March 31, 2005
musing on running
Thank you, you guys! You are so very kind.
I'm still feeling a bit under the weather, but I'm sure this will pass in a day or two. I feel just exhausted and a little overwhelmedyow. And, I just realized that I may well not be able to be at either PFit session this weekend, due to the motorcycle class.
I keep thinking about this: when am I going to fit in that 15 miles? I'm in class for 6 hours on Saturday, and 9 hours on Sunday. I began thinking about Karnazes and his habit of running while his family sleeps. I guess I could give up some sleep, but damn it, it's a healthy vice! And then I starting thinking about the fact that he orders pizzas while out running. But that's probably not in the middle of the night, right, because pizza joints aren't open all night, are they? Or are things different in SF?
There's been an interesting discussion on the PFit boards about whether running is selfish. Some people of course said yes, but someone cited a former post long ago and far away about running as part of the social contractgetting fit as a way to be healthier and thus be less of a burden on others. Damn straight! And we're nicer too. Or something.
goals and animals
Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.
March 30, 2005
pics from Champoeg!
Photos by Barb Rieber, used with permission
I'm also excited for this weekend. PFit starts Saturday, VancouverFit (WA) begins Sunday, and I have my motorcycle class this weekend! Wuhoo, I'll have no downtime at all! Oh boy! When am I going to get that 15 miles in????
fun with dentistry
Hello y'all! I walked part of the way into work today, trying to will myself to feel better. My mouth hurts, my jaw aches, and my stomach is seriously unhappy. The walk was nice, very pleasant. Let's hear it for that.
So yesterday I had a three hour dental visit. Fillings galore. I reminded the dentist and her hygenist that I had been a bad, thrashing, moaning patient last time, and they were very happy to suggest laughing gas. But the thing is, you get the shots, and you get the gas, and it's still painful.
It was one of those situations where I can't really control the pain beyond breathing deep, so I'd try to concentrate on things I could control, like holding my stomach in. I'd exhale and visualize my belly collapsing, deeper, deeper, until there was a depression between my ribcage and my hipbones. I did a lot of that. And yes, my abs ache now too.
March 29, 2005
Pam Reed is my hero!
Yo! She did it! She completed the 300-mile, nonstop run. Damn!!!
Details: Tucsonan Pam Reed completes 300-mile, nonstop run (Tucson Citizen)
Oh, and listen to this:
It was the failure of Karnazes to negotiate a sleepless 300-mile run that was a main catalyst for Reed's weekend run. Karnazes, who quit his run after 262 miles, told the Citizen he might have been able to do it if he ran a flat course like Reed. His course was partly in the hills of northern California.
Cat chow, table 5?
UPDATE: More stories:
- 301-MILE NONSTOP RUN: Pamtastic! : Reed finishes her epic race 3 minutes shy of 80 hours . (Tucson Citizen)
- Four-day, 301-mile run just a beginning for Reed
- Pam Reed Completes 300 mile run
- Experts: 300-mile run not for us all : It's hard on the joints and dehydrating, and its long-term effects haven't been studied. (Tucson Citizen)
ultra dude, the reading.
Right now I am procrastinating. In an hour, I go for more fillings. I just got a bill from my dental insurance (thank g-d I have dental insurance), and $288 from the last fillings were not covered! Oh boy! If today goes as expected, I'll owe a thousand dollars by the time everything is done and said. Oh, I hate that.
Yesterday, I ended up right in front of the instructor in pilates. Ugh. My upperbody seems permanently sore, and my belly was sore going in. I guess I was holding my transverse nice and wide (ie, holding my gut in) during the coaches' meeting on Saturdayouch!
It surprises me sometimes what slow going this is. I'd think, after 4 months of doing pilates at least once a week, that this would be getting substantially easier. Yes, I can do more, yes, I can do it better, but it's still hard, hard, hard.
Afterwards, I did 20 easy minutes on the elliptical. I don't know that I've done more than a couple minutes at a time, but it felt good. Today, I have a little ache, very small, in my hamstrings and calves, which, well, who knows where it came from. There it is.
Last night, we went to Powells to see Dean Karnazes read. We got there about 20 minutes before the reading, and the room was almost fullyikes! I immediately recognized Hollie and one of the coaches.
The readings at Powells are held in the Pearl Room, where they have an art gallery. The exhibit this time was primitivist circus postersvery cool.
The reading: not so much of a reading. Basically, Karnazes gets up, says this editor said that his readings were all over the place, gives us a quote, and then opens the floor for questions. Dude, don't you want to sell the book? It's all about the sizzle, man!
Anyways, the questions and answers were interesting, and about what you would expect. He is so damn pollyanna, so optimistic, hey, you can do this too. Bill asked about his VO2 max, and it's 70. Hello!!! This man is a genetic freak. Him and Lance Armstrong. Average person: 50. Yow.
I was ready, and let's be honest, hoping, for the unchecked ego. Which was not displayed. He seemed like your normal overenthusiastic ultrarunner who doesn't sleep.
Oh. And he's done Hood to Coast, 195 miles,by himself. Sheesh.
It was all over, well, within a halfhour. What a disappointment! I did end up buying the book in a moment of weakness. Well, that and Brent's review made it sound like it might be a laffriot.
March 28, 2005
Ultra dude, the prelude
hi, I'm Dean Karnazes and I'm on the cover of a magazine! Are you on the cover of a magazine? Thought not.
What do I know about this guy? Well, it seems like I've been exposed to him a quite a bit. There was the article in Runners World, and then one of my favorite PFit bulletin boarders is really into him, and then I saw the 60 minutes interview last night with Karnazes and Pam Reed.
I thought it was interesting that with Karnazes, they mentioned his wife and family, but that was all. No video of them. Just a shot of his kitchen, and his front stoop. With Reed, it was all about her, how she runs multiple times a day to be able to keep up her obligations to her husband and her sons. It's hard to imagine this was a coincidence.
It was very cool to see coverage of an ultra on TV, immediately after I had read Marshall's Three Days of Syllamo report. And to make it all more, I don't know what, jocky maybe, I rode the exercycle while I watched it.
Anyways, I'm not entirely sure what to expect. Mela saw Karnazes on Letterman and said he was funny. Brent has a brilliant review of the book, including a quite-possibly misogynist streak. So, I expect tonight will be interesting. If nothing else, I should see some folks I recognize, and be out and about on a weeknight for something other than pilates. Wuhoo!
one step forward
My morning in a nutshell:
|had most of my clothes ready to go||but not all of my clothes|
|got up the first time sweetie woke me up||but ended up on the computer while drinking coffee|
|dressed to walk in||but was too late to walk in|
|made it to the gym||to shower|
|dropped off 6 magazines||picked up two more|
So. Ack. I have two short term goals: be more timely (be to work on time, etc), and to get a workout in in the morning. I was moving in the right direction this morning (but the path to hell is paved with good intentions, right?)
Oh well. I have pilates at lunch, and I am going to do my prescribed stretches, even if I just do one of each. I don't know why this is so hard. Okay, I do have one idea. I can't do the stretches at home because all of them are floor stretches and all the animals gather around me sniffing me and licking me and vocalizing and climbing on me, which doesn't really encourage me to do more of that. I could do this stuff at the gym... so why don't I?
Anyways, pilates at lunch, and maybe I'll sneak in a little elliptical or treadmill. Hopefully.
March 27, 2005
We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.
I know a number of us "running" blogger-types work high-tech jobs. I work in a non-profit, but I really can't complain about payit's quite possibly ruined me for library work.
