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!

Sistah From Anothah Mistah

Have you ever run into your doppelganger?

When I saw mine, I said out loud, “Is that me?”

I’m sure everyone has experienced someone telling them that they look like someone they know or some actor/actress. And in most cases, you feel like you don’t look like your supposed twin at all. You might even feel a little insulted.

But when I saw mine, I did a double-take. There I was, in Zumba class with some friends, and I saw myself on the other side of the room next to the small stage where the instructor dances.

“I think that’s me!” I said excitedly, nudging one of my friends.

She was Asian, wore rectangular glasses, and had my face. How much more me can you get? Her hair was much shorter than mine, but it looked exactly like mine after it had grown back a few inches.

Biggest difference?

Sistah can dance.

I don’t think my body can move in those directions all at the same time. Or any time. And her personality was much bigger than mine. Turns out that she was one of the assistants, because at one point she got up on stage with the instructor. My friend’s daughter covered her mouth in surprise when she saw her. “She looks just like you, but more gangsta!”

Well said, my little friend, well said.

That was a few weeks ago and I haven’t been back to that particular class. Not because I can’t face my more gangsta twin; the class is crowded and I don’t like it when a lot of bodies and booties are shaking all up in my grill. Do I seem more gangsta now?

I’ll go back though. If anything, I want to go up to sistah and say something like, “MeYou? YouMe? Huh? Wha-?” or something equally as intelligent.

Hopefully, she won’t be insulted.

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.