My husband and I recently completed the Tour du Mont Blanc, an approximately 100 mile hiking loop around Mont Blanc in France, Italy, and Switzerland. This is a popular route, and I benefitted greatly from reading the packing lists and blog recaps of other TMB hikers. Here is one of my contributions — our packing list! I am also posting a recap of our eight-day TMB itinerary and some FAQs about the TMB, in separate posts. Enjoy!
As some of you know, we purchased a house in Colorado almost a year ago. The house was built in 1975, which means popcorn ceilings, textured walls, out-of-code electrical wiring, layers of crazy paint colors and wallpaper, and, my favorite, asbestos. Oh, and some ugly built ins. For more background and to read my first home project update, click here!
Sooo I’m still not allowed to run after my bulging disc diagnosis. But I’m trying to have fun anyway. The latest: a trip to Japan! My husband had wanted to see Tokyo and Kyoto for years, and before traveling to anywhere new that I wanted to go (like the TMB, planned for September!), we decided to check this one off his bucket list. I was interested in experiencing Japan but I had one major concern: the food. My husband eats most meats and fish, but as my readers know, I am a vegetarian. The Japanese diet is very meat heavy, and especially seafood heavy, with fish broth — dashi — showing up in what feels like every. single. dish. Plus, the concept of a vegetarian, I’d learned when doing my research, doesn’t exist in Japan. Buddhists are sometimes vegan, but the ovo-lacto vegetarianism that is common in the U.S. doesn’t seem to have taken hold in Japan. To cater to the small number of vegetarians that do exist in Japan, both Tokyo and Kyoto have some fully vegetarian and vegan outlets. However, because my husband eats meat, that wasn’t going to be an option for every meal. And I wanted to eat Japanese food, not just vegetarian food. So I developed three food goals for the trip:
(1) Experience Japanese culture
(2) Eat food that tastes good
(3) Eat food that is nourishing.
In other words, I didn’t want to fill up on plain white rice or French pastries (which are everywhere in Japan!) or Japanese desserts (also everywhere!). So here’s what I learned and ate on our trip, including my favorite picks for best vegetarian foods in Japan.
Race: The 122nd Boston Marathon
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Time of Year: Marathon Monday; Patriots’ Day; the third Monday in April
Where to start? I’ve asked myself so many times in the past few weeks to put together the timeline… when was the beginning of all this? Christmas. I’m pretty sure. But probably before then. Let’s just start there. My husband and I went to Orangetheory in his hometown over the holidays. It felt great to sweat but after the rowing portion of the class, my lower back felt a little tweaked. I had been trying to use good form, engaging my core, etc. etc. so I decided that my historically, notoriously tight hip flexors must have pulled something in my back when I was rowing. My back hurt for a week or two — longer than I expected, but everything felt muscular. I didn’t think much of it and proceeded with my life…
Race: Austin Marathon in, you guessed it, Austin, Texas
Time of Year and Weather: Sunday of President’s Day Weekend, mid-February; 50-55 degrees and overcast for the race; high of 76 for race weekend
Size: With 17,000 runners (half, full, and 5k) this is the 25th largest marathon in the USA. Of course, the vast majority of those runners were doing the half.