The half marathon I had planned to run in two weeks is cancelled. I think the US is going to be a complete shit show in April with all kinda of travel and gathering restrictions (I hope these policies are put in place quickly to stop the virus spread) so I need to prepare for the likelihood that my April marathon will be canceled.
I guess I’ll quit training.
Ha. As if.
So my Plan B is to do something I’ve never done before - run 50k. Matt B did this as his final run and it’s inspiring. Perhaps I’ll do some fundraising for charity and invite some friends to run portions of it with me. I’m actually energized by this idea* and like it almost as much as the idea of running a planned race.
I had a great 12 mile run today. It’s fun to be in that part of the training when 12 miles is really no big deal. Per my strategy of doing long runs on weeknights- I did it in the afternoon and stopped at a deli at mile 11 and ran home with dinner for the fam. I paid attention to pace and brought my times way down - from 10 min miles to below 9. I’m feeling strong and healthy.
Raptor count - 5 red tail hawks including this gal in the tree. 3 seconds after i clicked the pic, she dove across the street, barely missed by a car, and nabbed a vole on the median strip. I love urban ecology.
*Please text me when I’m in kilometers 30-50 reminding me that I said “energized.” I think Da Fish’s reminders will be particularly poignant/evil.
Last Thurs I did my first long run at night. 18 friggen miles on a weeknight. Here’s what I experienced:
- Running long distances at night feels lonelier
- I was more tired both physically and psychologically at the end of the day
- That was a great situation to test my mental toughness. I used my mantra to push myself through
- Running at night afforded me some views that I’ve never seen before. Behold the Golden Gate Bridge from the water line at night.
- All in all it worked- I was able to get my long run done, and on the weekend I was present with my family.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that my pace is really slow this training season. Last time I trained for a marathon, so generally held 9 mins miles during my long runs. This time I’m almost a full minute slower. My 4 hour goal is at risk if I keep this up. So I’m pushing my pace more in my shorter runs.
Feeling good and strong this week. Locking in that diet to get that “lean up” in the last two months.
I broke my no booze streak last week with friends in town. I committed to the diet and no alcohol again this weekend. I was in New Orleans for work for 48 hours. So many factors made me want to have a drink: I mean New Orleans! Also long work days, a cute hotel bar, an upstairs pool bar, just the feeling of deservingness. I held strong and stuck to the diet except for one nice dinner out (no alcohol tho).
The half way mark as well as the lesson on running lean are great reminders to stay focused on the diet. Despite 2 months of the program I haven’t lost the holiday fluff (jiggle all the way) around my waist, and that’s just a lack of disciple. Need to keep focused.
Training is on track. Tonight I will do an 18 mile run. I’m experimenting with doing the long runs on week nights. I don’t think it’s fair to my husband to leave for 3-4 hours on a Sat and then be exhausted and cranky afterward. This way, I’ll come home, stretch, and pass out and if I’m grumpy it will be with coworkers tomorrow.
Happy training y’all.
Training is on track.
Given what we’ve seen from the spread of the novel Coronavirus around the world, I’ve started preparing for a likely outbreak here in California. This means doing our best to prevent catching it (teaching the kids to wash their hands before touching their faces is proving quite tricky), stocking up on non-perishable foods and essentials, and making a plan for school and work closures. We had planned to go on a cruise this summer and just cancelled that.
Kenzai has come to mind as I make preparations. I love this counsel that has popped up on a few blogs including Todd R and Da Fish- What should you do if you think there’s a significant chance of getting bad pneumonia in the next few months? Wouldn’t the rational action be to get yourself in excellent cardio shape? Like the kind of shape you’re in by doing 20 minutes of jump-rope every day?
It seems that everyone who dies from Covid 19 is elderly (so I have a lot of concerns for my parents and many friends), or have health problems. One of the best things we can do to protect ourselves is to be in the best shape we can be in. Like, let’s say, marathon training shape.
Another thing is that I’ve been considering the spaces where germ transfer is likely. And a gym has to be high on that list. Think of all the places that multiple body parts touch repeatedly. So I’ve decided to stop my gym-going for awhile. Thankfully that will have zero impact on my fitness thanks to the design of Kenzai. I haven’t used the bands in awhile but I am breaking them out today.
Pics- 1. disaster stockpile 2. Today’s lunch bento.
I just finished a 16 mile long run. Based on the lesson this week, I experimented with strategic walking at a 15:1 minute ratio. It slowed me down significantly based on my mile splits. If I want to run a sub-4 and take walk breaks I’ll need to pick up my running pace (duh - math)! In my last two long runs, the final 30 minutes were brutal. This time the finish was strong and pain free. Good to notice.
I also tried out my new running mantra: Strong body knows what to do, strong mind will push you through. It’s a bit verbose. But you know what he have on a long run? Loads of time.
