Hi! It's been a long while! I've been a little busy and a little lazy and a little sick and a little self-destructive. I think I'm reaching equilibrium again, though, so no worries.
I've been around long enough to start taking call. In fact, I'm on call right now, covering for a co-worker who is headed to the Packer game today. So I'm getting paid an embarrassing(ly low) on-call rate to write this blog. That's right, bitches, I'm getting paid to blog. Ha.
Call is...weird. I'm sure I'll get used to it but for the moment I'm treating the pager like a newborn. Did I leave it in the dressing room?!? Where is the pager?!? Did it make any noise?!!? I obsessively check it to make sure I didn't miss a page. It's getting better, but I still pretty much sleep with it next to my head. I've run errands, gone to CrossFit, and visited the zoo with the pager, but I have yet to take it out on a run. I'm deathly afraid that it will be out of range on a long run and I'll miss a page. Not that I get stat pages like a doctor, but still.
Running or Should I Say Ragnar:
I just got back from running Ragnar Colorado. See?
The Colorado finish line. Snowmass village at the base of a ski run.
This was a corporate sponsored team, which is how I got sucked into going into high altitude. Team Pawngo was formed by a Ragnar buddy and they needed a few runners to round things out. Pawngo is an online pawn shop run by some extremely entertaining people. If I had anything to pawn, I'd give them a go. I don't though. Have anything to pawn.
So. Ragnar Colorado. It's really, really beautiful. And pointy.
I would seriously consider training for this one with an altitude mask, especially if you have a longer leg or a higher altitude leg. I was sucking wind big time on this one. The weather was unpredictable (mountains, you know), but mostly nice. The was very little air in the air, however. It made everything feel harder. I was runner 10 and had a 10.4 mile leg with a 1000ft altitude gain over the course of it. It was noon, it was hot, and I got a combination of altitude sickness and heat stroke at about mile 3.4. The world tilted and spun, and I barfed. I have never, ever ever ever, barfed due to a workout. I felt like a big weenie, but there were several others that crapped out on that leg-so it wasn't just me.
My dark leg was terrifying. I saw the route in daylight and it was gorgeous. In the dark? TERRIFYING. It was under highway 70 beside a rushing river. At 3am. There was no light beyond my headlamp. TERRIFYING. I dithered over the way to go (there were a couple of poorly marked forks in the trail) and waited for other runners to come up on me so I would have someone to follow. I think if I'd had knuckle lights as well it would have been better, and now that I know what it looks like down there I could do it again without the fear. That morning though? I felt like I was running down into the center of the earth and it was TERRIFYING. I was so freaked out at the end that I actually broke down a little. I'm going to blame that on the altitude, too.
My first leg was beautiful. Run into the setting sun alongside a babbling brook turned river. So lovely. I should've taken pictures.
Ragnar had trouble getting the medals through customs, so they weren't at the finish. They scared up some temp medals though, and we got our Mile High medals for doing CO and another Ragnar in 2013. Our team captain wanted to make sure we got a medal at the end, so we made some on the fly. So I got 3 medals, and my official Ragnar medal is still on the way.
Overall this race was well run, albeit in need of a few more signs. I would recommend it, it is really beautiful. It's fairly easy to fly to Denver and drive to the start, the race is run almost entirely on paved bike trails, and the exchanges provide a lot of creature comforts. The towns you encounter range from rural to ritzy and there's lots of good food, coffee, and beer to be had. The free beer at the end was Coors, which was somewhat disappointing. So much awesome beer in the area and...Coors. Coors is Coloradan for beer the way Foster's is Australian for beer. Namely, it isn't.
I'm fairly certain I'll be spending a week biking, hiking, and golfing in the mountains around Snowmass/Vail in the near future. Summer is the low season, but since I don't ski I can take full advantage of the awesome prices!
After the race, those of us heading to the airport got a chance to stop at Biker Jim's gourmet hot dogs in downtown Denver. I had a Bat Dog and fried pickles. Delicious. I also got to see some friends from college that I haven't seen forever!! A great end to the weekend.
Nanannananananananana BAT DOG!
In other exciting running news: THE BROOKS LAUNCH IS BACK!!!
You may not think that's exciting, but I do! I ran my first marathon in those shoes and they are the BOMB. I was so sad when the line was discontinued last year. But now they're back! And I ordered a pair! And they'll be here this week! Hurrah!
So I've been out of the box the last two weeks. I had a great day of snatching and clean and jerking, and then I went to Colorado and came back totally hungover (not literally-sleep deprivation like) and kind of sick. I thought it was allergies, but now I think it was more than that. At any rate I was just tired as hell and headachy and sick feeling. So how did I deal with that? Not working out and being...
Do you do this to yourself? Just totally fuck up your health and well-being for no good reason? I do. Yeah, I wasn't feeling well, but I could've stayed on track with my nutrition and just taken it easy in the gym. Did I do that? No. I ate shit and felt sorry for myself, and ate more shit and felt worse. I have no idea why I do this, but it's a continual pattern in my life. If I still smoked I would've been a chimney the last week. I probably have some deep seated mental disorder selfsabotagitis or successophobia or somesuch. Or maybe I'm just an asshole that needs to stop being such a slug. That's probably it.
The Lurong Challenge:
The one thing that helps snap me out of a self-destruction spiral is a challenge. Especially if it is one that makes me accountable to other people. The Lurong Challenge is a new thing, last year was the first year. It's a Paleo/CrossFit competition dealie wherein your box forms a team and tries to improve performance and nutrition over the course of 8 weeks. It starts tomorrow. I am pretty excited, because while I'm happy to fuck myself up, I generally don't fuck over other people, and as the team can collectively win stuff for the box, I'll be in 100%. To that end:
I made my own mayo. No shitty soy or vegetable oil here. Just egg, olive oil, mustard powder, lemon juice, and salt.
Suck it, Kraft.
I took a leftover chicken carcass and made my own stock. Today I'll make three kinds of soup with it.
Suck it, Swanson.
I have assembled my tools for food prepping and am drying kale for chips.
Suck it, Lays.
I have recipes for butternut squash and parsnip soup, broccoli leek soup, and coconut chicken lime soup. All will be made today. Waldorf tuna salad, zucchini "noodles", and jicama home fries, too. Also scotch eggs. Tonight for supper the husband is making Char Sui.
I'm very much looking forward to getting back on track and feeling better.
I've never been too great at this. I have moments when I'm full of self acceptance, but more when I don't. It's important to accept yourself. That's not to say you can't be constantly trying to improve, but you have to appreciate yourself at every stage. Recently, my husband and I dug our race medals out of the box in our office and displayed them. Here's mine.
Pain is Temporary, Pride is Forever
That's a fairly sizeable collection, especially considering I didn't start running until I was 30. These are just the medal races. The 5Ks and 10Ks and assorted other events aren't represented here. When I look at these (and there's no avoiding them, they're on the stairwell), I am forced to remind myself that I am capable of more than self-destruction. These medals represent a lot of time and effort-and a lot of celebration. We all need to celebrate more often.
One last thing:
The back of my CrossFit journal
Gandhi was a smart dude.