A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn....

It's gonna get harder before it gets easier. But it will get better, you just gotta make it through the hard stuff first.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Writing beyond my own blog.

Well, I am in a bind now as I am out of races this Fall, busy with 500 jobs (a slight overestimation), getting ready for a transition my life, and thanks to a podcast with Larisa Dannis about her training (a second podcast by her, as well as some interviews and stories), I purchased a heart rate monitor for the second time in my life (my first, from 2005, is happily dead for as many years back, but I did use it). My idea this time is not to train for speed/hills using HRmax, but train by Maffeton method for a few months. Since I have an added stress/time consumption of attending a 200 hours Yoga Teacher Training beginning January, picking races is nearly impossible (those I still sort of want fall on the weekend I study, those that accessible, I am not even remotely interested in - which reminds me, I am in a total burn-out of finding races I get inspired by), I thought doing Maffetone right now, coming off injury (and almost a year of sporadic non-existent running training, even if my fitness level was kept high and under control) fits into my life's schedule perfectly. Couldn't be better, in fact. So here I go...

In a meantime, Larry is approaching an end of his bathroom remodel so he can start training for his goal race next year, and I had finished one of my longer knitting projects. What does not mean we are going to stop either. :) He's got a list of stuff on our house that is a mile long, and I had purchased a stack of $1 knitting journals on sale, so my ideas are flowing like crazy (and I also need more yarn!)

While at that, I managed to write a couple of articles (Wonderland trail sparked some creativity with trail running regardless what my personal goals are), one of which is already posted on Endurancebuzz.com - an article about goals, and another should go up some time soon - about using trekking poles in hiking and running (they saved my tush at said Wonderland!).

On a delightful note, I got my Russian passport renewed for travel. On a totally shocking note, the very same day my father was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Life is like that - it's like Universe was telling me it's time to go visit. Now it's REALLY time to go visit...and I bought a ticket. As we speak, the kids are doing good - my adult children are actually on a normal track in life for a change, and I hope it stays long this time, and may be, just may be, rolls into a serious "forever" attitude change.

Never give up hope.

And tell those you love and cherish how much you love and cherish them.

What triggers a thought in me how hard it is in our society, day and age to be on either giving or receiving side. I posted something on my FB page to a few people who I feel are important to me - and it was silent for the most part. I think it made them uncomfortable - what, in turn, made me uncomfortable, so the post went down. Are we not supposed to be doing that? I read some story over here, and it really made an impact on me...But why, why can't I tell people they matter to me, and I hope I am their friend for real, not over internet?

But anyway, life goes on. I turned 45 a week ago, and the whole week was filled with attention and kind wishes, and that felt awesome. I miss people's communication a whole bunch, and I hardly have really close people in Austin, just a few - whom I do make an effort to see. But I miss my other friends, and family, and this hamster wheel of life, work, busy schedule, just really needs to slow down...says I, ironically. I keep on planning...it's been a long time planning. Gosh, when is the time to execute??

(but at least I re-signed to a local library, and since it sucks big time, I'd love suggestions what I can order for them to have for me to read! Please help a fellow foreigner out, I've been out of scene for a very long time, and my personal suggestions are all around classic literature, and I read most of it by now!)

"Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it". Kahlil Gibran.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Skunk cabbage and Social media.

There is little in common from the first sight. Well, there is little in common, period, but nevertheless, those two things happen hand-in-hand to me, so here it goes...

My good friend Gunhild from Spokane, WA, had posted a photo of Paintbrush on her Facebook page a week ago. Paintbrush is my favorite mountain flower, so I commented. Apparently, it was one of those games, where now that you commented, you're involved in a social media game - in this case you get assigned a flower yourself by your friend and have to post it on your FB page. I am not into gaming FB and clogging the outlets, but I dd want to tell the story, because, faith had it, the flower assigned to me is Skunk Cabbage. Huh?

Well, here is the story (and Gunhild did not know anything about it). Back when I lived in PNW, and my best training partner was Mike Burke, he would come with trail names for his friends (his was Bushwhacker). I had some lingering of Bear (between being Russian and kind of tough), but frankly, I wasn't i to it enough to get it stuck. One day in the spring we were running up high in Columbia River Gorge, our paradise, as always, getting slightly lost because I like taking weird turns, talking, short on water, occasionally screaming into the air just because...and as we ran through the field of marsh and skunk cabbage, I noticed how pretty the flowers are, yet how stinky the smell is. To which Mike responded: "Well, since I always get to run behind you, pretty flower, let me tell you, you don't smell much better". And then he added "Wild flower you are".

