Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Thankful for the Cold Weather and the Endorphins

Woke up to a world covered in Frost this morning with temps now into the 30's. !!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is a for-real Winter in So Cal! Every time I want to complain about the cold temps I remember how unrelenting this past summer's heat was and that stops me every time. Thank the gods for the cold and the rain.
Today I took the usual route across the railroad tracks, same as always. Except today the mirror I usually take a selfie in was frosted over.
 And my turnaround point signal light looked like a car had recently wrapped itself around it. Yikes. RIP, friend. 
The more I'm out running on these mean streets the more I become aware that it's pretty dangerous. Besides stray dogs and muggers coming after me I'm now having to watch for cars driving up onto the sidewalk. Is there a pepper spray for that? 

The run on schedule for today was a 3 mile slow jog plus 3 times strides. Strides for me means that at the end of 3 miles I have to run at 95% effort for 20 seconds and then "recover" with 2 minute jogs. I do that 3 times. I loved it. Especially because this is the stuff that makes me faster. 
 I don't usually post these kinds of close up mirror selfies (I love that others do it, but I'm not comfortable doing it) but today I was hyper aware of the effect this run's endorphins was having on me. I look into my bedroom mirror every single day, several times a day. And every day I pick apart everything that is wrong with my body shape. I literally criticized everything about me before I left for my run this morning. 
After my run I was back in front of the same mirror and all I could think was: "THIS body was strong enough to carry you  more than 3 miles today. Thank you, legs, feet, arms, body for taking me on this great run today." It was like my eyes couldn't even register the flaws. Endorphins are incredible. 

And thank the gods again for the cold weather that calls for me to have awesome udon house soup today for lunch! I'd call it home-made soup but since I have no idea how to make Udon soup, I can't claim the authenticity that the words "home-made" connote.  I literally just threw a bunch of stuff in a bowl and called it Udon. I hope I'm not offending anybody's heritage.
 My sister brought me the noodles after she decided she didn't like them. I used beef broth and simmered in it straw mushrooms, baby corn, roasted seaweed strips, bamboo shoots and firm tofu. After adding the flavor packet it tasted really good! Served scorching hot and burned the roof of my mouth to get that authentic sushi house experience!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Eating Like A Hobbit!

My 3rd run this week but 2nd time in one week running with my buddy Val--that never happens. This run, however, didn't feel as awesome as the one on Christmas Eve. I encouraged him to go ahead and leave me because I felt guilty holding him back. That's Val below on the left leaving me in the dust.
We always run an out-and-back on this trail. For the second half of the run the sun was up and on my back and I finally began to feel a little warm! 
I don't think this is a SPOILER, but just in case: SPOILER ALERT:: Like everybody else, I was REALLY looking forward to season 2 of Serial podcast. 

Since I was actually running alone, I listened to the 2nd episode of Season 2 on my run today. I'd already heard the first episode but wanted to listen to the 2nd episode before forming an opinion about the story. Unfortunately I have to say, I'm not a fan of the Bergdahl story. Like not at all. Two of my nephews are Marines....and they also have no opinion about what happens to Bowe Bergdahl.
He knows he's guilty, the Army knows he's guilty, that's not even a question. Whether or not he pays for or has already paid for his crime makes no difference to me whatsoever.  Is that what this season is about? Is there more to this podcast or did I zone out while running and miss it? Is it that I just lack compassion (very, very likely)?  

 Once again, I started my run promising myself I would do 3 miles and that's it. But once I  got going, I ended up wanting to do a few more. That always happens to me, and I'm not complaining! Six miles at 12:46. I'll take it! 
After the run we hit up Jack's Diner. I switched things up a bit today and ordered MENUDO instead of french toast for breakfast. It really hit the spot (if you like cow tripe like I do! lol)!! 
After I got home I went all Hobbit and had Second Breakfast in the form of leftover French Toast casserole from Christmas morning. Still YUMMM. 
And then after Second Breakfast, I met up with BD and the Puff to watch THE FORCE AWAKENS! 

Elevenses was nachos with extra nacho cheese and jalapenos washed down with Diet Coke. Can't watch a movie without both of these. 
After that EPIC movie, you better believe we left the theater in search of lunch. 

The Force Awakens...Have you seen it yet?? Go see it! Go see it! 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Eve 2015

This perfect day started out with what else? A great morning run with run buddy Val. The temp was a frrrrreeezing 46 degrees. We sure were feeling like badasses running today... #socalwimps
I run so much better/faster when I'm running with my buddy than when I'm running alone. I don't understand why I'm not able to push myself to go a bit faster when I'm by myself. Are we going to have to be attached at the hip every race? 
After our run we had the usual Jack's Diner for breakfast. Anything that is eaten with syrup is the perfect breakfast dish in my opinion.

