Given that this blog started out as a chronicle of my bad joints and hip surgery, the reason I don't run seems obvious. It is, in fact, clear that while my shoes may have been made for walking, my bones/joints are not. For me, running is wildly painful, and, if done for prolonged time periods, detrimental to my already damaged joints. I know that if I had to run, I could; if, for example, I were being chased by zombies or bad guys or some sort of scary animal and had to get away, I could/would run for my life and probably manage to escape. I'm sure I'd be propelled by adrenaline in such a situation, but I merely seek to illustrate the point that I am able to run, but that I don't and shouldn't.
|These toes are not made for running. But aren't they cute?|
As I have clued you in by the title, there are other reasons I don't run. I dare say, if I did not have such a poorly designed skeleton, and were able to run like many of my super-sprinting friends, I don't think I would. Because there are so many other ways to keep physically fit out there that I find enjoyable, I wouldn't need to run for exercise. And if I may ask, who the hell determined that running for miles and miles, to the potential (inevitable?) detriment to your joints and ligaments, was such a good idea that there are competitions surrounding it? The same could be said, I'm sure, for lots of other sports, but running is the one that alludes me the most. Some people say it's the time where they can clear their head; while running they are in tune with their body, with the surroundings through which they run. Forgive me, but if where you're running is on the street, is that peaceful? I know I'd be in a constant state of fear of a) being hit by a car, b) passing out and being hit by a car, or c) tripping, falling, and being hit by a car. I also have a rather poor sense of direction, so running for miles would also make me afraid of getting lost. Runner friends, feel free to comment and tell me your stories, yell at me for talking about something I admit I don't really know about, or chide me for snarkiness. Either way, what clears my head and relaxes me is not hitting the pavement.
While I choose not to run (and have a wildly good, documented excuse not to), I am a huge fan of walking. I feel I can achieve the same sense of peace, clear-headedness and achievement taking a nice long walk. Ethan and I have taken to walking a mile at least two times a week (if it ever stops raining, we'll go more often) at Fort Williams Park or Evergreen Cemetery. It is always my favorite part of the day. Soaking up the ocean air, the breeze keeping beautiful kites in the sky, walking and talking (or not talking) with Ethan about whatever it is we talk about. And speaking of talking, I think that's an element you lose when running. I'm trying to imagine "going for a run" with Ethan or a friend and trying to have a conversation. I'd be too winded from running to be able to talk, and therefore, we'd just be running together in silence. Bo-ring. And doesn't the scenery go by in a blur? There's no time/way to look around and drink it all in when you're running, I'd imagine.
|Ft. Williams Park. How could you just run past this?|
|Look how pretty!|
The first thing we cooked was Beef Tangine with Olives and it fantastic! The spice profile was new to me but also warm and inviting. The raw beef marinading in the ginger/garlic/cinnamon/paprika chile paste smelled good enough to eat as is. It was fun prepping this dish because it reminded me of my crock-pot beef stew. The potatoes, beef, carrots and tomatoes rang familiar, while the spices and olives were a flavorful kick in the pants. I ate up all the olives without blinking. Ethan could not be reached for comment other than "MmmMmmmOmiGodThisIsAwesomeNomNom" because his mouth was constantly full. It felt like we were eating a restaurant quality meal at home that we cooked ourselves. I almost felt bad that we were eating it alone and depriving our friends of such deliciousness. The sense of adventure, satisfaction (both for my taste buds and with the success of the dish) and pride for a self-proclaimed foodie like me could not have been attained by, say, running.
|Beef w/ olives. YUM|
|Love potato, from Farmer's Market|
Last night, we made [Monkfish] With Chermoula and Vegetables. We used halibut because it was a fair substitute, easier to find and less expensive than monkfish. This one included red onion, zucchini, lemon zest & juice, and once again, olives. This one was just as delicious as the beef dish, though the jury is still out on which is better over all. From the Tangine booklet: "Chermoula is a spicy marinade used for a variety of North African recipes." The recipe included a de-seeded red chili, which made me nervous because I don't love things that are too spicy, but the it resulted in just the hint of heat so as to be flavorful and robust, but not over-bearing.
Now that I have teased your taste-buds, please consider this an open invitation to dinner! The only thing missing now from my kitchen is my always-desired Kitchen Aid mixer so I can bake yummy treats (right now, I mix by hand, because I'm old school). I almost have enough gift cards to make a dent in its price. Just wait for the posts then! I love entertaining, and am okay with the fact that what most often brings people together is food. I love food, and good company. Marathons and 5-ks may have lots of people, but I guarantee those people aren't as happy as they would be sitting around a table eating slow-cooked Moroccan food. Just sayin.'
Since this blog has gone from a tangent on running to food-porn, I'm now going to take us out of this entry with something else totally unrelated: cat love. I must say, Ophelia coming back into my life was easily one of the best things that has happened, and she is an endless source of joy and entertainment for Ethan and I. To boot, she has also helped me to make some new Twitter friends (follow me @maria_k_MacD) who are fellow cat ladies/lovers. My most often used hash tag is #CatChat. 85% of the photos in my iPhone are pictures of Ophelia and the other 15% are a mix of Ethan, food, and pretty scenery. I'm sure this will remain the ratio until we have babies. Don't be surprised if there is a post following this one that's dedicated to cats (and probably more about food).
|World's cutest kitty Ophelia Penelope MacDougal|