Archive for April, 2013

Hello Monday – you sexy beast! I was so glad to see you today.

You ever have one of those days where you wake up feeling…just really focused? You know it’s going to be a good day, because what other option is there?  A lot will be done. Things will go your way. Carpool will be on time. People will let you merge into traffic nicely and your favorite parking spot will be empty. The yummy salad dressing will be on the salad bar. Petty annoyances get smacked with a flyswatter. Focused. Goodness. Ahhhh.

Today was that day. And it’s a Monday – which is like gravy on the focus mashed potatoes. You get to start a whole shiney new week off with a BANG!

The alarm went off at 4:35 AM and I headed off to bootcamp for the first time in 3 weeks – so I felt good about that. Been slacking at the boxing studio for several reasons – but decided that today was the day to get back on that horse and back to the OhCrapEarly workouts. Boxing studi0 – bootcamp class – here I come!

Except then that didn’t work out.

I thought my happy trainer would be back in the country this morning. He wasn’t. Guy I had the disagreement with a few weeks ago was running the show. D’oh. Except that this was good mood, totally focused Monday.  A Monday that called for this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cT_Ulmcrys

Too early to have that put me in a funk and still determined to get in my workout, I headed home, unfurled the yoga mat and got to work on a sweat and scripting another class. HA! Take that Monday! You can’t get a girl down that easy!

Then it was off to the rest of the day, which went about the same. Goal -> obstacle -> beat obstacle down -> back to goal. I liked it. I liked it a lot. Even managed to get in a quick 2 mile run at lunch despite being really busy. It was *that* kind of good, focused, quality day.

Getting up early for the workout just felt really, really good.

So like I said, been slacking a bit on the workouts – getting in some short runs and some yoga – but not getting in enough of either and nothing hardcore. No weights at all. And even worse than all that…

I’ve felt fantastic. Rested. Healed. Say what?!!! That’s dangerous thinking right there!

As much as I’d like to feel guilty about backing off of everything intense, I just can’t. I’ve felt good. It’s been a REALLY LONG TIME since I’ve been gone from the weight training for this long. Since I haven’t had some niggling pain of some sort, or been sore – all in that post-workout kinda good way – but still. sore. tired. kinda beat up.

Luckily, the scale has been really kind this whole time too. But now it’s been 3 weeks. I’ve had a little time to catch my breath. Now…

BACK TO WORK!!!

I picked out a 5k on May 11th which I intend to focus some training on – I’ve got a pace goal on my mind for this running season and this will be attempt #1.

It’ll be back to bootcamp as soon as I’m sure the fun trainer is back to teaching in the morning – probably Wednesday.

I’m scripting more yoga classes to teach, which means more practice there too.

There are plans of action. There are goals. There is focus.

Time to work.

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Oh Hey!!!  Also – look up! UP! I did some housekeeping and cleaned some things up a bit ’round this place.  Added some new categories across the banner. Cut my 66+ tags down to 14…yikes. Hope you like the changes. Kaizen.

And it’s not from too much beer.

A friend on FB linked through this little tidbit from Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=litXW91UauE&feature=player_detailpage

which made me think of this post from awhile back.

Next time you’re being a little hard on yourself, stop.

Seriously, stop.

This is what I thought to myself on the way back of an “out & back” on the office trail.

I LOVE IT!!  when I talk dirty to myself that way on a run! LOL!

It’s about 50-degrees, sunny with a nice breeze – perfect running weather to knock out 3 miles.  I think I’ve mentioned before that the (pea gravel) trail at my office is decently challenging – very little flats, pretty steep ups including several steep enough that they put in those wide-rail park style steps.  When I first started running it a few years ago, it completely kicked my ass. My improvement on that ass-kicking has been sporadic. Except that towards the end of last year it seemed like something clicked, and *justlikethat* I was feeling fierce about the whole thing.

This year – THIS SUMMER – I’m going to try and make it a point to get 3 miles in on that trail at least once a week, weather permitting.

