When you decide to do something slightly crazy.
Like attempt to lose 20 pounds while writing a food blog.
Or train to run 13.1 miles. In a row. In the middle of winter. When it is 20 degrees outside.
Or actually run 13.1 miles. In a row. On a race course that is dotted with Disney characters and photo opportunities and everything that makes you inner five year old want to scream and shout and dance to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" at 5 AM while she's waiting in her corral, ever so patiently, for the race to begin.
Or then decide to forgo showering or sleep in favor of doing it all again the next morning and running another 7 miles with a friend who, because running a full marathon in one weekend isn't enough, has decided to do both the half and the full. Over the course of two days. (And for that matter, if anyone ever needs advice on how to jump into a marathon, ask away. The key - keep running and don't look back at the sheriff who may or may not be approximately ten feet away).
If any and all of these sound appealing to you, then let me tell you. You had better have a good support group ready and waiting to bolster you when your calves are just about ready to stage a mutiny.
Or when you really want to eat that monster chocolate chip cookie (or any and every other dessert offered in your Walt Disney World resort's buffet line).
Or when you are convinced that training for a half marathon has somehow managed to give you a stress fracture. In your pinky.
Or when you just need someone to tell you that they are proud of you. That your efforts have not gone unnoticed. That, even though it is hard right now, it will all be worth it. And you will get there. That finish line it's just a few steps away.
As you may or may not have guessed, our theme this week for Eat.Live.Be. is support communities. Who are they? What are they? Where are they? That kind of thing.
It's really hard to make any kind of lifestyle change when there's no one there to kick you back into gear when you go astray. Or when you doubt that anything will ever be different. And one of the single most important factors in whether or not you will succeed in achieving your goals is whether or not you have people standing behind you, ready and willing to hold you up when you feel like you can't take another step in the right direction.
So who are the people that I turn to in a time of need? (Which, for me, occurs approximately daily.) First and foremost are my friends and my brother. They understand my neuroses. They listen to me when I walk into their rooms in a state of utter despair, certain that I'll never have working calves again or that I'll never fit into my skinny jeans. And they talk me down. They remind me how to be positive when I can't seem to see past all of the doubt and pessimism that I've shrouded myself in. Their faith in me gives me faith in myself. Which is awesome.
Then, there are my fellow Team in Training-ers. These are the people who motivate me to get up at 6 AM on a Saturday morning so that I can be ready to run by 8. Who run next to me, mile after mile. Who ask about my calves and muscles and every other ache and pain in my life, both physically and emotionally. And are willing to slow down or speed up as needed. Planning to work out with a group or even with a good friend is great because you can push each other. So that when one person doesn't really feel like going to the gym or lacing up those shoes for a run, the other person can say, "Yes, but think of how great we'll feel when we're done." Having someone like that in your life - priceless.
And then there's you guys. The blogging community. You guys supported me so much this weekend with your comments and your tweets. Each one of which pushed me one step further. So thank you for that. I needed it.
Sharing your dreams and goals with the world via your blog may seem scary. You may feel like you're standing naked in front of a whole auditorium full of people. You may want to run in a corner and hide. But knowing that there is a whole cohort of people out there from all corners of the globe, who are rooting for you. It just feels so good.
Is there anyone else you guys turn to for support? If you would like to join in on this week's Eat.Live.Be., then write a post about it and link up here!
Next week's topic is going to be on how to stay inspired to work out even with subzero temps outside. A topic on which I have quite a lot to say. So stay tuned and consider joining in!
And here are a list of the other bloggers participating if you want to check out their posts today!
- Sarah Caron - www.sarahscucinabella.com
- Cate O’Malley - www.sweetnicks.com
- Maris Callahan - www.ingoodtasteblog.net
- Chris Arpante - www.melecotte.com
- Faith - www.clickblogappetit.com/
- Kristen - www.dineanddish.net
- Emily - http://andersonfamilycrew.blogspot.com/
- Jenna - FireMom - http://stopdropandblog.com/
- Joanne - http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/
- Casey - http://www.thestarnesfam.com
- Patsy - www.friendsfamilyandfood.blogspot.com
- Tri-Fit Mom - http://trifitmom.blogspot.com/
- Claire from Cooking is Medicine. http://cookiedoc.blogspot.com/
- Allison from http://sweetflours.blogspot.com/.
- Jen from NJ Epicurean. http://www.njepicurean.blogspot.com/
Weekly Weigh-In: -1.6 pounds!
Of course, when you're about to run 13.1 miles, you can't just depend on the people around you to get you through. You need to eat well, too! Most people associate running marathons and half marathons with carb-loading. Pasta, bread, etcetera. But it's important to remember that whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables can get the job done just as well. This Moroccan chickpea barley salad is what I ate on the plane the day before the half marathon to try to build up my glycogen stores. It is filled with good, whole grain carbs and tons of dietary fiber with over 100% of your recommended daily fiber requirements in one serving. Nutritional all-star? I'd like to think so. And I pretty much rocked the half without feeling even an ounce of fatigue. On three hours of sleep. Like I said. All-star status salad. Right here.
Oh, and with all of my favorite spices and the almighty chickpea, which I am slightly obsessed with at the moment, in case you couldn't tell. It was pretty damn delicious, too. All-star status. Times two.
Moroccan Chickpea Barley Salad
Serves 4 as a main, 6-8 as a side, adapted from Simply Recipes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups barley
1 1/2 cups veggie broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas or 1 cup raw chickpeas soaked, drained and cooked
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts
1 cup dried apricots, diced
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup chopped parsley
zest and juice of a lemon
1 recipe Ras el Hanout spice mix (below)
salt to taste
Ras el Hanout
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot on medium high heat. Add the barley and saute, constantly stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Add the broth, water, and a tsp of salt. Cover, bring to a boil and then lower eat, simmering until barley is tender, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
2. Strain the cooked barley through a colander or sieve, if necessary.
3. Spray the barley with a bit of olive oil cooking spray or toss with a tbsp of olive oil to prevent sticking. Put in a large bowl. Add the chickpeas, bell pepper, pistachios, apricots, scallions, and parsley and mix well. Add the juice and zest of a lemon and mix well. Sprinkle the ras el hanout spice mixture over the barley and mix well. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve warm or let marinate for an hour to cool.
NOTE - This was a bit spicy so if you're sensitive to heat, then you might want to decrease the cayenne a bit.
I am submitting this to Souper Sundays hosted over at Kahakai Kitchen and the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop!