Muffin Monday: Just Plain Blueberry Muffins, with a kick


I’ve had a week of feeling both under par and then having to tell myself it’s okay to just be where I am. I felt really good on Wednesday and pushed myself to run farther than I have all year and did 4.5 miles. The best part of that is that I had no right ankle pain. At all. Not even the next day. But at 4 miles I felt my LEFT sock rubbing and realized I’d worn dumb Walmart Danskin brand socks. Rookie mistake. I also was PAINFULLY slow–13 min/mile average. It was hot, I was a little wheezy with spring allergies, but I used to run closer to 10 minute pace so this was hard for my brain to accept. In my head I was going to go 10k, but my legs/breath/ and the state of my dog who looked like she was about done and over at 3.5 told me to head home.

It’s really hard to be patient and start over again. I feel average, or even under average. I’m not sure who I think I should be, because at 45 I’m not going to breaking any records soon, but I got used to going uphill, and I got really used to that uphill getting easier.  I know I can get back to where I was, but I want it to happen now. Fast.

I need to let it go. I’m running again when I had moments last year where I questioned if I ever would. I think of the Boston marathon observers who may never walk easily or run because of amputated legs, and I hate my petty impatience.

Friday I ran again and pushed pace, not distance. I got it closer to 11 minutes and will blame my dog for this not happening as she had many pit stops. I also had some dry heaves. This looks classy as you’re bending over your neighbors newly mowed front lawn. I thought I was having a lot of asthma, but over the weekend I’ve realized this is actually a chest cough and I’m getting sick again. More impatience!

Better days are ahead. For better or worse, my adjunct position has come to an end as the semester is over until late August. This means lots more free time to swim, bike and run (and I can’t wait to get out on the road with Defying Gravity, my bike!). Nicer weather is on it’s way. (Yep, there was snow in Iowa the first week of May this year). The end of the academic year also means lots of stress as I struggle to make enough money this summer and performing gigs are spread out. A colleague today remarked that students are spending close to $30,000 year to be paid by instructors making the minimum wage. There’s something wrong with a system where the secretaries in humanities make more money and have more benefits than the adjunct faculty.

Fortunately, more time exercising usually helps to cancel out a good portion of that stress.

Today I baked ordinary blueberry muffins. Because it’s been an ordinary kind of week. But they are full of scrumptious, juicy, cancer- and cough-fighting berries and a hidden plus: flax seed. They turned out beautifully domed and golden, which my son will appreciate since he found the apricot/white chocolate ones “flat.”

Sometimes underneath the surface of banality good things are just waiting to pop out. Just watch for them!

Courtesy of!

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