With this running hiatus that has been forced upon me, I need to be more careful with my eating. This makes me even more thankful for my weekly box full of organic goodies. Today I want to share two dishes I created for lunch today. One came from the box, and one I share because I love it so much. If you have never eaten rapini (also know as broccoli rabe), you are in for a treat. It has a more bitter taste than broccoli, but when paired with creamy textures, it has a perfect balance. Today I made one of my favorite vegetarian sandwiches. I steam the rapini, pat it dry, then spray it with olive oil and sprinkle on some red pepper flakes. I serve it on soft sourdough bread with a spread of lite mayo and a slice of soft cheese like havarti or muenster. I also made a refreshing endive, grapefruit, and avocado salad. The recipe is included below in the slide show.
I have to warn you that this week I am not in a good place. I get in funks, and I am in a huge hole right now and finding it hard to get out. If you were hoping for an uplifting entry this week, log off now and come back next week. I have to get this off my chest, because my frustration and anger at being injured and so far off my training is pulling me down into a funk.
I listened to my body this week, although it was not really a choice. I couldn't have run if I had tried. My muscles all around my knee were so seized up that it was even difficult to walk around at work let alone exercise. So, instead I got plenty of sleep in hopes of healing quickly. I iced, I stretched, and hoped that this weekend, if I was good, I could get back at it. I knew that I couldn't think of going right back to the crazy number of miles I had built up to in the last month, but I was hoping to get back out there pain-free.
This morning I got up early to beat the heat. My amazing running team was there to support me, but my leg was not. I didn't even get to the bottom of my street before I realized there was no way I could even run one mile, let alone the five I was hoping to conquer. This is the point where I lost it. Running makes me happier than I can even explain in words. As I drove around town today all I could see were runners--single runners, groups of runners, fast runners, slow runners, they appeared to be everywhere I looked, and I wanted to be out there with them. The more runners I encountered, the deeper my sadness grew. I know it doesn't seem reasonable, but I find my sense of reason has become like a petulant child with fingers firmly placed in her ears refusing to listen. "La, la, la, la...I am not listening!"
I know it has only been a week, but what you need to understand is that running doesn't just make me happy, it keeps me sane. While I absolutely love my job, it can be very stressful at times. Add that to the responsibilities of being a mother, a wife, and everything else in life that takes time and patience, and I need an outlet to let off that stress and energy, and running does that and more for me.
Running also allows me to eat the food I love, and without the ability to get out there and burn calories, I need to be much more careful than even my usual healthy eating. I have the worst metabolism ever, and only running seems to give me that calorie boost I need. I like biking, I like swimming, but I don't seem to get the same endorphins, calorie burn, or happiness that I get when I am out running the streets with my buddies.
And speaking of my running buddies, not only are they amazing running partners, but I consider our early morning treks around Murrieta a form of therapy. I can share my frustrations, my stresses, and my triumphs with them. I run ideas by them and ask for their suggestions. If I have a decision to make, our long runs allow me time to share my options and to get some advice. Can you see why I am freaking out a bit about my hiatus from running?
Add to that the fact that in just over two months I am hoping to run my first ultra marathon. If this injury persists much longer there is a chance I won't be ready to run the 50 let alone the 100-miler. In my head I know this is just a stupid injury. It is not cancer. It is not the loss of a loved one. It is not a permanent problem, but I cannot get my heart to a sensible place. I am reminding myself constantly that this is not the end of the world, but all I get back is, "La, la, la, la...I am not listening!" Hoping that the reasonable side of me will take over soon--that or a miraculous healing of this knee so I can get back out there to my happy place.