Currently February 2016: Hiking

Currently… {February 2016}

How has your week been? Let’s catch up!

One of my struggles with blogging is striking the balance between providing valuable information while also putting a face (my face) to my brand. I will always be an introvert, so it’s easy for me to hide behind words and research; it’s not always easy for me to show glimpses into my own life. 

Current read:

As I mentioned on Tuesday, I’m reading Matt Fitzgerald’sHow Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle. Fitzgerald is one of my favorite running authors (his The New Rules of Marathon and Half Marathon Nutrition is my go-to resource on sports nutrition), and so far I’m enjoying reading about his book. Since it’s tricky to do scientific studies on how the human brain responds to the suffering of racing, most of the book focuses around narrative lessons from some of the most mentally resilient runners of our time. 

Ryan and I fascinated with all things English history after our trip to London, which prompted our purchase of two books:The English and Their History by Robert Tombs and The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England. I’m unapologetically a history nerd (my master’s degree concentrated on medieval history). 

Currently February 2016: Reading

Current drink:

Ginger beer. Alcoholic ginger beer has become trendy in the beer world recently, so Ryan and I have been eagerly purchasing Crabbie’s Ginger Beer and Not Your Father’s Ginger Beer now that we can find them in stores. That’s a ginger beer hiding the corner of the photo above. Ginger beer reminds me as almost a hybrid between champagne (which makes sense, since it uses champagne yeast) and an easy IPA: light, fragrant, refreshing, and with just a hint of spice. 

Current indulgence:

I love the smell of Aveda products, the lasting haircuts, and the luxury treatment Aveda salons and finally decided it was time to indulge in a nice hair cut. The salon offered a deal for a deep conditioning treatment, cut, and style, which I couldn’t resist for the price. 

Currently nerding out over:

In addition to English history, SEO. If you’re not already reading the Nectar Collective, you should start by reading her post on 13 Ways to Drive Traffic to Old Posts. At the end of last year, I began to go back and re-SEO some of my older posts (particularly my Are You a Long Distance or Short Distance Runner? and Half Marathon Recovery posts) with more pinnable images, better keywords, and more links and headings. 

Current purchase: 

Ryan and I purchased Kahtoola MICROspikes for winter hiking after his Yaktraks broke (Yaktraks are great for running, not for mountain hikes). The tiny little spikes scare me a bit, but they are so effective for hiking through the snow. They have amazing traction but I barely feel them on my feet! We tested them out on our short hike to Franklin Falls.

I also bought a new raincoat, after my 8 year old North Face reached the end of its life and left my down vest drenched on our hike last weekend. We found a Marmot Women’s Precip Jacket on sale at REI, and I was sold after how comfortable it was, the cute colors, and reviews that raved about its protection against rain and how well it works for running as well as hiking. 

Currently February 2016: Purchasing

Currently pondering:

What to give up for Lent. Giving something up for Lent is hard, but that’s the whole purpose of it. I suggested to Ryan that we give up weeknight TV shows and spend that time being more productive. Then I read an article that recommended using Lent to switch your shopping habits to purchase fair trade chocolate and coffee, rather than giving up one of those. The sacrifice is that you spend extra money, which is a challenge for a frugal person like myself, but then you are helping support people and economies in poorer areas of the world as well. Maybe we’ll do both!

I could never give up coffee, because, to draw inspiration from this sign Ryan snapped a photo of in London, coffee is a warm, delicious alternative to being crabby all day long.

Currently February 2016: Coffee

Current food:

Butter chicken (Suzy, you’ll love this!), with homemade whole wheat naan if I’m feeling extra carby. I’ve made this recipe twice since we arrived home from London, and substituting in coconut milk for the cream and adding fenugreek along with the garam masala. It’s so freaking good that you all should go make it right now (it works great as a vegetarian dish with chickpeas!). 

