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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

think on this

on vacation
Bikram
snowshoeing
running
treadmill
packing for move
gym
playing with Finn
chicken wings and Hemp frozen yogurt
wine and peaches
dreaming of our new home
thinking....
breathing...
lots and lots of reading
happy
a quiet vacation

Random thoughts:
why are we so afraid to fail that so many of us choose not to try?
I have been thinking...to fully commit myself to things such as Peak 100 snowshoe and Peak 500 as well as other endurance events like DR...
I must "engage my life with commitment".
I read an article by Deepak Chopra in Mantra..
and I found I connected to it and found some solace in his words
and what he was trying to share...
fear of failure...
embarrassment...
prior experiences of suffering in our past that we have never fully HEALED from
make us afraid of the pain that comes with this kind of commitment...
I have committed to many endurance events in the past
but
I was able to commit myself 100% because the experience was far better than the reality
I face when the race was done....
I can do DR...its easier than dealing with cancer
I can run an ultra... its easier than dealing with an eating disorder...
I was running away...
now
I am committed to healing my heart and mind
its hard to WANT the finish...
I mean I have achieved balance in so many ways...
I now have to find a reason to want to push my mind and body to the limit and endure
100 miles in snowshoes
500 miles of Joe's mtn...
3 days of a Death Race
I need to look forward and run
not
because I am afraid of what is behind
but
because
it
brings
me
joy...
through healing I realize I am not so averse to the
"possibilities of pain"
not if the pain
is from living life to the fullest
instead of
pain
that is manufactured to numb you to the realities you are facing...

why do female newscasters always look sexy?
This was a recent FB post and there were many comments made...
so I thought about it..
and
I realized
I don't care what they wear
I think women need to stop blaming "men" for making us
sexually exploited
nah
we do that to ourselves...
just fess up
when you are young you use your attributes of beauty
just like your
intelligence
your humor...
I have NEVER seen a guy
at the mall
forcing a woman
to try on
sexy clothes...
sigh
own it girls
it
is
of
our
own
making...


why are we so hard on our selves that we can't embrace our negative characteristics...they are  part of us....
those that are chosen to
sell us stuff
were at one time
mere mortals
they put their pant on
one
leg
at
a
time...

but then
they are
chosen
to represent
what we should aspire to be....

never forget
they
are
manufactured

so

of
course
their
weaknesses are hidden
they seem so perfect
but
no one
is without
baggage
when you look at the beautiful
perfect
young
athletic
professionally photographed
airbrushed
sponsored
slice
of
heaven
feel
compassion...
they
can't
show weakness
frailty
failure
that must feel like
having
constipation
24/7
I personally would not wish that on my worst enemy...
regularity is worth far more than fame...

why are we shamed by witnessing another person's weakness?
because deep down we see ourselves in our fellow man
it is easier to ignore
than to admit
it could easily
be
us...
sooo
my blog
I tell you all my
mistakes
foibles
embarrassments
pathetic attempts
to achieve enlightenment
with
humor
hopefully
with
grace
sometimes
neither..
regardless
if you start off
laughing at me

maybe

eventually

you will find yourself
laughing with me
and
as a result
no longer
fear
it happening to you
embrace
your
absurdity

how come I never know any of the gossip?  
does that mean I don't know half of the terrible things people say about me?

I am always surprised
by what
I don't know...
its true at work
I never know the gossip
I don't listen carefully
and honestly
I am forgetful
and truthfully
I don't even know all the new teachers names
I focus on what goes on in my shop
my CAD lab
I focus on
the
kids...
in terms of
ultra running
Death Race
I don't know
didley squat
I mean I know certain things
from being there
witnessing things first hand
or reading about it after the fact
on FB...
the thing is
when something I don't agree with happens
I address it right then and there
cheating
I know of 3 major cheating instances in DR or ultra running
and well I was never afraid to call a cheater out...
but
I guess others in the know
know
that
there is an undercurrent of cheating
and as a result
people are trying to make stronger rules
stronger sanctions for these sports...

I don't think that is the answer

for many people
cheating is the only way
to feel good about themselves
so lets address this...
why?
why does a skull define you?
a medal?
your name in a magazine
a sponsor
or worse
the title
of
bad ass
or
how many likes you get on FB
I saw a FB post that said
"I got First Place!"
it had 1.2k likes...
really???

