Visitors

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Friday evening Alex’s Mom came to visit us!  We picked her up at the Medford airport Friday afternoon.  I got such a nice hug and then we drove to a burger place called Jasper’s.  Alex and I had gotten a propane tank re-certified and filled that afternoon and I asked the woman working there for a recommendation for food.  Initially I wasn’t excited about a burger, but then we checked the menu.   Everything!  They have everything!  All kinds of meats, pork, beef, camel, bison, deer… everything!  After that I was very excited to go.  We got there, enjoyed a meal and then we headed back to bring her to a local hotel.  I was getting pretty tired at that point and wanted to come home and rest so I could rest for the race in the morning.

I had signed up for the Pioneer Run 5k earlier last month.  I needed to pick an outfit and get some sleep and plan out what we should do for the day.  See race report for more details.

 

After the race we packed into the car and headed to Crater Lake National Park.  We drove and it was very foggy.  So foggy we couldn’t see the lake.  Hah!!!  The road to drive around the lake was also closed, but she said you could walk on it.  I grabbed a park news paper at the visitor center.  We snacked on some mango, beef jerky and sour patch kids and made our way to the Rim Village.  We decided to at least go for a little hike along the closed road to Discovery point and check it out, stretch our legs.  Just as we arrived, so did some of Alex’s co-workers.  We hiked along the road and we all got some very cool photos.  We followed the road and made it to Discovery Point, and discovered more fog.  😛  Along the walk back to the car, a breeze blew a patch of fog away and we could see some water and across the lake very briefly.  That’ OK.  Maybe next time.  After that we needed Mexican food.  We headed over to a Mexican restaurant Alex and I really like in Grant’s Pass.  It was nice, we ate too much and had a good time.  Afterwards we headed back to get ready for Sunday.

We agreed to shower at the hotel in the morning, but what should we do!?  I mentioned we could go eat in Ashland, visit the co-op for food and go have a pic nic and do some hiking.

That morning we showered and got ready to have a nice relaxed Sunday.  We left fairly early and Lithia Park was just about empty at that point still.  We tried the water, it reminds me of what carbonation tastes like.  Then we explored some trails.  We didn’t bring any water so we didn’t go too far.  I was feeling kind of hungry and so I suggested we head into town for a snack and a beverage.

We ended up at Dobra Tea House.  We took our shoes off and sat down at a low table on cushions.  We were meat by a woman with colorful hair who explained about the menu to us.  We each choose a tea.  I picked out babaganoush and a cookie to share.  We drank until we were full and then explored around trying to decide on what we should eat for Dinner.

While exploring we came into a book store.  I found a book about Yoga and Shakespeare!  I also saw a second book I could like to read in the future.

For lunch we opted to walk to the Ashland Food Co-op and  buy some snacks.  Kale salad, beer, crackers with cheese, sausages and some grapes.  We walked back to Lithia Park, which then was very crowded and lively.  Lots of children, people strolling, musicians.  It was so nice.  The weather was perfect.  Sunny and not too hot.  We lounged, and the ducks harassed us for food.  We enjoyed it and then decided to walk around some more.  Alex’s mom suggested we go to a movie before dinner and choose Hacksaw Ridge.

I knew it was a war movie, but I didn’t know it was based off of a true story.  Being so close to veterans day, and the third anniversary of my dad’s death was kind of hard.  I thought of him a lot.  The fight scenes were uncomfortable, necessary to the movie, but I was glad when it was over.  It is a good movie, and if you choose to see it be prepared for gore and graphic body visuals.

After the movie we went to a place called Harvey’s for some happy hour cocktails and dinner.  Sunday is a very slow night for Ashland it seems.  Alex and Tracey both choose a seafood fish, and I was very happy with a Croque Monssieour with Tomato Soup.

I was supposed to run 8 miles for my long run, but this was a day very well spent and I really needed it.  I did feel guilty for leaving the doggies all day in the camper with the radio and each other for company, but balance is important.

After dinner, I started feeling pretty crappy.  My sinuses were full and tender, and I was tired.  the cold Alex had been fighting caught up with me.  I had originally planned to get up early with Alex to go to the airport to drop off Tracey, but my body did not want to cooperate, so instead I slept and stayed warm in the bed with the pups.

Today I am supposed to run, but its more of a soup, reading and napping kind of day.

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Pioneer 5k

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I picked the right outfit to wear! It was going to be in the 50’s, so I went with some Nike ProCombat shorts and my GRO Singlet.  I also brought my Salomon jacket just in case it was chilly.   I used body glide and it worked perfectly.  I didn’t go as fast as I was hoping I would, but I went as fast as I have been running at the past few days.  It was nice to have Alex and his mom there to watch the start and finish line.  My legs and body did what I could have expected from them given my current fitness level.  It was a nice treat to do a small race.  It was short and sweet, but I still pushed enough to be happy I was finished.

I saw some runners wearing S.O.R.E. (Southern Oregon Running Enthusiast Group)shirts but I was too shy to say hello.  I need to begin participating in some group runs and getting to know people.

I did the 5k and I am very pleased that I did.  I am glad to not have over pushed myself this early in training.

Oh, ok.

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So.  Obviously election day has come and gone.  I ended up very very drunk from going out with new friends, and then wanted to come home and bawl my eyes out.  Which I did.  I was all kinds of hot mess that night.  It was the alcohol fueled fear and ugly tears.  I needed it.  I did not need the resulting hangover.

We can’t have our cake and eat it too.

 

I don’t know what it all means yet.  I think many people were ready for change, and they were willing to take whoever offered it.  Like many said… we’re picking from evils.

In another four years, if we make it that long, we’ll all line up and rabble again.

Election Day 2016

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It’s election day.  I’ve had my voting done for a couple weeks now.  Oregon wouldn’t accept the address I gave them and so I had to contact Utah for a mail in ballot.  I don’t mind much.  I’m just glad I got to vote.  It was a real struggle.  I didn’t know who half the people were, and I didn’t know what constitutional amendments they were talking about.  I had to do a little research to help me figure it out.

I wanted to try to vote based on issues.  I didn’t want to vote for Trump because the things he says frighten me.  I don’t want hate speech spewing out of his country.  That ended up being a no-go for me.  Hilary, well, she’s got her own set of problems.  I don’t know if she can be trusted, and while I like her, and I wanted so desperately to see a woman in the white house.  I don’t know if she’s the one.  Jill Stein and I align on most ideas.  I like her ideas, but I don’t know how it could get pulled off.  We already see what a dysfunctional congress we have.  I almost wonder if it matters who the president is anymore.  Is he more of a figure than an actual leader these days?  I don’t know.  Does it really matter who we end up voting for?  Johnson is an interesting idea.  I don’t agree with him on many things, but his sense of humor is nice.  He can make fun of himself, he is willing to test his limits and so that’s who I voted for.

 

I don’t have the answers, but there are people who do, and no one can hear them.  I think what we all need is five minutes of quiet reflection on this cycle.  We spent a lot more time than we needed yelling at each other instead of listening.  We didn’t even listen to our chosen candidates, we were too busy pointing fingers and blaming.

One think I very much enjoyed this election cycle was Austin Baird’s witty, sharp, and entertaining political posts.  Thanks Austin.

Taking leaps.

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I’m doing it again.  I’m aiming for things in the future while looking behind me.

I signed up for the Eugene Marathon next year.

Why?  After how uninspiring and pathetic my last attempt (if you could even call it that) was… why am I doing this?  To be honest… I don’t know yet.  Fear of losing it.  I’m not ready to let go of the little piece I like to associate my identity with as “runner”.

Looking behind me?  What does that mean?  Obviously I don’t mean that I’m swiveling my head and hitting buttons hoping to submit a race entry.  No.  What I meant is that in some spark of reflection I was inspired.  Inspired by myself, of who I used to be, and the things she was capable of.  I want to do it again.

I’ve never given myself a good marathon.  I didn’t put in the work, and I didn’t have a plan.  I scruffed along on the coattails of friends.  But here… I am with out friends.  I can only make this happen if I do the work all by myself.

It’s a frightening prospect.  I’ve set an insane goal for myself.  3:30.  That requires 8 minute miles.  It scares me.  I’m setting a goal that scares me.  I’m onto something I hope.

I’m ready to put 2016 to bed.

 

Happy Halloween

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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  It’s also the first time I haven’t celebrated in years ever.

I still love it, but this year is different.  I have a whole costume container in storage.  I just didn’t want to.  The halloween celebrations I’m used to are not going to happen like they happen inside my head.  It’s time to let go of that kind of partying, and try something new.

It’s time for something new.  What does that mean?  Well… for starters it means being sober, no pumpkin carving, no nights at the bar, no multi-day celebration. No elaborate costumes.

Instead I ran.  I reminded myself how far I have to go, to get to where I have been.  I raced, and today I am paying for it.  It feels good.  It feels satisfying to feel the soreness.  It also feels a little sad and embarrassing.  I think ‘Really, a 10k kicked your ass?’  For a moment before the event I was nervous I might feel like a failure.  I might not even try for fear of what it would show me.

I was right.  It showed me many things.  It showed me that it’s ok to let things die.  It’s ok to start over.  Even if I have to start over every day.

Halloween is an opportunity to let bad habits die.  If I can winterize, I’ll be ready for spring blooming.

So instead of going out in a big bang this halloween.  It’s a time to retreat. A time to reflect and make plans for the future.

 

Also I think I need glasses.

Monster Dash 10k

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I signed up for a Monster Dash 10k in Ashland, Oregon this past weekend.  It was in beautiful Lithia Park.  It was raining (surprised?).  I hadn’t been there before and had no idea what to expect.

I had reviewed the course online before hand.  I knew it was an out and back course, with an extension for the 10k runners.  I didn’t realize there was a big hill.  Booooo.  Oh well.  The hill kicked my ass.  I did the best I could.  No.  No I didn’t. I walked a little bit up the hill, and I stopped to say hello to a deer eating leaves in the middle of the road.  I did consider that I could possibly place in my age group since it was a small event. No such luck.

I did have fun, and that’s why I wanted to do it.  Yesterday and today I paid for it.  My shoulders, back and legs are stiff and tender.

I forgot how to run I guess.  Oops.  I guess I should do something about that.  Break time is over for me!

Club

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On Facebook I am the moderator of a Yoga Book Club.  It is a modest club, and sometimes I am inattentive.  I try to pose questions that pique people to answer, but I get very little interaction.  That is ok.  I don’t mind if people don’t feel compelled to participate.  Every month we choose a book. Take about two weeks to read it, or get as far as you can/want and then start answering questions about the book.  Lately I haven’t been doing such a great job because I have been distracted and busy.

Anyhow, in August the book the group voted to read was Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison.  I was excited about this book because I had wanted to read it.  Daily reflections!?!  That must mean I can read it every day!  I was thrilled by the idea.  I am happy to say I am still reading it!  Today I read Day 93.  I have missed days here and there, but I don’t mind.  Some days I read an extra or two.

I love this book.  I can not wait to read the second book.  I have a journal I write in, take notes, just put reminders to myself in, and sometimes I use what the book has as a prompt to elaborate or flesh out an idea.  The ideas the authors write about are not so much as yoga as they are life.  But yoga is also life.  Yoga is not asana.  Yoga is a way of living, what many people do is asana, and asana only.

I want to write more here, I want to practice vulnerability, honesty and self reflection with all of you.  I am not an island, and I want to share.  So from time to time, I will be writing on ideas from this book as I make my way through it and into the next one too!

Seeking

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Since that last post I’ve recieved some very thoughtful and helpful words of encouragement.  It feels good to be human.  It feels good to admit how afraid I am.  I’ve watched so many people around me achieve some beautiful things.  I want to do that too.

Yes yes, I know.  I’ve also done some really great and amazing things too.  That’s no reason to stop pursuing things, right?  I don’t mean to discredit the hard and cool things I have done.  I simply mean to re-commit to something that gives me joy.

This morning I decided to head to the gym to do my “long run” on the treadmill so I could watch the New York Marathon.  I’ve seen the race three or four times now, and once I visited NYC and saw the finish line.  I still remember the lump it put in my throat.  Seeing finish lines, no matter how short the race still gives me goose bumps.  I know what they mean to those who set their sights on them.  Finish lines, to me,  are something to respect and revere.

Maybe once day I will feel secure enough to enter the NYC lottery.  I want to feel worthy of something so monumental and big.

I don’t mean to demean the things I’ve already done.  Don’t get me wrong.  Toeing the line of a 100 miler is not for the faint of heart… I still have my sights set on that, but I have been in denial about the work required to get there.

Today as I ran (slowly, but still) I thought about what has been going on.  Why has running been so hard?  It’s because I haven’t put in the work time.  I have put in the work… years ago.  It clicked today.  It wasn’t work because I loved it, because I was having fun, because I was with the people I love.  It didn’t feel like work… but all the same, I was putting in the work.  Knowingly or not.  I was.  I was faster, fitter and happier than I have ever been.

That is what I am seeking.  Now… I am far away from those people.  I am hopeful I can find more, maybe not as conveniently, but I hope to find them.  This is why I am making goals that seem so far out of reach, because I have some hope that I can reach them.  It will take some work, but I’m off to a good start.

Everything is different.

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It feels like it’s been forever and it feels raw and fresh.  It’s like an early morning run you’re just can’t ease into.

Transitioning into living in a camper has not been simple.  I’ve had days where I wouldn’t leave the bed.  I had days where I thought anything was possible.

It’s been rainy.  Everyone is quick to point out (with a smirk I imagine), duh.  It’s the pacific northwest  OF COURSE it’s raining.  No, no you guys, it’s just .61 inches away from record breaking rainfall.  This is not the average PNW October.

Let me get my complaints out of the way.  I need it.  Everything is wet.  Things that have not gotten wet…. are wet.  Condensation?  Humidity? Dogs?  I don’t know.  But things are moist.

moist.

Did I mention we had no electricity or running water?  I agreed to a camper, not a pioneer reenactment.

Ok.  It’s improving.  We have electricity, and wifi.  I can handle dishes in a bucket and long trips to the laundromat.  It’s a good trade off.  Now if only the fridge would work…

I like it.  I like the simplicity.  I also like being connected.  I need community.  I’d make a poor hermit.  I need people, smiles, books and nonsense.

I wonder how the dogs feel about all of this.  Please forgive me!