Happiness

Summer

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Summer.
Summer officially begins for my family today. The kids had summer camp for the 4 weeks after school was out so it was not really summer yet. Even though they only went for 3 hours a day for 4 weeks, it was still school. Tomorrow we go to the LEGO Movie at the summer movies. We have not seen it yet. We bought the Blu-Ray but we wanted the kids to have something to look forward to so we held off watching it at home. They are still reluctant to go to the theater at times so seeing a movie they have not seen yet might be motivation as well.

Summer projects.

Education. We are continuing their education over the summer but we make it as fun as we can. Dictator is getting good at reading and can even sit and read some material by himself. Her Majesty wants desperately to do the same activities as her brother but still struggles. This is a point of contention for him because he wants to do his work by himself. We bought membership to the science museum so we will be going there many times over the month before school starts again. Fortunately, they are now going to the same school so they start and end not only at the same time but in the same location. This saves a lot of travel time.

Garage.
I am slowly getting the garage not only straightened but also cleared of a lot of garbage we have collected over the years. This task is getting slower as the kids get older because 4 people generate more junk than 2. Stuff that goes in the garage tends to disappear, though if it not remembered within a couple weeks. The real difficulty is getting rid of things that we ‘might’ need in the future. I have noticed that a lot of the time things we dispose of tend to become useful shortly after they are gone. We also need to have both springs on the garage door replaced. A few months ago I remember the door slamming down harder than normal but I did not think much of it. Right after, the door would not open on its own anymore. I noticed that a couple wires were loose and I have spent a few months problem-solving the door from time to time. It occurred to me that the spring might be broken but thinking back, one of the springs was always broken and it never occurred to me that it was running on one spring until it was pointed out by my mother-in-law. I realize now that one of the springs has always been broken.

Vacation.
We are looking at possibly going to Sea World this summer, if we can swing it. I spent a lot of summer vacations in my youth in San Diego because my uncle lived/lives there. For awhile my grandmother was there as well. Those were fun times. My kids want to go to a beach and I really want them to experience all the fun of Sea World. We would also get to see family.

Employment.
This has become a travesty. Applying for a cashier job and I do not even get a ‘Thank you for applying’ letter. I believe I have said this before, applying for a job online is a ridiculous and soul-sucking endeavor. Not being able to contact a real person for a job that requires less skill than it takes to walk and breathe at the same time is silly. Want to know what is even more ridiculous? I will tell you. The jobs I apply for have been open since I first applied a year ago. Even a job like a baker that does require some knowledge and skill could involve training and am fairly sure I could have become a proficient baker in an entire year of on-the-job training.
5c9
I may just look into one of these at-home businesses. Maybe I can sell people vitamins or something. I am past doing jobs I can’t believe in, though. I have to do some research. I have seen a few that might work but most of the products are just soulless, manufactured crap aimed at making a buck. Of course, this is the majority of what it seems people do these days anyway. Maybe I am just aiming for a standard too high for the workplace today.

Running.
I run when I can. I am focusing on mountain running. We are running in the Solemates Tryptophun Run this fall. Fortunately, this is local and we can actually practice/train on the course we will be racing on. It is also a 7 mile loop so, even if someone gets lost, someone can still be easily be found. I need to work because the races I want to race in are beginning to cost a lot more money. The three races I want to race in this winter will cost over $500 just for race fees. This does not include time to train, nutrition, and equipment.
Alta. I have a pair of Alta shoes that I have only used a few times. The sole is coming away from the upper. I am sad about this because I thought these were well made shoes. I might try another model but I think I will try for a pair of Skora or Vibrams for the 100 mile race. Fortunately, the loop is only 7 miles, So I can test different shoes for distance on the day of the race.

Namaste

Old Pueblo T minus 3 days

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On Saturday, a friend and I will be embarking on our first ultramarathon. I look forward to this race. I have not gone this far in one run before. He is an Ironman so he has gone this distance before, but never just running. The forecast is nice weather and it is in the middle of nowhere. I am excited. This will be fun. I spend the next couple of days packing my drop bags and making sure I have it all planned out. The only wrench is the possibility of rain. I really do not like wearing long sleeves much less a jacket of any kind when I run. I am not sure if the tradeoff of possibly being cold is enough motivation to wear long clothing that might get soaked. Try lugging that around for miles until you can drop it off. My friend is concerned about the combination of distance and elevation changes so we are running the whole thing together. I was hoping to do this race fast, but friends are more important that personal best times. This is our first ultra, so this one is for the experience for future races.
I will continue to go vegan for this race. I will be bringing rice balls with chia seeds, beans, and nutritional yeast for protein, calories and carbs. The will be cooked in turmeric and ginger for the anti-inflammatory effects. I will also be bringing an energy drink that has lemon, chia, and ginger to reduce swelling. I have a large bag of Heed as well as packets of Perpetuum for electrolytes and calories. I will have Hammer gels and e-Gels on me and at each drop along the way.
This should be a fun race. I will try to post more later or tomorrow.