I guess I just
don't
get
it
but
I think
this
is why
people cheat..
they want the 1.2k likes on FB
why else?
you have to LIVE with the fact that your a cheater
how can you look in the mirror???
it makes no sense to me
and I fear
it
never
will
but the FB adulation is a replacement
for
what
you
can't
find
within
yourself...
and
this makes me
sad....

then again what do I know
my FB posts usually get 7 to 23 likes








Monday, February 10, 2014

PEAK 100 & 500 one focused goal...aka lets finish this....

So I am in an excellent mindset in terms of training...my runs with Julie feel great...roads no issue...hills...np....feeling strong...I just need to gain weight...cause when you run 100 miles on snowshoes or 50 miles a day for 10 days...
you lose yourself...
literally...
last year I lost like 12 lbs after PEAK
but
I went in at 114
now
I am 105
ummmm
not good.

Last night I ate a lot
I mean
A LOT

but stuffing myself one time a week just results in
making myself feel bloated and sick...
nope
not good..
I need to
eat more
train more
and
focus...
so in terms of eating
A normal day looks like this:
Pre-breakfast 5 am
2 rice cakes with peanut butter and jelly to calm my stomach for morning medications
small coffee with almond milk and maple syrup
Breakfast 9-10 am
a smoothie with almond milk coconut water blueberries 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 tablespoon each of flax, chia and hemp and 1 scoop RAW protein powder
Snack 10:30
apple
Lunch noon
turkey (2-3 slices) on bread with avocado
Afternoon snack
KIND protein bar
carrots
Dinner 5:30
meat (chicken, pork or steak organic grass fed)
with 2 vegetable sides glass of pinot with soda water and peaches
or soup and crackers if I am not too hungry
Snack 6:30
popcorn rice cakes

Asleep by 8 and alarm goes off a 4:45 am

So my workout schedule is as follows
gym workout at least 2x a week with a trainer for 90 minutes (she trains Bob and I together but doing different things now because he is in the boot)

sample workout legs
100 ft plate push
90 Russian twists touches with 10lbs
80 4-way lunge (10 full ea leg)
70 sec front bridge
60 x band walks 30 each way)
50 lat squats
40 seated rows
30 shoulder bridges
20 rotational push ups
10 BB roll outs

rest 60 seconds repeat 3x
then

lunge medley
-walking lunge d+b
-lateral lunge walk d+b
-45 degree lunge walk d+b
-duck walk d+b

Push up medley
12 to 1
evens wide stance
odds close

AB Pyramid do 8 to 1
straight leg sit up
bent leg sit upright leg straight sit up
left leg straight sit up
butterfly sit ups

shoulder 4 minute circuit of hell if you drop arms you start over..

It was awesome and I will do these 90 minute workouts Wednesdays and Sundays..
Saturdays are my long run day with Julie includes mtn and uber hilly course anywhere from 15 to 26 miles
I run weekday mornings 2x a week for 5 miles at 4:45 am
and at least one longer faster run at night 7 to 8 miles
and Bikram 3 times a week

when it gets warmer I will drop Bikram (March) and run after school every day and just add in a yoga class here or there not necessarily bikram)
I will ride my bike back and forth to work (16 miles total)
less gym and more outdoor workouts...

I will be running a race pretty much every weekend and pretty much back to back ultras every weekend for March through May...some I will run with log and some without and some I will start at night and run through to the morning and start it again with everyone else...I will also have one weekend a month training for Untamed New England AR with Team Hope and that will include all disciplines...

I feel good about my training plan because it really just includes things that make me HAPPY

but

when I read what I eat it doesn't look like a lot
but
I am not sure where to add in food as I am not hungry for more...
so
suggestions are welcome
where can I add in calories
more protein?
I don't like pasta or rice or bread...
I don't like most carbs and I am lactose intolerant so no dairy...
I love vegetables and fruits but crave more protein then fruit...love nut butters and
I am addicted to rice cakes : )

I think what my main issue is to get my weight p enough to go into PEAK with weight to lose
and I need to get my head on straight...and that I am taking care of : )

I want to be able to do other races and to travel...but I can't take any time away form school since I need ten days for the 500...I will always do peak races but the 100 is more doable time wise ; )

I would also like to one day go back to DR if I find myself in a different place...
I can't do both DR and these uber Ultra runs...and for now
ultra running is what i am focused on...
I am also interested in AR and if I love Untamed...I may not go back to DR...

