Balance

7 Jul

It’s all about balance – whether it be cooking, exercise, work, relationships, or life in general. Its finding the right mix without getting overly stressed, sick, cranky or even blase. Which is why I indulged in a sleep-in this morning, had a leisurely morning with Mr N, went for a run in the middle of the day, and went for a swim later in the day. It kept everyone happy (well those closest to me) while still allowing me to get my exercise done.

I decided to run in the middle of the day when it would be at its warmest and I wasn’t disappointed. It was a beautiful sunny day (after a minus 5 degree morning) and I was able to wear a singlet and shorts – not quite my usual winter running attire! I was in two minds about how far to run or even which route to take so I decided to go with how I felt, and turn right at the first t-intersection! This led me down to the lake where I decided not to turn back and run the same way I had come, but to continue around and then turn off once I had run the peninsula. This would mean running 16km. There were lots of people out and about – running, walking dogs or with friends, cycling etc. And so it was that about 85 minutes later I was back home after finishing a really great run.

Balance also came into play while swimming as I had to swim my main set of 900m with a pull buoy – well that definitely tested my balance! The purpose of a pull buoy is to allow the swimmer to focus on training only their arms and developing both endurance and upper body strength. Well, there were laps when I powered along smoothly and thought it was all a breeze. But then just to keep my ego in check I would swim a lap where my balance was all over the place and I struggled with my stroke. Heaven knows what I must have looked like to anyone watching as I felt so very unco. Mind you, it did help with a dose of DOMS in my upper body from the weights session I did on Thursday – there was less soreness and more mobility in my upper body and shoulders once I had finished my swim session. I had a lane to myself today and it was lovely. I could literally follow the black line (because normally you are swimming to the left of it) and not have to worry about making contact with the feet of a swimmer in front of me. If only it could be like that every time…..

I made my first batch of homemade hummus using a Masterchef recipe. I had soaked the chickpeas overnight and then this morning, cooked them for about 50mins until they were soft. The recipe called for garlic, tahini, the cooked chickpeas and lemon juice. Balance came into play as well – particularly when adding back some of the cooking liquid to loosen the mix. Not enough liquid and it would be too thick and gluggy; too much and it would be too runny. And the verdict? Its way, way superior to commercial hummus, so much so it would be hard to go back to buying hummus when the homemade version packs so much more flavour and oomph. But this particular recipe does call for a lot of tahini which I think tends to overpower the other flavours. According to my bible The Cooks Companion, what I had made is more correctly called hummus bi tahina. Stephanie Alexander also says that hummus is Arabic for chickpea. I think my next attempt at hummus will be from The Cooks Companion which is Claudia Roden’s version (author of many middle eastern cookbooks and who was born in Cairo). I think I’m also tempted to try Claudia Roden’s middle eastern orange cake – it sounds delicious!

Tomorrow – meeting the FIT girls at 8am for a ride out along Federal Highway, somewhere. Its going to be cold, very cold. The forecast is for another minus 5 degree night. I’m getting out all my thermal gear 🙂

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2 Responses to “Balance”

  1. Janene 07/07/2012 at 11:09 pm #

    You are one tough cookie! I remember my cycling days when I lived in the US. Once the temp got down to 0C or below, NOTHING would stop my feet from freezing, I had great booties and smart wool socks, but yep the feet would still freeze. I hope your feet are toasty for your FIT ride! 🙂

    • cathyn61 08/07/2012 at 11:40 am #

      Nope I froze! Not one part of me was warm this morning. Hands & feet were so cold they hurt. Oh the joys!

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