Monthly Archives: September 2010

9/30/10 Note to Self

Thursday.  Huge laugh this morning.  Obviously I had a long day on Sunday.  Started early morning with a race, brunch and hair appointment, then ended with a dinner party and concert at Radio City Music hall.  There was much wine flowing for my birthday and apparently I had been partaking in quite a bit of it though I wasn’t really hurting on Monday, I was pretty “lively” during the concert.   You know you’ve had a bit too much wine when you and a former teammate create an upper body workout routine during Sheryl Crow. (But boy, my upper arms do feel a bit stronger this week.)

Meanwhile, cleaning my desk this morning, I grabbed the next piece of scribble and was shocked to find a rather harsh note written to myself in an obviously wine induced moment.  At first I was shocked, who would use such language in a note to me?  Then I cracked up when I remembered writing this to myself and sticking it in the bottom of the work pile so I would stumble on it at a later point.  (This is a little trick I like to play on myself — write myself notes and have them magically appear six months later.)  My note to self read:

    Hey You!
    Forget the BullShit
    You want to do a 5 hour marathon
    You have to suffer for it
    Inch by Inch

I got a big chuckle out of this message from my alter ego.  I remember writing it.  I remember the determination I felt when I wrote it.  How pumped up I was.  Yeah I’m going to run a 5 hour marathon!! Here’s how I’m going to do it.  I’m going to push ups and sit ups and hill sprints and swim and bike and run the trails.  Yeah!!  Rumble!!!  That was Sunday night around midnight.

Monday was somewhat anticlimactic.  I had to work. I wasn’t that focussed.  I did do some light yoga stretches.  Very stiff.  Was feeling every day of my age.  I didn’t do any push ups and I didn’t hit the pool.  Hmmm…  my big YEAH! had already fizzed to a yeah?

Tuesday I did a 5 mile Galloway run.  It actually didn’t stink.  I am quite intrigued by this Galloway method and am researching it.  My workout called for an easy 4-5 miles on soft surface.   For time sake I ended up by the river and I decided to try a 2/1.  Usually I do a 4/1 but I haven’t really been feeling that great and I thought I would just give it a try and see what happened.  (Galloway actually recommend doing a 30 second run 30 second walk for my pace but I’m just going to play around and see what happens.)  It was actually quite revealing.

The first mile was nothing great.  I was creaky.  My “run” portion was about the same speed as my walk portion.  But I was actually relieved to not have to push through my usual first mile of pain.  2/1 I could handle.  It helped keep my breathing down too.

But by the second mile.  I started to loosen up a little and could see that within my 2 minutes of running I had an opportunity to work just a little harder.  Believe me, 2 minutes didn’t seem like a short period of time and when I got my 1 minute break I worked on my speed walking not recovery. Turns out I’m a pretty good speed walker.

By the third mile, I was feeling so much stronger.  That’s not so unusual.  It usually takes me 40 minutes to warm up.  But now I was feeling ready to really run for 2 minutes.  I started working on lifting my knees and kicking my heels up.  Something I felt I could do for 2 minutes but not 1 hour.

By the fourth mile, I was actually having some fun. How fluid could I be for two minutes?  Just let everything go for 2 minutes.  What would happen?  I could see the value in this.  If I can do 2 minutes like this this week, maybe next week I could do 3 minutes like this.  Which you rather have 2 minutes of real, fluid, running or 2 hours of a slog/shuffle?  I was starting realize that there is a method to this madness.

By the fifth mile, I was feeling really good.  Loose, invigorated and looking forward to continuing this experiment.  I finished the workout in not some great time (it ended up averaging a 15 minute mile over the entire 5 miles) but within that I had some real glimpses of good running.

When I got home and loaded my  Garmin data I was really pleasantly surprised to find my Garmin actually tracked my experience.  I started out running a 14 minute mile and walking an 18 minute mile.   By mile 3 I was hitting 12 minute miles pace in my little 2 minute run.  And in mile 4 I was doing 11’s and high 10’s.  Only for 2 minutes. But those were those fluid moments.   And my walk pace dropped from 18 to 16.   I was pretty happy with that.

It got me thinking.  What if I can start doing that for longer periods?  Get it so I can do 11 minute miles for all my 2 minute intervals?  Then get it so I can do an 11 minute mile for 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, etc.?  Or what if I kept it at 2 minutes but started to get faster and faster in the 2 minutes?  I started to see the Galloway method had it’s science.  Yeah I could go out and slog through a 14 minute mile for 3 hours.  Or I can still average that same 14 minute mile by running a little faster for 2 minutes and power walking one. (I can pretty much power walk at a 14 minute mile anyway).  This is very intriguing to me.