It will be my bitch before the end of the running season. No doubt about it.

Soooo…anyway….

Tomorrow marks the 1-year birthday of this blog.  Which makes me ask myself if this blog is on track for what I want it to be, and what do I want to keep/stop doing with it.

On the whole, I’m pretty darn happy with it. I feel like it still expresses who I am honestly, and it hasn’t turned into the cluttered mess of memes and DIY projects that my prior blog did. (Don’t bother. I’m not linking to it. I deleted it and privatized it and poured water over it’s head as it screamed some nonsense about melting the flying monkeys.)

However, I am going to try a new thing beginning in May. Starting on Thursdays – until I run out of material.

I’m going to be creating a little series based out of the kitchen. I’m not into posting about recipes or nutrition – experts are out there far more qualified to write about such things – but I have noticed a gap between recipes and nutrition that I’d like to try and fill. Either it will work or it won’t.  I look forward to hearing what you think about it.

I hope to continue putting up more photographs as I continue to practice working with my camera.

I might consider writing some pieces on the types of yoga I’m wanting to teach since they aren’t exactly mainstream – though, again, there are experts out there with blogs dedicated only to that.

If I go somewhere cool, and especially if I take pictures there, I plan to tell you about it.

And while the yoga teacher training weekends are going to put a cramp in my running calendar here and there, I still look forward to writing more race recaps as I put a bead on my 5k goal and work towards crushing it. I don’t have any long distance runs on the horizon, so I’m not going to stress about those goals until I pick something specific. Right now, I want a faster foot turnover and pace on my 5k. I feel like if I focus improvement there, it’ll trickle down to improvements across all the distances.

A bit of where we’ve been in the past year, a lot of where we’re at now, and a bit more about where we’re going in the indeterminate future.

I hope you come along.  A heartfelt thank you for reading and following.

The ways we grow

Posted: 04/22/2013 in Photos, Uncategorized
Tags: ,
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Yoga studio, yoga teacher training.

 

First most important urgent message: Yes, that’s plastic.

Second not quite as important message: Yes, we use a skeleton in yoga teacher training. Gots ta know dem bones!

Somehow, a girl I know – who has a mile-wide shy streak and usually does her best not to be in the center of a room – got up in the middle of a roomful of people and taught her very first yoga class this past weekend. Okay, she’s me.

And peeps – I did good.

Don’t get me wrong, the first 3 minutes or so were absolutely terrifying, and it wasn’t flawless – but, it went so much better than I’d hoped. The feedback from my classmates was amazing (and helpful) and frankly, I’m just really proud of myself right now. Shy me didn’t chicken out! And I think I could do it again, and probably again after that. 

Which is a really good thing since I spent a chunk of change to learn this stuff. Whew! Pressure off! for now.  Three more sessions to go before I’ll have my 200-hour certification, then a tiny break and on into the next 300-hour training.  I’ll be able to start teaching in June.

Now that I made it through my first teaching experience, the mini-goal is to sit down and work out one new class script a week. That way when June comes, I can start working on finding some teaching experience and I’ll have some classes laid out in case anyone says yes.

A year ago, I just wasn’t in the place for this and the idea of standing in the middle of a room with all eyes on me would probably have stopped me from trying. 

A year ago, I wouldn’t have considered that I could take pictures just for the sake of taking them and that anyone else would want to see them – that I could have fun taking them and editing them and putting myself out there. But then Saturday someone told me I should consider framing some things up and doing a little show. My response was: I don’t have enough material yet to come up with any kind of a theme.

yet. 

Not – no way, no how. Just – not yet.

And yesterday, when a group was talking about #bostonstrong runs going on in the city today, I told the organizer that I could lead a group if we had a lot of people show up. People have been telling me for a few years now that I should consider coaching a run group and I’ve alwayes shied off of it. They probably won’t need me to do it tonight, but it doesn’t change the fact that I printed out routes and set my mind to it, that if they do need me, I’ll be helpful. I’ll give it a try.

Look at me – trying, doing, being.  These odd things. It all feels odd. 

