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…

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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…

Lions and Tigers and Thighs, Oh My

Ever since I got back from Hawaii, my legs and I have seen the light. These burritos ‘o mine are now wearing running shorts. It’s somewhat liberating to make visible something I had intentionally kept invisible in the past. To let myself be seen. As is.

When I had it – at least I thought I had it at some point – I should have flaunted it. I took my young, firm skin for granted. But I was much more shy back then. Now? Yes, I’m still an introvert at heart, but I don’t look too bad for my age, so part of me wants to flaunt whatever it is I have left while gravity is still my friend. I have ab muscles. I don’t know where they came from, and they might look a little like a wrinkly four-pack of King’s Hawaiian rolls during the rising process, but they’re there. I believe that they’re a product of my intense overthinking. After all, something good should come of overworking my brain in circles. Problem is, I might look good for 48 – we Asians hold together well – but not so good for 38. Get my drift?

[I can’t believe I just outed my real age. Oh, what the hell. I will display my age proudly. I just won’t display photos of it here on my blog. I may be crazy, but I’m not insane. Yet.]

See, I live in a small, coastal town. It doesn’t get warm enough to wear shorts very often, so people don’t see a lot of skin around here. Hawaii? No problem. Young skin, aging skin – what does it matter? Everyone looks like bronzed demi-gods over there. But here? People pull on their t-shirts, light wash jeans, sneakers, and their Patagonia jackets to go out on the town. They might even wear that outfit to the beach.

The sun is out and it is unusually warm. I am tempted to go for a run wearing less clothing than I ever have before. I want to feel free to do this. If I didn’t have to wear my glasses, I would absolutely wear sunglasses. That way, I could feel anonymous. I might mistake a fire hydrant for a dog, but if it makes me more brave, I will trade clear vision for shades. I’m sure I’ll be able to determine whether or not that object coming towards me is a car, right? Maybe I need a sacrificial running buddy.

Suddenly, I’m not so concerned about my thighs anymore.