Skinny Raven Twilight 12k

Last friday I completed my first 12k, and then promptly did not blog about it. I have all the pictures, I have all the anecdotes.  But I just couldn’t get myself to write about it. So instead, I’ll just share this with you, and move on.

Advertisements

Stair Climbing and Burning Out

This morning instead of going to the gym, I climbed the Stairs of Doom five times. They’re relatively close to my home, so it was just a short walk to get there. I used my heart rate monitor, which I’m pretty much in love with. I was only active for about 20 minutes, and burned just over 200 calories.

I didn’t think to bring my camera because I was running a little behind this morning. All this sun is making it difficult to get quality sleep! I forget to go to bed because its still light at midnight… I wake up at three am to pee, and the sun is coming over the mountains! I’ve lived here for 5 years, you’d think I’d be used to this by now.

 After I came home, a little disappointed in my calorie burn, despite being covered in sweat, I decided to turn on a little music and dance for another 15 minutes.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for the next couple of months, and I’m starting to feel burnt out. If I want to see more results, I have to work for it much harder than I have been. Working harder also burns me out. Having my schedule changed burns me out.  Asking more of myself burns me out. 
I think the part that I keep forgetting is, The more I ask of myself, the more I’m able to accomplish. Perhaps I won’t reach that “goal” but I’ll be so much closer to it than if I hadn’t started at all.
Even though I have all these walks planned, I almost don’t even care at this point.Okay, even writing that doesn’t feel true. I guess I still just want to be at the finish line, and skip all the hard stuff- you know, the stuff that matters. The stuff that shows you who you are, the stuff the creates memories. 
As Miley Cyrus sings, 


Ain’t about how fast you get there

Ain’t about whats waiting on the other side

Its the climb
Yup. Totally just quoted a Miley Cyrus song.
Speaking of things leading me closer to my goals, I was invited to go on a hike this Friday immediately after work on the Bird Ridge Trail, near Girdwood, Alaska. It is listed as a moderate to difficult 2.5 miles one day with a 3500 elevation gain. My head is kind of spinning just thinking about it. Several other people will be going, including two of my documentary programmers for the AIFF this year (whom I recruited myself) so in theory it should be fun. But I don’t want to be that person that holds every one back. I don’t want people waiting on me, cause it makes me feel lame.
The view from the top of Bird Ridge (source)

I really really really don’t think I’m ready for such a hike. But if I never go, I’ll never know, right? Maybe I should go climb some more stairs…

How do you keep from burning out?

Weekend and April Round Up

This has been a very crazy weekend, international news wise. It started with Prince William and Catherine Middletons Royal Wedding, and ended with Osama bin Laden’s death. I stayed up until 5amon friday (having to go to work at 8:30am) to watch the new couple have their first “official” kiss as husband and wife. The Duchess of Cambridge (as she is now known) looked positively glowing, and just as a princess should. I thought her dress was very simple, but stunning, and her sister was just down right hot. The Duke of Cambridge (as Prince William is now known) totally rocked the military uniform. Formal military uniforms are always hot, and Prince Harry was looking pretty sexy too.

I first heard about the bin Laden thing on twitter. One of my cousins retweeted something about a mission accomplished sign being brought out again, and my brow furrowed. “What the heck is happening, world?” I asked myself. I found out quickly enough, and may I say, I am so glad that Obama was the one to give the speech that bin Laden had been killed. I feel like it somehow validates his presidency a little bit further. It also clarifies why he laid to rest the birth certificate issue, which was dumb and a waste of time. I hope those directly affected by the 9/11 attacks and other attacks brought on by Al-Qaeda will find a bit more peace. Surely this will only make for some more unrest, but for now, we can breathe a sigh of ease.

On to less depressing topics, shall we?

Taken yesterday during my walk

This April, I accomplished quite a bit.

  • I finally started to focus on my breathing, which has helped tremendously in continuing the c25k training. I’m on week 4 so far. I can’t wait to continue it tomorrow!
  • I redecorated my blog, made it a little easier to look at, and designed a new header. Also, declared my official exit from the 300’s and entry back into the 290’s. Quite proud indeed!
  • And I completed my second and third walks of the season, a happy 4 mile MS Walk, and this past weekend’s Heart Run.

Things that have happened but didn’t make it to my blog, I registered for 3 more races!