Two of my most satisfying jobs were as cabdriver and as a UPS sorter, and I still think that there must be some adult job that would take advantage of my excellent cartography and directional skills. But what is that job?
When I saw Hollie on Saturday, we chatted briefly about working at UPS. It went like this:
Hollie: I can't believe we both worked at UPS.
vj: damn, that was the best job evar!
Hollie: What are you talking about? I was covered with bruises! I have pictures of my thigh, and it was bruise upon bruise!
But it was the best job evar! That combination of workout and brain challengeI loved it. So it's not too surprising that I loved this: A Coder in Courierland. Now, I doubt I could do that. Long ago and far away I was doored, and I spent a summer learning to walk again, and that experience still informs every bike ride. But it's kinda romantic to think about bike couriering.
So what's your dream job? And is it realistic?
March 26, 2005
aid station at the ultra
Hey you guys, thank you. I don't know what was going on, but I think it's just been a rough little-over-a-week, what with the drama with Mom and drama with my best pal and not enough downtime. Anyways, after some chocolate and some time with my baby, it seems like this was really more about bigger things than whether I fit into the assistant coach culture.
Midafternoon, Mela came by so we could go volunteer at the ultra race. It was pouring, still, and neither of us really dressed to be out in the pouring rain for three hours. So after about an hour of it when we were thoroughly drenched and shivering, we moved the car so it was conveniently near the aid station, and sat in it. When a runner would come through, we'd just jump outta the car, bound over the giant log, and try to be helpful.
When we got there, there was no sign of the previous volunteers. Food had been left out in bowls, and it was soaking in rain water. We had bagels, bananas, pretzels, and chips, and of course, the favorite of all ultra runners, off-brand cola. So we tried to tidy up, and prepare the table for participants.
Every single one would grab the cup of cola which was diluted with rain water, and drink it. No one grabbed a new cup, as I had expected, or asked us for a new cup. They would also grab a handful of potato chips, a big handful, and then try to squeeze them all into their mouths. This was the only sign, in most cases, other than having a fine coating of mud from the waist down, that they were doing an ultrathe loss of motor skills.
Everyone, with one exception, looked like they were out for a jog. They were filthy, but they looked like they could run another 15 miles easy (our aid station was about 5 miles from the finish). They all stopped to chat, were superfriendly, thanked us for being there.
It was really rather impressive. Everyone had such good attitudes. Damn, I wanna do that!
Afterwards, we did the only reasonable thing. We went out for pho, vietnamese beef noodle soup, a big bowl studded with meatballs and eye-of-round and jalapeno. A little pho, and I'm human again.
am I really cut out for this?
There are days where I'm just slow, and not brave. I try to be brave, I just sometimes don't succeed.
I woke up this morning, and it was pouring. No trail half marathon for me. There will be other races. I suppose I should get over this dislike of rain, but it really rains here infrequentlyit's mostly drizzle and mist and that's all fine.
So, I went to an assistant coachs' meeting, which was mostly assembling the goodie bags for participants. I recognized a few people but was having trouble being outgoing. It seemed like everyone else there knew everyone.
I went to check in with the organizer, and, my name wasn't on the list. I felt this shiver of "I'm not supposed to be here" which I tried to quash. I was originally on the AC mailing list, but then I couldn't make the first meeting (the evening of the Austin Marathon), and then I heard nothing for a long long time. So I wrote the organizer a couple weeks back asking what was happening, and got re-added to the list.
This stuff just brings up my "I'm not worthy" stuffthat I'm not enough of a role model, etc, etc. to be an AC. My sometimes inability to be outgoing (like today) makes me think, am I really cut out for this?
I felt better when I saw Hollie, in from her 13 mile run (damn, rain didn't stop her!). But I still wasn't shaking the feeling that maybe I don't belong there.
March 25, 2005
my lovely, lovely kitchen!
So, I'm camped in my living room. The animals are all locked up in the upstairs bedrooms, and boy, are they unhappy about it. The marmoleum guy is laying the marmoleum as we speak. I can't believe how beautiful it is! And, I can't believe how much I just want to go into the kitchen, and I can't!
I am aching, top to bottom, from pilates last night. And when I was in pilates, I was just wore out, so while I was trying my best, I don't think I did as much as well as I have in the past. The ability of my body to be achey is just astounding to me. Right now reminds me of when I worked at UPS.
Back maybe a dozen or more years ago (oh my gosh!), I fell into a bad depression which was partially related to a bad job. Now, by depression, I mean the medical termI hit the point where I was unable to go to work, to leave the house, to talk to my housemates. I got into therapy and onto psychotropics, and a few months later, I was beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. And I decided to go to school.
I love school, love taking classes, and then I suddenly realized that my loans weren't covering me, and I needed to find a job. I talked to the career people at school, who got me in for an interview at UPS. I did some aptitude testing, and ended up as a sorter.
I had never made more than about $6 an hour, so UPS pay, union pay, was incredible. And the job was so much fun!
Basically, imagine if you will a giant chute that propels packages at you. The end of the chute is maybe 12 feet long. The conveyor belts are moving the packages at you at a tremendous rate. You're on a catwalk of sorts. And behind you is a train running on a loop, with maybe 12 traincars, and each car having 9 or so compartments. I don't recall how many areas I was sorting to, but there were quite a few.
So. I'd grab a package, look at the address, make the decision which area it was by its street address and zip, and sort it to the traincar compartment. And of course, this wasn't something you did leisurelythis was an aerobic activity. I spent 4 or 5 hours a night doing this. And I loved it.
Long ago and far away, I used to be a cab driver. I have an almost photographic memory as far as streets go. So the challenge of picking up a package, a heavy package, and deciding in a split-second where it needed to go was a great one for me.
I was come home and I'd be filthy dirty, completely sweaty, and my body, especially my upper body, would ache and ache. I'd take a hot shower, put on some iceyh0t, slide into bed, and sleep like the dead. I felt so good, so strong, so sexy.
So why aren't I doing this now? Man! On heavy-heavy packages, I used to hoist them onto my breasts before hoisting them into the compartments, and my manager was sure I was going to injury myself. They offered me a traffic job, basically being the traffic controller of the plant flow, and I should have taken it, but I wanted the fun job of herking things around.
Hope everyone has a great weekend! Don't eat too much chocolate!
March 24, 2005
Too much time on your hands?
Maybe you should create a transparent desktop. It's perfect for April Fools Day. Or, maybe not.
Last night was very cool.
Yesterday at work, Jill asked me if I wanted to go drinking that evening. I said, why don't you come hang out at my place, and we decided that was a good idea.
Now, I don't have houseguests as often as I'd like. A good part of that is that even though I don't keep house like my mom does, I feel like my house should look like hers, which is hard to do. But it was great. We came home, and I vacuumed the living room and picked up in well-less than a half hourand then the living was beautiful (or as beautiful as it gets).
We went out for a thoroughly weird dinner, at a "fusion" restaurant that seemed to have some weird, not-right thing in each dish, and they ended up comping us for 2 of the 5 dishes we ordered. It was surreal. Then we came back to the house and watched TV. It was just what the doctor ordered.
I was writing something on the PFit board which made me curious where I am on the obesity scale and where I was. This is it:
98th percentile (compared to other Americans)
I'm making progress. Slowly. But progress.
March 23, 2005
There's an interesting article in City Sports this time about tempo running. You might call it intervals.