I don't know...
I love DR
but
I don't like some of the changes...
sigh
you can't keep what you love unspoiled...
things change
you change...

I just want to do well at the things that are important to me...

and focus
but
eating issues are and always will be my biggest battle...
so
how do I MAKE
myself
eat?
it seems so simple...
sigh












Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sun Tzu

The Art of Strategy 
Sun Tzu's method for triumph over nonnegotiable conflicts....
the conflict in me
it has become
nonnegotiable


"When confronted with an obstacle such as a crippling character flaw develop a strategy to overcome the conflict and emerge victorious from its influence"

So it begins
war
with
my
self...

"In an inner conflict, a part of your self is interfering with positive growth...."

I let others into my head because I do not see myself as worthy of greatness...I invite them in and give them power over me....
sometimes
I
Pick
The
Wrong
Battles

The moment you recognize an inner conflict
is the right moment to plan a challenge

I plan on learning how to focus on the things that bring me the greatest inner joy...
to see myself worthy
of
joy

The costs in overcoming inner conflicts are primarily emotional ones, and only through discipline and commitment can they be met. To emerge successful you must keep in mind that you are not attempting to destroy that part of yourself you wish to overcome.  Instead you are usurping its strengths so that you can put them to work in your new orientation.

I am not afraid of battle
I have been at war with myself for as long as I can remember
the difference is
now
I wish to lead
now
instead of beating myself down
instead of letting the infinite audience
lead me into a battle that is not mine
I wish to lead
and to do so with
humanity
courage
and
discipline

once you have recognized the inner conflict it is time to formulate a plan..
the strategy you choose
depends on whether the
conflict can be isolated
or
whether it is just the tip of an ice burg
extending deeply into other parts
of your life...

I think it is like a sliver...
one that started just under the surface
but after years and years of ignoring it
it has bedded itself deep in the flesh...
the pain
has become
as automatic
as
breath

If your inner conflict can be isolated
like a habit or fear
then a direct attack with
unrelenting
forward 
momentum
is the surest way to lasting triumph
but if 
your conflict
is one that is woven into other areas of your personality
such as a destructive attitude
or character flaw
you must find a broader long term strategy
to turn the entire situation around

scar tissue has grown over the splinter
the wood now part
of my physical self
as much me
as
skin
blood
organs.....

learn as much as you can about your inner opponent
its patterns of response and the other parts of life it affects
all of these areas must be identified
and acted on
simultaneously
if victory
is
to
be
won...

When I don't focus
when too much noise
surrounds me
when I feel overwhelmed by
larger than life people
doing
larger
than
life
things...
I am not at peace..
I am in turmoil
how do I fit into this world?
I don't
and trying to
has made me forget
who
I
really
am

constant awareness and strategic reprogramming 
are the keys to transcending deeply rooted inner opponents.

I am aware that I do not know ME

I feel disconnected
from myself
from others
because
I let what others do
and
say
push the splinter deeper....
I don't speak out enough against
falsehoods,
greed and
worse
the idiocy that has become
the virtual world
instead
I perch at the very edge of
real
and
fake
and I can't stop myself from looking back over my shoulder
at that
fake world
because
like
a
crow
I love the shiny lights....
like
Lot's wife
I can't help
but look back...
instead of salt
I have become
a character
in a play on life
instead of the person
the play was based on....

Many inner conflicts that block motivation and achievement
are too large to be attacked directly
for some reason
this inner opponent has been given a place in your life
and that place
must be taken away
Situate you inner opponent out of your life
by adjusting your own position in the world
use the world around you 
to make your triumph as effortless as possible
by observing or aligning yourself 
with social trends or modes of conduct
that support your goals...

conduct myself with
sweetness
humility
integrity
grace
honor
silliness
lack of self importance
healthy view of reality
inclusive
dorky-nerdy-goofy
selflessness

trends to start and follow
a lifetime searching for truth and honesty
with yourself
with
others

individuality
in the face
of exclusiveness

legos instead gym selfies

learning to laugh at yourself
to not take yourself too seriously
to realize
there is always a chance
even if it is minuscule
that you could run over by a clown car
which will make you
the laugh of the day
for millions of strangers

truths to realize
you will get old
weak
frightened
and
some people
will
not
care
and
push you aside
to be first in line at CVS

your youth cannot be worn
like a suit of armor
the younger
will
see
you
only
as
something
in their way...

