Rebuilding (not Base Building) Update

Hello again from my current mileage of roughly 0. I have a physical therapy appointment for an evaluation in April but have seen progress from doing many of my 2019-injury exercises at home and in our building’s gym. I ran Friday the 5th when the temperatures reached into the 60’s and felt amazing. The breeze in my hair! Tank top! So hopefully I get this weak left hip under control and can in fact eye a 5K or 10K this spring/summer then maybe something longer in the fall. I also want to hike more and do more trail running; all the things I listed in my 2021 goals post. I ran again on the 20th as part of an Asian anti-violence solidarity run with some teammates in the city and hit 4 miles. Seems promising?

What else am I doing, if not running? Still on my weekly RowHouse class as well as Sunday morning Zoom Yoga for Runners most weeks. Our gym got two new spin bikes; they’re sadly Echelon Connect and not Peloton, but they’ll do.

My main hobby (other than reading and attempting to watch Oscar and Golden Globe nominated new films) is of course cooking and baking. I have a catch-all Google Sheet for meal planning, but have over the last year added additional sheets to list out my cookbook collection (currently hovering around 65, half digital), pantry/fridge/freezer inventory (which was indispensable at the height of spring 2020 quarantine), new recipes I’ve tried the past year, and my current cookbook project. I’m trying to cook my way through A Common Table, the book from blogger Cynthia of Two Red Bowls. I bought it in 2019 and had already tried about 6 of the recipes but am turning it into a project this year. I’m up to two dozen recipes and use the spreadsheet to better plan it all out.

Made a bunch of potstickers for Lunar New Year

I’m also in a Cookbook Club (as well as two regular book clubs) and while we can no longer meet in person safely, we’re having Zoom meetings. I sadly missed the meeting for Jubilee, which I’ve had for over a year but still haven’t cooked anything from. Up next is Plenty by Yottam Ottolenghi. He’s famous for super long ingredient lists but incredibly well executed food. I checked out his book Simple from the library (but didn’t make anything) then bought his newest, Flavor, late last year. Still haven’t made anything from that. So some of my purposeful organizing is to get myself to cook from my growing collection. The area where I am weakest about all this is actually taking photos of my food. This used to be a thing I would do more regularly (remember all my beautiful food-centric posts from 2019?), but the light situation in our apartment (and the last one) is lacking. And I don’t quite have the commitment to do this with enough regularity to actually get a handheld light for this.

Eating at Ottolenghi’s London restaurant NOPI in 2014

I also signed up for SnackCrate, which ships a box of international snacks to your door from a different country each month. I got the Germany box first, which is mostly chocolate-based. Also doing a snack exchange with folks in other countries (Netherlands first) plus always trying new stuff from Target and H Mart.

German snack crate
Target has so many special/limited edition Oreo flavors

May, June, and July Eats and Outdoors

My running volume fell off a cliff due to increases in both workload and heat/humidity and I subsequently decided not to do a June virtual race 5K since I would be off from PR pace. I mostly have been running and walking to Central Park and Morningside Park and have gotten into identifying flowers and other plants with the Seek by iNaturalist app (and also asking my horticulturist friend).

Baking hasn’t happened in the hotter weather but I am pleased with the bread and sweets I made prior to real summer.

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No Knead Loaf with Charred Scallion Butter

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Murray’s Cheese Birthday Gift from Friends – prosciutto, burrata, and olives

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Highbridge Park; the pedestrian/bike only bridge goes from Manhattan to the Bronx

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Rosé outside at Wolffer Estate Vineyard (Hamptons day trip to see Gabby outside)

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Hydrangeas are my fave after tulip/rose/peony season

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Not the Yayoi Kusama infinity room we were supposed to attend, but it’ll do

April Running – The Month That Wasn’t

So after running my highest mileage ever in March (such consistency), my running totally fell off the rails in April. (Remote) work ramped up, the weather sucked, and my desire to get out of the apartment with a facial covering on and avoid people was not there. It gave me some time to think about why I just like the act of running and not necessarily the ‘training’ for a race or trying to hit a PR. In all likelihood, I might try to train for a virtual race PR in June for the 5K (or the mile), but it also felt good to have less pressure on myself to follow a strict training plan when I was also working longer hours than usual (though without a commute) and dogsitting over the weekends. Things have let up a bit in May, that’s for sure, so I’m getting back outside and running a tick more mileage. Some weeks are only 2-3 runs and others are 5, but none are very long anymore.

I have spent so much of my mental energy and brief time outside on the acquisition of food, then cooking and baking said food at home. I’ve kept up with my Meal Planning spreadsheet and added a tab to better capture what we actually have in the pantry, freezer, and fridge (also using the Out of Milk app for grocery list and knowing how much we have of certain ingredients).

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I also did a thorough listing and categorization of all my cookbooks since most are hardcover but some are on my Kindle and were sort of out of sight, out of mind. This is absolutely my idea of fun.

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Like everyone else, I’ve been feeding my sourdough starter and re-growing my scallions. We’ve been taking on somewhat more complicated cooking projects because we now have time on weekdays and weeknights for things like double-frying Korean Fried Chicken, brining pork chops, marinating skirt steaks, and letting cookie dough chill in the fridge. Do I miss paying $14 for a grain bowl at Naya and eating at my desk in midtown? Sometimes. Mainly I miss the coworker camaraderie that came with it. We’ve been getting takeout of local places to help support them and avoid Seamless and their fees (and always tipping a lot).

Food photo overdrive below. Starting to wish I had a better camera, lighting, and dishes for this kind of thing.

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Fruity Pebbles pudding cookies

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9″x9″ tray of Banana pudding that I ate almost entirely myself over 3 days

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Korean fried chicken in soy ginger garlic sauce

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Bon Appetit’s shrimp scampi over linguine and broccolini

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Sourdough discard pizza crust with sausage and fresh mozzerella from Faicco’s Pork Store

The Off-Season; Month 1

I read a quote on instagram that “the off-season is key for a good on-season” and have been thinking about it a lot. I’ve been focusing on recovery from the marathon first and foremost in the past 3+ weeks, but am slowly picking up the mileage again. I signed up for a race (NYRR’s Ted Corbitt 15K on December 8th) because I think I can nab a PR (last year I got off to a slow start) and might use it to see how I feel about an early spring half marathon. Otherwise, I have no races on the docket until Broad Street Run and Brooklyn Half in May. I toyed with the thought of a spring full marathon, but am already less into that idea and would like to have a solid half training cycle injury-free.

Central Park on my way to pacing a friend at the NYRR 60K

I took my Classpass off of hold and now will try to do a mix of indoor cardio, lifting, and yoga classes. So far, post-marathon, I took tantra yoga, treadmill intervals and a strength for runners class at Mile High Run Club, and a Barry’s Bootcamp Arms & Abs class for my friend’s birthday.

Post-Barry’s Flexin’

Other than the occasional running, I’ve been cooking and baking and eating a lot! I went to an All You Can eat Korean BBQ spot with my boyfriend, then we hit up an AYCE seafood and sushi buffet only a few days later. I made a lot of dishes for Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving: sweet potato casserole, miso butter kale, ciabatta stuffing, cornbread stuffing, Brie en croute and have been eating the leftovers ever since. I made some ooey gooey butter cake for a work potluck but haven’t been baking that much otherwise.

Poutine and deviled eggs at Jacob’s Pickles

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Plate #2 of many at Port of Call Seafood Buffet in Hackensack

Friday’s Friendsgiving with two ducks and many sides

Thursday’s Thanksgiving with goose

Mileage: 4 miles, 15 miles, 16.3 miles.