Turbo Charging with Tempo Runs
By T.J. Murphy
You know, sometimes you have a day where you just drag. You know you do. It seems like I've been having a lot of them lately. This morning, while waiting for the bus in the rain, I had to play the gratitude game to try to get my spirits up. You know, where you list things that you're thankful for. I had no problem coming up with things to be thankful for, but it didn't stick.
I was kinda dreading my allegro session today. Pilates last night was really difficult, and this morning, I hurt almost everywhere. It's like that damn cardio-boxing class reawoke my pain sensors! And I was thinking, great, I'm going into another allegro session where I'll be giving 100%, but my instructor will have to be holding back.
Well, I shouldn't have worried. I had left clothes at the gym yesterday, and I have never done that before. But I remembered this morning, so I didn't bring new workout clothes. So when I got there for allegro, there was no sign of my lock, or of my clothes. I freaked right out. I talked to the receptionist, who showed me the stuff in the lost and found, then I talked to one of the gym guys who I'm acquainted with, and there were no new bags in the closet where they throw all the locker stuff. So, he suggested firmly that I go back to the locker room and check every locker.
At that point, I saw my allegro instructor and told her my tale of woe, and she was very gracious about it. Hell, I'm in cool fishnets and some funky d@nsko maryjanes and a straight skirt -- I can't do allegro in my street clothes. I was so freaked that I forgot that I also keep some gym clothes under my desk (admittedly now, a couple sizes too large, but still).
And then I begin trolling the locker room. Here locky-locky-locky... and sure enough, across from where I had thought I had stowed my clothes was another lock that looked like mine. And was mine. So I went back out to the gym guy to get my serving of crow, and left.
I will probably go back in a few hours, especially if my funk doesn't lift.
But among the things I'm thankful for is the opportunity to do a half marathon trail "run" this weekend (I'm not signed up, so I'll bag it if it's rainy... or not. Who knows?), the opportunity to volunteer for the ultra portion of said trail run, and to do dim sum with my best pals on Sunday morning. And, to do my motorcycle class next weekend. And that my mom had such an easy time with her surgery that she could stomach Kentucky Fried dinner immediately afterwards.
Motivation & self-discipline
I've found great benefit from developing skill in motivating myself (visualization, setting goals, celebrating successes, etc.) while also building my self-discipline (... getting up at 5am, staying organized, etc.). Developing both of these tools is far more effective than over-relying on only one of them.
Steve Pavlina, Productivity Blog Showdown
March 22, 2005
So, I talked to Mom after her surgery. She came through fine. She was woozy when I talked to her, but anyone might be after having Kentucky Fried dinner. I can't believe she ate Kentucky Fried dinner, as the last time she had this surgery, she was seriously sick for the first 8 hours or so that she was home (I know, cuz I took care of her), and KFd was not even an option. But I am so glad that she was just feeling wore out, and not awful.
Me, I'm wore out too. Greg was kind to me, and assigned some stretches to do, and reminded me that stretching was the most important of the exercises. Oh yeah, stretches are what I leave til last and generally don't do. Guess I need to change that.
Pilates was difficult. Was it from a rough pilates class yesterday or yet more reminents of last week? Dunno. I just know that I was finding everything super hard. And I have allegro tomorrow.
People not doing their stretches keeps me in business
Greg, the assigner of exercises
Certified Athletic Trainer, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
I'm going for a walk
I had a very pleasant walk in this morning. First, somehow, I left early. Okay, it was only a minute early, but that still counts! I didn't do it fast, or hold my abs in, or use good racewalking formI just walked. And it was great.
I thought a lot about a couple things, one of which is that I'm seeing Greg, the assigner of exercises, this afternoon, and I have been, ummm, a total and complete slacker about doing them. Man, I suck! I've totally been an overachiever, but I still suck.
It made me think of this crazy path I'm on, with pilates and cycling and now this crazy cardio-boxingis this all in the service of making me a better walker? I think so. I hope so.
The other thing I thought about was my mom, who is having surgery in just a couple hours. Please keep her in your thoughts. I really wanted to be home to take care of her, but it just wasn't possible. It breaks my heart. As surgery goes, this shouldn't be a big deal, but that thought is not a lot of comfort.
Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.
March 21, 2005
Virtue or lack thereof
My legs are beginning to feel normal again. Of course, I walk a block or two, and I am acutely aware of my hip flexors and my glutes still. So while I was full of virtuous thoughts of walking to work, or at least walking to the library, I basically just walked to the bus.
But, I did do something virtuous, I did! We are running out of the little containers that I carry my youghurt to work in, mostly because I make the mistake of leaving them at work, and then they disappear. And since I haven't been bringing youghurt, I've been having an egg-sausage-english muffin every morning at work. Not so good, I know.
But there I was at my library branch, which is in a stripmall next to a giant-chain-natural-foods-store, which was open. So I went in and, gasp, bought youghurt in little containers. I'm eating one now. And drinking my water. Yum. And looking forward to lunchtime pilates.
March 20, 2005
I'm feeling better in every sense this morning.
Yesterday was a full day. We went out to breakfast, then went and bought a stove (yea!), then went to one of my favorite tacquerias, Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon. De Leon is a full service grocery with a deli, and the deli portion can be a little intimidating as everyone is speaking spanish. Even though I can order in my kiddie spanish and sign language, I get to that deli and freeze up and find that I can only think in german.
Anyways, it's worth it to be bold and not freeze up, as they do all the antojitos as well as a combination plate, and stuff by the pound. They also have the most delicious, potent salsas, which are totally addictive. For $10, we got a combination plate with an extra meat and extra tortillas and two Jarritos, and the two of us ate to the groaning point. So, we had black beans and spanish rice, pork and nopalitos (catcus), some type of chicken in sauce, and freshly made corn tortillas. Damn! I ate so much of the piquant habanero salsa that I had to buy a bottle of water afterwards. Oh well!
After that, we did a tour of the more established scooter resources in town. First stop was Ptown Scooters, which provides repair and restoration. We chatted with Patrick there for a while and just soaked up the good vibe. Of course, looking at the scooters in various states of repair was also thrilling.
Next stop, Columbia Scooters. Before we got the fever, in the fall, we had stopped by Columbia after a beer at the Lucky Lab, and had been impressed by the selection, and how nice the staff was. More of the same this time. I got lots of attention, and Rob was just excellent. He clued in immediately on how my height (5'5") might be an issue, and had me sit on a number of scooters to see how comfortable they might be to stand at a light with. Again, I soaked it innice folks, nice scoots.
Last stop was Scooter Station. I had corresponded with one of the owners last weekthey stock some new scooters, and restore and sell classic scooters. We didn't realize we were walking in when they were scheduled to close, but Stefan never let that onwe looked at his beautiful scoots, and chatted for well over an hour.
He, like everyone we talked to yesterday, encouraged us to get involved in the scooter community. Each of them had suggestions for sweetie's Stella, which isn't really running right. What a different experience than at the big expensive big-name dealer where sweetie bought his scooter, who ignored me outright and seemed very unconnected to the established widespread Portland scooter community. And suggested that sweetie's Stella problems were user-error.
March 19, 2005
This morning I am sad. Basically, I went to a lot of trouble to set up a trip to go back east, and then I found out that it was for naught. It's all out of my hands, it never was in my hands, and it's all very upsetting. And, the person for whom I went to all this trouble doesn't understand why I'm upset.
So, I was physically exhausted yesterday, as my allegro trainer noted. Then sobbing, that's exhausting.
