New blog feature: Chocolate-Covered Song of the Day.
Nothing to do with food, but it has to do with another one of my loves—music. The idea for the second new blog feature came about thanks to an email I received from a blog reader (thanks, Allison, for letting me share your email on my blog). Her email:
I read your blog every day and I love it. But I thought I’d send you an email because I have about a million questions for you. Sorry in advance for so many questions! I know you said you are a runner. I’m really trying to get into it, because I know it’s good for me, but I get so bored! Is it just because I’m new to it and it’ll get more fun? Do you like running, or is it a “chore” you hate doing but do anyway? And do you run every day? I especially get bored on the treadmill. Do you always run outside or do you ever use the treadmill and if you do how do you make treadmill workouts fun? I’d be really interested to know what kinds of songs you listen to on your ipod if you use one. What songs are good motivators that keep you wanting to run? Thanks so much, and keep up with the blogging.
My response: Hey Allison, Thanks so much for reading my blog, and don’t worry at all about asking too many questions! I love getting emails with lots of questions (actually, I just love getting emails, period).
I wish I could guarantee that running will someday become as fun for you as it is for me, but I know a lot of people have given it a fair shot and still say running isn’t for them. So I guess it’s just a personal thing. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to like running to be healthy! There are so many other ways to get exercise, and if you decide you really can’t stomach running, there’s always yoga, walking, biking, tennis, and on and on. But I’m thinking that, no matter what, as you get more in shape, it’ll get easier and you won’t feel like you’re dying on every run. I’ll tell you how I started out, in case you want to start out that way too, but it’s definitely not the only way to build your fitness level (and I’m nowhere near an expert, so it might not even be the best way; it’s just what worked for me). When I first wanted to start running again (I ran in high school, but stopped for a while—long story, on which I’ll expound later in this email), I started out by just walking the whole time. Then, after a few weeks, I would run for four minutes, walk for two, and repeat that cycle for the duration of the time I exercised. Gradually, the running intervals got longer and longer, until suddenly I found myself not needing to take walking breaks at all. Don’t expect this to happen overnight… or even after a few weeks; building up fitness takes time.
Running is actually something I look forward to doing—I doubt I’d have been able to stick with it if it felt like a chore, because I’m really bad with chores (just ask my mom about my aversion to doing laundry). It’s a really great time to get my thoughts in order. And I have a wild imagination, so I love to pretend I’m on an adventure when I run. Especially when running outside, I imagine that the houses I pass are castles, or caves, or mountains… it all depends on what adventure I’m on that day. (You’re probably thinking I’m totally insane…)
Actually, treadmill-running doesn’t have to be so bad (and now you’ll think I’m even more insane. Maybe I should’ve stopped this email long ago). I like running outside in most conditions—cold, hot, windy, etc. But not rain (nor ice). I feel healthy and good about myself when I’m surrounded by people who are also being healthy at the gym. Plus, the atmosphere is so competitively charged; it’s an adrenaline rush to be running next to a fit-looking man and see that: Hey, I’m actually going faster than that guy! (Of course, there’s no hope for me in the weight room; my 10lb dumbbells will never match up to the behemoth things that others lift.) And even though there aren’t any houses to pass, you can still work your imagination whilst running on a treadmill. To all of you who have ever run on a treadmill beside me: I am sorry to inform you that you have probably been transformed into Bugs Bunny, Elvis, a giant broccoli stalk, etc. in my imagination at some point.
Honestly? I hate treadmill-running, despite all of this. The gym might be fun, but the actual act of running on a machine? I’d just rather be outside!
No, I don’t run every day– I run about 5 days per week. Although I miss it on the days I take off, I know it’s important to give one’s body time to recover; I can’t expect my body to go go go all the time without giving it rest. When I first got into running, in high school, I didn’t give my body proper recovery time.
If you’re interested, I briefly touch on what happened when I did too much exercise sans rest.
The #1 thing I like about running: There’s only one criterion for being part of the group—that you put one leg in front of the other and run. Exclusive groups are no fun; they can make you feel really bad about yourself. But to be called a “runner” you don’t need an expensive gym membership or a fancy pair of sneakers, and there’s no requirement as to how many miles you need to run per week or how many marathons you need to finish. On to the fun part (not that me turning people into Bugs Bunny wasn’t fun…).
I don’t always bring my ipod with me when I run, because sometimes it’s nice to be alone with one’s thoughts. At other times, though, it’s nice to rock out to fun music. I seriously doubt you want me to tell you every single song on my running playlist, but you’ve given me an idea: In some of my future blog posts, I’ll list a “song of the day” that really motivated me on the particular day. Starting with…
Chocolate-Covered Song of the Day
Break My Stride
(Ace of Base)
.Gotta start with one that relates to running. And now I’ll send the question out into the blogosphere (because, just like Allison, I’d love to know what songs get people pumped up). Anyone else have some good power songs to recommend?
Chocolate-Covered Meal of the Day
Today, I bring you lunch (on some snazzy new plates).
From the left, we have a sweet organic orange and a Rudi’s English muffin. The right plate boasts baked tofu (marinated in soy sauce), tomato soup, and broiled purple cabbage with garlic. I just recently discovered the amazingness that is broiling veggies, and now I’m obsessed!
My next post is about chocolate…