Run, Hammer Time!

Pump a little bit and let ’em know it’s going on
Like that, like that
Cold on a mission so fall them back
Let ’em know, that you’re too much
And this is a beat, uh, you can’t touch

Yo, I told you (You can’t touch this)

He’s straight out of Oaktown (I’m pretending to know what this means) and is kindly providing me with my motivational, power running song. I’ve never thought about having one before, but it’s perfect. Just when I think I can’t run anymore and start thinking about a detour towards an ice cream sandwich, the song gets my energy up to start/keep running. It also makes we want to dance, but I restrain myself. Running and dancing don’t mix. Unless you are doing the Running Man, at which I’m terrible. I feel great when I’m doing it, but apparently, judging from the furrowed brow of my friend Mae, I probably look like I’m doing one of those old, “I must, I must, I must increase my bust” exercises instead. While doing dangerous and super impatient knee lifts.

I tend to be late on the bandwagon when it comes to suddenly liking music that’s been around for decades. When I first heard “No Diggety” last year, I thought it was a new song. Same with “Shoop”. No, I don’t only listen to old rap songs. I actually like a lot of folk rock like The Oh Hellos, Gregory Alan Isakov. And 70’s and 80’s music. Southern Rock. Pop. Why am I talking about this?? MC Hammer…music…motivation…

I completed my first 12K three weeks ago. It was amazingly awesome. Especially when you share the experience with friends. We ran our own races, cheered each other on, and proudly and loudly debriefed over a huge Sunday brunch. I almost felt like I was part of King Arthur’s court with my grog (coffee) and leg of wild boar (eggs benedict).

So, three weeks have passed and in between then and now I’ve been dealing with some family stuff, creating more mosaics, made a trip to L.A. and interviewed for a job. And, oh yes – I’m thinking about running a half marathon.

I had previously thought the idea was quote, cuckoo, unquote. Perhaps it is. But I never claimed to be sane. So I’m entertaining the idea. A friend lent me her copy of Jeff Galloway’s “Galloway’s Book on Running” and I’m trying out his method of training. I’ll be curious to see how my running changes over the course of the next 4 – 6 weeks.

Time to find more music to motivate me. I just heard about a guy named Vanilla Ice. Think I’ll check him out – or maybe it’s just that I still want that ice cream sandwich…

Anatomy of a Run

i heart running

mile one: …it’s so cold!…legs – why are you defying me?…there’s so much lint on my running pants…

mile two: …it’s so hot!…tall…strong core…spring off the balls of my feet…i smell bacon…

mile three:

mile four: …

mile five: …i’ve never had a pot brownie before, but i wonder if it would make me feel this good…joy!…hello, world!!…

mile six:…it’s over?…

jane trains, mainly on the plain

…tall…strong…spring!…tall…strong…spring!…tall…strong…spring!…

This was my mantra today as I trained for a 12k that is three weeks away. I still cannot run many continuous miles, but I’ve made a commitment to try and increase what I can already do. This running business is literally and figuratively putting one foot in front of the other. That’s how I started – with small goals, kindness towards my more unathletic moments, and the desire to improve my health and strengthen my body. I want it to work for me for a long time.

I have always been an on-and-off exerciser. In October 2012, I started a new streak that has continued. Frankly, I’m surprised. And running has me particularly befuddled. I never thought I would begin running, let alone sign up for a 5k. I was thrilled and content with completing a handful of them. I had no interest in running a 10k. And then I ran one this year. Next? A friend told me that he wanted to run a 12k that crosses over the Golden Gate Bridge. Well, a 12k isn’t that much farther than a 10k. And across the GG Bridge? Awesome!

I have no interest in doing a half marathon. That’s nuts. Cuckoo.

Back to my morning run: At about mile seven, my helpful and cheerful mantra morphed into: tall…strong…dragggg…tall…deadlegs…#!@$#%*!!!…tall…who the hell invented running, anyways??!!

Never fear – I still love you, running. It’s just that, sometimes I hate you, too. I know you can handle my wildly fluctuating affection for you. Ah…lucky is the man who wins my heart.

p.s. If you noticed that I’ve been AWOL lately, I wish I could tell you that I was climbing Mt. Fuji, saving the universe from evil overlords, or inventing cures for all of our illnesses, but no, all of my words and creative energy went into a journaling course led by the bright, beautiful, rockin’ Susannah Conway. It was fantastic – like summer camp for introverts!

Grateful

Runners’ highs sure are unpredictable. I thought they were gifted to you after a run or maybe during some kind of physical peak, not right as you began running. The High hit me as soon as I stepped foot on the trail. It’s possible that I was feeling extra good. Or maybe it was the caffeine. No matter. The run had me feeling extremely grateful.

I love to run on the trail along the ocean. It’s probably hell on my knees, but I’m not a sprinter or a galloper, nor do I run the entire time, so I feel like I’m not punishing them too much. After I completed my first 10k on New Year’s day, I was grateful to have finished. I didn’t care where I placed or if I lost time to take photos of the course. It simply wasn’t enough for me to take mental pictures – I had to capture this:

New Year's Day - 10k

The view I have on my regular runs is spectacular. I get to see things like this:

Bathing Beauties

and this:

The View

I’m grateful to be able to see and experience all of the above. And not only with my eyes.

I’m grateful to have a voice that is growing stronger and am thankful that I know when not to use that voice (you should hear some of the things that go on in my head that luckily for you, I keep to myself).

I’m grateful for my health and for limbs that keep me going. Once castigated, my legs have told me, Don’t be ashamed of us anymore. Understood. My respect to you, you healthy burritos. And I say that with affection, not in a snarky way, per my usual self.

I’m also grateful for forums like this. For all of the Internet’s overindulgence and creepy-uncle aspects, it also opens up a world where people can connect in the best ways possible. It helps me grow and learn and discover. And in return, I hope I can extend that energy back out into the world.

As I mentioned in a post a year ago, I used to look at runners and think, “Really, now. Why?? Where are you even going?”

Where am I going?

Everywhere, with grateful intention go I…

Love on the Pretzel Train

Because I never really dated that much in the past, I was looking forward to finding out what it was going to be like. I joked about wanting to juggle men. I pictured myself being cool, casual, carefree. “Date like a man” my friend Neal told me. But I’ve started to notice that I’m looking for that connection, that recognition of oh, hello…yesI feel what’s possible with you. Does that happen? Is that too much to ask? Maybe all those romantic, meet-cute comedies I used to watch have twisted my brain into an over-salted, unrealistic pretzel.

I’m not looking for the perfect, fantasy man. I know he doesn’t exist. At my high school reunion, one of my former classmates nodded knowingly when I shared that strange men tend to be attracted to me. “I hear ya,” She said. “But it only takes one.” He could be anywhere. Mae, is it true? Could he be with another woman right now? Take your hands off my future man, you hussy!!

I only want to discover the one who is perfect for me and I for them. It’s possible, right? Or am I on the Pretzel Train and every stop is SingleTown?

It’s also possible that I could drop dead tomorrow. Or the next day. I would be dead without ever having found love again. That pisses me off. But if I’m dead, I won’t know how to get upset – I won’t even know I’m dead, so I guess it’s a moot point.

Life doesn’t follow a straight line (like this post), so I have no idea what it has in store for me. Before I don’t know I’m dead, I would like to accomplish the following things this year and the next:

1) find a new job
2) move
3) travel to Italy and/or Spain
4) keep

— my mom just informed me that my face looks really round: “You look round here [cups her cheeks with her palms]. I wonder why…you exercise enough. Maybe I just don’t look at your face that often.”

1) move
2) exercise more
3) find a job that keeps me moving
4) travel
5) continue to date
6) continue being open to possibility
7) keep…keep what?? (I have no clue what I was about to write.) keep on truckin’? keep my head up, my spirits high and hope to love again before I die?

That train stop at my reunion must have done a number on me.  I thought I had chased away the dark clouds that my mom the inner critic brought in a few days ago, but some of them still linger.

Next stop?

Not sure. Think I need to catch that transfer out of CheekFat Town, so I’d better start running.