exploration

Where O Where Have You Been All My Life...

Photo taken from Patagonia advertisement. Shoe is called The Rover. Named by  Outside Magazine  as the Best Gear of 2014. Brilliant.

Photo taken from Patagonia advertisement. Shoe is called The Rover. Named by Outside Magazine as the Best Gear of 2014. Brilliant.

This little Patagonia ad dropped in my inbox the other day...it's like a video of the perfect date day with yourself or someone you love or dig or like.

Must get these shoes...run, climb, bike, run, climb, bike....such a video makes me miss the old SoCal backyard stomping ground of bouldering afternoons, mountain biking, and trail running. J and I crushed so many miles behind our house with our beloved dog....Good thing we can still do this in C.O....just not in winter.

 

 

 

 

 

Minimalist Marathon: How To Avoid Your Inner Weakling

Somewhere near mile 6 in the marathon, I saw a fan with my favorite sign: Toenails are for sissies. A blister the size of a wasp nest developed on my big toe sometime during the race; I did not know I had it until I showered my sweat-encrusted self. Two toenails were black as the night. I could feel one of them flipping up as I ran in training and near the end 26.2. 

Endurance athletes lose toenails. Avoid peephole high heels on date night for a while. I guess? Avoid hitting the pedicure salon to freak out the nail technician. Get over the idea of having "normal" feet. Be proud they chase pavement. Be blessed they still work.

After interval training on my mountain bike on the incline, this is my scene at the bottom of the climb. At the bottom, the horse and I stared at each other.

After interval training on my mountain bike on the incline, this is my scene at the bottom of the climb. At the bottom, the horse and I stared at each other.

Three weeks later and my toenails are still black, the wasp nest-like blister bursted on its own, and the training (for what, I don't know yet) has started back slowly. Cross training on a mountain bike, aqua running, playing volleyball, strength training, yoga, and running/biking incline intervals all eat up my active daily life. Running miles in Zen mode feels like a vacation, now.

Going into winter I am excited to try mountain biking in snow, cross country skiing, and maybe some downhill, in addition to hot yoga, aerial skills, and the usual cross training methods and whatever else I can pick up to diversify the fitness plan.  

How do you plan on hitting your stride when the cold comes...?

Minimalist Marathon: How To Experiment on the Run

Running long distances influences elites and non-elites in different ways. I am squarely in the non-elite camp. (At this point, my goal is to run a consistent 9:00 pace, with a few upshots of 8:something at the end of the marathon.)  This week I want to talk about something unsavory, so let’s just get it out there. Vomit. I said it. Let’s talk vomit and endurance.

This entry is for the runners in training out there on the verge of hurling during a long run and/or interval training. This week’s blog post may constitute as an “over share,” a TMI-kind-of-post.

Puking, hurling, spewing, el vomit-ola has been on my mind more now than ever, in fact. I agree, this isn’t a very lady-like topic. BUT running brings out certain characteristics in me that, well, are not pretty. I tend to throw out a few expletives when my performance is sad based on the numbers I see in my Garmin Forerunner. I do.

When you're on the verge of hurling from running long distances, sometimes the ground becomes really interesting....?

When you're on the verge of hurling from running long distances, sometimes the ground becomes really interesting....?

The fueling system while distance running has taken on a life of its own. It is just as important as shoes, wicking gear, and socks.

I don’t remember feeling this level of nausea while pushing the limits of my body than during the first trimester of my pregnancies years back. The fueling system while distance running has taken on a life of its own. It is just as important as shoes, wicking gear, and socks. Here is what I learned through trial and error…

Experiment at Will. The intense feeling of hurling comes about half way into a long run, when fuel and nutrition either do or do not agree with what’s going on. The other day while endurance training on the big orange oval track I experimented on myself. A guy with lean veiny forearms at the sports store recommended a fuel block. How could Mr. Ripped be wrong?  Well…

The important thing to do is fuel early, often, and do more than you think you need. I recommend 20g of sugars per hour.
— Andrew Loscutoff, Sisters Athletic Club

What I found was that my stomach made so many noises I could hear its rumblings over the Rolling Stones in my headphones, and mortals, that is not a good thing. You should not hear your stomach twerking at mile six in broad daylight, in public.

Many endurance athletes love the gels, blocks, and performance beans for sports nutrition. These folks are steel, awesome, and admirable. However, when consumed, for some(!), they may have a tendency to sit in the stomach as sludge or molasses, which does not make her feel light on her foot strike and ready for more interval mad pacing. Experimentation is good. Become your own fuel guinea pig way before race day. Don't be afraid to puke. Go with it. Learn.

