Thursday, January 31, 2013

Simple Physics

The most difficult part of any workout is often starting it. The energy required to go from being at rest to moving is a big output. Once I am out on the road and momentum has taken over it is much easier to keep rolling. I have also noticed at the end of long runs that stopping is harder than to just keep going. I get to the end and I am at a standstill but my body equilibrium is off after having moving forward for so long. Maybe that is why my legs often want to keep moving throughout the night.

I have noted the same concepts on the mountain bike. It is much easier to continue up and over an obstacle when moving at some speed than when approaching it slowly. If I come up on a curb at too slow of a speed, I come to a stop. When I hit something at speed even if my bike comes to a stand still, I continue to move through the air.

Physics was never a subject that I quite grasped, but it is all beginning to make sense now. An object at rest tends to stay at rest, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. There are all kinds of formulas for the energy required to go from rest to movement and vice versa. For me all it takes to get me off the couch and out the door is the reminder that I am signed up for a few rather intimidating events. That fear creates enough energy to move this large mass, simple physics.

Disclaimer, to me the term simple physics will always be an oxymoron!

When energy is low, these views are able to recharge me. I'm sure there is a name for the formula that explains the transfer of energy but to me it will always be known as the ocean formula:)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Play Dates

I read a quote somewhere that went something like this 'you learn more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation'.

Two of us are taking on the Leadwoman challenge and the other is 'only' doing the Leadville Trail 100 run. I am looking forward to many more play dates this year!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Just Try

I got really slow with my running this fall. I didn't start out a speedy runner, but doing all those long slow runs building up my leg durability really turned me into a snail. I cover ground by inches and I may or may not leave a slimy trail. Now, I know that speed in ultras is all relative but I also know that if I do some of my shorter runs faster the slow easy pace might not be so slow and still be easy. Enter the treadmill run. Pure honest feedback. I am now doing my 'speed' work at a slower pace than my recovery speed was a year ago. But, it is improving. Every week I see an improvement and I push a little bit more.

Yesterday my legs were feeling okay, my breathing wasn't too bad, my heart rate wasn't out of control but my brain was struggling. I kept assessing the situation looking for a reason to shorten an interval, or decrease the speed. My body wasn't not agreeing with my mind and the reason wasn't materializing. There was no excuse and I was ready to admit defeat in the face of just not feeling it when suddenly screaming into my ears 'Try just little bit harder'. Just what I needed and thanks to Janis I was able to increase my speed and do a few extra intervals. Motivation can come from many places and sometimes all we can do is Just Try and let the rest take care of itself.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Breed I Am

The other day a good friend of mine got me thinking about body image. She is a beautiful fit woman who is finding herself struggling with the little jiggles here and there. Jiggles that the rest of us would be hard pressed to even see. For sure, they would not register on the Richter scale. But to her it feels like a massive quake each time she jumps up and down or waves her arm. I know that we all look at ourselves and see what we have decided is 'wrong' with our shape. I know that I do. I could make the list for you, but I really don't want to draw anymore attention to those areas. I do know that now that I am not swimming, (shocking, but last I checked there was no swimming in the Leadman competitions- unless the creek going to the base of Hopes Pass is huge) that I am at risk for bingo arms. So, every couple of days, I do some tricep dips, push ups and various other arm thingies. Otherwise when I hit a bump on the trail the flopping could cause such a shake that I lose my balance. There is a time in my life I would have thought getting arm flaps was a positive thing, when did the shift occur.

You see, when I was little my gramma had the greatest arms ever! They would envelope me in a huge comforting hug. When I would sit next to her on the sofa I would find myself snuggling into those doughy warm arms. Not only was she soft and pliable but she smelt like fresh baked bread. There was a time, that being near those big wings made me feeler safer and happier than any other place. I would stroke her arms as I sat with her and tell her how much I loved her arms. Perhaps, my gramma was horrified but sometimes it is the thing that we hate most about our bodies that makes us unique. Those that love us, may love us even more for what we perceive as our flaws. At some point I stopped aspiring to develop arms like these of my own. But years after my gramma has left the earth I still smile when I think about her bingo arms and how much love I felt in them.

So, don't let the world tell you what is good and what isn't about your body. Focus on what makes you unique. Go out and experience life and love and try to change your perception on your own body. You never know that thing you hate the most could be someones favorite part of you. It's your body, celebrate it and all that it does for you. I'm not saying I'm going to stop doing tricep dips but I am saying that I am going to remember to also celebrate the positives. I have a strong heart and lungs. I can choose to do crazy endurance activities and my body transports me. I am able to get out and see the world and play with my friends and whether or not my arms jiggle I can have fun. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and it doesn't seem to bother them. They aren't trying to change the look of their ears, or wishing that they looked like another dog. We could all learn from the dogs and just be the breed we are.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Baby It's Cold Inside

Living in SoCal we are blessed with near perfect weather year round. I know that and willingly pay the price to live here. BUT, it sure gets cold inside our houses. Turning on the heat is a last resort so most days it rarely gets over 60 degrees inside. It is in the mid 50's most mornings, not cold by most standards but it does feel like camping lots of the time.

Luckily for me, this year I can bundle up in a quilt of memories. My super talented mom made me a quilt out of old race t-shirts that I had in a pile never being worn. They are much more useful to me now than they were in the bottom of my closet. It's fun to look at the various ones and be warmed by the fond memories each race holds. I can see the challenges that I took on and remember that my workouts are like a quilt, each a piece in the big puzzle I am trying to build. Thanks mom, because of you the chill is gone:)