Current workout:

As I write this (Wednesday), I just completed one of the hardest workouts of my half marathon training yet. After a 2 mile warm up, I ran 4 miles at goal marathon pace, recovered for one half of a mile, ran 4 miles at goal half marathon, and cooled down to reach 11 miles. This workout was challenging, and the last 4 miles felt similar to the last 4 miles of a half marathon, but I hit my paces and really enjoyed this workout. I have a few progressions of this workout (no recovery time next week, followed by 2 x 4 miles at half marathon pace the week after that) coming up to sharpen me and instill race pace before the Lake Sammamish Half. 

Currently February 2016: Running

Currently anticipating:

The Olympic Marathon Trials. I may have completely gotten the date wrong for the Superbowl in last week’s black bean acorn squash chili post (you don’t come to this blog to read about football, and if you do, you’re probably reading the wrong blog), but I have the trials marked on my calendar: February 13. I just need to figure out how to watch it now!

Currently daydreaming:

About another snowy, serene, and scenic winter hike. Is it Saturday yet?

Currently February 2016: Hiking

Current aspiration:

I sent in a pitch to a big magazine/website earlier this week, and on a confidence buzz stumbled upon the contributor guidelines for one of my favorite magazines/websites right now, The Atlantic. I’m a dreamer when I set goals (four years ago: I want  to do grad work at Notre Dame! Now: I want to run a BQ marathon!), so you can naturally guess what long-term goal I now have. 

Current state of mind:

Gratitude. The comments on yesterday’s post and all of the link love that several of you share on your own blogs just overwhelm me with an astounding sense of both accomplishment and gratitude. Providing value for others matters more to me that any other aspect of a career, and to know that I may actually be doing that both humbles and inspires me. 

Current link love:
The Curse of Being a Beginner Freelance Writer: some of you mentioned an interested in starting to freelance write in the comments on my January goals post, and this article will help you navigate the scary world of freelance writing without settling for low pay, content mills, and compromising of your style and integrity.
Finding Balance Between Our Diets and Workouts: Meredith and I did a Q&A on her blog (first in a series) on what runners, especially female runners, should know about making sure they eat enough to support their running and overall health. 
Do You Focus on the Details or the Big Picture? I’m a both-and. Details are important, but obsessing over minutia can get in the way of the bigger goal. 

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. 

So tell me: what are you up to currently? 
What’s your current favorite meal?
What books are you reading right now?
What are you nerding out over?

 

 

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37 Responses

  1. I want to try ginger beer! It sounds really good based on the way you described it. Also, I saw the article you shared on Facebook about buying fair trade coffee and chocolate and I think thats a great idea! I have also struggled with what to give up for lent, so doing that could be an option.

    1. You should definitely try it! Not all of the grocery stores seem to have it but we consistently find it at bigger beer/wine stores. I loved the idea of the article! I think I’m going to do that, because it’s kind of like giving something up (budgeting/money) but it does a lot more greater good that just me being grumpy that I can’t have something. It’d be a great option for you as well I bet! 🙂

  2. I haven’t been reading enough! Once I finish a great book, I struggle to get into another one. I like to read light hearted novels as change of pace from everything else I read all day online. I need to go to the library! Thanks for sharing the link to our post – and for helping me!

    1. I totally get that post-good-book slump also! Novels are tricky to find because it seems like so many new ones are not lighthearted, but hopefully you can find some good ones at the library! 🙂

  3. HOOOOORAAAAYYYYY for Crabbies!! It is the best. THE BEST. I did a lot of reading about the British royal family at the end of the Victorian era, as well as during the earlier 20th century. Fascinating people!

  4. That recipe sounds really delicious but a little intimidating! Is it pretty easy to make? Its great to read about what is going on currently for you! I’ve been loving different kinds of chili this time of year (like every year). I hope you get good news about your submission!

    1. It’s actually really easy to make! Caramelizing the onions takes a bit of time, but then the rest comes together quickly. I sometimes make the chicken ahead as well to save time. And thank you!

