Today was the first time that I really felt like I hated running. I had fleeting moments of being okay, moments where my mind wasn't asking what I was doing, but overall, I wasn't into it. It was the first day when I felt pukey. I ate yogurt 30 minutes before going out and I thought I'd be fine. Normally, I try not to eat anything. I'll drink water, but that's it. I'm guessing I made a bad decision. Note to self: never, ever eat an hour prior to running.
I've been telling Michael that I feel like I'm stuck, I'm not making any progress and it's hard to see what the point is and I feel that I'll never hit 3 miles by December. It seems impossible and discouraging. It's such a measly little distance yet I'm stuck at 2.25 miles. I've been there for weeks. I thought about just not doing the 5k which doesn't really seem like an option. Then I thought that I'd never ever do another 5k. I wondered what it would feel like to go running and have it feel effortless or even enjoyable.
I felt so sick to my stomach today. It's what I've always associated with running - nausea. I avoid it at all cost. Today, it latched on to me the entire way. I called in late to work, giving myself a few extra hours to feel stable again. My hamstrings hurt, both of them but especially on the leg that I had surgery on. It's not as painful as I suspected it would be going into this - the surgeon harvested from my hamstring to create a new ACL. I'd rather have a painful hamstring than a sick stomach.
When I sat down to write this I found a quote by Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Reddit, "Sucking is the first step to being sorta good at something." I think I'm still at the sucking stage and I'm here to tell you, sucking sucks. When you suck, it seems as if you'll only ever suck. You have to really have faith that what your doing will make you stronger. You have to have a sort of blind faith.
I don't know what I'm going to get out of all this by the end. I may have more stamina, more faith, better judgement, learn to be more resolute, have weak hamstrings. It's anybody's guess. Right know I'm just complaining. I'm pretty good at that. Maybe I've had more practice at complaining than I care to admit. That's a revelation. Right now, the best I can make of any of this is that I am on the path to self-discovery. I'm learning things about myself I never knew. That has to be worth something, doesn't it?
This is me kvetching, pure and simple. Thank you for listening/reading.
Winter in Austin. I never believe it when it happens. It comes at you like a car accident - a slow and silent glide. All you can do is brace for it. Arrow had a play day scheduled yesterday. My plan was to drop him off early and then hit Town Lake for a run before heading home. It's pretty at Town Lake - the trees, the kayaks, people looking casually purposeful if that makes sense.
For days I heard a low murmur of a pending cold front but dismissed it as overreaction. The first few years that we lived here we were surprised to learn that a cold front usually meant a dip into the high 80's. I knew this week's weather would be much lower than that but, seriously, we're in Central Texas. It could never get Wisconsin cold.
At 8:00 a.m. yesterday the air was brisk but didn't feel too bad. I let Arrow out, I dressed, we got in the car - he in his red cable knit and me in my running pants and a long sleeved t-shirt over a sports bra. I forgot my jacket at work and was concerned that despite my skepticism about the weather, I might need an extra layer while running.
I made my way down 11th and tried to gauge the weather by checking out what people were wearing. There was definitely a winter fashion thing happening - lots of quilted jackets, fur-lined hoods, boots, hands jammed deep into pockets and heads turned down. Really people, is it that cold out?
My guess was that it was in the low 50's and I regretted a quick peek at the weather on my phone. A pair of large, bold numbers displayed: 39°. I wish I hadn't looked because it made me want to stop at Goodwill for a hoodie. I dropped off Arrow and turned away from the thrift store and on towards the park. Good for me.
"I can always go back to the car," I told myself.
"You don't have to do this," the voice in my head said.
I parked, walked across the bridge over the waterway. It was cold and windy and I felt like the only one not wearing a quilted North Face jacket. I started my warm up walk. Still cold. I couldn't stop wondering why I was out there. I started running, still the questions came: Why? What's the point? Should I stop, quit, go back home? All I could think was that I was already there so just keep going forward. Just keep running. Finally, after a mile and a half, I was comfortable temperature-wise. Perfect, in fact.
Running on a populated trail I discovered that I actually am running faster than people walk. For weeks I thought I'd really just been doing a prancy walk. I was, in fact, running. That was a relief. I did have to stop and walk several times, though. I loved seeing all the other people moving along the trail. I'm still so new at this, so unfamiliar, that it was as if I were in the most exotic land of all; a land where people had different customs, different ways of dressing and moving and interacting.
Surely these people knew I only had a visitor's visa. I was carrying my wad of keys in my hand, afterall. Where the hell was I supposed to put them? I felt a little conspicuous, a little out of place. I ran and walked and ran again. I passed people and felt good until they passed me quarter mile later. I tried to keep up with others and was passed by most runners on the trail. Some runners looked like gazelles, some were paired up. Me? All I could think was, don't trip and keep going. That's pretty much my running mantra anytime I'm out.
