Sunday, October 7, 2012

To marathon, or not to marathon?

Not having a race to look forward to is making me a little bit crazy. I've gone back and forth a few times in the past two weeks about training for another marathon. There is a part inside me that really wants to do it. I want to try it again because I know I can do better than my first marathon. I want to train hard and stay healthy and make it to the finish line. The other part inside me knows that it's a major commitment of time and energy, and that I don't really have the true burning desire to spend that much time running. I also am aware that winter's coming and that I dislike running in the rain and cold.

I went on a super 5 mile run yesterday morning and it felt so good to run at a comfortable pace - just me and the dog. My mind was running blank, and then all of a sudden I had a realization that if I want to accomplish another marathon, now is the time. I don't have kids, I don't have a job, I don't have anything holding me back. My only plan for the next few years involves working towards living on a sailboat, but you never know what will be mixed in with that. I think the biggest thing I learned about running a marathon is that you really have to want it. The time involved in training, and the cost of shoes, massages, fuel, travel, and the actual marathon really add up to a big investment. You've got to make it count.

I'm still wavering.

Running a marathon takes balance. E shows us how its done.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

September Recap

Miles Planned/Ran: ? Wasn't really counting, or planning.
Rest Days Planned/Taken: ?
Highest Mileage Week: It's no longer about the mileage. It's about sweating every. single. day. But unfortunately, I fell of the sweat-wagon in September and never got back on.
Long Runs Planned/Ran: ?

Current Book: Finished Eat & Run, finally. Started in on Home Below Hell's Canyon.
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Birthday kiteboarding trip to Oregon that involved a glutinous italian dinner and lots of beer every night. Also, watching TV when I should be working out or working on the house. And popcorn with tons of salt.
Current Obsessions: Making huckleberry ice cream with all the berries we picked in Oregon, and getting a lemon cake with cream cheese frosting done for Erin's belated birthday celebration.
Current Drink: Decafe coffee. I never thought I'd say that. And smoothies.
Current Song:
Current Wish-List: New nike frees, and a pair of brooks pure (to inspire me).
Current Need: For this house to feel more like a home. We've been in here a year now and it still feels like we're squatting.
Current Triumph: Pounding out the stair treads and skirt board, and pouring a concrete pad for our entry way. Can you believe I'm still talking construction? Some day, all this will be boat talk.
Current Bane of my Existence: Unmotivated days. Hovering on the edge & having to pull myself back.
Current Goal: Make it through October with a positive attitude.
Current Blessings: The time and freedom to design my days as I choose.
Current Excitement:Another totally amazing SUP surfing session, this time as Caspar. I rocked countless waves and had such a wonderful time. Wholly grounding and spiritually gratifying. It made up for my kiteboarding flail in Oregon.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

August Recap

Miles Planned/Ran: Hmmm. This one's hard to know now that I'm no longer using dailymile. I'm going to guess 21 - 3 six milers and 1 3 miler up the hill.
Rest Days Planned/Taken: A lot were taken, but only 4 were planned. August was a tough month in terms of motivation and sticking to the plan.
Highest Mileage Week: It's no longer about the mileage. It's about sweating every. single. day.
Long Runs Planned/Ran:4/3

Current Book: Finished The Long Way, which is one of the best books I've read in a long time, and my favorite sailing book. Also read The Best American Travel Writing 2006 for the story about sailing, but they were all interesting. Now starting The Wild Trees and Trails & Tales of Yosemite & the Central Sierra.
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: I've figured out how to bake all my favorite treats with half wheat flour and half rice flour - making sinfully delicious items previously off limits to me 50% GF! Particularly, the amazing loaf of zucchini carrot bread I made that required an entire jar of homemade apple butter to get it down the hatch. I also may have made a huge batch of calzones.
Current Obsessions: Planning our backpacking trip to the Sierras.
Current Drink: Interesting development on this front. I'm now 100% caffeine free due to some health reasons and am currently experimenting with Celestial Seasonings Roastaroma and Bengal Spice. Some days I love it and some days I just want a damn cup of coffee. I sense decafe Joe in my future...
Current Song: Not a lot of music in my life now - Beatles and Stones, I guess.
Current Wish-List: A humbling, centering, and grounding experience in the backcountry.
Current Need: a meaningful way to make progress towards my life goals
Current Triumph: Canning 9 jars of apple butter.
Current Bane of my Existence: Dog hair. Always dog hair. And living in a perpetually unfinished house.
Current Goal: Recognize the patterns of discontent, and detach from them. Finish the 30 Day Abs Challenge.
Current Blessings: Beautiful weather. It helps a lot.
Current Excitement: Paddleboard surfing two times last month. Frustrating, but a blast. It's tough to learn a new sport, and I must remember that it takes a lot of dedicated, determined hard work to get good at something like that. Each wave is an opportunity!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Have Spun