I went to the motorcycle class last night. (Wanna see their promo video? It's cute!)It's down on Swan Island in the shipyards, and this particular address has the whole tip of the island. It's just chaos inside the security gatesbuildings and trailers and giant hoist things. I had to find the correct building (by number), and then the correct door (by number). I found it, though I was late (it's my way).
I was on the waiting list. I walk in, give the instructor my name, and he immediately kicks out a guy who was behind me on the waiting list. I settle nervously in. Introductions are done, the instructor talks about how the class is structured, yadda yadda yadda, and I start to fill out the release form, because it appears I'm in. Then someone runs up the stairs and bursts into the room, and I'm out. Dude, I was one minute late, and this guy is 15 minutes late. Whatever, I'm still out.
So. Unless I pull out of volunteering for March Mudness, next week is out. And, I may still be waiting-listed next week anyways. And then, the next weekend is the first weekend of PFit. I'm overbooked! But I really want to do the class. When I was younger, I had that sense of immortality that comes with ones' twenties. But, I know that scootering can be dangerous, and I want to know how to keep all the odds in my favor.
Now I'm not sure what I'll do with my weekend. It's supposed to rain, and we really need that. I promised my allegro instructor I would not do any exercise of any kind today, which just seems so wrong, especially when I have demons to excise. There is plenty to do around the house, and in the yard, so I should have no excuse to be bored.
March 18, 2005
to AC or not to AC, that is the question
So. I started my whole walking career, which has spawned this whole manical approach to fitness, with Portland Fit. They're a great organization, and I feel a fierce devotion to them, even as I really actually only know a handful of people.
All winter long, I've been excited about the opportunity to AC (assistant coach [oops, just typed couch. What would Freud say?]). Really wanted it. Planned on it. Saw it as a chance to give back, and to make more connections within the running/walking community.
The program starts in two weeks and it's unclear whether I'll be chosen to be an AC. Maybe I won't. After all, I'm really slow. And quite fat. Yeah, I've lost some weight, but I'm not one of those people who have been physically transformed by the sport.
But beyond that, I'm questioning if it's right, if I should, be an AC. Among other things, I learned of an AC meeting coming up, the morning of the March MudnessI was hoping to do a half for that. I'm selfishI want to do both!! I'll be missing the first two sessions because I'll be back east.
So. Should I do this? I was thinking that I'd do the scheduled PFit walk on Saturdays with the group, and then do my Higdon walks (aiming for 6/5 marathon) on Sunday. I like the idea of the two walks, one after the other. And maybe I could work on speed on the PFit ones? That doesn't sound bad. And most of the races I'd like to do are on Sundays.
The end questioncan I be unselfish enough? Or, am I, as usual, biting off more than I can chew??
now, this should be interesting
Not too surprisingly, every identifiable muscle in my body (excepting my head) hurts. Last night, I went to pilates and worked til collapse, then came home and went to bed. I guess when sweetie came up and turned out the light, I said, "wow, it's really dark" and then began snoring again. I of course remember nothing.
So. No walking in this morning. I even took a shower hoping that my body might feel less cranky (it did, momentarily). And, I have my first real allegro session in an hour and a half.
The allegro(TM) is this bed on rollers which you do many simple looking exercises which totally kick yer butt. Having gotten mine kicked yesterday, I'm not really looking forward to this.
But. Hopefully tonight I'll be able to "walk on" to the motorcycle class, which meets all weekend long, rather like a state-run EST session. If I don't get in, I don't have any idea what I'll do this weekend. I know the answer should be, long walk, but I doubt I'm going to feel superfine tomorrow morning.
March 17, 2005
cardio-boxing knocks me out!
Well, I did my first cardio-boxing class today. I've been curious about it, but intimidated. One of my coworkers heard me joke about taking a boxing class at the rec. center and invited me along to this class.
Damn, it kicked my butt. Twenty minutes after the class was over, my face was still beet red, and now, 45 minutes later, I am seeing stars (and wondering when this will end).
We started out with straight cardio, jogging in place, jumping jacks, and choreographed punches and kicks. Then we moved into more choreographed punches and kicks using the big padded punching things. After, I don't know, three hours of that, we moved into some floor exercises including more reps of fire hydrants than any sane person should do.
back on the horse
I had hoped to make an hour of it, in the hopeful way that I think about what I'm going to do in the morning from the safe respite of the couch in the evening. This morning, of course, I was running around, running late, but sweetie gave me a ride in, to my starting place: 18th & SW Jefferson.
It was great, as sweetie says, "Wow, look at how beautiful the Vista Bridge is", and I say, yeah, I'm gonna walk up there!
I went up 18th (gentle rise) to Market Street (really pretty damn steep at points) to Vista (a steady rise) until I had been walking about 15 minutes. I made it just above Montgomery Drive.
Then, I turned and came back down, doing the rapid turnover exercise of trying to take tiny steps and lots of them. Not surprisingly, I came down really fast. Big fun!
Both up and down, I was trying to focus on my hip flexors, and have them carry me up and down the hill. Make them do the work. Yeah!
So when it was all down, I was soaked with sweat, even my hair. Love it! That combined with having really felt Tuesday's pilates yesterday just makes me feel all virtuous.
Mela and I are now signed up as volunteers for March Mudness, a half, 50K and 100K race in Forest Park. I am so excited. I'm thinking I may even do the half, as our shift is in the afternoon and would give me plenty of time to icebathe and eat all the food in NE Portland before heading to the shift.
I have to say, I'm fascinated with ultras. Marshall is doing a 3 day race this weekend. And then there's this whole Dean Karnazes thing. Another PFitter was squealing with joy that Karnazes will be doing a reading at Powells on the 28th. Hmmm, wonder if he's doing March Mudness?
March 16, 2005
life is in the struggle
Dean Karnazes thinks that comfort, convenience and quick gratification - the Big Three of the middle-class American lifestyle - are not making us happy and that we should seek out more suffering.
"Dostoyevsky had it right: 'Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness,' " he writes in his new book, "Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner" (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin).
But an ultramarathon - technically any distance longer than a 26.2-mile traditional marathon - is not really a race at all in the ordinary sense, Mr. Karnazes said. A day and a night of running, he said, is more like a melodrama than an athletic contest - full of euphoric highs and gloomy, dispiriting lows. The emotional climax - the Dostoyevskian moment of suffering - comes when exhaustion and despair loom up and smack you in the face and the finish line seems unattainable.
"That's exactly the moment I seek," he said. "To me, life is in the struggle, and I never feel more alive than when I'm struggling."
from ON THE RUN WITH DEAN KARNAZES: A Runner's Quest for the Ache of Life, the New York Times, Books, 3/16/2005, by Kirk Johnson
This morning was grey and overcast and even a bit sprinkly. After all this crazy sunshine and warm temps, it felt strange. But it's just March. What is the real spring going to be like?
So, I'm probably heading back east in the next couple weeks. I have no dates, no infoI know when would be most convenient for work, but that won't be the decider. So I'm in a state of limbowhen is it happening, for how long, what races will I be missing?
Emboldened by 230 on the scale the last time I weighed myself, I'd love to lose a little more weight before I go. Not that anyone there would notice, but I'd know. So this week, I've been showing a bit more restraintno beer in the evenings, salads whenever possibleand while my legs are still a little wonky, I've been seeking out incidential exercise like climbing the stairs, taking the long way to the bus and the coffee shop, and squeezing some exercycle in when sweetie disappears on his scooter. I'd like to get a walk inmaybe tonight. Sigh.
