southernrunner

I have noticed when I treat my body like an instrument instead of an ornament, my relationship with food completely changes because I view food as this really romantic fuel. I certainly want to enjoy my food, but I see it more like fuel that I happen to enjoy versus just a way for me to numb out my feelings or to downward spiral into being addicted to food.
25 days

As I glanced at the calendar today, I have realized  that I am less than a month away from my trip to Nepal, eeek! There are so many things that I need to do to be sure that I am ready. First of all I need to make sure that I am physically ready. I have lately battled some IT band issues, but thanks to Dr. Dichiara @http://allamericanchiro.com/ it’s now under control. I have scaled down my running some, but have not had to stop. Tonight I did a 6 mile run through Bywater virtually pain-free which is definitely a great sign. Over the next 25 days I am going to attempt to incorporate more strength training and keep up the running.

Secondly, I need to get all my gear together. I have been keeping a stash of basic things in a corner, but I just need to start adding things to it and figure out any last minute purchases.

25 days to departure!

Life is Sweet, and sour

So I wanted to talk about two things today. First of all the sour, when a pug runs too fast its eyes will pop out! According to the rumor that went around my high school art class. Me and my boss Kristen were laughing about this on Tuesday, because she had a friend who’s pugs eyes exploded AH! So my thought was, what if you were a runner, and went running with your pug too fast. If its eyes pop out what do you do!? Do you pop them back in? do you pick them up? Call 911? Personally I never want a small dog, with bulging eyes, it sounds like too much work. I am going to get a big, strong, running buddy dog like a Labrador, or Dalmatian.

Second of all, and more sweetly, I got a present today!! The picture is below. My buddy Avi got me a  pair of lulu lemon running shorts. I was so surprised. Lulu Lemon is not the cheapest store, and their clothes are awesome quality! These shorts should last forever, especially if i never dry them, and I don’t think I ever will. I was so pleased. I wanted to cry almost. Thanks Avi!! Check out Avi’s blog and check out Kristin’s blog also!

Get Out of My Head(phones)

You see people wearing headphones.  These people are everywhere, always connected to their songs, their movies, or news; they block aisles in the grocery store, staring glaze-eyed at black beans, or making ill-advised traffic maneuvers while the backseat children caress glowing screens.

You see them running with headphones.  You love music, you love running, and you think to yourself, “I love music, I love running, I have cool white-corded headphones and an iPod, I’m going to run with my headphones in!

You slip your iPod down the front of your singlet, clip it to your shorts, press play, and now the wind in the leaves seems more rhythmic, and the quality of dusky half-light suddenly smoother and softer.  The guitar sounds so clean, you think, I haven’t truly appreciated this song until just now.  Your footsteps are light, you feel good, floating somewhere just above the pavement, rather than slapping its black tar surface with feet like bricks.  This is supposed to be a recovery run, but it feels effortless as the song changes and goose bumps travel up your arms and chest to your face and scalp.  You remember this song.  You remember track meets in high school thinking about this song, wishing you had headphones to listen to the drums, the building crescendo, the shattering climactic guitar solo and drum sequence that filled your muscles with so much adrenaline they were surely going to burst.

The wind is blowing hard now, a rushing in your ears and chest.  You can’t think of the sun, the smell of grass and mud; your ears are full of song, your mind filled with memories, and it’s not the wind that’s blowing.  It’s not the wind that’s making your chest feel tight.  It’s the fact that you’re running 5:30 pace on a recovery run, leaning into the turns through broken asphalt streets screaming and jumping over potholes like a goddamn maniac.  Your breath is ragged.  Your form was wasted long ago.  Now, in these last 400 meters of a recovery-run-turned-death-sprint, only a memory holds you upright and moving.

Never again, you think as you pull the headphones from your ears, sucking wind like a blown racehorse.  Never again, never going to listen to my music on an easy run.  But you’re already thinking about the next run, the people with glazed eyes and white cords streaming from their ears and the jealous prickle on your skin when you think of all the good music you love.

greeting cards have all been sent…

I realize that most of my past entries have been pictorial, whether from my iPhone or GIFs from my favorite shows. I think they’ve been pretty accurate as to the nature of my training and life, but it’s time to write.

I stopped making “resolutions” last year and instead focused on goals and promises, which I’m continuing this year. However, one of my promises this year is to stop procrastinating. The thrill of the last-minute adrenaline rush has sustained me throughout my middle school, high school, collegiate, and graduate school career, but it’s time to stop that.