I’m really excited about all these races, but the Portland Rock and Roll Half has got to be the one I’m most excited for.  Just a couple of weeks ago my mom and I were talking about how the only thing our family does during get-togethers is sit around, eat and gossip. And while its fun to catch up on things, it is also not encouraging of healthy behaviors and lifestyles, especially since we all seem to be on a kick start of them recently.

After talking with my absolutely beautiful, wonderful, and most favoritest cousin, Mama T, she decided we would run a half marathon together, and she chose the one in Portland since that is where we grew up. In the week or so since that decision, two of her friends, and several of our other cousins have signed up to run with us. All of a sudden we are having a family reunion based around a half marathon, a first and most epic event in our family history. I am super excited to see her again, and the rest of my family and to sit around, gossip, eat, and run.

MS Walk 2011

I once met a woman with MS. Her mother was my college!sister’s Godmother. During thanksgiving, we went to visit her at the hospice center where she lived. She was completely immobile, her hands looked like arthritis had played a dirty dirty trick, and her eyes wandered about the room, constantly looking for something new.

I don’t remember her name. I do remember feeling terrified. Multiple Sclerosis is a relatively terrifying disease, with many stages, symptoms, onsets, and no cure.

On Friday afternoon, I got a text from my friend, asking me if I was going to be attending this 4 mile walk, to which I responded, “There’s a walk this weekend I don’t know about?!” as we were figuring out the details, I registered for it online. There was no fee, just a suggested donation/raising of funds for $50.

Saturday arrived, and my friend picked me up half an hour earlier than originally planned, because her friend thought there was something we needed to be early for. Turns out she was incorrect, and her friend showed up about 20 minutes after we did.

We all chatted, and one who was in the army offered me some unsolicited advice on how to lose weight. It involved interval running, and building up to a set amount of miles. “When you let your heart rate go back to normal, and then raise it, and repeat that cycle, the weight just drops off like that!” she explained to me with a snap of her fingers.

I was quite happy to explain to her that I was already doing something similar, though, as with everything, when I start talking to strangers I tend to start stuttering, and lose my confidence, therefore trying to end the conversation as quickly as possible. Unfortunately for me, ( I don’t remember her name) she had a 5hour Energy, two red bulls and a handful of other ridiculous energy boosters that may or may not have been laden with sugar as well. She continued talking to me, telling stories and eventually drowning out the speakers as the “race” was beginning with her chatter.

The countdown began, runners were called to the front. I was right at the imaginary starting line, and decided, “What the hell! I’ll start off jogging.” And so I did. For about… 25 seconds. And then my legs started hurting real bad.

The last time I got any real mileage outside was probably the end of September when it became to cold and rainy and dark to continue walking home from work. Since then, I’ve used the treadmill and elliptical machine, and the difference was stunning. My first shinsplints set in, and my legs felt like lead. My music was bumping, and I tried to get into it, but singing while walking always leaves me a little breathless. So I started to really focus in on my breathing, the “left-right-left inhale right-left exhale”.

At the end of the first mile, there was a station with port-a-potties and volunteers handing out water and orange slices. I grabbed an orange slice gratefully, bit down and sucked out as much juice and pulp as I could in one bite, then threw the masticated carcass in the trash, about two yards head. I kept going. At that point, I noticed the pain in my legs had gone away, my breathing had evened out, and I wanted to finish as quickly as possible, so I picked a place to start jogging, and went to a predetermined place to start walking again.

I did this again and again. Of course I forgot to count how many times this happened, but I would say no less than 7 times. Each jog wasn’t long, maybe 10 or 15 seconds, but it was more jogging outside than I had done all year (which is to say, I haven’t jogged outside at all this year) and I was pretty happy to do it. At one point I really hoped we were already on mile three. I was ready for it to be over. Just as I was wondering how far left there was to go, there was a sign posted that said, “Congratulations! You are half way done!” Instead I pulled my shoulders back and marched onward. (I think I used that sign as a starting place for a jog, actually.)

The MS Walk took place at Lake Hood, which is right next to the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. It is the busiest float plane lake in the entire country, however it was still frozen over while we were out there. We saw a handful of planes take off, and one even held up a hoard of walkers just in front of me.