The A-La-Natural Fuel. If there is something I know about it is fast-acting sugars, as I have two small children living with Type 1 Diabetes, the insulin dependent kind. I have an entire drawer in my kitchen dedicated to fast-acting sugar options—natural and unnatural kinds--to treat their hypoglycemia. By years of experimentation, we know what works on the spectrum of super fast, medium fast, and slow-long burning. 

In many ways, as a long-distance runner, we are doing the same thing with our sugar tank. We have to use our self-indicators—know your body—and fuel before it’s too late, past the point of recovery.

The affable Andrew Loscutoff--a personal trainer, former track star and triathlete, and elite-level mountain bike champion--gave me this advice. "The important thing to do is fuel early, often, and do more than you think you need. I recommend 20g of sugars per hour." (You need to listen to him, too.)

Because I am not a fan of artificial sweet things when on the run or ever, I have experimented with natural products for fuel. The sources that work best for me include:

·      fresh medjool dates

·      figs

·      freeze dried bananas

·      dried cherries

·      raisins

·      fig newtons (ok, these are processed; got me)

All of these are concentrated natural sugars. They add zip and a longer burn, rather than an artificial sugar rush I have found that burn fast, furious, and leave a gross coating in my mouth.

Electrolyte It, Baby.  I never realized how good or bad something tasted until I started running long distances and pulled electrolyte fluids out of my pack. Each run for the past five weeks I have tried a new option—flavors, brands, liquids, and dissolvable tablets. This is self-science.

My point is: experiment on the run. Don’t take anyone’s advice about what will work or not work for you. Only you know if you can pound Gummy Bears down with an electrolyte chaser and run jazzy. Find your own science.

These options run the course of disgusting to nauseating to flourishing. I ended up liking the non-stevia, non-sugar dissolvable tablets. NUUN lemon-lime is good. FIZZ tablets in peach and grapefruit get the thumbs up too from this chick on the side of vomit-ville. 

My point is: experiment on the run. Don’t take anyone’s advice about what will work or not work for you. Only you know if you can pound Gummy Bears down with an electrolyte chaser and run jazzy. Find your own science.

Ask around for recommendations from qualified fitness experts, too. Sometimes they receive free samples and may share and pass along for your experimentation. For example, Loscutoff offered me samples of FIZZ, which felt more like electrolyte Alka-Seltzer on the belly while on the run. They know about food interactions, performance, and physiology. They may hold your little golden ticket to a pleasant run.

Lace up. Hit the road. Fuel.

 

 

 

 

A Small Gem for the Winter

Small color in winter. Even still.If you have a few minutes, maybe even one minute thirty seconds, then click on over to the new issue of Anthem Journal Winter '14. This is a nonfiction quarterly featuring essays, memoir, and poetry. (Just what you wanted, right, more pauses and places to slow down in the world! We all need this.)

There are plenty of micro-essays to read. And when I say micro, I mean micro. 100 words. None of the Tom Wolfe exposition. These little gems are solid in a distilled world. O, and I have one in this particular issue titled "Chained Up on All Fours."

Here's to a sweet read....

inkblot friday: no 2. seeing what you don't see


 I remember standing in R Lounge, Studio City, one night with my friends. One was getting lit and talking about her cheating husband and how it was okay to cheat back to get back. The energy of the conversation, the loud music, my aching feet—dammit high heels are not comfortable—was getting to my head. In and out of the night, my mind kept going to a different place, Moab (and the world's largest rope swing), a place I wanted to return.  There I was bantering about relationships, while thinking of red rock in a dark bar in a bullshit dress. So goes the idea that what you see is NOT what you get. Happy Inkblot Friday, people of the world.

P.S. I don't own this dress. Olivia Newton John might have though.

























flashback: a banter on temperature

He builds a fire. We're in the high wilderness. Haven't seen anybody. Sun is almost down.
"It's going to get cold tonight, uh?" I say.
"Yip."
We're at 10,000 feet.
"Aren't you cold?" I ask him.
Him: wearing cargo shorts and a t-shirt standing on one side of the fire.
Me: wearing layers, hands deep in my pockets, and standing on the other side of the fire.
"I'm tired of you being cold," he says.
"I'm tired of you being hot," I say.
We both look in silence at each other. Smile.

To my surprise: he heated up this rock + stuck it into my mummy bag for a good night's sleep of warmth. Awesome hot rock therapy!

Inkblot Friday, No. 1

Long hair twisted/unraveled/carrying on about it's weight down a back/hair has expectations to be about something, someone, how we identify roles and genders and status. The same expectations happen when we leave out words, or block them out. So goes my exploration of having something in the picture and blocking it out. What is behind the black dot would change the message. It's like the act of double-speak I hear all to often.

mixed media in journal/ doodling as a thinking technique...hurrah