Monday, March 26, 2012

Lessons Learned-Grateful for Pain

I seem to learn life's lessons best through running and through being a parent. I'm not sure why, but that's when it seems to really hit me and really sink in. For example, my son came home sick last Tuesday. He threw up multiple times. At the end of the day he told me that he kind of liked being sick. With my jaw hanging wide open (because I can't think of much worse things than throwing up) I asked him with an incredulous, "WHY?" He told me simply that he got to lay on the couch while I rubbed his head and played with his hair and he got Gatorade and Sprite to drink. I couldn't help but laugh. Trust my little six year old to embrace the suck better than me.

Last Monday I headed out for my 5th post injury run. The 4 previous runs were euphoric and completely pain free. I was afraid to say out loud that I was back even though I wanted to scream it from the mountain tops! I got to run with my husband for one of them and I got to run with Heather again. After running 8 minutes/2 minutes of walking 3 times and even pushing the pace a bit, I felt like I was really coming back strong. Monday changed all that when I had pain after my first ten minutes. It didn't feel like it was in the same spot, but I'm still in that paranoid place where any pain is not good. I spent the rest of the day worrying about re injuring it and was pretty miserable. The next day after my son's answer I began to let go of the worry and just take it a day at a time and be grateful for what I had here and now. It reminded me of a few weeks ago after a 4 mile walk, I began to feel some pain. I worried and fretted all the rest of the day until my other ankle began to hurt in the same spot. I've never been so grateful for pain. It told me it was just soreness and not an injury. And just so you know, the two successive runs since then have been much better leaving me thinking that it was just sore muscles and tendons and ligaments that haven't been used in a while. :)

I feel like I've learned a lot of lessons these past few months. Some are pretty basic like I found out that I can do some pretty hard things and I can do them alone. Not that I'd choose to do them alone, but I CAN do it if needs be. I found that I like structure in my life and when it's taken away I don't do as well. I found out that I really like the pool. But the biggest gift I've gotten from this injury is time with my husband. It's not like we never see each other. He takes me on a date every single Friday night. Oh how I look forward to that time. But my Saturdays for the last 5 years or so have been reserved for my long runs. And without one single complaint, my husband has picked up my slack around the house. He's run multiple car pools, been the slave driver with the kids and their chores, and even done Easter eggs a time or two. The past couple of months have been so much fun with him. And without this time off, I don't really think I would have made the time to do things with him. And we've done some pretty fun things together. Climbing to the top of the mountain is high on the list but some other favorites have included several other hikes as well as snowshoeing.

My son and I also got to go snowshoeing on a day off from school.

I've really seen some beautiful scenery and enjoyed our time together more than I could have imagined. It never ceases to amaze me that my plan isn't always the best plan. And I'm going to try to remember the lessons I've learned long after I'm back to normal. If I miss a long run on a few Saturdays, it won't be the end of my training. And I might gain something even more valuable than training miles.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chia Seed Jam Recipe

If you're like me, after you read Born to Run, you went out and bought some chia seeds. I've made my own gels with them that I've used on long runs with great success and I've put them in smoothies and in yogurt but haven't really used them in much else.
Than I read about a great idea for making jam with them. One of the unique qualities of chia seeds is that they can soak up an amazing amount of liquid and form a gelatin like substance. So I tried it experimenting with my frozen berries.

I used 2 cups of frozen blueberries and

2 cups of frozen raspberries. (I used raspberries because the seeds are pretty consistent with the chia seeds and I didn't think my family would even notice the addition of healthy stuff.)

I heated them up in the microwave for 4 minutes and then mashed them all up. There is a good portion of juice in the bottom with the berry mash.

I added 1/2 cup chia seeds and

4 packets of truvia sweetener. (1 packet for each cup of berries)

Stir together and wait about 15 minutes. The chia seeds will absorb all the liquid and turn it into a jam like consistency.

Spread and enjoy!

You must let me know if you try it. Super easy, super healthy, and super delicious!
Chia seeds are called a super food for a reason. They have protein, fiber, omega 3's, and antioxidants.
Have you tried chia seeds?
Have any favorite recipes to share?