Sunday, December 28, 2014

W80: The Brussels Sprout Verdict

 Even during the holidays, I am constantly looking for challenges.
The whole idea of this blog is to push myself to try new things.

It's important that I give everything a fair chance
before deciding it's not for me...

even if that "thing" is a Brussels sprout...

On Christmas eve, as we gathered around the dinner table
I finally faced down a vegetable that I'd been meaning to try
but just never quite got around to...
You know how that goes, right??

Allow me to briefly explain my reluctance...
I already know I'm not a huge fan of
cooked cabbage or cooked spinach.
It's both a texture and taste thing to me.
I can eat spinach salad all day, but cook it
and it becomes limp and pungent
and altogether unappealing.

Don't get me wrong, I can eat spinach
on a pizza or in a lasagna.
But by itself?  No thank you!

Cabbage is very similar.  I have no problem
eating fresh cabbage as part of a salad, but
just plain cooked cabbage a la Irish faire?
Not for me!

Given that bit of background,
you now need to understand that to me
Brussels sprouts had always seemed to be a cross
of those two leafy greens. 
Whether they truly were or not
had never crossed my mind.

Faced with the task of finally trying these
oh-so-healthy mini-cabbages,
I finally had to push all of my concerns aside
and just taste one!



I liked that they were crispy on the outside.
That actually reminded me of kale chips
which I know for sure I do like.
But the middle had more moisture in it
which made it mushy.
Truth be told, the middle tasted
exactly as I had feared all these years.

I allowed myself to satisfy this challenge with just one sprout.
However, I think if they had been cut in half
so that they crisped up a little more,
they would have been fine.

Therefore, I have not completely given up on them.

Not just yet.

In addition to that one very healthy bite,
I continued on with my Runners World Run Streak this week.
For more background information about the streak,
check out week 1, week 2, and week 3.

Day 26  - 2.58 miles (gym)
Day 27  - 2.00 miles (outside!)
Day 28  - 1.01 miles (outside!) -- 1st time I ran a mile without walking!
Day 29  - 1.01 miles (outside!) w/ Loki
Day 30  - 1.03 miles (outside!) w/ David
Day 31  - 1.03 miles (outside!)-- catastrophe struck!
Day 32  - 1.02 miles (outside!) w/ Loki
As of Sunday, December 28th, I have completed 56.59 miles!
This was the first week where I felt like
I was really starting to run with correct form.

On day 28, I completed an entire mile without walking
for the first time in my life!
I was making so much more progress running
outside that I was at the gym.
Sure I can run further at the gym,
but I honestly allow myself to walk more
and I don't pay as close attention to breathing and form.

And then...
On day 31, I ran with a different coat since it was rainy out
and the pockets were apparently not deep enough to hold my phone.
It flew out of my pocket--ripping the earbud from my ear
and giving me a mini heart attack.
Oh, and the screen shattered as it hit the sidewalk,
but my RunKeeper still worked so I finished out the mile like a boss.

So here I am with just four days left of this run streak
only now starting to feel like a runner.

However, in reading Cheryl Strayed's Wild, I think
this run challenge is akin (on a much smaller scale) to
the changes a hiker's body goes through as they make
their way from beginning to end.
Strayed talks about how difficult her first days were on the Pacific Crest Trail
compared to what her body is capable of one month in.
It's as if our bodies have the capacity for these feats all along,
they just need to realize that's what we're doing.
We just need to get past those mental road blocks.

I need to stop telling myself I'm not a runner.
If I run, I'm a runner.
I never would have thought I could put in this many miles
in just 36 days, but then maybe that was my problem.

Once we stop selling ourselves short,
we find that we are constantly amazed by our own greatness.

Coming up... Week 81: To New Beginnings

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