Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rant Time: Why do we have 500 lbs worth of survival food?

It has been a long time since I've ranted! To be honest, I could probably throw down a rant weekly. But I worry way too much about offending others.  So I bite my tongue.

My rant is not an angry rant. I rant with love. But if you would've asked me "how I feel" come 9:30 pm last night? You may have received a different answer.

As I always do prior to any rant...here is my disclaimer:
 
**I love my husband. I don't think this even needs to be explained. You all know I'm head over heels for this guy! But sometimes, husbands do things to make us a little crazy. As do I create the same feelings to him.**

 Where do I begin? It was a few weeks ago, my husband came home from work a little later than normal. I asked about his day, and his initial response was an inquiry about how I feel about backpacking.

Hm.

"Well, Ryan, I think backpacking seems pretty cool! Why do you ask?"

He had stopped at REI to get sized for a backpack on his way home from work. And then he non-chalantly slipped into the conversation..."So I found this package online for survival food. You know, the freeze-dried food. In case of an emergency where we were to run out of power? If we don't use it in an emergency, we can use it for backpacking."

Er...Okay. So like MRE's? Aren't you in the military? Can't you just...you know, pick them up? Or could we get a bunch of cliff bars? I like those! They're delicious. I like chocolate mint.

Somehow, he convinced me into it. He got the boss's blessing. And placed the order.

Then he left for pilot school. Prior to his departure, he told me, "Make sure you're watching the mail, and for packages on the front door."

So I did.

And then I came home from work last night. There were 6 "moving-sized"(aka ginormous!!!!) boxes in front of our garage! Which means, UPS guy couldn't even handle carrying them up to our front door.

I discovered these after a long day of work & a gym session. All I could do was laugh, and push them into the garage. My work was done. Some of them were lift-able. Some of there were crazy-freaking-heavy.

Then came my phone date with my husband at about 9 pm. This conversation took place in my bed, in my pj's, book in my lap, face already washed, teeth already brushed, ready for bed!

I made the mistake of saying, "Oh, hey! Your food showed up! *LOL..uncontrollable giggling* Are we going backpacking in Antartica? For 5 years???!!!"

Ryan: "Oh, great! You brought it inside, right?"
Me: ".........."
Ryan: "Abby? You brought it inside?"
Me: "Err....inside the garage, yes! Yes I did!"
Ryan: "No, no, no! These are temperature sensitive. They need to be inside. They cannot handle fluctuating temps."
*cue Abby's b**ch switch*
Me: "Well! I can't handle getting out of bed right now to push some stupid survival food into the house"

When you live in a different state than your significant other, the last thing you want to do is spend precious phone time bickering about silly issues! One must pick battles, bite their lip, count their blessings, and move on.

So out of bed I went. I put my slippers on. And out to the garage I went and pushed the boxes into the house 1 at a time. Using every swear-word in my vocabulary.

After I completed the task, I called him back - and we made up and laughed.

But when I woke up at 0500 this morning, and stubbed my toe on one of those survival food boxes...do you think I was laughing??

In the end, I appreciate his great efforts for being prepared. I also appreciate that he is getting us ready to embark on a new adventure! I can laugh about it all. Sometimes men just do things that make me say "Hm.."

So if anyone approaches a zombie apocalypse or goes on a 5 month back-packing trip? I'm your girl! Or...if you know anyone who needs some massive moving boxes.......





Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kale Salad Love

I haven't done a great deal of recipe posts lately. Maybe because I haven't done a great deal of cooking lately! ;)

I am just not good at cooking when Ryan is gone. It's so easy to just have cheese and crackers for dinner.....instead of a nutritious meal. When a man lives in the house - there are expectations to eat real meals containing grains, meat, & vegetables. So it's kind of exciting and liberating to say, "I'm going to have cereal and nutella for dinner!"

But this is something I'm working on. I took Monday & Tuesday off this week to recover from the marathon. Therefore, spent my Tuesday making quinoa, butternut squash, and chicken breasts to prep my meals for the work week ahead!

But my favorite staple I'm sharing is my favorite Kale Salad ever! My friend Kristin introduced this to me, and it's now my favorite. So fresh and delicious! And insanely easy. It's a great base, too.....

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups organic kale, chopped, ribs removed
  • 3-4 tbsp. EVOO
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • S & P to taste
  • hot red pepper flakes to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese to taste
Instructions:
  • Whisk lemon juice, EVOO, garlic, S & P, and crushed red pepper.
  • Pour over kale, and toss. Let set for about least 5 min prior to serving
The best part of this salad, is you can pre-make it and the kale won't wilt! I like to make a big batch at the beginning of the week. Then as the week goes on, I can bring it for lunch and toss chicken breast or garbanzo beans or whatever suites me! It's so fresh and good! Especially if you're a citrus-junkie like me!

