January 2007 Archives

Kiera and I met for lunch at Chipotle today. And since The Running Shop is right next door, Kiera mandated a stop on our way out. She had stopped by before lunch, and wanted to show me the two shimmels she was purchasing. (Yeah, I had no clue that was called a shimmel. I always called 'em bra tanks. My favorite kind of clothing!) As most of you are already aware, Kiera is one fanTAStic baker, and she usually drops off some goodies at the shop when she's in the 'hood. Today was no exception. Jason was complaining that the butter in the cookies made them too rich for him to eat too many, so I offered to take one off his hands :) My one condition? I had to blog about it. And this is why you folks are getting two (!) posts in one day.

Jason, does that qualify?

Echo

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In the space between heartbeats
I feel the echo
A moment of time and space
Where just a shadow of me exists
In your presence, the echo
Is absorbed
Life abounds, overflows, fulfills

And you are gone
Empty hands, bewilderment
Reality says you were never here
In the silence, the echo
Reverberates
I am afraid, someday
I will only hear the echo

My weekend plans

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Hotel California

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Leaving on Friday morning to go to the OC to help Jess put on the first annual Twin Peaks 50/50! Quite excited.

Not much running happening. Busy weekend - out late two nights in a row; unheard of! I've been ebbing lately - not feeling well. So much upheaval in life, new friends and so many things to think about and ponder and wonder and I'm really fighting feelings of rejection and unworthiness. Ash is having a hard time with the divorce (understandably!) and his way of dealing with it is refusal to come to my place. Hearing him proclaim in a sing-song voice, "I don't have to go to Mama's house tonight!" just broke my heart. I sort of shut down mid-yesterday, just crawled under the covers and didn't emerge for an hour and a half. I finally got up to take Ash to his Nana's house, and it in the car I broke down. I just started sobbing and sobbing. I couldn't stop for over an hour.

Once I got home, I wanted to crawl back under the covers, but I remembered the feeling of chasing Ash at the park that morning, so I did what any good runner would do: I laced up my shoes and hit the trails. I was so dehydrated and exhausted from two late beer-drinking nights and not enough food for the day - not to mention the crying spell! - and my legs were really shaky. I didn't quite make it to the last crossing on the trail to Seven Falls. I spied a boulder outcrop overlooking the creek and dove for it. I laid there for 10 minutes before getting up and heading back. I walked a decent amount. When I ran, I repeated the mantra "Let it all go" over and over and over again. The trail ends with .4 of flat dirt road. With .2 to go, I just stopped running. Yes, it was flat. Yes, Kiera and I make a pact to run to the "burning bush" which signals the parking lot. And I just couldn't run any more. But I did it. I ran 6 miles yesterday. Then I crashed on my bed again, and slept.

Tragic Irish Songs

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So I'm driving to Phoenix yesterday morning, the second time this week, and I decide to listen to a new CD I picked out as a bonus item for supporting the world's best radio station, KXCI Community Radio.

Let me tell you, there is nothing better to put your life into perspective than to listen to tragic Irish songs about death and unrequited love!

The songs are incredibly sad, and Brid Dower sings with a clear, gorgeous voice. I fell in love with the CD, and felt so grateful that my life isn't nearly as bad as the characters in her songs :)

On to running: managed to fit one whopping run in this week between all my meetings, and I've hit all my yoga classes. I'm feeling strong and loving the feeling of working and stretching my body. I'm already getting better at the pigeon pose!

Tonight will be fun; I'm heading out with many friends to celebrate this new chapter in my life. We'll listen to a friend's band play happy hour at one of my favorite haunts, and then maybe we'll hit dinner and more fun after that. I'm so excited!

Kiera wrote me an awesome e-mail today about her run in snowy Sabino. I'm incredibly jealous that she got to run in the snow! I had to drive to Phoenix today for two meetings; not nearly as fun as running snowy Sabino. Sigh.

"So I turned my iPod up loud enough that I could hear neither the sound of my foot falls, nor my ragged breath.
But I set out from the house (from the house!) at 11:01 this morning. I laced up my spankin' white Sauconys and hit the road.

I decided to run the Bluff Trail and take the Dam Trail back, so the reverse of what we did last time. When I remembered to look up, it was beautiful, all picturesque with the snow making everything look pure and wholesome. And I was running, which seemed wholesome, too. A few minutes into the Bluff trail I was like, What the hell was I thinking, signing up for that trail race? I'm totally going to die. But the feeling passed as I found my groove. As I passed certainly spots, I would think of the conversations we've had in those places. 'This is where we talked about how men can't multi-task; this is the spot where --" It's funny how the mind works. But that, and Modest Mouse blaring through my brain, kept me going. Up, up, up.

I got to the top of the Bluff Trail and ran up the road to the picnic spot where the Dam Trail cuts across. I'm not sure exactly what I did differently, but somehow I ended up crossing back over so I was in the wash area right below the Bluff Trail, like along the sandbar or something. So I met back up with the Bluff Trail at the 'V' point (you know, where you make a sharp turn, where they put in those rocks like cobblestones) and followed that back in, willing the burning bush to come into sight. I kept seeing people right when I was ready to walk, but I didn't want to look like a wuss, so I kept up the illusion of happy runner girl. But as I was running along, I came up with what I believe is a new word (I haven't checked any dictionaries, so I could be wrong, but let's just say, for the sake of argument, that it's new): Contextualize. Definition: To rationalize an action by citing situational reasons.

I think that was my peak brain activity for the day. But, the upshot: great run, just over an hour, door-to-door. I was out there and that makes it good. Here are some pics from up there."

DSCN6079

DSCN6076

DSCN6068

Snow! In Tucson!

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OMG! It snowed this evening, and some of it actually stuck. I got pictures as it started to melt...

Here are the pictures

Internet down...

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My internet at home is still having problems, I'm not sure what's going on. But it's making it hard to stay caught up on my bloglines! I think I'm over 200 posts behind :(

This will be truly brief as I don't know how long my connection will last. Yoga = awesome. Not much running. Am breathing and grounding myself and things are going much smoother. I am starting to feel much calmer. I realize that I often cannot see the forest for the trees, and am focusing on opening up my view. I am also remembering to use my Voice...

I recently discovered Anne Lamott. I have fallen in love with her book Bird by Bird and have a few blog posts rolling around in my head regarding bits and pieces of what she wrote. But first? I realized that in this blog, y'all get to read my "shitty first drafts". Ha! I thought that was great.

Anyway, hope everyone is well, and I'm not sure when I'll get to check in again, as I'm out of town most of next week.

Yoga Flow

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As part of my desire for mindfulness, grounding and a general need for stretching and strength training (but mostly for the mindfulness and to help get me grounded), I decided to get a membership to a local yoga studio. It's not the closest studio to my house/work, but I love this place; I've taken numerous classes over the years. I'm hoping that by paying a monthly fee, I am more likely to get my butt over there more than once a week. Goal: three times a week.

My hope is that this will help me focus on taking care of myself, focus on stretching, focus on caring for my body. I haven't been; I need to. My body has been telling me as much.

I signed up this morning, and attended the basic hatha class. 1.5 hours of focus, breathing and attempting to let go of the thoughts I obsess over while listening to my body moan and groan. It was nice :)

---
So I wanted to go to the RBF meet-up in Phoenix last night, but was unable to make it :( I wish everyone the best of luck and so so much fun while running on Sunday!

I'm off to MVD to get my new drivers license. Ugh. I'm sure I'll have hours of waiting ahead of me! At least I have some good reading material to help (Glamour, Collage Discovery Workshop, Runners World)

The air of possibility

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The weather the last few days in Tucson has been beautiful. I’ve loved walking outside and feeling the cool breeze on my arms, the sun on my face. I feel a little sad about the weather; this is beautiful weather – for SPRING! Not the middle of winter. I cherish the few wintry days we get here in the desert. To lose some of those days to this balmy spring weather is bittersweet.

The air is full of possibility, of promise. It reminds me of summer in Salinas, where I grew up, of summer and late fall in Mammoth Lakes, CA, one of my favorite places ever. I feel like anything is possible, there is no rigidity to life, anything goes, anything could happen. Life is open and free and brilliant and beautiful.

I ran at lunch, just over 2 miles. It was short and very very sweet. I was able to pull my hair back into a ponytail under my hat (!), and headed out in my pink “Run like a girl” shirt. Perfect running weather – shorts and a t-shirt. Not too hot, not too cold. Absolutely perfect. It was incredible to feel myself back into the groove, running just because I could – anything’s possible, you know – and because I wanted to, for the hell of it. I’m not training for anything; I’m totally out of shape. And I ran and loved it.

Back at the office, I prepared an eggless egg salad sandwich (I do eat eggs; it’s just that I really love tofu and Trader Joe’s makes a fantastic eggless egg salad) with a small serving of kettle chips and headed to the shady side of the building. I sat, in my running clothes, on a curb and watched the wind blow the half-mast flag across the street and pigeons play in water that poured from a random pipe sticking out of the side of the neighborhood church. I finished up lunch with a fun conversation about lifestyles with a friend who had finished up a lunchtime walk, and then we headed inside.

Turns out my friend’s hot water heater needs to be replaced, so I still have not received that promised hot bath (I don’t have a tub in my tiny studio). Hopefully I’ll get one soon!

My mom received the results from the blood work re-test: she’s totally fine. Whew and YAY! Well, her blood work is fine. She has severe allergies to most plants, and she has asthma (which is explains the lungs not feeling right – the reason she went to the doc in the first place). What a relief.

And FeministRunner and Journey to a Centum tagged me, so here goes:

Find the nearest book.
Turn to page 123.
Find the fifth sentence.
Copy the next three sentences here.
Tag three people.

Um, I’m at work and the nearest book was “The Book of Fabulous Questions” and page 123 didn’t have five sentences (just two). So I looked for the next nearest book and it was “Conversation Starters” and page 123 had five sentences, but no more. On to the next nearest book. Hmm, should I choose “Nonviolent Communication” or “Bushwhacked”? Decisions, decisions…

"Nonviolent Communication" (great book, by the way):
"No, I wasn't enjoying the conversation; in fact, I was totally bored with it."

At the time, I was suprised to hear his response because he had been the one doing most of the talking! Now I am no longer surprised: I have since discovered that conversations that are lifeless for the listener are equally so for the speaker.

TAG, you're IT!
RunnerGirl
Sarah
Neese

Growing new habits

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Rob’s recent post regarding his resolutions and habits was the kick in the pants I needed to move forward on changing my eating habits.

I’ve complained a few times in the last few months about the amount of weight I’ve gained since my surgery. It took a few months for my metabolism to slow from the lack of running I was doing, and that combined with the amount of (fatty) foods I was eating has caused the inevitable: weight gain. I thought training for my first 50-mile race would melt the pounds, but needing to take care of my knees means not running the 50-miler and keeping my mileage low (okay, a little too low, but I’m working on that…).

I really liked what Rob wrote about focusing on the positive things. Instead of focusing on what he was cutting out of his diet, he focused on what he wanted to add. I try to live my entire life that way – instead of focusing on the negative, I attempt to focus on the positive – what I want, what I can do, what I can move toward. So, I’m going to start focusing on what I want to add to my diet, instead of stressing about just how much I’m eating as I stuff my mouth with more delectable fried food. The other key to this is that habits take time to form. I want to set mini-goals – what I can do each day, week, month, etc. I absolutely know this is possible to accomplish; I lost 70 pounds during 2005! I absolutely know I can do this. It’s just a matter of actually *doing* it.

A few other parts include the low-key desires to: add back some strength training – either yoga or at-home strengthening exercises; drink more water; get more focused/mindful (since the separation and subsequent divorce, my mind has been much more scattered than ever before; I’ve lost my focus); and of course, run more. But I want to remember: baby steps.

First up: I need to figure out what I want to eat. Starting today, I am keeping a food log again to help me track just what it is I’m eating. This way I can see just how unhealthy I’m eating, and what I should focus on adding (and when – do I need to eat protein at 2 pm to help with the afternoon slump? Change the amount of caffeine I’m drinking each day? Etc.). The other thing I’m sort of rolling around in my head is the emotional eating aspect of this. My whole life I’ve been an emotional eater. So I also want to start being mindful of the feelings I have when I know I’m not hungry but I want to eat or I find myself reaching for a specific food (French fries, cheese, etc.). If I can find the stimulus (other than hunger), then maybe I can find a different (healthier) coping mechanism to feel better. Another part – going back to the healthier substitutions for foods I love.

Baby steps. It’s possible. I can do this. Baby steps.

AngFootball

Yes, Donald, this is south Salinas.

Hint #1: The yellow building in the background is Salinas High School...

Creek Loop

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Creek Loop

Kiera and I headed out with Mike's new geek watch in tow this morning. We decided to do the longer Creek Loop, instead of our usual short out-and-back on the Bluff Trail. We were hoping this loop was a little longer than 3.48, but oh well :) I suppose if we ran from Kiera's house, we could get a little extra mileage (yes, we drive the .5 from her house to Sabino Canyon. Really, we should run. How could we drive that?!).

This is a fun loop on mostly trail (some road). I am still sick with a cold and needed to slow down at parts, and at the last minute I chose to wear just my visor instead of a hat, which left my ears cold and exposed. But I still had fun and enjoyed the run. I really enjoyed laying on the couch with a warm blanket afterwards, and then getting a hot shower followed by belgian waffles and soy "sausage" and the richest hot chocolate ever topped with a chocolate-covered marshmellow. Although, I'm waiting for the day that Kiera and I come back from a run and Mike has fresh hot baked goods waiting for us ;)

It's Official

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I'm divorced.

I'm alternately in hysterical tears or hysterical laughing, wanting to vomit or wanting to devour a cheeseburger or pizza...ultimately I'm taking care of myself by not eating emotionally and by reaching out to my friends, family and loved ones. I'm pretty speechless (gasp! so unusal!), but I'm glad it's over and final; I'm glad the paperwork is off my back; I'm glad he is still in my life and such a beautiful, wonderful person. I'm glad we shared 11 years and 5 days together and I'm glad I'm alive to feel the intensity of these alternating emotions of joy and pain, sorrow and relief, grief and courage.

My race plans

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For 2007, my race plans consist of:

Showing up at the RBF meetup at PF Changs in Phoenix in a couple weeks to meet fellow bloggers (but not running the HM)

Volunteering at Jess's Twin Peaks 50/50 in February (again, to meet some awesome bloggers - I know RunDMZ, the amazing hip, and of course Jess will be there - anyone else showing up that I get to meet???)

Crewing Olga at Zane Grey in April (my birthday trip/gift!) (this year, I won't be sweeping the trail afterwards; I'll be totally focused on all Olga :) ) Anyone else in blogland showing up to ZG that I'll get to see/meet?

Crewing/Pacing Jess at Javelina Jundred in October (woo hoo!!!) Again, anyone else planning on JJ100 yet?

Hopefully, making a trip up to the Pacific NW...more bloggers to meet!

Um, yeah, no actual races that I will be running (yet). Lots of volunteering, meeting folks, etc. But no actual racing. Why? Well, with this knee problem, I don't want to put pressure on myself to get the miles under my belt. With such dramatic life changes, I'm not sure how much or when I can train, either. I want to run for the joy of it, not for the pressure to finish a distance. I want balance in my life and joy. I want to savor the expression of running. Eventually, I'd like to run long again. I'd also like to try adventure racing; that looks like fun!

(Wait. There's an ultra relay in northern AZ I'm supposed to be doing at the end of March. More details soon.)

Much of my running this past year has been to prove that I can. To prove that I am kick-ass. To prove that I can do something grand. To show myself that I can move through pain. That I can set a goal and acheive it. To give me confidence. Ability.

Well, I proved all that and more to myself this last year; I met those goals.

