liberty, luna, and the pursuit of pistorius.

Two things today.  Well, maybe 3.

1. Happy Fourth of July!


2. Full moon!  Yesterday at 12:51pm.  I couldn’t sleep, which got me to thinking about why we associate so much cray-cray with the full moon.  I couldn’t find anything substantive (which is sort of a given, considering it’s all very woo-woo anyway), though I did familiarize myself with the myth of Luna (Latin), aka Selene (Greek), à la Edith Hamilton‘s Mythology:

Endymion the shepherd,
As his flock he guarded,
She, the Moon, Selene,
Saw him, loved him, sought him,
Coming down from heaven
To the glade on Latmus,
Kissed him, lay beside him.
Blessed is his fortune.
Evermore he slumbers,
Tossing not nor turning,
Endymion the shepherd.

Basically, we have the crazy-town, love-obsessed moon-goddess Luna, smitten with the shepard Endymion, who she turns into Rip Van Winkle, so she can gaze upon him nightly, eternally.  And this, in a roundabout way, might give insight why the condition of lunacy is so named, if Luna was the goddess, and the moon’s phases are intrinsically connected to menses, and the goddess was cray…  If, then.  If you follow my line of reasoning.  Which may be faulty and disjointed after a sleepless, moonstruck night.

3. Lastly, a friend posted this amazing story about Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee who will compete on South Africa‘s Olympic track team.  This snippet is thought-provoking:

Pistorius, 25, was born without fibulas and had his lower legs amputated when he was 11 months old. He runs on carbon-fiber blades known as Cheetahs, which have stirred international debate over whether they give him an unfair advantage.

It’s a little mind candy to play with.  A double-amputee.  With carbon-fiber prosthetics.  Yes, the material is probably superior to the good ol’ human leg, but is it an advantage?  Discuss.

Oscar Pistorius


marathon photo (not foto).

Finally done! Unfortunately, iPhoto decided to be uncooperative this week, so it’s taken me a minute to get this all compiled, but here’s a recap of the race.  So fun to go back and look through them, even though it’s just a week past!

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…and returned, a marathon finisher.

After 18 weeks of training, it’s all over, and I crossed the finish line!  Not that I really doubted I would, I was more uncertain in what condition I’d cross it.  I want to do a whole recap, because I feel like this training, this process of the 18-week marathon training, has had a profound effect, but it’s more than I want to go into tonight.  I have yet to experience the 2nd day post-marathon, and as most would agree, that’s the day the toll of exertion is exacted, so sleep must be imminent.

goals: fear-seeking missiles!

Why is it that the goals you deem the scariest, are the ones that you most often have the opportunity to endeavor?  Last year I set the intention to run my first half-marathon; I ran 2.  This year, I have merely been considering the possibility of running my first marathon.  Just slightly thinking about it, a little!  I haven’t even set my goals for the year down on paper… yet BOOM!!!!!!!  Today, after a friend queried my interest, I signed up for Grandma’s Marathon on 16 June 2012.  That’s just over 19 weeks to train (I think).  Yikes.Disclaimer: I know I’ll do fine, and I’m not looking for validation (though encouragement is welcome, as are your success and/or horror stories!).  Just a bit gun-shy thinking about those Saturday-morning 20-milers come May…

13.1-10: one day out!

Tomorrow is the big race!  Hard to believe it’s already here.  I’ve been looking for more detailed info on the race, and trying to figure out the course on Google Maps, but to no avail.  I had forgotten about this fun application of video magic, often available on YouTube for popular races:

I’m not sure if it’s better to let the course be a surprise, or to watch this a couple times, just to visualize myself running it.I have one more running route to add, ran this one last weekend.  I had hoped to do a 12-mile run prior to the race, but it simply didn’t work out that way.  So I’m hoping that the earlier training will carry me through in a timely fashion (I’m sure it will), because I have been uber sedentary this week.  This route was actually a pretty fun one.  It always seems so funny to me that just a river separates Minneapolis from St. Paul, and that areas/neighborhoods just a short distance across can be so vastly different.
Training route #8, 9.1 mile river loop: Lake Nokomis Rec Center to Ford Pkwy bridge, Mississippi Blvd to Highway 5 bridge, Fort Snelling Trail to Minnehaha Cr


Drove to Chi today.  I had meant to get an earlier start, but I had an oil change this morning, and some errands to run, and ran the lake, plus packing…  When I finally did get on the road, I got a little sleepy, and pulled over for twenty minutes to rest.  Then filled up the tank.  Then needed to find an ATM so I had money for the tolls.  And then a quick water stop.  All tolled, it took about seven hours to get here.  Not horrible, really.  I was listening to an audiobook, plus had a few chats on the phone, so a good little drive.  I do love a road trip.

Autumn is already making itself known.  The temps are dipping down into the 50s and 60s at night, the sun is lower in the sky, the sun comes up later and later.  I’m hearing a few people lament the passing of summer; I think I’m happy it’s gone.  Truth be told, I was way too busy this summer, and I didn’t like.  I had some fun times, but between working 45-50 hours a week, and fulfilling familial obligations (which sometimes entail driving 60-100 miles one way), time moved way too fast, and all the fun little things I had wanted to do, by and large, didn’t get done.  But, one must take responsibility for decisions made, and I realize I need to improve on saying no from time to time!

Belle & Sebastian / I Want The World To Stop


Several self kudos on this run : my first 10-mile run ever!, not a horrible pace (@11:30, could definitely improve, but regardless, I’m happy with it!), first thing in the morning (done by 9:30), and NON-STOP!  I ran 10 miles straight through, didn’t even stop for traffic lights.  Needless to say, I feel really, really good about it.  The half marathon in 2 weeks away, and I finally feel like it’s a manageable goal.  The training I’ve been following calls for running 10 miles max before the race, but I think I’m going to shoot for 12 next week.  There will be a lot of variables when I run in Chi, so I’d like to feel confident and ready when I get there.