Pilates was nice last night. Among other things, I showed up early. Fancy that! I set up my mat so I was right in the instructor's sightline. And I worked to exhaustion on everything. I used heavier weights on the weighted stuff. All good. Got some good visual feedback from her, acknowledgements that I was doing it right.
I mentioned to sweetie that Sara is taking a pilates class at the neighborhood rec center, and he was wildly enthusiastic that I should take my class there too, until I told it that it meets on one of the same nights as my standing pilates class. But it gave me some food for thought. If I took only one evening pilates class, that would give me a night for CrossFit. I told him about that, and he clearly thought I was insane for even considering it. "Go ahead my crazy baby, take the nutsy-cuckoo overachiever class. You'll like it"
Balancing home and my fitness aspirations is hard. I just want to hang out with my honey, even as lots of our hang out time is reading or watching TV. And, for some reason, I have a hell of a time leaving earlier than he does. Mind you, luckily for me, he leaves early. But I don't know what that's about (my stuff, not his), and I don't like it.
Guys seem to have an easier time of this. Ladies, how do you handle this? And guys, am I making the right assumption here?
March 15, 2005
I just saw that the results were posted, and.... it shows me with a 16:35 pace!!!! I don't see how that's possible, as it sure looks just short of an 18 minute pace according to my math. But I like it, all the same.
exercise & eating
Pilates at lunch was taught by a sub who was a real sadist. Or maybe my parts still aren't working at maximum capacity. It was really hard. There was a little tiny woman next to me, wearing a matching girly yoga outfit, who kept cheering me on. I have to remind myself, I do know some women who have gone from my size to having space between their thighs, it is possible that this woman might be one of them. And anyways, I don't doubt that the class was hard for her too. But my initial reaction was that she couldn't know how hard it was for me.
Now what is that about? This isn't a competition, I am not the queen of pilates suffering, for heavens sakes! Why can't I accept that it's hard for everyone, and yes, I have a belly, and get over it already, VJ?!
Anyways, the class wore me out. And then it came time to ride the bike home. Oh joy! I feel like the queen of suffering on that too. I rode part of the way with a friend which was very nice, but I had a hard time not letting myself dwell on the fact that I was slowing her down. Why can't how I'm doing now be good enough for now? Maybe she didn't want to speed-demon.
I did finally get home to my house and my beloved and my dog and my cats, and the beautiful sunshine, and I didn't want to leave again.
But, the food group was having a group dinner at an incredible chinese place, and so I made myself go. I got in the car, and the service engine light came on. Sigh. Another opportunity to just turn tail and go back home, which seems safer. But I made myself go. It's an idiot light, an idiot light that I'm afraid of, but it's still an idiot light.
I got there, and there were 20 people there alreadya huge group. The organizer made room for me at one of the tables, and the woman next to me asked me my screen name, and I said VJ, and the table murmured knowingly. And then I realized I had worn my bowling shirt which has VJ embroidered on the front. The man next to me says, yeah, VJ and I did the Austin Marathonand damn, it's Stuart! Too cool.
I met Stuart on my first food group event, a tacqueria crawl. Then, after I did my first half, and was collapsed and delirious with sunstroke, there was Stuart, saying hi. I've run into him in restaurants and races every now and again, and then, on the plane to Austin in February.
So we chatted about what the next couple months hold (unfortunately, it sounds like surgery for Stuart) while we tore into some incredible chinese food. It was great. The food group is just so laid back, and even with lots of new people, the conversation and comraderie was lovely. We all talked about food and restaurants and travel and more about food. Everything was delicious and interesting, and there were lots of things I had never tried before.
I didn't overeatif anything, I underate, and I felt light as a feather walking out. Nice when it works out that way.
March 14, 2005
Goals are dreams with deadlines
While I was doing the 30K, and I wasn't in the "damn it, will this ever end?" phase, I started thinking about hill climbing. I thought about doing the local Shamrock Run (you know, the one that doesn't allow walkers), and just wildcatting itgo early, and just walk it, cuz it's a nice challenging hilly route. (Then I realized it was Sunday, the day after the 30K, and I thought better of it).
And then I remember climbing up from Market Street to Nob Hill in SF when we were staying at the Fairmount, and how damn hard that was, and I thought, yeah, that's where I need to train! SF! Yeah!
And then I finished the 30K and put thoughts of that out of my mind.
Mela and I are trying to figure out a fall marathon. There's Portland 10/9, but the only problem is that if she does it, she'll have to fly out immediately afterwards to go to a conference. She did that last year. So, we're thinking maybe the 26.2 10/23. Walkers welcome. All sorts of goofyass stuff like pedi-care stations and jewelry and spa stuff. Love it!
I am not a superstitious person but every now and again I'll see a "sign" and I'll know it is a portent. Like this morning. I got my cup of coffee and sat down on the couch with the powerbook and the whippet, and I found that Large Fella on a Bike had referred someone to me, and I check out his blog and see that he refers to me as one of his "Folks who Ride & Write".
Man, I think to myself, I really haven't ridden much lately. Too bad it's really too late for me to ride in this morning.
And then I pad out into the kitchen for more coffee, and see... my bike, laying up against the stove. Hmmm, what is that doing there? And then I realize that this is a sign from G-d, cue trumpets here.
Now, it might have been a sign that I should ride in, but that doesn't make it any easier. Does it get any easier? Oh, yeah, if you practice. Damn it! I don't have enough time!! Anyways, I let myself take a break where I always get out of breath, and that did make the whole thing a bit more pleasant. Though I found myself daydreaming about how the whole experience might be more pleasant if I was on a Townie. Mind you, I've never done more than sit on a Townie, I've never ridden one, etc, etc, so why have I bought into the marketing??
Though I can't help but think that the Townie is a scooter amongst bikes. Why do I think that, I don't know. Obviously, I'm easily swayed.
March 13, 2005
After all that bellyaching yesterday, you might expect that I might have some lasting effects from the 30K. I mean, I thought there would be some! But, other than a sunburn, achey hips, and a ribbon, there's nada! Okay, admittedly, walking a couple of blocks to get a beer doesn't feel all that great, and I can't move all that fast, but if you didn't know better, you might think I move like this all the time.
Once I finished the race, I drove back to town eating the animal crackers that Rob had given me, drinking the cold water that I had had the good sense to put in the collapsable cooler in the car, blaring the radio with the windows down! Wuhoo, temperatures in the high 60sin March. Hello?!
Oh. And the scary thing about yesterday? I was hydrating! I had hydrated really well before, and I drank enough that I had to make a couple pit stops during the race (though I had the scary experience the second time of needing to pee, and producing nada).
This morning, I decided to follow Runner's World's advice and do some "spinning" on the exercycle to pump out that lactic acid. Okay! That just isn't so much fun.
A couple things before my computer crashes: Brit had not recognized the differences between walking and running, much as I had thought that I would be a great cyclist because I'm a walker. Here's a post from a PFit Ultra runner who walked a marathon last year.
EDIT: Okay, I posted links that I thought would work to my two best race pictures ever, taken at the 30K, but suffice to say, I hate the application that the photographer uses to display her photos. If you're willing to work for this (sorry!), go to http://www.dotphoto.com/Go.asp?l=brieber&P=F359&AID=2277212&T=1. My pics are DSC_6221 on page one (at the starting line) and DSC_6379 on page two (at 10K).
I'm not reproducing them here because it's a small local photographer by the name of Barb Rieber, and her copyright doesn't extend to reproducing images online, but once I purchase them, and chat with her about this, this may hopefully change.
