*not* training (what is your definition of laziness?)

When I first read East of Eden (Steinbeck) I was obsessed with the part about Timshel. Without dragging it out forever [because it is a huge topic], they say that these scholars have been studying Hebrew to better understand the bible and they’ve realized that the word Timshel has been mistranslated to English as ‘do thou’ and ‘thou shalt’ but really it means more like ‘thou mayest’, then it goes on to explain the significance:

“The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘thou shalt’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel-‘thou mayest’-that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘thou mayest not’…It is easy out of laziness, out of weakness, to throw oneself into the lap of a deity, saying ‘I couldn’t help it, the way was set.’ But think of the glory of choice! That makes a man a man…This is a ladder to climb to the stars. You can never lose that. It cuts the feet from under weakness and cowardliness and laziness.”

It’s a long excerpt but I tried to cut out the non-essential parts and backstory. I posted some version of this on my bedroom door so it would be the first thing I saw every day for years. When I didn’t feel like doing something, I’d think of it. If thou mayest, it is also true that thou mayest not. It cuts the feet from under weakness and cowardliness and laziness. It has certainly been inspirational, but I’m starting to think it has contributed to lots of disappointment in myself.

do I run a lot?  Well if by "running" you mean drag my soaked and freezing legs through the snow then yeah, I do it all day every day.

do I run a lot? Well if by “running” you mean drag my soaked and freezing legs through the snow then yeah, I do it all day every day.

I’ve been struggling this week to get out and train. Mainly because of our god-awful weather up here. It’s stormed every single day multiple times, and there’s nowhere that you can go more than a couple miles on a trail before you hit the inevitable snow. [what I’m missing right now is why the fuck isn’t the rain melting the snow?!]

the rivers in Denver are flooded from all of our mountain storms

the rivers in Denver are flooded from all of our mountain storms

Every day I have good intentions, I wait for it to warm up a little [if you’ve forgotten, the climate up here in the high rockies is called “high desert” and it means that there’s so little humidity and the air is so thin that we warm up quick with the sun but as soon as it sets the temperature drops 30 degrees at least]. I go out to run, and 3 miles in I’m wading through snow [at this point in most places the snow is ankle-knee deep now, but some places like Mt. Massive it’s still hip-waist] and it’s suddenly thunderstorming again. So I turn back, go home, and hope that I can wait it out and go back out after it clears up. It then clears up for a half hour and as soon as I get out again it’s snowing and 20 degrees suddenly.

This was the story of my whole fucking week. I never got more than a few miles in, and I didn’t get out on the bike at all because the storms made the path slippery and I also don’t like my gorgeous new bike to be ruined like all of my previous commuting bikes.

In other news, I got a library card. And I re-read the entire Millenium Series [it’s the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, if you don’t know, and that’s a total of about 1,500 pages]. That’s basically what I accomplished in this entire week. So I’ve weeble wobbled back and forth about how I feel about it. Because when I don’t get out and do epic shit every day, I feel like I’m wasting my life and I’m wholly disappointed in myself because TIMSHEL. I have the choice and that word cuts the feet from under my laziness and I still chose to sit around anyway. Then I’d think-I don’t fucking feel like running in 30 degrees and pouring rain. I don’t feel like wading through the snow it is NOT FUN ANYMORE. And isn’t that the point? It’s starting to feel like a job that I hate. Usually, days where it storms are occasional and those lousy training days are balanced out by all the amazing gorgeous mountain-climbing sweeping vista views days. But suddenly storms are every single day.

it wasn't the worst day on La Plata Peak

it wasn’t the worst day on La Plata Peak

I finally went out yesterday to La Plata (particularly because the weather was forecasted to be decent for once) and although it looked like serious storm clouds I headed out on the trail, hoping the clouds would pass. It rained lightly but not bad and started clearing up. However, as per usual, only 1 or 2 miles in the snow drifts started and not only do you have to wade through them which is bad enough but they often camouflage the location of the trail. There’s usually tracks where other people who know the route have passed, so it’s generally okay. But after the river crossing, the snow suddenly gets knee-deep (plus) and the tracks disperse in 3 complete different directions then stop entirely. It’s sort of a field that heads uphill and goes back into the forest, and you could see the bushes sticking up out of the snow so I couldn’t see anywhere that there was a break in the bushes. I’ve done this trail in the summer [and attempted once this winter but didn’t make it much further, even with the route instructions in hand] but nothing looked particularly familiar. I’d like to take this opportunity to mention that should the Forest Service or whoever’s in charge like a free helper to mark these fucking trails so we can all stop wandering around like helpless idiots, I’m volunteering.

water stops for no one and nothing (on La Plata)

water stops for no one and nothing (on La Plata)

