Friday, June 26, 2015

Working on the Revolution!


Last weekend, Paul and I had a busy few days of events with our Austin chapter of Democratic Socialists of America.  On Friday night, we were at Radio Coffee and Bar to talk about socialist feminism.  On Saturday afternoon, we were at Austin Community College’s Highland location to talk about raising the federal minimum wage.  And later that same day, we were at Sa-Ten (a local coffee shop) to talk about Bernie Sanders and democratic socialism.


It was a super fun couple of days.  I loved learning more about these issues and getting the chance to talk about specific socialist issues in more depth.  Maria Svart was a wonderful guest—it was a treat to have her in Austin with us to share her stories and her perspectives.

On the work-out front, I was less successful and didn’t complete my three running work-outs for Couch to 5K Week 3.  I’m actually repeating Week 3 this week and have completed 2 out of my 3 work-outs (hurray!).  Having a structure in place for my running has been really helpful.  I feel like even if I have a busier week and don’t complete all the work-outs, I can repeat the same week and not feel like I’ve fallen off the wagon altogether.  I’m still building my fitness and my ability to handle the heat.  Couch to 5K is exactly the kind of gentle, encouraging plan I needed to build a habit.

FLF_Week of June 14 cropped

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Me and Lu

FLF_Week of June 7 cropped

Hurray!  Another week of Couch-to-5K successfully completed.  I am a running goddess.

In other news, on Saturday, Paul and I drove out to Hippie Hollow in northwest Austin, a city park adjacent to Lake Travis in a beautiful, beautiful part of the city, all canyons and curvy roads and views of the lake.  Hippie Hollow happens to be a clothing-optional park, FYI.  After a long, hard semester, I wanted to go up there to relax and splash around in the lake.  It was wonderful: we went up in the evening, as the heat of the day started to dissipate and the sun began to make its descent toward sunset.  I went “swimming,” which was really just me flapping around ungracefully in the warm water and trying not to get smashed into the rocks by the tide.  The waterfront is very rocky, almost dangerous—let’s just say that flip-flops are not the ideal footwear for Hippie Hollow.  We didn’t stay long, since it was already evening when we arrived and the park closed around 8:30 PM.  But I’m glad we went—I’ve been savoring the memory of Lake Travis ever since.

As for this week: onward to Week Three of C25K!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

For Real this Time

Wildflower_Red and Yello

Stalks Reach for the Sky

Caution Sign

Oh Hello!

Annnnd I’m back!  Finally.  For real this time.  It has been too, too long.

Self-employment has been wonderful and overwhelming and very, very hard at times.  It’s been incredibly time-consuming.  The paradox is that I expected it to be time-consuming, yet it was still more overwhelming than I ever imagined.  But now, most of my high school students have finished their semester, so my work schedule has eased up significantly.  And that has opened up time to really, truly get back to running regularly.

I decided to be smart this year, as the weather is starting to heat up here in Texas.  I’m doing Couch to 5K to let myself acclimate to the heat and rebuild my running strength.  All I can say now is: why didn’t I think of doing this sooner?!?  It’s such a great idea, using a beginner’s running program to ease into hot (and potentially dangerous!) weather.

I’m being conservative, so when I didn’t finish Week One of C25K two weeks ago, I decided to repeat it last week.  Here’s what last week’s work-outs looked like:

 FLF_Week of May 31 cropped

In other news, life is good!  Paul and I are super excited that Bernie Sanders is running for president.  I’ve been obsessively following the campaign news for the last month, and Paul and I both donated to the campaign on the day that Bernie announced.  We believe he is the real deal, and we are getting involved to help get Bernie elected.  On Thursday, we went to our first Bernie campaign meeting for volunteers.  I’ve never been so excited about a candidate, but Bernie Sanders is truly special: not only are his politics progressive and inclusive, but he’s a man of integrity whose voting record reflects his values.  We love his work and everything he stands for, and we’re proud to be part of his campaign, starting on the day he became a presidential candidate.

I feel rusty here, trying to blog after so many months of silence.  But I’m hoping that as with running, writing will get easier with practice.  And how about those beautiful photos up there!  Those were all taken at my park, the wildflower preserve that’s just down the street from me.  I love it there and do most of my runs in that park.

Happy almost summer, my long-neglected readers!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Snail Running in Austin (Shell Yeah!)

Snail Running Team cropped

{Source. Cute, right? Found via Pinterest}

I wanted to write an update on my current half-marathon training cycle.  I’m undecided on how to update this blog more regularly, but I’m not interested in closing it down.  How to write a running blog when I barely have time to run?  Maybe when I answer that question I’ll write a post about it!

Anyway, the 87-mile Project is keeping me inspired to get some miles, any miles, under my running shoes.  I’ve been running 2 miles every 2-3 days, and I even ran 3 miles yesterday!  Miracle of miracles!  And most of those miles?  Are hard.  They feel very hard to me.  I am not in good running shape, but I’m proud of myself for returning to running.  I am on the Snail Running Team, but really, it’s better to run slow miles than to not run at all.  Really truly.

I’ve made a few observations about my return to running and this current training cycle.  In bullet-point fashion:

* Even when the miles are hard to run, I still feel really good after I run them.  This fact keeps me going and makes me excited to continue my running.

* Yesterday, I ran 3 miles by warming up, running 2 miles, then walking for 5 minutes and running another mile.  What was great is that my third mile felt so much easier than the first two.  This, I think, is my reward for pushing myself to do a slightly longer run.  The miles do get easier, so eventually I know that a 2-mile run will feel easy and refreshing, not hard and kinda demoralizing like it is now.  (Note: I know that sounds really negative, and not all of my runs are demoralizing.  I’d be lying if I tried to paint this situation as all or nothing.)

* Austin is a really tough place to train.  There are hills in every direction from my house, so I have no choice but to run up and down hills if I want to run outside in one direction for more than 200 meters.  I think the hills are part of what makes me feel so out of shape.  It’s not just that I’m out of running shape, but that in trying to get back into running shape, I have to do it on really challenging terrain.  I trust that the hills will get easier with time and dedication, but damn!  So demoralizing!

* I’m getting better at working running time into my crazy freelancer’s schedule.  My days typically have a chunk of time in the early or late afternoon when I can run after lunch and before I have to leave for my evening sessions.  I’m really proud of myself for taking more control over my time and doing what I want to do.  This is a big accomplishment for me.  I’m also learning to trust that my tutoring schedule will always be an evolving process—it’s up to me to make sure I’m honoring my commitments to my health and happiness.

And on that note, I’m going to head out for an evening walk before the sun is gone for the evening.  Happy Saturday, friends!