Wine, Food, Friends

Living in a city as diverse as New York means that I’m always meeting and hearing about awesome, talented, and motivated individuals. And the running world is no exception. Even if I were to run a sub 1:30 half marathon at an NYRR race, I would still barely crack the top 20 in my age group. If I knock out a strength training workout at my gym, there will always be a model wannabe with more envious abs. And even if I get myself out the door for a pre-work run, there will always be someone who is out there earlier, running faster and farther.

It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison trap (I know other bloggers have dealt with this as well) and sometimes it’s not a bad thing. The accomplishments and motivation of others can be contagious and can give me that extra kick in the pants that I need. But other times, I can start feeling like what I’m doing isn’t enough- not running enough miles, not doing enough core work, not sleeping enough, not eating healthy enough, and on and on. And that’s no bueno. I wish I had an easy answer for how to deal with this, but I don’t. I do know that every person is different and the type of mileage or breakfast that might work for my running buddy or another blogger or a teammate, might not work for me. We all have different genetic predispositions, work schedules, and sleep requirements that come into play when we run. It also helps to remember that what appears on a blog (including my own) is not always the whole story. When I start feeling inadequate, I try to remind myself that eventhough my running life might not be perfect, I’ve got other things going on for me. I am a person who loves running and I am a runner, but I’m also a sister, a girlfriend, a daughter, an employee, a roommate, and more. And as much as I’d like to be a perfect example of all of the above, I’m not. I’m human. Sometimes I skip runs in favor of happy hour, sometimes I flake out on a friends, but all things considered I think I’m doing a pretty good job at being me. And that’s all I can ask of myself, not perfection, but the best I can do on any given day.

If you’re still reading, kudos to you! Sometimes I start thinking about these deep thoughts and before I know it, I’ve typed out a rambling  blog post. Just like running and wine, writing it all down can be therapy, right?

 In any case, there have been some exciting things going on this week. Tuesday night was the inaugural meeting of a newly formed cooking club – Katie, Leslie, Sofia, Kelly, Rebecca, and I gathered around a table to share a homecooked meal and wine. We’re trying to make this a monthly occurance in the hopes that we can expand our cooking repetoire and (of course) spend more time with each other! Tuesday was tapas themed and Rebecca did an awesome job serving up an array of Smitten-Kitchen inspired dishes.

I brought along a spinach, caramelized onion, and gruyere frittata that I had made on Sunday. Can I just wax poetic on frittatas for a minute? First of all they are easy to make (mine took less than 40 minutes including cooking time), infinitely adaptable (use whatever veggies and cheese you’ve got on hand), and very versatile (eat ’em hot, cold, room temp, for breakfast, dinner, whatever!). Okay, anddd done. But I really do love frittatas.

Caramelized onion, spinach, and gruyere frittata (serves 4)

  • 1 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 giant handfuls of spinach
  • 8 eggs
  • splash of cream or milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • about 2-3 oz of gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the canola oil in a large, oven safe skillet. Add the onion slices and cook over medium-high heat until soft, transparent, and slightly browned (~10 minutes). Add the spinach and stir until wilted.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, and S&P. Turn off the heat and add the egg mixture to the veggies. Stir once and then grate the gruyere cheese on top. Put the skillet in the oven and bake for about 18 minutes (or until puffy and slightly browned). Voila! You’re done.

And of course, we had an awesome array of goodies for dessert –

  • Blondies made with chickpeas (I had no idea they contained chickpeas…)
  • Peanut and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
  • Coconut-Banana Bread with lime glaze

I think it’s safe to say that the first meeting of the cooking club was a success!

When it comes to running or careers or what have you, how do you halt the comparison trap in its tracks?

  • when it comes to comparisons, I just try to think about all the fun things I have going on in my life…yes, I might not be where I want to be in my job right now, but I have the ability to travel when I want, have a social life, and work with some good people…I’m always trying to negate a bad with a good…like my “life” pros and cons list!!

    oh, and a group of friends and I have a little club we started a little while back where we meet up at an eclectic, hole in the wall type restaurant to enjoy some new foods…we call ourselves the “Good Forkers” 🙂

  • Ali

    I think you are awesome. And if you didn’t skip runs in favor of happy hour, I honestly wouldn’t love your blog (and you!) as much. What’s so endearing is that you’re human and you don’t sugar coat it. You are a rock star. 

  • Being imperfect is so much better than being perfect! This is a great post. 🙂

  • Oh my goodness, I’m so envious of the cooking club! It matches perfectly with my “Kitchen Tuesdays” posts!  😉
     
    I’m going to have to try a frittata sometime this week. I haven’t yet, and it really does look like the perfect leftovers smorgasboard … especially because I heart eggs.
     
    I’m so happy to have found you on the blogosphere because of your very honest nature. I’d much prefer to read the blog of someone who is reflective and truthful about balancing her life. It’s not easy in our mid-20s with everything under the sun happening at once, and I think you are a great inspiration!

  • funny, because i always think, “man, megan does it all – she runs competitively, she blogs, she has a social life… how does she do it?” so uh yeah. you’re fine. we all wish we could do more or be more engaged with whatever our passion is but usually we’re just being hard on ourselves. i think you’ve got it figured out a little better than you realize, lady.

  • PS also wanted to say i love that pic of kelly and leslie! your camera is fabulous and we are a sexy, sexy group.

  • Ah yes, I wrote a whole post called “the comparison trap” recently 🙂
    To be very honest, this is something I have struggled more with since starting to blog and read other blogs. But as you said, it’s not always a bad thing, and it’s important to always remind ourselves that everyone is different, and different things work for different people. When I find myself slipping into comparing myself to others athletically, professionally, or otherwise, I know I need to remember that all I ever want to be is myself. And that I’m doing the best I can, on any given day, to juggle the responsibilities, worries, challenges, and other constraints I’m facing. And also, I know that the comparison trap is never going to lead to happiness, so I try to shift my focus pretty quickly. You are definitely not alone in this!
    Great post, and that looks like an awesome dinner party!!

  • This is a great post. I never really thought of NYC in that way…..but I know what you mean as I always inferior to every other person in the street when I visit London. There’s probably a lot more social pressure on people in the big cities. You just do your thing girl! The cooking club gathering looks great!

  • Love your honesty! I definitely do the same thing – and when you surround yourself with people with the similar interests and goals, it’s almost impossible not to compare – especially when you’re naturally competitive (like me..) I guess I just use it as motivation to do the best I can – but try not to take myself too seriously.
    So jealous of your cooking/wine club – looks like a fabulous time and something fun to look forward to every month!

  • ZOMG I need a tan. hehe. But seriously, being the best you can on any given day is such an important thing to keep in mind – I constantly remind myself of this too. It’s hard not to fall into the comparison trap here – I hear ya on that one! As long as I’m being me and happy, then I’m good, you know? Love posts like this, lady 🙂 So glad we got to hang slash run so much this week!

  • Katie

    I have to remind myself of this a lot, too, because I often find myself feeling guilty if I decide that I’m too exhausted to be much fun or really want a night alone to myself.  (You wrote about this a couple days ago, too.)  I know it’s important for me to say “yes, yes, yes!” a lot, because I don’t want to miss out on all the fun things that bloggers and non-bloggers are doing!  And most of the time I do! But it’s also important for me to take time to myself to recharge my batteries. 

  • man-friend

    For me, personal goals supercede comparisons to others, for there will always be someone bigger, faster, stronger, more committed than I. I try to set somewhat realistic goals that push me enough to make me feel a sense of accomplishment. Also, you have nothing to worry about cause you are pretty awesome just the way you are.

  • RunTheLongRoad

    I remind myself that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.  Comparing yourself to other runners is a hard habit to break but it’s useless.  Everyone has different abilities and you have to find what works best for you.  

  • uhhh, I’m horrible at the comparison trap.  the worst.  its so bad.

    in fact, I am aiming to run a sub 1:30 half next weekend.   I only need a 1 second PR to do so, which I thought was badass.  But hearing the stat you posted about our age group (I’m 27), I immediately got glum and thought 1:30 wasn’t good enough.  It’s ridiculous.

    my other bad trap is comparing blogger traffic numbers.  I am always jealous of blogs that have high reader #’s.  although I LOVE my readers, and am very happy for what I have 🙂

  • Anonymous

    i;m convinced that the running scene in nyc is ridiculous – anywhere else,
    1:30 would WIN a half marathon. let’s go find some small town races!

  • kaye anne

    Love your blog!  I tell my running gal-pals about it all the time.  You have great perspective.  I’m 38… been running recreationally since I was 15.  You will always chase the goal.  I think sub- 1:30 is a great goal, but …. it’s just part of the journey… not the end point.  I thought sub-3 at Boston would be the “it”…. It’s not.  I want more.  That’s what makes us runners, fighters, sisters, daughters, mothers, friends…. we strive to become better.  Own your journey… for it’s only yours.

  • Tortilla de patatas!  I ate so much of it when I was in Spain a couple of months ago. <3 <3 <3 I'm totally going to attempt it when I get settled in my new apartment. Happy Weekend! 🙂

  • Great post!
    I’ve been a reader for almost 3 years, but this is my first comment. Yipee!
    I constantly compare myself to others in many ways.
    One example:
    I used to be able to run consistent 8:45 miles, all the time. Winter hit and with all the snow I stopped running and did Zumba and other stuff at the gym. Now, I can barely maintain a 10 min mile. When I see a gal running super fast, I think man – I can’t run that fast!
    To get over it: I think, we have different bodies, different lungs, different legs. We’re different! What is fast for me doesn’t have to be the same as anyone else.
    Also, sometimes I think – my work out top is cuter…don’t judge =).

  • Anonymous

    haha, i like your thinking! and sometimes cute workout clothes (love my
    lululemon spandex shorts) really do make my workout better!