a lazy day

I am not the type of person to lay back and take a rest. I like to make my days as productive as they can be. I always have something to work on and finish, and there seems to never be enough time in a day. I give myself 9 hours of sleep a night (yes, I realize this is high compared to most people. It’s what I know I need, so I get that but no more. If I could function off of 6 hours, that is what I would allow myself). I always set an alarm for the morning. I hate sleeping in. I wake up an hour and a half before I need to leave for work every morning just so I can make the most of my mornings instead of rushing off to work. I do not take naps. I do not sit in front of the TV. I like to be productive, and I like to be efficient. I hate doing nothing.

Point in case- I was on the phone with a friend the other day. In this phone conversation we were just catching up, talking about normal day-to-day goings ons. Before hanging up, she said to me “You should take a nap before getting to your to-do list for the day.” Hah- she knew me so well that she just figured I had a list of things to accomplish for the day. And she was right. So perhaps I am like this to a fault.

That to say, I woke up this morning, after 10 1/2 hours of sleeping and waking up at the late hour of 9am (unheard of), sat on my computer for a few minutes, and promptly moved from my bed to the chair in front of the TV. What?! I then watched an hour and a half of The Office season 8 (it will never be as good as when Steve Carell was on it), and then made myself french toast for a late brunch. Double what?! My normal routine is to wake up and get dressed. Then make an egg sandwich almost immediately. Breakfast is Important! And sugar should not exist with breakfast! And pajama days do not happen for me! Well, my friends, I didn’t bother changing or putting in my contacts until 2pm. I ventured outside at that point to walk to the store and back. I changed back into my pajamas upon my return. I sat back in front of the television. I ate chocolate ice cream. I ate chocolate candy. I watched way too much of The Office. I talked to five different people on the phone. I accomplished next to nothing today.

Around 6pm I realized I couldn’t do this for the rest of the day (which, for me, lasts only until 10pm or so. I love early bedtimes.) What could I do to feel like I accomplished something of worth today? I could cook something for dinner that looked and tasted amazing!

I recently cancelled my CSA subscription due to all the transitions in my life at the moment. But the other day I made some falafels from scratch (Yum! First attempt, and they were so good!) and had fresh parsley left over. I also bought some cherry tomatoes at Whole Foods recently because they were on sale. I had on hand some feta packed in brine. I had sunflower oil and lemon juice. I had half a box of pasta. I had a variety of dried seasonings. So I got to work.

At 6:45 I sat back down in front of the television (seriously, what?!), but this time with a large plate of goodness.

Wheat pasta shells, cherry tomatoes (halved for texture purposes), feta, fresh parsley, sunflower oil, a hint of lemon juice, dried oregano, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and a dash of garlic powder. All organic. I just cooked the pasta and added everything in once the hot pasta was on the plate.

 

I suppose my day was productive after all. At least I’ll keep telling myself that.

What do your lazy days look like? What do your productive days look like? What else would taste good with this dish?

 

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to run, and watch The Office

Well, March 18th has come and gone. It is 4 days later, and as I run around chasing after the kids I nanny, I can hardly even feel a hint of reminder in my legs that I did in fact run 26.2 miles on Sunday. Quite a few people have already told me that this is what happens when you are 24 years old, and if I were, say, 30 or 40, I’d still be hurting. I’ll consider myself lucky and consider doing it again next year.  Yes, the experience was that great.

I was never actually “hurting” after the race, though I couldn’t walk very easily for the six hours from the finish line to my bed and a glorious 11 hours worth of sleep. I limped along all afternoon as my left knee refused to bend naturally and the rest of my legs wondered why I was still trying to stand up.

I finished 26.2 miles in a whopping 6 hours 7 minutes and 18 seconds. A far cry from the 12.5 minute miles I would have loved to maintain (my pace ended up being 14 minutes and a few odd seconds), but hey — I finished!! Rounding the corner of the last mile to see the Pacific Ocean to the right of me and listening to the Sigur Ros song “Hoppipolla” was hardly short of epic. I may have shed a few tears. And then some more once I crossed the finish line and made a few phone calls. And then some more once I met up with the rest of the Love Without Boundaries team and we all relished in our success and subsequent happiness.

We did it- we raised money for Love Without Boundaries. We ran to raise money for kids who need medical attention, and money got raised. And the beauty of it all is that just because the race is over, the money doesn’t need to stop coming in.

So here I leave my final request in written form for some more sponsors for the beautiful kids over in China who have no family and cannot speak for themselves. I claim myself as one of the voices for these kids, and I ask you once more, if you have seen all my requests on here and Facebook and the like over these past few months and haven’t yet considered donating to Love Without Boundaries, that perhaps today you will? The page to donate on my behalf is still up here (and on the side of this blog) if you’d like to do it that way (these funds will specifically go to benefit Heath and his multiple surgeries), or you can check out the Love Without Boundaries website and find many other reasons to donate.

Here I am after the finish line. Medal in hand, blanket to keep me warm, and my spiffy Love Without Boundaries shirt telling the world why I ran. Thanks for all the donations!

*** *** *** ***

Jeremy and I celebrated the marathon day by watching the season 4 premiere of The Office (a day later, actually, but that’s of no consequence). This episode, first aired in September 2007, is called “Fun Run,” and it is when Michael makes everyone in the office run a 5k for a charity he made up while feeling bad about hitting one of his employees with his car earlier that morning. I found it enjoyable and extra comical to watch after having run my race the day before, and found myself laughing at all the events in the show that I could parallel with my own life at this time-

Carbo loading: Michael eats an entire plate of fettuccine alfredo just minutes before he attempts his 5k. He feels sick to his stomach not too far into the race, and I can’t imagine how hard it would be to run on a full stomach of pasta. Carbo loading for me involved eating a meal with pasta (alongside many varieties of vegetables), once a day for a few days leading up to the race. I also got rid of all cheese and most other dairy from my diet for the weekend of the race (and wine- no need to get anywhere near dehydrated before running a marathon). A plate of fettuccine alfredo is a BAD idea before a run. Nice try, Michael.

Water stations: Michael claims solidarity and refuses to drink any water while he’s attempting his 5k. He ends up in the hospital for dehydration as a result. My experience with the water stations? I walked through every one of them and had at least one cup of water at every mile. The odd miles also had an energy/hydration drink, and I took one of those every time I saw one as well (after doing research before the race to be sure it was not filled with bad ingredients, naturally).

Raising money for a charity: With Meredith in the hospital with a fractured pelvis due to being hit by Michael’s car, he is then overjoyed to find out later that as a result of her hospital visit, Meredith is given a precautionary rabies shot as many animal bite incidents are brought to light. Michael immediately takes credit for “curing” Meredith of rabies and decides that the office will host the 5k to raise money for rabies. An oversized check gets made out to “Science,” and is ceremonially given to a “nurse” who is there on an hourly rate. Michael asks the stripper nurse to be sure the check gets put in the right hands, and the race begins. Thankfully, in my experience I was raising money for an actual cause, and all the donations went straight to Love Without Boundaries. No big checks, no stripper nurses, no ceremony- the money was only spent on the kids.

That basically sums everything up for now. If only races did not cost so much money, I’d be running the Hollywood Half Marathon on April 7th. Until next time, thanks for reading these wandering thoughts of running and the other.