One concern I have is my shoes/feet.  I’ve been running with the Nike Frees, and while I love them, I’m not sure they’re so great for my feets.  I’m not the fastest runner in the world, but 11:30 is slower than I’ve run in the past, which has traditionally averaged an 11-minute pace.  With as much running as I’ve done in the past few weeks, I would think I’d be getting stronger, but I’m still not at this speed.  By the time I was in the home stretch yesterday, I was still feeling pretty good in stamina and mentally, but my feet and calves really hurt.  It’s also been really difficult to run on trails, which I’m very fond of, because the shoes lack support, so all the twisting and turning on uneven trail terrain has made those runs challenging.  I have a pair of Mizunos that I have yet to break in, so will attempt a few short runs with those this week, just for comparison.  Obviously, if I want to make a change, now is the time for it!


Training route #7 : Lake Harriet to Lake of the Isles,
10.4 mile loop


In the book, Born To Run, the author frequently alludes to learning to rest on your feet, a premise which seems highly counterintuitive.  After a while though, it does start to make sense.

I have a friend who swears by the run/walk method of marathon training.  The idea is to run for a determined length of time, then walk for a shorter period (not long enough for lactic acid to become an issue, however), then resume running.  In theory, I like the idea.  In practice, I hate it.  There’s a bit in The Grapes of Wrath (I think) where Steinbeckwrites about the challenge of starting after stopping, or something along these lines- I haven’t read it since high school, and probably only skimmed it then.  This has always resonated with me, in several areas of my life.  I am a fickle runner and, though I am becoming more resilient, there are certain things I know to be true for me: gadgets are generally demotivating, and once I stop, I really don’t want to start back up again.  So I focus on resting while I run.My pace is kind of abysmal at the moment, but I’m running more frequently and longer distances than I’ve ever done, and I know speed comes with practice.  So I keep pushing forward with patience and gratitude for what my body can do, rather than focusing on the speed of other runners.

Following the creek is always a good route for me.  Somehow I find it more interesting to run it than to circumnavigate the lakes.  This run was meant to be a maintenance run, but I felt good once I got going, and I think my pace was pretty decent on this run.

Training route #6, Harriet to 12th Ave. along Minnehaha Creek, 6 miles

Training route #6, Harriet to 12th Ave. along Minnehaha Creek, 6 miles


This first part of this week was completely non-edifying.  I got all set to go running on Sunday, even began a blog post with my route all planned (which the evil delete button gobbled up).  Then I got sidetracked with delicious honey extracting with friends Meghan and Yuuki.  When I finally got to where I wanted to go running, I locked myself out of the car.  I fully realize that I don’t always want to run.  I do, however, get frustrated when I continually (subconsciously) sabotage my efforts to do it regardless of personal (usually peevish) sentiments.

I ended up walking maybe 3 miles on Sunday, instead of running the eight the training schedule called for.  Monday I slacked, Tuesday I walked 5.5 and ran 3ish (around Lake Harriet), Wednesday I slacked again!  Then yesterday I ran around the lake in the morning (first successful AM run!) and followed that up with another 5 miles in the afternoon (Mendota Trail).  I didn’t run the whole distance in the evening, but made a pretty good showing nonetheless.  Additionally, I remember reading this article in Runner’s Worldabout running multiple times per day and, though I balked at the idea at the time, it’s stayed with as a logical training method, and Thursday was the first attempt to implement.The icing on the cake is that today I completed my first long run– 8 miles- after work.  Even better than this icing is the icing of not having to dread doing a long run on Sunday.  Seriously.  What a terrible idea for me to even consider!  Sunday is the one day I sleep in and allow myself to be as sloth as familial obligations will allow!  Pfft!  This is what I say to you, annoying Sunday relaxation-stealing long run!  I will squeeze you in after work as if you were a mere errand.  Ha!A good sense of accomplishment after this run.  The loop is just over 4 miles, and I did it twice, starting from the parking lot near the shelter (not quite where the start/finish point is, I had to double back a few times to include that distance, just to be accurate) and heading west up the hill to Shepard, then turning into the park, keeping to the left at all intersections back to the parking lot.  I wanted to start this way because the hill leading to Shepard is really steep, but then the stretch on Shepard gradually slopes downward until you turn into the park at Elway St.  I also wanted to ensure accuracy in following the route.  I know it looks easy, but I wasn’t sure how obvious the trail would be as opposed to other options (I didn’t need to worry).
Training run #8, 19 August : Shepard Road / Crosby Farm Trail loop, 4.1 miles (click image to enlarge)


Do you ever see those articles about about what x-type athlete can learn from y-type athlete?  Like in yoga mags when they tell you which pose is perfect for downhill ski training, etc?  As I was running tonight, I had a thought about diving.  I find myself always looking down when I run, and after 5 miles or so tonight, I realized how poor my posture was.  I had thought that the best way to run was to tuck the pelvis under, but I wonder about that.  When I became aware of my posture, my head was down, pelvis tucked, and my body just kind of slumped into this totally passive and weak C-shape, not a strong posture at all.  I lifted my head and looked ahead instead, which is not something I typically do, but this is where scuba comes in.  In diving where your eyes look, your body follows.  For example, when you’re facing a reef wall, you have to be uber conscious of your depth, because your body will automatically adjust to where your eyes are, so if you’re looking down, you will automatically descend; whereas, if you’re looking upward, you will inevitably ascend.  On the second stretch of this run, I kept my gaze lifted, extended my torso upward which, in turn, pushed my bum out just a touch.  The main thing was the torso and keeping myself focused on what was ahead.

Adjustments, always adjustments!