photo by Steve Penland

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thankful Post, Early Edition

I realize that it's been a bit whiny around the Long Track Life lately, so I think it's time for a Thanksgiving post, just a couple days early.

Of course, I realize that overall I'm an extremely fortunate person.  The main part of my life, the cake (if you'll allow me an un-Paleo analogy), is fabulous--think of the best cake you've ever eaten, like maybe that white Costco cake with the cream filling.  I'm always thankful for the "cake" part of my life--my wonderful family, husband, dog, friends, and job.  Even in my more whiny moments I realize how good I have it and how much I have to be thankful for.

But just this last week, I've gotten some pretty nice "icing" for my cake as well, and I think it's appropriate to give thanks for all the good things that have been happening recently.  So here, in no particular order, are some bits of icing I'm thankful for this pre-Thanksgiving week (and I hope like heck that no one brings a Costco cake to the staff lounge at work this week, or I may not be able to say "no!").

  • My intolerance of tomatoes, which appeared out of the blue last March, has left as suddenly and mysteriously as it came.  After about four months of completely abstaining from any tomato products, I gradually began trying small amounts of tomato--and I'm happy to say that I can now eat an entire serving of spaghetti or chili with no stomach pains or, um, intestinal issues.
Welcome back, my tangy and tasty--if not entirely Paleo--friends.

  • Related to the above bullet point, I have now discovered the perfect Paleo noodle substitute--Zucchini noodles, or "zoodles."  All you need is a spiral slicer and a smallish zucchini.  They taste great, and cooking them couldn't be simpler--just microwave them for a minute or so before putting the sauce on them.
Like the "product placement?"  That's a cutting board made
by my brother-in-law, who took over my dad's 
woodworking business when he retired.
  • Moving out of the kitchen, I've had some things to be thankful for in the physical department as well.  The big one is that my leg, which was extremely cranky after my fall 10 days ago, is now happier again.  It's been painful enough since the fall that I haven't been able to wear "regular" pants to work (nothing like rockin' the athletic sweats to make you feel professional), and more importantly, I haven't been able to row. This is extremely important because a) rowing is currently the only way I can really get my heart rate up, and b) I really want to do an online "Row 100,000 meters between Thanksgiving and Christmas" challenge as a way of getting into better cardio shape before I start skating again in (hopefully) January.  But as of yesterday, after some stretching and self-scar-massage, my leg is feeling much better.  I rowed 500 meters yesterday, and wore jeans for about 3 hours, both without excessive pain--so things are looking up.
  • I may have a CrossFit wheelhouse again (or, as the kids these days seem to say, a "jam").  In the past, my CrossFit strengths have been running and rowing.  Running is obviously not happening now (my farthest and fastest run recently was one-tenth of a mile at 4 mph on the Lifetime treadmill yesterday), and my rowing speed and endurance have also taken a big hit.  But now, as I say, I seem to have a new "jam,"  or at least something that I can do well enough to complete assigned amounts in WODs without scaling.  To my surprise, my newfound strength is pullups and pushups.  I've been doing them pretty much every day in addition to whatever workout I'm doing, and on Thursday I got to see the results of my work.  We had a WOD I could do at CrossFit: weighted pushups for the strength portion, and chest-to-bar pullups and split jerks for the metcon.  I had to sub push presses for the split jerks, but otherwise the movements were legless enough that I could do them.  So I did.  The coach initially wanted me to do my weighted pushups with 15 pounds instead of the prescribed 25, but I wanted to try the 25.  My goal was 30 weighted pushups, and I ended up doing 31 (much to my delight and, I think, everyone else's surprise).  The C2B pullups were supposed to be 12-9-6, and I managed to do the 12 as C2B, the 9 as strict pullups, and the last 6 as C2B.  Well, 5 of the last 6, anyway.  With 40 seconds to go to the time cap, and 6 push presses still to complete, the coach came up as I was hanging on the bar on rep 6, futilely attempting to get the last inch of vertical movement that would bring my chest to the bar.  After watching me hang there for several seconds, kicking and flailing, he said "OK, that's good" and sent me on to the push presses.  I probably would have no-repped myself on that one, but who am I to argue with a coach? :-)
Tomatoes, jeans, pullups, pushups, and rowing...I have a lot to be thankful for this week!

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