me.  The recipe suggested serving it with a bread, but the whole point of this was to use stuff I had on hand.  Well, I had whole wheat tortillas, so it kind of became a ratatouille burrito.  Mexico meets the Middle East.  Whatever.  It was frickin’ delicious.  The cinnamon was what made this dish.

We went to my in-laws’ for a cookout on the 4th, so that was a good excuse to make cole slaw again.

One head of cabbage used, bringing me down to two heads left!  Thank God this stuff keeps in the fridge.

And I also unloaded quite a few potatoes I had accumulated at the cookout.  I just tossed them with olive oil, rosemary, and thyme, wrapped them in foil, and put them on the grill for about half an hour.  YUM.

Potatoes pre-grill.  I kind of doubt my in-laws are up on the whole “taking pictures of your food for a blog” thing, so I refrained from taking pictures of the grilled potatoes to save myself from a lot of explaining and teasing.

Since we had so much okra this week, when the farm sent out their weekly email, they included recipes of what to do with it.  I’m all, ‘WHY???”  I like my okra RAW.  I’ve had quite a bit of it so far in the baskets, and I don’t think I have cooked any of it (except for tossing some in a marinara once).  It’s the perfect snack food just by itself

Week 9:  Green beans, onions, jalapeno, okra, heirloom tomato, gold potatoes, eggplant, tomatillos, and red and green onions
She told us last week that we would have blackberries this week, but at pickup she told us that the blackberry bushes were toast.  They were able to get a few off of them, but that was it.  A few people had some in their baskets, but I didn’t.  Bummer.  But we did get a few new things this week!  We switched from new and red potatoes to gold; I finally got a couple of onions (some others have had them in their baskets in previous weeks, but they haven’t had enough to go around for everyone, so it was hit and miss with those); and the green beans came in!  I was really happy to see those.  I loooooove fresh green beans!  Since I knew I wouldn’t be cooking any over the weekend, I blanched and froze them for later.
Again, all the okra was eaten raw.  I’d love to learn to pickle that stuff someday, but for now, raw it is.

I hadn’t used last week’s tomatillos yet, so I had quite a few of those to use this week.  I used last week’s to make salsa verde.  It was fan-freaking-tastic.  I swear I got a little Mexican in me somewhere.  (Unrelated tidbit:  My dad’s half-sister’s mom is Mexican.)

On the left:  Salsa verde simmering.  On the right:  sauteed spinach, baby arugula, tomatoes, onions, and bell pepper (no oil–sauteed in their own juices) topped with Tofutti and served with salsa verde and avocado.

And since I still had a second week’s worth of tomatillos in the fridge, I made this chili again.

I went a little heavy on the chipotle peppers this time.  WHEW!  But that’s just the way I like it!  If you’re not sniffling when you eat it, your chili isn’t hot enough.
As much as I’m loving the tomatillos, they sure are a pain in the ass to work with.  Sticky little fuckers.  But the payoff is so worth it…

Tuesday Tidbits

  • This is my 300th post.  Please hold your applause.  Mostly because you would look a little challenged sitting alone at your desk clapping.  On second thought, go ahead.  Your coworkers could probably use a giggle.
  • We have baby bluebirds on our porch!
  • This photo was taken last week.  Not last fall.  All those leaves you see on the ground?  Yeah, that’s because everything here is dying or already dead from lack of rain.  We got a little rain a couple of days after this photo was taken, but I’m afraid the damage is already done.  Poor farmers.
  • Remember Mimi from the Drew Carey Show?  If she has a Mini Me, I saw her at Walmart Sunday.  The sad thing is it was a CHILD, no more than 8 years old, and her mother let her leave the house looking that way.  If it wasn’t so sad, it would have been hilarious.  
  • We saw the movie Ted Saturday night.  It’s been a long damn time since I’ve seen a movie that funny!  It was positively hilarious.
  • A new gourmet cupcake shop opened up in town.  I liked their Facebook page and posted to it asking if they had vegan cupcakes.  They replied that they don’t but “hopefully in the future.”  I won’t hold my breath.  This IS Hicksville, after all.  There’s not a huge demand for vegan fare here, so I’ll be shocked if they come through on that.
  • I had THE. WORST. RUN. Sunday morning.  It was 8 miles of sweat and expletives.  Fucking miserable.
  • I just scored a pair of Brooks Ghost 4s for $63.  I guess they’re clearancing them out to make room for the 5s.  I didn’t need the shoes yet.  The 4s I’m running in now only have about 200 miles on them, and I’ll be able to make those last a while longer since I’ve got the Mizunos in rotation now too, but DUDE I couldn’t NOT get them for that price.
  • I did this circuit yesterday after seeing it posted on the 5 Miles Past Empty Facebook page.  Well, I did MOST of that circuit.  My dogs decided they wanted to play, too.  I hate doing mountain climbers.  The dogs, however, thought they were awesome.  Ever tried to do mountain climbers with one dog trying to climb under you and the other licking your face?  I’m just glad they weren’t humping me.

