Monday, December 16, 2013

Checking in, and the importance of races, and yoga

Hello folks!

I just want to check in and let people know what I'm up to running-wise. I AM still running, I just have not been in any races lately. I continue to not find employment, so my willingness to pay 70-150 dollars for a race is just not high. Note too that since I don't own a vehicle (happily) I would have to get a zipcar for the day, which, while not impossible, adds to the cost of any race, unless it's right out my back door in Forest Park.

I'm not happy with this, but it's the way things will be for a little while. Only a year ago I was going to all kinds of races (see previous posts) and feeling pretty good. Having a race planned just automatically gets one mentally geared to get out the door and run, and if you do them on a regular basis, races become part of your training, rather than just a goal at the end of training. Races also force me (well...motivate me) to run faster while I'm doing them, thereby making me a 'better' runner, though of course the act of running is its own reward.

Still, ever since my burn out training for the Badger 100M (was that only last Spring? Man...) I have been running less. Interestingly, without actually running marathon type distances, I was still in shape physically, and more importantly mentally, to run the Forest Park Marathon this Fall. Another benefit of running marathons on a regular basis: you just KNOW you can do it, and KNOW how it will feel.

So depending on the week, and the weather, I've been running 4-5 times a week, with 1 or 2 2 and 1/2 hour runs up in the hills. Since the gravel fairies have been active in Forest Park, I've tended to wear minimalist footwear for the trail runs, and go barefoot for my pavement runs.

And...I'm ok with this, since my priorities, now, are to do a lot of writing, and search for jobs. I kind of cringe thinking of all the days that running took up while training for a Hundo last Spring. Not that it's a bad thing, and who knows, maybe again someday, but right now, with money running out, I can't justify taking a whole day to run (for example, running a looong run will leave my wiped out and not really up for engaging in any creative work for the rest of the day).

While the job search isn't going so great, my writing has been productive. Please feel free to visit my website,, for links to some published works. If only I could make money at it....

I've also continued to practice yoga this whole year, at Yoga NW in Portland, OR, and it has been a blessing. Note: I get classes in exchange for cleaning the studio. I think without this grounding work I'd probably be freaking out about my life right now.

I have found a balance between yoga and running. The main thing is to not run after a yoga class. That much stretching right before running will result in torn muscles. After a run is great, or alternating days. Yoga is a GREAT way to recover from long runs, and provide some cross-training muscle work. Much better than a gym, though that may be a personality choice.

So, as long as I am doing some activity every day for my body, I am happy. I may have to cut back on yoga this summer, and therefore be more likely to run more, because:

Plan C or D, whatever I'm on now, is that I've been applying for Forest Service/Park Service jobs for next summer, like I used to do. If nothing happens here in Portland, a good summer adventure out in the woods sounds like a good thing. I'll keep you informed. If I know I have a job in the works, I will for sure be more likely to sign up for more races. Let's hope!

I also have ideas for more footwear reviews, including moccasins and huaraches. Interestingly, my reviews are the posts that get the most traffic, though I like writing about races. I will try to get to some reviews!

I'd like to thank folks for reading, and especially for the kind words about the recent incidents with cafes in Portland. Once I have some basic life necessities taken care of, I think there'll be more race reports. In the meantime, again, I am running, and I hope you all are too!