Top 16 of 2016

This year has been kind of odd for me. I've had no motivation to write on my blog this month, for some reason, but I've done a post on New Year's Eve every year; and I'd hate to skip one. It started with the "Top 11 of 2011", and then the "Top 12 of 2012"... and so on. Usually, I start each post wondering if I'll be able to come up with that many noteworthy events, but by the end of the post, I feel good about all the things I accomplished or experienced and had forgotten about.

This year feels the same. I haven't even started going through the pictures of the year to begin this post, so I'm not sure how I'll feel by the end of it! This year has just been so odd (for lack of a better word). So, here we go... my Top 16 of 2016.

Yikes! (a nine-day catch-up)

Wow, I thought maybe it had been three or four days since my last post... I just signed into see that it's actually been NINE days! I didn't intend to take such a long break; time just seems to fly by this time of year. I haven't been extraordinarily busy or anything, but it seemed that the longer I didn't write, the easier it was to wait one more day.

Anyway, I think a bullet-style post will be best for playing catch-up!

Instant Pot

I never go shopping on Black Friday, but this year, I was curious to see if Amazon had any good sales that day. I was browsing the website when I came across something called an Instant Pot, and it was on sale for $60. I thought it seemed like a good deal, and the reviews were great, so I impulsively bought one.

I don't know what I was thinking! When it arrived, I actually printed a label to return it, because I regretted the impulsive buy. However, Jerry convinced me to give it a try. I'm SO glad that I did--I love it!

An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker that can also be used as a rice cooker and slow cooker (which is awesome, because my slow cooker ceramic base cracked recently) as well as a few other appliances.

MAF running on the treadmill

After having the weekend to think about it, I still don't have any regrets about quitting the vegan challenge. I am disappointed that I wasn't able to stick it out for the whole five weeks, but I did what felt best for me. And to be honest, that 14 days FELT like five weeks, haha!

I don't know if it was just a coincidence or not, but I felt very energetic after I ate some meat and dairy on Thursday night. Instead of feeling very tired on my run Friday, I actually felt better than I have in weeks. I had set out to run about three miles, but once I started running, I felt so good that I decided to turn it into my long run for the week.

14 Days

Well, Friends... I lasted 14 days on the vegan challenge.

Going into this challenge, I really didn't think it was going to be very difficult for me--I'm not a huge meat person, and certainly I could go five weeks without dairy or eggs, right? All I can really say is that the experience has been very humbling!

I had good days and bad days over the past couple of weeks. Sometimes, I felt like the challenge was going to be easy; but more often than not, I really struggled.

One month MAF update

Now that I'm finally settled in to doing this vegan challenge, I can concentrate more on running and the MAF experiment. I had initially said that I was going to do 12 weeks at ONLY my MAF (maximum aerobic function) heart rate--no speed work at all, just the easy running--and follow my base building plan. Well, I've done the MAF heart rate part, but I haven't been running nearly as much as I should be to experiment with MAF training.

I had friends here for five days a couple of weeks ago, and then I was pretty sick, so I didn't run much the last few weeks. I'm feeling better now, so I'm going to try and run 4-5 times per week (at my MAF heart rate). Here is my running calendar from November:

The green shows the days that I went for a run. It was probably the least running I've done in six years, aside from when I was injured!

Settling in

We're heading to an ugly Christmas sweater party in a little while, so I'm going to try and squeeze in a quick post...

Things are going much more smoothly with the vegan challenge now that I bought some food from Trader Joe's. I'm actually kind of enjoying it! I tried one of the veggie burgers from Trader Joe's yesterday, and I was VERY skeptical that I would like it. The frozen patty was green from the veggies that are in it, and it just looked gross. But, I'd already bought them, so I figured I might as well give them a try.