Requisite Review and Resolutions

Obviously  I have to do some sort of review that summarizes my entire year in like four words.  So here goes.  It will not be four words.  Hopefully it’s interesting. I shall do my resolutions tomorrow. (Nothing starts the New Year off strong like procrastination, right?)

My 2013 in review

1. I spent a lot of time running. Me?! Running?? I know, right. Here are pictures in case you don’t believe me. (I just realized I’m wearing black spandex in every picture. What does that say about me? I have no idea. I really enjoy black spandex?)

kphoto-3washingtonleepractice-engphoto-9<–(post-long-run-euphoria pic in which I look weirdly too Asian)

2. I spent a lot of time being sarcastic, in case you couldn’t tell from #1.

3. I painted my room.

4. I got dentures.*

the last photo I ever took with  my natural (albeit dead) teeth

the last photo I ever took with my natural (albeit dead) teeth. (I just got really sad while typing that) 30 min before getting them pulled. I know I look hideous and vaguely like I’m being squeezed. Don’t judge me.

Dentures #1

Denture set #1. I hated them and they broke during Driver’s Ed, which was…awkward.

Current teeth. I like them because they actually look real.

Current teeth. I like them because they actually look real.

5. I quit playing the flute.

6. I ate a shit ton of food.

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me looking orange clutching five containers of food and a bag of turkey

7. I had my first Peppermint Mocha. It did not look as nice as the one below.

peppermint_mocha

8. I went to California twice.

9. I finished tenth grade and started eleventh.

10. I learned how to use KT tape and foam rollers.

*I knocked my teeth out last year! Did I mention that? I don’t think I ever did! Anyway, I passed out on my way to school, hit the street face-first, and knocked my two front teeth out on November 7th, 2012. I then had my teeth stuck back in very painfully and crookedly by an emergency room technician who was not an orthodontist, almost got two root canals to try to bring them (the teeth) back to life, decided against the root canals, got them pulled during the spring, got a disgusting set of retainer/dentures, and finally got my current pair of good dentures.  Which I can pop out at any time and disgust/terrify/amuse/surprise people.  Add that to my bunions and you’ve got yourself a prematurely old lady. 😉  After thousands of dollars of orthodontia over the past six years, my parents were not amused.

Wow, my year was exciting. (aka wow, I did nothing of supreme importance)  The fact that I have done absolutely nothing this winter break (and just tried to put an apostrophe in the word “done”- like, don’e) does not bode well for 2014.  Oh well. Have a good New Year’s!

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Body image vs. clueless relatives

I know I posted yesterday, and usually my posts aren’t this serious, but I thought about this post during my shower (which was 20 minutes because our shower head is broken so showering takes twice as long) and decided I definitely wanted to write it.

First things first: Let me just clear something up.  Anorexia is not the same as being skinny/thin, and being skinny does not automatically mean you are anorexic.

Anorexia: a serious physical and emotional illness in which an abnormal fear of being fat leads to very poor eating habits and dangerous weight loss (Source: Merriam-Webster dictionary)
Skinniness: a physical state in which there is a lack or less-than-desirable-amount of body fat, and has nothing to do with psychological or emotional factors.

This post is directed towards some of my relatives, even though they will probably never read it.  Then again, it’s also a manner in which I release my frustration.

So, the back story is that I have a few more corpulent relatives that are by no means athletes and I have nothing in common with, other than blood.  I’m not trying to insult them based on bodily size, I’m just giving you context.  I am aware that many runners battle with body image and eating disorders, but I generally do not have these problems (and hopefully will not have them).  Another common side effect of being a competitive high school athlete is that I am…skinny! Because I am constantly exercising, I have lots of muscle but not  a lot of fat.  The thing is, I’m a healthy weight.  I’m healthy.  I eat right, I stay hydrated, I rest, I do not have a distorted body image, and I do not resort to abnormal eating habits that cause harm to my body.

Anorexia, on the other hand, is a disease, not a physical state.  It is a tragic psychological disease with an alarmingly high mortality rate, but it is not something that I struggle with.  Unfortunately, my corpulent relatives, who have never really had a healthy lifestyle like I do, don’t really understand that anorexia isn’t just the same thing as being skinny (“Aren’t anorexic people all skinny, and therefore all skinny people have got to be anorexic???” is legitimately their manner of thinking), and therefore treat me like I’m anorexic.  The even more frustrating thing is, they are also among the many who assume that anorexia and other eating disorders can be solved by handing the anorexic person food and making them eat it.  To sum the situation up, they think I have an eating disorder simply because I am a competitive high school athlete and skinny, and they infuriatingly treat eating disorders the wrong way (and I don’t even have one).

