I judge my runs the way I judge my first dates.
By which I mean…it all comes down to the first five minutes.
My roommates are always raising their eyebrows at this philosophy. You can’t just know, they say.
Oh. But I can.
Call it female intuition. Or runner’s gut instinct. (Or some kind of psychotic condition.)
But in the first five minutes, I know whether I’m going to want you to give me a kiss goodnight. And whether I’m going to kiss you back (or, you know…make out with you in a bar until 12:45. AM.) when you inevitably try.
And then there’s running. The most abusive, wonderful, awful, most fulfilling relationship you might ever have.
It can tear you down. And walk all over you.
It can give you the worst 8 mile run of your life one week.
And then the best 9 mile run of your life the next.
Without warning or explanation. And all you can do is lace up your sneakers. Hit the pavement. And hope for the best.
And while I will never advise you to stay in a relationship that just not.worth.it. I am going to tell you that running (or insert your exercise of choice here). Is.
When it’s bad, it’s awful. But when it’s good…it’s the best.
I came home from my run yesterday practically walking on water. And I knew that no matter what the rest of the day had in store for me. It was already awesome. And then I had a good first date. Which was like more icing on an already frosted cake. Always a good thing.
(And, yes. It all came down to those first five minutes.)
So I guess my Eat.Live.Be. moral of the week is: don’t give up. Don’t give up on yourself and don’t give up on exercise (and don’t give up on men). This week may be awful. But next week might be awesome. And don’t you owe it to yourself to stick around long enough to find out?
At my last physical therapy appointment last week, my PT asked why I had kept running that eight miles even though it was so terrible. And it was because I knew that if I got through that run, there would be a better one on the horizon. There had to be.
And I was right.
Bok Choy and Baked Tofu Stir-Fry in a Ginger-Citrus Sauce
Serves 4, adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
- 1 1/2 lb bok choy
- 1 14-oz package lite firm tofu, baked
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp maple syrup (or honey or agave)
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp dark sesame oil
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 can water chestnuts, slivered
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 4 roasted sweet potatoes, or rice, barley, quinoa, etc
- Wash the heads of the bok choy well and trim the bottom. Cut the bottom, whitish part of the stalk into 1/2-inch slices. Set them aside. Slice the green leaves thinly and place on a separate plate.
- Cut the tofu into slices or cubes. Combine the orange juice, soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a bowl.
- Heat a large wok or deep skillet. Spray with cooking spray. Add the bok choy stalks, carrot, and ginger. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add water chestnuts, garlic, and mushrooms, and continue to cook until mushrooms begin to soften, about 2 more minutes. Stir in the bok choy greens. Place the tofu on top and cover tightly. Steam briefly until greens are wilted and bright green, about 1-2 minutes. Stir the orange juice mixture, add it to the skillet and bring to a boil. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Serve with sweet potatoes, rice, or other grain.