31 January 2010

White Hyacinths

If I had but two loaves of bread, I would sell one of them and buy white hyacinths to feed my soul.

--Elbert Hubbard

27 January 2010

and the training for the umstead 100 miler continues...

I have to get more serious about things. I've been trying to make sure I do my strength training at least twice a week, preferably three times. I went to yoga tonight - I haven't been in forever and need to be more mindful about my stretching. I'll keep up with my cross-training, upping my mileage smartly, and training through glycogen depletion.

I'm excited and nervous and loving (and sometimes hating) the process.

Why do you run so much?

Lately, as I've been upping my mileage, training harder (lifting 2-3 times per week at the gym), cross-training, and really focusing for my upcoming race, the Umstead 100 Miler. People seem to be more aware of my training because it is taking up more time. ("Sorry I can't meet for drinks that late - I have to be up at 5:30 a.m. for training." "Oh, I've just been busy running lots." "Can we make it after 5p.m.? I'll be running all day...yeah, from 6am through 4pm. Yeah, that long.")

And then I get the inevitable question:
Why do you run so much?

I love it. I love running more than almost anything else. Running is the time in my life when I'm happiest, freest, most alive. Sure, some runs suck (like running a slow half over the weekend in Central Park wasn't fun, nor was a recent 3 hour run in pouring freezing rain), but running is ultimately, at the core of me. It's who I am. It all comes back to running.

Do you have a moment in your life, or something in your life, that makes you feel so amazingly happy? Perhaps when you hold your beloved child. Or waking up in someone's arms that you are in love with. Or while eating a delicious dinner made for you by someone wonderful. Or maybe watching the sunrise or sunset from the beach. Or kissing someone you're in love with (the kind of kissing that makes your knees go weak). Or an airport hug of someone you love so dearly. Perhaps when you were dancing last weekend, or in the midst of Burning Man around wonderful people. Riding your bike? Getting married...all those things might make you feel wonderfully happy - or not.

It's individual, what makes you completely happy. Running is my drug. It makes me happier than anything else. If it didn't, why would I do it so much?

26 January 2010

Quote from Sex and the City

“Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free til they find someone just as wild to run with them.”


24 January 2010

Think from Poets

If the light is the soul then the soul is all around me.
--Nicole Perayfitte

Accept lost forever.
--Jack Kerouac

I must either create my own system or be trapped in another.
--Bhanu Kapil Ryder

The young never think of themselves as temporary.
--Bobbie Louise Hawkins

What is falling in love but drunken acceptance?
--Bobbie Louise Hawkins

I should like to die at your feet and live in your arms.

Get it when you're alive; you can't find it when you're dead.
--Joanne Kyger

What on earth would kill for love -- who wouldn't?
--Ted Berrigan

I and I'm ab out to be born again thinking of you.
--Ted Berrigan

While my writings may not be exclusively political, they can never be completely private.
--Elene Sikelianos

We could never get enough money and power together to erect a government that cares about its people.
--Jack Kerouac 

In the winter, we have sleeves, but in the summer, we have arms.
--Maureen Owen

Be as thoughtfully fearlessly as you can.
--Rikki Ducornet

If it's not interesting, go somewhere that is.
--Rikki Ducornet

Until a poem is read aloud, it is holding its breath on the page.
--Edwin Torres

Are you ready to fall? Yeah! Then come on in!
--Edwin Torres

Love breaks down the hate to make people listen.
--Mac Wellman 

Speech is
my hammer
bang my
world into
let it fall.
--Mos Def

Keep up the breath that could kill you.
--Jena Osman

Don't be afraid to see something you don't want to see.
--Mei Mei Brussenbruge

Innocence is the standard.
If you are not innocent, you are guilty

Renee Glassman Quote

"Being ruined is a beautiful thing  because it leads you to other places."

Some Quotes from Bobbie Louise Hawkins

"You speak and I hear violins."

"Love is a frenzy and has no limit."

"Love is the fastest and easiest way to get into trouble."

"We don't want a solution; we want to be mystified."

"To prove we mean it, we must go in harm's way."

"You think you know what's what and then you go and fall in love."