It is 12 days ‘til the race, and I am mostly calm. I know that I could have done more this training cycle (more speedwork, long runs), but I feel ready mentally and physically. I scaled back my time goal by a half-minute per mile, which now seems more feasible. I finalized my packing list and accommodations. I am excited to see some friends I haven’t seen in ages, to visit the Expo, to take in one of my favorite cities on foot come race day, to treat myself to sushi and macarons post-race, and to know that I’ve crossed something off my bucket list.

The 7-day juice cleanse that my mom and I did between Christmas and New Year’s was great. The most difficult part was having to clean the filter immediately after each juice, but otherwise, I found myself more energetic, clear-eyed, and positive than I have been in a long time.

I didn’t have to shimmy into my jeans anymore, and there wasn’t that embarrassing minor ridge at my run crop’s waistline. I also relished that my tempo runs seemed less difficult after I downed a Super Juice (Gala apples, cucumber, lime, pineapple, avocado, spirulina, wheatgrass, and acidophilus bacteria). After a week doing the follow-up (1-2 juices daily plus meal/s), I am detoxing one more time.

On New Year’s Eve, my family spent time with some close family friends who we only see once a year, and that was a lot of fun. I’ve also gotten to reconnect with some of my good friends from grammar/high school lately, going to see some good films (Frozen, which truly has something for everyone no matter how old/young, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which was one of our favorite short stories growing up) and lunch at our favorite sushi spots. (I had poke salad twice in 3 days. Yum.)

Things have been quite busy with work, life changes, and race day approaching, and again, I have been quite calm. I thought I was moving, but then I found out that I wasn’t. While it was disappointing, I know that it’s not the end at all, and I can and will still have a productive spring in all aspects.

p.s. I enjoy cold weather when I am properly dressed for it, but I think I need to finally invest in a neck gaiter. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Back to reality

I’ve been  back from my long-awaited trip to Nepal for few weeks now, but have been pre-occupied with catching up on everything, particularly at work. 

Since I knew that I would be unable to post and blog while on the trek in Nepal I decided to keep a handwritten journal that I will share some bits and pieces on my blog over the next few weeks. After my long flight, I safely arrived in Kathmandu. The flight itself brought me a lot of anxiety prior to my departure since I was travelling alone and had a somewhat complicated itinerary through New Delhi, India. At the end everything went smoothly. After a couple of days of sightseeing in Kathmandu and a horrendous and long bus ride from Kathmandu to Soti Khola, we were off to the Manaslu Circuit. The trek was around a mountain called “Manaslu”, the eighth tallest mountain in the world, with crossing the Larkya La at 5140 m above sea level and was just beautiful. This circuit is still restricted access, therefore not as “crowded” as compared to the Annapurna circuit. It concluded in Besisahar and after yet another long bus drive another couple of days in Kathmandu. I’ll post a little about each part of the trip. Overall, the trip was just amazing and quite honestly it’s impossible to truly capture the moments on paper or on camera. I loved and cherished the whole experience and am so grateful to be able to share it with my sister.

One not so positive result of the trip is achy Achilles. It started bothering my on the trek, but I was not going to let that stop me. After getting back I took couple of weeks off…. very frustrating because I was in a really good shape. The great news is that it’s significantly better and I’m back to running.

you can't always get what you want... you get what you need. (or, "i am not tropical. i am not a toucan.")

Today was a lovely day off – I got 12 hours of sleep for the first time in awhile (I slept in past 8 AM, gasp!), I got things done (scheduled some appointments, researched things to do before/after my upcoming race/trip, read some running articles), and was so ready to run.

I haven’t run since last Saturday’s curtailed long run; I’ve been doing everything else (rest day, cross-training, yoga) on this week’s SeaWheeze plan to let my legs recover. However, today was the day for a 50-minute conversational pace run.

Decked out in neon brights, including my new Zensah compression sleeves, trusty Southern Runner racing singlet, and favorite Love Red lululemon Pace Setter Skirt, I was so looking forward to being outside with some of my favourite people. Yet the weather at the time was not conducive to such frolicking…

Kristin, Ben, Chloe, Will, and I got to don super-cool “Run like an animal” Pearl Izumi temporary tats and take pictures before watching the recent hilarious SNL New Balance ad and the “It is 91,000 degrees outside” video. And then, bam, the lightning flashed, and the rain began to fall in bullets.