Raptors spotted on run- 7 red tailed hawks
Program update: the running is going great. The diet isn’t. We are six weeks in and it’s time to get serious. Today is the day.
A few years ago, I read a Kenzai lesson about stress management and flow state. One of the key practices I took away was that time in nature with people you love always induces a flow state. With that in mind, I packed my son and some cold weather gear in the car and headed 6 hours north for the Oregon border.
I’m a raptor bird nerd. Counting hawks, kites and kestrels is one way I pass the hours on long training runs. Every winter, hundreds of bald eagles congregate at Klamath Lake, where abundant fish and waterfowl keep them well-fed in the harsh months. This seemed like something worth seeing.
I could also sense that my oldest needed some quality time. Having a toddler brother is tough. Our youngest needs and gets lots of attention. He’s at an age where he need significant direct supervision. So my oldest can get resentful about that. But you know what the baby isn’t ready for? A long weekend in the forest with Dad.
A lot of parenting is providing boundaries and restrictions. bathos weekend, it felt good to say Yes. Yes you can use the iPad in the car. Yes you can buy a coke. Yes we can have a nerf gun battle on that lawn. Yes we can ignore the private property sign as long as we don’t see dogs. aire you can eat the ice cream first.
Things we spotted in the woods:
Bald Eagles- my son spotted some in the distance in an agricultural wetland. We ignored the private property signs and found a colony of EIGHTEEN eagles, all wading in the water and jockeying for position.
Other raptors- golden eagles (they’re huge!), Harrier hawks, rough-legged hawks, American kestrels, red shouldered hawks, and the ubiquitous turkey vultures and red-tails.
A River Otter - again my son’s eagle eyes spotted it on the bank.
Bullet shells - if you ask B about the trip, he won’t tell you anything about majestic birds. He’ll tell you how he found and collected 26 bullet shells left by duck hunters.
Waterfowl and migrating birds- of all types, but in particular, we saw beautiful snow geese on the wing, grebes, trumpet swans, and possibly migrating cranes.
A happy child - a boy with the space to be a boy, making snowballs, sledding, collecting bullet shells and not having to compete with his little brother.
I did a 10k fun which was quite difficult at 5,000 ft. I went slow and the straightaways were fine but the numerous hills were brutal. Just read the lesson on hill training. I’m ready.
14 miles today. All in all felt strong although I definitely walked every hill in the last three miles and some of those hills would be barely noticeable slants on other days.
Highlights- incorporating gels! The ocean, the bridge, red tailed hawks, the first tree blossoms of the season.
Looking forward to an easy, relaxing remainder of the weekend. I really want a beer and I’ve def earned one but I’m doing a dry Feb and it’s Kenzai so I’ll refrain. I hope your training is stellar.
I did a veganuary that ended today. Here’s what I learned and experienced;
- It wasn’t particularly hard to eat vegan. I didn’t miss meat, except a few times dining out. Like when my workout partner ordered the Meat Freak omelet at brunch. Ass.
- i enjoyed cooking and eating.
- I pooped like 10 times a day, and was really gassy. I have young kids so they thought I had super powers. My “pull my finger” game is next level.
- i felt the same as I always do. Not worse not better. So if i can feel the same, but be lighter on the earth, shouldn’t I?
- It’s impossible to order vegan at a restaurant without sounding like an asshole.
- I drank a lot in January so that would’ve offset any feelings of feeling better. Dry Feb here I come.
- Moving forward, I plan to be vegan + eggs at home (how I missed my eggs), and will allow myself meat for special occasions and eating out. That starts with a belated Chinese New Year 10 course dinner tonight.
I had a 12 mile run today. The last 3 were quite tough.
Sorry I’ve been such a shit teammate. Things have been quite busy. I finish up my training responsibilities for Kenzai Beach Blast (great program- try it!) tomorrow and will be more supportive of my teammates on their blogs starting this week.
First off- what the hell are these stretches pictured? They are weird and unnatural and I don’t like them. Although I try. Sometimes.
I admit to bleh start to this program. The good news- I’m doing the mileage and more. 10 mile run with my husband on Monday was delightful. The bad news is the diet and active recovery. I’ve been doing a vegan January and have been eating lots of healthy food and veggies. But I haven’t locked it in Kenzai style yet. And I haven’t cut out alcohol yet. Part of this was in choice knowing that I had a busy and social Jan. Part of it is lazy. I know this is a long program so I’m not feeling particularly motivated to get into the Kenzai zone yet. I have a ski weekend this weekend (I should say après-ski: I cook soup for my friends and day drink), and I’m going to have that be my last hurrah. If you hear that I’m not totally dialed in next week, please give me shit.
