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Last Saturday I earned a very special treat by completing my first double digit run of the year. That’s 10.2 miles ran round and round Prospect Park, adding on side trails to break up the monotony. Snow began to fall around mile 5 like an old friend. It clung to my top, sat on an eyelash and energized my legs for the last half.

One thing I’ve noticed lately is how much lighter and stronger I feel without a compression inner layer after wearing one for a few days. Tights are necessary for me once temperatures go below 20, but when I wear them it’s like I have weights strapped around my ankles. After a few tight-clad days, going without them Saturday put a welcome spring in each step.

Going a little further usually leaves every muscle sore and reluctant to go again the next day. This time I tried a little experiment. Rather than taking it easy, I did about 40 minutes of yoga after and some weights later. This kept me warm and loose all day and excited to do a shorter recovery run Sunday. It’s never seemed necessary to create a running schedule, but doing my long run on Saturday and recovery run Sunday with shorter runs during the week works well for me right now. Let’s see how long that lasts.

Following my valiant 10.2 miles, something extraordinary happened. I ate a bagel with cream cheese, my first in 3 years since going gluten free and vegan. It was an Udi’s cinnamon raisin bagel and Tofutti cream cheese. Even though a slice of tofu cheese cake was my happy place this fall, I was skeptical about tofu cream cheese, but it tasted like the real thing to me. They happened to go on sale at the same time that I happened to be looking for a treat to celebrate my awesomeness.

I didn’t realize how much I missed the simple pleasure of a toasted bagel with cream cheese and a smidge of raspberry jam. Growing up in New Jersey, there was no shortage of fantastic bagel shops. I patronized every one of them and later concluded Jersey’s bagels are by far superior to New York’s. Udi’s bagels are frozen and taste like a mass produced Lender’s bagel, but that’s better than nothing.

Actually it was so good I closed my eyes with every bite so nothing could distract from my pleasure. I ate as though it were the last bagel on the planet and after my final bite nobody would ever remember how to make a bagel again. I looked at the crumbs on my plate and considered having another, but opted to save them. Now they’ll probably become the precious, then forgotten, freezer burned, moldy and discarded. It’s a tragic cycle I have of not being able to finish good food because then it will be gone. For the same reason, I’m aging a lonely package of crushed paprika potato crisps until our Polish meat store restocks them.

43.7 /1552 miles

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