Yeah, I know it's Tuesday. Tuesday is a cross-training day for me, which was a nice change after running four days in a row (Friday through Sunday). On Tuesday (and usually Thursday) mornings I go to the Y and spend a long, long time on the elliptical trainer. Good thing(s) about the elliptical: It's indoors. It claims to burn a lot of calories (I get about 10 calories per minute, which is less than Livestrong allots to it—I go with my numbers). It's very, very low-impact (a break from pounding sidewalks). I can watch TV and read blogs on my BlackBerry while I'm doing it. Not so good thing(s) about the elliptical: It's boring (but the TV and blogs help with that). I can't get my heartrate up very high (and doing so would require a level of effort that I don't think I have in me). So clearly the good outweighs the bad. And I'm just not going to run six or seven days a week. So elliptical it is. And the good things seem to outweigh the bad.
Yesterday I did run, and it wasn't until I just typed that first paragraph that I realized it was, in fact, the fourth consecutive day running (I had forgotten about Friday). Monday is designated as an easy/recovery day, which is good. I wasn't in need of true recovery, since Sunday's run was not a "long" run (I no longer consider eight miles "long"; it has become my standard length run and I find it hard to end a run with less—sick, I know). But I was in need of "easy," because, well, because it was Monday morning!
So what is easy? Easy is not a specific pace, but a feeling. Easy is where I can run without pushing myself, without breathing too hard (theoretically I could carry on a conversation, if I had someone to talk to besides myself—as I do not, I generally try to keep my one-sided conversations inside my head). Sometimes this means a 10-minute pace, sometimes even a 10:30 pace (especially early in the run), but most often my easy pace gravitates to around 9:30.
Yesterday's splits tell the tale: 10:24, 10:03 pace for .53 miles, 9:54, 9:40, 9:22, 9:26, 9:30, 9:04, and the final .47 mile at 8:51 pace (included a downhill).
Yesterday was a day when my compulsion to finish eight miles overroad my better judgment. My departure time and pace were better suited to a seven-mile run (or 7.5 if I hadn't stopped at Starbucks and walked home at the end). My poor judgment was reflected in my inability to get ready for work in a timely fashion (despite taking part of my breakfast to work with me instead of taking the time to eat it). In the end, despite my best efforts to rush and cut corners, I was ten minutes later getting to court than I should have been (pretty much coincides with that extra mile!). (Luckily I didn't have any hearings so I caught a break that way.)
The rest of the day proceeded in a similarly scattered fashion. I checked my calendar and didn't have any 1:00 cases in one courtroom, but forgot about two in another courtroom, so arrived ten minutes late for that (although it worked out okay, we had a pro tem judge who is always late anyway). I had three guilty pleas on the calendar and their was something wrong with each one—wrong paperwork, temporarily missing paperwork (I found it though), police reports not provided to the judge.
Somehow I got through that without tearing my hair out, just in time to meet with a client who seems like a really nice kid, but has got himself into some pretty hot water. And I don't have any good answers about how to help him get out of it.
That pretty much left me drained, so I headed home to make a short trip to the Y before going to the grocery store and making dinner. Taco salad in a bowl! With lots of chopped vegetables, half a sweet potato, bean dip, 2% cheese (melted on the sweet potato), salsa, nonfat sour cream, and seasoned* ground turkey. Not traditional, but yummy (to me) and very satisfying.
*I used my own seasonings based on the list on the back of a taco seasoning packet. I didn't begrudge the dollar or two that the packet would have cost, I just didn't want the processed stuff. Here is what is in taco seasoning (all of which I had in my cupboard!): paprika, oregano, cumin, pepper, red pepper, parsley, garlic (I used chopped rather than powdered), tomato powder (I used some salsa instead), cocoa powder, and some kosher salt. Worked like a dream!