Seattle Half Marathon!

Ok, you guys. Thanksgiving happened. I fed my in-laws. I didn’t take any pictures of it, but believe me, it was good. Especially the sweet potato goop.

I’m sorry I didn’t take pictures. There was too much going on. I’m sure if I’d tried, I would have dropped my camera in a vat of boiling green beans.

I’ll tell you more about Thanksgiving later. I may have cried over a broken pie crust.

But right now, I have more exciting things to tell you …

I ran the Seattle Half-Marathon this morning! And it was GREAT!

The morning started very early. After waking up at 5 am, G and I took his brother to the airport then hurried back to Seattle so I could get in place for the race, which started at 7:30 am.

I was really nervous! I’ve run races before, but not for a long time, never such a large one, and never by myself! Also, the last time I ran a half-marathon was 10 years ago. I did it with some high school friends and we didn’t take our time seriously at all. So, in a lot of ways, this was like my first big race!

Once the race started though, I just fell into it. I started out fast, but when you’re running with so many people, it’s hard to keep a steady pace – you’ve got to dodge folks and find your place in the crowd. In the long run (ha) I think running fast at the beginning was really beneficial. I know my pace slowed on hills later in the race and I think my quick start gave me a good amount of flexible time to still achieve a time I’m really proud of.

The course was great, and there were wonderful people cheering along most of it. Cheers really make a difference! It definitely helped me get up some hills! It was fun to run on the expressway (though I didn’t love running through a tunnel!), and the run along Lake Washington was beautiful. The weather was great too – cool and damp, but not freezing and rainy. Cool weather is my preference for running!

The body continues to amaze me – I had some Gatorade at the 2nd water station and could immediately feel the little rush of energy it gave me. I mostly avoid sports drinks, but I guess this is why they exist!

I definitely had some slow points, points where I felt like I wouldn’t make it up the hill, or whatever, but running is such a mental thing – if I tell myself I can do it, then I can. You know, within reason.

That’s why I love running. Such a sense of accomplishment.

And speaking of accomplishment…

My race time was 2:00:03! I was so excited to make it right on the 2 hour mark. I had been figuring I’d finish somewhere around 2:15. It felt great to finish strong and with a good time. I’m looking forward to running more races.

I got a space blanket! And a medal!

And here’s a very special glimpse into the recovery zone at the end of the race. Clearly I need to do some recovering – such a space cadet! That’s why they gave me the space blanket, I guess. But the after-run feeling is great: loopy, elated, and starving!

So many runners!

After we left the marathon, I ate a giant bowl of stir fried vegetables and tofu and then slept for an hour.

Perfect.

I ❤ running.

Minus One Turkey

Snowy Seattle has welcomed me back from sunny LA. G’s family is almost here for Thanksgiving. I went to CostCo yesterday. And now I’m getting ready to go to Target and the regular grocery store.

Bring it.

More Thanksgiving updates forthcoming.

 

The Happiest Place on Earth

Disneyland in the rain!!!

That’s right! It’s rained exactly 2 times during my 3 week stay in sunny Los Angeles. And one of those days was Saturday, when Jeffrey and I planned to visit Disney.

But we were undaunted by a little rain. We needed to have FUN! And fun we had, despite some really soggy feet.

Hey Walt! Hey Mickey! Where are your ponchos?

Oh, man there were SO MANY ponchoed families. Really great. Really cute. Having fun despite the weather. I think. Maybe they were miserable. But they shouldn’t have been. Rain at Disney means lines are SHORT!

It didn’t rain the whole time, either. It was gray and a little soggy, with spells of showers. But mostly it was just fine. My hair was not fine. It doesn’t cooperate very well with rain.

There’s a family having fun!

Lunch! Just kidding. I didn’t eat a corn dog. I did eat about 5 lunches, including corn on the cob, breakfast potatoes, half a churro, and pizza.

It’s important to attain the height of fashion while at Disney. This is at a Bug’s Life show. I think I should get some glasses like this.

It was all Christmas-ified. Just lovely. Poinsettias smell like nothing.

My new home.

D for Disney!

Make it pink!

Make it blue! Such a good one.

Night fell, and it got extra Christmas-y. We’re all lined up to see the parade!

The castle looks really good at night. Pink princess.

More princesses.

Even more princesses.

It’s A Small World’s Christmas lights were super intense. Jeffrey claims he’s still seeing bright flashes of color a day later. Do you think I can convince my parents to decorate their house like that for Christmas?

Disney made it snow. The Californians were impressed. Those of us who are headed to Michigan in 2 weeks were less so.

Ice castle.

