Sunday, February 22, 2009

And that's the news from the American River Canyon...

Apparently, between work and running and cooking dinner and NOT cleaning my house, I've lost time to be creative. Speaking of creative, you have to drop on over to Faith's blog, "Stones from my Heart" to check out some very cool collages. I left her blog thinking, "I wanna do that!" If I ever figure out the "how," Faith, I'm dedicating my first one to you and your lovely blog.

Ooops...I got lost for a second there...reading poetry at Keeping Secrets again. :)

Back to the post. Since I have no time to be creative, I'll talk about running. Three more weeks to race day, and I'm still wondering how Irongirl talked me into tackling this run. If she tells you it was the other way around, don't believe her.

Here's the low down on the race: 50K, American River Canyon, rugged trail run, popular trail race with many expert runners competing (not against me, mind you...I'll be competing for "last runner") - REAL ultra-runners competing and not "wannabe" runners like me who hardly know how to run correctly let alone run correctly for 30+ miles, March 14.

That being said, in light of my defeatist attitude, it might not surprise you to know that yesterday was a difficult training day for me mentally and physically.

Here's the low down on the run: didn't feel confident from the beginning of the run, wanted to cry on the first ascent at mile four, started feeling very ill by mile ten due to the sudafed/caffine-laced-energy-jelly-beans/two-cups-o-coffee cocktail surging through my body, walked some, wanted to quit several times (but what was I going to do seven miles deep into the wilderness - we all know that walking would take longer than running back to the car), stopped at the port-o-potty at mile 13 (yeah, I know. too much information. get over it. it's my blog. remind me later...i have a poop story to tell you all), and we still ran that 15+ miles faster than we did the week before.

Wow. That was THE most mentally challenging run that I've Irongirl calls these types of runs "mental training days." She ain't kidding.

And yet, it was beautiful up there in the canyon.

rugged mind numbing ascent.
you seem unfazed, which is
maddening. I trudge along,
regardless, imitating
your form; full foot, heel to toe,
and I walk 'til i reach the
mossy covered tree seven
paces up then run to the
next; run and walk and run from
tree to tree to rock to tree
and slog through stream and muddy
muck and slip and slide and run
to the top, to the top. Where
is the top? Winding, descent,
ascent, descent; steadily
climbing but not completely
aware under canopy
of evergreens and live oak,
brushing fern and moss and rock
and ruddy salamanders.
Then I break through at the top
and wonder how far I've come
and how much longer it would
be until I turn around
and head down hill, away from
the light, to be enveloped
by the inviting darkness
once more.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

In the last few moments of Valentines Day...

...let me say Happy Valentines Day to you all!

Poetroad gave me one of the best Valentines gifts ever - new trail running shoes and the opportunity to spend part of my day running with irongirl up in the American River Canyon. We ran 15.5 miles (I swear, I think for 10 of those miles we were running up hill - how is that possible?). It was brutal. It was beautiful. My legs hurt.

For Poetroad's gift, I sent him away (okay, I didn't really "send" him...he just drove downtown) to see the Prologue of the Amgen Tour of California. Today Poetroad saw some of the top cyclists in the world, including Austinite Lance Armstrong (photo 1) and newly off drug suspension rider Tyler Hamilton (photo 2). Later when we watched national coverage of the event together, I saw Poetroad there - on TV - in the front of the crowd snapping this photo of Mr. Hamilton. Very cool.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Phew. Made it through another week....

and only once did I hear, "This class is boring...because..." (cue drum roll...) "We are always doing stuff in here."

Hmm. What the heck are you doing in all of your other classes!?

You know you are a successful teacher when you've been accused of "doing stuff" in your class.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Check out what Karen said...

I loved what Karen said so much over at Keeping Secrets that I had to share part of the post here:

"Of course, I believe that all writing is autobiographical in many ways. It shows the deepest heart of the writer, revealing parts that are not apparent to the rest of the world. Writing reveals, and poetry may distill the essence of the person most of all. Yet, as much as it reveals, it also allows one to become someone else, and therein is the rub for those who know the writer. Which person is authoring the piece? Is it the one who is opening her heart for all to see, exposing her truest self, or is it the one who is creating a new reality that has little to do with the author herself but provides a wonderous landscape in which she may wander? Maybe the answer is both."

Yes. She gets it. But I wouldn't expect anything less from a poet. :)

Sometimes I'm afraid to share what I write or think here because I know that some readers - readers that I care about dearly - will make false assumptions or judge me harshly. No one wants to be judged. Other creative types, however, such as Karen, get it. We want to go there. We want to linger in someone else's thoughts, moods - someone else's landscape - for whatever reason. Perhaps we find a commonality, which is comforting to say the least, but more than anything we are intrigued by someone who thinks or acts or believes differently. It's a bit like what I imagine an actor might do in order to prepare for a role...step into someone's shoes and walk around awhile.

Thanks, Karen, for making that post even though your secrets aren't so secret anymore.

A poem i'm working on

Not sure what to call it yet...

glassy eyed we wander
through endless isles of solitude
greeting cards, post its, lamps
nothing in the cart but randomness
through veiled despair
we linger at the precipice
of the 1000 count sheet set that we pretend to admire