Sunday, January 22, 2012

January Adventures

I sit in my tiny office at home, staring out the wide window, watching the wilderness grow white. Snow, at last. The whole town celebrates. Christmas comes late.

It’s been one of those times where I actually have so much that needs saying, I don’t know where or how to begin. Thoughts dance around, frenzied, in my brain where things get so crowded that there’s no room left to open the door and let them out. While outside it’s been a winter of drought, a blizzard rages in my head.

With so many trails available, I’ve managed quite a bit more running than normal for this time of year. I feel strong, physically. I even ran a half-marathon PR during a quick trip to visit family in SoCal – 1:33:something. The time doesn’t sound that fast to me for some reason, but it hurt. Oh yes, it did. Like only a short road race can.

I’ve been a most-of-the-time participator in the 31 Days of Adventure, as well. Although I haven’t found time or opportunity to do all of them, I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve done and filed the rest away for the future. One theme I’ve noticed among the adventures is mindfulness. Many of them involve things I might do normally, such as watch the sunrise, but the difference is doing them with intention, paying attention.  I like this because it’s so easy to fly through your day without noticing things, and what a waste! Here’s a quick snapshot of a few of my “31 Adventures” this month:

Day #2 “Notice the Little Things” I noticed the sound of the ice on Marlette Lake. Not exactly little, but a sound I rarely get to enjoy. It was like giant reverberating drums, like futuristic guns fired by unseen Stormtroopers echoing between the mountains. Eerie, beautiful, and completely mesmerizing.

Day #5 “Cook up Something New” Caramelized pears. Not difficult, but requiring a little planning ahead since they need 4 hours of refrigeration between baking and sauteing. So delicious. So appreciated by my husband. (They go well with rosemary garlic chicken marinated in white wine.)

Day #19 “Choose a Color and Notice Where it Shows Up” My chosen color was orange. I think we were supposed to notice it in the natural world, but my classroom is my natural world most days so I just rolled with that thought. Here are some places orange appears in my classroom:

Nemo, (lucky-fin side) as crocheted for me by a student.

Teacher's bookshelf.


Angelfish. (Not as funny as clownfish.)


Day #21 “Check Out the Constellations” This one wasn’t tough for me, and definitely one of those things I’d have done anyway. A 4:50 A.M. meeting time for a 10-miler before work with my friend Jenelle revealed a moonless sky incredibly bright with stars. Even better was the double dose of their reflection on a glassy Donner Lake. Stars above and below, we ran through the chilly night sky. Ran through the heavens.

Fun stuff, for sure. And in the vein of adventures, if you’re interested in a few of the epic type rather than the daily type, I have a few opportunities for you.




First, for the surfer girls and wannabe surfer girls out there: The Las Olas Surf Safari Scholarship. Write a 200 word essay and you could win an all expenses paid surf safari in Mexico. I have to admit, the women-only trips at Las Olas look absolutely dreamy: daily surfing with instruction, beautiful accommodations, gourmet food, yoga, and massage. I haven’t written my essay yet, but I definitely plan to! Submission deadline is January 31.

Second, Greg, from Mayan Running Adventure is offering a $250 discount on trips at mayanrunningadventure.com. When you register for your trip, just mention that you heard about it here. I, unfortunately, have never been on one of these trips myself. I perused the website though, and they look pretty sweet – custom trail running adventures in Guatemala. If anyone has been on one of these trips and has feedback, please leave a comment. And if you plan on going, seeing as how it’s a Mayan thing, I suggest completing your journey before December 21.

I do have a slew of (unwritten) blog posts I’m hoping to share in the coming weeks. (See aforementioned blizzard.) Until then, here are some pictures from a run last weekend exploring trails in the east bay:














14 comments:

  1. A half marathon is a "short road race" now? You need to meet TLD at the Verdi run in a couple weeks for some painful 5K action. I promise no butt pictures.

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    1. I don't know Turi. I do love that Verdi run, and TLD, but you've totally ruined my trust when it comes to the butt shots. Like, we're barely still hanging on to the threads of our friendship. Bring beer, leave the camera at home, and I'll be there.

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  2. The crocheted Nemo is delightful! And, I can't believe I actually used the word delightful. And, I think I'm facing similar challenges as you when it comes to the 31 Adventures (time).

    I'd love to pick your brain about trail running later this spring; I plan to do my first (short - 10K) trail race in early June!

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    1. I guess I'm feeling like it's in the spirit of the 31 adventures to just do as much as you can, do try to stretch your limits, but don't feel guilty about the ones you didn't find the time for. It should be fun, not one more obligation, right? And feel free to ask me anything about trail running - I have no shortage of words on the topic! :)

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  3. Welcome back, I missed your musings. And signed up for 31 adventures - hope they'll still send me a full list even though it's January 23rd.

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    1. Olga! You can access the full list from our prompts page on the website (http://www.31daysofadventure.com/prompts/). We haven't set it up to start from the beginning upon sign-up (something we're definitely looking into after January). Welcome!

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    2. Aww, I was missed! Thanks Olga! :) And Amy beat me to it about finding the list of adventures on the website. Glad you're onboard!

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  4. Gretchen - great recap. I think we must be on the same wavelength with the orange appearances inside. (I did that, too!)

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    1. Thanks, Amy. Orange is beautiful!

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  5. Mindfulness. Yes. This is a good reminder for me. We only go around once. Might as well be aware of it all.

    It's great to see the pictures of your classroom. A peek into your non-running world. Love that.

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  6. Pam - I actually had a few more pics from the classroom that I didn't post . I think it was almost too much of a peek into my non-running world. ;)

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  7. Where in the East Bay? Redwood Park?

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    1. Dave - Yup. Redwood and Chabot. Super awesome - my first time there!! Sarah LS set me up with a route, but I ran solo. I totally forgot that was your territory - I was actually thinking of who else I should contact to join me. Dangit! I have good friends who live in Oakland though, so I will certainly be there again at some point.

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