I didn't get offended, or no. And no, this new name didn't get stuck either, though he still calls me that. But I did go out to a tattoo place and got myself a "Wild flower" - along with engraved Chinese character inside that means "Bear", and if you read it with petals, it would give you "Able".
  Photo - original from June 2006.

As for Social Media - and why I rather write this long story to share instead of simply posting a photo of Skunk Cabbage on my Facebook - here is  this video that came to my attention on the same day my assigned flower came.

It is 15 min (last 7 are Q&A), and in the nutshell, it's about staying connected vs being FB friends. There is a reason I don't play "accumulate friends", don't accept friendship offers unless I've talked to people about something beyond "Good job" at a race, hope that those I do have care about my life somewhat - as I care for theirs, and because I do, I prefer to comment on their posts instead of just like, since "Like is a symbol of laziness" - and I totally agree.

Facebook is a great tool. I tried to get off (3.5 years), take 1-2 weeks breaks, but by now, I do realize in this day and age, this is the way to communicate. Then communicate, damn it! Talk! And if you don't - it's ok, we don't need to be friends, don't have to, it's not bad, but please, don't be upset and don't take it personally that I cut a few names off. When I share about something - I'd like to know it's been read.

And since I express myself rather wordy, here is a blog to stay:)

Friday, October 03, 2014

Fall tidbitds.

A new article by me - at Endurance Buzz (on Pearl Izumi trail running shoes).

And about me - at a new website Roots rated. Who knew?

I am newly gainfully employed by one of the best Austin's massage places Myo Austin - come visit me (I still work at Massage Envy as well, just cut my hours a bit). My chiro office wanted me as well, but their room right now is occupied - may be next year I'll move into more medical setting.

Larry came renewed with the Wonderland trip, and the bathroom is bubbling with work'n'fire (figuratively speaking). He is also back to regular running, and I am so excited for him! Zane Grey, we're coming for you! Funny enough, this time I will play a role of a support crew - haven't done it in years, time to pay back as my husband has been the best crew for me. A little weird feeling:)

Since Larry got goal-oriented, I tried to find a race to focus on myself, and can't get excited about anything - and a few that I could be thrilled somewhat are on the weekends I can't leave town (see below). However, Hardrock was let go for good. I think most of my "I will not run it" happen last year, and this year's short-lived hope was just that. I applied 8 times, got to run (and finish) only once - and the other 7 didn't even get on a wait list. So, with Grindstone out of my qualifiers (they start tonight! Whoop!), picking yet another 100 miler, training for it, and applying for lottery at HR100 just seems so inconsequential...Time to move on.

I am looking at the crazy life schedule ahead, and trying to fit in a yoga teacher training at my favorite studio.

In a couple of weeks I will be done with my 200 class card for Bikram studio visits - took me almost 2 years, but as I re-discovered Power yoga Baptiste style, Bikram was on a back burner, just to use up the classes I paid for. Interestingly, the card will expire to zero on my 15 year anniversary of starting Bikram yoga - the style that took me out of a scheduled back surgery and made me healthy and running all these long races...I am thankful. But it's time to move on, indeed.

I am finishing up knitting a new dress for myself, in-between usual hats and other gifts. In fact, I did "the books" for knitting for the purpose of taxes (trying to stay ahead) - and turned out I made close to nothing (about 40 bucks) total. I suck as a businessman, but I really do love knitting - and surprising my friends with presents in the mail:)

Just because a 100 miler (right now, anyway) doesn't sound appealing, doesn't mean a) it never will, and b) other running goals are out. But for now, I need to get completely healthy, settle in with new jobs and work hours (because I still do work at UT, you know), and re-focus. I am turning 45 in less than a week...time to get organized.

I love my birthdays. Nothing special, I just love getting older. Am I weird? Bring it on! Autumn of my life...what a lovely time. Change of colors, dropping old leaves, winterizing, ready for fresh cool air...I love Autumn, whether in nature or life.

This is Fall in a place we'd like to call home in a near future. Time to buy that rocking chair:)