"Who remembers all the resolutions after the last romance?"

i fight like a girl

the following was on the back of our take back the night t-shirts many years ago.

i fight like a girl.
i fight like a girl who refuses to be a victim.
i fight like a girl who's tired of being ignored and humored and raped.
i fight like a girl who's sick of not being taken seriously.
i fight like a girl who's been pushed too far.
i fight like a girl who offers and demands respect.
i fight like a girl who has a lifetime of anger and stregnth and pride up in her girly body.
i fight like a girl who doesn't believe in fear and submission.
i fight like a girl who knows that this body and this mind are mine.
i fight like a girl who knows that you have only as much power as you.
i fight like a girl who will never allow you to take more than i offer.
i fight like a girl who fights back.
so, next time you think you can distract yourself from your insecurities by vicitimizing a girl, think again. she may be me, and i fight like a girl.


i guess you can't go short & fast AND long & strong...

There's so many things I LOVE about ultrarunning (great community, eating brownies while running, beautiful trails, hallucinations while running at night, geeking out on gear), but one thing I do not like about ultrarunning:

It's made me a slower runner.

My PR is 1:35 for the half-marathon, 3:28 for the marathon, but I haven't hit either of those times since 2009. (Okay, so we're only a few weeks into 2009, but I ran 3:46 disappointingly in the NYC Marathon this autumn.) I've noticed routes I used to complete in a certain amount of minutes are taking me longer...my legs are tired...I am slower.

I ran 8.5 hours last weekend, felt great the whole time, strong. The longer runs are getting easier. A three hour run is normal. A three hour marathon...well, there's the challenge.

I signed up for Boston, but I don't even know if I'll do it. Health problems indicate a minor surgery will probably be necessary, so if that's the case, I'm hoping to schedule it after the Umstead 100Miler and that way, I can take my 1-2 weeks rest easily and hopefully be ready for Miwok 100k and my crazy May of running! But running NYC last autumn, my shins, my calves, my legs felt so torn up by the pavement.

I want to run fast. I want to keep PR'ing in marathons, half-marathons. I want to run 1:30 half-marathon. I want to break 3:20 for the marathon. I just don't know if ultrarunning and shorter speedier races are possible for me.

My legs have been feeling sore a lot lately. This was part of the result of my crummy half-marathon this marathon -- they ached so badly I couldn't help but slow down -- I couldn't push myself. I am not used to running so fast, as well. Lately, my sore calves have prevented me from doing speed workouts.

I know what I need to do -- more speed. But I don't know if my fast twitch muscles are even around anymore.

I ran into my friend Lynn while running and she cheered me up. We chatted for a while, and she told me, "Cherie, you've done the marathons, the halves. Now do the hundreds, the fifties. You're long now. Focus on that and do it while you can." Lynn is a marathoner, and I am trying to take that advice.

I called my mother, almost crying. I hate being disappointed with my times. "Cher, you're not a shorter, fast runner anymore. You're a long-distance runner. An endurance runner. You can't do both and your body has changed. You're an ultrarunner now."

Thinking about it, I definitely prefer ultrarunning to marathoning. I just wish I could have both.

17 January 2010

Can't Get Beyond That

Last night, in the midst of a fun dance party with Midori and glitter flying through the air and matchmaking and dance, dance, dance, I was struck by depression.

When I ran into my best friend from high school while running 3hrs in the pouring freezing rain by Prospect Park and told him about it, he said, "Isn't it funny how a million things are happening and you can't get beyond that one?"

This is a rather strange place for me to be in. I know this is partially a reaction to my ex moving out, but it's more of the fact that I am rethinking my life...what have I done...where am I going...what does this mean...will I ever find love? All those big questions that a lot of people die without ever answering.

My tactic for now is to live life one day at a time...running, cooking, seeing friends, going to dance parties, drinking wine, reading good books, taking things one step at a time, focusing on work...It's somewhat working, but then sometimes the sadness comes (and it's inexplicable; I'm not focused on one thing but it's an overwhelming feeling) and it's hard to move beyond that.

Maybe I'll move to South America in April. Maybe I'll fall in love with a stranger next time I go to my health food store. Maybe I'll win the Umstead 100 Miler. (Least likely of all to occur!) I don't know what is going to happen...I just know I'm going to keep on moving and try to get beyond any kind of sadness.

10 January 2010

Watchung 50k

The Watchung 50k was a mixture of cold, pain, cold, fun, and more cold. Temperatures rose to a high of 25 (with real feel temps being colder). I dressed like never before -- tshirt, 2 very warm baselayers, a running winter jacket, and two pairs of running tights. I wore mittens with handwarmers, and a face mask with a hat on over that. It was COLD!

