Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What being a runner like me means.......

For many years I've always wanted to be a faster runner, a stronger runner, a better runner.  But I've also wanted to run like "Peter, Mary, Jack and Jill".  I could think of loads of runners, different from me, whom I wanted to emulate.  Yes, I knew long ago that I had my own journey.  But, there was always a "but".  And that detracts from my journey, from my experiences.  Yes, I might not be the fastest or the most dedicated runner, but I think I have had a very interesting running life. And no, I don't want to run like anyone else  Yes, I'd like to run at a constant 8:30 speed one day, but it's a journey, a long term project - with milestones and smaller goals scattered in between. I guess I'm writing this because I've finally understood that a lot of people run.  Not all of them have a  relationship with running.  I know, we're all different.  But it is whilst on the journey that we define the runner that we become.
I went to a core exercise class today.  it was actually quite good for me.  It also reminded me of when i was up at university, and used to do those Tae Bo kicking boxing dvds.  They were excellent, and because I had such irregular hours, I would sometimes be doing them at 2am.  Talk about muscle memory!  It has been years since I've done one of those classes, but today, it all came back.  It was tough, but it seemed to come 'easily' enough.  I enjoyed it, and I know it will help my core. So tomorrow morning, I'll try and go for an early morning run.  Not my best moments, but I'm going to try (again) to get a morning groove going.......

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Running in DC

The last week of June found me in Washington DC for a conference.  It was hot and humid and I didn't sleep much.  But I got in some good runs, notwithstanding the humidity, and being in a trance for that entire week.   
The first was the Monday after I arrived.  It was a 5K raising money to vaccinate children in developing countries.  With a 6:30am start, it was already hot and humid.  I hadn't slept a wink, and in effect, 6:30am was really 3:30 am for me.  Still, I managed to get out there and run.  Within minutes I was bathed in sweat, which after 3 miles, was dripping into my eyes, and literally off my face - something which never really happens to me.

It was tough getting up in the morning, but I managed to get to the gym a few times and run on the treadmill.  Short, three-mile runs, but so refreshing and cool. Then Thursday night, I decided to do a longish  run. I ran from the hotel up to the the National Mall. And what a glorious run that was! i stopped and took loads of pics, but it was really exciting to be in the capital, and run around those historic places. it wasn't too long, but look at that cool map - SF to DC! 

I ran up to the National Mall, did a few loops there, and then ran down to the Lincoln Memorial.  It was truly magnificent.

On the way back, I ran past the Smithsonian Museum. How could I not stop off?  It was a hive of activity, as it was National schools week - where schools from different states present their history project.  I stopped off at Nebraska, where the kids had done a project on NASA.  Had a chat with them, and then hurried off to see a piece which I have seen on 3 previous visits: The Woolworths Lunch Counter. That is such a powerful piece, and I wish everyone had the opportunity to see it.

When I finally got back to the hotel, I was knackered.  However, Thursday was the last night of the conference, and for the first time in almost a week, I slept for at least 3 hours.  No time for a run the next day, but I did catch a wonderful exhibition showcasing Yasuo Kuniyoshi, a Japanese-American artist, at the National Portrait Gallery.  All in all, a very successful run week, as well as a satisfactory cultural experience!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tired girl!

My mother is visiting, and it has been rather hectic! it's exciting, but also there's lots to do - which means I sometimes feel a little tired and don't always go for a run when I want. Sometimes I go just the same, but do a really short run of maybe a mile or 2. This week has been a bit like that. Out every night or up late every night! Yesterday, was a full on day of shopping and trawling around the mall. It's not something I am wild about, but I am happy to do it with my mum, because she enjoys it. However, this week was also hectic, because basically I saw 3 operas in 7 days! Last Friday Stuart got tickets for "Les Troyens", which was excellent - and 5 hours long. Then Tuesday night we saw "Due Donne" - which is a modern interpretation of "La Ciociara". It was terrible. So terrible in fact, that we left after at the intermission. Not only was the singing dreadful, but this particular opera seems to bring out all the perverts. The bloke in front of us only watched all the sexual violence scenes - and with binoculars at that. Not opera glasses, but full on 10x57 ones! Then last night, we saw "Le Nozze di Figaro" - 4 hours long with 3 intermissions. I like that opera, but I needed to go to bed early as we had a race this morning. Of course that wasn't happening and didn't get to bed until 1am! I was wrecked, and there was no way I could have run this morning. So we agreed not to do the race. This is a bit disappointing, but under the circumstances, I think I made the right decision. I will go out later for a run, but right now I need to have a rest and get my legs in working order. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

File this under - What was I thinking?!