Like I tripped on a carpet tack and stumbled into someone else’s life.

_______________________

Sidenote – I would like to encourage the commenting, and wordpress tells me that I should encourage the commenting by asking a question. But that feels pretty odd too – just making up some random question. But apparently I’m into odd at the moment.  So…um…yeah. WTH? Does that qualify as a question?

Pinwheels

Posted: 04/21/2013 in Photos, Uncategorized
Tags: ,

For the happiness file

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Student-teaching my first yoga class later today.

In my commitment to being honest on my blog, and generally an honest person in this life, I’ll say this:

Odds are that if I read your blog, you’ve gotten a weird response from me.

At least once.  But probably more.

Same goes for FB & Twitter. I respond…oddly…sometimes.

Mainly because I crack myself up. It’s not a thing I expect other people to understand. So I guess what I’m saying is that if I’ve written you a comment on your blog that made you cock your head to the side and say ‘hmmm…let’s save this one for the ‘in case I disappear and Special Agent Gibbs needs to search my computer  to figure out suspects file’ (I can’t be the only person that has one of those, right?) – the comment was really addressed to me – to crack me up and I didn’t expect you to get the joke… that was written to myself…on your blog  – which probably just makes it that much more weird.

Which also makes it even more incredibly AWESOME when people do get it! Guess what – you’re weirdos too!! I like you so very much! You have nice hair.

Anyway, once in awhile I write a weird comment somewhere –  Like this one:

Dear Jamie B-,
Thank you for winning the soap giveaway.

At first, raspberry poppyseed soap seemed like an amazing new concoction that I could not live without – and that I really hoped to win for free because then I would get a cool box from Lauren, and also because I am cheap about spending on the girly-girl things.

But then I thought – will poppyseed juice soak into my pores? Can poppyseed soap make me fail a drug test? Will airport drug dogs bite me? Not that I’ve ever actually had to take a drug test or pet an airport drug dog – but ya know, just in case there would be that one random day in my 38-years of days that someone would say – hey you – go pee in this – and then I would be all “Really! It was the poppyseed soap!” and they would be all “Your fired.” or “Sorry about that chunk not in your leg anymore”. So I got concerned. But still intrigued. But now, you won the drug soap. So me = totally relieved. Yay!

Thank you and good luck with the dog!
~Girl who does NOT smell like raspberries or the Land of Oz

In case you can’t guess, Lauren gave away fancy soap from these lovely people. Also, I didn’t win it. Also some more, Lauren encouraged me to write a letter – not necessarily about my jubilation at being a loser – wait…well, okay – but a letter – which as we now know, was kind of to Lauren, probably more to me, and not really at all to Jamie B. But still, to Jamie B, ’cause – good luck with the dogs Jamie.  I really am afraid for you.

As a sidebar, the whole letter-writing thing may be more addictive than poppyseeds for me, because now that I am writing this, I really need to add write two more letters to this.

Dear Lauren,

Thank you for posting that picture of Ryan Gosling. It’s really helped my week.

This one should  just stop there.

~Cynthia

And another:

Dear Green Barn Soaps,

Please do not sue me. It is not my intention to imply that your poppyseed soap may get people attacked by police dogs.  Rather, I am an analyst for a living – so you should probably take pity on me in that people pay me to really overthink things a whole lot as a profession. I probably single-handedly validate your belief in aroma-therapy for stress-relief. Not that you believe or don’t believe in aromatherapy. I’m not implying that or not not-implying that either. But you make products that are supposed to smell good- so really, it’s not much of a leap.

Also, if I wash someone’s mouth out with raspberry-poppyseed soap, would it taste good? Not that I would ever do that to a person – or taste it myself just to get the answer to that question – but would it?

Love,

Again, please don’t sue me. Cynthia.

So what does this all have to do with the price of eggs in China, Cynthia?! Nothing. Except that well, sometimes life just pokes you and laughs about it.  As I mentioned earlier, I was checking a couple of running calendars for upcoming 5ks I might be interested in and ran across (ran across…running calendar, hahaha – get it?)