March 12, 2005
This was a bigger race than I expected. There were perhaps 100 people who came out to walk or run. Champoeg State Park (say shampooey) is a huge popular park about 45 minutes south of town, built around an original pioneer village.
What a gorgeous day. Sunny and beautiful. Along the road to the park was a farm with little tiny lambies gamboling all over the place. They are so damn cute. I get there about 10 minutes from the start, pick up my bib number, go to the bathroom, and manage to lose my sunglasses.
I realized that this had the makings of a great day when I walked into the bathroom, and instead of focusing on me in the mirror, I saw a group of female atheletes. Damn, I'm a female athelete!
I was in the 8am early start with about 25 other folks. As usual, it was this totally relaxed thing, where Rob, the race director, talked about the race, made sure we were all there, and asked if we were ready. A verbal go, and we were off.
The route was a single 10K loop, so for those of us who were doing the 30K, we just repeated it 3 times. About a third of the loop was on the roads of the park, but otherwise, we were on bike trials. Part of the route is wide open, while other parts are wooded, so thankfully there was some shade.
As usual, I went out too fast. Mile one was 16:25, a lot faster than I should be going given that this was a distance I wasn't trained for. There were no other walkers in the early start.
There was all sorts of great stuff to look at. There were tons of small irredescent white, blue and black birds that were eating insectsthey acted like swallows, but did not have the fancy tails. In the woods, the forest floor was carpeted with buttercups and violets, along with evil evil english ivy and tibetan blackberry (which have escaped and gone wild), and trillium in various stages of bloom. The wooded portion of the bike trail ran along the Willamette River, which was so beautiful.
A small child pointed out a skink on the pathhe was brown and black, and about the length of my hand. He looked like plastic! I nudged him and he didn't move, and I thought, plastic, but when I came back through later, the skink was ambling across the path.
Oh. And surreal: there was an old-fashioned plowing being done with all these plows, and all these horsesmostly draft horsesand donkeys.
Loop one was great. I listened to my iP0d and just felt so grateful that I was there in that beauty, that my body could do this. At the beginning of loop two, I took off my long-sleeve shirt. The regular starters were now coming through. At the 15K mark, I talked to a volunteer about the fact that I was expecting to be really far behind the next earlier finisher, and that I wouldn't be offended if they took off. By about 2/3 of the way along loop two, my iP0d arm band thing began seriously hurting my arm, and then the iP0d ran out of juice.
The highlight was probably in loop two, when I saw a couple walkers coming my way. One was about my size, and as I started to say, hi, how are you?, she shouted, you're a rock star! Pardon? I thanked her...
By loop three, well, I was dwelling on how far behind I was going to be coming in. I asked one of the volunteers if she had any sunscreen, and she did, and then she put it on me. Oh, the kindness of strangers! There was a lot more sun, and it was pretty warm. By the time I got to mile 15, I was feeling cold and pukey, and I was bargaining with myselfjust make it to the top of the hill, just make it to the bridge. Meanwhile, my imagination was running wildwould I make it to the end, or would I end up along side the trail?
I was hitting the peak of feeling lousy as I came up to the water station at mile 16. The volunteer was packing up the truck, and he apologizedhe had thought everyone had come through already. I got some water and we chatted, and I mentioned the fact that I had mild sun stroke, and at that point had stopped sweating, and he offered to bring me in. That seemed to be the push that I neededI was going to finish this thing, damn it.
And I did. 5:33. Not as fast as I would have liked, but I finished. And, strangely enough, I finished first place for my age group. Ha!
March 11, 2005
Last night, my honey bought a scooter. It's a Stella. Red. Lovely.
When I was a young person, I owned a Yamaha Riva 180. I loved it. I had certainly heard about Vespas, but they weren't so easy to get in my old neck of the woods. Not that I really cared. The 180 had enough get-up-and-go to take me on the freeway, cruise around Ann Arbor, and go riding on the backroads with my cabbie buddies.
I used to think, not so long ago, that once I got out of debt, I'd build a garage, and I'd get a scooter. Well, I got out of debt and back in again, and I still don't have a garage. But maybe something must be done.
I went to pilates last night and ended up right in front of the mirror. I hate that. I hate holding my abs in, and still having a big, prominent belly. Yikes.
In other news, I am wearing a pair of pants that I bought when I started this job five and a half years ago. I was at the weight I'm at now, what we will refer to as the annoying plateau weight of 235. The pants hang on methey're huge. I was in such a hurry this morning that I didn't change out of them, but I feel like I belong in the circus.
I noticed the other day while wearing jeans that while the belly and waist were snuggish, my thighs had lots of room. Oh my god. You know, I was one of those people who had to buy relaxed fit jeans because otherwise my thighs wouldn't fit. I'd always end up with the waist huge and loose and the thighs tight. I'm very excited!
March 10, 2005
Prehistoric Speedwalker Discovered!
Okay, I'm working furiously on a newsletter right now, and I needed to find a picture of a bottle of pinot noir when I came across this: Prehistoric Speedwalker Discovered. This is from a Cameron Winery newsletter. Cameron is not only a brilliant winery, my favorite among a number of excellent Oregon wines, but one with a sense of humor too. Who else would put a Che Guevara on a wine called Vino Pinko?
Freak out! (le freak, c'est chic!)
Over to your right is the color of the new, yet to be installed, marmoleum. Damn, I like it alot.
I'm trying to think of some kind of good twist to put on this, some sort of "I'll turn adversity into triumph" sort of thing, but it's not happening. I got some bad news this morning, and I can't really talk much more about that, and, there's absolutely nothing I can do. For whatever reason, I didn't cry when I heard the newsit was only later, while I was reading the New York Times on the bus, that I started weeping. My coworker asked me if I was going to go back home, and to be honest, I hadn't even considered it. At least work is a good distraction.
My last-minute decision to do Champoeg means I haven't had the opportunity to obsess about tapering and how much I can exercise, etc. I have absolutely no idea what I should be doing, but I will do pilates tonight, and I probably won't do anything else other than incidental exercise.
Otherwise, I'm a little freaked -- I haven't walked 18.6 miles, since, umm, the marathon, and why I think I'll be able to do that, I don't know. But I figure I'll go and see how it goes. The ORRC races are fabulously relaxed, low-key, and friendly, and a nice long race will probably help straighten out my head a bit. Hopefully our fabulous weather will hold.
March 9, 2005
I wanna call it an 18K
The teeth are better, thanks. The sloth continues. The marmoleum (old fashioned industructible linoleum) will be ordered as soon as I get the bid. And hey, there are pictures of me at the finish line in Austin!
And, I signed up for a 30K. Saturday. I think I have officially lost my mind.
Let the hydrating begin!
March 8, 2005
Teeth are overrated.
What with my craziness at work, and my trying to avoid passive activities at home, I have not been keeping up my blogs. So today, in a few stolen minutes, I caught up with Chris. And I immediately felt a little paranoid. Okay, not paranoidthe world is not all about me, even if I feel otherwise. But still.
Anyways, he was talking about not whining, going out and doing your best, and not making excuses. And I do feel like I've been in a whiny spell of late. Not attractive.
So, I did get some fillings this morning, and am I whining to say it was really very unpleasant, and I wish I could stop thinking about and feeling my g-ddamn teeth? Anyways, as much as I've tried, today has been all about my teeth first, and everything else as a distant second. Tylenol hasn't touched it, eating is unpleasant, it's all about the left side of my mouth.