Five years ago, on December 17, 2009, I drew up a list of 101 things I wanted to complete in 1001 days. I look back now, and...what was I thinking?! I've done 13 of them - in 5 years!  Not a stellar record, but looking back at them, some are pretty cool.  But hey, it's 5 years on, I am not quite the same person (in that Christian Laboutin shoes are not a desired item), so I decided to refresh and update some of these.  Some were just deleted because they no longer make any sense. Maybe the list isn't exactly of 101 things, but I shall try and complete them over the next 5 years.  The timeline has changed to, but hey, I got really, really fit and healthy and then really, really unfit and unhealthy.  So it's going to take me some time to do an Olympic distance triathlon and a half iron man.  So here's the revised list......

1. Get over my fear of deep water 
2. Do an Olympic distance triathlon 
3. Complete a half iron man 
4. Run the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town 
5. Compete in a 5K snow shoe race 
6. Learn to Nordic ski properly 
7. Try doing a biathlon 
8. Learn to stand up and cycle 
9. Cycle in traffic  Ride in a cycle race. 
10. Race up the Empire State Building 
11. Race up the Hancock Tower in Chicago 
12. Run an interesting half marathon. 
13. Complete an official duathlon 
14. Win my age group in something 
15. Run a 5K in under 25 minutes 
16. Run the Paavo Nurmi marathon in Turku 
17. Run the Paavo Nurmi marathon in Wisconsin 
18. Run in Iceland 
19. Complete the 200 sit ups in 6 weeks challenge Complete the abs challenge in July 2015
20. Learn to breast stroke 
21. Learn to tread water (for at least 10 minutes) 
22. Learn to butterfly 
23. Knit a jumper scarf
24. Start a new blog with 1001 amazing photos 
25. Learn the rules of American Football 
26. Visit Salina in Toronto 
27. Visit Roxy in New Brunswick 
28. Climb the 4 Presidential Towers in Chicago 
29. Learn to play mahjong 
30. Complete a black and white Escher puzzle 
31. Watch Ingmar Bergman’s films (all 30 of them) 
32. Write an article for a magazine 
33. Put all my photographs on CDs 
34. Read my 4 bags of mail 
35. Have a sports massage every 2 months (at least) 
36. Categorize my cards in a box (bday, thank you etc) 
37. Write 5 letters and send them 
38. Rejuvenate the Siena facebook group 
39. Meet my Turkish penfriend after 30 years 
40. Go to an a-ha concert 
41. Bind my theses 
42. Get really healthy and fit 
43. Bake the perfect guilt-free chocolate cake 
44. Buy a painting by an art student 
45. Read all the books on the Man Booker 2009 shortlist (6) 
46. Read all the books on the Samuel Johnson Prize 2009 shortlist (6) 
47. Read the Guardian’s 2009 bestsellers (10) 
48. Read the top 20 Scandanavian bestsellers for 2009 
 49. Learn to play Texas Hold’Em 
50. Save 5 USD per day for 1001 days. 
 51. Learn CPR with the Red Cross 
52. Design and wear a costume for a road race 
53. Meditate every day for at least 30 minutes 
54. Bake something for my colleagues 5 times 
55. Learn 3 good jokes 
56. Write to 1 person who inspired me 
57. Find another source of income 
58. Use one new never tried recipe twice a month 
59. Buy a good set of Japanese knives 
60. Knit 10 items for charity 
61. Get a US driving licence 
63. Have a birthday party 
64. Write down a memory of my parents once a month 
67. Make something for 10 different people 
68. Put together a care package for someone 
69. Let it go. Really 
70. Buy nothing for a week once a month 
71. Go to the airport and hop on a plane somewhere 
72. Write a letter to myself to be opened in 10 years time 
73. Convince 1 other person to do a 101 things list 
74. Learn to make sushi 
75. Laugh out loud every day. If no laughter by 10pm, take action
76. Learn the lyrics to 5 songs 
77. Attend 1 party a month. If no parties, organize a dinner party 
78. Acquire something exceptionally beautiful and useless 
79. Learn about stocks, investments, bonds 
80. Photograph all the stunning buildings in Boston 
81. Ride a mechanical bull 
82. Go away on a girls spa long weekend 
84. Listen to Wagner’s complete works 
85. Sponsor a child 
86. Learn to skip for at least 10 minutes 
87. Buy a homeless person a hot meal 
88. Send an anonymous gift 
90. Buy a pair of Christian Laboutin shoes 
91. Contribute an article to a feminist publication 
92. Send someone flowers 
93. Make a recipe book of 30 staple recipes 
94. Wake up every morning for 30 days and dance to a song (x6) 
95. Blog twice a week 
96. Donate a blanket to Project Linus 
97. Put away 20 USD for every task I complete 
98. Bake a cake/biscuits for the fire station 
99. Celebrate success by buying a fabulous memento on day 1001 
100. Make a new list of 101 things before this list is completed 
101. Donate 10 USD to charity for every goal I miss on this list