Matt’s 5k. Knew nothing about it. Never heard of it. Except that it is the only race this weekend where the timing is right for me and it’s going to be on the exact same course I ran a week ago for the RRR5k. That one I did with two weeks of no running at all and one week completely off anything but yoga. This one – I would have 3 more runs in, all of which I’ve rocked the challenging slopey-hills on – so it might be a fun comparison on the difference a little better preparation makes.  Then I looked up what it benefitted…

Police dogs. K9 unit. Aaaaand all I can think about now is the poppyseed soap again…

Ya’ll know I have to do this one, right? Because at this point, getting chased by police dogs would just be funny.

Especially since I don’t even have the soap.

I mentioned in the RRR 5k that I’d been in a bit of doldrums about running and bootcamp and everything.

 I signed up for that 5k specifically to jerk me out of it. To MAKE MYSELF go running. In a half-used-up month where I’d logged ZERO of the miles that I needed to work towards one of my yearly goals. 

 Then Boston happened.

 The whole world – the whole running world along with it – went HOLEEE CRAP.

 Now I can’t get it them out of my head – my running peeps. Or the trails and the 5ks and the routes that I like. I am so very grateful that it is Spring and not Fall, and that there is a whole great big season of running to be done in front of me.

 I went to running group Tuesday for the first time in awhile, sporting my Boston solidarity blue.

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I ended up powering through a hill that usually kicks my ass about half-way through because it’s one of those long slopey ones that never seems to end. The whole time, I couldn’t get *that* photo out of my head –  if you saw it, you know the photo. That image will haunt me for years.  I just kept thinking about what that guy would give to be running up this stupid hill and how arrogant am I that I ever walked it? So I kept running, no breaks.

On Thursday, I made time for the lunchtime trail run I always promise myself I’m going to do, but then let myself get caught up in my work. Three rough miles. It was glorious. Instead of thinking about that photo again, I spent that trail run thinking about how hard that trail used to be for me – and now it’s still challenging, but wow! How far I’ve come! Because of all the running.

Today, I told myself to stop ignoring a calendar reminder I set – one that reminds me every Monday to check all the race calendars for any interesting events over the next 2-3 weeks. I got in there and started poking around, looking to see if I could fit in another 5k SOON.

I felt so grateful to be thinking that. Grateful that I am thinking about the glory of running, and my running tribe, and how close I feel to all of that right now – when instead I could be getting consumed by anger and hatred and fear. FEAR. How I want to read run recaps and running blog entries from every single runner I know from Twitter and FB.

I’m going to tell you something about this Boston tragedy.

It is horrible and awful, unimaginable tragedy – and I am not downplaying that in any regard whatsoever. I have cried too – and I have found myself paralyzed watching the news too. And today, as the city is in lockdown, I am worrying about every soul I ever knew that might have ever gone near Boston. Too.

IT IS HORRIBLE.

 But I’m also going to say that never in all my years of running have I ever felt so connected to my running community. To see people dressed in Boston colors, and meeting up for runs across the globe, just to show support. This ethereal, unreal, surreal “running community” that I’ve spoken about figuratively for years has become VERY VERY REAL. Physically REAL. Nodding to complete strangers dressed in blue & gold real. Thumbs up to runners crossing intersections real. Wanting to run a lot more with my regular running peeps, real. Wanting to meet my twitter peeps for real runs. I want to high-five and cheer on LOUDLY every runner I see just for the sake of running. If the intent behind this incredulous act was to make me fear running, make me not want to run – it has failed miserably.

I can’t stop thinking about my running shoes.

This horrible thing has formed a stronger community – the largest, most global, healthiest gang of committed, patient, kind people in all the land.  And it is very very REAL.

Because bourbon usually comes to mind on Thursday.