You can use it if you want. It's not just for running or walking. I say it to myself at work sometimes because I very often feel like I'm going to trip, going to embarrass myself at least once in a 24 hours period. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I literally trip which very often hurts my hamstring, other times I say something that I wish I hadn't. I'll wish that I had been more sensitive or kept a thought to myself. I have to remind myself to be mindful. Don't trip and keep going. It gets me through.
Stay warm, my friends. Until next time - don't trip and keep going.
I'm trying to get my baking mojo back by making buttermilk scones. I've probably made them three times in the last week or two. I had other plans for the buttermilk (I was going to make pie), but that never happened; then I thought I'd better come up with something for the full carton of buttermilk that stared me in the face every time I opened the fridge.
The scones are easy. I found the recipe online last year (recipe is posted at bottom of this post as well). They're very easy to make and tasty, too - only mildly sweet, plus, they retain their tenderness and don't go from scone to stone in a day.
I've been trying to get into a Thanksgiving frame of mind which involves psyching myself up to make pie crust dough and multiple pies. On my list of pies to experiment with are:
Malted Chocolate Pecan
Brown Butter Pumpkin
Maple Buttermilk Custard (see, I did have plans)
Salted Caramel Apple
They are all from the Four And Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. I'm devoted to this book. It's how I learned to make pie crust - the best, in my opinion - and branch out a little bit from traditional pies. I admit to doing my time. I made pie crust after pie crust so I would get this thing right. Now I am thinking of not giving away pies as gifts to co-workers, but pie dough so that they can make their own pies and use homemade dough for crust instead of the store bought refrigerated variety. I can whip out 8 dough disks in a little over an hour these days. That's my records, anyways.
I'm juggling a lot of things right now - baking, running, ferrying Arrow back and forth to his play days, gardening and trying to squeeze in photography. And it's getting cold, people. Cold. Austin will be parked in the 50's for the week. Tomorrow I'll slip Arrow's sweater over his head and put on my running clothes. I'll drop him early at Taurus and hit Town Lake for a run before going home.
I'll hit Town Lake for a run. Never, ever in my life did I think I'd by writing that sentence. I signed up for the Lights of Love 5k and am determined to run the three miles. Running has given me a lot of time to think about stuff: my dad and his running (he started late, just like me), my junior high PE teacher who taught me to hate running, my health, aging, who I want to be and who I can be by applying myself. It's all good. I've just cracked open a new window that has a different view, that's all. And it's good, all of it.
So here's to pie, cold weather and the holidays. Enjoy it all!
2 Cups all purpose flour
1/4 Cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 Cup butter, chilled and cut into several pieces
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 Cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder & salt. Add pieces of butter to the flour, cut in with a pastry blender until mixture is coarse and sandy and no pieces of butter larger than a pea remain.
Stir together vanilla and buttermilk, then pour them into the flour mixture. Stir with a fork until the dough comes together into a rough ball. The dough should be slightly dry, not sticky. If the dough is too dry to come together, add a little more buttermilk, if it's too sticky add a tad more flour. Knead dough by hand for about 30 seconds, drop into 8 equal size pieces onto baking sheet. I don't use parchment paper or oil on the sheet, although the recipe does recommend parchment paper.
Bake for 15 - 19 minutes, until scones are light golden.
Thursday seems to be dental day for the dogs around here. Last week it was Beagle and this week it's Arrow. Baby doesn't need to go in for a dental anymore since every last tooth she had was pulled last year. But don't you worry, that girl can still toss back the kibble like nobody's business.
My dogs have always benefited from a dental procedure. Their appetites improve, they've gained weight and filled out; their coats have improved not to mention their breath. All of this was most obvious with our Italian Greyhound, Slip. I could have, should have (and would have) taken him in for a dental procedure every 6 to 8 months if I'd been able to afford it.
Having worked in veterinary clinics for nearly 17 years, I can say that I've heard all sorts of reasons/excuses from owners that have not opted for the procedure. I think the most honest answer that I've heard and can completely relate to and respect is that it's so expensive. It really is. The dental cleaning is reasonable enough, but once you add in labwork, xrays, extractions and consil (synthetic bone graft material that helps strengthen the jaw) the price can increase significantly. Our clinic is so good though. They allow plenty of time by limiting the number of dentals they will do in a day. They take such good care of their patients.
Arrow did very well yesterday. He had three teeth pulled and seems mostly back to normal a day later. He was smacking his lips earlier, probably feeling the absence of the molars. Here's a look at his day.
First things first, getting weighed
The roots grew together on the molar and there's an abcess