Monday, May 19, 2014

Weekend in Recap: New shoes, Longer run, New recipe, Beautiful Days, oh myyy~~

So much happened since earlier this week.  The weather had been crummy on Thursday and Friday so they were spend in agony trying to decided if I should go run.  In the end I opted out on both days, choosing for a late nap instead.

The weather forecast had been reporting heavy rain for Saturday for quite a while, and as a result when I went to bed on Friday night while listening to the rain dripping from the roof of our house I decided again running a 5K in muddy trail the next day.  I originally wanted to do this 5K which raises money for the cystic fibrosis foundation.  I'm still sad that I didn't get to do it since it's the one event that really propelled me into running.  But I hate mud and I don't like rain and at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter.

I woke up the next day (almost noon) to the most beautiful day I've seen in a while.  Clear sky, few clouds, nice breeze.  I'm never trusting the weather forecast again.  I got up, tried on new shoes, and went for the longest run I've done so far.

The Shoes

Last week I talked about getting a new pair of running shoes.  I decided on a pair of Brooks Dyad 7 for its wide mid foot and its sale on Zappos.  I got the shoes on Thursday and had been dying to try them for two days.  On Saturday I finally got the chance.

When I put them on they somehow felt tighter than I thought.  I didn't quite get the same feel while trying them on at the store, but even with the thinnest socks I was nervous when I put my foot in.  Perhaps the laces were more loosened at the store so my feet had an easier time.  I tried to do a few extra loops with the laces to prevent my heel from slipping but the laces became too short, so in the end I had to compromise a bit.  They felt loose but snug, I had enough room in the front between the shoes and my toes, and after running for 7 miles they still feel fine and my feet were happy.  I guess I will keep them for the long haul.

New Brooks!  When I told people or showed them this picture they either made fun of me splurging on expensive brands or said that they are cute.  Even after the cheaper find on Zappos they were still a bit over my budget but since there don't seem to be many choices out there my budget just needs to be readjusted.  Besides I don't think I will be buying new shoes for a while.  I still have my old New Balance shoes for rotation and trail runs.  They do look pretty cute, I must say.  At first I wasn't too impressed with the color (and the lack of style choices), but I never hated it and let's be honest, I buy boring looking shoes even when given a choice.

On a brighter note, I was able to return my new-ish pair of New Balance (another pair of trail runner I got in March right after I began running, but I just couldn't make them work even after the replacement insoles and everything).  By "able to return" I mean that Amazon sent me return slips and shipping address to mail the shoes back.  It will be another week or two until I get my refund, fingers crossed.  The shipping itself cost me $12, who knew they cost so much to ship (got Prime free shipping when I bought them).  So with any luck I will get ~$50 back, and we can pretend this irrational and uninformed shoe purchase never happened.

Thanks heavens for my terrible procrastination problems I still kept the packaging and the box it was shipped in.  So after wiping the bottom of the shoes, taking out the replacement insoles and putting the originals back, rewrapping them and putting them back into the original box, they almost look like they have never been worn.  Almost.  You can see what I mean about buying boring colored shoes.  Bye bye shoes!  It's been fun (sort of) while it lasted.

The run.

Saturday's run was super exciting to me.  I had my new shoes on, I was finally able to go out after being cooped up for three days, and I was going to try a new, slightly longer route.  I also decided to bring my camera for the first time in a while in anticipation of the new scenery.  

I had a rough start.  I will always blame it on too many days of resting and the associated junk food I eat when I'm not exercising.  I stopped to walk a few time at the beginning, taking pictures as an excuse.  I don't think I like the new route, the scenery isn't as nice and there's less shade.  There was, however, enough sidewalk so I could run carefree without paying too much attention to the traffic.

There were quite a few streams though, and I like the rushing waters.

At the end of the loop I was reluctant to go back, so I turned and went onto the loop I went before, this time going the reverse direction from what I had done.  It felt much, much harder.  I don't know if it was because of the 4 miles I had already done, or I'm just not very good at long inclines.  But I still liked the view much, much better.

On the way back was a bit dangerous.  Since I was coming back the other way I was on the wrong side of the road, which not only does not have sidewalks, but also had quite a few intersections for turning cars.  They were quite nice at letting me pass, but I imagine they must be quite annoyed.  Sorry cars!

Despite being the longest run I've done so far, I didn't stop for water and didn't really feel dehydrated.  I did keep thinking of stopping, and I did bring money, but I just never did.  I passed one shop after another, and by the end I didn't even want to go to the bathroom anymore.

When I got back on campus I was hoping for some food, or at least for some drinks.  We had a music festival this weekend and they were giving out free food left and right.  Unfortunately the run took me almost 2 hours and by the time I got back they had already clean the grill so all they had were popcorn, cotton candy, and caramel apple.  I normally would go for the popcorn or cotton candy but by then I was so thirsty the apple just looked amazing.  Even the caramel wasn't as sweet as it normally tastes.

All in all, a most wonderful fun.

The bottom of my feet did hurt for sometimes afterwards.  I don't know if it's because I just ran 7 miles or if it's something more serious.  I massaged my feet with a bottle of ice and it helped somewhat.  I hope it wouldn't turn into plantar fasciitis later on.

The next day I wanted to run more, but I had a walking engagement in the morning.  My friend and I walked 4 miles in a charity event that raises money for our local humane society.  It was a beautiful day as usual.  I had originally planned to run in the evening after to avoid the strongest sun, but after a nap I was just exhausted so I decided against the idea, despite the run I had in mind was quite short (but new, so you never know what might happen).  Oh well, we'll do that tomorrow.  Better be safe than overdo it.

The food.

Finally got to try some new dishes.  The main motivation: cooking for others.  I was invited to a dinner that turned into a potluck.  So I decided to make this creamy tomato sauce for a pasta dish I brought.  My lab mate gave me the recipe, which you can find here.  I was particularly excited about it because I think it's the first dish I made that turned out okay from my first try.  Everything tasted perfect and I didn't have to scramble to make another batch for the next day.  Everyone said they liked it but at the end there was still a ton left; it's just too heavy I think.  I made it for myself with grilled chicken, but brought it with roasted cauliflower the next day for my vegetarian friends.

Very tomato and very creamy

Since you make the toppings (grilled chicken, roasted cauliflowers) separately, they can stand alone as individual dishes.  So the next day I made myself roasted cauliflower again, since they just smell so good with sesame oil.  You can't beat sesame oil.

Yum, but so simple.

I do feel that I'm more inclined toward "healthy food" nowadays.  I had a hard time eating the creamy sauced pasta, and found myself craving more for the salad, vegetables, and less heavy dishes.  I don't think I'm being pretentious and all of a sudden going all healthy, and I do enjoy the occasional fried chicken tender and burger, but I feel that I just crave for the more watery, lighter food.  They have to be flavorful though.  The grilled chicken has to have salt, pepper, chili powder, basil, and other spices, and the salad has to have flavorful dressings.  But overall, my big surge in the exercise department definitely has had tremendous effect on other parts of my life as well, and these changes come willingly and naturally, instead of feeling forced.  Hooray for change!

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