Namaste.

Resolutions 2013

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Looking back at last year, I posted about Resolutions. I did not really make resolutions for this year. I think this was a good call because making them would probably have been a huge fail. I wrote about making promises. When you make a promise and keep it, it gets easier. Your willpower increases with each success and decreases with each failure. I have not done an official tally but, I think I am slightly above 50% for successfully keeping those goals for this year. Had I made resolutions for 2013, I would have made them too grandiose and numerous. I find that one or two goals with little goals along the way is best. I am finally getting to the point where I can schedule my day/week/month better and perhaps get more accomplished. Perhaps I will make more goals for 2104. (perhaps I will actually make goals for this year since I am putting them in writing)
Next year will be about finding my center. 2013 was about moving myself off center and getting rid of those things that were keeping me from my center. (Wait, what is a center? I will write about that in another post.)
I have maintained my weight for most of the year and I am now down weight so I can run better next year. I ran more last year and actually got into somewhat of a schedule. Although I began the 4 months to a 4 hour Marathon schedule, I changed my goal to the ultramarathon so I discontinued that schedule and now I am focusing on longer distance run training. I have cleaned and uncluttered my house more in the last 3 months than I have in the last 10 years. I have not read but I listened to quite a few books this year and I think I have learned quite a lot.

More later. Not just because I want more posts but because I need to go do stuff.
Namaste.

Are you hurt or are you injured?

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Just hurt. Not much working out today. I fell while running yesterday and hurt my toe. Planks were difficult. Did not feel it much until I got up this morning. I started to run but after a mile I was not able to run on it without feeling like there was a nail in my foot. Went home and put it in compression. It is a little stiff now but does not hurt. I was able to walk/run about 2 miles today. Unfortunately, my legs are stiff after not being able to run again today. We will see what tomorrow holds. The rest should help both my legs and toe immensely. I know my complete recovery time will be longer because I am not juicing but I think it will still be lower than in the past because I am not taking in animal protein like I once did.
Watched

    Turbo

tonight with the kids. It was very good. That one will be a purchase. We already got

    The Croods

. We watched

    Planes

and we were not impressed. The movie seems a little too ‘talky’ and dry for little ones.
I have to say that I am not really training directly for the marathon anymore. I will probably not be running in the marathon next month so I will focus my attention on the Ultramarathon in March. It is a fun run with an elevation change of 8k feet in southern Arizona. I have been working on increasing my speed and I will be increasing my longer runs to help my brain wrap around the idea of running for such a long period. I have taken 6 hours to finish a marathon before but this is a different animal altogether.
My son has had a rough couple of weeks at school. He has been getting marked down for behavior. Yesterday the teacher marked him down for cutting his hair. I understand her point of view that he was not using class supplies appropriately, but this is a case of natural consequence. He cut his hair, and will have to live with the goofy look he has. Perhaps she has a problem with the fact that he did this in class and is afraid of how it will look on her as a teacher. I don’t know, but to mark him down through the class behavior system seems a bit ridiculous to me. Calling the parents might be appropriate but not marking him down on the behavior record. I can see the traditional thought pattern running here. The teacher is responsible for the student at school and if they do anything ‘abnormal’ the teacher is held accountable. That is the ‘legal’ aspect. It is also the old way of looking at behavior. My perspective is, you do not need to punish for something that already has a natural consequence attached. Is her marking him down for cutting his hair somehow going to deter him or others from doing this in the future? Doubt it. Did she teach him anything by marking him down for cutting his hair? Un-friggin-likely. My only conclusion is that she had some anxiety about the act and could not resolve the issue in her mind or heart unless she did something about it. The only thing she felt she could, mark him down. Not, use it as a teaching moment. Not use a creative way to discuss it with him or come up with a consequence related to the action. No, use the limited punishment/reward system she has in her classroom to deal with it. Teacher? FAIL. Harsh? Perhaps. Teachers often do not perceive their role in teaching more than academics. We now include socialization in academics because of the rise is awareness about bullying but the fail comes as a result of the system and she is just the end result. The education system is set up to get kids off the streets and out of our hair while we go to work. The recent evolution of this system is to get kids to learn how to think well enough to get into college. Now it is becoming more and more a system for getting kids a trade so they are not as much of a burden on society. Sadly, they are often not taught directly the resons for why they need to learn the rules, they are just taught to obey the rules (I do not remember ever seeing a rule posted about cutting your hair in the classroom. I will have to look closer next time I am in there). All they are going to learn from this type of system is how to get around the rules they do not agree with or get in the way of having fun. I fault the teacher for not using her clever teacher mind to change how the system deals with situations that stray from the normal misbehaviors (not following directions, hitting, etc.) and fall in the range of creative and perhaps weird (cutting one’s hair in class, peeing in the corner, or standing on the table waving around unclothed body parts while singing ‘God Save the Queen’ to the tune of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’). I understand the teacher has limits for handling behavior in the classroom but how we handle the normal is testament to the system and how we handle the bizarre is a reflection of who we are. When a person responds to behavior that is clearly outside the box by trying to put it back in the box, a disservice is done to both the boxer and the boxee. What woud I have done? Take a picture and text it to the parent. At the very least, have the child call and talk to mom and/or dad. Is this on par with hitting someone (for which the same level is assigned according to the classroom behavior system) I would not say it is. I just pray for whoever gets my daughter because my son is a pice of cake compared to that little spitfire.