Here are the advantages I saw:

  1. I completed my workout feeling good about myself, not defeated.
  2. I completed my workout with a whole list of new goals.  Goals are what make me want to go do my next workout.  Let’s see if I can do that a little better. 
  3. I felt it was better on my overweight — out of shape body.  For 2 minutes I could pretend I was light on my feet and my knees wouldn’t really know the difference.  My muscles didn’t stay in the same routine for long enough to start cramping or pulling bones out of joint.  By mixing up my muscle usage, I think my muscles were happier.
  4. During my periods of running, I felt I was practicing better and faster form.  In the end I think this will produce a better, faster runner. 

So today I’m actually going to buy his book and read up more on it.  One thing that I’ve already cleared up.  One of the people I know using his method only runs 1 hour during the week and then a long run on the weekend.  I  couldn’t understand how this could be enough running for marathon training and to get to be a better runner.  After reading in more detail his running theory, he states this is the MINIMUM you must do.  Not the MAXIMUM.   He is fine with you running more as long as you are not injured.  That made so much more sense to me.  I really want to do my 50 miler in February and logic just tells me that I can’t train for that doing 1 hour plus 1 long run.

I also remember when training for MDS, that I built up slowly and I did a lot of cross training to build my muscles.  I didn’t have any injuries when training for MDS and all of my runs were a walk/run. (Okay, they were usually more 8/2 and 9/1 but they were still walk runs.)  I think I’m ready to hit the gym with some knee building exercises but not overload.

I did a little spreadsheet and I figured out that if I can build myself up to be able to break a 5 hour marathon.  The sad news is if I want to use this method, I am going to have to be able to run a mile in under 10 minutes.  I know I can’t do that right now, but there is nothing stopping me from making it a goal and giving it my best shot.  It is recorded in the NYRR book of legend that at one time I was able to run a 10 minute and change mile.  Okay, I disputed it when they published that but according to their records it is true.

The five-hour marathon goal is a longer term goal.  Shorter term is to get my endurance back.  Get back to feeling comfortable for many hours on my running legs and to finish the Rocky Racoon 50 miler with a smile on my face.  I think by the end of February I will be ready to start shooting for that 10 minute mile.

Nothing like a good project to get me going!  Today I am off to the hills in Central Park to reacquaint myself with their loveliness….


Here are a couple of good links if you are interested in exploring more into the Galloway method.

The magic mile:

The basic method:

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogroll

9/27/10 The Morning After


September 11, 2001 Stephen Siller was a firefighter in Brooklyn who had just finished his shift and was on his way home when the twin towers were hit. He immediately turned around and headed toward the city. The Brooklyn battery tunnel was already shut off to vehicles so there was no way for him to drive in. Without hesitation, he strapped 70 pounds of gear on and ran through the 1.8 mile long Brooklyn Battery tunnel heading straight toward the towers. He lost his life that day along with over 400 fire fighters and police officers as well as the several thousand people who died in the towers. Although Stephen Siller died that day,  his family decided to keep his memory alive by creating a 5K run call the Tunnel to Towers. Yesterday 20,000 people came out to retrace Stephen’s steps by running through the tunnel. Some of my dear friends and teammates and I went to participate.

Of course it was very emotional and touching. Before the run they had a ceremony where they talked about Stephen and what the run represented to the family. I liked the fact that they were really focussing on love and not on revenge. Siller’s mother spoke and his brother recited St. Francis’s prayer. I was struck by some of the words. So simple yet exactly what I think the key to living a life focussed on peace is all about:

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

Running through the tunnel was a little uncomfortable for me.  It wasn’t the tons of water overhead that ended up bothering me (that had been my fear).  It was the number of people running through the tunnel.  I felt nervous with that many people in such cramped quarters. One wrong word and a stampede could have easily happened.  When we exited the tunnel the NY Fire Department members were lined up along the street holding banners of the firefighters lost in 911.  So many faces.  So hard to grasp what they must have gone through.   And yet, at the same time, the crowds were so supportive of all the runners.  It was very uplifting.  Very hopeful and promoting peace.

I practiced a 1/1 run/walk through the tunnel.  My first time really experimenting with the actual Galloway method of running.  I think there is something to this because by the time I was done with the 5k I was finally ready to start running!  Had a great conversation about Galloway with a former teammate on Saturday night at a party.  She is a much faster runner than I am and said she has had great success with it.  Then right before the race met up with another former teammate who has been doing the Galloway method while training for her first marathon.  She is feeling good and injury free.  I’m not sure if in the long run this is how I want to train, but right now I’m struggling on my runs and I think this method will be a good bridge for me.  