My first 6 miles were painful. Lately, I've been dealing with extreme calf soreness the first 30-45 minutes of every run. I had to keep stopping to stretching the first 4 miles or so.

Eventually, I was warmed up and felt great. I pushed myself whenever I could, and was very careful around the ice. Oh, and there was SO much ice. I wore my Yak Trax, which really helped me stay upright.

The race is 3 loops, with lots of great single track. The trees and bushes were covered with pretty white, and there were some nice sections where you ran next to water. The RD had a big aid station in the parking lot where we started, along with 2 other primarily water stops.

Being fat ass style, conversations were easy, people were friendly, food at the aid station (including whiskey and beer!) was plentiful, and everyone had a cheerful, happy day. There were some hills, some rocky sections, but nothing I couldn't handle.

Around mile 26, my feet really started hurting. I have never worn Yak Trax for so long, and my feet were starting to feel sore and irritated. Indeed, when I took them off, a thick red mark remained across the middle of my foot, and the bottom of my right foot ached like never before.

At times, the white blazes were a little easy to miss (in the white snow!), but I'm proud that I didn't get lost once!

It was a fun race, despite being cold. I warmed up fairly quickly, and did not remove any layers except my ski mask (which got wet with sweat and then froze, yuck). Nutrionwise, I didn't eat enough my second loop, but fueled up before my final loop with some delicious oatmeal cookies and pretzels. The volunteers looked at me as I was crazing as I raved over the deliciousness of the treats, but they really helped me finish strong.

And finish strong I did! I felt happy and accomplished!

03 January 2010

ridiculous cold winter

it was fourteen, feels like four, with 40-45 mph wind gusts when i left my house to go running. despite being bundled up, i was freezing. i ran through greenpoint, williamsburg, bed-stuy, crown heights. people stared at me; is she really running? is she crazy? i must've seemed really hot since i got a bunch of yells, cheers, and honks. oh yeah, baby, ski mask sexy.

why i keep going...

everytime i find myself flat on my face, i pick myself up and get back in the race; that's life.

--frank sinatra

02 January 2010

how to move forward when all you want to do is sit down and cry

With the wind whipping outside, NPR playing in the kitchen, and a cat sleeping on a suitcase, it is difficult to see where the pain exists. However, when I look over my left shoulder, I see the piles of boxes and wrapped furniture. It is official: he is moving out.

He is my partner since 1999; while we officially broke up several months ago, we have continued to live together (nothing unusual for NYC here). There were periods of horror and pain and anger and not seeing each other for days (He often stayed at his friend's.), but now that it is finally happening, we both are overcome with sadness. Going through things - "I think that's your baking dish;" "You can keep that extra spatula" - we are saddened as we see our future and past crumble away into boxes.

I still am in shock, in a way. I never really thought it would come to this. I mean, for so long I looked forward to the end of pain, the end of the unhappiness (major reasons why we broke up), but now I can't seem to imagine life without him.

Dating in NYC is a mysterious and annoying game. I don't even want to play it right now. I'm sick of the BS and sometimes wish I lived someplace a little simpler. I'm looking forward to getting my new fabulous bed, sitting in it with my cat, doing some knitting, relaxing. I'm looking forward to writing again, starting to send out my novel to agents. I'm looking forward to planning new trips. I'm looking forward to getting my mojo back.

I'm glad I have a lot of good things to propel me forward - some fabulous races coming up (Watchung 50k next weekend, Dances with Dirt 50 Miler in February, Umstead 100 miler in March, Boston Marathon in April, Miwok 100k in May...), some really awesome friends.

My New Year's resolutions are to eat less sweets and do more core workouts. But I also really want to figure my life out - I'd love to save up enough money to quit and travel, but I think that might be a lot longer in the coming than I'd like.

It's the last night of the past of my life. I'm going to head to the gym, and then help T pack and sort through some more stuff. Tomorrow night, maybe I'll go to No Parking on the Dance Floor and dance myself into the future, or maybe I'll sort through things at home and enjoy the sound of silence, or maybe I'll find solace in a good friend with tea. 

I think I have to stop planning things out. I have to stop having 5 year plans. I have to start thinking, "Things are going good now, let's take baby steps."

I know my races. I know I'll be at Burning Man. I know I have good friends to support me. I don't know anything else, but I'm going to enjoy the lovely beautiful small things right now.