Finally I could see where the walkers were turning off into the parking lot where the race started. I considered jogging the last bit of it, I felt I had it in me, but when I saw that the walk truly wasn’t timed, I decided to just walk instead. As I was turning the last and final corner into the parking lot, I saw a car full of my new friends, waiting for me to finish! It was nice to see them cheer me on. I finished the four miles in approximately 1:08, according to my friend’s timer. 17 minute mile average. Pretty slow, I think, but I’ll take it. Its better than not finishing at all!

Afterward, I grabbed a hot dog and some water. We ate them in her car, and I got ketchup on my face. She drove me home, and then I took a long bath, and a 4 hour nap. It was a good day. Perhaps next year I’ll actually try to raise some money. I sure would like a teeshirt!

When in Doubt, Put on your Shoes

While sitting at my desk at work, it was all I could do to keep from pulling out my hair. My heart wanted to race, and my body wanted to sweat, but I was stuck monitoring an empty room, watching the minutes roll by.

Okay. mostly I was hanging out on twitter and playing angry birds, but still; empty room, minutes twirling down the drain.

Fur Rondy, Anchorage 2011. I LOVE this town.

Then finally it was time to make my escape! I was driven home by a coworker, and went inside. I looked over some slightly frustrating mail, used the restroom, then sat down at my computer in  my room.

I didn’t move for nearly an hour.

Where was my drive that I had experienced beforehand? Surely it was in there somewhere. It seemed so much easier to continue watching my twitter, and eventually make my way into bed. Instead, I read off my affirmations, got up, put on some workout clothes and went back down stairs. I told myself, just put on your shoes. You’ll be ready to “move your body, shake it shake it!” as soon as you put on your shoes.

So I did. And then I did. It was exactly what I had wanted. It may have taken me an hour to start, but I did it and I feel awesome.

Affirmation #11) I love exercising. I love sweating.

Accomplished: Alaska Run for Women (Except I Walked)

Boy am I glad I went out and bought a sugar free Red Bull last night. I knew I was going to need it this morning.
I know I’ve gone on about the sun here in Alaska, but man, I just don’t remember it affecting me like this last year. I didn’t get to bed until two, and just as I was falling asleep, my roommate finally came home, and was loud until about 6 am, when my alarm went off for the first time because I knew I was going to need additional time in waking up.

I made sure to get some good stretching in, as well as two large glasses of water, and made some eggs with cinnamon chip bread. I ate half of the slice before the walk, and the other half well after the walk was over.

So, I live near where the event was taking place, and decided it’d be convenient for me to walk, and it was. Just not so much walking home. My legs felt like led at that point, and every step jarred my hips, something I usually don’t have an issue with. The path was actually part of the route, and so I got to walk the same mile three times today.  It winds underneath two of the busiest roads in Anchorage and deposits you right next to the Sullivan Arena. Once I reached there, I went to where I was told to meet up: at the port-a-potties near the back. I went there, and didn’t see a single person from when we decorated shirts on Thursday. Granted, there were only four people at the decorating party, but still. I did my part and showed up on time, where were they?

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

Finally, the last call for stragglers was called, and the crowd moved through to the parking lot where the walk actually began. There I saw an entire wall of portapotties. Encouraged, i started hanging out near the back, as explained to earlier. But alas, I still couldn’t find anyone.

I was in a sea of people. The goal was to have 10,000 women sign up this year. They didn’t reach it, but they did get 7100 women registered, which is pretty amazing. I love how active Anchorage’s community is. I think the announcer said something about it being the 3rd largest women’s only run in the country, but I can’t be sure. Either way, it was amazing to see all the different teams, the survivors of Breast Cancer, and all the love that was there.  Being me of course, I brought my headphones and ipod, and turned it up full blast. I occasionally took my earbuds out to hear the bands as we walked by, and I know if I had left them out, eventually someone would have tried to talk to me. But I couldn’t. I needed my security blanket to get through this walk.

The walk takes us downtown, then wraps around the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, before heading back to the arena. At one part of the walk, during mile 3, we go very close indeed to my house, and my legs were killing me at that point, and it took every ounce of strength in me to continue onward. I credit 98% of my willpower to continue onward to this blog and its readers. I didn’t want to disappoint you, or  more importantly, explain any potential disappointment in myself. When I finally made it through the pink finish line, I was excited, but I was tired. I was already considering how I was going to get home. I briefly considered calling a cab, but thought that if I’m going to be a Walker today, then I was going to be a BAMF about it and walk home too. All together I walked 7 miles.