I had a not so good run on Saturday and cut it short at 7 miles and went shopping instead.  (I was trying to do 9).  I was fine until I got home (it was well over 4 hours on my feet by the time I ran, walked to Macy’s, shopped, walked home).  I ended up having severe cramping when I got home and I’m really struggling to figure this out (no I did not stretch when I got home, I plopped).  I can’t really make out the pattern yet.  Before I called 911 because I was so freaking out, I threw some bags of frozen veggies on my calves and toes and poof instantly the cramping went away.  I mean instantly.  Very bizarre.  Yes I’ve spoken to my doctor about it.  No she doesn’t have any answer.  We are still trying to figure it out.  Meanwhile I’ll be stocking up on frozen veggies. 

After the run my friends and I all went for brunch.  How I miss our old post-run brunches we used to do all the time.  I guess when I started Ironman training that kind of fell away.  Used to be a regular weekend we would all go do whatever race was in the park and all head to our diner for food and gab-therapy.  What a lovely brunch we had yesterday.  Was so good to see everyone around  the table again….  Here is a picture


After brunch I headed over to get my hair done.  Busy day!  Had to meet up with friends for dinner at 5:30.  More fun, more festivities and then off to see Brandi Carlile and Sheryl Crow at Radio City Music Hall.  I’m  a huge Brandi fan.  We had a blast.  Perhaps a little too much to drink…. 

So that was a huge day and great way to celebrate my 51st birthday and my return to 38.  Awesome day, awesome people.  Very happy.





Leave a comment

Filed under Blogroll

9/23/10 The Road Less Taken

Thursday.  Whoosh.  Did you see September just fly by?  I looked up and suddently realized I’m going to be 51 years old in 3 days.  Say wha?!?!?

In all my 50 years birthdays have never bothered me.  This one doesn’t bother me either but I had a moment yesterday when I thought, geesh 51, that doesn’t sound exactly glamorous.  It’s starting to sound, what’s the word?  Oh yeah, old.  I don’t feel particularly old but I don’t feel young any more.  Last year definitely knocked the forties out of me.  I know this year is going to be a great year for me I’m going to end up feeling great by the end of it.  I have total confidence but I think I’m just going to start saying I’m 38.  What you think about expands and I think 38 was a good time of life.  51 just sounds,,  eh, tired.

All of my meditatin’ and thinkun’ has started to sink in a little.  I spent the morning listening to Kusala Bhikshu (a Buddhist Monk from California).  I used to listen to Bhikshu’s podcasts “religiously” years ago and it kind of fell to the wayside.  Yesterday I was meditating on the 5 precepts and it reminded me to look him up again.  I found a good lecture and his lecture on karma reminded me about the importance of right thought.  Right thought feeds right words feeds right deeds.  I’m reminded once again how everything starts with what you think about.  Just changing that can immediately make you feel better.  So much of this is just about reconnecting with yourself. Keeping that inner dialogue going.

Yesterday was 82 degrees and I got out for a run.  Well my intention was to run.  I got to my regular trail in West Hartford and I decided to take a left turn up a trail that I never go.  I now know why I never go that way because it turns out the Road Less Taken is Uphill.  I couldn’t run it, I was out of breath just hiking up it.  I’m pretty sure my teammates could all run it.  Ooph, I feel like a lump.  A poofy, 51 year old lump.  I kept climbing.  It had to end eventually.  I made a little promise to myself.  It may not be right now, but in the next year I am going to get into good enough shape to run to the top of this mountain.  It’s about 2.5 miles up but it is a serious up. 

I had to remind myself that I have never run all the way up Mohonk either so don’t get all down on myself.  I’ve never been a good uphill runner.  But that could change.  Right thought, right action.

I was not very impressed with myself until I got back down and my Garmin said I had covered 5.25 miles in 1:10 minutes.   That couldn’t be right.  I was walking/hiking up the mountain and coming down only half the time running and I had to zig-zag ’cause it was so steep. (Okay, I ran fast the one time I thought I heard a bear but it turned out to be a squirrel).  I couldn’t figure out how the Garmin would think I did more than I actually did.  I could understand how it could think I did less (if it loses signal).  But how could it think I did more?  I hate these gadgets, I don’t trust them one bit. There is no way I averaged less than a 14 minute mile hiking up the mountain.  That had to be a 16 minute mile and twice I had to pause to catch my breath for a second.  The way down I could think maybe a 13 minute mile but still the numbers don’t add up.  I wonder if a pedometer would be more accurate?

This morning I did my meditation and then installed a new mailbox at the end of our driveway (some teenage driver plowed down our mailbox, the neighbor’s mailbox and their picket fence).  Talk about a little workout.  Apparently you need arm muscled to whack a sledge hammer.  Very proud of my handiwork and I know why farmers didn’t need to run marathons, they just worked out in the field all day using their bodies for manual labor.  What a concept?