For 2007, I have only one goal: to live mindfully and focus on balance. Okay, so maybe that's two goals. Oh, and inspired by mtnruR, I'd like to track some different stats. (Okay, any stats. Running log? Yeah, hasn't been happening.) So, I have three goals. Well, that doesn't sound nearly as impressive as < insert loud, echo-y voice > "I have only one goal..."

Anyway.

You get the point. (I hope.)

Right now? I'd like my streak of bad luck to end. King Midas in Reverse....houseitting for a friend, and the pilot light in the hot water heater goes out. It's dark and cold, I'm outside kneeling in the damp dirt with a headlamp on, desperately attempting to get this damn thing lit because I so wanted a hot bath (I don't have a bathtub in my tiny studio) when my mom calls to tell me she went to the doctor for a lingering couch and after the doc said there was nothing wrong with her lungs and made her get bloodwork, they discovered her white blood cell count was abnormally high (plus her cholesterol medicine is screwing up her liver, so she has to immediately stop that medicine, which means her cholesterol will skyrocket back up over 300); she goes back on Friday to be retested - we'll find out the results next week. I'm going with it's some sort of infection. (Although I recently heard about two different people who went in for un-urgent things (cough, sore throat) and came out diagnosed with cancer.) So the water heater still isn't fixed and the gas company won't come out to fix it and I'm sore from my run and none of my clothes fit because I've gained too much weight and I'm sick with a cold and a wisdom tooth is coming in and causing my bottom teeth to ache and get crooked again (there goes half the $5000 and 4 yrs spent on braces) and I had to take extra time off work today to meet the Qwest guy at my house because my DSL has been in and out (mostly out) for the last 5 days (short in the wire? poltergeist?). I'm grabbing the groceries from the car, overburdened with too much crap because I don't want to make more than one trip and a bird shits on me. A bird SHITS on me. Damn, is the universe trying to tell me something?! It's like adding insult to injury!

Sigh.

At least my DSL is fixed. And I'm meeting a contractor ("We do honey-dos!") to get the water heater checked out tomorrow (have to take more time off work). And the bird shit wiped off (and Paki says it's good luck....I'm not so sure about that...). And the cold medicine is (mostly) working. And only 5 more days till my friend returns and life can go back to normal and maybe I can get a hot bath and a hug.

Happy New Year!

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What better way to ring in the new year than to go for a run.

Angie and Kiera's

Kiera (who has kindly agreed to allow her photos to (finally) be posted on my blog) and I headed out to Sabino Canyon to run up to Seven Falls. Since Mike did not have to work today and thusly was available to watch the kids, we decided to head out later than normal, which gave me sleep in time (nice!).

Tucson

After a leisurely morning preparing for the run while watching the news (really, did I need a recap of last year's entertainment/pop culture? And did I need to hear about what will be "big" this year? (Spiderman, Bourne and Pirates of the Caribbean #s 3)). Anyway, arrived at 10 at Kiera's ready to go.

Bear? Mountain lion? Wolf? Tracks!

Headed over to the Canyon, where my pass (which expired in November) was once again studied and then handed back to us with a "Have a good day!" Guess I don't have to renew it yet...? I probably just jinxed myself ... uh oh.

Angie on the way up.

So we headed out - many more people on the trails than I'm used to. The run itself was excellent, non-eventful, and best of all - my knee felt great, yay!

Kiera's shoes

Angie's shoes

In my post-run exhaustion, when I first wrote this post, I failed to mention a few things, like: post-run food = toffee coffee cake appetizer with Trader Joe's mochas followed by the BEST. NACHOS. EVER. (photo at the end of the post; vegetarians avert your eyes.); oh darnit, I forgot the other things I forgot. Shoot.

Here are the rest of the photos...

Desert

The slides!

Kiera at the base of the falls

Angie and K</p>

<p><a href=Angie's coquette-ish pose

Gu tastes good!

Angie at the base

Really, does this need a title?

VEGETARIANS, AVERT YOUR EYES!
Nachos!

Happy New Year!

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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