I wallowed for a while yesterday, because I thought I was finally going to get on track with the la plata ascent and it turned out all wrong, just like everything else in the past week or two. And I’m really struggling with this idea-am I just lazy or do I have the right to say I don’t want to do this right now? Is that okay? I’m so far behind in my Nolan’s training because the snow and the weather are 1,000x worse than I could have imagined and even on good days I can’t physically move fast enough through the snow to get the mileage and gain in that I should be at this point. As a longtime practitioner and teacher of yoga, I feel like I’m listening to myself and choosing to do what I need, even when it means staying home and reading instead. But on the other hand, if I’m going to achieve my dream of Nolan’s then when I need is to be out there all the time, despite all obstacles. What is the difference between laziness and choosing to do what I want?

The second the rain let up yesterday I was out on my bike. I rode hard and fast for 24 miles, until it was raining so hard I couldn’t see the path in front of me and my face was burning from being slapped by the raindrops(/hail, we rarely get away with rain that’s *just* rain). I wondered if it was punishment for my laziness or that the fire I’ve been smothering staying inside just needed to blaze.

storms...so dark you can barely see the picture even after I lightened it as much as possible

storms…so dark you can barely see the picture even after I lightened it as much as possible

I know I’m supposed to learn something from this terrible clash with mama nature, but every time I think I understand it gets so much worse. It stormed all the rest of the day yesterday, and instead of letting up last night it turned to snow and dumped 6”. It’s still snowing right now as I write this. [update: I wrote this on Tuesday and now that I’m posting this it is snowing AGAIN and I’m thinking I’ll go home and watch Cool Runnings which I picked up with my handy library card]

“This is a ladder to climb to the stars.” But where are the stars?

WEEK 2: Running (the week before a race) & Slaughterhouse Five (thoughts)

So in March I was injured for basically the whole month with a sprained ankle from snowboarding. And by snowboarding injury, what I really mean is that I fell off the chair lift before I actually started snowboarding. So. My point is that I wasn’t running for at least 3 weeks, wasn’t even walking for a good chunk of that. Then when I did start running it took a lot of easing in to be able to rock mileage again. I had planned on racing at the Greenland Trail Race series (5/3) a while back, then after I was injured I thought well, I guess it’s out. But for some reason, I was like NOPE. STILL ROCKING IT. So this Saturday I’m going to Larkspur to crush 8 miles of trails. I imagine I won’t get anywhere near my goal (which was under an hour) but I hope to make a good showing/run the whole time at least.

I’ve (obviously) been thinking a lot about how we prepare for racing (or other competitive events).
On Saturday I did 8 consecutive miles for the first time since before I was injured. While I was running, I thought the whole time about my pre-race training for the next week and how I was going to eat so well and this and that.

Here was my EPIC plan:
Sunday 4 mile recovery run
Monday (2) 4.5 mile tempo runs at 8 mile pace
Tuesday burn out thighs in a sculpt class since I couldn’t do trails for my Monday training. Bike recovery.
Wednesday 6 mile recovery run
Thursday 4 mile gentle run
Friday 1-2 miles gentle run

Keeping in mind that I still planned to do my normal yoga schedule, and to bicycle commute which for me is 15-20 miles a day of riding.

Here is what actually happened:
Sunday 3 mile walk with Luna
Monday (2) 4.5 mile tempo runs, one at 8 mile pace and one at 9 mile pace (hey, I won this one)
Tuesday burned out thighs in sculpt class
Wednesday 30 minute walk (didn’t have runkeeper on to track mileage) with Lu
Thursday it’s mid-day and I’ve already done 20+ miles on the bike…and haven’t run yet.

How have I been eating? Well, Sunday and Monday I had rice and lentils and veggies and it was all very healthy and lovely. Then after that, it turned into: pasta. tater tots. coconut milk ice cream. more pasta. chocolate covered graham crackers. white bread! What happened?! I haven’t eaten this poorly since my sister came to visit months ago.

My point is: even the best laid plans dissolve. What can you do? Keep going. I’m excited about the race, I haven’t stopped being excited.

I finished Slaughterhouse Five a couple days ago. I never read with the intention of analyzing or thinking really hard about concepts. I just read the whole thing then at the end I’m like “I liked it!” Which, I loved this book. The most memorable part for me was when they had a report about American prisoners of war and how to deal with them, and they talked about how Americans have no love for themselves, so they have no brotherhood, no compassion, no understanding. It was a huge concept to deal with for me. And I can’t help but see that, in our community. It’s made me think a lot about how to foster self love in my classes and in my relationships with people in this community. Now I’m working on Walden. I imagine I’m going to have a boatload to say about that 🙂

Updates:

Ashtanga: this has really gone down the drain. The last time I did all of primary series was Monday :/ MUST GET BACK ON TRACK! I’ve been so busy this week and it hasn’t been a priority, which my yoga practice needs to be a priority. I’ve really been feeling my lack of practicing in general this week; being busy makes important things seem less important. My practice is epically important and it’s not only what makes me a strong teacher and allows me to teach so much, but it keeps me healthy, sane, and protects my body so I can continue riding 20 miles a day and training for races and working with kids.

