Is it really Sunday May 4th already?!? When did THAT happen? This week has flown by and has been very eventful – my trip to Troy (post coming tomorrow), Lisa had a work trip, the boys had a concert, Chris had a ‘Chem Bowl’ competition, Danny had the SATs … and whew we’re exhausted!
Laura from the gluten-free treadmill is having a link-up for Smoothies – so I wanted to share … but a few other things first!
My Running Summary
Yeah, I said I wasn’t worrying about these anymore … and I’m not worrying about them – but I will still do them on occasion! This was a great week, so here is my weekly summary:
Sunday: Travel & Rest
Monday: 9. miles
Tuesday: Double – 6.75 miles and 9 miles
Wednesday: 10.25 miles
Thursday: 9.25 miles
Friday: 9.25 miles
Saturday 15.5 miles including one mile I saw at 8:03!
Yeah … that is 68.75 miles! It is the most I have run since it was warm last year … and I feel great! I was thrilled just to be out there this week – the coldest morning was in the mid-30s and most days were in the 40s! I had fast and slow days, but really just loved every stride all week long.
Six Things for Sunday
1. Taper Hypochondria – I am directly stealing the title from Running Bear, who documented every little ache and pain he had leading up to his marathon (which I am SURE he ROCKED!) … and it makes me smile, because I totally get it!
And at the same time I have been reading things from others leading up to races from Sara before Boston (which SHE rocked), Salt (who continues to amaze), Laura (who struggled in her Ultra and is slowly coming back), Cori (made the hard decision to skip her marathon), and Aimee (just had to drop).
Obviously real injuries and those niggles we all feel are very different – but it is interesting to me how the impending race has an amplifying effect on every little twinge. I was about a mile into my 15.5 Saturday run and had a little twinge, which was long gone and never returned by the second mile – but it had me thinking about what I would think if I was approaching a race.
Do you suffer pre-race hypochondria?
2. Shape Magazine – I have always been clear that while I am the thinnest and fittest of my life, the impact of having been >375lbs at 23 has a lifelong impact on my body. My skin fits better now than ever, but there is no way I will look like a fitness model … ever.
This week there was an article highlighted for me by Danielle about a woman who was being featured in the ‘Success Stories’ for Shape magazine after 170 lb weight loss … but when things got close to the end the magazine requested a different ‘after’ picture, and the one she had sent showed very clearly what a body looks like after extreme weight loss.
I don’t claim to know any of the inner workings of any of this, but I DO know a couple of things:
– Unreality sells – people want to think that there is a quick & easy path to looking like their favorite celebrity or like one of those hardbodies in the marketing materials … so magazines have little interest or incentive to show what extreme weight loss REALLY looks like.
– Reality is real – and we need to have more of it. If you read some of the comments, you see many themes, and for me the worst was people saying that seeing an image of a woman who had lost so much and had ‘loose skin’ would be UN-motivating, why not just stay fat in that case?
That just makes me sad – we should be proud of our bodies, and for those of us who have lost loads of weight, we need to own the fact that the result will never be the perfection we might have envisioned at the start. I joke about my ‘4-pack’, how I am really fit and toned but will NEVER have a full 6-pack. And I am OK with that … well, alright, not OK enough to post my picture, but still …
3. Injuries Make Me Sad – the other day I was driving the kids somewhere and saw a young woman who I often see out running in the early evenings most of the year. But this day she was in shorts (always a yay! for warm weather) … and I could see she was taped up in a way that said to me ‘IT band problem’. And her face as she passed by the end of the road and we waved – not her normal smile. Ugh.
And then yesterday morning I saw a guy in his 50s out running as I was getting close to the end. He is another one I see often, but haven’t seen more than once or twice since the fall. And even though he wasn’t far from home, his knee was wrapped and it was clear that the run was a struggle.
And I mentioned all of the other folks struggle with injury, as well as others. I know I am really lucky – 25 years without an injury. But I don’t take it for granted – knowing how much running means to me makes me sad for those who end up hurt.
