When Good Habits Come Home To Roost

Or, when your virtuous ways come back to bite you in the ass.

I have the WORST sugar hangover today.  It was so awful that when I got home from a party yesterday afternoon, I gulped two glasses of water, flopped on the couch, and fell asleep at 8:30 pm.  With the curtains open for freaky neighbors to see me splatted on the couch if they so wished.  And with no AC in 85F heat.  And the Mets game on, and loud, on the TV–hello, the maligned Mets were on and I didn’t even care to kick up a fuss?  You know that’s nearly a sign of the apocalypse.

I don’t think it was just the sugar.  With two parties in two days, it’s been a social weekend around here, and great fun, and more activity than my old-lady self can handle these days.

The good:

  • Two parties in one weekend (make me feel 22 again)
  • A chance to wear two cool dresses for more than just myself, the husband, and the dog–who am I to object to dressing-up opportunities?
  • As worn at the Valsayn fete in March--wore it same way but forgot to take a picture

Dress by moi, shoes from Trincity Mall

  • Showcasing makeup skills (ok, not really–just showcasing red lipstick one night)
  • Catching up with friends
  • Meeting new people
  • Munchies galore by people who make it their business to do munchies in style, unlike sloppy-hosting-moi
  • Wine, beer, etcetera–cabernet from a bottle or shiraz from a box? Carib or Stag beer?  Ooooh, the choices…

The bad and the ugly:

  • Exhausted from two parties in one weekend=I’m definitely not 22 anymore
  • Dying of heat in two dresses, and now needing to handwash two dresses full of mosquito repellent, beer drips, and pastry crumbs
  • Probably talked way too much to friends because I’ve been cooped up lately–not a pretty sight
  • Definitely forgetting the names of new people
  • Munchie malaise–eating almost enough to make up a meal, but not quite, and at odd times, which makes me feel like I’ve been steamrolled (especially when sugar is involved)
  • Feeling like an alcohol sponge

Who am I and why do I want to keel over after eating pastries and cake all afternoon?  How can two glasses of wine put me right to sleep?  Is this what a [mostly]cake-and-Coke-free existence does to people?

I know, I know.  “Well, Miss Thing,”  I can hear you saying, “it’s not like anyone MADE you eat that piece of cake.”  Yes and no.  At a large gathering, you can turn things down.  At a smaller one, where you’re all sitting in a circle and plates of food are handed to you, it’s not so easy.  Also, there’s a whole cultural imperative at work here in Trinidad when it comes to these things–you just don’t say no.  It’s quite a rude thing to do.  So you enjoy the piece of cake (because come on, it’s a Trinidad-made cake and bound to be delicious beyond your cakiest dreams) and hope not to suffer a slow, sugary death later on.

There is an upside to last night’s and today’s bout of sugar ick.  In my prehistoric times, back when I could eat 33 pieces of sushi in one sitting (yes, true story), I would have eaten that cake and still felt a bit off (way less off than I do now).  But I would have still had four pieces of French toast with syrup this morning.

Instead, I almost yakked at the sight of a mango, couldn’t finish my one-teaspoon-of-sugar coffee, and resorted to a very savory sada roti to sop up the sugar.  I also felt regret (not guilt, mind) at not having been able to run this morning after looking forward to a new playlist all weekend and vowed to make up for it with a killer run tomorrow.

Rather than be annoyed at the way my weekend gluttony paid off, I should be grateful that it happened.  It’s a sign that I’ve got the healthy habits down pat.  It’s slightly reassuring that, even if I wanted to lapse back into three-pieces-of-cake behavior, my body would not be down with that–and would definitely tell me so.

So the lesson here?  You CAN get used to life without copious amounts of cake/wine/late nights.  You might even like it.  And let’s hope you do, because there’s no going back.

Not without a mean sugar hangover, anyway.

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I felt green all day, but wore blue instead  (and kept to my resolution of wearing one Laura-made item per day until Q-Day, or quit day, this Friday):

Dress by moi, shoes by Target, rain by early rainy season

And, in the spirit of eating as few ingredients as possible and making those ingredients good and wholesome (and because I can ALWAYS stomach Chinese food), I made a stir-fry of sesame garlic green beans and thin spaghetti for dinner tonight:

A dinner that green makes me feel decidedly less so–funny, isn’t it?  Relieving, at least.

