Categories
Food

On the Fifth Day of Christmas

I woke up each morning during my Christmas week in Baltimore intending to write a seasonally timed “how to stay healthy during the holidays” blog post.

I also woke up each morning during my Christmas week in Baltimore intending to snap a new album cover for Keira and my early 90s rap EP.

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Clearly only one of these panned out.

Had I actually sat down this past week and put my holiday eating thoughts on paper and/or the Internet, it probably would have gone a little something like this:

–Had I written a holiday blog post, I would have recommended you volunteer to bring at least one side dish to every holiday cocktail party, brunch or family dinner you attend. By cooking and sharing a dish of your own choosing, you can guarantee it’s fresh, healthy and not sporting a 1:1 veggie:butter ratio. At Christmas dinner, my contributions were roasted Brussels sprouts and an arugula, beet, candied pecan and goat cheese salad. Did I skip the roast beef in favor of my semi-healthier options? Hell no. Did I at least minimize damage when I went up for seconds or, let’s be honest, fourths? You betcha.

–Had I written a holiday blog post, I would have recommended you try to avoid all the holiday treats that aren’t actually seasonal. M&Ms are delicious year-round, but just because they come in red and green this time of year doesn’t make them a worthy splurge. Same goes for all the potato chips and onion dips decking the party platters this holiday season. If you’re going to indulge, save your calories for the special things you can only get this time of year, like eggnog and pie. The rest of this junk is going to taste just the same come January.

–Had I written a holiday blog post, I would have recommended you aim to exercise at least every other day, even if it’s not as long or thorough as your usual non-holiday workout. Whether it’s doing an on demand yoga video or walking the dog or chasing your cousins around the Christmas tree, aim to work up a sweat a handful of times and all the fruitcake you pile into your gullet later that day won’t feel quite so sinful. Bonus points if you can plan to meet a friend or family member to log a few miles. It lets you get in a workout and catch up during those precious few days in your home town, and that’s what Michael Scott would call win-win-win.

Of course, as you are well aware, I didn’t wrote a holiday blog post. Why, you ask? Because I was busy doing the final — and most important — thing on my list of healthy holiday behavior: I was getting caught up on sleep. That’s right: for a whole week in Maryland, I went to bed early. I slept past dawn. I shut down my computer, took naps, and used whatever waking hours I had left to catch up with family, friends and my favorite bear skin rug.

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So sorry I’m a little late with my holiday eating recommendations, but sometimes a little extra shuteye and the mental wellbeing it brings simply win out.

And hey, at least I got this out before New Years. If you watch your eating while the ball drops, the pounds won’t be far behind.

Happy holidays, everyone!

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Categories
Running Training Uncategorized

At Rest

Some experts say that following a marathon, you should rest one full day for every mile you ran, meaning 26 days of recovery.

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Others say you should rest one full day for every kilometer you ran, meaning 42 days of recovery.

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I say you should rest one full day for every dog photo you snapped at Thanksgiving the week after the marathon, meaning — let’s be honest here — I’ll be in recovery mode until Malia Obama’s in the White House.

Might as well get comfortable.

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In truth, I’d expected to be significantly more active in the nearly three weeks since I crossed that Philadelphia finish line. I thought I’d run a few easy miles that first week to shake out my legs. I imagined I’d do a 5- to 6-miler over the Thanksgiving weekend to burn off my pie gut.  I pictured myself back at yoga, back in the pool, back on the elliptical and back doing all the other glorious cross training I gave up in July to focus on my lone goal these last five months: the marathon.

Heck, I was so optimistic in my recovery, I even packed multiple pairs of running clothes for my post-Thanksgiving vacation in St. Martin.

Oh, how wrong I was. After not even looking at my athletic shoes for our entire four-day stretch in the tropics, I can assure you that said luggage space would have been much better spent on literally any other travel necessity — particularly corkscrews.

and diamond rings.
…and diamond rings.

Why haven’t I been out there getting back in the game? Plenty of reasons, really. It’s been cold. I’ve been enjoying sleeping in to 7 a.m. I’m still mentally fried after that major race. And let’s not forget that fact that since Philadelphia, my knees soooometimes feel like they aren’t in the right socket. No big deal, right, doctors?

But not running also brings its downsides. I’m more irritable, I’m not sleeping as well and I’ve been watching my weight creep up on that cruel bathroom scale. Most importantly, the identity I have come to build for myself — Anne the runner — doesn’t make all that much sense when I’m sitting around wondering if I should give the Seamless delivery guy a key so I don’t have to get off the couch every time he buzzes.

So without further ado, I hereby determine 18 days of recovery is enough for this once and future runner. I’m going to get back out there tomorrow and put a few more miles between me and the New Year. They aren’t going to be pretty, or fast, or maybe even forward, but they’re going to be miles.

And that, my friends, is the only real road to recovery.

How are you getting back into the swing of things after your fall marathon?