2011 in 12 Sentences

Life

Big waves at Cape Disappointment Light
I have to look back at my blog because I, seriously, can’t remember what happened this past year. It’s all been a blur…

January: I bought Vibrams and joined Barefoot running/minimalist shoe revolution!

February: More running. Lots of it! yay running!

March: Ukulele Festival was great! Visiting Spokane and seeing my Flickr friends was fabulous! My mom almost dying of pneumonia? not so much.

April: I discovered Live Wire, where I met Scott Poole and took the author photo for his book of poetry. Also, my barefoot running days are over :(.

May: Bloomsday! I actually ran the entire thing (with the exception of Doomsday Hill) and I hiked Dog Mountain!

June: I bought a Chromebook and I visited the Chinese Gardens in Portland and had a fabulous time.

July: Google+ made me happy for awhile, my mom finally visits, I finally find an old graveyard where I have cousins buried, and I had to stop running because of an injury (story of my life).

August: I visited Mt. St. Helens for the first time!

September: Another Spokane visit! this time everyone was healthy.

October: I visited a Zen Center for my first time.

November: Depression, but had a really good Thanksgiving, regardless.

December: Fabulous Christmas at the beach.

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My running adventures

Health and Fitness
Barefoot Running

About a month ago I bought a pair of Vibram KSOs. Apparently they can’t make these fast enough so many stores are out of a lot of the sizes. I had to buy the men’s version and they are wide so I’ve been getting blisters. It’s not terribly bad though.

I had been easing myself into barefoot running on the treadmill, running barefoot for a portion of my run. I loved it. It gave me lots of energy, for some reason. But as I’ve been reading up on it, I’ve learned that you don’t want to rush into it too fast. Then I bought the Vibrams and I just started running the entire treadmill run with them on and, while it doesn’t feel as fantastic as running barefoot (all of those nerves on the bottom of the foot) it’s still better than running with shoes, I think.

Around the time I bought the Vibrams our treadmill died. We decided to buy a new one and we found one locally that looked good and was on sale for a great price. We got it home and put it together. We discovered that we had bought an incline treadmill. I hadn’t known such a thing existed. When I saw the word “incline” on the ad I just assumed it meant that you could make it incline, like all treadmills do. Well this is inclined all the time. You can choose between a 10% incline or a 20% incline. In short: it is a fucking gnarly workout. And when I say gnarly I mean I am dizzy when I get off the thing.

I had worked up to running 5k but when I tried to run 5k on this thing it was just too difficult. So my new goal was to just be able to run for 30 minutes on it. Today I accomplished this goal! I only ran 2 miles but I did it.

I’ve added a fourth run to my week on Sundays. I want to run outside at least one day a week. (when it’s light at 5am I’ll run outside in the mornings but until then, it’s the treadmill.) I’ve been running on the high school track to get my feet and legs used to running with the Vibrams on outside on harder pavement. The first week was excruciating. I discovered muscles I didn’t know I had. I hobbled around for days; my calves were so. sore. The second week was a little bit better. I got that same blister on my left big toe and my calves still hurt but the recovery time was much shorter. I was in pretty good shape the next day. The third time was this past Sunday and it felt awesome. Like the other times, I ran three miles. But my pace increased and I ran a 10 minute mile which is very good for me.

I’ve been thinking about running Bloomsday for few months. It’s a good excuse to got to Spokane to visit the family AND it gives me something to work toward. I asked for the time off at work and if I can get it off I’ll sign up. I need the motivation. It’s 12k. Which is considerably more than 5k. But at least it will be a healthy challenge. I found this really cool training tool on the Runner’s World website called Smartcoach. Unfortunately you have to sign up for an account to see the page which is a huge pain in the ass, but It’s kind of worth it if you want to train for something. There is also an iPod app, as well. Anyway, you fill in the form, entering details about the race you want to train for, and it gives you a training schedule. So I’m going to use it to train for Bloomsday.

This post was a little chatty so I’ll stop there. Next time I’ll write about my husband’s homemade running huaraches.

A list

Health and Fitness

Trees reflected in a flooded meadow on the Columbia Gorge

I’ve been thinking about blogging about my barefoot running adventures. I’m not sure if anyone will think it’s interesting or if anyone will even read it. But it might be fun for me to read later on. Actually, I’m not running completely barefoot. I’m running in Vibrams, which do give some support. I’m liking it but it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. It’s kind of a challenge and my muscles really hurt. Way more than when I ran with shoes on. But it does feel like I’m getting more of a leg workout than running shod. So. Perhaps I’ll document this experience for posterity’s sake.

I’m reading a really good book right now called “Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: a 28 day program.” It talks about meditation, the different kinds of meditation, and gets you started on a practice. I started the exercises last week and am really loving them and learning lots. I’m thinking about blogging about this too. I’ll write up a post about week one in the next day or so.

I found out about this website a few minutes ago and think its really cool. I’m thinking I’ll participate.

I’m kind of (kind of) thinking about playing with my Spartus Vest Pocket Camera. I bought some 127 film for it a couple of years ago and have been terrified to use it. But I’m thinking about throwing caution to the wind and having fun with it. There is a place in Portland that develops 127 film, which is very cool. I’d like to go pay them a visit sometime soon to see what kinds of toy cameras they have on inventory. I’m going to admit, some of my fear of taking photos with this camera is the idea of getting my film developed by someone else. Someone who will see what I’ve taken and will, possibly, judge my work. When I used to shoot film there would be times when I shot a roll (or two) of terrible photos and it would be so embarrassing to pick up my prints and know that the developer saw my bad photos. The thought that they might be judging me really bugged me. But I so need to get over this. It’s silly and dumb and preventing me from having fun.

A couple of Facebook friends reminded me that 25 years ago today the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster happened. My friend, Dianne, posted the video, which I hadn’t seen in 25 years. It was really weird to see it again. What a sad day.