Sunday, January 26, 2014

Five of My Favorite Runs

Last night I read an article about being a runner that said that you have three milestones in becoming a runner: one is the day that you decide to run until do other forms of (usually wimpier) exercise; two is the day that you call yourself a runner and you're not faking it; three is when you see that running is what you do, it's who you are.  While I like to run and I run a lot, probably more days than most people, I always hesitate to call myself a runner, probably the same way that I write a lot of poetry, but I hesitate to call myself a poet. But I do write a lot of poetry and I run a lot, and since I've recently share my poetry (quality unspecified), I might as well share with you some of my favorite runs as well. and let's pretend that this is a ranking, even though I know that's going to change depending on what mood I'm in.

5. Kaliningrad Loop

This, or something very like this--I don't remember going on such a big road, but we definitely crossed water and ran in front of the Cathedral--was the route that I would run with my own companion who liked to run, Sister M. Sis. M. could run the pants off me; she had grown up in a small NM town, had been on the volunteer fire department, worked construction with her dad, and she flew. We would start from home, of course, and run up to this bridge, that, it seems, was also a bridge for trains, then down through a park that went by a navel or science museum of some sort, then past the Konigburg Cathedral (she could run up the stairs and down again by the time I passed them) then loop back around home. Sis. M. would smoke me, of course, but she would always be drenched, like shirt-wringing drenched, in sweat when we came home and the babooshki would tell us that we didn't need to run as long as we didn't eat sweets after 8.

4. Las Vegas Strip
My complicated relationship with Vegas has been explained already on this blog. A couple of times.But, man, do I love going for a morning run down the Strip. Here's what you have to look forward to: 1) morning stays around much longer in Vegas. You can go for a morning run at 9 and things will still look like they did at six. 2) good company. There are many like-minded who didn't stay up late, and like to wake up early, and you will see them get out of their hotels and go running with you. Others, like drunks and drifters, will literally cheer you on. Some of the funniest spectators of my life, one guy said, "Keep running and you'll finally get out of here." 3)stairs One of the best things about this run is that the whole strip is designed to keep people moving with pesky things like stop lights. That means you can keep running and running. And for those places where you must cross a street, there are up-and-over stairs that are plenty of opportunities to get your stair run on 4) scenery you can run through pirate adventures, renaissance Italy, Rome, pyramids...definitely doesn't get boring

3. Provo River Trail Downhill
Did this while training for my half marathon, and it was amazing. You get dropped off in South Fork Canyon, and run all the way to my house. It's a gentle downhill slope --except for that painful kick up Grandview hill at the end--and it's cool and green and lovely and there are plenty of other runners on the trail. Such a delight.

2. Town Lake/APA
Yes. Last new years I resolved that I would sign up to take the dog running training (and I did) and run the dogs at the animal shelter (and I do). I love it. Usually we do a 2.75 mile loop to the bridge of town lake from the shelter and back.

1. Walnut Creek
Walnut creek park was my favorite thing about Austin when I moved to Austin. It's easy to get lost, there are lots of trails and people and dogs and community. It's pretty great.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Low Ebb of Motivation, Productive Procrastination and Cedar Fever

It's a holiday. I don't have work at the writing center. I do have work I could do, most importantly, work on my dissertation, which I haven't worked on for a month. I haven't been lazy: I've reviewed an article for a journal, produced a podcast, editing someone else's dissertation. I've even been writing: I finished a novel, I revised a book review, created 10 lesson plans. But I'm having a hard time just sitting down and working on my dissertation.

Oldest song in the book, right?

But it's not like I want to do anything relaxing. I don't want to watch Hulu. I cancelled my Netflix. I'm ages behind on the PBS shows.  I don't want to just chill with the friends of mine who do have the day off. I don't have any holiday plans for a bike ride or a trip or anything.

I'm stuck in this unpleasant not-doing but also not-not-doing. Do I take the day off in earnest or work in earnest? The library is closed, but is my building locked? I hate this in between. I feel like at the end of this day I will have nothing to show for it--no major accomplishments, no happy memories, just a lot of indecision, pacing and avoidance.

But before I castigate myself, I'm tired. I want to lie in bed. This, I learned my second February here, is how I process cedar fever, the terrible allergy season of this time of year. This year pollen has been uncommonly high and some of my friends and classmates look like wrecks. I should be happy I'm not sneezing up a storm or all puffy eyed and pained, but this letharigia looks just like my low motivation--I'm not sick enough to call myself sick and just stay in, but I'm not well enough to do what I'd like to do. In. Between.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year's Posters

Two years ago's propaganda posters were the best--they were good looking and reminded me of what I wanted to do with my year, so I decided to go for it again. Blogger has, as usual, ruined everything when you try to upload, but remember that these look awesome in practice. Anyway, all that aside..

This year's New Year's Resolutions posters are themed...Victorian work advertisements!

Sport  &

·     Runs the very Toughest of all Mudders!
·     Is in fit, fightin’ shape with a slender girlish figure
·     Hikes ONE HUNDRED MILES— with her sister!
·     Runs with unwanted and unkept canines!
·     Finishes the course of Zombies, Run! with glee
·     Works out an hour a day--excepting the Sabbath

Family and Social

·     Seeks out new friends and friends of friends.

·     Re-reads and practices How to Win Friends and Influence People and its principles!

·     Supports her family, especially nieces and nephews, with letters, calls, packages and sundry divertissements!

·     Strengthens bonds through time and wholesome recreational activities.

 Temporal Order

·     Continues to keep a budget—monthly and for special activities!
·     Keeps up with the routines of the Woman of the Fly!
·     Establishes a cheerful, welcome home!

Spiritual Goals

·     Reads the Book of Mormon in its entirety!--
·     Enjoys all her callings—where’re they be
·     Writes in her journal a minimum of once weekly!
·     Is still, patient and listens