Let’s Agree to Stop Saying This

16 Jan

Recently I was having a conversation with someone and we had differing opinions on a particular topic. That description makes the exchange sound very congenial, but it wasn’t particularly nice. I was trying to enforce a policy, and the other person didn’t agree that their actions were against policy. During it, I got called a name and was accused of being paranoid, and then it all ended with my current least favorite phrase:

So let’s just agree to disagree about this whole thing.

What self-esteem boosting, participation trophy collecting idiot came up with this phrase?* If I’m disagreeing with someone about a certain point, I don’t really want to agree with them about any aspect of it at all. Nor do I want to be told how I’m going to have to feel and act about the situation.

It’s as if some synergistic opportunist thought outside of the box and said that maybe if we add a positive spin on this, it’ll leave us all with a good taste in our mouths and we won’t remember any of that nasty debate at all. Yay for getting along!

Not really. Being told that I had to agree to disagree actually made me simmer a little longer than I would have about the encounter, and it’s really pointless to waste my energy on it, when I’m obviously not going to change this person’s opinion of me–and the policy ended up getting enforced, so points for that. But with the reaction that I got to my take on the matter, I knew I wasn’t going to change this person’s mind about anything. That’s fine. I know that not everyone’s going to like me or things I say and do, and I’m OK with that. But don’t tell me that I’m going to have to agree with you on something when I really don’t want to agree with you on anything right now.

I’d rather the conversation had ended with something more like, “Well, we just have different opinions on this matter,” and left it at that. That’s a lot more neutral, puts a stop to a debate that’s never going to end, and to me it actually says that both of our opinions are valid. We call a truce, rather than someone sounding like they have the upper hand in putting an end to it.

Does anyone else feel this way? Can we agree to not agree to disagree any longer? Or do you have a different opinion on this?


*Apparently, according to a member of English Language & Usage Stack Exchange, a Q&A site about the English language, the phrase “agree to disagree” was first recorded by George Whitfield in 1750 (though in trying to verify this, I think the user meant George Whitefield, a preacher. Or you could say that the phrase “agree to differ” used by John Piggott in a sermon in 1704 was really the first, although it lacks the cutesy-ness that makes the phrase more grating. Did they give participation trophies back then? 

The Best Thing I’ve Ever Bought (Right Now): Housewares Edition

15 Jan

Today I had one of those moments where I’m marveling over a fairly small, recent purchase and can’t help but think, This is the best thing I’ve ever bought! Do you ever get that feeling?

Right now for me, it’s these reusable produce bags:

bags

It’s one thing to tote your groceries in a reusable shopping bag. It’s another thing to fill said reusable bags with plastic bags of produce because you don’t want five apples and 3 peppers rolling around your cart. You know what the broccoli’s like when it gets loose, the tomatoes are fussy, and I don’t even want to get into what the cucumbers get up to when you buy more than one. So you put each item in a plastic bag, and then, because you’ve been a good, healthy shopper, you get home and find about 20 plastic produce bags in your one reusable tote. Way to save the environment.

When I was at The Container Store before Christmas (an aside: I try to stay away from this place because for me it’s as dangerous as setting foot in a bakery. Yet in a moment of weakness, I signed up for their customer loyalty program. This might have been a mistake–oh, not to The Container Store because they’re going to see me a lot more often–because my wallet is going to take a hit, but it will be soooo worth it), I saw these reusable produce bags and thought they’d make good stocking stuffers. Of course, I figured the set I got for the Boy would be completely shareable.

And it is. Turns out, the set of three wasn’t enough, so the next time I was at The Container Store, I bought a 5-pack that was a different brand. Best thing ever (right now). Granted, if I’m on a massive produce-buying spree, I end up using the plastic bags anyway but there are far fewer floating around my house, trying to avoid being captured and recycled. And for that, I’m pretty grateful.

*****

If you’ve got a Best Thing You’ve Ever Bought (Right Now), let me know. I’d love for my house to be filled with mostly the Best Stuff Ever. I’m not sure it ever can, because, well, there’s well-intentioned presents and some purging issues. But it’s a progression that I’m slowly working toward. It doesn’t have to be housewares–it could be clothing or other gear or whatever you own that’s pretty damn cool. Since it’s just after Christmas, you’ve got to have received or given some pretty cool stuff–the Boy was enthralled with a friend’s over-the-door-kitchen-towel holder, so guess what sweet thing I got for Christmas? Share those things! Let’s all be cool together!