Before I jump in, if you want some jump rope inspiration, follow waffle_tatsuya on Instagram. The guy has sick skills.
I turned 48 at the beginning of 2020. This past Sunday, I celebrated by hosting my -
Annual Spam Cook-off Competition.
Yes, you read that right. I'm Filipino + Hawaiian. There's something about the disgusting, processed, pink pig part brick that I just can't resist. So I took a break from Kenzai, veganism, and sanity to indulge with my friends. The top left photo was the grand prize winner - a savory cheesecake with spam. It tasted a bit like an artichoke dip and I would have this again on Super Bowl Sunday. Top right is a kim chee paella with spam. Bottom right is a Filipino buko (young coconut) and pandas pie with chunks of Spam and a shameless plug for my affection. Bottom left was my personal favorite, individual Spam wellingtons served with a spicy mustard dip. The alcohol flowed as well. It was a wonderful uber indulgence and I felt like utter shit the next day. I'm definitely ready to be back on track.
This week is challenging. I'm heading to Boston for a conference. This means that my days will be completely occupied and offline. I'll take care of my trainer responsibilities in the evening for an hour each day. Thanks Ward for jumping in on the chat rooms. I hear Boston is cold in January. I don't know anything about running in cold weather, so that will be a challenge as well. But I will figure that out as well. Finally, I don't know what the plant-based options are like at mealtime, but I can always get by on rice or plain pasta and salad.
Pic below is my youngest having his own indulgence. I don't like cake so I always choose doughnuts or pie for my birthday.
The runs have been going well and I'm feeling strong. Have a great week Marathon team, Beach trainees and all my Kenzai homies.
All’s good in the hood y’all. After feeling knee pain on Sun, I rested M and T. W And today I did my runs as planned and had no problems with my knee or anything else.
And while Fake Dr Fish may not condone a vegan diet, I’m enjoying playing with these recipes. Check out - 1. The fixins for DIY ramen 2. Homemade instant noodles. 3. Farro risotto.
Naoko- I bought that Bento book you you mentioned. The instant noodle idea came from her.
I’m excited to start with the marathon crew.
Ed here, training in San Francisco, CA. My race is the Eugene, OR marathon on April 26. This will be my 12th marathon. I know how to train for a race, but marathon training is such a solo endeavor. I’m excited to have a sense of team and support.
1. have a healthy, injury minimal training and race.
2. Finish under 4 hours.
3. Reduce my waist size from a holiday fluffed 34 inches, to a race-ready 32”.
4. I’m experimenting with a vegan January. So far it’s been great, see pics of my artichoke hummus toast, and the farro risotto my husband made. I want to see how a plant-based diet fuels my mood and training for at least a month.
I didn’t have the best start to the program. Yesterday I ran 5 miles. At mile 4 I experienced significant knee pain that I haven’t felt before. I walked a bit, then pushed through and it went away. Then later in the day I felt it for a second when I was walking downstairs. I decided to take today off and rest. Hopefully when I run tomorrow or Wed it will feel fine. I’m excited to be training with all of you.
Met up with Straight girlfriend and trainer extraordinaire Cecilia Aiello to enjoy a non-compliant lunch (if you are in SF or Oakland, check out Burma Superstar, y'all!) and discuss our reflections on the last decade and how we want to evolve over the next one.
For This Guy GRADUATION POST
This kid in the picture.
He's the reason why I signed up to do Mind for the second time.
It's very clear to me that part of his and my mission in this life time is to make each other better. We can be best friends and we can turn on each other quickly. Family therapy is helping. I also realized that I need to do some of my own work on my own shit that he's triggering. Meditating every day over the last 5.5 weeks has been that work. Here are some of the things that I learned or remembered while sitting on my ass.
- I procrastinate a lot before meditating. Once I'm in it, it's not so bad.
- Even the 30 minute meditation today went quickly.
- It's best to sit in the morning. The afternoon and evening bring more intense thought chains, and I can forget to interrupt them and go back to my breathing.
- I have a lot of thoughts, but I am not my thoughts.
- Compassion meditation (metta) reminded me that everyone is doing the best they can at any given time. I also realized that people who have wronged me are trying to teach me something. If I don't learn the lesson from them, they will show up again in another body to teach me the same lesson. Better to learn the lesson, thank them, and then let them go out of my life.
- When intense feelings like anger or frustration surface, I don't have to allow those feelings to rule my actions. This is particularly true with my family. Over the last 5 weeks, I've been much more likely to stay calm, be present, defuse situations, or just walk away and get some time.
- The biggest gift we can give is our full attention. This means full presence, no screens, no multi-tasking.
- I owe this to myself for a few moments every day.
- I owe this to my husband for a few moments every day.
- I owe this to each kid for a few moments every day.