you will one day
lose
outward beauty and strength
but age
does not strip
you
of
inner
beauty and strength...
so spend more time cultivating that...


focus on these and allow their influence to 
strengthen your determination
secure your defenses against dangerous set backs
by removing any elements from your surroundings
that may contribute to the problem
look for support within your environment
and in your society
and use it to reinforce your self discipline
if your goal is a healthy one
but your environment is unsupported
you may have an environmental conflict to deal with as well

I cringe at gym selfies
I am horrified by the marketing of ones soul
I am disturbed at what is considered heroic
I am flabbergasted at the self emulation and self serving
things we adults do
I am saddened by the bullying
fear
intimidation
we use on others
how we step on others backs
lie
cheat
steal
to achieve a false sense of greatness
how we make the most silly thing mean the most
when
the things we should be taking seriously
are dismissed...
all in the name of
a like
or a comment
or an article about us
or sponsorship
selling our souls for our ten minutes of fame...
creating a false world
I found myself in this world for a while
but
I see the cracks in the wall
it is built on sand
it
will
one
day
fall.....

I want the strength to leave a seeming paradise at the height of its greatness
and not wait to slink away
after it crumbles
pretending
I was just a passerby
never really
a part of that world

It is hard...
I will have less
Likes
less
comments
no articles
no mentions
I will not be in
IT
anymore...
and that is scary..
it feels good to be apart of something
but I need to remove myself from all that glitters
and
sit alone
in the gray dawn
it is my only chance...
to one day
see the sun....

only detached methodical determined planning with result in a lasting triumph
emotional heat and hasty reactions
will undermine your strategy
and lead to increased conflict....

I must remove myself from things that
make me focus on the easier paths to follow
they are smooth, and are landscaped and you meet so many people
no
I need to find the path
that has yet to be cut
and make it my own...






Fortitudine Vincimus- "By endurance we conquer"

Six years ago I got my tat to celebrate getting into Western States and as good karma after my first surgery...
I consider this my mantra along with my other tats 
relentless forward motion 
reckless abandon 
stillness in motion ....
all represent times in my life I have faced adversity and made it through..
bruised and battered 
emotionally and physically 
but
made stronger for it...

I received some negative feedback concerning my last post
some judgement against my choice to not compete in WDR
funny
I have already finished my DR
I don't have anything to prove
in terms of my ability to finish 

so
why is it then 
that I am judged 
when others who have finished
and never do it again
are not questioned?


If I was a chest beater
a bragger
who dominated FB with my claims of badassery
and then failed
or worse
never started
well then 
I would deserve flak
but NEVER
has that been 
me
and I 
call out those that judge me
to call me out to my face
if you really think 
I am deserving 
of your sneering comments
send me a response
I will post it...
call me out
to my face
one suggestion though
take a few moments
to look in the mirror
and ask yourselves
WHY
why are my choices
why is what I do 
so important to you
that you need to crucify me?
trust me
it is freeing to call yourself out on your faults
you who judge me
you
are
in 
the wrong
I just called myself out in my last post
and did what was best for me
it had nothing to do with the community
I love DR
it had to do with me...
see
it is my own concern about what others think and do 
and peoples need to judge others
that adds to my anxiety and eating issues
so much so
that it is necessary for me to break away
maybe forever
maybe not

sigh

I think my next tat
will be
FOCUS

I wrote to Andy and Joe
I value their opinions
I was not surprised by their response
Joe " you are solid Michelle...focus on the bigger battle"
Andy "focus on peak as it is your bliss...focus on the 500 tune out everything else"

I will always love DR
sooo many people I have met and now adore...
Just because I need to focus
eliminate all noise
it 
does 
not 
=
hate
it means 
I have a goal...
me
who has always been ALL over the place
needs to 
and more importantly
wants to
finish the 500
return to my original joy 
my real bliss
ultra running
Peak
people inspiring people
I just want to heal
and to heal and focus
I need to spend more time
running
and less time
fretting
worrying
less anxiety
less self judgement
and 
less comparing myself
to others...
its funny...
most of my heroes 
are female ultra runners..
Deb, Amy, Larissa, Kristina
women I admire
women who can kick my tush on the trail..
they are my heroes ; )

I never compare myself to them
there has always been less "noise"
involved with ultras....
maybe it is because you run with others
but
it is just you
your body
sneakers
handheld

just you
and the trails...

