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.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November is a Gratitude month...

And I surely am grateful. For my best friend - and a husband - in who's presence I am finally getting to find out who I am, because, in the words of the book I just finished "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed (said by her mom): "I never got to be in a driver's seat of my life. I always did what others wanted me to do. I've always been somebody's daughter, wife, mother. I never got to be just me." I am still a daughter, a mother and a wife - but I am also more "me" than I ever was before. It's what it feels inside, sometimes it's scary, uncomfortable, weird to go for what I want...but I am learning. And I know from outside it seems that I had lived an awesome life so far - and I did! - and had done anything and everything I wanted - but it's not the trips, or the races that count for "who I am", in fact, many of those were also for who "somebody else wanted me to be".

Grateful for my friends who popped up one day with a great get-together, and while my weekend looked like a war zone with all my extra jobs, I did squeeze a visit, and it was awesome. It was a Henry-special, Louisiana Gumbo Night, and the conversations and hugs flew freely.

Grateful for my yoga studio, it's owner, teachers, students - some of whom approach me to talk these days, because, believe it or not, I am having an extremely difficult time starting a conversation, and usually just sit in the corner with my knitting before the class, and then practice in the corner as well...

Grateful for my friends back from OR who didn't forget, who email, call, text, say good things that make me warm and fuzzy...

For the local running community, which I almost abandoned due to my own life - being overwhelmingly busy and somewhat depressed does not provide for good communication skills...

And for finally having some diagnoses coming up, that whole infamous by now adrenal problems having being in the picture, again, but this time assessed by a real endocrinologist. May be I'll finally get to the bottom of it...and may be cutting down some of my responsibilities I keep piling up would be helpful too - and I am looking forward that day, which is coming so close, I can almost touch it, and it makes me smile...

And praying for my dad to have a safe surgery at the end of this week, to come out on the "other side", so I can go visit him and take care of him in December, as planned...

But no, still no exciting running posts to share, yet along racing - those will have to wait until next Spring. However, I did have an experiment on my MAF running: after 3 weeks of running at MAF pace (135 for me) and kind of actually finding it difficult (it feels uncomfortable to keep it constant on even slowest inclines and declines, either too slow or raises my RH), I wore all the gadget for 3 days but wasn't looking at them during the run - and went "easy" by perception. Apparently I averaged exactly 135, was "in the zone" (10 beats window) exactly 85% of the time of the run (as I do when look) and had max HR the same, and so was aver pace. I guess "easy" comes natural?

Last, but not least, for the sudden turn of the weather to be awesomely cold here, in Austin, TX, in the first half of November!

TodayNov 11

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy

WedNov 12


ThuNov 13

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy

FriNov 14


SatNov 15


SunNov 16

AM Clouds / PM Sun
AM Clouds / PM Sun

MonNov 17


Thursday, October 23, 2014

For sale.

I'd like to sell these two knitted sweaters. 

This first one is 100% linen (natural fiber), $150 (yarn $80). Zipper sewn in.

The one below is 100% Baby Alpaca (a type of wool), locally grown near Longmont, CO, hand-processed and died with natural dyes. (the spot is due to camera flanking out). $250 (yarn $130).

 Oh, and this, by the way, is how the bathroom looks like when all down up! Larry did an AMAZING job! I am one lucky woman...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hello, MAF, or geeking out.

But before we divulge in numbers, I have to admit I love experimenting on myself - in a good way, kind of, of course. So, after watching Fat, sick and nearly dead with Larry, and after going through my birthday week (nothing fancy, but a little few too many slices of cheese, pork and cookies), I figured I'll see what it's all about. I wanted to do Vegan version of Frutarian anyway, and here I was also supposed to give my intestines and colon some rest from digestion. Well, since I didn't have a juicer (the movie focuses on 7-60 days of strictly juice fasting), I had to rely on Vitamix. What, of course, messed up the purity of experiment - I now was consuming plenty of fiber, even if no grains/dairy/legumes/fat or protein from animal source. However, my agenda was to see how I, someone who generally eats healthy (focusing on veggies, very few fruits, no sugar/grain/rare dairy, and with lean animal protein mostly from chicken), and who is certainly NOT fat, sick or anywhere near dead, would react - will I see all those beautiful side effects of cleansing out of toxins, vibrant skin, energy rise, and awesome sleep?

So, I set out for 7 days - I bought more veggies than I could consume regularly, and threw it all in (no, I don't do recipes, I don't care much how the taste blends together, it's all food and goes in, as long as it is not disgusting). Problem #1 - I belong to a rare group of people (at least here, in US, and especially of those who exercise) who does not drink enough liquid. I hate drinking. I can carry around a bottle (one) of water all day, and never finish it. Unless I am running and it's hot, drinking is a problem, regardless whether it is water, tea, or even beloved coffee (I suck on 6oz coffee for 30 min in the morning, what always delays my running start). So, to "drink" the veggies, you have to add quite some amounts of water. What dilutes amount of veggies. What ends up being 5x16oz bottles - and I barely finish it - with basically no more than 600 cal in it (cucumber, celery and all kinds of grassy leafy stuff is not very calorie-dense). Technically, nobody was supposed to have enough calories on this - it was a FASTING thing after all. The problem was, I still exercised. And while I managed to lift weights just fine, any kind of cardio (Stepmill and jogging tries) escalated my heart rate exponentially like crazy. Like, shuffling at 13 min/mile hit 150's right away. That did not bode well with me.

On day 5 I gave up, and ate sensible dinner.

Stats: 6 lbs lighter. No vitality to speak of. I was sleeping ok lately as is (finally!). I wasn't weak, really, and going through the day was fine, and surprisingly I wasn't hungry - I was consuming plenty of fiber to keep my digestive track occupied. Obviously, it meant no rest for said digestive system. And every pound came back within 3 days, what means it was all water weight (nothing to hold on to, because I also consumed no salt). Here we go.

Why bringing it up? Because, first of all, it was an experiment, and as I said, I like testing things out and if you ARE fat, sick and, you know, not well at all, please stop eating crap and juice for a bit!), and secondly, because I did buy a spanky new Heart Rate Monitor - so I can dive in to Maffetone method as I mentioned in a post prior!

Here we go. The cheapest version I could find to do the job - to keep me at heart rate of 135 (180 minus age) for the next 3 months. And since I announced it - seems like everybody's doing it, or had gone through it recently. So, why am I behind?

Since I am technically-challenged, Larry helped to set me into the "Zone" of 125-140, however, the watch doesn't beep. And since I am an old lady now, and run in the wee-dark hours of the morning, I have to stare into the watch's window only when I come by the street light, but this shall do.

So, since the WHOLE full year, since last September, I haven't trained or even run consistently, and last month took off, yet again, for the foot (feet) injuries, my theoretical fitness level is just fine, but my running/endurance level is quite low (other runners comparing, or myself a year before, of course, not general population). And as I said above, my first shuffle with HRM while on fasting resulted in walking. My first real run a full day after eating normally was much better - I managed 8.5 miles on our local hills (they exist), and kept 135 on flats, couldn't make even 120 on downhills, and was easily spiked on hill climbed, which I ended up walking.

So, today, I set out on the flat neighborhood streets, where the inclines/declines do not go above 3% (may be 4?) and do not last more than 0.2M (or so).

First thing to find out - I always knew I am slow to start, but now I really knew it - for the first mile I couldn't even make my heart rate go to 135, I was slogging so slow. But once I warmed up and my legs got some turn over, another revelation: keep 135 on flats wasn't the slogging I was doing this year (CMV and other crap be damned), it was actually, well, not work, but some kind of poetry in motion. It was running. Albeit my running on flats at 135 resulted in about 11 min/mile.

And this, my friends, is my real, true, no bull starting point. And I am ok with it.

On a family news, we went to a great yarn shop in South Austin for some fun, and Larry is almost done with the bathroom! I will be peeing and showering right off my bedroom again this weekend! :)