Wednesday, June 26, 2013

One Step At A Time

There just isn't ever enough time in the world for all I want to write, and all I want to read, and all I want to sew, and all... you get the idea. Everything gets done in little stolen bits.

The exception to this right now appears to be painting/drawing. I'm finding that these 5, 10, 20, 30 minutes that I'm scrabbling out each day feels like just enough (for that moment, that is, I'd love to be able to do it three times each day). I do a little bit, and leave it, and then come back and do a little more... it seems to be what I can sustain in concentrated creative effort at one time.

And actually, my writing is much the same way, whether at home or for work. Hmm.

I have always been a subscriber to the idea that limits can stimulate creativity. And I know that having big chunks of time in which to do things hasn't worked out well for me in the past. So, I guess I shall just lean into my limitations and keep working.

And keep writing/sketching out the many ideas I have for work knowing that not all most of them will never live past the pages of my notebook. Just like the books I want to read.

I thought this was going to be about the half marathon I just ran but I guess that will wait till later this week.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Streak Of My Own

A number of my runner friends are taking part in various "streaks" this summer - committing to running every day (even just a mile) for X number of days. And reporting all kinds of physical/mental benefits as a result.

Taking a note from this, last week I started a streak of my own - to spend some time every day working on my art. Drawing, painting, preparing materials to be able to work with them, etc.

100 days' worth.

The goals? To be more consistent in my efforts. To exercise my hand and my eye. To make this part of who I am and what I do. And more...

I'm trying also to figure out how to write about what I think/feel about art, my own and others'. So one hope is that in writing about this streak I will also create opportunities to write more broadly about art.

I'd like to write something witty now to close off this post but I take this art-making business so terribly seriously that to write anything facile would be a lie. So... until next time...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off To Work I Run

First time running to work this year. (It's about 8 miles, by the way. Today I did the middle five as a tempo run.)

New running vest + new showers at work + improved speed/endurance = ?

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

I had brought in a change of clothes a couple of days ago, and my food for the day yesterday (but then ended up going out for lunch with a friend anyway). Still need to make some adjustments to the list of what to leave behind at work the day before (ie., my datebook) and what to add to my clean-up pack that I'll leave here (shampoo), but overall, this was the smoothest run to work I've ever done.

Good thing, too, because I'm hoping to do it once a week once July comes.

Do you ever run for your commute?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

After The (Long) Run

Homemade potato salad makes an excellent post-long-run snack.

This was my first time trying out a liquid nutrition system (Tailwind) on the go. I liked! Much easier to use, light tasting and refreshing, and I probably came a lot closer to what I should be consuming in liquid and calories. The main disadvantage is in carrying all that liquid with me. For today's run I should have brought 48 oz. (or even more), but the bottles I had for my vest only held 36.  And in longer runs I'll need to bring yet more. And of course going with that method means I'll be relying solely on my own provisions at races. I'm considering getting a bladder for my running vest (100 oz.), which means I'll be joining the ranks of the seriously geeky. Oy vey.

I have been stressing about the time that my training is taking, as my long runs get longer and even my mid-week ones get longer too. ("Stressing about the time" is probably too lightly stated.) I thought briefly about giving up doing the marathon this year and I may still leave that as an option. For now, though, I've gone back and reviewed my training plan, taking out a couple of the long runs and planning to do more of my runs as part of my commute to work. I won't be saving a lot of time, but I think it will ease things just enough so that I don't feel overwhelmed. This should be fun, after all.

And this week, along with trying out the new nutrition system, I also took seriously my post-long-run tender tummy woes, and planned to have lots of little snacks that are super easy to digest. Still healthy but not as robustly healthy as I usually eat (ie. I ate mostly fruit and lower amounts of protein and fiber than usual). Success! No ouchy tummy.

The only other thing I'm longing for now is new compression calf sleeves... the ones I have are great but heavy, and I've seen some lighter ones around...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Oh, Life

I've missed writing, so these are just random thoughts. I had hoped to get on a regular Tuesday/Friday schedule and then life intervened a few weeks ago, and has kept intervening since.

My rest week last week wasn't... our family trip turned into a family emergency. Here's the quick and lowdown. My MIL had to be hospitalized - long standing issues led to dehydration, malnutrition, dementia - there may be permanent damage - we don't know what the long-term prognosis is. She spent the week in the hospital and is now in a skilled nursing facility. She may be able to return home with help in a few weeks. She lives a 5-hour-drive away. This was completely unexpected. Prayers are welcome.

My kids are great, and have been weathering all this well, though Buddy will not be happy when he learns that his dad will be gone another weekend.

I think that's all I want to write about that.

Long run today! Twelve miles. It was a beautiful day for it, nice and sunny but a little cool. My race vest continues to be be awesome. Today I cinched my windbreaker to the back and within a quarter mile had ceased to notice it. I backed down from trying out my new hydration/nutrition system 'cause I just didn't have the headspace to figure out quantities, so went with my standard Nuun water plus gels - and then resented the amount of time it took to consume the gels. So next week I have motivation to figure out the new stuff (plus I want to try it out once before I race with it).

I've been drawing and painting as I can (and then staying up late some nights to do some more). The problem always with this is that I then want to do so. much. more! I'm going to have to give some things up but I don't know what, aside from reading Sports Illustrated and Slate.com.

May was supposed to be my weight-loss challenge before the long runs started up. Hah. So that's now on hold until after the marathon. Can't say I'm sad about that... I am going to go through my clothes though and remove all the "too small for now" t-shirts I've acquired (gifts and race shirts) so that I don't give myself grief about it. Everything else I fit into fine. Although I did get some new bras last fall that are a bit padded and now some of my summer button-down shirts are just a touch too snug across the chest. I should have just bought running bras that can double as everyday bras, strap everything down and forget about them.

My run this morning was great but the lack of sleep lately means I am feeling trashed. More stretching, more sleep! This may be my new mantra for the week.