 

 

My Official Celebration of Food Begins

14 Jan

tempura

Happy Belated National Tempura Day! How did you celebrate? Did you make your tempura, or did you buy it?

Wait–you missed National Tempura Day?! How is that possible? Everybody celebrates it! You didn’t get my card? Oh, um, oops. Guess that got lost in the mail.

Well, maybe not. During the day-after-Christmas-family-trip-to-the-bookstore, I decided to pick up Steff Deschenes‘ book Eat the Year, which, based on her Almanac of Eats blog, lists food holidays for every day of the year–including leap year, which happens to be National Surf & Turf Day. I’m guessing it probably takes a good 4 years to save up for the surf and the turf at a decent restaurant and/or forget how difficult it was to cook it all at once the last time you made it.

Anyway, I bought the book not just because it’s winter in New England and I’m looking for excuses to get the house warm by turning on the oven, but because I’d like to cook a little bit more creatively and I thought this book would be a little inspirational. Besides, I like the “it’s this National Food Day” because that’s an excuse to eat. Now I can plan my excuses. That’s a win all around.

I’m not going to do one of those projects where you make everything in the book and/or celebrate every food day possible in a year. I’m not touching National Caviar Day, and I’m not sure anyone should have a party to celebrate National Eat Beans Day. Also, some days have multiple holidays–for example, August 8 is both National Zucchini Day and National Frozen Custard Day. What pressure!

That said, January 7 was National Tempura Day. I celebrated a couple of days early when I went out for Japanese food with some friends, and then I celebrated again last night when we ordered Chinese food. Good stuff! Yes, I could have made it, and it’s actually not terribly difficult–I do have a tempura batter recipe–but like anything, there are good versions and bad versions. Last time I made tempura, I liked it but it was a bit heavy on the batter. This holiday, I took the opportunity to test a couple other versions and see where I can improve. I might need to test some more though. And practice. Yeah, practice. A lot. Next year, I’ll be ready for it. Now that you’re aware, maybe you will be too.

If you plan to celebrate any food holidays, drop me a line. Perhaps we can celebrate together. Also, stay tuned to this site, as I’ll probably post about my food celebrations from time to time.

Incidentally, if you’re reading this today, it’s National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day. I’ve got Chinese leftovers so I won’t be celebrating, but I do give you an honorary tip of the sandwich if you are.

The Consumer Research Is Always Right

14 Jan

We’ve just barely gotten into Easter candy season, and already there’s a scandal that’s threatening to rock confectionery lovers to their core.

Erm, I don’t know exactly what I mean by that, but there are two dramatic revelations about this year’s batch of Cadbury Creme Eggs (already in stores!) that British egg-lovers are not happy about:

  1. The half-dozen packs of eggs? Now in packs of five.
  2. Even more shocking than that? The recipe has changed.

Number one wouldn’t be a big problem if Cadbury (or its parent Mondelez International, which you might remember as being part of Kraft) could just convince every egg farmer in the UK to stop selling eggs by the dozen or half-dozen and start selling them in 10- and 5-packs, with no change in price. They do that, and consumers will eventually think that of course, eggs come in 5-packs. And then our chocolate eggs can once again correlate to real life.

Number two is a little tougher to reason with. The Independent newspaper reported that the eggs used to be made with Cadbury’s famous Dairy Milk chocolate. This year, the shell is a “standard cocoa mix.”

And it tastes different.

Of course, the company tested the change with consumers, and according to them, the new version tasted just fine.

I don’t doubt they’re telling the truth. But it reminds me of a presentation I once heard about a frozen pizza brand that wasn’t selling so well. Former customers didn’t like the brand anymore because it didn’t taste right. The company said that they’d had to make changes to keep the cost of the pizzas down. They’d tested the changes and that consumers hadn’t tasted any noticeable differences from the previous version.

Except that they’d made something like ten changes to the pizza over a number of years, and version number 10 tasted nothing like version number 1. That’s why the original customers didn’t want to buy it anymore.

I understand that manufacturing prices do increase, and when you’re dealing with a product ingredient that’s not only a commodity that fluctuates in price, it’s a commodity that’s been hit with ebola scares, which has increased prices. I imagine that these increases get passed on to you the customer, or companies figure out how to keep prices about the same (since customers also get upset about price increases).

Either way, if Cadbury Creme Eggs go down Recipe Tinkering Road, the long-term results might not be so pretty.

