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Merganser Gets off the (Metaphorical) Treadmill and Back on the Track(ing)


Merganser

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Week 3, Day 2 (cont'd)

 

In addition to skipping Bagel Tuesday, also skipped chocolate during my cappuccino break. Yay. Which came a little later than anticipated because a really good phone interview ran long. Double yay. (Also double cappuccino, but that's unrelated.)

 

I took the T home and stopped at Trader Joe's en route since I needed pomegranate seeds for one of my Thanksgiving recipes and TJ's had them in stock on Sunday, while Whole Foods did not; so of course TJ's was out of pomegranate seeds on Tuesday :P

 

I've never worked with an actual pomegranate before, but they did have those in stock, so I got several of those instead, as well as a few other items from my list (including mini chocolate peanut butter cups; in the binge-resistant 9-pack rather than big container package :))

 

Slate had an article about Thanksgiving cocktails, which featured dry vermouth, and while I was on the T I popped into a couple of cocktail blogs I like and noticed a few other interesting-looking dry vermouth recipes, and since I didn't actually have any on hand at home (!) I stopped at the liquor store on the way home when I got off the train; but I limited myself to a bottle of vermouth and did not also get, say, a bottle of wine, or decide that maybe I was running out of rye or gin (unlikely) and stock up :P

 

When I got home, I dropped my stuff off and took off to do the rest of my Thanksgiving grocery shopping by bike.

 

My roommate was unexpectedly home because her MBA class was canceled, and she volunteered to drive me, but I specifically wanted to test out my hip/back on the bike on a short-ish trip. Verdict: Not too bad, but I'm glad I didn't bike commute: any pain and discomfort are now localized to the typically sensitive parts of my right lower back/hip, and are just a little more intense than after "normal" working out. I could definitely feel it on bouncy parts of asphalt, and when going uphill, and geared down a little more accordingly; on the bright side, it made me more aware when I was pedaling with my back (i.e. the wrong way) so I could correct it

 

Of course, by the time I got to the grocery store I was pretty hungry and entertained fantasies of bringing home a baguette and cheese for dinner, but resisted, reminding myself that my planned asparagus and shallots was only going to take as long to cook as it was going to take me to put away groceries (which turned out to be pretty much exactly true), and that if I ate too much bread and cheese, I'd regret it and probably not sleep well either, and that if I bought that I'd want wine, too, and I didn't want wine on a work night

 

So I stuck to my list (including pomegranate seeds, actually, because this time Whole Foods had them; I did not, however, buy pomegranate syrup, since my recipe called for pomegranate juice also and if I've learned nothing else from crafty home cocktail-ing, I've learned how to make a syrup!)

 

When I got home I made my dinner as quickly as I had anticipated and ate it with a glass of sparkling water

 

Afterwards, I actually announced my intention to make a (modest, not overly alcoholic) dry vermouth cocktail, but on the way to the kitchen I decided to just have decaf tea with my (3) (mini) dark chocolate peanut butter cups -- it's alcohol, it's not going to go bad, and I'll enjoy it more on a night that is not the night before a work day

 

I had also brought home a pumpkin pie from work -- another good reason for not bike commuting! (although the pies were originally scheduled for Wednesday delivery) -- and bought whipped cream at my roommate's request, but while she ate a piece of it, I decided to wait for Thanksgiving

 

(And, anyway, her verdict on the pie was: "Eh. It's not Spinelli's." For many years, my employer bought 2 pies for every employee from that particular bakery, which was in the neighborhood of our old office AND WAS AWESOME. This continued when we moved, but this year they changed it to buying a pie for every employee from a very worthy charity, which is great, but...yeah, it's not Spinelli's :) And they didn't even announce that until, like, a week ago, which surprised me; sure, it's a perk, not an entitlement, but, boy, a lot of my colleagues were discombobulated, and a lot of their wives dispatched them to get the Spinelli's pies anyway, because: a) tradition! and B) Thanksgiving feasts get planned around them! :P)

 

Anyway, elsewhere in my Challenge...

 

I caught up on my money-spending and when I read a review of a book that sounded interesting I added it to my Amazon Wish List instead of purchasing it

 

I didn't purge anything, but I did pack up a not-in-use dish rack to bring to the office on Wednesday, since I've been spreading my not-Tupperware out on paper towels on the kitchen counter at work to dry lately, and that's not efficient

 

I didn't practice my guitar because I got very tired, and didn't feel like trimming my nails or tuning, both of which would have been necessary pre-requisites, but I'll try to make up for it with some extra practice time on other days

 

did read a few more chapters of What Should I Do, including an interesting one about a woman who THOUGHT she had it all figured out but really didn't. The author used it as opportunity to make a point about vocation/calling being about what you need to do (i.e. what moves you) vs. what you want to do. Apparently, this woman kept Freudian-ly slipping on the name of the book he was writing, describing it as "What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up", which loses the moral imperative of "should". His point is that you're not going to commit to something even if it provides endless intellectual stimulation if your heart's not in it: "When your heart's engaged, the inevitable headaches and daily annoyances become tolerable and don't derail your commitment. Let your brain be your heart's soldier." He also pointed out that while the traditional career search starts with asking "what am I good at?" he doesn't think that's a good approach, because "You can get good at what you need to serve what you believe in".