Sarah returned to the store completely drenched, and each of us decided what to do next… Chloe and I got in a quick 100m (200m?) sprint as we made our way to her car. I opted for the 6:30 PM Romney RIDE class nearby at Romney Pilates.

I admit that, while I have done Spinning before (several summers ago and regularly during grad school) and enjoyed it, there are other formats that I would rather do. (Running, Zumba!, Pilates Reformer, Pure Barre are among those formats.) However, I’d heard great things about RIDE and had wanted to try it for some time but hadn’t because of race training.

It was a great, sweaty 45 minutes, and I left with a broad grin on my face. I loved the throbbing, upbeat music, the choreographed program (we didn’t just cycle, we also worked on arms via push-ups on the handlebars and a song devoted entirely to hand weights as we pedaled), and the blacklight which meant that I glowed in the dark :) I also enjoyed trying the Mizuno cycling shoes that clipped in for a more efficient ride.

* * *

I was going to say that I’ve been feeling discombobulated and doubtful about my SeaWheeze training because of dealing with tendonitis and questionable, inconsistent nutrition quality, but reading recent posts (eloquently written) by my fellow Run, Chicks Chloe and Sarah have helped put this confusion in perspective. It’s made me realize that everything is going to be okay, and sometimes we all just need a reminder.

Spring forward, wake up early anyway, sunrise 5K at the park with Dad (happy birthday to him! my running buddy and supporter of all endeavours running, musical, or otherwise 😁🎂💪👟) First run since @rundisney #PrincessHalf and first time wearing this ❄️👕 #southernrunner #runchicksrun

Opening ceremony = stunning. I always love seeing the parade of nations, with the costumes and the energy, tears, and excitement of the athletes as they enter the stadium.

Glad there was lots of Stravinsky (Rite of Spring and The Firebird), Sviridov, Borodin, and Tchaikovsky, stunning choreography (especially the Imperial Russia segment, wow, with the crisp, artistic military-style formations culminating in the War and Peace ballet featuring Diana Vishnev), Netrebko, Gergiev.

I may also have purchased one of the women’s Olympic opening ceremonies hats. (I am a sucker for Fair Isle anything, moose motifs, and fun tassels.) I hope it arrives soon, so I can use it.

Aaaand I just found out that we have NBCSN, which means we can watch events live. I know this means that I should go to bed, so my dad and I can run early, so we can catch all of the figure skating events that start at 8:30 AM…

But instead, I can’t sleep thinking about the Olympics coupled with the coming weeks… Oy.

funk.

I woke up this morning with a growling stomach and feeling yesterday. It was a long, good day, indeed, but long. I was treated to the last pieces of my mom’s cooking experiment, a cauliflower-crust frittata with a dusting of red pepper and goat cheese. Delicious.

My leg wasn’t feeling up running a full 5 miles, so I decided not to jeopardize the class I had to teach tonight or future runs. I have effectively broken the #RWRunStreak on account of not running yesterday or today. UGH.

I received the music packet for the wedding I’m singing next week, and there were more pieces than originally discussed, as well as a note that I may have to sing alto depending on the balance. I know most of the pieces’ soprano lines, so this will mean a bit more time in the practice room. Initially I was miffed, but then I realized that it’s a privilege to get to help my friends celebrate their wedding through singing, and that I am versatile/smart enough to be able to handle both parts.

I am strangely feeling calm about next week’s wedding. You’d think I’d be crash/panic dieting/fasting/cleansing in the 7 days I have until I see old college friends, but part of me doesn’t care. I have pretty, tailored dresses purchased months in advance from Anthropologie (yeah, birthday discount!), all of the arrangements are made, I’ll get to spend time with some good friends I haven’t seen in awhile, and I’m looking forward to some power yoga, a couple of runs, and the art museum. Boom. It is just amazing, however, how fast time flies; my friend asked me over a year ago to sing her wedding, and now it’s time.

I re-read Mockingjay because I hadn’t read any Hunger Games book since devouring them just before the first film was released, and like Erik Larsen and Amor Towles, Suzanne Collins has a knack for writing a page-turner that is emotionally gripping. I am 7 books away from my goal to read at least 10 books by Christmas.

As I type this, I am so not in the mood to teach… But I know, as soon as I get in the room, the music starts, and I see my students moving and smiling, I will feel better.

I guess I just need to be less of a control freak and trust in God when it comes to running and life.