 After Jack's I got a text from my sister in law that she had an unexpected guest joining us for Christmas Eve. I braved the Mall madness for a last minute gift and it wasn't that crazy at all. I was in and out and hurried home so I didn't get caught up in any other holiday madness.
 Went home to prepare my contributions to our Christmas Eve dinner. What does it say about me that I'm always assigned to bring rolls and make a salad?
My salad was bomb-diggity though: #homegirlgotdown

 Every year I also make ahead a french toast casserole to eat on Christmas morning. Hallah bread, eggs, cream, sugar, cinnamon crumble. Soooo good.
 After the chores were out of the way, it was still really early, so I settled in for a day of MARATHON TV watching. It's my absolute favorite way to spend a day.
I am the only person I know who has not seen Star Wars the Force Awakens. I indulged in re-watching episodes 4, 5 & 6 today which were just called Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi when I was a kid. Now it's The New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Alrighty. 

Later once the family was together we sipped yerba mate and played games before our big Christmas Eve dinner. 

After dinner, we opened some presents and then went to bed way too late.
like this nephew of mine needs any encouragement #darkside
Christmas morning came way too soon, but our traditional breakfast of Hawaiian beef stew and my french toast casserole really hit the spot.
After Christmas morning festivities the Puff went to spend the night with BD and I caught up on my sleep. 

And everyone lived happily ever after. 

The End. 


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Few of our Favorite Things and One of our Least Favorite Things

I've really been slacking with my training this month. It really is so much harder to get out of bed when the weather is cold and Baby, it's finally gotten COLD outside around here. We're finally into the 40's! 

Since I took the day off of work yesterday, I was able to drag my lazy butt out of bed at the crack of 8:30 am to get out to run. It was still chilly but not too bad.
There was tons of traffic out at this hour, I inhaled car exhaust for the entire run. (Like running isn't hard enough, right?)
The run wasn't easy for me, but it felt great being out there. #noregrets

I went home and did all the post-run stuff you're supposed to do: stretched, showered & ate protein. I felt like a champ. 
The Puff and I got dressed and headed out for a fun day with all her best girlfriends!! Woot woot! 
OMG, when she's in high school I'm going to be that creepy Mom from Mean Girls

We drove downtown to Pershing Square to do a little ice skating in the middle of LA. This has become a kind of tradition for us, and we're getting better at it every year! 

After ice skating we braved the throngs of homeless people on LA sidewalks and walked ourselves over to a little NY-style pizza place for lunch. 
$2.00 / slice. These girls are a cheap date. 

We took a detour through the LA Biltmore Hotel  for a potty break and took advantage of the beautiful decor to snap a picture. 
Stopped into Starbucks for a warm-up for the drive home. The Hot Caramel Apple Spice is the MOST delicious thing ever. It's like drinking a caramel apple.
And then, once we'd returned to the 'burbs we stopped into the Mall for the last gift I had left to buy. Christmas shopping is all done!  
We ended the day in the best way possible: Yogurtland.
Wonder what the choice of yogurt & toppings says about a person? 

Finally, this morning I had to go ahead and face the thing I'd been trying to ignore for way too long: the scale. I can't wait until January 1st to begin to rein in my eating. I am way out of control this season, even more so than in years past.
I honestly felt like I was 15 pounds heavier this season than last but in an effort to control my wild pessimism I actually looked up the last time I weighed myself. In reality i'm only 4 pounds heavier than my last weigh in back in May or something. Not bad. Not good either but I for sure thought it was much worse. The first step is admitting you have a problem... Time for step 2! 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

It's been How long since my last run?

 I haven't been out on a run since Thanksgiving day and honestly I hadn't missed it that much. Today, though, I was actually excited about running. Maybe that's how you know you're ready to get back into the swing of things. 
Run buddy Val and I went out for our usual early morning Run + Breakfast. 
With well-rested legs, the run was actually easier than I thought it would be even though I'm sure i've gained about 15 pounds since Thanksgiving. We've already had our tamale-making session for the season and now I'm eating tamales like it's my J-O-B. 

Since Val and I hadn't run together in weeks, we had plenty to catch up on and we had a great long breakfast conversation. 

Afterwards, I rushed home to get some chores (aka laundry) done because I had a Christmas party to get ready for tonight. 

The Puff and I then went to get Mani's:
Then we knocked out the grocery shopping at this awesome Mexican Grocery store that opened up in my 'hood. Love these one-stop-shop ethnic stores where you can buy chicharrones, pan dulce and fresh corn tortillas all under one roof. 
Hello, pork rinds:
The counter guy felt bad for me because I was drooling all over his shiny display case so he handed me some fried pork deliciousness so I would go away. 
After groceries, we went out and got our hair did. 
Fed the Puff some Pieology before dropping her off at the sitter's: 
And then had a fabulous time at my Christmas Party.