  5. You KNOW butter chicken is a direct link to my heart. YUMMO.

    I do not relate at all whatsoever to your love of history.

    I forgot about Aveda products. There’s an anti-humectant (sp? something like that?) pomade that I used to use that smells RIDIC. I gotta go find some now.

    1. History is people’s stories, which is why it fascinates me. My dad loves history also, so think growing up watching the history channel fostered a young love for history. And Aveda products seriously smell the best. Go treat yourself to some!

  6. Ginger beer sounds most excellent. Ha, no one noticed about the Super Bowl date ;). I’m really excited for the trials as well. I have a couple of friends running that I cannot wait to stalk.

  7. thanks for linking up with us girl!
    i LOVE butter chicken, but like you mentioned, i mostly eat it with chickpeas when i make it at home. when i go out, i eat it with chicken. seriously, i could eat it every.single.day. love that sauce!

  8. Hi from the linkup! I’m reading How Bad Do You Want It right now too! I didn’t know if it would be all that relatable for me (since I knew going into it that the stories were from elite athletes and I am…well, not), but I’ve been really pleasantly surprised. I’m only about halfway through and I don’t feel like anything I’ve read has been super groundbreaking, but I’ve been struggling mentally a lot lately and just having some of that info in the back of my mind has really helped!
    I also really appreciate your sharing about ginger beer….I saw it in the store the other day but my husband wasn’t interested, so we passed. But I love IPAs and can dig champagne so I am definitely down to try anything that tastes like a hybrid of the two!
    That sounds like a killer workout. Good luck with your half marathon! Looking forward to hearing more about it! 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading! I think aspects of training such as mental training, having a coach, or focusing on hydration and fueling aren’t just for elites – they’re for all runners! And thank you so much – my half is in early March so it’s coming soon! And you should definitely try the beer – and it’s nice to meet another IPA lover!

  9. I will never understand people who give up coffee voluntarily.

    My favorite meal right now is…*drum roll* soft tacos! I know, so basic, but I had to stop eating gluten a couple of years ago, and it took me this long to finally start appreciating corn tortillas. Mmm. I fill ’em with beans (with lots of spices), kale, sauteed red onion & pepper, guacamole and lots of salsa, and it’s so simple and hearty and tasty.

    1. At home we drink it on it’s own, but a few years ago I remember having a cocktail that was ginger beer, tequila, and lime (maybe something else, I can’t recall) that was incredible! I think How Sweet Eats has a ginger beer margarita recipe.
      And welcome to Seattle! My husband and I moved to the Eastside from Indiana just about 9 months ago. Where did you move from?

        1. Oh yay for Midwest transplants! My husband and I were just over the border from Chicago in Valparaiso, Indiana! The winters are soooo much better out here – and if you ever miss snow it’s there in mountains.

          1. Such a small world, I went to college at Valpo and some of my good friends are from there 🙂 I definitely don’t miss the snow but we did go snowshoeing and it was SO PRETTY!

  10. Love this post! I just finished up reading “Do Your Om Thing” and if you’re into learning more about how to make a connection with yoga in this crazy modern world you should check it out! It was really good, and actually served as a self-help book of sorts because it showed that everything we need is right inside of us and gave tips and exercises based on what we want to work on/get out of yoga. I’ve noticed a difference in my yoga practice after reading it!

    1. That’s awesome that the book helped your yoga practice so much! Is that the one authored by the woman who does the Runner’s World yoga videos? I haven’t done yoga in so long but her videos were always my favorite!

    1. I agree – I want to buy them, but frugality often wins for me as well. Lent is a great time then to make that change. And thank you so much – I sure hope I am prepared!

  11. I was a loyal Aveda customer for years! but as I’ve gotten older my hair’s needs have changed. If that is even a thing. I have to color every 4 weeks, and finally had to switch to Pureology which is made for colored hair. It softens the frizz, and altho I miss the Aveda scent, it sure is nice to have smooth hair.

    Nice to see this personal side of you!

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