After all the excitement last weekend with the invading hordes for the birthday party, this Saturday felt downright quiet. Make no mistake, it was still busy and exhausting, but not on the same level as last weekend. I didn’t need wine to survive or to crawl up the stairs to bed at the end of the night.
After Cecilia’s “official” birthday on Thursday, we still had some birthday business to attend to, plus with Easter today and a First Communion next weekend, there was plenty on the to-do list. But we started, where else…on the couch….with some Full House. This episode involved a pig for some reason.
Some thrillers, a science fiction mystery, a non-fiction memoir about a botanist and a business how-to book (in-progress). Not a bad haul for my March reading. Lab Girl was the true stand out and if you are into sci-fi, I might recommend Six Wakes, but none of the thrillers really rose to the level of recommendation. The hunt continues….keep reading people…..
Twenty years ago I could lace up my shoes and get out for a run without any serious repercussions. There was no thought of nutrition, no warm up. There wasn’t much thought beyond, “Let’s go for run.”
Those days are long over. Today, I rarely roll out of bed without some ache or pain nagging at me to notice it. Some of those aches are just age, but when the chorus gets too loud, I know I’ve probably been neglecting my pre- and post-run routines.
This past week was one of those occasionally strange weeks that I’m learning to live with as part of having this condition. I’m still not totally sure what threw me off kilter, but I did. Elevated resting heart rate. Some extra fatigue. Fantastic stomach ache for a few days. I just took some extra meds, waited it out and tried to be patient. The body knows what it needs and is pretty good at getting back in balance if you give it time and space ….Some notes on the rest of the week.
This was not a normal Saturday. Not when there is an 8th birthday party planned. You could feel the energy and anticipation crackling in the air before the sun was even up. Or Dad, for that matter.
Cecilia’s real birthday is not until next week, as she will most certainly remind you, but yesterday was the party. It was an emoji pajama party at the house, replete with an emoji-themed craft and a movie (Sing). Plus, ice cream cake, pizza and all the natural energy that a house full of 7 and 8 year old girls bring. Thank god, we have a basement that was able to contain most of it.
Before the afternoon party however, there was breakfast, party planning, party cleaning, party errands, party prep and another birthday party to attend. But we still started as we always do…..Full House re-runs and some couch time.
I wasn’t planning on posting, or even finding, two back pocket recipes so soon, but this recipe is so good and so easy that we’ve made it twice within a week. I’m struggling to think of anything beyond a slightly soggy bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or a steaming bowl of 69-cent high-sodium ramen that is as easy or as quick to get on the table for a week night dinner.
Pasta and beans is not something we traditionally throw together here in America often, but you will see it all the time in Sicily. It really did remind me of sitting on the family’s farm (Michelle’s father immigrated from Sicily) and eating the bowl of pasta and green cauliflower they served for lunch. That’s still a taste memory that I can call up almost at will. Never mind the great pizza we had in Rome or the fish by the coast, it’s that bowl of pasta that something still sticks in my mind (and taste buds).
One other thing occurred to both of us as we each polished off seconds for the second time in a week. These also taste like adult Spaghetti O’s. In a very good and elegant way. There’s something about that rich tomato paste sauce, oil and pasta that must have been hard-wired into our brains as latch-key children of the 80s.
Triathlon training is about balance. You need to prepare and train for 3 very different disciplines and there are only so many hours in the day. But it gets worse because to really succeed and give your best effort and avoid injuries there is a fourth discipline you need to consider: strength training.
Strength training is where I struggle most whether it’s in a training block for a triathlon or a marathon or something else. It just seems like it’s the first thing to fall off the plan when things get squeezed. This is doubly true during the season. I’ve found some success using HIIT sessions that combine cardio and weights during the off-season, but I still struggle to maintain a regular strength session within a training block.