I never have to worry
about what anyone else is doing...
it is my race
no one depends on me
I depend on myself
when I share the trails
with Julie
or Kevin
or 
Steve
or Stas
we are running beside one another
but we are each
doing
our
own race...

that
just 
fits 
me...

I ran with Stas last night
I ran well
I felt
strong
in control
I felt
free

I forgot 
just
how
sweet
a feeling
that
is...







Sunday, February 2, 2014

Hello Michelle aka burn it all...and set yourself free

Its done..
44 years of stuff
reduced to a
shoe box
filled with
2 pictures
some tassels
a card from my
mum
and
one from my
sister
some tapes
from the Peace Corps

everything else
gone...

5 bins worth of memories
a lifetime
many
I had forgotten
so
I didn't really need them
did I?

boxes holding promises
of
who I wanted to become
and
boxes
of who I became....

boxes of
regret
anger
despair
boxes of
laughter
joy
bliss...

just boxes filled with
stuff...

burn it....
be done with it
let
it
go
move on child
move on


It took 44 years to find my way there
but
once I finally arrived
the lesson
well
it was there all along..
I didn't need to travel so far
and experience such suffering
for a lesson
that is so simple..

you
are
ALWAYS
in control
of your own bliss...

you will not find it in another
although you can very well
SHARE
it with another
but they must have
their bliss first
you can't pretend
that what is theirs'
is yours
it
isn't...

the real reason we are here
the real goal we are trying to achieve
is
truth
being honest with ourselves
being honest with others

Truth:
I started running
to run away from something

Truth
I started doing DR
to forget

Truth
I have ran away
from every man
both
the good men
and the bad ones
until
I met Doc...
because
they were
diversions
from
myself
If you spend all your time
giving
to someone else
you are too tired
to realize
you have nothing left for you
if you don't love yourself
that is a blessing....
it is far easier to be a martyr
then to be real....

Ultra running
is good for me
it
is
bliss

DR
is not...

DR makes me
jealous
weak
it does not bring me joy
I do not like myself
when I get caught up in that world...

it does not reflect who I really am
I am not
and never will be
a bad ass

I did DR to run away from things that made me afraid and sad
things beyond my control
and it was good
for awhile
but you cant run away forever
and when I finally found myself
we looked at each other
and I said
to me
why are you doing this?
why do you care what others think?
why do you need to be a part of "it"?
why are you afraid to not be a part of "it"?
you had your time
you got what you needed
you are overstaying your welcome
move on child
move on....

Truth
In DR I have been jealous of those that are younger
and prettier
those that can finish...
when I can't
I don't have my heart in it..
why?
because
I
am
not
who I portrayed myself to be
I can't pretend anymore..
I am tired
of sitting in cold rivers
so people
will like me
admire me
sigh
I want them to like me
because I like
squirrels....
NOT bashing DR
never
ever
will I...
you see
I
love Joe
love Andy
love Don and Peter and Johnny
adore my dear dear friend Matt
and Pittsfield
is in my heart...
I trust Joe
and I trust Andy..
I would do anything for them
but I have to believe
that they will still like me
even if I don't do DR...
and more importantly
if they don't...
well
then their friendship doesn't matter
and
it never did...
I knew DR was over for me
when
I admitted
to Julie during a run...
I was jealous Jane finished TDR
and I didn't..
jealous
of
my sweet pea...
shame on me
move on child
move on

I like to run
not even very fast
I just like running
long
I prefer to run alone
or
with Julie
we
get
each other
she
knows
me...

Truth
I am actually
good
at ultra running
I don't train
and well
I do pretty well
imagine
I tell myself
if you actually trained?

I am
a squirrel loving trail running wood sprite 

a teacher of children who learns more from them
then they do me

a woman who is loved by a good man

a friend who is blessed with a family
not related by blood

and still a daughter and a sister and an aunt...

I am
a woman who experiences jealousy
and it makes me very ashamed

I am a quitter
because I do things
that are not true to me
but are for others
so they will
like me

my best squirrels  pooping and silliness
my worst pettiness judgement selfishness

I find my best me when I am being
true to me
I find the worst me when I am being
untrue
lying to myself
looking at others
and judging myself on what they see

I am on this earth to admit to you
I
am
a
work
in
progress

I am a cracked prism....
but the lights
at times
refracted
are
glorious.....