Here is a picture of my finished project.  I did the whole thing from digging the hole, putting in the metal post, sledgehammering the metal post, installing the cedar post over the metal post, sledgehammering that until it was flush with the ground.  Then I built the platform for the mailbox to sit on and screwed it all together.  Okay, it came out crooked because I was suppose to use a level but seriously that sledgehammer is heavy and I don’t know how you are supposed to hammer evenly….  Whatever, the mail will get here.


And while showing pictures.  Check out this tree that turned color over night.  I believe it is a maple tree.  Two days ago it was green.  Now it is golden. The rest of the trees have not turned yet, just this little frontrunner.

Today I’m off to run the flat lands.  I need to get some real run time in, not hiking.  So off to the river with my mp3 player and right mind.  Tomorrow I promised my yoga instructor I would return to class. I tried to do downward facing dog this morning and it was more like whoof, bad dog.


Leave a comment

Filed under Blogroll

9/22/10 Reading Between the Lines

Wednesday. Exhale. Finally a moment to breathe. Cripes I’ve been back and forth and up and under deadline. Taxes, projects, moving furniture, doctor’s appointments no sooner does a day start then I’m looking at the bed thinking is 7 p.m. too early to go to sleep? But today I get a little breather (only one project to work on and they can wait a few minutes.)

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. A lot. Met up with a couple of gals last week who went to the Geneen Roth Kriaplu “camp” session. They asked me if I wanted to join them for book club discussion. I figured why not? I didn’t think there would be much to it but as it turns out I was quite wrong.

I’m really struggling with the “don’t diet” thing and at the same time realizing a need to lose weight and fast. I’m exhaling and trying to stay focussed. Eat ONLY what your body is hungry for (no your body is not hungry for chocolate, that’s your head). Stop when you are satisfied. Don’t eat with distractions (guilty). I can’t remember the other guidelines off the top of my head.

The book “Women, Food and God” is deep. I have to admit that I read it twice and I thought I got it and then I forgot it. It’s so simple that it is difficult. What I didn’t realize is there is a world of work to do within the book. On the site they have a fifteen-week. book-study course. Yeah, I printed it out. Yeah I did nothing with it.

Last week at our first session both gals came with the first two chapter questions all filled out. I didn’t do it. I could wing it. I’ve read the book, I’ve done the online sessions. I went to Kripalu. I can speak the speak. I think I’m qualified to teach the course at this point, right? Wrong.

This week, feeling guilty (and jealous) that I didn’t do the “homework” I went online and printed the questions for the first three chapters. Wow. Talk about an eye opener. Although I read the book, I wasn’t taking it and applying it to my own life and my own habits. When I sat down and actually wrote out the answers to some of the questions I was actually surprised. When I went to our study group this week we all said the same thing — we were shocked to see some of the things we wrote down. Do we really believe these things? What do we believe we deserve and what do we believe we are? One of the gals is a bit of a politico and definitely takes the feminist view of how we are conditioned by society and she is pissed about it. I take the Yankee/Puritan/Catholic view I should be doing 500 hours of charity before considering taking time for myself. I don’t want to get into an entire lecture on the book and course but I am open to studying with anyone who has read the book and has printed out questions from and ready to work.

For me one of the questions that really shocked me was when I went through my history of dieting. When I actually wrote it all out, I actually had to take a second to realize how much was on there. I was shocked to remember how early in my life I started to diet. I distinctly remember being very young like 12 or 13 years old and going on a grapefruit diet and everyone thinking that was okay. Culturally it was already acceptable for a young girl to want to diet. Looking back I’m not sure what I was really thinking, I do remember a pair of jeans I wanted to wear. I also remember getting a lot of hassles from my family to lose weight. There was a lot of social pressure too.

Senior year of high school I remember my friend Cindy came up with the five finger diet and we were following that. You could eat five things a day, that was it. So if you ate potato chips that was one thing, apples would be two… so on. I don’t remember how we counted all the beers.

I remember winter of my first year of college I went to weight watchers and lost twenty pounds and got to my goal weight. (I would give my right arm to be only 20 pounds overweight right now.) Then I dropped out of college and gained it back. Then I went to another college and lost it. Then I got kicked out and gained it back. Then I went to another college and gained it back and then I lost it again. At my final college, my sophomore year, I lost it all by walking four miles a day to do my apprenticeship with a potter and a painter. No dieting, just quit drinking and walked 4 miles a day. I fit into those high school jeans. Then I gained it back again. I must have lost and gained that same 20 pounds ten times.