 

Wick This!

12 Jan

It’s Monday, which in my calendar of blogging means it’s time to beef get excited about fitness! Hooray! I’m eating cucumber slices and eyeing a plate of cupcakes as I write this! I’m excited about getting into better shape!

I’m not, really. Perhaps Monday is a horrible day to write about getting healthier. We celebrated the Boy’s birthday over the weekend–the celebration was actually cocktails on Wednesday, dinner out on Thursday, and people over on Saturday, which entailed a lot of homemade kielbasa, pretzel bread, cheese, chips and sweets. And an arugula salad. Oh, and probably some cut-up veggies….perhaps slathered in yogurt dill dip, but they were pure veggies at one point in their existence.

Anyway, the Monday scale is usually depressing, and this week I’m staring at some good leftovers. The aforementioned cupcakes (while they are vegan, I’m not sure that makes them better when you’re talking about white sugar), some chocolate covered potato chips, half a Viennese lemon tart, etc. All quite tempting, and some of which will definitely go in my belly.

The celebratory weekend also had a weird effect on my Winter Warrior run outside challenge, in that I had to run at night both days. I’ve tried to do this challenge during the day when it’s a little warmer. Nighttime winter running–especially when you’ve had enough snow to be annoying, yet people still don’t clean their driveways–kind of sucks. Big time.

It’s also been brutally cold this past week, which has meant all kinds of layers. There’s the thermal wicking base layer, a wicking t-shirt over that, a fleece jacket, a windbreaker. Then I wear two layers on the bottom, and depending on how thick/woolen my socks are, one to two layers on my feet. I don’t have a balaclava, so I take a knit headband and throw that around my neck. Then, a running wicking hat and a fleece hat, my running gloves and thick mittens over them. If I’m walking, I ditch the windbreaker for a parka and add a scarf.

Did you get all that? By the time I’m done dressing, I feel a little like Randy from “A Christmas Story.” One would think all of these layers would be nice–and they do keep me fairly toasty–, but I’ve got to say: I don’t quite get wicking material, because when I’m done with my run, I’m pretty damp (and hence, chillier).

The Boy has asked what I wear over it–that if the wicking material has nothing good to wick too, or if it’s not the top layer, there’s no place for that moisture to go. I’ve thought about that and have tried to adjust, to give it a better layer of something to soak into, but my armpits still have the same results. Then again, it can be summer, and I can wear a wicking shirt with nothing over it, and my torso and pits will still be pretty wet once I’m done with the workout. Either I’m doing wicking wrong, or my body doth protest the stuff. My sweat glands say it loud and say it proud–and my first string lineup of armpits and under-boob seem to take pride in being good sweaters. My feet are gunning to get in on the first-string action too. I’ve actually put antiperspirant on them to get them to sweat less, even though I will also wear performance socks. That’s some trick I heard somewhere. I’m not quite sure of its effectiveness–and I’m not sure it’s great for me–but I’m trying it.

So I don’t know. Either I’m layering well, and the sweat is just a fact of life, or I just don’t understand how to wear wicking well. It hasn’t prevented me from my quest in being a Winter Warrior though. The slog is one-third over, which means we’re too far into the month to stop now, and dammit, I paid for it, so I’ll keep chugging away–in the cold, in the warm, if it’s sunny, snowy, or–like today–rainy. One of my Facebook friends has been running outside daily for over a year and said this challenge was inspiring. I’m not sure about that. The day-to-day can really suck, but I do like the fact that over 11 days I’ve put in 37.3 miles. That gives me a sense of accomplishment, which I can feel for about five seconds, because it’s time to get out there and do today’s mileage.

Happy New Easter Candy Year!

9 Jan Easter Candy

Easter Candy

It’s January 9. I saw this display at CVS today. Around one corner was the discounted Christmas candy. Around the other was the Valentine’s Day aisle.

Easter is on April 5 this year. Not terribly early, not terribly late. One of my Instagram followers (hey, I’m jilljaracz on Instagram if you want to follow me!) said she saw Easter candy yesterday, so this is not the earliest sighting for 2015.