I finally got my ass to a spin class.

I arrived 10 minutes early to familiarize myself with the room, the bike and to talk with the 'leader' about my novice-ness. I sat on my bike for the next ten minutes, telling everyone around me that I'd never done a spin class before, and watching people adjust their bikes like pros. I fiddled with some knobs and levers and told some more people I was new.

Then suddenly the lights went out. A woman jumped through the door, hopped on the bike at the front of the room and started whooping. Loudly. Then some house music started booming and blue lights turned on around her bike, and we were off (figuratively).

I actually enjoyed it. Somehow I lucked out and my bike was actually quite comfortably adjusted for my size. I worked up quite a sweat and felt an excellent burn in my legs. I didn't get sore the next day from it, which was disappointing.

The hill is a trap! Let's take the dirt road off to the side.

So now I have joined the rest of the whole entire world and have spun. Not quite sure yet what it means for my training - I'm kind of a cheapskate low on extra cash right now so I don't want to pay for a gym membership. Or, I at least want to wait until it's cold, rainy and lame outside so I won't feel like a loser to go sit on a stationary bike in a dark room and sweat with other people while it's gorgeous and wonderful outside and I could be riding my real bike.

Yeah, I'm probably going back.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Weekend Update

Shasta is looking like more and more of a no-go for September. Although the mountain is climbable year round, the conditions are most favorable for novice climbers during May and June. My potential climbing partners seem less-than-enthused to hear the words harness, ice axe, crampon, and summit-before-8AM when we talk over our plan. I'm still waiting their final decision, which will ultimately determine my fate as well - I won't climb it alone (although I considered it, I decided it's a bad idea right now). Consequently, I'm researching less-technical backpacking routes in Northern California: Desolation Wilderness, Trinity Alps, Lost Coast, Kings Canyon, Lassen. My list could be potentially huge, but CA is a big state and driving times will ultimately limit our options.

I'm a little bummed out that Shasta will have to wait until next spring/summer but it is probably a good decision. There will be other mini-exploits and distractions this fall that will help ease my adventurous ache.

Hiking the headlands just south of the Lost Coast

Anyone familiar with p90x knows that there are three phases of four weeks each. Week four of the first two phases involves a 'slow down' week, incorporating more core workouts, yoga and cardio - no weights. I took my 'slow down' week in stride - it was hard to slow down actually, and hard to give up the weights for a week, but I stuck to my plan. Now, 12 days out from the beginning of that slow down week, I'm still going pretty slow. My motivation is lacking and I can't seem to find the pure desire that drew me to the mat and the weights for most of last month. I definitely saw results from that first phase - I feel stronger than ever, I feel fitter than when I was running exclusively, I don't have any injuries like ITBS or plantar fasciitis, and it inspired me to really clean up my diet.

Healthy living - whether it involves running, p90x, weight lifting, yoga, or clean eating - is definitely a roller coaster for me. I am often flying high, sticking to my plan, motivated by pure desire to live a healthier/more active/more fulfilling life. When that passes I find myself absolutely craving fish and chips with a delicious draft beer, nachos piled high with cheese and guacamole, sleeping in, and making excuses for not working out. My life actually feels different during these lows, like all of a sudden I'm way too busy or way too tired to work out. This is not actually true. My life is the same. I have the same amount of things to do, the same amount of spare time. I have not actually accomplished anything by my stint of 'healthy living' - it's time I stopped thinking of healthy living as an accomplishment and more of a way of life. I think I'm getting closer.