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It is odd to me how elegant this place is. Having done the mess of the homebrew thing, I had expected…well, mess. And stink. Brewing is stinky – in a good way once you get used to it, but you do have to get used to it. This – is not mess.  This is more light on beams and stone and copper. Copper. *swoon*

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Tradition. Whiskey is aged in oak barrels but steeped in tradition.

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Moving around 500lb barrels requires a little creative engineering.

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Enjoying the content just takes a good rocking chair.

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And a nice pour.

So, I scheduled this post on Sunday night, in the wee hours.

Last night and this morning I asked myself if I should delay it – this one and the one I scheduled for Thursday. The last two posts from the Run the Bluegrass series – at least I think they’re the last two. Would it be insensitive? rude? To post about another race – and beautiful events surrounding it so soon after Boston? I don’t know. I guess you’ll have to decide your own opinion of that.

What I do know is that running – identifying myself as a runner – not as “someone who runs” because I’m too slow or somehow not good enough to be a runner, I’ve gotten over all self-negative B.S. – but identifying myself as a RUNNER has changed my life. It is part of the lens through which I view the world. I like to see the world from the pavement and notice details, colors, smells of places that I wouldn’t catch driving by. I like to think about traveling to runs. I have traveled to runs – albeit not many, but it’s something I plan on doing even more in the future. And while I’ll probably never qualify for Boston, I have dreamed about going there to be in the crowd and cheer.

Lexington is the most recent run I traveled to. To see the farms from the ground. To have a lovely weekend with Eric. To breathe all of that beautiful air with my runner’s lungs.

I can’t help but worry about how Boston’s events are going to impact the decisions that people make when they choose races in the future. Is that one big enough to attract…attention? Should I encourage my loved one’s to come cheer me on? Maybe we should leave the kids at home instead of take them to see mom or dad cross the finish line? Should I be afraid? How mad am I that I’m afraid to do this thing I love and work hard for, that I’ve dreamed of? Am I mad enough to risk my life?

All that thinking to be done. *sigh*

Lexington is the last “away” run I’ll have had when I didn’t have to pick and choose what part of that thinking I wanted to do. Lexington is light and good and the reason that I’ll still travel to runs, to see cities in ways that I can’t see any other way. To accomplish things I didn’t know I could do. This is the reason that the running community will prevail in goodness over the tragedy of Boston. Because we understand light. The sunrises and sunsets that we view from beads of sweat stinging our eyes. The light from the clock at the finish line. The light within that shines so bright when we’ve gotten where we’re going, achieved what we’ve attempted. The light in our loved ones eyes when they see us come down the final stretch.

We understand chasing light.

So, from the Lexington trip, a little light. Because right now, we need all the light we can catch.

Sunlight on the beams and the big beautiful doors at Donamire Farm.

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Broodmare barn. New foals usually arrive between mid-January and end-of-May.

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This little dude belongs to her vvv. 4-5 weeks old.

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Heartbroken Hill

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First-years out playing in the pasture. We’ve been advised not to pet them b/c they’re “bitey”.

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The last post from the Run the Bluegrass series will go on as scheduled on Thursday.

The things I say to myself on day such as this are that I will never understand why what has happened in Boston happened.  My mind doesn’t work in a way that lets it understand how parties unknown could set up bombs in a cheering crowd – and other places.

I remind myself that I don’t have all the details. We don’t know what we don’t know yet. The story is still unfolding. Don’t judge. Don’t assume. Don’t jump to conclusions. Wait.

That we are lucky in America that this is such a shock, because in other lands, it is the norm to go through the horror and confusion and waiting and loss.

I remember to be grateful that the people that are safe, are safe. To be grateful that technology lets us track runners and lets them communicate rapidly with families that they are okay.

I tell myself to reach out with the heart to those that are not okay. And whose families and loved ones are not okay.

Remember, I say, that this day started out with 20,000 people trying to put good out into the world – achievement, honor, charity…20,000 people wanting to do GOOD THINGS.

That the number of good people in the world far outnumbers those who would do harm.

That good will prevail.

That people are inherently good, and that good will prevail. It simply has to. Boston, my heart goes out to you.