I hope this isn’t too confusing, but it’s also mostly just a rant for myself.

When I was in California two weeks ago, I interacted with these relatives for a couple of days, which was frustrating in and of itself without the constant berating of my body.  Whenever they saw me, they would immediately comment on something related to my body or food.  We went to the grocery store just after lunch, and there were platefuls of free samples.  Corpulent relative (CR) #1 goes, “You need  to try these samples. Come have some samples!” I say, “No thanks” because we had just eaten lunch and I wasn’t hungry. CR #2 says, “We need to put some meat on those bones!” and aggressively shoves two plates of food into my hands.  Why do I need to put meat on my bones?  In order to be fat like them? (I’m sorry, I know that was mean, but they are both 100+ pounds overweight) (I don’t even like most of the food on the plate).  They both then watch me until I eat it.  Situations like these make me think that their thought process is: “Oh, she’s not overweight, so that means she’s anorexic. And the way to cure anorexia is by force-feeding her.” a) I’m not anorexic. b) That is just wrong.

Whenever I came back from a workout, they would say something completely unrelated to body image or size, and then tack on “skinny” or “miss runner” or “thin” at the end as a form of address. Example: “Do you want to help make the chocolate mousse, Skinny?”  “How was your workout, Thin?” This may not seem like a big deal- it may even seem flattering- but hearing it over and over starts to wear on you and is incredibly unnecessary.  Also, it makes me feel like I’m being judged by nothing except the fact that my thighs don’t touch.  It would be like me addressing them as, “Do you want to help make the chocolate mousse, Fatty?” which obviously is disrespectful and abhorred in our society.  Why is it acceptable for them to incessantly comment on my body size, but  rude and unacceptable for me to comment on their body size? It’s a complete double standard.  If I’m not allowed to call them “fat” (not that I would anyway), they should not be allowed to continually berate me for lacking body fat because I’m an athlete.  It can be just as mentally damaging.

Thank you for dealing with this rant.  I’m sorry if you think I’m crazy and I don’t mind if you disagree with me; I just wanted to put my opinion out there.

My next post will be much more lighthearted, hopefully 🙂

Tempo-runnin’ it

Merry Day-After-Christmas! I hope everyone has had a fantabulous holiday and got a good run in 😉

Today I had a tempo run scheduled, so I decided to take advantage of my new GPS watch (!!!!) and my $30 in iTunes money (not that exciting for some people, but I had literally two songs on my iPod before Christmas so !!!!!).  I bought like 20 songs and unfortunately have over-listened to them for the past day.  Also, I learned the intro to Hall of Fame on piano so I’ve overplayed that song for two days. I need to stop. Make me stopppp.

photo-1
but I love it

Anyway, tempo run. Get back on track.  I made a new running playlist, in the process discovering I like to listen to explicit rap while running, got the “GPS GO!” approval from my watch, whom I think I will name Herbert, and off we went, Herbert and I. and my iPod. who doesn’t have a name.

SOFGPS1-BM-1

(one of Herbert’s siblings. Source: Google)

The run was great (except my shoe came untied), and it was awesome to be able to listen to music of my choosing.  I rarely (by rarely I mean never) listen to music on runs because I’m either with my teammates or…um…don’t have iTunes money, and using Pandora means you don’t have control over what songs play, so I definitely enjoyed it today.  Here is my tempo run playlist! (the rap thing…I don’t even know)

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According to Herbert, I ran 3.15 miles in 20 minutes today! 6:27 pace…I’d say that’s pretty solid.  My Christmas run yesterday was 5.49 miles in 40 minutes- can you tell I’m really liking/using the GPS feature? 😉

“GPS…GO!”

I enjoy that.

Well, I’ve got something close to twelve pounds of Christmas leftovers to polish off so I’ll get down to that.  I’ve eaten more turkey and stuffing  and apple crisp in the past day than any human has the right to.

And indoor racing begins!

I lied again. I said I would write a post yesterday and I didn’t.  I’m a terrible person.  Gosh, how I have failed.

