Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Becoming a Vegetarian...and Other Business

It's been over two months now since I've consumed meat of any kind. I've recently added milk and most cheese to that list. I don't miss it...any of it....is that weird? Maybe this is just the way I'm meant to be so the transition isn't a big deal. Meat doesn't offend me...it doesn't bother me to cook it or look at it....I still feed it to my family. I would rather not....but I would also never force my decision on them. Although I guess in a way it wouldn't really be different than me forcing my children to be active.

So here's whats different.

I feel lighter...not weighed down.
I feel my aggression is down...but that is a matter of debate:)
I spend a lot more time meal planning and preparing.

And here's what's not.

My running.
My weight...I can get rid of most of the major contributors to my fat and calorie content...replace them with vegetables and soy...and still not drop weight...I am f*cking awesome.
My grocery bill. Surprised? I'm not...you can be healthy without being stupidly expensive about it.
My marriage. After the initial mild spaz attack Skip has just kind of accepted it as another weird thing his weird wife does....he's a good man that one.

On running.

I seem to be finding my mojo again...thank god! I've had a solid two weeks of decent runs. I love the New Balance Minimus and have become enthralled with running trails. Not bike trails, not paved walk your dog kind of trails....but real trails...that you have to climb over things and watch wear your going...the kind of trails that make your mile times ridiculous but you enjoy every second of. This weekend I went to Pets and ground out 5.5 of the most dirty, leg thrashing miles I've ever done. I came out of those woods looking like I was wearing pants I was so covered in mud. I also found a tee pee in the woods that someone had made with branches and leaves and mud.

I'm also rebuilding my mileage. Last week was my first 20 plus mile week in I don't even know how long. My long run was 7 miles done in the Minimus and I felt solid. I want to get it back up to a 10 mile long run before I start training for my half which will start probably in February. I've been running barefoot on Tuesdays....minimal on Thursdays and Saturdays...and Sundays in whatever sounds good at the time. Its wonderful not to feel like shit every time I get out there.

On Cross Country.

Dom had his first meet last Thursday and much to his surprise...although not to mine at all....he went sub 20 for the 2 mile. It's the fastest he's ever run and he beat 3 people. He past by me at around the mile mark and asked his time and it was 8:50....he looked at me and says "you're kidding me." Didn't even believe it....but I did....that kid is ALL heart out there. He'll only improve in time and makes me so proud!

V is doing good. At his second meet he shaved 2 minutes off his time...giving him the same 5K time he had at the age of 13 which was 21 minutes. But he's tanking at the end. He'll run high 6's for the first 2 miles an then like a 9 minute mile. I really wish coach would have him doing progression runs. Dude is making him faster...but V's racing wrong. I try real hard to keep my big yap shut. They have a BIG meet this Saturday so we'll see what we see. He's looking good though. I bought him spikeless Cross Country shoes and he's learning to run in those. He'll get it together...and I imagine....figure it out on his own without his crazy mother riding him.

I also have to sign V up for drivers ed this weekend...talk about making me feel old. We're making him earn the money to pay for half of the 300 bucks the class costs. And after the initial shock...and I can't imagine why he'd be shocked...he knows we're MEAN parents...he caught on to the idea and has been pimping himself out for odd jobs amongst our family.

And on a final note...I will leave you with a Tateism from this morning. As we were walking to the car I asked her if she wanted to have babies someday and she told me..."yes...but I don't really think I should...most of my babies end up without heads."

Can't argue with that.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Aged To Perfection

Last night was special.....it was really no different than any number of nights in my 20s but last night because I was able to appreciate without time restraints the beauty that is my circle of friends of many many moons. I think we are fairly unusual because we are a large mixed group of people...from many walks of life..in many different stages of our lives....that have managed to remain in contact. A few have drifted in and out but the usual suspects stay the same.

Last night we celebrated the 40th birthday of Sylvia. I met Syl through Julie so it's coming up on 20 years that we've known each other. She is a beautiful soul that I would trust with my life and love even more. She is one of those special people that would do anything for you....or nothing but listen to you whine...depending on your need at the time. She's been at my baby showers, I watched her marry her husband Jeff with tears in my eyes....and the number of nights we've slobbered into beer with each other is too numerous to count. I remember one particular night....not the specifics really....but one of us was upset....and as we were driving away...her, Julie and I....that Bob Marley song 3 Little Birds came on the radio...and we all started singing. And it was lovely...and fixed whatever was wrong...at least for right then. She is one of the few people that I would openly sob like a bitch in front of...with no worries of judgement...and true pain for my pain in her heart.

But it got me wondering....what is it that draws us and binds us together? What makes them welcome ME back when I run off and cocoon myself in Racine for months at a time without seeing a soul but work people and family? What makes people that came together as teenagers, grow older together? Celebrate life, mourn deaths, marriages, divorces...daily bullshit?

And as I looked around a garage full of people staring out at the rain....laughing, joking...just happy to be together....again...I still don't know.

I made vegetarian stuffed peppers and brought them to the party...and after eating...my friend Scott came up to me and says "those peppers were great! they just needed a little meat." Funny guy....maybe that's all it is...we make each other laugh.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Trail Running, CC and Dom's 14th

So yesterday after bailing out of work at noon I headed over to Petrifying Springs to run as far as I felt like going...no real plan. I knew there were tons of off road trails back in the woods but had not seen any of them since highschool when we used to drop acid and sneak in there at night to tromp around. So I pulled up and put on the NBM....and happened to look up and see what could sort of pass for a trail heading straight up....cool. I ended up doing 5 miles on off road trails all over the damn place and LOVED it. Took forever but it felt incredible and I was a dirty puppy when I was done...exhausted as well....good stuff there..

Today cross country was cancelled for both the boys due to the air quality drifting over from the Minnesota fires...damn shame...such beautiful country burning away.

Vincents coach started running him with the faster kids this week and stopped over last night to drop something off for V and hopped out of his truck to chat a bit. This dude loves to talk...holy smak! But he was saying to me that he bets V shaves a minute of his time from last weeks meet and I kind of chuckle....looked him in the eye and said.."bet it's more than that." And I bet it is too....he's itching to race and now that he knows his hip is better...he's throwing himself into his training and I can't wait to see what he does this weekend. He wants to go varsity this year....he needs to run an 18 minute 5K to do that. His fastest one ever was 21 and some change when he was 13 years old. He ran a 21 minute 5K this last fall with NO training...I'm thinking the 18 minute one won't be too big of a reach. The big thing that sucks...is that his schools cross country squad is so small that they don't even have enough guys running varsity to score points at the MEETS! How freakin lame is that. They have 3 varsity guys...they have to run 5 in order to score points. There's some fast kids on JV....Vincent took 3rd out of 7 for the JV squad...but damn. How crappy to do all this training without any hopes of doing anything with it. If V bumps up to varsity they'll still be 1 short. Blah..drives me nuts...they have a million kids out for their shit football team.

Dom's first meet is next Thursday. We ran 400 meter intervals on his birthday to celebrate. He didn't even complain. I've said it before and I'll say it again...if you have to have kids....have a Dom...can't beat him. And he'll be at that meet....rocking his ghetto Vibrams and running till he barfs...cause that's how he rolls.

Each year on their birthdays...or pretty close to it....I write each of the kids a letter and tell them about their year...what the accomplished...places they went....things they liked. And as I was writing Dom's last night...I was marveling again and how blessed I am with all my children...but him especially. He was not born under the best circumstances...my ex-husband and I were already separated and had a divorce in the works, among many other things....so he had shit stacked against him before he even got here. And in spite of that...or maybe because of that...he has turned into the most remarkable person. Overflowing kindness, trustworthy with a heart that barely fits in his chest. I remember when he was really young...maybe 4 or 5...and at church before they went off to their Sunday school class they would go up and sit with the pastor and he would tell them a story. Well this particular Sunday the pastor had a little throne up there and he let a few of the kids sit there and tell what they would do if they were king. Dom was the last kid to sit in it...and when pastor asked him...Dom put his hands on the arms of the chair....looked out into the congregation and said clear as a bell " I will save the people."

And you know what? I think he will.

Happy Birthday Dom


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cross Country and Kicks

So according to facebook...I ran my first barefoot mile a year ago today...happy nekkid feet anniversary to me.

Lots has been going on...and in turn...not much has been going on. I took a hiatus from running with the exception of running with Dom 4 times a week to the tune of 2 miles a night to get him ready for cross country. It wasn't really pleasant running because he whines so much....told me he hates me when we're running because I don't let him stop....but loves me when we're done because he feels so good. I'll take it...he's ready...his first meet is this Thursday...so proud of him.

After football camp being a complete bust I pulled V out and told him he was running cross country instead. He was ok with that and went to the first practice where he proceeded to do something bad to his hip. Ice, Advil and stretching followed the rest of the week while he still went to practice. By Friday I pulled him because it wasn't getting any better...but worse. Talked things over with his coach and tried to get him in with the school athletic trainer and was told that the athletic trainer was for football....come again? Now let me point out that Case's football team has not won a game in 37 fucking games. They can't get hurt....the barely play. I was beyond pissed. Thank god that I have enough medical connections that I had both a physical therapist and athletic trainer on him in two days. After an early morning assessment with my PT friend conducted on my living room carpet we discovered what I already figured...nothing broken....weak hips...weak core...at least a week off. Strength training and yoga stretches daily for the next week...and I started running him lightly about 1.5 weeks later. Gave him back to the coach after two full weeks off and rehabbed. Basically his legs are faster then his hips and core could handle....nothing serious...just needed to even out his body. So he practiced with the team conservatively and ran his first meet yesterday. It was his slowest 5K ever...a 23 flat...but that's ok. Now we know he's healthy and ready to train. Told the coach it's time to lower the boom and start working him. I told him to run this one slow and make sure he feels ok...we'll worry about beating people and getting the time down later.

So on the first day of school....my official return to running....I ran 5 barefoot miles along Racines beautiful lake front....and it went well until about mile 4. All in all it felt really good to just go run without time restraints and worry in general. I'm taking alot of my yoga off the mat these days and all in all I feel more at peace with just about everything. Yesterday after dropping V off at the highschool at quarter to 7 I left my car there and ran 5 more miles in my ghetto Walmart water shoes. The weather is starting to turn here...and I think that really helps. But it also poses its own set of problems as to what I'm going to do with my barefoot running when it's not possible to do here anymore. I can't bring myself to buy another pair of loaded running shoes when they don't make me happy....even if they make me faster. So after trying the Merrell Pace Gloves and an interesting shoe made by Altra...I ended up buying the New Balance Minimus trail shoe. I haven't had a real run in them yet....so I really have nothing to say except that I had to buy the mens version because they didn't have the womans....and I preferred the fit to the Pace Glove and the Altra. I'm going to run with Dom tomorrow night on his birthday...14...lord help me....and I'll know more then.

The VERY loose running plan...is as follows.

Continue my barefoot running for as long as the weather allows. I know this lasted into November last year but who knows. Start introducing the Minimus during this time. Sign up for a spring half...possibly the half of the full I did last year.....and PR at the half marathon distance in minimal shoes. I want to follow an actual training plan. I had to kind of dump my marathon plan about half way through due to shin splints and other issues...and I really want to include all the bells and whistles this time and see if I can shave that time down. I don't think it is my destiny to be slow...I know I have some speed in me somewhere....and just like I told Vincent after his race yesterday....it's baby steps dude...we just have to tap it.
Hope everyone is well!


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