So, for the first time, I skipped out on pilates. Maybe it would have been a good distraction, but I guess I won't know that because I didn't go.
There are lots of times that I am an overachiever. But this isn't one of them.
Though, luckily there is movement all over the rest of the world. Fran wrote me to tell me that there is a CrossFit here in Portland. Yes! I admit, my first reaction was one of pure fear, and a chorus of "I am not worthy!". Realistically, I could go on Wednesday nights, which is one of two weeknights that I don't have a standing obligation. But I feel like I don't have enough time with my sweetie, so while I am doing the twice a week pilates thing, I think i won't be doing CrossFit. Unless my darling catches the fever. Which seems unlikely.
Other news. Tszuj had her surgery and got through it okay. Both Megans have had breakthroughs, as has Susan. Rebecca finally got that wedding (and the BK sandwich) out of the way. And Marshall is a force of nature. There, just trying to keep you up-to-date. Or something.
Oh. I'm having this crazy thought of doing the Champoeg 30K this weekend. Maybe.
good honest work
Well, it's Tuesday morning. Usually, I don't feel the pilates class until the next afternoon, but I was feeling Monday's last night.
Ahh. Yesterday, I got to class late (this does seem to be my M.O., doesn't it), and the only place for me was right up front, next to the instructor, in front of the mirror. I had a shiver of pure fear, but that didn't last as I was immediately struggling to keep up.
It was a hard class. And I tried very hard, if for no other reason that I was up front, a glowing blue example of the need for exercise. I wore a sleeveless loose top over the aqua sausage casing, and once we got to hardcore abs work, I took off the loose top. If nothing else, it keeps me honest.
Today will be a short day at work, between getting fillings this morning (oh boy!) and having the marmoleum guy come and give me an estimate late this afternoon. I don't think I'll be getting any exercise in until the pilates class tonight.
March 7, 2005
them below are races I might do. Or not
Okay. So the list of races below are not all the races I'm signed up for (I think, I'm signed up for zero right now). But, I see races advertised, and they seem cool, but being as slow and as non-runner-like as I am, I have to check the website to see if they will be categorically excluding me. (Okay, I know it's not about me, I'm kidding, really) I like to see all my options.
I had a great weekend. Saw a number of friends, cleaned the living room, ate incredibly wellit was all good. I feel relaxed and no longer grumpy about work. It could descend upon me again, but right now, all is right with the world.
I'm looking forward to pilates at lunch, and maybe some intervals or hill work this evening!
March 6, 2005
- 03/12/2005 (Saturday) ORRC Champoeg Runs 10K, 30K
- 03/20/2005 (Sunday) Gresham Springwater Cruise 10K, 4mile
- 3/26/2005 (Saturday) March MUDness half marathon, 50K, 100K
- 04/09/2005 (Saturday) Vernonia Half Marathon
Walkers must do a 3 hour half (13:45 pace)
- 04/10/2005 (Sunday) Whidbey Island Marathon & Half
- 04/17/2005 (Sunday) Run for the Roses half
- 05/01/2005 (Sunday) Cinco de Mayo 5K, 10K
no info about time limits
- 05/01/2005 (Sunday) Avenue of the Giants Marathon & Half
- 05/07/2005 (Saturday) Hagg Lake 10.4 mile/5 mile
- 05/30/2005 (Monday) Up the Lazy River 10K
- 06/04/2005 (Saturday) Starlight Run 5K
- 06/16/2005 (Thursday) Summer Solstice Sundowner 5K
- 07/04/2005 Sauvie Island Fast Flat Half
- 07/10/2005 Go Girl 5K
- 08/26-27/2005 (Friday) Portland to Coast Relay
- 09/11/2005 Pints to Pasta 10K
- 10/09/2005 Royal Victoria Marathon
- 10/29/2005 Fury of the Falls Trail Run 5.6 miles
14 miles along Marine Drive
Yesterday, I did a 14 mile walk. Today, it seems very far away, except for the blisters on my foot.
I had seen an article in an old Sunset about Portland bike paths, and first I had been interested in a path in Peninsula Park, but then, for some reason, I got excited about Marine Dr. According to the article, you park in the pay lot at 33rd & Marine, and the path is about 8 miles roundtrip.
Marine Drive, as you might guess, is right on the Columbia, and runs right along the airport. If it's clear, heading east you have an incredible view of Mt. Hood. And for some reason, I had thought that the bike path started west of 33rd.
So I went to 2nd & Bridgeton, a little neighborhood off Marine Drive, and abandoned the car. The plan was to walk 7 miles, long and slow, down the Marine Drive, then turn around and walk back.
It was great walking in the little neighborhood. Lots of houseboats, close to Hayden Island, so I could see all the houseboats there, and lots of interesting houses and rowhomes. I hit Marine Drive, and that was interesting toomansion next to little falling down house next to fenced-off superfund site? And lots of trailer truck traffic, going freeway speeds.
I get to 33rd, and, hmmm, where is the bike trail? I get to, well, somewhere further down the line, and I can see the bike trail across the road, and then, I see the pay parking lot and the bike trails crosses.
It's overcast. Early enough that the beach is empty, and not many folks are on the trail. And at this point, it gets pretty dull. I watch planes come in and take off. I watch very young people in camoflage assembled, perhaps to take the beach? I wonder when I will ever get to the I-205 bridge. And why didn't I think to bring the ip0d?
I begin to fantasize that once I get to the I-205 bridge, I'll take the bridge bike path north over the Columbia into Washington, just because I can. Except, when I get to the bridge, this is no obvious way to join the bridge bike path. And indeed, the Marine Drive bike path abruptly ends.
Mt. Hood glows ghostly in the distance.
Now I'm walking along the road again, looking down at the backs of the big box stories, wondering when I'm ever going to hit 7 miles so I can turn around again. There's some underground storage, very military looking. There's a beautiful boathouse that looks unfinished inside. And finally, I'm almost at the sign for 122nd, and the g@rmin chirps for 7. Hurrah!
The walk back gets more interesting. Among other things, my right foot is unhappy. It's the ball and toes again. Hmmm. Maybe I should have clipped my toenails. Or washed my feet. Or worn longer-distance socks. Or b0dy-gl1ded my feet. I stop and pour the gravel out of my shoes.
I walk on, and it gets worse. It's all I can think about. There's no way to get back to the car but to walk, no busline, and I do want to finish.
The other thing: there are no benches, no where to sit and shake out your shoes.
Sometime between 10 and 11, I realize that I had put the heel lift in the right shoe that morning, and that maybe, just maybe, that had something to do with my right foot. Crap!
So I find a rock, and sit on it, and shake out the gravel again, and wipe off my sock and my foot, and pull out the heel lift, and get back on the trail again. And within a short while, it's obvious that that was the problem. Yes, my foot is still unhappythe damage is done. But things are quite a bit better.
Around mile 11, I start to notice that the overcast has burnt off, and it's now sunny. Crap! And warm. I look back, and Mt. Hood glows, gorgeous with snow in the distance. Now I just make it back to the car.
And I do. My end mileage is 13.75... now, what's with that if I went to 7 and then turned around, huh?
between 112th & 122nd (10 blocks) - .7 mile
between 33rd & 13th (20 blocks) - .7 mile
March 4, 2005
Okay, here's how I'm doing on the resolution front:
- weight-loss: Not much. I appear to have lost two pounds, which I suppose is something. In measurements, I appear to be down a quarter inch to a half an inch everywhere except my bust and thighs (strangely, both thighs increased by an inch. Huh?). Of course, my bust and belly are where I'd most like to see the measurements decrease, and at least one is going down.