^Why is it so hard to convey sarcasm in writing?

This past weekend was the beginning of my junior year indoor track racing season! Did I break into it easy, running one race and enjoying it?

Ha. No. Not even.

Let me explain something first.  The high school league was just reclassified for this year, so instead of districts, we now have conferences.  However, district championships will still be recognized by football and some other sports until the 2014-2015 school year, even though conference is what actually matters in terms of moving on to regionals and whatnot.

Confusing, right?

Yeah. So anyway, we had an invitational scheduled for Saturday the 21st.  Then, the athletics director threw a wrench in our lovely little plans by decreeing that we (the varsity distance girls) had to run in the “district meet” the night before the invitational. Not only that, we all had to race at least two races in order to score a billion points because we had to win because obviously winning the now-defunct district meet was important.

We got 1st in the 4×8, 1-2-3 in the 1600, 1-2-3 in the 1000, and 1-2 (with 2 girls running) in the 3200, eventually annihilating the other teams by over 90 points. So we didn’t even have to run!

Then, my coach told me that, because of the 2-athletes-per-school limit in each event, I had not, in fact, gotten onto the performance list for the invite the next day, and therefore would not be running the 3200. I was very unhappy and spent the entire night and next morning convincing myself to suck it up, other people have it a lot worse than just not being able to run in an invite. “There are starving children all over the world!” I told myself. “Puppies are being abused!  And you think you have it bad?”

11 am: I get a message from my teammate. “Alert alert you got in! You’re running the two mile!!!!”

h1EE34CB5

I frantically called another teammate who was also running the two mile and got a ride with her to the meet. Then, we had to wait for three hours because our coach had completely underestimated the amount of time each event would take- there were almost 200 kids in the 300 alone– but finally it was race time.

I was seeded at my teammate’s time (she had scratched because of injury, which is the reason I was allowed to run).  What nobody in the race besides my other teammate and I knew, though, was that my PR is 30 seconds slower than her PR, so I should not, in fact, have been seeded 4th out of 52 girls.  Maybe more like 12th.


Moments before the race: “oh shit”

Everyone went out incredibly fast, which screwed up my race plan (go out “conservatively”, come back with a strong second mile and pass people). I started out practically in last place, but ended up passing almost half the field to finish eighth in my heat (tenth overall)!  I was happy because, running on tired legs, I was only three seconds off my (kind of crappy) PR from outdoor!  Now I’m really excited for the rest of indoor season (of course, we don’t race that much, so I have maybe two more chances to run the two mile?)

Workout on Vacation

I’m a blog post behind on where I want to be, so I guess I’ll do the post I meant to write last week today and the one I meant to write today tomorrow.

Today’s post will feature weights’n’running from last Saturday and Sunday while I was in California.

Saturday: I went the fitness center at 5:30 am in order to take my mind off the fact that breakfast didn’t start until 7 😉 (I was starving because I was on east coast time).  The fitness center was pretty nice- it had two treadmills, two recumbent bikes, (a broken elliptical), some complicated unidentified tricep machine, a full rack of dumbbells, and a rack of medicine balls.  I decided to focus on my arms because I was planning on going for a run later. Here was my arm workout:

2 x [10x bicep curls, 10x front arm lift]; 2x [10x shoulder raise, 10x rotating shoulder raise]; 2x [10x bent-over one-arm lift, 10x side-to-side with one dumbbell]

I used 10 lb dumbbells for everything except the last two exercises, in which I used one 20 lb dumbbell.

I also did medicine ball squat jumps in a square (jump left, jump backwards, jump right, jump forwards) and vice versa.  I’m terrible at those because I always lose my balance and fall over.  Then I did a 5 min easy jog on the treadmill for no particular reason.  Afterwards, my brother and I did 6-minute abs. (We’re having a contest to see who has better abs; I’m winning)

Working out in the hotel fitness center in the wee hours of the morning... not posed at all ;)

Working out in the hotel fitness center in the wee hours of the morning… not posed at all 😉

That afternoon, I did a 50-minute “exploration” run (meaning I made up the route as I went along because I had no idea where I was going)

Sunday: My workout was 8x600m…by myself.  How fun.  I couldn’t get to a track, so I did my workout around a park.  It worked out well because it turned out that one loop on the sidewalk around the park was exactly 600 meters!  It was also 75 degrees…a nice change from the normal 30 back home.