4. Serendipity – I love when I find out others doing similar things; I had a new friend from my fraternity who ran the same distance (15.5) as me yesterday, and for whatever reason having friends on Facebook who were out for runs at the same time, or on Instagram posting gorgeous weather when I had great weather, or whatever.
Maybe it is a way to have a shared experience across the miles, but it is a small connection that means something when I can’t actually go running with someone else.
5. Hold Crap … Will We Never Learn? – for whatever reason there are times when drivers on phones really bug me. Last weekend in Troy I ran about 15 or so miles between two days, and as I ran I was astounded at the number of drivers talking – and even more so texting … it was appalling! There are just more cars than where I live so I expected to see more … but then returning this week I’ve had two ‘daylight’ runs and was again appalled at all of the phone use. Here is a brutal reminder of how little it takes:
6. Perspective – again on Facebook I had a friend from work who I haven’t seen in a while post “Knowing that I am so out of shape makes me sad…two miles just kicked my butt…darn these bad knees.”
And I didn’t know what to do or say other than to ‘like’ it and give a quick comment of encouragement. But it again reminds me of my total lack of perspective – here I am pushing 50, just going out running long distances at will, good bones and joints and overall health. It really made me stop and think.
Sunday Smoothie Sharing!
I love that Laura has created a link-up for smoothies … because for the last few weeks I have been all about making smoothies all the time. So I had two recipes to share – one for breakfast and a dessert smoothie. They are both quite good, not really complete meals but
Decadent Ice Cream Sundae Smoothie
This is somewhat of a go-to dessert for me, and I totally love it. It is like an ice cream treat – if you have never had a frozen banana … you have no idea what you’re missing!
– 2 frozen bananas
– Frozen mixed berries (or fresh, if in season)
– Vanilla unsweetened almond milk
– Grated cocoa or chocolate
– (optional) crushed peppermint or walnuts to top
The first thing I do is to prep the bananas – cut off the ends, slit the sides and slice into 1″ pieces. This will make the skin fall off most bananas … but recently we’ve had very thin-skinned ones locally so I haven’t worried about it too much. Note: if you leave the skin on, you should really get organic bananas.
For better blending I suggest doing the bananas in some of the almond milk first. I use the vanilla unsweetened because I found the plain almond milk a bit too savory and it detracted from the banana sweetness.
Once the mixture is purely liquified, you can add other ingredients. If it is too thick, add more almond milk.
Dump in a few tablespoons of chocolate bits and fill with the berries, then add more almond milk to fill it to the ‘max’ line. I will often add chopped walnuts or pecans or almonds at this point as well.
This should be a much thicker combination, and it will slowly combine fully. Here you can see the berry part slowly combining into the main banana mix.
At this point you should need a spoon to eat the smoothie – personally I like it better this way than as a milkshake consistency. Then I take a little peppermint ‘snow’ (Trader Joes, leftover from a Christmas gift) and mix it in with a spoon and sprinkle it on top.
The flavor profile is interesting – you get banana throughout, but at first you have peppermint, then berries, and the chocolate sneaks in after that, and the aftertaste combines it all. Because of the banana it is very filling … and really not the worst dessert for you!
I love breakfast smoothies as well, combining fruit, yogurt, nut butter and more! Here is one I had yesterday before my long run:
– Pitted dates (loaded with fiber)
– Vanilla Greek yogurt
– Vanilla unsweetened almond milk
– Peanut butter
This is one of those ‘add stuff to blender and go’! Recipes. For me, I do 1 yogurt serving, 2 servings of dates, 2 tbsp peanut butter, and fill to max with the almond milk.
My goal was that this was drinkable – so it is much thinner than the dessert smoothie.
One thing – the dates were not fully incorporated and so it ended up a bit chewy here and there. If you have texture issues I would suggest blending them alone before adding everything else.
So … tell me how YOUR week was? Running, dealing with injuries, experience with body image issues or distracted drivers, and what about smoothies?