Sunday, February 20, 2011

The good, the bad, and the ugly

In Italian, that would be "Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo" and, yes, I am borrowing this phrase from that movie which is definitely worth seeing in my very humble opinion. "The Ugly" or "Tuco" played Eli Wallach (the middle guy here) definitely made the movie, but the tension between all of the characters makes it highly enjoyable.
I am not, however, here to promote movies of the Spaghetti Western variety but to break down my weekend into such reductionist terms.
Starting with "the good" - I've felt glowingly positive about the weekend. I did not touch papers or homework yesterday, which means that they will drift to the bad and maybe even the ugly before I return to school on Tuesday. Ah well, procrastination is part of teaching!
We had a lovely, social evening on Friday, braving the crappy weather and heading to LoterĂ­a Grill in Hollywood. As usual, the food and drinks did not disappoint! We had some very strong margaritas, and I ordered the huachinango (red snapper) which was excellent. We met up with a friend of Michael's from his New York days - they caught up on what had happened in the almost-five years since they had seen each other.
Yesterday was a rainy Saturday, so we decided to lay low. We did get out before the rain hit and did some shopping. As much as I hate Whole Foods, I also love it, and we did stop by to stock up on bulk items which were very economical. We also bought some shrimp for dinner which were not so economical, but they weren't outrageously expensive either. Our March "Food and Wine" offered several quick and healthy recipes, so we decided to try the Gingered Stir-Fry with Shrimp as pictured below - it definitely fit the quick and healthy definition, and we both agreed that the recipe is a keeper. We will make it again!

The final part of the "good": I signed up for a swim clinic today and for lessons the next few weekends. I am supposed to be in training for a triathlon, but I've felt trepidatious about the swim leg. So, I hoped that this clinic would jump-start my confidence and enthusiasm. While it did not transform my swimming, I actually did come out of the water with the sense that I was stronger and more efficient in my strokes and that I was using my legs more. The other bonus of the clinic - it was at the Rose Bowl Aquatics center which is AWESOME! I have been swimming laps at the gym pool which is overly chlorinated and stifling, but the Aquatics center is outside. I realized that looking at the sky makes ALL the difference.
Also, today I could see SNOW while I did some laps! Yes, snow! It was kind of trippy to see some snow while I was swimming in the pool. Because of the rain and the colder temperatures, snow fell at something like 2,000 feet last night. I woke up this morning and was going to let the dogs outside to pee, when I saw the snow-covered mountains out of our front door windows. It surprised me so much that I started to yell, which got Michael out of bed. We've been repeating all day "It's so amazing!". Every time the snow fall is low enough that we can see it from our dining room area, it makes living here seem pretty magical. This happens about once a year, so not too uncommon but it always comes as a surprise and a total treat. (Not so much fun was scraping the ice off the car)

Now, the "bad": I cannot shake the stupid cold that I've had for the past week. It hasn't completely taken me out of commission, but it continues to linger and to make me feel unmotivated and lethargic. Plus, it has impacted my sinuses, so I've struggled with headaches. Ugh. I know, I know... This is minor, but it is an annoyance.

Finally, the "ugly": I am having to recognize/accept that I have a stress fracture* in my foot and that it is NOT going to just heal within a week. I went for a run on Wednesday without pain, but then I pushed myself on Friday afternoon and the pain flared up in a major way. While I find this to be incredibly unfair (haven't I suffered enough issues?!), I am trying very hard to focus on the positive. I can still swim and bike, so this will force me to focus more on those two sports and gain strength, skill and confidence rather than depending so much on the running part of the race. If, of course, this injury doesn't heal within four weeks, I WILL rant about it.
A friend also recommended that I wear sensible shoes for the next week to work. Now, I don't normally wear heels to work and I think that most of my shoes do fall into the 'sensible shoes' category, but I think that she was suggesting a new low: Wearing athletic shoes to work.
Oh, the horror, the horror! And that truly would be "the ugly".

*I haven't been to the doctor yet for an official diagnosis, but based on all the information out there (on the interweb) and also from talking to a friend who has coached cross-country and track for over 20 years, a stress fracture seems most likely. Which isn't a big deal, not really, but this with the combination of other aches and pains and the stupid cold that I can't shake, I am feeling OLD.

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