Monday, February 24, 2014

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a "super food,"  one of those foods that is ridiculously healthy for you.  1/4 c of these tiny little seeds provides 25% DV calcium, and they are a better source of Omega-3 than salmon.  They can be easily added to all sorts of dishes.  Since they are so small, you can mix them into things and not even notice them there.  

I tried them for the first time tonight, and just mixed them into my salad.  It was rather too much chia seed and not enough salad, but I believe I can make them more appealing if I find something else to mix them into, or simply add less seeds to a salad of that size.  They absorb 10 times their weight in water, so they get rather gelatinous when you chew them up.  It's quite an odd feeling.  I think they would be better off getting mixed into yogurt or a smoothie.  



I had some delicious pasta and meatballs with my chia salad.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Race postponed

I was supposed to run a 10 mile race yesterday, but due to all the snow that got dumped on this part of the country, the race was pushed back to next Saturday.  Convenient for me, because I haven't run since Monday.  My foot started hurting again, and I caught a head cold on Monday evening.  It seems that my immune system was so busy fighting off the constant barrage of flu and pink eye germs flying around, the cold snuck in under the radar.  Luckily I was able to fight it off in just a few days with dayquil, green tea, and lots of sleep.  The snow days on Thursday and Friday helped with the extra sleep part.

The foot pain however has been quite annoying.  Yesterday, I finally got around to asking a doctor friend to look at it.  The verdict is metatarsalgia.  I'm glad it's not a stress-fracture or anything worse, but the annoying part about this diagnosis is that it may mean I need to throw out my stockpile of running shoes and find a new model to run in.  I'm currently rotating three pairs of the same shoe, and I have a 4th pair that I haven't even taken out of the box yet.  It turns out they might be too flexible for my feet.  I'm going to try insoles first, and hope that they will enable me to keep the same shoes at least until I get good use out of the ones I have already bought.  But, if I have to buy new shoes, so be it.

In the meantime, I got lots of exercise shoveling snow on Thursday and Friday.  Here's before and after photos from Thursday's shoveling adventure.  On Friday, I shoveled the snow from around the front and side of my car so that I could actually get out of the parking spot.  I will be parallel parking between 2 snow banks for the foreseeable future.



On Friday, I hiked up the hill to a friends house to hang out for awhile, and then took pictures of her kids sledding.  



 I got a few snowballs thrown at me!




Monday, February 10, 2014

I came out of retirement and it was awesome.

So, I used to sing.  A lot.  And then I moved to Lewisburg, where my only singing options involved a cappella opera/classical music.  Which I was told sounded quite lovely, but I absolutely hated doing it.  Eventually, I decided I wasn't going to sing unless I had someone to accompany me, and since I didn't have anyone to sing with, I quit.  Last spring, I helped out with a Glee club, and there was a guy in the club who played guitar and had a voice that I was pretty sure would blend perfectly with mine.  So after the final glee club performance, I told him to let me know if he ever wanted to get together to sing stuff, cause I thought it would be fun.  
It took us about 6 months, but we finally managed to work our schedules so that we could get together and sing.  And it was awesome.  Around that time, I got asked to sing a few songs at a fundraiser at the Pub.  It was expected that I would get up and sing Danny Boy and a few Italian songs.  

I had a better idea.  Blair and I got together for a few late night practices (the inconvenient part of us having very different schedules) and we ended up with 6 songs to perform. The performance went great, we got lots of compliments (and I think only a few people were disappointed by the lack of a cappella opera).  Some friends came with their kids, who I babysit, and their daughter brought a pom pom and waved it around while I was singing.  It was super cute. 

I set up my camera to record the whole show, but somewhere near the end of the 4th song, it apparently got bored and stopped recording.  So that was a bummer.  But at least we have the recordings of the first few songs.  The buzz of crowd noise on the videos is a bit annoying, but you can still hear the singing. 

Day is Done

video

Falling Slowly

video

Rangers / Stay

video


We have been invited to come back and do a concert at the Pub  sometime, when we have enough songs to do two 45 minute sets.  So, we will be working towards that!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Getting back in shape

After 12 days off, I began running again on January 31.  We had a break in the nasty frozen weather, and the temperature rose into the 40s.  There was still a lot of ice on the roads, but they were clear enough to making running not look like a death sentence.  I didn't get home from school until 4, and I had to babysit at 5, so I didn't have a whole lot of time, but I missed running and wanted to enjoy the "warm" weather, even if only for 20 minutes.  So I went for a short & fast run.  2.76 miles in 19:26.  My legs felt pretty good.  My lungs were completely shot.  12 days off seems to have weakened them quite a bit.

Yesterday, I didn't even try to run fast.  I stuck to a jog, wanting to give my legs some exercise without straining my lungs.  Half a mile in, my left knee started hurting.  A mile or two later, my right knee started hurting.  The pain in both knees was persistent, but not progressive, so I didn't stop.  The knee pains I had in high school were progressive; the longer I ran, the worse they got.  Since this pain was mostly just annoying, I figured I'd ignore it.  I did 4.7 miles.  The knee pain was wearing off by the end of the run.

Today, I did 5.2 miles.  My right knee hurt a bit worse than yesterday, but still wasn't a progressive pain.  I suspect that the culprit (besides too much time off) is that I worked out a few times during my time off from running.  Not to say that working out is a bad thing, but I think the working out while not running caused my muscles to strengthen differently, so they are now pulling on my knees.  Just a theory.  But it makes sense.

So after 12 days with 0 miles, I just got 12.66 miles for this week.  Not a bad start.  My next race is in 13 days.  It will be my first 10 mile race.  I'm curious to see if I can run much faster than I do for a half marathon.  I am imagining that my pace for the majority of the race will be about the same, but I get to kick sooner, so perhaps my final overall pace will be a bit faster.  Of course, that all depends on my lungs getting back into shape in the next two weeks...so we shall see.

In other news, I'm doing a photo-a-day for 2014.  On Friday, I couldn't choose just one, so I made a collage. I love the over-all goofiness of these pictures...


And here is me loving the 50 degree weather on Saturday.

If you want to check out my other photos-of-the-day, head over to my website!