My twenties kind of blurry, I don’t recall dieting then. I do remember playing the piano and one Fall went into to the studio and the receptionist commented on my weight gain.   I think I joined a gym near work.

My thirties I definitely remember The Carbohydrates Lifeplan or whatever it was called. Once again I lost all the weight eating anything I wanted once a day and staying away from carbs the rest of the time. I think I did that plan twice. Lost all the weight and then gained it back. I liked that one because once a day I could go to town. But it wasn’t really maintainable.  After that I remember a steady gain for a long time.

I remember a bunch of other one off diets. I’m pretty sure I did Atkins for at least a week. And if you stop by my apartment I have shelves full of books on dieting. Everything from Fat is a Feminist Issue to Suzanne Summers and Dr. Oz. DOn’t eat dairy, don’t eat wheat, don’t eat sugar, don’t eat, don’t eat, don’t eat. Of for cripe’s sake, how can this be so hard? All that I come up with is there must be something terribly wrong with me if I have not found the magic formula in all of these books.

And of course my late forties were devoted to Weight Watchers where I lost 50 pounds and in one year managed to gain it all back.

So I think I am living proof that Diets DO work. I’ve done them a billion times and I’ve lost weight every time I have gone on one only to come back and put the weight back on plus some. “How you get there is how you will be when you get there. And there is no there there.” That’s a Geneenism but it’s true. Diets only work as long as you stay on them and let’s face it, who can count points for the rest of their lives? Look at the biggest loser contestants. How many put the weight right back on as soon as the go home without the trainers and the eyes of American on them?   I’ve seen it with my teammates, lose a lot of weight, stop training and the weight piles on quickly.  Yes, I heard about that 100 year old women in Albany who counts her points and weighs every ounce of food and has been at goal weight for a billion years and she does 100 situps a day too. There is an exception everywhere.

Saying I am NOT going to diet literally sends shivers up my spine. Particularly since I have so much weight to lose. Wha? Wha? What do you mean I’m not going to diet? Oh my God I’m going to weigh 300 pounds. That’s who I am. I am the dieter. I am the person who is constantly looking for the rules and ways to break the rules. What do you mean I don’t have any rules? Let me just count some calories for a week so I can say I failed. Just one week and then I’ll be all set. I look longingly at calorie calculators. I’m positive the answer is in that 30 day meal plan over there. If only I could just follow it. It’s a scary thing to fly solo to trust my own body and actually listen to what it wants and to pay attention to the food I’m eating. Pay attention to the food I’m eating? What the heck kind of diet is that? And what is all this about being kind to yourself? Self-Inquiry? Does that come in a power or a mix? Geneen you are a freak.

At the same time I’m trying to work out my training schedule. For the first time in a long time (ever?) I am flying solo. I have races lined up and I have a lot of running to do and I am battling mystery cramps and stress and weight. If I could just have a plan, I know I would do better with the plan. So on I go to Runners World and start printing out schedules and workouts for what I’m going to do every day. I pause at the runners world diet plan and refuse to print it out. The workout schedules seems to be going okay. I’m not punishing myself if I don’t do the workout exactly. Just get out there and move. This week I missed more than I wanted but I’m forgiving myself.  Today I have time for a nice long run/walk in the woods.

I also wanted to take some time to really explore the guidelines I learned from Mark Allen at Kripalu in his Fit Soul and Fit Body book. I have to admit I was only pretending to read through the exercises because I knew I would get to a diet section and maybe I could sneak in some new diet “rules” while Geneen was not looking. I’m reading along about eat what is healthy, blah, blah, blah and then he has an entire paragraph about learning how to eat what your body is telling you and to not obsess. What? Another freak. He can give me Heart Rate formulas down to 5 beats, but when it comes to food just eat natural, good foods and listen to your body? He eats ice cream? And chocolate? Shut up…. another 5 minute mile Freak.

I am aware I am very anxious and feel almost jittery. I’m nervous that this won’t work. I’m worried that I can’t be trusted. I’m looking at food with a whole new light. What do you mean eat what you are hungry for? What is the portion size? What is the glycemic index on that? How many calories in that? How many points? Is that a carb? What are the micronutrients? Maybe I should follow Dr. Fuhrman just for a week? Where is my Thrive diet book? I think I need a hemp shake to take the nerves off. Don’t leave me standing here all alone with, with, well just me. Do you not know how dangerous I am?  Give me a list of permitted foods (so I can eat the not permitted ones.)

So what would happen if I said it was okay if I didn’t meet any of my race goals and just trained for fun and fitness and if I got ready in time for a race, cool, if not no worries? What would happen if I just slowed down and meditated and listened to my body and ate ONLY what I was hungry for, without distractions and stopped when I was satisfied? I’ll tell you what would happen, the clouds would darken and there would be a terrible rumbling and the oceans would dry up and the mountains would crumble and then the world would split open and I would fall into the deep dark abyss. Or nothing.


Leave a comment

Filed under Blogroll

9/13/10 Jai Bhagwan

Monday. Just got back from 3 days at Kripalu (yoga and retreat place in the Berkshires). Fantastic experience. Got in to hear Geneen Roth talk about her book “Women, Food and God.” I was really impressed. I had read her book and it made sense. I did her online course and was understanding it but having a hard time to put it into practice. After hearing her speak I understand even more that this is the hard work. The digging down deep and figuring out what makes us happy and how awareness is the key.

I wish I could find a way to sum up “Woman, Food and God.” The book is not easy to explain. There is no 7 day meal plan. It’s not a diet. If anything it is more book about meditation and how to bring awareness into your every day life. It belongs more in the Spiritual section at Barnes and Noble than Health and Fitness. Yet everyone wants to skip ahead to that magical section that tells you what to eat and when to eat it. There is no such section.

One of the things I liked the most about Geneen was how she started the entire session. “I don’t have any answers for you.” The 300 attendees (yes 300!!!) let out a collective gasp. They were all sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for her to tell them something like “if you will just eat this magic gogi berry three times a day while clicking your heels the weight will come pouring off.” Instead she says “I don’t have any answers for you.” I wondered how many people wanted to get up and demand their money back.

She gave a great analogy about us all wanting to go to Italy. “Pretend” she said, “I’ve been to Italy. I discovered all the different ways to get there. I’ve tried all the different routes, I’ve tried all the different restaurants, I’ve tried all the places to stay. I know which routes were dead ends, which places serve the best food and where the best places to sleep are. I can outline all of this for you in my travel guide. But when it comes down to it, only you can make the trip. I can’t make the trip for you.” I thought it was a great analogy. Only you can find the way to your better self, but there a few things that she has discovered that don’t work and a few things that do.

One of the things that doesn’t work is punishment and restriction and we live in a society that makes a lot of money out of guilting us all into being perfect. (Witness the total gym I just purchased because I was feeling so guilty that I couldn’t get to the gym while up in CT when in reality I could just get down on the floor and do some push ups.) TV, magazines, friends all tell us the super secret way to get thin and perfect is to do Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Lean Cuisine,  do this, this or this but whatever you do… don’t do THAT!!! THAT is the one thing you cannot do. Put that down!!

How many lists of advice have we all assembled over the years? Don’t eat after 8. Eat 5 small meals. No 3 small meals with 2 snacks. Skip breakfast. Never skip breakfast. Don’t eat Carbs. Go ahead and eat carbs but whatever you do don’t eat those carbs. Protein is the best. Animal protein will give you cancer. Don’t eat fats. Good fats are the key. We have good fats and bad fats. Don’t even worry about fats, it’s the micro nutrients not the macro nutrients!! Every plan works and every plan doesn’t work. So and so lost so much weight on such and such. Yeah well I did too.

I was waiting for her to help me with my schedule. I know I’m supposed to get up at 4 a.m. every day and do my meditation followed by yoga. I have to start at 4 a.m. because I also have to get in a bike or run and take a shower and clean up my house and make a healthy but sensible breakfast before I sit down to work 8 hours. After which I have to read a book for my book club and study french and outline a chapter for my book. If only I had a schedule. A schedule is what I was looking for. Why can’t I keep to the schedule? Is it because I’m not eating enough protein at breakfast? How many grams of protein do I need? Geneen? Geneen? Will somebody please give me the FREAKIN’ ANSWER? Where’s the pill? I’ll take the pill, just give me the darn pill already.

I’d love to be able to say that I can sum up her seminar in one blog entry or less but I can’t. I have so many pages written down. So many avenues I have to explore. When Gary Zuckof wrote in his book “Seat of the Soul” that conquering addiction can be your doorway to enlightenment (my butchering of his wording.) Geneen seems to have a similar understanding, through examining your relationship with your plate you have an opportunity to find out so much more about yourself. To quote one of her many, many sayings “It’s not about the food, but it’s not NOT about the food.”

While at Kripalu I also got to do some yoga classes that went very well. Particularly the last class which had some chanting involved. I never though I would like that but as long as we are not chanting prayers, I’m good with it. (I have a thing against mindlessly reciting words particularly if they are in a foreign language.)  This was chanting sounds — O, oo, ah, ee, Om. While focussing on different Chakras or energy centers as we held different poses. I found it very interesting way to delve deeper into the meditation.

I also found that I continually stared at my watch between poses during the classes. Each class was 1 1/2 hours long and that seemed to annoy me a lot. Why so long? Why not an hour? Or 1:15. Why 1 1/2? I don’t want to be in this room for an hour and a half. Get me out of here. That person is coughing. Wow is an hour and half over already? That was a fast class…. Just observe. Watch your voice…. Very interesting stuff.

I managed to do a 4 mile on Saturday after session and it didn’t totally stink. Think the yoga might have helped a little.

My remodelling-of-me list was quite long when I left. I was on the way to the new and improved me. Here I go, I’m ready to be perfect now (which would make Geneen roll her eyes — “did she hear NOTHING I said all weekend?”). On my drive back to CT I was aware that I was tired because I didn’t sleep. I had a stomach ache and I was convinced I caught the flu from one of the coughers. I drove to People’s Forest because that was next on my running list only to find it is all hiking/mountain trails and no real trails for running. I was not feeling well and I wanted to go home. So I went home and had a couple of glasses of wine and some ginger snap cookies. What? Yep, that’s exactly what happened. Me on the road to enlightenment. I took a wrong turn before I even got out of the driveway.  (Wait Geneen says that’s not a wrong turn — no right or wrong, no should or shouldn’t, just be aware — ARGGGHH!)

But this morning I feel good. I got up early. Meditated. Got some work done on my computer. I ate a breakfast according to Geneen’s guidelines (eat ONLY what your body is hungry for is one of the guidelines) and I have my running shoes on to do my 8 mile run that I didn’t do yesterday.

I am running the Hartford Half Marathon on October 9th (it’s a Saturday). Anyone who wants to join is welcome to come do so. I am not announcing further race plans yet as it is apparent to me I need to do a lot more meditating because I think my race list is a little long. But I will say this. I am okay with doing a lot of races. I like racing. I like ultra running. I like endurance races. I like adventure. I like that part of me and I’m not apolgizing any more for doing 6 marathons in a row. Because if that is where I find my bliss.

If I could take one thing away from the weekend that really rings true to me is “Trust yourself.”  You already have the answers you need right inside you.  Trust yourself to make the right choices.   That rings true.

Jai Bhagwan
(Jai Bhagwan is how they end the yoga classes at Kripalu. It means the same thing as Namaste. For me that means, the light in me acknowledges the light in you. You can take it to mean whatever you want.)

Now I have to share the most brilliant song.–1487277
Click here to listen to Cheryl Wheeler

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogroll

9/8/10 Junkie

Wednesday.   We all know if you are an alcoholic it is best not to hang out with drinkers.  Trying to give up smoking?  Don’t hang around with other smokers.  But what if you’re addicted to endurance sports?  What if the news that Americans can get visas to enter Libya makes you go ‘woo hoo’ because maybe now you can do that race across the desert?  Or listening to Leadville stories makes you take notes just in case one day you might end up there?  And what if one too many of your friends invite you to do a ridiculous marathon that you are not qualified to do?  A normal person says “no thank you I’ve had enough.”  A Junkie says “well maybe just one more.”

I promised a friend that I would not sign up for another race until next week when I got back from Kripalu and getting my Om Shanti on.  I had visions of the new me emerging, all Zenned out, yogasized, and a peaceful trail runner — maybe even shoeless with branches sticking out of my long tangled hair.  No races, no expectations.  But all you have to do is wave a race entry under my nose and in twenty minutes I’m jumping up and down going “Okay, here’s the plan, here’s how I’m gonna do it!”  And a bunch of endurance junkies nodding their heads saying “Yeah, Go for it!  You can do anything you set your mind to.”  I actually put together a training plan for the five races I lined up to get me to the big race.  I didn’t sign up for anything because I made a promise, but I have multiple tabs open in my browser ready to hit submit…

Just when I think I have it all worked out. Yes, this will be my fall project.  I get an email about a 10 week bike racing clinic.  I finish reading it and I think.  “Yeah!! THAT’s what I want to do!”  Really?  I thought you didn’t want to do bike racing?  “No, no that was before, now that’s what I want to do.”  What happened to long, leisurely trail runs meditating through the leaves in New England?  “Yeah, I want to do that too.”  Okay you want to do the long trial running, AND a ten week bike clinic that meets 3 days a week?  “Yeah, Yeah, I can do it.”  And the yoga?  “Sure why not? ” And what about the meditation class?  “I can do that too.”  And exactly when did you give up working and cash in a trust fund?  “Wait a second, I forgot about the Tai Chi and the kayaking and oh yeah TENNIS!  I can’t leave out tennis again…. and I was going to start working out with Rhonda again…”

This is how a Junkie thinks and acts.  One event is never enough and one event is too much.  IT ALL SOUNDS GOOD.

I leave for CT today, then off to Kripalu. I will meditate.  I will do my yoga.  I will think about it.  But I have to be careful because if I don’t pay attention I may end up in one of the 2 year yoga certification programs at Kripalu. 

I’m still having a little problem with my legs.  Experiencing some joint pain and more mystery cramping.  I’m working with my doctor on it — we’ll figure it out.  I think it’s nothing a good 50 mile run wouldn’t cure. She thinks we have to adjust my medication. Potato, potah-to.


Have to share this audio clip.  It is one of my absolute favorites.  It pretty much sums up my life….

Click here to listen to very funny perrier clip

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogroll

How YOU doin’?

Wednesday.  Figured I would send an update as I am packing to head back to NYC.  Physically was hard Monday and Tuesday.  Felt like someone had hit my quads and inner thighs with a bat.  Thought for sure I would look down and find them black and blue but no. 

Made it to the pharmacy and have been calcium-loading.  Today I feel better but not sure if it is just time or calcium.  I will discuss the calcium thing with my doctor (next appt is on the 7th).  

I don’t feel ready to workout today though I think I should since all I did was a 2.4 mile swim and a 75 mile bike.  That’s what I can’t understand.  My legs feel like they have been through the grinder and it was only 75 miles?  And 30 of them were flat.  I just don’t get it.  Frankly it stumps me.  All night I kept saying to myself you only rode 75 miles, what the heck is the problem?  You rode 75 miles and more all summer.  Why did 75 stupid miles knock you out?  This is the mystery question… 

Mentally I’m fine though.  I keep trying to muster enough energy to be sad or upset but all I keep thinking is eh, whatever.  I’m more interested in moving on and signing up for some classes and going to brunch and seeing a movie.  At the same time I am fighting with all my might to not find a way to sneak into Ironman Florida or Ironman Arizona.  It’s almost like a feeling of addiction.  But I just have to think back to my head for the last year and I say, no way, mentally I’m too tired — My body says go and my mind says whoa. 

My mind keeps flitting between — I should sign up for the master’s swim team? I should go to Chile for ultra training camp, I should find a bike coach, no — I need a run coach.  What about cross fit? (sorry, NEVER R&A).  I have to back to a pilates trainer, or is yoga better?  What about Tai Chi?  I really loved doing that.  Maybe I should go to gymnastics and get over my fear of heights?  Peter is signing up for a race — should I sign up too.  STOP, shut up!!!  This is how my mind thinks.  What you need to do is go to Kripalu and screw your head on straight.  Learn to calm down, meditate, put your Shanti Om.  One of my voices says “hey big mouth, let’s see you do a squat and then we’ll talk about sneaking into an Ironman.”  My name is Rumble Girl and I am a race addict. 

The one good thing I can say about the last couple of weeks is my meditation practice has been in high, I mean HIGH gear.  I’ve been listening to Pema Chodron, I’ve been meditating twice a day most days (not race day).  It has been helping me tremendously.  If anything it is the one thing helping me the most.  I would love to spend some time working on yoga and meditating and becoming more calm and focussed.  Right before I left for Canada a client called with a HUGE project and I’m overwhelmed with how much effort this will take.   I need to focus and get it done (besides it will pay for training camp in Chile).  STOP!  I know it’s an illness. 

We had a lovely 2 days exploring wine country.  As it turns out you can’t throw an inner tube without hitting a winery around here.  I thought we were going to have to drive to wine country.  Turns out we are smack dab in the middle of wine country and Peter, my teammate, knows a lot about wine.  My criteria was for a pretty view, his was for good wine.  Wonderfully we were able to do both.  We hit three wineries on Monday — Red Rooster, La Frenz, Hillside. And yesterday we went to  See ya Later,  Jackson Triggs and Burrowing Owl.  We had lovely outside views, at lunch in the vineyards and I think I can tell the difference between steel barreled and oak barreled now.  Quite a lovely time.  Plus Peter did all the driving!  What more can you ask for? 

I fly back today.  I will try to resist signing up for any further races until I come back from Kripalu and have meditated on what I want to do.  It seems a shame to let a year of training go to waste but then again, maybe it was just a year of recovery and not training. 

But seriously, what about a Century ride, a little century ride couldn’t hurt could it? 


Here are a few pics to make Mom happy: 

Me on Friday before swim in Okanagan Lake.


Cass, TJ and Patrick on my arm, ready to race.


Peg, Luca and Chris ready to swim


Among the grapes at Red Rooster.

I’ll organize more pics when I get back.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogroll