A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn....

It's gonna get harder before it gets easier. But it will get better, you just gotta make it through the hard stuff first.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Beuscher Park run.

I took a day off and drove a full hour to the trailhead which I obnoxiously consider the only real trail running heaven in Austin area, for a 3 hour play. Got so excited, not even 20 steps into the loop I kissed the trail and drew blood...welcome back? The irony is, I used to "love" Supermaning the trails, but that was due to being a little reckless, faster and somewhat clumsy. The only part that's left is clumsy, plus I completely forgot how to lift my feet to clear even tiniest unevenness of trails. 

This song came appropriately timely: "'Cause sometimes you just feel tired, Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up. But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up. And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse."

I always loved that song. It's just I used to listen to it at the end of a 100 miler, not at the first mile of a 15.

Came back to the car, washed off a bit, replaced smashed gel from the hip pocket (of course I fell on that hip!), and went on to complete the play, gluing my eyes to the trails under my feet. Ran, slow, every step for a loop and half, when back hills on the 2nd loop, however benign, humbled me to some walk breaks. 2 Voulchers circled over me waiting for my complete collapse, but I tricked them! Finished spent yet happy to give so much time to trails. Thankful I rolled from 50k option at Smith Rock to 15 miler, but now pray I get though even that in some kind of upright and coherent state. My running seems to really going backwards instead of progressing, but whatever is that I have not going to take me out of being on trails (and trying to run).  It was my 2nd and final 15M trail run in prepping for that Oregon trip. I had also done 5 runs of 16-20 miles on roads. Only first 2 felt ok. 

Now, though, I am a) scared of a shower (sissy!), b) not sure how to massage peeps tomorrow with both hands damaged, c) have a 3-day hot (!) yoga teacher training weekend ahead, sweat and bending and all!. Whoopsy-do!

Ironically, my friend emailed me a day prior with this question:
How do you feel about your body not doing what you want it to do?

Here was my response: I feel lots of things. Mad because I do love the running, and because it was a much easier way to control my body fat than not eating. Curious and upset that I have no clue why it happened - and, actually, what exactly happened. Somewhat relieved I don't have to train in this stupid Texas weather and ugly trails/roads. Lost/robbed of my own identity. Not sure who am I, not accepted by anybody, not having friends, no feeling of belonging. Lonely. At least not angry anymore.

On a good (great!) note, the friends are still here, and the old guard of Texas ultrarunners who had adopted me still has fun - and seems that neither one of them runs (though I am the youngest of the "old guard", somehow squeezing in due to longevity). There was a party a couple weekends ago, and in another 2 weeks Larry and I are hosting potluck for same folks as well!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The new (and improved) life.

It's been a long month since the last post, as I worked hard establishing my new position as an LMT for more hours at Massage Envy and Myo Massage, as well as doing 50 hrs a month of Yoga teacher training. Basically, I didn't have a day off since I stepped out of UT on January 16th (or, rather, came back from Russia and went to work on January 1st) until Monday, March 2nd. While I love my new life so much, I am learning to fiddle with what we call a "golden medium". Apparently, being a massage therapist for 6 hrs a day is a physical job. Ha. Who would have thought? And since I tend to maximize time I am away from home, I ask for "no breaks", meaning I have client after client with barely a breath in-between. This has to be adjusted in the future (we submit schedules 2 months ahead, so I can't move much until May), to figure out where I am comfortable financially, feel like I fulfill my duty as a member of a family as well as a healer to people, yet don't break down. Sometimes the physicality of it runs me so that I fall asleep way before 9 pm, and even miss a run or a gym. I don't really feel worn out while doing massages, it's the "whoosh" that comes once I am home.

That said, and since I managed to strain hamstring-overcompensate with right hip flexor-still dealing with left foot (never-ending injury from 2011), my attempts of speed work and somewhat faster-paced runs went to zero. I strap my Garmin and go without looking until the end of the run. I did manage to put a progression of longish runs - 14, 16, 18 - all on roads, as time is just an issue (and seems to be even more so) as it was when I worked at UT. Driving 20+ minutes each way to the trailhead, which (the trails in Austin) do not inspire me in a big sense anyway (though still much better than roads, indeed) can't fit into my schedule, and being so slow these days means same 6-10 miles will take me close to 40% longer staggering on rocks and roots. So, I keep circling the neighborhood(s), being happy if I pick the hillier area, for the better views and more muscle fun. I did go to trails once (like, in many months!!) though, and it was absolutely beautiful and awesome, and I am trying hard to re-write my schedule so I can make it a habit at least once a week!

That said, I took out the Idaho 50k I tentatively wanted to do in June (I still feel bad I won't get to visit the area and some of my friends!), and have no clue if it also means I'll be chasing cut-off's at Smith Rock 50k on Mother's day (or bail out so my speedy friends don't have to wait for me). Since I do not intend to not go to Oregon in May, I will play it by ear. So far I took a back-off week last week, and the runs picked up some overall pace. Smart coaching, huh? :)

Because of said injury and the road running making me stiff (and massaging affecting my back and shoulders), my yoga practice hasn't made progress as I anticipated (in terms of, no, I am not doing splits, or hand stands, etc.), but learning all the little details did help me with a much better alignment. Also, the training part of being a teacher is fascinating, I missed that since my 10+ years ago Bikram teaching stunt. We are all getting better, with my usual feedback including a positive or two (I know my stuff, have energy, fill the room) and a not-so-much (I talk too much by giving too many cues!). I got to teach Sun A series (about 7 min of the class) last Sunday and it felt so real.

And I did finish a dress I was making! 50% yak wool with 50% merino wool, yarn I bought as a shopping therapy back in November with no clear idea, used to make a sweater during Thanksgiving trip to Estes Park, then decided I didn't like it one bit, and re-made it into dress with creativity being born as the rows were stringing one on another. Used every inch of that yarn! That was close!

Well, back to that day off I had - since it was Monday, and I rarely see my husband these days between working into late evenings and all weekends being either at work or yoga training, I begged Larry to take a day off his job and have a one-day get-away.

We drove to Kerrville, TX (about 2 hrs SW of Austin), stayed in a nice place, ate in a great Mexican restaurant (says me who really doesn't like any kind of Tex-Mex rice-beans combo!), and the next day drove to Lost Maple state park and made one big loop (10 miles) to utilize very trail they have there. The park took our vote for being the BEST Texas state park (besides Guadalupe, which is a National park, and is basically in NM) for the variety of trails, flora, grand views (yes, the hills were beasts and very pretty). Despite the weather being foggy and cold, we enjoyed the hike and being outside immensely.

No trips planned until May (Oregon). Gotta buckle down for 2 more months.:)

Below are pics from the Lost Maple hike.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Emotionally free.

Today my vacation pay-out came through, so the break from UT is final and clear. Huge exhale. There are a lot of words of choice I could say, but why bother? Like a horrific accident that people shove away into the furthest parts of the brain, it is over and forgotten. In fact, I only think about it when asked how it feels to not be there - and I, myself, am amazed how awesome and easy the transformation had happened, and how I did completely forget I spent 5 years in my last lab. One thing I will say though: if you are a boss of others, even just one person, think how you treat them. It's not the job that people dislike, it's the way they are appreciated or not. One word is all it takes to help folks soar or get broken. Last 8 months drove me into a clinical depression and magnified my already existing medical condition. But I am one patient, focused and goal-oriented human being. I haven't been broken yet, and I didn't let it happen now. If anything, I am more than ever determined to rise to the highest of my potential.

Reading a book "Emotionally Free" didn't shed a huge amount of light as I had been working on myself for over a decade (as well as "Your Money Life"), but these two last books had been given to me by my massage clients. My dear massage clients, just as my dear coaching ones, become my friends, or for sure people whom I share with some soul searching. May be because I truly believe that without being emotionally involved, one can't really help another on any level. And "help others" is what I wish the most for in my life...

A huge quote (two paragraphs, to be exact) has made the most sense, rang the loudest bells, for me, and I wanted to have them stay with me.

Emotional freedom is being able to do what you want when you want to do it. With emotional freedom comes emotional responsibility. 

You are the sum total of everything that has ever happened to you. It has taken everything good and bad you've experienced to bring you to this point. An important part of attaining emotional freedom comes from accepting responsibility for everything in your life. If this seems too severe, it is also liberating. It is true that many things that happened to you were not your fault, but in each case you chose to react in your own way. 

Accepting responsibility for your reactions to events diminishes the blame you can place on others but also empowers you to change and move on. After all, in the words of Swahili saying, it is not what others call you that matters but what name you respond to that determines who you are.

The secret of life is that there is no secret of life. It's all hard work. Yet you still have to find the right works and be free to choose direction that is best for you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift.

The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others.

David Viscott.

I found my gifts. Now I can share them fully and without holding back.
p.s. Larry, we are a great team. Thank you for helping me spread my wings and keep them wide and flying.