Wintery Wonderland

Mother Nature is making up for lost time this winter because it’s snowing like crazy right now.

This week I’ve been substituting for the art teacher at the high school I did my student teaching at, but I’m home today because it’s a snow day! I loved snow days as a kid, but I definitely love them even more as a teacher.

Cash spent his morning whining as he paced around my apartment. This dog is obsessed with snow! After I got tired of listening to him, I bundled up and we ventured outside.

I planned to walk down to a new-to-me trail that isn’t too far from my apartment so I could let Cash run around without a leash. Unfortunately, it was a lot colder and windier than I expected and my hands were freezing even though I had gloves on. Cash was having the time of his life but was starting to form icicles on his face and snowballs on his paws. We did a loop around the neighborhood before coming in the dry off.

My plans for the rest of the day include cleaning/organizing/working out. And maybe a nap.

Cash’s plans include playing with his rope, sleeping, and wishing he were outside.

Happy Thursday! 134 days until Run to Remember!

What I’ve Been Eating

I’ve been trying to cook more to avoid the “ohmygosh I’m too hungry to make something at home but not so hungry that I can’t spend ten minutes prowling the Whole Foods hot bar and another ten in line at the cash register where I spent 1/5 of what I make in a day of substitute teaching” frenzy. At least I don’t have to wash any dishes. Lately, my go-to meal is soup. It’s nice to eat something warm when you keep your apartment at 55 degrees in the middle of winter…and it’s simple! I just throw a bunch of stuff into a pot and let it cook for a while. Last week I made a giant pot of chili with black beans, pinto beans, and lentils and I had lunch and dinner planned for every day of the week. (I don’t want to think about chili for a while).

Today, I was inspired by a recipe from Angela at Oh She Glows. When I read about this vegan tortilla soup, I knew it’d be something I would enjoy so I used it as a guide to make my own. The ingredients in mine:

  • Diced carrots/celery/onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Diced zucchini, red pepper, and green pepper
  • A small can of green chilies
  • Fire-roasted tomatoes with chilies (I really like green chilies)
  • A can of black beans, rinsed and drained.
  • Vegetable broth
  • Cumin, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper
  • Cilantro (I buy frozen cubes of cilantro at Trader Joes…best idea ever)

And then I topped it with avocado, cheese (not vegan) and crispy tortilla strips that I made from a corn tortilla. They were tossed with a little olive oil, sprinkled with chili powder and salt, and broiled until they were crispy I got impatient and took them out. The tortilla strips and avocado were incredibly addicting on top of the soup. Next time, I’d leave the cheese off. The soup doesn’t even need it.

And then I did what anyone without a job would do. I ate lunch in bed.

I’m just trying to stay warm.

Run to Remember

In 2011, I dreamed of running a half marathon.

I’m not sure when this dream started. It might have been when I crossed the finish line of the Trail to Ale 10K and I was still standing. Or after reading other runners’ inspiring accounts of finishing their own half marathons.

I tend to be slightly self-deprecating when it comes to ideas like this. To me, running a half marathon was more of a dream than a reality. I could never run 13.1 miles.

But my dream grew as my runner friends asked me when (not if) I was going to sign up for a race. My response? “In 2012.”

Well, it’s 2012.

And this year, I am going to prove myself wrong.

I stumbled on this race a couple months ago and shared the link with my favorite runner friend, Kassi. We had both chatted about wanting to run a half marathon and I knew she’d be very interested. She suggested that we register immediately (that’s why she’s my favorite). Unfortunately, the timing was bad for me and I knew I’d have to wait until January to be able to afford the registration fee. We didn’t mention it again until she posted this message on my facebook wall:

So I checked my email and found this:

And on May 27th, 2012, I will be running this:

Let the training begin.

Resolutions

I used to think that making resolutions for the new year was cliche and purposeless. What was the point in making the same promise every single year to “lose 15 pounds” and “exercise more”? I created these vague goals for myself but obviously lacked the motivation to follow them through. I have heard and read and seen countless stories about other people who’d make themselves the same promises that I did and lose steam around February or March (I don’t think I ever even saw my resolutions through to the end of January). Obviously, there is a right and a wrong way to make resolutions.

My first rule: my resolutions would have nothing to do with numbers. No weight goal, no calorie-counting. I’ve tried both of these strategies more times than I can count and neither has worked for me. Being healthy to me involves changing my lifestyle, not the number on a scale. That being said, my health-related goals might just help me lose the weight I’ve gained this winter.

My second rule: my resolutions need to be specific and attainable. What does “eat better” actually involve? What am I eating? How can I achieve that?

I know that these two rules seem to contradict themselves but stay with me.

I decided to make goals in three categories: personal, health, and professional. It’s only the 3rd, but so far I’ve found them manageable and valuable. These are my resolutions for 2012:

Personal

Walk the dog every day

Stop texting and driving (a horrible habit, I know)

Read 1 book a month (doesn’t apply to the “no numbers” rule)

Health

Run a 1/2 marathon (more on this later)

Set weekly fitness goals

Plan meals

Keep a food and exercise journal

Eat more vegetables (not specific, but this is just a general rule I try to follow on a daily basis so I added it)

Professional/Financial

Get a job

Build up my savings account

Get a new car (eventually)

 

I wrote my goals on the first page of my journal to remind myself of them. I left room to add more if I think of any.

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Keeping a journal and recording the food I eat and my workouts has been very helpful in encouraging me to be mindful of what I eat. It also makes planning what I eat and what I do for workouts much simpler.

And have been very honest in recording what I ate.

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While I’ve only walked Cash once in the past three days and haven’t done any reading yet this month, I am very happy with these resolutions and hope to see them all through to 2013.