 

I think a 2015 goal for me needs to be figuring out where my heart is and what I believe in. 

 

But in the meantime, I'm going to heal myself; I also did my yoga stretches last night and was a little more flexible than the day before or even that morning

 

Week 3, Day 3

 

On Tuesday night I packed and prepared in anticipating of going to an indoor cycling class in the morning, but when I woke up this morning and walked around for a bit, I realized I was more stiff and achy than yesterday, and that I should probably take another day off from that, and so canceled myself out of the class :P

 

I have a follow-up appointment with my chiropractor this evening, so I want to be as not-in-pain-and-inflammation as possible, so I can get cleared for more activity (oh, yeah, and so I can feel better!)

 

I'm still feeling a little more stiff at work, too -- boo -- but that could be being sedentary as well; I'll take some icing breaks and walking breaks this afternoon (especially during another phone interview)

 

But I did sign myself up for a Thursday morning spin class anyway, and will just commit to taking it relatively easy and not trying to "win" (particularly since that is only ever in my head, anyway!); but I figure if trainers are going to be at the gym Thanksgiving morning, anyway, I ought to take advantage of that :) My other plan was to run a 5K (not an official one), but I'll decide about that tomorrow

 

We got free Friday lunch at work today instead of Friday because the office will be pretty depopulated then -- I'm pretty sure I'm definitely the only person on my floor who will be here, which means I'll have a very productive day -- but of course I had my scheduled chicken and Brussels sprouts :)

 

I took some shrimp out of the freezer for dinner, to saute with some onions and peppers and eat over greens, but I will also have at least one cocktail. And chocolate. I'm still undecided about whether to pick up a bottle of wine for Thanksgiving dinner, although my inclination is: "No, I'd rather stick to interesting cocktails." 

 

Decisions, decisions. 

Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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How did you fare for the rest of the week?

 

Thanks for checking in! I love 6-week challenges: plenty of time to accommodate injuries (and other backsliding) and recovery!  ^_^ 

 

In retrospect, I fared fairly OK, actually: after taking several days off from food-logging, etc., I filled in the blanks in my challenge-tracking spreadsheet and realized that although I certainly ate/drank more than I would have intended to, it all amounted to less than what I might have formerly considered "normal".

 

(Fortunately, I was not involved in any traditional Thanksgiving-ish feasts, so it was just several conscious if questionable choices over the course of a long-ish weekend, with plenty of walking/biking/elliptical-ling to sort of offset it  ^_^)

 

But before I went out for a late lunch/early dinner of asparagus and bacon pizza with a cocktail and a glass of wine on Sunday afternoon, I did my food planning and food prep for the week and was therefore able to get back on track on Monday with my diet, and also resumed my other challenge goals (I practiced my guitar a little bit, and purged my long underwear drawer, over the weekend, but not on a daily basis)

 

My back is still a little injured, but I've been super careful about reintroducing activity (since I can't outrun my fork anyway): I resumed bike errands over the weekend and took my first spin class in more than a week, and resumed bike commuting on Monday (although I took a shorter route home on account of my headlight losing its charge; I definitely need a backup headlight). This morning, after some deliberation and a LOT of stretching, I added back kettlebell bootcamp on top of that, and was glad I did: I modified one or two things or used a slightly less heavy kettlebell -- and definitely squatted to pick things up and put them down, rather than bending from the waist! -- but nothing hurt in a bad way. (Although my legs felt VERY heavy cycling to work afterwards, and I will definitely be taking an Epsom salts bath before putting myself -- and my back -- to bed with a heating pad tonight.)

Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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Nice.

 

Looks like things are on schedule because you were able to keep doing the important pieces that made it possible to 'get back' on track diet-wise. Cool.

 

Back! Ugh! I know. I'm glad you're able to get back into some activity as I think it always feels better to be doing even a little bit to make things better. And that you're reintroducing yourself at a respectable demand and with limited weight bearing, I think you'll be just fine in no time.

 

Really happy that your back is working toward a full recovery. YAY!

Definitely keep extra headlights with you at all times! lol

22nd level Wanderer

better is right here, right now

The Way

Here's to all the 1% increases in life!

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Hmm...apparently I jinxed myself with the phrase "plenty of time to accommodate injuries (and other backsliding)"  <_<

 

But the past is the past and today is another opportunity to set myself up for an anxiety-free good night's sleep and an energized, motivated Tuesday morning!!! 

Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

Link to post

So, I ended up canceling last Tuesday morning's kettlebell class as soon as I started to get into my work early Monday morning, and that was the theme of the week: absolutely no exercise!