For easy math, let’s say Easter candy went on sale 90 days before Easter. I don’t really want to talk about whether it’s too early to have Easter candy out now. I really want to know:

  • Does anyone buy Easter candy now and save it until Easter?
  • How fresh is today’s candy come April 5? And note, I’m asking this while I’m eating a fun size Snickers Peanut Butter that’s the last thing we have leftover from Halloween. I find it to be fairly edible, so today’s Cadbury Creme Eggs may very well stay fresh enough that the kids (or adults) don’t taste a difference
  • If you’re an Easter candy junkie–and let’s face it, Easter candy is the best of all holiday candies–do you jump for joy over the fact that you can get your fix now? Or are you still recovering from Christmas indulgences, and Easter candy is about the last thing you want to see?

There’s good reason Easter candy is on the shelves now: It sells. If it didn’t, manufacturers wouldn’t bother. They’d focus on Valentine’s Day and wait it’s over to haul out the Easter goods. But look at what happens at UK convenience stores. People have no problem eating Easter candy now. I’m sure it happens in the US too.

I’m really curious about this, so let me know your opinion of Easter candy in January–guilty pleasure for an extra couple of months, or does seeing it three months early just turn you off?

Oh, and if you need a quick diversion today, here’s some pictures of how Cadbury Creme Eggs are made.

Sparking up that Relationship

8 Jan

I’m not going to pretend to be a big relationship expert here, because, Yo, Jill, where are your qualifications? But today I hit on a little truism about relationships, and I thought perhaps you, dear Reader, would like to get in on it.

It happens to be the Boy’s birthday, so this weekend we’re having a little soiree to celebrate. Soirees call for decoration. My style of decorating calls for a trip to Party City. I’m in the mood for streamers, so I needed to pick some up (and my mood apparently dictates how someone else will celebrate their birthday. Hey, do party and event planners just set up events thinking, Eh, I feel like decorating it this way. The client will too by the time I’m done talking to them. What, client? You wanted an Over the Hill birthday theme? But drawing attention to someone’s age is so déclassé. I’m thinking more long, colorful streamers. You know, a celebration of a long life. You’re on board with that, right? Oh, it’ll be great! You’ll see! Great! We’re go for streamers!).

Of course, once I saw the mammoth aisle of dinnerware and napkins that allow you to color code your event, I realized that we needed that stuff too. Before I could figure out which color to buy, I realized that maybe I should get the Boy’s favorite color–except I didn’t know what that was. Honestly. We’ve been together for over a decade, and I have no idea what his favorite color is. This, of course, necessitated a call to his office.

Can you imagine sitting at work, maybe in the middle of an e-mail to a client or knee-deep in writing a report, and you get a call from your wife sheepishly asking, “Hey, um, what’s your favorite color?”? Well, that happened today.

You know how relationships can sometimes get a little boring or same-old, same-old, and you need just a little something to spark up a new conversation or have something new to share together? This is not unusual, and there’s plenty of information from experts giving advice on different ways you can bring that spark back. Call in sick for them and play hooky from work. Surprise them with a weekend getaway. Blindfold them on the way to date night. Change up the routine. Slip a note in their pocket.

I’ve got one for you: Just don’t tell them everything right away. Early on in your relationship, don’t have that all-night getting-to-know-everything-about-you-immediately so that you can find commonalities to cling to. Then a decade or so down the road, throw out one of those questions and throw your partner off their game. Our conversation went something like this:

“Hey, um, what’s your favorite color?”

Surprised laughter.

“No, I’m just standing in the plate and cup aisle, and I thought maybe I should get your favorite color, and I realized I don’t know what that is.”

More laughter. “What’s your favorite color?”

“Guess.”

“Um, red?”

“No.”

“Pink?”

“No.”

“Blue?”

“No.” Now, those are all colors I do wear a lot of, but they aren’t my favorite. I actually don’t think I own much that is in my favorite color at the moment.

Sheepishly: “Green?”

“Yes.”

“I did not know that.”

“What’s your favorite color?”

“Um, green.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

Huh. Who would have thought? Green plates, cups and napkins it is then! And now I know what his favorite color is, and it won’t be hard to remember because it’s the same as mine! How great is that?!

Now that I think about it, this is very coincidental, a match made in heaven, or he’s just agreeing to my favorite color because he doesn’t really care. I could call him up right now and find out, but I don’t feel like ruining the surprise.

 

 

 

Baking Weather

7 Jan

The world of food competitions is something I’m kind of fascinated with. I enjoy cooking and baking–trying new recipes and sometimes coming up with my own–but it’s not enough of a hobby to make it more than impressing my friends and my waistline.

