Hey everyone, checking back in. I know it’s been a little while. I haven’t written much recently as the last few weeks have been a little rough over here. My kitty has been having some pretty serious health issues as of late, which has involved numerous trips to the vet, starting meds (including both pills and subcutaneous injections), and making some tough calls regarding how to proceed in what is a frustratingly ambiguous situation. It probably goes without saying that this has been quite stressful logistically and emotionally, but the good news is that for now she is doing better, even though we aren’t out of the woods just yet.
To the best of my ability, though, I have been maintaining my sanity by keeping up the running routine. I’m still shooting for a fall half marathon (woohoo Chicago Half Marathon!), my first since my one and only back in 2011, so I’ve officially embarked on training for that using the FIRST half marathon training plan. So far, I am a huge fan. For me, 3 days a week is the perfect amount of running, at least with each run serving this specific a purpose (one interval, one tempo, one long run). From my perspective too I think the key with the FIRST plan is that it leaves you with plenty of time to cross-train and strength-train, along with one or two rest days, which frankly I find almost as essential as actually spending time logging miles. Even just spending one or two days a week on the bike and lifting some weights makes a huge difference for me in terms of improving speed and endurance and avoiding overuse injuries. Case in point: Although it seemed like a lot for being so early on in training, I did the first 10-mile long run about a week ago without much trouble at all. It was actually my first double-digit mileage run in over 6 years, and even though I was slower than I wanted to be, I had no lingering aches and pains afterwards. So, major win.
I think most of my sluggishness right now is due to the fact that with my stress levels being as high as they are, I’ve completely lost my appetite and the time/energy that I usually put into meal and snack prep. Obviously this is somewhat problematic since a huge part of running well is fueling well, and given that my go-to stress food is microwave nachos and not much else, I’ve…not exactly been doing an exemplary job on the nutrition front. I’m trying to be gentle and patient with myself while still making sure I eat SOMETHING with actual nutrients (and ideally some fiber) in it every day, though of course that’s easier said than done. It’s not a perfect solution or an ideal long term solution, but for now I’ve found meal replacement shakes (namely chocolate Ensure Plus and/or Slim Fast) to be helpful in closing the gap. That, plus bottles of Naked Juice Protein Zone, which are good if you don’t mind the grittiness of the protein powder they use. Again, more of a temporary measure than a permanent solution, but hopefully not one that will be necessary much longer…fingers crossed that life calms down again soon.
Anyway that is pretty much the latest around here. Aiming for a recipe sometime later this week if all goes well…stay tuned!