On the heels of my last post…

I saved this interview with Tony Krupicka to watch earlier today. I watched it. It applies directly to the little rut I’ve been in the last two weeks or so. It’s only about 3 minutes of unused footage from In the High Country which, if you haven’t seen it, you must. He talks about complacency and how boring and unsatisfying it is – exactly my thoughts. Being comfortable all the time is unsatisfying. Not challenging yourself even a little and making the best of every day, giving every day purpose, is unsatisfying. Not only that, but it’s a waste of precious time. This isn’t to say that some down time is bad – it’s necessary for both mental and physical reasons – but too much of a good thing is bad. (Especially if it leads to you getting fat, sad, and out of shape!)

So anyway. Enjoy your evenings, everyone! I’m going to be productive until bedtime then wake up and RRRRUUUUUUUUNNNNNNN.

- bec

 

Thoughts on motivation

I ran that 15-miler a few weekends ago, my shins threatened to feel sore, I took a few days off, and my motivation went down the drain. Which is odd because (a) I love running and (b) that run went pretty well. But I’ve only run 5 times in the two weeks it’s been since then (early July), and they’ve all been short. This has led me to examine my own motivation and think about why it might be low.

A big part of it is a simple time conflict, feeling pressured at the end of the semester. I have only two weeks of calc and chem left (physics is already over, thankfully!), so it’s crunch time. There’s also my conflict of running vs. lifting. I can’t go 100% at both, which is frustrating and confusing. And there’s the simple matter of getting up early enough to run without it being disgusting, which has been a problem because I’ve been staying up late doing homework and being productive.

But at the back of my mind, one word threatens. Dare I even say it? Laziness. Running far takes a lot of time, dedication, and hard work, and sometimes I worry I’m lulling myself into an easier, albeit far less satisfying, lifestyle of complacency. I don’t really think that’s the case – at least, not 100%, because I still do get out and run or lift or climb pretty much every day. (That’s another activity to throw in the mix of competition – climbing. Once I’m less broke, I’m going to start going to Planet Rock at least once a week, hopefully twice, so that will probably replace lifting those days.) But it’s haunting me a little. But I guess since it’s haunting me, it’s not real?

(A bit later…) I took a break to go to class and do other things. In that period – maybe or maybe not during calc – I read Dakota Jones’ Hardrock recap and that sure got my motivation back in a surge. Hopefully that motivation will be there in the morning so I can actually get up, drive to the Poto, and run 13 on trails for the first time in ages. I think it will. But just in case, I’ll set about 20 alarms to get me up and out of bed and on the trail.

- bec

PS. With all this in mind, but first and foremost my shins, I’m doubting that I’ll make the marathon mark by this time next month. The longest I’ve done was 15 – only 11 more miles, right? But all joking aside, mainly I want to come back to distance as quickly as possible without getting injured again. If that means taking a $70 hit and missing a great race, then so be it. I’d rather take my time and come back in December with more miles under my belt and a shot at a better time anyway. Because really… why mess around with marathons when there’s a 50k in December?  :)

PPS. I’m trying to cross-train more. Or rather, I need to start trying to cross-train more. As I mentioned in a previous post, once I get some appropriate-length spandex/biking shorts, that won’t be an issue. But diving back into swimming might mean rough seas ahead (holy swimming metaphors, batman!). Luckily, I have several friends who swim/do tris and want me to swim/do tris, so I will have company. And really, it’s not so bad once you’re in the water… except for the lack of oxygen… And I should really start doing yoga again, just to get some hip flexibility back – along with the sunshine-blissed-out mental state it gives me.

When you give a runner a soccer ball… or a frisbee…

Growing up, my parents didn’t force me into any one sport. In middle school, I “played” volleyball. I put it in quotes because I was not very good. I dabbled in running. Then in high school, I started to actually discover running and that was pretty much it for the next five years. Sophomore year of college – maybe freshman, I don’t remember – I started climbing and, once I had an apartment, took up yoga. More recently, there’s been a tiny bit of swimming, and of course lifting. But you may notice something is lacking from that list – anything involving bats, balls, skates, etc. Nothing involving more coordination than my own body.

I would like to be able to play casual games of soccer or toss a frisbee around. I’m working on the latter, kind of, but tonight was a sad display of how much external coordination I lack. After a while, I could at least get the frisbee to go in roughly the right direction, but it almost always fell far short of my goal. And soccer – let’s just say that if I had shame, it would have been shameful. Luckily I was with good friends who mocked me while giving me actual helpful advice, so I could eventually get the ball to go farther than, say, ten feet (I am not exaggerating). But I want to expand my skill set (read as “be less laughably terrible at kicking and throwing things”). Just because.

On a running-related note, I’ve been feeling oddly unmotivated to run this week, partially because I’m worried about my shins and partially because I planned on doing a longer run but kept waking up too late to get out to the trails. Which is a bummer because the weather this week has been absolutely lovely, nice and cool and not that humid. I’ll get to it eventually.

In the meantime, I made chocolate vegan pudding chock-full of protein.

1 block silken tofu
3 scoops (3/4C) soy protein powder
About 3/4C soy milk
1/4C cocoa powder
PB and sweetener to taste, plus toppings of your choice. Raspberries were also delicious.

Just throw it in a food processor and eat!

Peace love and yummy healthy(?) things,
bec

My like/strongly dislike relationship with biking

I was planning on doing 18 this weekend after my run last weekend, but then my shins started hinting at being sore again and I want to avoid that at all costs, so I’m waiting a few more days for my shins – and the weather – to cool off. (I’m banking on that cold front coming in and wiping out this humidity – I figure Tuesday afternoon/evening should work.) So I ran twice this week, just 12 miles total, and decided to bike today since it’s really nice out and I was stuck inside doing calc for too long. I was getting antsy and needed to move.

So I biked. I put on my spandex – which is FAR too short for biking, I need to fix that – and my helmet (hi, mom! I really did wear it! This convinced me) and filled up my tires and hit the road. It was warm and sunny and biking provided a breeze, so the weather was pretty nice, and biking along the river is green and shady and gorgeous this time of year. I ended up biking out to Dexter and hanging out at a park there for about 15 minutes just watching the river. Then I biked back.

Now, that sounds very nice, right? A lovely late afternoon bike ride along the river. That’s the “like” part of this post. The “strongly dislike” part is mainly hills. I really really really despise biking up hills. (Probably because I’m terrible at it, but that’s not the point.) And if the road is bumpy, which in Michigan it probably is, especially after this winter, it’s just hellish – for your body and your poor bike. I cringe every time I go over the best available option in the road (aka, the least bumpy, which is still very bumpy for a road bike). And I need longer spandex. Mine was all up in my business and it wasn’t the most comfortable thing.

But, after all is said and done, it was in fact a nice ride and I enjoyed it. In other news, I FINALLY got new trail shoes! My PureGrits were so beat up and worn down and worn through that they just couldn’t go on. Donc, je vous presente…

NEW PUREGRITS</p>
<p>YAAAAAAAAY</p>
<p>today just keeps getting better” /></p>
<p>PUREGRIT 2s. I got them because they were cheap and I love my PureGrits so I didn’t want to change. I’ll test them out this week – not on my long run, though.</p>
<p><img src=
…yeah, I definitely needed new ones. I haven’t gotten a new pair since 2012 and I forgot how absolutely joyous new running shoes are.  :)  Now I just need PureFlow 2s and NBWR00 for working out… (my Merrell Bare Access have holes too).

Alrighty, off to eat watermelon. Peace love and… biking?
bec

Colorodo and Utah, May 2014.

I just realized I never did a trip recap on here. It’s been a while, so my memory isn’t the freshest, but here’s a quick summary:

Hiking.
Ran into Tony Krupicka in the Boulder bookstore. Fangirled hard. 
Ran a little bit.
Hiked more.
Went to Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Denver, and Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
Drank good Colorado beers.
Bought some kyanite. Should have bought that tourmaline.
Had a minor enlightenment moment driving through Nebraska.
Drove 95 mph through Nebraska.
Drove 95 mph past a cop in Nebraska.
Cop did not care.
Hit a huge downpour/windy/hailstorm two hours outside of Boulder. Got new windshield wipers. Watched a tumbleweed blow past at about 50 mph over three inches of hail on the road.
Ate delicious vegan things.
Hung out friends. Made new ones. Made a new enemy.
Saw cool geology flying back. Or wait, that was from California. I went to California in May too.
Drove through two blizzards. Wipers stopped working in the first one; stopped to find out fluid was leaking. On the way back through the mountains (headed back to Boulder), they magically started working again.

Now here are some pictures.


My good friend Tony and me. HE HAS HIS ARM AROUND ME GUYS


Outside the Springs.


Outside Boulder somewhere up a very very steep road.


Arches.


Moab. Negro Bill Canyon trail.


Arches.


Canyonlands.

So there ya go. I took fewer pictures than usual because I was busy Doing Things and Being In The Moment, but that’s something.

Happy summering,
bec

PS. Look at the geology!


Sierra Nevadas, flying east.

Still alive…

Hello hello hello!

Yes, I’m still alive. I’ve just been crazy busy with these summer classes and trying to fit in working out and running and family things and some semblance of a social life. I’ve been slowly working my miles back up and, for a little while, I started doing track workout things. Those have stopped but the distance has increased. I’ve done a few 11 mile runs, and this morning I pushed it and did 14.5. I was tired by the end, but damn did it feel good to run for 2+ hours again. (Yes, it was slow, but whatever. My goal is 50M again, not a 5k.) I said hello to the alpacas on the farm, I talked to some birds, I sang a few little songs, and I managed to not get too annoyed at the horse flies that more or less always buzzed in circles around me. I finished in 2:20, averaging 9:30s, but I know my pace wasn’t steady. I started out purposefully slower since I knew I’d be tired by the end, not having run that far in… probably well over a year by this point (how sad), then I hit the sweet spot for about miles 5 or 6 through 11-12. I definitely slowed down for the last few miles, but it wasn’t miserable-tired, just I-haven’t-run-this-far-in-16-months tired. And I managed a semi-decent last 1200 or so.

Then I ate about half a watermelon and showered (chafing, OW) and lay on the couch under my favorite blanket for a while. I think I was slightly dehydrated, since I was actually cold for the last two miles despite the fact that it was about 78 degrees, and I drank my full 20-oz bottle on the run. But now I’m sleepy and just feel good from running. 14.5 isn’t really that far, but at this point, it’s far enough for me to get that nice Tired Legs feeling and to remember just how awesome distance running is.

So right now, my goal is the North Country Run marathon in mid-August. I signed up for the 50 last year but couldn’t race due to my shins, and I highly doubt I’ll be in 50M shape in… a month a half, haha, so I’m going to drop down to the marathon if I go. (Gas money, etc.) But I’m going to make sure I don’t get injured again, so if it looks like I’m not going to hit that mark, then that’s fine. My end goal is to get back in ultra condition anyway; I don’t have a big thing about marathons. (Although if I do the marathon there and get a bad time, which I probably would, it still wouldn’t show up on ultrasignup…) Maybe the Bigfoot 50k in December again; that’s a great, challenging (hilly!) course that always has a great atmosphere. And it’s further away so I could definitely train more.

Ah well. We’ll see where the next few months take me.

My classes are over at the beginning of August, so I should be on here more often after that. For more day-to-day, casual stuff, feel free to follow my tumblrs. I have a running one and a more lifting-centric one.

I’m going to go lay down again. Happy napping!
bec

PS. Has anyone else who lifts (esp. bench) had problems with shoulders/traps getting really tired/sore while running? Because that is suddenly a thing I have to deal with.