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Wish List Wednesday- Cross Training and Cross Culture Cuisine

This week’s Wish List Wednesday, has me wishing for that ideal instrument for some hardcore cross training and for some extra dough to experiment with cross cultural cusine…

This week’s running/fitness wish is…

I wish I had a road bike……

Set Up-  How to cross train best?

One of the most popular conversations among runners is how they best find their exercise when they are not running. Weird huh? We spent so much time talking about running, and actually running that the flip side of that experience becomes almost as crucial. What do you do on days when you just cant run or need a break from running but still want a workout? There are tons of answers to this X training  question from p90x to yoga, from water aerobics to rock climbing- everyone has their thing. I cross train a variety of ways – using group fitness at my gym, the row machine, and my punching bag at home. There is one more thing I would desperately like to do to be able to cross train effectively though. While all of those options keep me fit and strong, there is a simpler solution that could provide a more natural open air workout and still have me prepared for my next run successfully. Cycling. Cycling is routinely described by runners, fitness experts, and the like as the most effective form of cross training for runners. I would love to get into cycling. One big problem. No bike. New bikes are ridicuously expensive, and used bikes are still “out of my league” costly.

I would love to be able to add this to my cross training routine on a weekly basis.

The Ideal Wish- Just ride away

I would love to be able to use Saturdays (my biggest cross training day) day to just grab my bike and gear and go for an extra long ride of who knows how many miles. I would love on long workout days to be able to flush out the legs with a short ride. I would love to be able to run in the morning on those hot hot hot Florida days, but still enjoy the outside in the afternoon with a spin on the bike. I would love to be able to take my bike out to a short sprint triathlon and try it once or twice and see how it would do. I would love to be able to join a group ride for a little bit and too relax and settle in to meet some new people. I would love to be able to use my bike to make me a well rounded athlete, and therein a stronger runner.

I couldnt tell you if this is a really good cycle or not, but I would love it have it

The Reality-  Nothing “only” about $200

I dont have one and I cant afford one. Everyone acknowledges that the price of a nice new bike/cycle is incredibly expensive, but many like to suggest to me purchasing a used bike. “You can find a used one for only $200” is a popular quote I have heard from people. Right, just two hundred dollars. Yeah thats realistic. If by realistic you mean totally not existing in reality. That doesnt even begin to cover the oost of helmet, clothes, and other gear.

Right now I have to be content with the ocassional neighborhood spin on my parents road bike and the copious amount of spinning I do at my gym. I love to spin, I love the workout, the energy, and the camaraderie. Im no fool, I get its not cycling but it is all I have right now to get a cycle style workout. Many cyclists dismiss it as “aerobics on a bike” which is fair, but it serves its purpose. Besides most spinners dont necessarily view it as cycling. Instead they see it as good HIIT training and an acceptable substitute.

Im an avid spinner, do it several times a week and really enjoy it

The Possibility- Ride it until it is mine

I dont see much movement on this one. Ill keep spinning as long as I am a member of my gym. I honestly have terrific spin instructors who make each class an enjoyable experience and a hard workout so I am always happy to take those classes. I guess I will definitely make an effort to ride my parents road bike a little bit more, maybe take it out to the nearby park with its loads of trails to become a more seasoned rider. I honestly do think that if I kept riding it more and more, they would probably grow tired of it and just cede it to me since they barely ride it anyway.

Now onto my nutrition wish…..

I wish I could experiment with my more global cuisine…

Set up- Global variety is good

To me one of the tenets of a healthy eater is that they are varied and experimental. No matter how many calories you count, you really shouldnt eat the same things over and over again. You need to broaden your horizons, eat a variety of flavors, dishes, and food products. That way you give yourself more options to eat healthy dishes and avoid getting into a eating rut. Eat the same foods over and over (no matter how healthy) and you get bored with your day to day diet and you are more likely to find easy unhealthy options to satisfy that variety. Open up your palette to the world, and your options to eat healthy and strong are almost unlimited.Unscientific yes, but I honestly believe this. Personally,  I would love to be able to do exactly that. Tampa may not be the most cultural of cities, but it does have a wide variety of ethnic restaurants that I would love to sample. The problem is I have little extra cash to eat out, and not many friends interested in experimenting

They serve this at a recommended Vietnamese place in Tampa. Sooooooo want to try

The Ideal Wish- One new place a week

I would love to be able to go out to a new exotic restaurant once a week and try a brand new dish or new ethnic cuisine. I would love to go out with a friend or family to that Ethiopian style place in South Tampa, the Spanish place in downtown Tampa, or one of the Middle Eastern places that dot the area. I would love to be able to go back and try that Vietnamese place  or Korean BBQ I had many years ago. I would love to be able to sample new cuisines the way my parents sample new wines or my sister samples new beers. I would love to be able to embrace the global food possibilities that exist around me.

This is a Middle Eastern style place I would very much like to try in Tampa... mmm kabobs

The Reality- Be grateful for what you can get

Not much in the budget for eating out. My dining out experiences on my own are limited to the occasional trip to the exotic locale known as “Subway”.  Truly out there as you can see. Im not deprived, I do get to eat out quite a bit because my parents often invite me to their functions, occasional dinners out,  or treat me to dinner at their club. However there  is nothing new at these places. Members of my family are consistent eaters, they find a few tasty restaurants and they stay there. They dont really want to experiment with most things new or wild. This is not an indictment on them, it is a solid proactice. After all if you find a tremendous BBQ place like Leroy Selmons in Tampa, why deviate from that? If the menu at your club serves terrific chicken parm or well prepared fish, why do you need to go anywhere else? I get the mentality even if I dont share it.  Besides in my case, beggars cannot be choosers. My parents can be too generous when treating me to things. When it comes to meals out, I just shut up and thank them and enjoy whatever Im getting.

Nothing wrong with Leroy's, I love it, I just want to expand a little

The Possibility- 2 Choices

A couple of things are possible here:

1) Supermarkets- Find the ethnic foods isle, and every week pick out a diferent food/product that I would like to try from a different part of the globe. This could be made as ultra cheap as I like it and is massively convenient.

2) Farmers Markets- Local farmers markets are great places to just stroll around and see what fresh and local fruits, veggies, breads, cakes, honeys, jams– err you name it  – is available. Most farmers markets around here also feature food stands from a variety of different ethnic areas. Generally speaking you could probably sample one or 2 cuisines for right about ten dollars and not break the bank. Next time the one near me comes back, Im trying the Ethiopian place.

Maybe at the next farmers market, Ill get to taste the flavor my friend has been raving about

Enjoy your run. Enjoy your day :O

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