Good night folks,
Namaste.

Saturday snippets

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So I missed posting yesterday. I should be able to make that up.
continuing the streak and also some core workout yesterday. I did not do much yesterday. Been feeling very lazy lately. Part of this is probably having no stressors and lots of time to get things done that I feel I have nothing pushing me to do work around the house. Or I am just lazy. Whatever it is, I have a lot to do especially since winter break is in 2 weeks and everyone will be home for 2 weeks straight. If I do not change my behavior now, I will not only get nothing done during that time, I will also not get in any training then either.
Arizona State lost in the PAC 12 Championship game last night. Not too surprising. Not to say I was not hopeful, but every time ASU gets in the national spotlight, they crap out and fail miserably.
Hanukkah is over and the presents are all given out. That is nice not having to search for presents and stand in obscenely long lines. Well, not feeling the stress of those lines anyway. I went to Costco Friday to return some Craisins I bought that went on sale the day after I bought them. I went inside to get some snack items for Y’ school snacks. As I went to check out, it looked like I was approaching an airport terminal on Thanksgiving weekend. A 15 minute shopping trip turned into an hour of waiting in line to get some apple mashups and graham crackers.

Goals for this next week.
1. 15 miles of running each day. I will divide this into 2 workouts each day with the tempo in the morning and the intervals at night. The intervals will be running intervals speeding up for each interval.
2. Hourly planks. I will do a 3 minute plank each hour at the top of the hour (yes, even while I am running).
3. One room a day. At minimum, I will clean up and do everything I need to get done in one room of the house each day. (The garage does not count :P)

The yard and the garage are for the following week.

200 posts

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This is my 174th post. I am aiming for 200 posts before the end of the calendar year. Given my past record, this will be a task. If I get a job I might have a tougher time of it but I will give it a go.
I found myself doing nothing today. I ran and got my mile in today. I got in some core exercises too. I then found myself reading a triathlon magazine and I realize I have a lot more to do and a long way to go. I also realize I am not doing nearly enough to make myself stronger for the upcoming marathon or the ultra, much less the run for an Ironman in a couple years. A whole lot of my lack of training is mental. I know this. I need to get past my past behaviors. I need to move my mind into the present. I notice I am becoming more mindful of my thoughts and as a result, I am becoming increasingly mindful of my behaviors and my physcal state at any given point in the day.

There is nothing other than now.
There is nothing other than now.
Now.

Infinite patience yields immediate results.

Namaste.

Thursday Quickie

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I spent yesterday working in my spare bathroom. The toilet broke over the weekend. I discovered a large crack that went through the tank from top to bottom. Apparently the previous owners ran into the same problem but just applied porcelain paint rather than actually fixing it. The patch lasted for more than eight years but I would rather have it fixed for goodso we replaced the toilet. in the process of replacing it, I realized I needed to paint behind the tank so I had to stop and do that. I made 2 trips to the store for paint and supplies then I had to go back again because the wax ring for the toilet was too small to fit the toilet into the pipe on the floor. I know this is all real interesting but this is what you get when I am just writing to write (sorry).

I have lost 8 pounds since November 12th. 12 more to go.

I got in core working out yesterday and a mile of running. I have cut down on my food intake but I have not recorded how much exactly. That will be a task for next week.
I hope to get a lot done today so I can go for a 23 mile run (10:00 pace) tomorrow. My workout goal for next week is two workouts each day alternating tempo and intervals.

Hope you all have a better than great Thursday!
Namaste