I do enter the occasional food competition. I recently made a banana, spinach and pineapple pizza that I thought wasn’t half-bad, but it didn’t pass the muster in Chiquita’s competition. That’s understandable, given that the people who do win a lot of recipe contests really work at it and know how to develop a recipe. I’m just a yokel when it comes to that kind of thing, and the non-responses I’ve had to contest entries are proof that I’d have to put some real effort into developing that skill if I want to get somewhere with it.

However, I do enjoy judging from the couch and watching the occasional food competition show. My British friend Angwa failed me this week, when I discovered “The Great British Baking Show” all on my own, and not with the help of said friend who got me into watching “Top Chef.” Harrumph!

Have you been watching? It’s fantastic! Especially when everyone’s baking in The Tent, and it starts pouring rain. So British! And frankly, better weather than the cold we’re starting to get. The contestants have to do three recipe challenges per episode/food item, one of which involves making one of judge Mary Berry’s (who’s called the “doyenne of baking”–it’s got to be fabulous to be the doyenne of something) recipes. The instructions on these tend to be something like, “put it in the oven and bake until done.” Then you see frazzled contestants puzzle over just exactly what that means while furiously checking their pastry.

The contestants come up with some amazing items. During the “Biscuits” episode–after which I felt challenged to learn how to make a proper English biscuit, which will come just after I’ve finished perfecting the Swiss Roll that they had to make during the “Cakes” episode–they made these incredible 3D biscuit displays — think gingerbread house, but with dragons or pirates or ski mountain scenes. And then the judges ate them! Who makes these things?! Who eats them?! Apparently the Brits.

One thing I like about the show more than it just being a good reality competition show (one of my favorite genres to watch) is the fact that it does inspire me to try new things in the kitchen, get to know ingredients better and try new things with them.

For Christmas this year, I gave some foodie friends three jars filled with recipes I’d tried — some bourbon caramel sauce, some bacon jam (if you want a good bacon jam recipe, Cinnamon Cooper’s is the best. The chorizo makes it magical), banana bread muffins and mint chocolate flourless cake. When they’ve emptied the jars, they can return them, and I’ll fill them with other things I want to learn to make, things like homemade ketchup, a good BBQ sauce, pickles, different types of bread, some boozy cakes, etc. It’s a mystery food subscription, and I hope it’ll be fun to keep up with–or rather, with all of this inspiration, see if they can keep up with me.

Postcard from Florida

6 Jan

Due to the fact that we have family in Florida, we get to go there for Christmas. Cue the violins now, right? No possibility of a white Christmas? Nobody feels sorry for me.

However, where my mother-in-law lives, there’s no recycling. They’ve tried to get it, but for some reason I don’t fully understand, it’s impossible for her tiny little block, which is tucked away behind some commercial real estate and is bordered by a railroad track, to get recycling services. They’ve apparently tried multiple times to get a container and pickup, but they’ve never been successful.

In Massachusetts, we recycle. A lot. I was excited when I moved here and found out that you could throw #5 yogurt containers in with the regular recycling. In Chicago, that wasn’t possible, so I had to save all of the yogurt containers I’d used, and when I had a bunch, I’d walk them down to Whole Foods, which would recycle them for you. Now I can just dump them in a bin, and away they go every week.

We also have bottle deposits here. A nickel on cans, heavier plastic bottles and glass bottles. Some people don’t bother to get their deposits back and just recycle those bottles too. I, of course, having grown up fairly thrifty, will return them. I mean, that’s 60 cents on a 12-pack of diet Coke (or beer, if that’s your thing). The Boy, who, when seeing a few bags of deposit bottles stacked up in the kitchen, will also wax poetic about how he saved bottles as a kid to get pocket money. I’m not going to admit that I like having pocket money myself–nope, I simply hate the idea of throwing away money I’ve spent. Unless it’s Christmastime, when I will toss the few deposit bottles and cans we have lying around into the recycle bucket. Those will never actually get recycled by the city–there are far too many poor people who go around and pull deposit bottles from recycling bins and cash them in because they really need the money. I consider this act my magnanimous Christmas gift to them.

Note: If my neighbors recycle their deposit bottles–which they do–I also refrain from pulling them out of the recycling bin and returning them myself for this same reason. I won’t be really gracious and give the bottle collectors mine too, but bottle deposits are really a topic for another blog, because we’re starting to go down the path of being wasteful or being miserly, throwing away money or being the millionaire next door–and why the heck did Massachusetts vote down a stronger deposit bottle law? All thoughts that I have when I deal with a deposit bottle.