Yoga first and last thing: yikes I haven’t been doing this either

Drinking more water: winning!

Walking Lu: every damn day, most of the time 30-40 minutes. Plus we hiked in Evergreen on Tuesday!

Why I failed so hard this week at everything except running:
Running takes a long damn time. And it makes you tired. 😉
I auditioned at a new yoga studio AND GOT HIRED
I taught a big special event restorative class after a race in Cherry Creek on behalf of PrAna. It was awesome.
I did two Inspiration Day workshops for high school kids.

See? It’s not because I spent all my spare time in the bath eating ice cream all week. I didn’t even take one bath (because I found a spider in the tub…twill be a long while before I take a bath again).

Week 1: Ashtanga (is hard), Running (which I’m crushing), Slaughterhouse Five (is awesome)

Welcome to my first update, internet and friends! Since I started on Monday, I think it’s safe to say that the bit of progress I made is a win.

So I ran 5 (road) miles on Monday and it was so, so boring (I road run to support my trail running habit). But then, I had a big breakthrough. In the form of a flat tire, which I got on my bike on my way home on Monday night. This meant I had to run to my 8am class on Tuesday morning, which is 3 miles up to the Highlands (soooo muuuch uuuphiiillll). Important discovery: when you run to work, once you leave you have to keep truckin’ and maintain a good pace or else you’re not going to be on time. Then you get a break, then bam! Only half the run to go and you’ve got to do it in order to get home. I love this new method of running, I think it’s going to be very successful for increasing my road mileage when I can’t get on the trails.  I’m also planning my next attempt on Pike’s Peak, hopefully in the next week or two.

photo

really cool picture of my foot. Because I guess it proves that I was running? Got my running shoes on…

 

My book this week is Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut).  I’ve read it before but it’s been a while, I’m a big Vonnegut fan.  I’ve made a dent in it, I’ve been listening to Into the Wild on audible before I go to bed instead of regular reading, so now that I finished that yesterday I can get back to real life books!

 

I also managed to do Ashtanga Primary Series on Monday and Tuesday. What I learned: it’s been a while since I’ve committed to primary series, and that shit is hard. I had kind of forgotten what it feels like to practice with discipline. It’s going to be crazy good for me, but the first time was a struggle. I knew it was going to be, so I filmed it. It starts off great, then quickly deteriorates.  Here are the picture highlights (you’re welcome):

ashtanga 1 montage

Then, after a lot of confusion and humility:

savasana
Coming up on Saturday:  breakdancing?  sewing?  am I drinking enough water?!

 

DO EPIC SHIT: goal setting

So I’ve been meaning to get my shit together and be a little more disciplined, but that’s hard and I’ve been failing a lot lately. Particularly since a few of these were new year’s resolutions…for last year. Once (upon a time) when I got peer pressured to do something called the TOTAL BODY CHALLENGE I had to blog every single day about how well I followed the rules. It was grueling but it seriously kept me on track. The thing about being awesome is, if you’re having trouble being motivated, the idea of having to tell the internet about how successful (or NOT successful) you were makes an important difference.

That’s the story of how I started writing this blog. Just now.

Here’s the part where I talk about what I want to do with my life that I have to stay accountable for: My goals are going to be highly overzealous, as good goals should be. Then I’m going to stick with it. Apparently. Because I have to tell you about it, internet.

1. Learn to breakdance. I like that this is implied to be my number one goal.
2. Ashtanga Primary Series-5 days a week (oof, that one’s a doozy)(I’m totally doing it. Thanks for the support, internet!)
3. 20 fourteeners
4. Drink more water
5. Do 10 minutes of yoga first and last thing of the day, no matter when you do your 60 of ashtanga
6. Walk Luna 20 minutes at the very least every single day
7. Sew some stuff. Maybe lots of stuff. Yeah…like curtains and clothes and stuff.
8. Get out of debt, then save a bunch of money.
9. Peak to Peak Highway and Lookout Mountain
10. Leadville Heavy Half and at least one more trail race. The implication is, I have to then train. :/
11. Stop eating cookie dough
12. Read a whole book every week

Do you have twelve ambitious goals to work on? Maybe we can do this together! I’ll be here every M/W/Sa posting on my awesome progress.

Here’s me and my multi tool. Ready for action.

20140421-082315.jpg