Glass Dharma Giveaway Winner Announcement

Thanks to everyone who entered my $25 Glass Dharma gift certificate giveaway!  There were 48 qualifying comments, and random.org selected…

…CAROL MCDOWELL!  Carol, I don’t see that you have any contact information and no blog for me to contact you through, so please email me at lifebeganat30 at live dot com with your information, and I’ll pass it along to Glass Dharma.

The Mezamashii Project

Several weeks ago, I received a rather cryptic email from someone named Sally claiming to be emailing on behalf of Mizuno and asking for my physical mailing address, but she said she couldn’t really tell me why yet–only that Mizuno wanted to send me an invitation to something.  I was a little skeptical, but I gave her my PO Box information and pretty well dismissed it.  Quite a bit of time passed, and I had almost forgotten about it when I received this in the mail just a couple of weeks ago.

The Mezamashii Project is Mizuno’s way of putting their money where their mouth is.  They believe that their shoes create a more euphoric running experience, and they are willing to put free shoes on feet to prove it.  As a founding member of the Project, I was invited to select any pair of Mizuno shoes for free. Now I’ll be honest here. I used to wear the Mizuno Wave Riders.  They were the shoe that a running store put me in when I had my first gait analysis done back in 2010.  I went through three pair of them.  And for the majority of that time, I had ITB issues.  To deal with those issues, I made some changes, shoes being one of them.  I switched to the Brooks Ghost line, and I haven’t had any issues since.  Since I changed shoes at the same time I introduced other preventative measures (i.e., foam rolling), I can’t say with any certainty that the shoes had any bearing on it whatsoever, but I was still a little hesitant to return to that specific shoe.  After researching the other neutral shoes and talking with Mizuno’s fit specialist, I decided on the Wave Enigma.  The bonus?  THEY’RE FREAKING PURPLE.

The way I saw it, even if I hated them for running, I still had a kickass pair of purple shoes to wear.

I’ve taken them out on a few short runs, and honestly I believe short runs is all I’ll ever use them for.  When I first switched to Brooks Ghosts, the difference that I most noticed immediately was the wider toe box.  I didn’t realize how constricting the Wave Rider toe box was until I switched to something that wasn’t.  When I walk and run, my toes kind of splay out.  With the Wave Rider, and now with the Wave Enigma, they don’t have room to do that.  Even though the width is perfect through the heel and midfoot, my toes feel scrunched up.  I don’t think these beauties will ever see any long run action.

These little piggies need their space.  And a pedicure.

Even though they’re not exactly for me, thanks so much to Mizuno for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of the Mezamashii Project and to try out a new pair of shoes!

Tuesday Tidbits

  • We were under a heat advisory all weekend long with temps of 100+ and heat indices of 110+.  I knew if I was gonna get a long run in it was gonna have to be super early.  I got up at 4:45 Sunday morning and was out the door at first light to get in 8 miles while it was still bearable.  Tell me I ain’t dedicated.
  • I took a couple of vacation days for yesterday and today to go with the holiday tomorrow.  We weren’t going anywhere, and I had no plans, but I just really wanted a couple of days off to do my own thing.
  • One of those things yesterday involved buying the dogs a kiddie pool.  They weren’t very interested in it.  Bella drank out of it, and Harley barked at it.  Oh well… can’t let it go to waste!
  • I cleaned out my truck today.  That’s pretty monumental.
  • Is there anything in the world sweeter than a sleeping pup?
  • Don’t forget to enter my Glass Dharma giveaway here!