Monthly Archives: October 2012

How to Not Waste Stuff

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Some days I am quite literally amazed that I feed myself. And I feed myself fairly healthy food in fairly reasonable amounts. I remember eating a lot of microwaved food growing up, and some days it just strikes me: I am now a grown up. I also tend not to waste food.

I believe this skill comes partly from living abroad, but mainly from living on a budget. I just can’t stand spending money on something I won’t use. I’d like to believe there’s a small dose of environmentalism in there, too.

Sarah Wilson’s post i love food, hate waste made me think more about how to not waste stuff. Or how I avoid wasting food, anyway.

I freeze a lot of stuff. Read the rest of this entry

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Am I an Unexpected Runner?

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“You’re running?!”

Someone said this to me at a charity 5k this weekend. 5k is 3.1 miles, so this is not a far distance at all.

I work as a dog walker, and spent about 4-5 hours per day on my feet, walking dogs, parking a car and getting in and out of it. People in different circles of my life know different things about … but the people expressing shock that I was running 3 miles knew this.

I wear a size 6 or 8 and I’m 5’5″. I’m definitely not thin, but I’m not overweight either. I’m in my early 30s.

When I run in my neighborhood, people sometimes encourage me, pretend they’ll run with me, cheer me on… I think it’s sweet. Most of the people who do this are black men. I live in a city that is about 50/50 white and black, and in a neighborhood where the vast majority of my neighbors are black. I would say I have a body type that black men tend to like.

I took this to be the reason for the attention. It’s never been harassment. Now I start to think – are people commenting because they are shocked to see a not-super-thin person running? I was overweight as a child and it really, really offends me to think this. I’ve had issues with food and body image, I’ve lost a lot of weight, and it makes me extremely sad not only to realize not only a) it’s not enough and b) something I took as a compliment is actually a negative evaluation of me.

My Breakfast Dilemma. Help!

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It’s hard for me to believe that anyone actually reads this. But if anyone does, and specifically any runners, I would love to know your take on this: I have to run early so I can star working at 8am (from home). Seven miles is the furthest I’ve done on a weekday morning, and to be safe I set aside almost 90 minutes for this. This means I need to get going around 6am just to have a little time left over to shower and get settled.

I’m not dying to eat a full breakfast at 6am or earlier. But I also can’t imagine running seven miles on an empty stomach, or worse yet, getting halfway out and crashing.

What do people do?

I will warn you I’m funny with food. I have dieted a lot and I hate to count on snacking. I need to eat my meals and I have one snack, and that’s that.

I also find that if I do eat breakfast at 6am, even something filling like steel cut oats – I am *hungry* early for lunch! It’s hard to win…

High Fives and the Trick to Running

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I volunteered at a race event yesterday. I’ve run in only a handful of races, and I volunteer with a running group – but this was the first time I’d volunteered at a race. It was a 10k in a rural area with obstacles every half mile or so, like Hunger Games, without the fighting-to-the-death element!

I was with one other person at a barbed wire obstacle: move uphill and under several barbed wire fences. I was down at the road to either direct runners to keep going, or prevent them from taking a shortcut and skipping an obstacle. I expected it to be fun, and it was – and I also had some insights about myself:

Giving high fives is fun. Since I love getting cheered on during a race, I made myself into the high five obstacle. I don’t think people were expecting this in this kind of rural trail run, but they seemed to like it. And I did too! Some of them were covered in mud, and some actually declined the high five because they were dirty…but most people were happy to accept.

I’m old enough to know my limits (or maybe better said, my boundaries).
I looked at a description of this race and quickly realized the obstacles would have been too much for me. Read the rest of this entry

Running,Yoga and Community

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I’ve thought a lot about how my running and yoga practice complement each other. I ran a half marathon yesterday, so it seemed like an appropriate time to post.

I’ve been running much longer than I’ve been practicing yoga. I started it primarily to lose weight, and then kept it up to stay in shape. Most of that time, I’ve run alone and not in races. I began running with other people a few years ago as part of a volunteer group that partners with homeless shelters. This came to be one of my most fun and most community-oriented activities eve

Running definitely helped get me into shape enough that I was physically prepared for the type of yoga practice that ended up getting me hooked. Of course yoga has eight limbs, the postures and physical practice are only one, but when most of us talk about yoga today we are talking about a physical practice.

As I then began practicing yoga more than running, I still chose a very physically challenging type of practice. When I began running longer distances again, some people were surprised to hear that I went back to running 5, 8, 10 miles at a time – but a 90-minute heated power vinyasa practice prepares you well for this. I’m not fast. I don’t usually cover 10 miles in 90 minutes – but it’s not that much longer.

Running is similar to yoga in that both can be very solitary. Once I started running with a group though, I found that the type of community that can exist among teammates, and runners, is really something. Although I run with the group much less frequently now, I can really say I have running friends… as much as I love yoga, I would not say the same for yoga. Read the rest of this entry

Hands On Yoga

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I find it creepier than almost anything else when a yoga teacher (so far it’s only been a guy) asks me directly if I’m okay with hands on adjustments. It is just the worst thing ever, almost. I’d almost rather receive some weird/perv-y/questionable assist than have to be asked this.

Because – what am I going to say – no? You look slimy/dirty/lecherous, don’t put your hands on me? My husband beats me/I was abused as a child/I survived a violent assult? (These are examples, not true ones for me). Only if you don’t touch my ass?

To be fair, I understand that male yoga teachers probably do get hit with complaints or even unwanted attention from women they adjust in class, probably even with only the most austere intentions. Realizing that does not make it any less icky to be asked.
Read the rest of this entry

Not feeling it? No problem!

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I love yoga. I started practicing almost three years ago, and I’m a different person because of it. So you might be surprised to hear my take on things like, how do I make yoga class a habit? I’m so frustrated I can’t do this pose!

My thinking is: if you’re not into it, don’t go! No biggie. I think yoga says, “That thing we avoid is the thing we most need”, and who I am I to argue with yoga. But isn’t there also something about not forcing it? If you aren’t feeling it, maybe it’s not the right time or place for you. Maybe your yoga is a meditation practice, or treating someone more kindly, or practicing a martial art or sport. There’s not one sport or practice that is right for everyone, so let’s not judge it when yoga isn’t the right thing at the moment. When it’s mean to be – you’ll find a reason to do it! Read the rest of this entry