Mission: Long Run

(WHOOPS I forgot to post this last night! Replace present tense with past.)

Today is a glorious day!

I completed my first long run since my injury in June!  
I was nervous about running for a prolonged distance because since I’ve been able to start running again, the most I have run is 1.5 miles while warming up at the gym.  My usual runs before were around 5-6 miles, so I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do that distance (at least right now).
I was really excited to run today because it was a beautiful day like yesterday and perfect for running.  I started out at the same place that Neil and I started our hike yesterday so that I would be able to experience a different part of the trail.  My aim was for 6 miles, but I told myself that if I tired out before then or I felt my hip start to hurt, it was ok to stop.  That was something I didn’t understand for a long time. I pushed myself beyond my limits, which almost always ended in fatigue, pain, or injury.
The body is a miraculous thing.  I haven’t run that much for 3 months, but it was like no time had passed.  The only issue I had in the beginning was that I had to stop a couple times to get my heart rate down.  I had a little trouble falling back into my normal pace, but I got back into it after about mile 2.  
It’s funny how the way back is always much easier for me than the way forward.  I ran 3 miles and then turned back to finish the final 3.  The last 3 were noticeably easier than the first 3.  I think it’s because I know I am running the last part.  Running, like most exercise, is a mental as much as a physical game.  As long as  I can tell my mind to keep going, the body follows.  Definitely mind over matter.
The trail is very convenient because there are mile markers at every 0.5 miles.  That way I can keep track of my distance and I don’t have to plan it beforehand.  The people along the trail are also very friendly and always smile and wave as they pass me.  I think people who regularly engage in physical activity tend to feel better overall.  There’s so many benefits to living a healthy lifestyle.
I finished my run and realized that I actually wound up running closer to 7 miles since I didn’t reach the first mile marker until I had been running for a few minutes.  Thanks to taking the time I needed to let my injury heal, it now seems like I am back on track!  It’s a great day!
(sidenote: as I was running and singing along with my music, I SWALLOWED A BUG. I opened my mouth and it flew right in!  It didn’t even fly onto my tongue so I could spit it out; it flew to the back of my throat so I had no choice but to swallow it! Maybe the extra protein fueled me to the end?)
I made sure to stretch after I ran because now I take more precautions after being sidelined for so long.  Then I stopped at the store on the way home to finish up the grocery shopping for the week:

– bag of limes & lemons
– Ezekiel bread
– bananas
– shredded carrots
– pineapple
– tomato paste & whole wheat fusili (for tonight’s dinner)
– Think Thin bars
– organic Green & Black 70% dark chocolate bar
– my daily oatmeal fix
– almond milk, original, unsweetened (me)
– whole milk (Neil)
– Yogi Bedtime tea
– unsalted tahini
– not pictured: apple pie Lara bar (because I inhaled it at the store)
For pictures of our groceries from the farmer’s market, see yesterday’s post.  Some of these things were for recipes, but some were also just for stocking up.  Neil introduced me to Think Thin bars last year and I LOVE the creamy peanut butter one.  To me it tastes like a Reese’s cup, but I’m sure some would disagree.  They are gluten free (for those following a gluten free diet) and have no sugar.  To see the other added benefits, check out their website.  My only issue with them is that they are not dairy free which may or may not be the reason why sometimes my stomach feels weird after I eat one.  
I am lactose intolerant (hence the almond milk), but it’s not a severe intolerance.  I could still drink milk if I wanted to, but I wouldn’t feel 100% afterwards.  My mouth likes milk, but my stomach doesn’t seem to share the same affection for it.
I am excited to try out the tahini because I haven’t used it before.  I know it is good to have since I see it in a lot of recipes, so hopefully I can get some use out of it.  
I also bought myself a present (thanks Neil for helping me with the lighting!):
I love flowers.  I usually try to buy myself flowers whenever I go grocery shopping because they make me so happy, but I haven’t for about a month.  I think it is important to treat yourself to things that make you happy.  I sure have missed them!  I like bright colors and they help break up all the black we have in the living room.
After putting the groceries away, I had to compile our invitations so we can get them in the mail tomorrow:
We only had about 40 to get together, but Neil’s parents are sending out about 100 more than that.  I am really thankful to them for helping out.  I sent out all the save the dates and it took a LONG time.  
Then I set off to prepare dinner.  I wanted to make a casserole so that there was a lot left over for lunches.  I followed Angela’s recipe for Naughty & Nice Vegan Enchilada Casserole, but mine was not quite vegan since I used the ground beef that we got at the farmer’s market yesterday (ok, so a lot not vegan).  I made some slight alterations (didn’t have cayenne pepper or onion powder, added meat, didn’t use chips), but the overall result was pretty delicious and spicy.  Did I mention I love spice??
First round of vegetables:
Finished product:
We sliced up an avocado and the coolness of it countered nicely with the spiciness of the casserole.  It was really filling too so there is a lot left for the week. MMMM.
I also toasted up a slice of the Ezekiel bread with some Earth Balance spread on it.  Halfway through eating it, Neil asked “what kind of bread is this again?” I thought he liked it which made me excited, but he followed my reply with “good, now I know which bread to never buy again.” Oh well, can’t win them all.  He’s actually a great sport at trying all the healthy things I make so I’ll let this one slide 🙂
I also read a great article about the synergy of eating real food at Kath’s website “Kath Eats Real Food.”  Check it out here.
I am off to finish watching football with Neil and enjoy some tea and dark chocolate.  mmm chocolate.
Have a GREAT night!
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