It really is quite magical.

We had SUCH a fun time! I haven’t been to Disney in about 15 years, and man alive, was it time for another trip! I was a little worried the rides would be boring, or the cheesiness of the whole thing would get to me, but it truly combines in a fun, funny way that leaves you worn right out but happy at the end of the day.

Pass the Kelp

I ate this today.

Image from here.

Actually, I’m not sure if I ate kelp, but I love scientific looking plant pictures due to years of drawing them in school, and I did eat “sea vegetables” today.

First time eating sea vegetables! So exciting!

Apparently they are REALLY good for you. Jeff and I ate at Real Food Daily. I had sea vegetables. And blackened tempeh. And other stuff. And nachos. Amazing nachos. Man those nachos were good.

It’s really fun eating at a vegetarian restaurant. Everything on the menu is an option!

Anyway, sea vegetables apparently improve circulation, regulate blood sugar levels, and assist in removing toxins. I’m all for it. And they’re salty.

Toxins begone!

 

The Most Boring Dinner Ever

And now I’d like to present:

The Most Boring Dinner Ever.

It’s really boring. Don’t make this at home, unless you are Queen Blandine of Bland-Land.

I’m totally Queen Blandine. My crown is made of rice noodles. My throne is bedecked with boiled vegetables. My flag flies beige and brown, the colors of the mighty potato.

Honestly, the other day I was wearing a beige and brown striped shirt and Jeff told me I looked like a potato.

It’s tough being a tater.

Anyway, the Most Boring Dinner Ever came about for health purposes. I believe that I am very attuned to what my body wants to eat, and today it told me it wanted to eat cruciferous vegetables and protein. Lots of times it tells me it wants to eat candy and wine, so I was relieved that today it was making some sense.

In all honesty, I think this is true: our bodies know what we need. With all the working out, it was high time I had a big chunk of protein. I wanted tofu. So I cooked it.

But first, I pressed it.

I’m not really sure why you are supposed to press tofu, but that’s what I see the cool cats doing on their blogs so I followed suit. I don’t actually eat very much tofu (hence the protein craving) and am not very adept at cooking it. Another reason you should not consider this post a recipe.

While my tofu was pressing, I washed and chopped my broccoli and cauliflower.

I always peel the stalk of my broccoli and chop it into little medallions. Unless I’m cooking for others and they’ll worry about the weird green disks in their stir-fry; then I keep it to florets. But when it’s just me, and clearly I’m the only person who is going to eat this, why waste good broccoli?

Chop chop chop. Whole cauliflower looks like a brain.

My tofu looks exactly the same as before the press. Maybe I’m doing it wrong.

Whatever, it’ll get the job done!

So, I sauteed my vegetables in a teensy bit of olive oil, added a little salt and lots of cracked pepper and then put the lid on to steam them for just a few minutes. I wanted them still crunchy and full of vitamins.

Then I added my tofu and sauteed that too.

Then I dumped it in a bowl, poured myself a glass of wine, and sat down to my super healthy meal.

Just what I wanted. Nothing special, but certainly nutrient rich. Listen to your bodies people! They’ll tell you what you need. But listen hard, and with a wary ear, because sometimes they tell you they need ice cream and gummy bears. And another glass of wine.

Thank you for reading about my boring meal.

Fondly,

Queen Blandine

P90X – Yes, Really.

My new love.

Image from here.

P90X.

I know. Why is someone who spends most of her time posting about various types of bread writing about her new love P90X? I mean, really.

Really.

Well, I’m really doing it, and sorry there are no before and after shots in this post. I’m not buff. I’m not even using P90X properly. But I love it.

Let me tell how I love it.

It’s a delightful supplement to all the gosh darn running I’ve been doing. I mean, I love running, a lot, but it is solitary and it is repetitive day after day (which might be part of why I love it). I haven’t stopped running, but I have added P90X-ing to my workouts.

I like that I can do the workouts in my living room. I do everything in my living room. I never leave my living room, unless I’m going to my bedroom. I’m a homebody.

I love that I can do P90X with a friend. More fun, more competitive, more camaraderie. I don’t like to admit that I’m competitive. But I am. And working out side by side with someone else (in this case, my LA friend), keeps me working hard.

My legs feel stronger already.

I yell at the screen a lot. Whenever Tony (the workout leader) says anything like “Are you ready?” I yell “YES!” embarrassingly loud. Told you it is a good thing I can do this in the privacy of my own home.

Oh heavens.

Plyometrics is especially good. I did Kenpo for the first time today, and flailed around punching like a ninny. But ’twas a good workout.

And that’s what counts.