 

On the one hand, taking a week off isn't a bad thing per se, especially since I was still monitoring that back issue, but on the other hand, 12-13 hours a day of sitting at my desk is definitely a bad thing  :rolleyes: 

 

And of course I compounded it by eating. All. The. Food.  <_< (And wine!)

 

But on Friday evening, I walked home from work (via the chiropractor) -- about 6 miles -- and on Saturday I got my bike out for the first time in a week and a half and did about an hour or hour and a half of miscellaneous errands (a beautiful day for it!)

 

On Sunday, I had a lot of work-work to do, and am a little ashamed to recall that I was kind of hoping that my friend with whom I was scheduled to do a 5K would decide to back out, because I knew getting to the race, doing the race, etc. would eat up my whole morning. But she didn't, and although I probably shouldn't have been running, I felt OK (merely OK) after the first mile or so and didn't have any trouble completing the race. (And was actually even a little faster than the 5K I did last month.) (Also, what I was doing probably only barely qualified as "running".) More importantly, my friend, who has sometimes been demoralized by her progress/seeming lack thereof, exceeded her own expectations and felt great after the race -- and since I know she counts on me to show up and help motivate her, that felt really, really great for me. And it was a perfect day for December running, weather-wise. (And the keepsake hats are surprisingly high-quality!)

 

I worked all afternoon, but went for a 1.5 mile or so walk in the early evening, for some groceries and to stretch out my hip/IT band.

 

I also realized that my bike trip to Spain is only 15 weeks away (!) so I need to put together a slightly more structured program for that...next weekend, since this is going to be another crazy work week.

 

This week, I'm just focusing on regaining control. Exercise-wise, I took today off from bike commuting (again!) because I'm still sore from yesterday and also want to be able to stop at the grocery store on the way home, rather than going home and going back out again tonight. But I'll go to kettlebells tomorrow and will get back on schedule the rest of the week as well. Food-wise, I didn't have an opportunity to do regular food prep yesterday, but I sauteed some starting-to-get-wrinkly (because I shunned them last week for bread and cheese and whatnot) Brussels sprouts with pancetta, and will have that for lunch today instead of Au Bon Pain catering. And for breakfast, instead of my usual roasted sweet potato/sausage thing, I made the deconstructed version, i.e. "baked" a sweet potato in the microwave at the office and heated up the turkey sausage link separately. And had that with the usual microwaved kale and a couple of hard boiled eggs. (And I'm back to non-dairy coffee; even though those little creamer tubs aren't BIG, I know from experience that they make my sinuses swell up -- although the biology of it baffles me -- and I already have enough fluid in my head this week!) And I'll do some proper grocery shopping on the way home tonight. 

 

Elsewhere in my challenge, I haven't been consistent with my yoga/stretching thing, or my (planned) reading, but I've been keeping up with guitar practice and am really enjoying my class. (Which I did NOT miss last week, work be damned.) This is the last week of Guitar 1, but I signed up for Guitar 2, which starts up again in January. 

 

And although I haven't purged stuff EVERY day, I've made some progress with piles (for example, the top of the toilet tank now has nothing but a box of tissues on it, since I cleaned out the medicine cabinet above it and therefore had room to put all my stuff away) and gotten rid of some stuff. We had major rain leakage in a storage closet on Wednesday, and that actually gave me an opportunity to evaluate, eliminate and reorganize things while putting them back on Saturday morning.

 

So, I'm not going to level up this challenge, but a strong week 6 will set me up for that 14 weeks to Spain plan  ^_^ 

Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

Link to post

Definitely a good week 6.

 

We're doing a mini until next challenge if you want to pop in. Glad you are getting things in order for yourself.

 

Now get on that Bike!

 

Yep, definitely didn't level UP, but I'll take getting back ON the level (well, a level) and learning a few lessons that I'm applying to my (current) 12-week project of informing The Ghost of Me Past and the Ghost of Me Present that they are stepping aside for a little while and ceding the floor to The Ghost of Me Future, who has asserted: "Why, Yes, I AM a Person Who Rides a Bike for 6 Days in Spain, Mostly Uphill, including the Extra-Credit Options, and Does Not Need to Buy New Clothes to Do It!"

  • Like 1

Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

Link to post

Yep, definitely didn't level UP, but I'll take getting back ON the level (well, a level) and learning a few lessons that I'm applying to my (current) 12-week project of informing The Ghost of Me Past and the Ghost of Me Present that they are stepping aside for a little while and ceding the floor to The Ghost of Me Future, who has asserted: "Why, Yes, I AM a Person Who Rides a Bike for 6 Days in Spain, Mostly Uphill, including the Extra-Credit Options, and Does Not Need to Buy New Clothes to Do It!"

 

I like that Ghost! 

22nd level Wanderer

better is right here, right now

The Way

Here's to all the 1% increases in life!

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