January 24, 2014

Balancing the happy with the cruddy

You win some, you lose some. This week has been all about balancing the amazing with the questionable and cruddy.

I may be the only person on earth who was really excited about the Boston Marathon jacket for this year. Most of the reviewers (see the 2 our of 5 stars) hated the color, which I loved more than my college self loved the Beastie Boys. Extremely hard to top such love. But then I ordered this incredibly overpriced jacket, with a 15% off code for registering with adidas.com, and I too was disappointed.

But not with the color. I still stand firmly behind the awesomeness of highlighter orange. What I thought was lame was that this jacket felt like much lower quality than my other (much cheaper) running jackets. For example, there weren't as many pockets and vents, and the material wasn't as soft. The cuffs were kind of weird, like they were trying to make a cross between a warm-up suit and a running jacket. They are a totally different material from the rest of the jacket. But the part that is making me consider returning it is that the "Boston Runs as One" logo on the back collar is off center. Seriously, this really grates on my nerves. I can't even look at it without feeling irritated. 

I did have some more successful online purchases this week. This little Oiselle High 10 Shimmel number has got some very substantial removable pads. Perfect for my 13-year-old-boy chest. Even though we're in the middle of a cold front, I bought this because it went on sale, and I've been staring at it, via the internets, for some time now. If this shirt were a person, it would be feeling really weird right now because of how long I've been staring at it, possibly without blinking. 

And P.S. I love Oiselle packaging that comes with little bonus nuggets. Why can't I write nuggets without immediately thinking of bathroom humor? Help me. 

Second successful online purchase, these Pearl iZUMi Women's EM Trail N 1 from Alabama Outdoors. They were half off, and I've been itching to try them for forever, or at least since they came out. Did I need another pair of trail shoes right now? Absolutely not. Will I eventually need another pair? Absolutely yes. So I'm hoping to hang on to these for some future trail dancing. 

Fresh out of the package.

Things were hit and miss with eating this week too. First of all, we finished our two-week clean-up of our eating. Go, us! I feel more energized and am sleeping better (read: going to bed earlier) in general, which is hard for me to accomplish when I'm eating more sugar.

Here are my two favorite meals that were plan approved.

Fish tacos with homemade mango chutney. I couldn't stop eating these.

And for a super quick, delicious, and healthy meal, you cannot beat the loaded egg scrambles. Just throw every vegetable you've heard of into your eggs, and boom, loaded egg scramble. Top with avocado (optional, but only if you hate joy).

We celebrated our healthiness by turning to gluttony at our favorite Birmingham restaurant, Red Pearl. It's a hole-in-the-wall restaurant attached to an Asian grocery store. I went to the store five times before I even realized that there was a restaurant back there, so you have to really look for this place to find it. Their food tastes exactly like Chinese street vendor food, aka the best food on earth.

After so many successful attempts at ordering the most random thing we could think of (and had never heard of) and it coming out to the table amazing and delicious, we finally met our first fail.

Turns out that crispy baby fish with peanuts is just what it sounds like. Can you see the eyeballs? What's worse than a dead baby fish staring at you from your dinner plate? A million dead baby fish staring at you from your dinner plate. 

But the squid and beef with Chinese broccoli were on point.

Other fails this week?

When my son excitedly brought this book to me at the library.

Why? And just no.

Even though there were a few what-the-freak moments, this week has made me happy. We've gotten in solid workouts. 

Boxing is my new favorite cross training.

I'm back on my regular running schedule with no pain, other than the ordinary stuff. Plus my treadmill buddies dress as twins to entertain me. 

And I got a super comfy, light, and warm Salomon jacket (wearing it every day now) for winning the Southeastern Trail Series. Plus they gave us $100 gift cards to Mountain High Outfitters and an entry into the series for next year.

Champs for the long series.

The race directors for the series hosted a party at their house for the runners. Good food, some of my favorite people, and lots of running and non-running talk. All combined for a happy night.

All in Stride in the stripes. Word!

Plus they raffled off even more prizes: shoes, watches, entries to the race series.

The winners were the opposite of sad.

Happiest winners on earth.

Tell me one cruddy thing and one good thing from your week!

Would you eat crispy baby fish? For real.

What was your last online order fail/success?

Lady Gaga -- yes, no, maybe? Every once in a while she does something cool, like tell everyone that magazines photo-shopped the bejeez out of her for their cover and that that is not what she looks like when she wakes up in the morning -- all while dressed in bubbles and a warped slinky with a flowery wreath wig on top.