Last week wasn't good, and this week hasn't started out much better. Last week, we were dog-sitting, which introduced an added layer of stress onto everyone's lives. The visiting dog didn't know "the rules," which made everything — walks, meals, potty breaks — sort of a struggle. "The rules" include "not fighting with raccoons" — a rule that Poppy violated this morning, tussling with a mama raccoon. (Fortunately, neither were hurt.) But still. It's not how I wanted kick off my Monday.

I was excited last week to mark the one year anniversary of my lifting at Bay Strength — starting to lift was definitely one of the best decisions I've made. But after an invigorating deadlift session on Tuesday and then a quick 5K, I realized that I'd hurt my heel/achilles/ankle somehow. It's my first running injury (I guess it's a running injury), and I must say, I am devastated. All of my activities — walking, yoga, lifting, running — are keeping me sane right now, and to have that in peril makes me incredibly anxious. Running in particular is something that really resets my brain, and so everything feels really off-kilter and precarious knowing I shouldn't run. I do see my physical therapist / running coach on Wednesday, and I won't run until I've talked to her. (I ran Wednesday of last week which was stupid; then by Sunday I felt better and did my long run — also dumb. My ankle was pretty sore yesterday afternoon and is still tender this morning.) I'll swim instead of run to maintain my cardiovascular fitness. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy swimming! That said, it's nothing like running mentally. I just did 52 lengths in our apartment's pool, and it was fine, but I'd rather run a 5K — I can't believe I'm typing that. Who have I become?!

What's frustrating, in part, is that I'm doing everything I can to stay healthy. I do my PT exercises every day. I increase my running mileage very slowly. I eat a lot, and I've upped my protein consumption. And yet, my body has decided it's going to upend this illusion of stability and progress. I'm glad I'm not training for my half marathon yet — I do have a 5K race in September that I want to be able to run, but I'm not as attached to that goal as I am the HM. I can back off and not jeopardize that Bay Bridge run in May. But it's hard to back off when you feel like you have momentum going in a direction you want to go.

It's also hard to admit, I think, that what I've constructed with my various physical activities are elaborate coping mechanisms and once those are not working, I'm faced with the reality of not coping. I'm faced with dealing with the pain and grief and anxiety that I have managed to run a bit ahead of, if you will. I don't feel good about any of that.

So what is good?

Beyoncé's new album is very, very good.

We finished listening to the audiobook version of The 1619 Project, and it was also very, very good.

I also had some triumphs in the kitchen this week: I made a gazpacho with sweet corn, cucumbers, and peaches from the CSA (the recipe thanks to Natalie Cooks, a really great meal-prep blog I subscribe to). Natalie is an assistant to Elyse Kopecky (who is partially responsible, I should say, for getting me into running), and I make a batch of her "superhero" muffins — from Rise and Run or her other cookbooks — every weekend. This weekend, I added crystalized ginger to a batch, along with peaches from the CSA. Needless to say "crystallized ginger" is going on the shopping list and will be a regular feature in my morning muffins — one of which I eat pre-workout and one I eat post-. I made creamy cashew udon noodles with crispy mushrooms (a recipe from the amazing Hetty McKinnon), and I love how superior cashew cream is to cow cream. I am trying to eat less meat and dairy, but it's hard to hit my protein goals. Also meat is so good. I made Xi'an-style braised lamb ro jia mao from Milk Bread and Mooncakes last night for dinner, and it was killer (The header image is the "mo" that the lamb went inside). There's, like, half a portion left of lamb that someone will be lucky to grab for lunch today. (It won't be me.)

Kin and I have to eat lunch early — okay, truth be told, I just ate some gazpacho even though it's not yet 10am so I'm not sure if it counts as breakfast or an early lunch — as we are heading to pick up the RV trailer at noon. We have a two-hour long orientation and then will park it until Thursday, when we head out-of-town for our first excursion. Fingers crossed, that'll be the highlight of "what's good" when I write this update next week, eh?

Audrey Watters


Audrey Watters


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