I've been giving B at least 15 minutes each afternoon or evening where he decides what activity we do and we do it together. Wrestling, nerf gun wars, making Lego buildings have been staples. At the end of special time, I ask him to meditate with me for one minute. Mostly he squirms around and asks how much longer. But it's a start.
I met my goals of meditating every day, and I think I commented on each one of every teammate's blog posts, which is always my commitment in program.
My goal is to keep meditating each morning for 10 minutes, and sometimes in the evenings. I know from past experience that I tend to slip away from good habits when I'm not on a Kenzai program. So when I lose the daily habit, I need to remember that I can always come back to it - especially when things get tough with B again.
I think that both Mind and Reach are great programs for me to do annually.
SGF - how beautiful to finally have you as my trainer, and how funny and perfect that you - my favorite distraction - should be my coach on focusing. Thanks team, for the support - special shout out to Jenny for modeling vulnerability, which helped me to be vulnerable as well.
I've been enjoying my winter weight gain (up an inch in the waist since the end of Oct), and look forward to starting Kenzai Marathon in January.
My K-note went live today. However, if you are currently on a program, you didn't get to see it. So I'm reposting here. I'm planning to do a subsequent blog where I answer these questions for myself.
Seven Big Questions for the Past Decade
In less than three weeks, the year 2020 rolls in and a new decade begins (I know technically the new decade begins in 2021, but the general culture has decided to ignore this fact). January will come with resolutions, goals, and planning your fitness for a year or years to come. Before we do that, I encourage you to pause and look backward, not just over 2019, but at the past decade, and reflect on your fitness, your body, on your approach to wellness and how it has shifted over 10 years. To help you, here are seven questions for reflection. Take 30 – 60 minutes this week to journal your responses. If you are so inclined, post them in a blog. If you are inspired, have your partner, a close friend, a friend from Kenzai journal responses as well, and use your journals as a springboard for discussion.
Question 1: What are you grateful for?
Let’s start with a practice of gratitude. You are alive and well enough to participate in Kenzai and that’s a significant start. What is working well? What do you love about your body and what it can do? What are the things and who are the people that support your health and wellness? What have you accomplished? What skills can you fully rely on? How have you grown?
Question 2: How has your body changed?
For some, a renewed commitment to fitness has you in better shape than you can remember. For many, including me, the past 10 years have brought challenges of age including slower metabolism, and greater recovery time. For others, significant physical events such as pregnancy, surgery, illness, recovery have impacted the body and physicality.
Question 3: How has your approach to exercise evolved?
For me, age and Kenzai have had a profound impact. I went from big athletic events (soccer tournaments and marathons) to consistent, daily exercise with an eye toward the long road. I think about areas of fitness that I used to ignore (I’m looking at you, flexibility and range of motion). Lately, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to mindfulness. How has your exercise and how you approach fitness shifted over time?
Question 4: How has your diet and relationship with food changed?
With Kenzai, I have a sustainable approach to healthy eating that I didn’t have before. I also know when to let go of that approach and have fun. But as I push 50, my body can’t handle as much fun-time as it used to. How did you approach food and nutrition in 2010? How is that different from your approach now?
Question 5: What were you too scared, lazy, or stuck to try?
I never got around to writing that novel and I still don’t speak French. More relevant to Kenzai, my use of alcohol comes up a lot in my blogs. I’ve been afraid to really dig into that. I’ve long thought that we do ethical somersaults to justify how we love our dogs, but eat cows and pigs. But I love the taste and culture of meat. I’ve wanted to try a martial art, but it seems like such a huge effort to start at the lowest belt level. What are the issues you’ve been avoiding? What are the things you’ve wanted to accomplish but haven’t even tried? Why?
Question 6: Who are your people?
You are a Kenzai member, so you already know the value of community in fitness. Who are the people that support your healthy journey? Do you have teachers and mentors? Dear friends that won’t judge you but will push you? Who will you need to rely on in the years to come and in what ways? How have you used your wellness journey to inspire and support others? Conversely, who are the negative forces in your life? What compels you to sustain your relationships with them? Which leads us to the last question -
Question 7: What do you need to let go?
You have a thing you do; a behavior, a pattern, that served you at one time. It might have even been pivotal for your survival. Your life is different now and that behavior isn’t serving you anymore, but you don’t know how to let it go. Name that thing for yourself and think about whether you want to carry it for the next 10 years. Cigarettes? Gossip? Negative self-talk? What (or who) are the things it’s time to let go. I’m going to start by examining my relationship with my phone and social media.
I wish an amazing and healthy next year and decade for all of us in this community. That won’t just happen. We will have to play an active and intentional role in making it so. Look back. Think. Reflect. Write. Talk. And then plot out what you need to do to make this next decade golden.