So that’s my traveling workout recap. 🙂

The park where I did my workout

The park where I did my workout

Travelin’ tips

I feel a little guilty writing this post because it’s about healthiness and I just ate half a pound of cookie dough and brownie batter. Now I feel crappy. (Learn from my mistakes) Anyway.

My family and I went to California this past weekend (traveling across the country for a two-day stay- tell me how that makes sense), and I have some tips and tricks to have a successful, healthy trip.

who doesn't love a good selfie with an airplane

Here’s a just-for-shits’n’giggles airport selfie with my lil bro. He likes to wear rubber bands around his neck. (See the airplane in the back?)

#1: Drink lots of water on the plane!  People have a tendency to skimp on water while flying because they either don’t want to have to get up and use the bathroom, or they forget that they’re thirsty.  Also, it’s always awkward when you have to wake up the complete stranger next to you and ask them to move now because I’m going to pee my pants in five seconds.  Anyway, don’t skimp on water! Staying hydrated is important.

#2: Wear compression socks on the plane.  This helps prevent deep vein thrombosis (swelling and blood clots). I packed some snazzy white calf sleeves and sported them under yoga pants.  Yay for comfort 🙂

#3: Pack your own food! The night before an airplane ride, my mom always orders a pizza or subs for a quick, easy, unhealthy airplane meal the next day.  This time, she ordered sausage pizza.  Nope! Sorry, not for me.  To avoid ingesting this fatty, cheesy, greasy mess, I made myself a nice little wrap.  Whole wheat tortilla, chicken breast, low fat Italian dressing, cherry tomatoes, and spinach.

My delicious wrap- better and 100x more nutritious than pizza!!

My delicious wrap- better and 100x more nutritious than pizza!! (it was more appetizing than the photo looks)

It was sooo good.  Much better than sausage pizza.  I also packed oranges, a banana, and some semi-sweet chocolate chips. Girl’s gotta indulge somehow 😉  My tip for you is, if you pack yummy, healthy food, you can avoid ingesting the unhealthy crap that comes with traveling.

#4: Get up and walk around every once in awhile.  Staying in a cramped seat with no leg room for 5+ hours is not my idea of a good time.  I try to get my blood flowing and muscles working, even just by walking up and down the aisle a couple times throughout the flight. (This is easiest if you’re sitting in the aisle seat, obviously).

Our flight was relatively painless, although there was a weird-looking man who chewed through an entire pack of gum before we even took off sitting across from me. Oh, well. Can’t have everything.

I’m really looking forward to my next post because I think workout posts are more exciting than this kinda thing. (You should read it anyway, of course)

Lunch Love

I love lunch. Who doesn’t love lunch? It’s definitely in my top three for meal choices.

^That was me trying to be funny. Could you tell?

So anyway! I’m going to talk about the pros and cons more pros of packing your own lunch versus buying your lunch. I’ll also show you what I had for lunch today because obviously people care about that sort of thing and don’t have more important things to worry about.

First of all, when you buy lunch from (I’m going to say school because I’m still in high school) school, you don’t know what you’re eating.  In my three years in high school, I have gotten the “hot lunch” a grand total of one time. That was freshman year, and I had forgotten my lunch that day. I got a delicious (not), organic (hell no), real chicken (nope): chicken patty sandwich!!

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I say that you don’t know what you’re eating because honestly, tell me what is in that chicken patty.  Obviously the bun is a generic, definitely-not-whole-wheat, frozen-and-then-toasted bun, but biting into that chicken patty is like biting into artificially flavored slimy rubber.  (It’s been two years and I still remember) I will bet you my almond butter that the patty is nowhere close to 100% chicken.

And it’s perfectly circular. So uniform that it kind of freaks me out. Another sign that what you hear is not what you are actually eating.

Sometimes I see the hot lunch, or I hear what’s for lunch on the announcements, and I just think, “That doesn’t look or sound like food. How can people put that into their bodies???” My school has “Meatless Mondays” where they serve I don’t even know what- fake tofu?- and other days they serve fried cheese sticks and globs of fake maraconi and cheese. This is ‘Murica! Ketchup is a vegetable!

Enough with the sarcasm.

My mom made my lunch for ten years, but this year she told me to suck it up, I’m sixteen and I have to make my own lunch.  The first couple weeks of the school year were rough, but now making my lunch every morning is actually fun.  I pack pretty good stuff in my lunch (usually), and I always get really excited for the school day when I know that I have a delicious, healthy, colorful lunch awaiting me.