Minutes after crossing the finish line, I walk over to the water station and grab a cup. I look over to find the nearest trash, and who should I see, but one of my team members! Yay! Finally! Apparently they hadn’t been able to find anyone else either. So we snapped a couple of pictures, and went on our way.

I went home, slowly, talking on the phone with my mother the whole way. There were so many times when I just wanted to sit down, and take a break. I know my body though, and knew if I sat down before I was really ready, I would not get up. I would not be able to, or if I was able to, it was hurt more than it did already.

I took a shower for as long as I could stand to be on my feet, and then crawled into bed. Once in bed, I fell asleep.  I woke up around 5pm, disoriented and in a lot of pain. My right hip and my left knee were just on fire. Finally I considered the day a success. I love the feeling of my body being worn out. Its oddly rewarding.

How did you feel after your first walk/run event?

And The World Spins Madly On…


So. Anchorage. For a minute, I was really proud to live here. And then Dan Sullivan decided to go with the majority and veto AO 64s which added sexual orientation to the anti-discrimination law. So technically we’re back to square one. However, there is a chance to get one Ms. Ossiander to change her vote and override the veto. Here is my letter to her.

Ms. Ossiander,

My supervisor who is a registered voter and Alaskan born, is generally very progressive regarding his politics, was confused about AO 64. “Why does it matter if this is passed, isn’t apart of federal anti-discrimination law already?” he asked me after seeing my picture in the newspaper from the protest the day before.

I had to explain to him that, no, it’s not. It is not mandated by federal court. Any and all protective measures for the LGBT community are at the city and state level currently.

There is a huge problem with discrimination in this town. Its even bigger than anyone thought because even the Mayor is under the impression that it doesn’t even exist. The citizens are under the impression if it doesn’t exist then it doesn’t need protection. However, by saying that it doesn’t exist and doesn’t deserve a paragraph in Anchorage’s anti-discrimination law, you are discriminating. You are refusing to acknowledge the handful of citizens who might be protected by it. Discrimination rarely comes from the minority, but rather the majority.

It is so frustrating to try and explain why this fight is so important. How can we possibly ask for equality in marriage and death and children when we can’t even get it at the most basic civil level of housing and employment?

My supervisor was very surprised to learn that LGBT rights is not covered in the EEOC. He assumed that it had been included because why would it not be? As soon as he had learned this fact, his entire opinion and demeanor changed. It changed because he believes in the Declaration of Independence which states, “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I worry about how many others in this state (and the country, for that matter) don’t realize that there isn’t that basic protection. I wonder how many votes, how many minds might be swayed if they realized they were wrong to assume it was already a protected right somewhere at the federal level?

I am very lucky to work in a place that I don’t have to fear my termination because of my sexual orientation. The fact remains though, my supervisor could fire me for being gay if he so chose.

You have the ability to affect real change. You have the voice, the gavel and the opportunity to do the right thing.

As a resident of anchorage, and a registered voter, I am asking you, please do the right thing Ms. Ossiander, and override Mayor Sullivan’s Veto. Take a stand with your fellow assemblymen and show this city, this state, and this country that Anchorage is accepting of all its citizens, regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability.

Thanks to henkimaa.com for the pic. I didn’t ask.

So gay

In repsonse to Bent Alaska asking us to email the new Mayor dude, Sullivan, I wrote this:

Im going to make this short. You have an opportunity to show this city and this state and this country that Anchorage cares about all of its citizens and their right to be treated equally under the law. The law does not currently protect rental situations and employment situations where I were honest to my landlord or supervisor found out I identify myself as queer, I could be kicked out of my apartment and fired from my job. This is a very real threat to me.

Some might say to not put myself in a situation where that is a possibility. I say you have the ability to make those potential situations an impossibility.

This crossroads is offering you a chance to make a right decision. Protect your grandchildren and your friends and family. Please treat the LGBT community equal to everyone else in this state.

Thank you for your time.

To Assembleyman Chris Birch of District 6 in Anchorage Regarding your No Vote:


On the Gay Rights Ordinance. I don’t have any nice to say, and generally I don’t say anything if that’s the case. After reading this story that states you’ll vote NO regardless of the testimony in front of you, I just have to say this:

I hope your children, and grandchildren grow up and realize they’re gay. And then I hope they get fired, and evicted for being gay. And then they can blame you because you didn’t protect them when you had the chance.

You are a poor representative of this town.