- walking: no short races this month, but I appear to be making progress.
- other exercise: I seem to be in good shape (oops!) here. I haven't taken a long bike ride this month.
- professional development: I learned a lot this month for work stuff, and even had some discussions where I realized, yeah, I like library theory A LOT. That said, I am losing hope that I will ever end up in an interesting library job here in Portland.
- household: two steps forward, one back. I've gotten rid of probably ten, maybe more, grocery bags of stuff from home, but the clutter keeps returning. I have my work cut out for me. But, sweetie and I are working on some things to make the old shack better.
Miss Bad Attitude
There you go. Don't say you weren't warned.
I had a wardrobe malfunction last night. Not that that soured my mood, really. I had thought about wearing the aqua blue sausage casing again, and then I thought, hey, why don't I wear the top of my tankini? Hey, it's a little loose, that should be great.
Except, I got to class, all pleased with myself, and once we started doing exercises on all fours, or on our bellies, I had the shocking realization—free show! So I couldn't be focusing on how damn hard the exercises were, no, I had to be thinking, how can I arrange myself as to not expose my tremendous cleavage.
No walk in today, and my date with the pilates allegro torture machine had to be postponed due to some scheduling ineptitude on the part of the gym, so today may end up being a rest day.
Do you find that you hear about a race, and you get excited about it, and then when you finally get to the race website or get the race brochure, you find that it sucks?? It may suck for a number of reasons that don't really even have to do with the race, like timing, or being full.
This has now happened to me three times in the last 24 hours. The Hippie Chick Half is full. I've realized that I won't be doing Helvetia Half if I do Newport or the Gorge Marathon. And I had been planning to do the Shamrock Run. I keep hearing these rumors about it being hilly. Hills, what fun! I spent a good portion of the time I was getting ready for work and commuting thinking about where I could train tomorrow that would be hilly. But a look at their website explicitly says runners only for all of the distances other than 3.5 Fitness Walk. Mind you, they do mention a pace limit on the 15K which is limited to runners, which I can meet—but I'm not a runner.
Let's face facts, I'm cranky, and the Shamrock Run has the unfortunate timing to be in my face this morning. Runners only. Grrrrrrrr!
March 3, 2005
Do the right thing
I just bicycled in, for the first time in, umm, I don't know how long. I could feel that, too. That and I think my storage method has caused one of the wheels to go out of true. But it was sunny and lovely, etc, etc.
I had a great morning and lunch yesterday, and then my afternoon went straight down the toilet after a conversation with my boss. This is the second time in 4 working days that she has advised me to not do what I know I should do, after all these years working in this area, and after my graduate work too. I don't know how to delicately handle these situationsfor heavens sake, please don't tell me that you're going to pay me to not do my job, right? Frustrating.
I went directly from work to Greg's office, and that went much better. He seemed really pleased with my progress on my squats and ball exercises, and even on the hated Around the Worlds. I've graduated to a new set of tweaks and next-to-impossible exercises. Wuhoo!
Really, it is gratifying that he is so pleased. And he asked about how my knees are feeling, and my back, and damn, everything is feeling great, really strong, the whole thing. That, and he seems amused by how much I curse, which just causes me to do more of it.
This morning while I was trying to wake up (after a dream where one of the more obnoxious people at work keeping alluding to the fact that I had been fired, and when was I going to clean out my office?) I decided to do a little research about early summer races.
- I have been thinking about doing the Newport Marathon, 6/4, and the schedule for long walks works out for that. But, the course closes after 7 hours, which is cutting it close for someone as slow as me.
- I've heard good things about the Gorge Marathon, 6/5, and their course closes after 9 hours. Wuhoo!
- I've read about the Walk with Me Marathon 6/18, which sounds like the most laidback of any race I've done. No timing. Dude, it's all about the time!
- Hippie Chick - Mothers Day. Half. I need to sign up.
- Helvetia Half, 6/11 -- I want to conquer it this year (last year, I finished with heat exhaustion). But it's the weekend after the Newport/Gorge. Is that too much? (Yes, I know the answer is yes. But I don't want the answer to be yes.)
Damn. I want to do Helvetia. But I want to do a marathon too. Damnit!
March 2, 2005
body, body, love my body...
I swear to God, I think my Pilates instructors are trying to kill me! Every inch of my body hurts today, every inch!
Anyways, the scale stays constant at 235 (yes, I had a Texas-related gain), but I've had a seachange as far as my attitude towards my body. Since I've gotten back from Texas, I have been wearing bike shorts without shame! Yes! This is a big deal.
Yesterday, I got my shipment from Women In Motion, and everything was great and I love it all, and I wore the whole outfit to Pilates, including a camisole top which, truth be told, is really too small. So there I am, wearing these fabulous new pants and a fabulous new hoodie, and an aqua-blue sausage casing.
Part of me was mortified. But part of mea big part of meloved that I could see definition in my body during some exercises, and the casing makes me honestit's really obvious when my stomach pouches (which I'm told is a technical term). Everybody can tell if I'm keeping my transverse nice and wide (does every pilates instructor say that?). Suffice to say, I'm a convert.
Part of me feels very sorry for the other people in the gym/class/whatever. And part of me feels like, hey, this is just a cautionary talethis is why it's important to keep exercising, and not drink as much beer and eat as much pizza as I have. And part of me says, hey, my skin might be a pale shade of blue, but damn it, what I wear shouldn't matter any more than what anyone else wears. Even if I am fat. So there.
This morning, I walked into work. It is such a luxury to do it, and I feel like I really need to make time for this, because it makes such a difference in my day. Lovely! It was a nice morning, in the fifties and overcast, just perfect. Then I got into the gym and did my hamstring exercises. I see Greg, the assigner of exercises, this afternoon so I gotta be on this. And I'm doing okay on all of them but the damn blind Around the Worlds. That's crazy stuff, man. I wonder if I ever had any balance with my eyes closed, or if it's just an example of how bad my balance has gotten?
March 1, 2005
on my achey belly and the antojito hunt
I was so happy last night that it caused me to sleep late today. No, really! My plans of getting exercise now appear to be shot until I make it to Pilates tonight, between my sloth this morning, and going out with a coworker to celebrate her birthday. But I feel (deeply!) yesterday's Pilates, which is good because it was so damn hard.
In other non-exercise related news, I got breakfast tacos this morning!! As regular readers know, my sweetie is from Texas originally, and one of the things that he really misses is breakfast tacos. Now, before we went to Austin, I really didn't understand itI knew that he missed them, but why? Now, I understand.
A good breakfast taco is a thing of delight. I am a newbie to this world, but an enthusiast all the same. They were incredible at Las Manitas in Austin, and really damn good at Taco Cabanas in both Austin and Houston. And, this is what it is:
A fresh flour tortilla filled with scrambled eggs and generally something else, like chorizo or bacon or potatoes, but sometimes black or refried beans. Just add a little salsa, and enjoy. So simple, so good.
So, an antojito (snack) restaurant opened close to my work, and I ventured down to try it today, and it was a success! They have mexican breakfasts but no breakfast tacos on the menu, however they said they'd be happy to make them for me. I had a cup of Mexican coffee, mildly sweet, and a potato & egg, and a chorizo and egg taco. Both were dressed with shredded lettuce and mexican cheese, and the potato and egg also had salsa and refried beans in it. They were good and filling, and I'm just delighted that this is close by and so cheap.