Anyway, for the week or so we’re in Florida, we don’t recycle. It kills me to throw an empty water bottle into the trash. It’s even worse to see a beer bottle, sitting all alone in a freshly lined garbage can, looking forlorn and unloved, since it’s going to the dump and not the bottle deposit center.

The feeling was bad enough this year that the Boy and I would squirrel away empty water bottles and pop cans and take them to a park that did have a recycling can. Luckily, no one would question why we were chucking a half-dozen bottles into the can, when it didn’t look like we’d been picnicking–or were even very thirsty. If bottles “got lost in our car,” that was fine too. Those would up coming back to Massachusetts where they’d get their just recycling rewards. We couldn’t bring back everything–we didn’t have the space, and the extra weight wouldn’t be cost effective for gas mileage–but we did a tiny bit.

It’s really weird to be in the habit of doing something and then go to a place where it’s just not done. Recycling is one of those things. Of course you sort your trash out and have multiple cans in the kitchen–one for trash, one for paper, one for containers. Of course you drag it out to the curb separately. Why wouldn’t you? I can’t imagine how much of our country–and world–doesn’t bother to recycle and how much that affects the planet. I hope the small efforts I see all around me combat that behavior enough to make it worthwhile.

 

Winter Warrior Gonnabe

5 Jan

One of my 2015 goals is to move more. A lot more. I’ve gained some weight over the last few months–probably a good 12-15 pounds (I didn’t weigh myself for a long time). Given the fact that my clothes aren’t fitting particularly well and that  although I’ve been “losing weight” for years, I still haven’t reached my goal weight (due to plateaus and putting in less effort, not because I have an unachievable goal weight in mind), I’ve decided to move more, eat less and eat better.

To help me with that, I signed up for Marathon Sports’ Winter Warrior Challenge, which is a do-it-yourself challenge to run/walk outside every day during January. When it’s cold and windy (like today), this sucks. When it’s cold and wet (like yesterday), it sucks more. I can’t wait until we get a big snowstorm and I have to go outside and log some mileage.

You might say at this point, well, Jill, you don’t *have* to do that; you can just go to the gym and run on the treadmill, but the treadmill is not very warrior-like, and five days in, I’m starting to perfect my warrior-like grunting, which means I’m actually enjoying this.

The challenge has three levels:

Gold: Run/walk 5.0 miles/day

Silver: Run/walk 3.0 miles/day

Bronze: Run/walk 1.0 mile/day

You can always move down a level, but you can’t accumulate a bunch of miles and move up. You have to get out and do your mileage level. Every. Day.

I know there are days that are going to stink. January in New England does not promise to ever be kind. But for now, I’m digging the challenge. A lot. Right now, I have the same feeling I had when I joined a weight-loss program and forced myself to get all of my steps every day, even if that meant late-night walks and circling the block a few times. I have a little more energy and am a little more excited. Seeing my mileage logged and on a leaderboard makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something.

This time, instead of a regular pedometer, I’ve started using MapMyRun to track the mileage, although I’m considering getting some sort of fitness watch to track heart rate and perhaps not have to drag my phone around with me all the time (suggestions welcome!). Even though it’s cold out, it’s nice to be forced to go outside and get some fresh air. And when I see other runners on the street now, I wonder if they’re in the challenge too. I haven’t gotten to the point where I grunt, “WARRIOR!” when I see another runner, but check back around January 25 and we’ll see if I’ve gone over that edge.

There’s 1500+ of Winter Warrior Wannabes out there, although a handful never started the challenge. The log includes a leaderboard, which, since I’ve signed up for the Silver level, I’ll never get near the top of, and I’m completely fine with that. When you realize we’re getting near the height of long Boston Marathon training runs, there’s no way that my little 5K legs are going to safely amass enough mileage to get to the top of the heap. Seriously, five days in, the current leader has 66.0 miles logged. I, on the other hand, have 16.71 miles in, and that’s a combination of running and walking–there’s no way I’m running every day because that would also be too much for my body to handle at this point, but I can definitely walk a lot.

Since I’m tracking a little above what my intended goal is, I’m shooting for achieving a Silver+ level. Granted, this is my own made-up level–and it sounds like a vitamin–but I see the people running around me in the 400’s on the leaderboard. I can do well in the 3-3.5 mile/day group. I can be a mid-level warrior!

Besides, I’ve already ordered the t-shirt that says I did it, so now I actually have to.

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