most days, i head to the gym or outside to run before heading to work. i really prefer morning workouts because i have so much more energy then, and love the buzz that often lasts through a good part of the day. however, sometimes it means that i arrive at work a bit later than i would like to -- not late, mind you; just not with a nice cushion available to gather my thoughts and acclimate to the day.
last week, i was starting back on service and decided to make monday my new rest day. i arrived extra early, and the jump start on the week ended up being really valuable in helping me stay on top of things. plus, i typically do my long run on sunday, so it actually works out well in terms of rest when i need it most!
several of you suggested that i use this weekend by myself as a sort of retreat - time to collect my thoughts, have some quiet time, and do some things just for me -- things like catching up on my google reader or desperate housewives (though i am finding this season a bit over the top).
your advice must have worked, because i ended up having a lovely time (once i finally heard from josh, of course). i am excited for him to return, but had fun on my own as well. yesterday was filled with nice things:
✰ an 8 mile run on the tobacco trail in perfect weather
✰ leisurely menu planning
✰ equally leisurely trip to whole foods
✰ work on a guest post for another blogger (i'll let you know when it posts!)
✰ a relaxing evening yoga session
✰ a trip to barnes and noble to use up a gift card:
it was not a very social weekend, and i did miss hanging out with friends (other than my lovely brunch with miss jessica). but since that is more typical for me, i think the mini-retreat was actually a positive thing.
i had said i would provide an update once i had really gotten to see how my 2011 selection actually works for me. so far, i am really loving it!
shown above, the monthly planning page has been very helpful in dividing up the numerous tasks all required for my grant.
on the weekly pages, i was worried initially about the lack of lines, but i am loving all of the free space as well as the modular layout for each day. i cannot say enough good things about this planner! my only concern is how the cover will wear -- i guess i'll have to update again at the end of the year.
question of the day: do you do anything different on mondays? any special rituals or routines that get your week off to a great start?
workout: 8 miles @ average ~9:15/mi pace on the tobacco trail in durham. the weather was perfect, the leaves were pretty, and this was one of those runs that just felt spectacular. i wish i could do it again today!
soup for a crowd: for the first time since josh went abroad, i actually cooked! my mother had sent me a recipe quite a while back for red lentil and butternut squash soup, and i discovered it while emptying my email inbox. she warned that it took a little while and made a lot, so i decided to halve the recipe. i wasn't in any hurry, so i wasn't too worried about the time.
i gathered the essentials . . .
exactly 30 minutes later, i had this:
and by a little after 8, i had this:
it was a lovely meal, although i now have enough soup in my refrigerator to feed a small army. i used a sweet potato for the "starchy vegetable of your choice" and decided in the end not to blend the soup, which i think was the right choice -- my favorite part was biting into soft, flavorful bits of squash, potato, celery, and carrot! both my mother and i felt like the tomato didn't add much and i would probably leave it out next time. however, i definitely recommend this recipe if you want to make a pot full of healthy and tasty soup that will last through the week!