Sunday, February 14, 2010

Eleven Miles

My baking experiments last night turned out fantastic. The raw chocolate chip cookies were AMAZING, and the chocolate puddle cookies were a success, success measured in how the boy reacted, his words being 'I think these are my new favorite chocolate cookies, I want to take them to work so I can brag about them.' I unfortunately undercooked one pan, so when I removed them from the parchment paper they turned into a goopy mess, but the boy promised he'd still eat them, and there are about another eight cookies that turned out fantastic.

So I thought I had to work from 11:45-8:00pm today, so I figured I'd get up early and pound out eleven miles before 10:30am so I had enough time to sit around, shower, and eat. So I got up at about 7:30 made two pieces of Irish soda bread toast with almond butter, raw honey, and some raisins, and drank a pretty good amount of water while browsing the Internet and waiting for food to settle. I had one mocha flavored cliff shot before leaving and packed a strawberry flavored run where that 6.5 mile point where I always, always hit a wall, and left the house.

It was cloudy and gray when I left the house, but as I ran it started to clear. I ran by the hockey rink, where they were setting up for the games going on later today (UBC's Thunderbird Hockey rink is hosting a ton of the Olympic preliminary hockey games so they have a whole set-up over there...), and then around the back of campus as the clouds began to lift up and clear, by the time I was running my last loop back up Chancellor blvd (eleven miles takes two loops, one seven mile one, one four mile one around UBC campus). The sky had cleared, the mountains were coming out and it was all shaping up to be one of those absolutely stunning Vancouver days. It's true, Vancouver gets a lot of rain, so much rain that most of the population spends December, January, and February suffering from various degrees of SADS (seasonal affective depressive disorder), no really. I know I do. After three weeks of rain I'm generally in a pretty crappy mood. But, the upside of Vancouver's rain is that when the sun comes out, not only am I reminded of how absolutely beautiful this city is (see current Olympic broadcasts for footage of what a sunny day in Vancouver looks like - AMAZING), but the entire city comes out and you can see on everyone's faces just how happy they are. I know I personally am suddenly filled with absolutely inexplicable joy as the sky turns blue and I am reminded of how painfully gorgeous this city truly is.

When I finished my run, and hit the stop button on my Garmin, I stopped for a moment and threw my head back sucking in air and smiling staring up at the sky just unbelievably happy. It was one of those moments that reminded me of why I run, why I slog through eight, nine, ten, miles in the pouring rain, or why I deal with those painful days where I spend an hour arguing with myself and forcing myself not to stop. Today was just plain wonderful.

I stopped at Starbucks on my way home and grabbed a frappucino for the boy and a grande iced unsweetened green tea for myself, which I pretty much chugged by the time I made it across the street to my apartment. Then I made myself the green monster smoothie I had been fantasizing about for the last five miles of my run: 1 cup vanilla almond milk, a handful and a half of spinach, about a half a cup of strawberries, a whole banana that I split into a few chunks so my blender would have an easier time of it (we have a pretty good Cuisinart blender that was a Christmas gift a few years ago, but breaking stuff up as much as possible before it goes in tends to be a good idea, I've found), a scoop of protein powder (muscle repair yay!), and some flax to get some omega-3s going on. I then blended it and more or less inhaled it.

My manager also called me about halfway through my run to inform me that I could have the day off, apparently we've been slower than expected. So that was certainly exciting. I'm pretty sure the plan is to sit around, watch the rest of last week's biggest loser (yes I'm addicted, don't judge me), maybe bake some carrot cake cupcakes (I found a recipe I'm pretty much dying to try, will post the link if they turn out) if I decide I have the energy, and watch the pairs short program in anticipation of tomorrow night's long programs which I AM GOING TO! So so so excited to be going to an Olympic event. Let's face it, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

In other exciting news, my half marathon is a week away and my dad and brother come in on Friday night (they're coming to see my race, which I'm super excited about). It is going to be a busy week, but hopefully a super good one.

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