Tuesday saw me launching out of bed at 5.20am for a 16km run. I have this amazing ability to wake up and open my eyes, look at the clock, make a split-second decision, then jump out of bed and get dressed within the space of a minute and rocket down the stairs and out the door. Go on, be jealous ;) I absolutely love the fact that I can get up that early in the morning and run that distance, enjoying the sunrise and the crisp cool air, and get home before anyone else has woken up. Even if I wake up a little tired and bleary-eyed, it's worth making myself get out of bed and go for a run - I feel so energised and happy when I get back home and the day just goes so much better. And really, how could you not love these views?
Unfortunately, it was this run that really cemented the injury in place. Before that, it was more like a niggle. Damn it. Ugh, this year has been riddled with injury. Moving on.
I printed out the entry-level Tough Mudder boot camp training workout so I could start preparing for next April's Tough Mudder - the Mudderling boot camp is a 40 minute workout incorporating exercises designed to get you prepared for the obstacles that'll be on the course, and you slowly work your way up to the 60 minute Tough Mudder workout - by which time you should, in theory, be prepared to complete the 3-4 hour course. Well I managed to complete the 40 minutes, but I nearly died in the process. I am not as fit as I was in January - I blame the aforementioned 'year of injury'. Suck. I find it odd that I can go out and run for two hours quite happily, yet a 40 minute training routine has me gasping for breath and dripping with sweat, arms like jelly and legs shaking. Tough Mudder I ain't! At least not yet, I'm not giving up that easily ;) I guess when you're running you sort of get 'in the zone', an almost meditative state with the repetitive, rhythmic forward motion of your feet and only the thoughts in your own head to distract you or motivate you onward. It really is quite relaxing. Boot camp? It's all beeps and jumping and pull ups and squats and push ups and burpees and OH MY GOD WHY THE HELL AM I DOING THIS?!?!? We're all a little crazy I suppose, in our own special way...
Let's move away from the slightly depressing subject of exercise - or lack of, for the foreseeable future, at least until this injury heals - and onto salads and oatmeal. Because y'all know how much I love my salads and oatmeal ;)
Let's go in meal order and start with the Oatmeal Trials (aka breakfast):
Cranberry almond oatmeal - mine looks a little anaemic because I used blanched almonds, but it was rather delicious
Kiwi, green apple and pistachio oatmeal - I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I didn't think I'd like it. Turns out it's actually pretty good :)
Then we have the slightly more visually appealing and always delicious fruit salad, which begins our lunch section:
Banana, strawberry, gold kiwi fruit and blueberries. Yum!!
Next up in the visually appealing/lunch department, we have this salad consisting of cos lettuce, tofu, avocado, sun dried tomato and pumpkin seeds:
I may have enjoyed this salad a little more without the sun dried tomatoes. The rest of it was awesome.
Now for dinners, and something on the compete opposite end of the scale in terms of eye candy. I've never understood the vegetarian's need to consume 'faux' meats (btw, for clarification and for the purposes of this discussion, I do not see tofu as a meat replacement). If you're not eating meat, you're not eating meat. Replacing it with meat-flavoured or meat-shaped things seems a little counter-productive. Meat replacement items on the supermarket shelves have never appealed to me - they look seriously dodgy. Having said that, I was quite intrigued with a vegan sausage recipe I found the other week. It had a perfectly palatable list of ingredients and looked dead easy to make, so I thought 'why not? I'll give it a go'. Yeah... they still look dodgy, even when they're home made:
Pretty scary, huh?
Had I not just made these myself, I would be unlikely to eat them. They look... unappealing to say the least. I mean, really. Would you eat these? But seriously, they taste amazeballs. I ate one sliced up straight after steaming (which is why there's only three in the picture instead of four), then sliced up half of another for my dinner:
Green tea soba noodles with pan-fried vegan sausage, broccoli, red onion, snow peas and tomato
Deane scoffed two when he got home (thief!!) and I had the last half in a salad today with cos lettuce, carrot, tomato and avocado. I forgot to take a picture. It was yum. I'm still not going to go out and buy seitan, TVP, quorn or vege dogs but I think I'll make my own sausages occasionally for a salad or pizza dinner. I'll know what's gone into them, much like the vege burger patties I love. Next time I might try smoky maple sausages.
Dinner for me this evening will be vege tofu stir fry (and if you happen to notice the tofu is prepared in such a way as to be 'more meat-like', yes I am aware of the irony). The boys (or probably just Deane) are having Jamaican goat curry. Urgh...