Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Treading Figurative Water

Ah, yes, life has been a little overwhelming.  While it is nice to have the Spouse back full time, and while it is super-nice to know that we won't have to split up again in a few weeks, things have just been busy busy with the move coming up and the race.

It's tough.

On one hand, I am so deeply sad to leave this community.  The sun hasn't been rising until after 7 lately, so when I get up, I can watch the sky dawn over the hills and it is a spectacular fall.  Even the foggy days are shot through with color.

On the other hand, I have been so busy I haven't had a spare moment to get out to do things like the last bike rides I have wanted to do.  And my shake-it-out running plans to be ready for Manchester?  Forget that.  I think we'll just focus on calm and easy.  I'm going to shoot for 180 steps a minute so at least I'm following SOME part of a running plan!

But everything else?  I am letting things slide.  I'm focusing on eating as healthy as possible given that I am having final lunches and dinners almost every meal, and at home we are trying to eat down the fridge.  It means a lot of creative mystery dinners.  "What's this?"  "I think it's spaghetti squash.  Maybe I can make a topping for it... like something with these clams..."

As a race director, my life is consumed by a lot of "Hurry up and wait" right now.  Hurry up and advertise, and wait for the people to sign up!  Hurry up and get awards... and hang on to them.  Hurry up... and wait.

Finally, I am getting excited about the move.  It's an exciting place I am going to and the work will be an interesting challenge.  It's a year of work and trust that we'll be going into.

I don't know if I'll have much time to post between now and when we get settled.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Adventures in Race Directing

Let it be known that over the last few years, I have come to accept an essential truth about myself.  Namely, that I am rather tightly wound.  I used to think I was mellow and laid-back and easy-going and able to roll with the punches, but the truth is I like to make things happen.  

This is a terrible thing if you are trying to vacation with me on a beach in Maui.  I'd last about five minutes, and you'd stab me with your little beach umbrella and tranquilize me on the sly. 

This is a great thing if one is organizing a race. 

I have a great volunteer team ready to roll.  

I have a fantastic finish line: namely, InStove, the company that makes the stoves that will be sent to Tilori, Haiti, is lending us a few stoves.  One of our volunteers will make cocoa on the stoves!  This shows that the stoves are extremely cool, for not only can you cook a lovely beans and rice stew, but you can also make delicious cocoa.  Hurrah!  Besides, cocoa, in November, in Oregon?  WIN! 

And the best part: awards!  After a few weeks researching medals (and discovering that finish line medals cost $2.50 and up!) I opted to go for donated gift cards for the top winners, and ribbons for all age group winners.  So y'all come on, and win prizes now. 

Mostly, at this point, I think we are in great shape.  We are waiting to hear on a few sponsorships, but my biggest worry right now is getting folks to sign up!  I know that the majority of people sign up within a week or two of the race (especially for a little one like this), but boy, does it make me nervous!  

All I want is 55 runners... that means we break even, and turn a little profit!  

So if you are in Oregon, come on out and race on Nov. 9!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Zombies, Run!, and then I cook

I ran away from work today. The weather has been awful- huge storm cells rolling over town and dumping inches of rain on us.  So when the sky cleared and the weather report showed a lull, I grabbed my gear and ran for it... Literally! 

I just discovered Zombies, Run! Basically, if you ever wanted to pretend you were in a zombie apocalypse and running for safety, this is your chance.  Charming British voices narrate the story in between songs, and off you go.  You "pick up things" like first aid kits and clothes, and get chased by zombies.  I escaped one mob, and then I got killed about five times in a row.  It is hilarious, especially when certain songs come on.  Like right after the voice tells you that the zombie chasing you is just 50 feet away, Katie Perry comes on singing Firework.  I wonder what song Taylor Swift would write about the tragic zombie relationship...

I think it'll be a fun running game to play!

I'm also doing a four week fall challenge through Barre3. My goal is to reintroduce a regular stretching and core routine.  So I commit to five Barre3 workouts a week.  The program also includes a nutrition plan (which I don't follow slavishly, but I get inspired by it and pick out some recipes to make). 

Tonight, I focused on some food prep. I picked out a few recipes and headed to the store with a mission plan.  During that mission, I had one of my many mishaps with the bulk bins. Seriously, why put fast-flowing beans up high? Inevitably, I mis-pull and spill beans everywhere and the grocery store guys have to come clean up.  And tonight, another shopper glared at me and huffed the entire time I was in the bulk aisle.  I have reason to think it wasn't just me spilling beans , but it was hard to. to take it personally!  

After the discovery that my iron levels were down in the dumps, I've been tracking food and nutrients. Sadly, I discovered that even with kale and spinach and collards, and every food combo known to vegetarians, plus a multivitamin, I never came close to hitting my daily value for iron.  

I decide some meat eating during recovery wouldn't kill me. I've had to do this before, and I didn't like it. I just don't really like meat.  But this time I have a slow cooker and a bunch of recipes that are veggie heavy, so maybe this time it'll be different. Overall, I think I just prefer vegetarian living.  It suits PMS.  And I've trained for major events while eating 100% vegetarian in the past. It's just this year, so etching didn't click.  When things settle down in my life, perhaps in the spring, maybe I can consider doing some work with a nutritionist.  But for right now, I am going to focus on using recipes from athlete sources I trust to make some good, reliable, well rounded meals with a minimum of stress and prep work. 

Tonight, I made a turkey-kale-beet-quinoa dish that I think is sorta stew like. It was all stovetop, but I think it would translate well to the slow cooker.  It was yummy!  I used golden beets, since I still dislike red beets.  I ate one serving, and popped the rest all assembled into baggies and threw them in the freezer.  
I flattened these for freezing since they are all cooked.  I figured flat packs would thaw and reheat faster.  

I also prepped a beef chili, and used Frayed Laces's trick of putting in the freezer in a rounded shape. So whenever I want, I can pull it out and plop it in the slowcooker for the day. 

I also brined some beans and am cooking those right now.  I love having beans handy.  Normally, I always have beans and rice in my freezer, and greens in my fridge.  I have found that to be a great #1 snack.  It helps me with my emotional eating- With the beans prepped, I can ask the question "do you want your beans and greens or do you want the cookie?" If I want the beans, I figure I'm really hungry. If all I want is the cookie, I'm not physically hungry. Sometimes, I still have the cookie after all, but it helps to know what purposes I'm really eating for.  

Finally, I made this amazing pumpkin ginger smoothie.  I had no almond butter so I used peanut butter.  Let's not make that substitution again.  But it also has blackstrap molasses (excellent source of iron!) so I had a way to get extra iron in my system. 

I prepped ingredients for future smoothies by measuring them out and putting them in the freezer in baggies.  So in the morning, if I think a smoothie is a good idea, it's no thinking, just drinking.  (After a little whir in the blender of course!) 

In all, I figure I have prepped over 21 meals tonight, for a total of about $3 a serving for these dinners.  This included my bottle of Merlot and the Deschutes Obsidian Porter that I got because I'm on a porter kick right now and wanted extra liquid for the meat dishes.  That's right,  I was thinking of the chili.  

And now, between the turkey and the iron, I'm feeling properly sleepy. So off I go!