Gotta go–a particularly terrible Law and Order is on and I MUST watch.  It’s part of the sugar-hangover solution, I swear.

Earning My (Running) Stripes

I think I’ve crossed the ultimate aspiring running geek hurdle:  getting a good run in before X (insert good thing or event).  Sure, I can drag my rear out of bed when I know I’ll have a vexacious or hellacious day and know I’ll need the adrenaline to keep me from tantrums or bad behavior, but I’ve really become attached to those runs that mark good events, milestones, or occasions.

Proof:  I kicked off my birthday two months ago with a great morning run to set the morning runs into gear, I had an amazing final pre-carnival run that confirmed my endurance for the dancing and debauchery that came after, and this morning, I set off on my longest-ever run to get a good glow (and sense of virtue) before setting off for Puerto Rico tomorrow.

I was so excited about the run that I spent all day yesterday plotting a playlist (that came halfway through, no thanks to itunes–y’all know how I despise itunes) and obsessing, and I barely slept because I kept waking up and thinking I shouldn’t be taking sleeping breaks while running.  Utterly ridiculous, I know.

This morning, I woke up to less coldiness than yesterday and jumped out of bed to run.  Everything had been set up, right down to plugged-in Nike+ and headphones.  No problems, no excuses!  Off I went to whomp it.

And whomp it I did!  I was so focused on the new playlist and keeping an even pace that I was shocked when NikePlusLady informed me that I was at the mile point, and absolutely ecstatic when the two-mile point came and went.

At mile three, I still felt great (none of the usual nausea, probably because I wasn’t running for time and therefore speeding) and when I saw two squashed frogs and the morning chickens on their walk, I took both as good signs.  I didn’t need more than a quick thirty-second walk break and, despite the fact that the soles of my feet started feeling a little put-upon, I felt absolutely fine.  I was distracted by the sights of the extra mile loop:

  • plenty of sneaky illegal hose usage on the extra mile loop (water shortage, people?  Worst dry season on record? Bet you’ll regret it when you’re washing with juice and baby wipes in May)
  • a group of about fifteen Chinese construction workers clearly living in the house they have been building and which is half built (no doubt about it–they were showering under pipes in the back of the house and performing all other morning ablutions)
  • a kid playing with his very scary-looking dog–with the gate open, eek
  • a man in a full-length overalls and big headscarf getup–in the morning’s already-sweltering 85 F!–mowing the lawn while ostensibly on the telephone

So distracted, in fact, that when the 400 meter mark came up, I was shocked–and I kept going right to the end, at which point there may have been some loud excited expletive-yelling from me as I jumped up and down in excitement.  I was so good that Lance Armstrong congratulated me.  Really!  I felt like I’d crossed a very important line between being able to run a 5k runner and being a distance runner, a significant indicator that yes indeed, I really am a runner.

And, with March 1 having been my official “observed” runniversary and four races in four months, I think it was about time I realized it, I think.

Final stats:  4.03 miles, 40:38, 10:05 pace.  Combined with my trip to Puerto Rico tomorrow and the realization that baseball season is less than a month away, I am unbearably giddy as can be.

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Worn today, the last work outfit until March 15 and a recent favorite combo:

Charity shop shirt, Puerto Rico Marshalls skirt, Target boutique shoes, self-made smirk

Shirt detail--pardon the bad ironing job

As for the eating of champions, hunger got the best of me at breakfast and at lunch and there are no pictures of yet another bowl of banana oatmeal or of the reheated African sweet potato and vegetable peanut stew.  At least I remembered to snap before chomping at dinner-time:

Green bean, bok choy, garlic and sesame pasta

I’m off to finish packing!  Posting may be a bit sporadic for the next week but worry not–I’ll bring you as much Puerto Rico fun as I possibly can in between family gabfests, competitive eating, and lots of exploring.