Do you like kale? What's your favorite way to eat it? I love how versatile it is, and hardy it is. It can be tossed in a soup - and hold up resiliency!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My Last Marathon!

Well, I finished!

Now is the time where it is common for marathon runners to experience a phenomenon called the "Post Marathon Blues". (It's funny how many emotions occur around marathon training, that mirror the emotions that go into having a baby. ie:
  • nesting pre baby/cleaning like crazy to burn off the taper-energy 
  • Being super emotional before the race. I cried the day before the race over nothing, and I haven't cried in like 6 months!
  • Not sleeping well.
  • Post-Race-Blues/Baby-Blues
In NO WAY am I comparing doing a marathon to having a baby. So please, do not misunderstand me. Having a baby = way more intense, strenuous, life-changing, emotional, ect. I just think it's interesting how some of the behaviors mirror.

Anyways.

I do not have the "Post-Marathon-Blues". In fact, I am kicking my heels in a fit of joy. Well, I would be, but I'm a bit too sore to move in that fashion. As my previous posts explained, I did not train like I should have for this race. I only did one 20 miler, and believe me it showed when I hit mile 20 on Sunday!

I am so happy to have this behind me. I am also happy I did it! I'm happy I got it out of my system. Training for a marathon in 2010, and not getting to run it because of an a-hole boss really put a dent on my psyche. I had to prove myself I could do another 26.2. Now it is out of my system.

To be honest, I'm being a bit hard on myself. The last 5 miles I "raced" in the run/walk fashion - and I've really spent a lot of time beating myself up over that. But that needs to stop.

Last time I ran a marathon was in 2007 and I finished just under 5 hours. Sunday my official time was 4:14:10. Here is a little breakdown of Sunday:

Mile 1-14: I was booking it. I was about an 8:20/mi pace for the 1st 10 miles, and I felt as I was holding back. So I thought, "Alright! I'm going to hit my goal!" I felt so strong, so smooth, and I was having so much fun.

Mile 14.2: Suddenly I could not bear any weight on my right knee. It was a struggle to hobble over the to the curb (especially with hundreds of runners that I needed to dodge). I got to the curb, stretched out my hips & quads, and managed to keep going. (definitely my IT Band)

Mile 14.5-18: The knee pain wore off. Which scared me, because adrenaline can sometimes trick you into thinking you're "okay". However, my pace took a hit. I was now running 9:00/mi as my average. But at this point, I didn't care. I still hadn't seen the 4-hour pacing group.

Mile 18: I saw one of the girls in my DTG Training Group laying on the ground with medics all around her starting IV's and getting EKG's set up. The only reason I didn't stop is because there were several professional's helping, and another team-mate was on the phone w/ her husband. But now worry set in - praying she was okay. (She is okay, by the way)

Mile 20: I told Ryan I'd shoot him a text @ this marker, so he'd know when to head to the finish line. I snapped this fake-happy photo.

Mile 21-26: The pain set in. Every muscle in my body hurt, and I felt like I had absolutely nothing to give. They didn't hand out any gels during this entire race (which really pissed me off, because I would have packed my own, had I known this. They advertised they would at miles 10 & 17 - but didn't). So I was literally running on empty (my toast & PB from 5 am had worn off by this point. Ha!) My text to Ryan sad, "Dying. Walking. Can't do this." -- but he quickly responded with positive words to keep me going!

I started praying at this point. Asking God to give me the strength to push me through this. I started praying about people who have endured much tougher battles than this silly marathon. And I think he sent me an angel at this point.

A man came up next to me and said, "Come on! You've got this. Jog nice and easy with me, and we can walk at the end of the bridge." I said nothing...I just followed instructions. He and I did this side by side for the rest of the race. He was from St Louis, MO - I don't remember his name. But I am calling this stranger my angel - as I don't think I'd have finished if it weren't for him!

Finally, I could see the finish line - my pace picked up - and I was so unbelievably relieved!

 
 

2 days post-race, and actually feel really good! No more sore knees, my muscles aren't even that sore! I am really surprised by this. From here on out -- I will stick to halfs, 10K's, triathlons. Happy I got to do it though! It was a super fun weekend - and I got some quality time with Ryan! Feeling satisfied and thankful..........