Time to dissect my lunch box! Today wasn’t uber-healthy by any means, but it certainly wasn’t close to whatever the hot lunch was.

(I apologize for the crappy photo quality. My iPod isn’t the greatest picture-taker, especially in school light.)

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For lunch today, I had spaghetti with homemade meat sauce. (The meat was completely organic- I actually went with my dad to pick up the quarter of the cow that he ordered from a butcher!) I love citrus, so I have an orange, grapefruit, or some clementines in my lunch almost every day.  I also had a big container filled with red pepper, baby carrots, and celery (the photo isn’t to scale, so you can’t tell how big the container was).  I brought some low-fat hummus to dip my colorful veggies in, along with a lower-fat Quaker chocolate-chunk chewy bar to snack on during last period, which is when I always get hungry again. #fastmetabolismproblems

So that’s my lunch! 128489178 times healthier than a fake-chicken patty that has traveled from who-knows-where or macaroni and cheese that doesn’t look like food.

Today’s lesson: Pack your own lunch! 🙂

Inspiration/kick in the pants

I had an amazing 49-minute run yesterday and probably ran about 6.5 miles. It was cold and windy, and my legs were kind of numb so I couldn’t really feel how fast I was going.  Which was fast. Whenever I run by myself, I’ve noticed that I tend to go really (almost too) fast.  My weekend run is supposed to be long and easy, but because we’ve only been running for a week or two since our break after cross states, our coach has been having us do weekday runs that are a little shorter than normal (35-45 minutes). So I decided to do 50 minutes yesterday. I have this problem mindset where if I’m running alone, I always have to be the fastest runner on the trail. I don’t mean for this to happen, it just happens.  It started last year when I noticed I was going much faster than most of the community people jogging at 2 in the afternoon on a Saturday. So now, I have to be. Unless it’s an elite marathoner or something. Then, I feel justified in letting them pass me 😉

Anyway, it’s snowing right now (first snow of the ((school)) year!) and I was feeling very polar bear/hybernation-y and lazy. I decided to give myself a kick in the butt and feel re-motivated again.  Naturally, I turned to my all-time favorite inspirational running video:

This is the greatest video ever. It’s not Nike official or anything, just done by some random person who was watching the 2012 trials. But the music and the footage are so compatible! And so inspirational!  Now I’m in the mood to go for like a 2-hour run which a) I’m definitely not supposed to do and b) I’m pretty sure I’m not physically capable of doing at any acceptable pace.

Now let’s hope this “snow” keeps up so I don’t have to go to school tomorrow. I have a crap-ton of Spanish reading to do.

Is it snow or is it rain? It's slush! (Yuck)

Is it snow or is it rain? It’s slush! (Yuck)

Post-Thanksgiving ab attack

I, probably like many others, gorged myself on Thanksgiving. This led to the disappearance of my hard-earned almost-six pack. Whoops. Thankfully, I have a plan to get back to post-Thanksgiving tummy shape. My plan is to do the following ab workout, or a variation of it, at least 5 times a week. There’s something so soothing about nightly ab work as my routine 🙂

Post-Thanksgiving ab attack!

Do the following exercises in any order you want, each for 30 seconds with no rest in between:

Sit-ups or crossover crunches (left, center, right, repeat)

Push-throughs (like sit-ups, you just push your hands like an arrow between your legs)

Side-to-sides (lie on your back, hands by your sides. Lean forward about three inches off the ground and move side to side. This works your upper abs and obliques!)

Russian twists

Bicycles

Front plank

Right side plank

Left side plank

Toe touches (lie on your back, legs straight in the air. Push up and try to shoot your hands past your toes while keeping your legs straight)

Scissors

(I took this one from Runner’s World) Ins and outs: (upper and lower abs) Lie on your back, hands at your sides or under your buttocks. Move through the following four positions: (1) legs extended and 6 inches off the ground; (2) legs bent and pulled toward the chest; (3) legs extended up to the ceiling; (4) legs bent and pulled toward the chest again.

Finish up with some seal stretching, the child’s pose, yoga, whatever. Make sure to stretch out well.

And there you have it! The post-Thanksgiving ab attack that will help get rid of any pumpkin pie pooches and turkey tummies!