Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The soup was good

The abrupt ending to the last post was worth it. Shelley and I went to the Spicy Pickle. I originally ordered the butternut squash, but they were out, so I got a tomato/roasted red pepper soup instead and it was great.

I wanted to write a bit about a new endeavor I started called Crossfit. I've only been to two classes, but it's pretty amazing. I don't think I can really explain what it is, but if you googled it you'd get plenty of videos/write-ups. My friend Yelena got us all a deal at a Denver gym (www.crossfitbroadway.com). It is like nothing I have ever done before.

I've always struggled getting into weigh lifting. I think part of it was feeling like I wasn't really getting a good exercise because I wasn't running. I also just assumed I'd never really be one of those people, the people that lift in the gym. But crossfit is pretty active and I definitely feel like I'm getting a workout in. Yesterday I was sweating so much drops of water were coming off my face, it was pretty gross. Additionally, the instructors so far have done an amazing job breaking down the lifts. I am going through the "elements" class which teaches you how to do all the different crossfit moves. So if you are interested in starting I recommend doing something like that so you can ask a lot of questions. I'm hoping that I can keep going and stay consistent because I feel like it will really help me in sprinting and overall fitness for running.

One thing I really struggled with at last nights class were squats. I am embarrassed to say I was a catcher in fast pitch softball (both high school and college)and I am horrible at squatting correctly. I try to excuse it by saying I needed to always be on my toes, which is true, but I should still be better at it. I just have a really hard time getting my weight on my heels and outside of my feet with my chest up without falling forward if I go down past my knees. I can barely get my quads parallel to the floor. The instructor told me to practice at home and I tried some today. I kept falling over (forwards and backwards). If anyone has any good tips I'd like to hear them. I'm not sure if it is more lack of flexibility, lack of muscle strength, or too much boobage.

I have also enjoyed crossfit so far because it focuses on you and not you trying to beat everyone. There's a competitive aspect, but a lot of it is competing against yourself not the class. So far the workout sets have been designed in a way to let anyone do it at any ability level. You can be squating a 35lb bar with two 10lb weights on each side and the guy next to you can be doing it is 25lb weights on each side or my friend Tina can be behind you with a 45lb bar with 10lbs on each side. You get to do it at the weight that is right for you. Except burpees, there is no really easy way to do burpees because no matter what you have to do a pushup. Ick... I've done more "big girl" pushups in the last week then I think I've done in my whole life.

I'm happy to answer any other questions people have about crossfit. I'll keep you posted on what new exciting workouts were doing and if I think it's helping with my running/ultimate/lobbying. I'm pretty sure it will pay off for lobbying. Look at Michelle Obama's arms, she's ripped. I'm just 8 classes away from being just like the first lady.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Omnibus Post

Sorry I haven't written anything in awhile. If you are expecting a blog that has regular updates you are probably going to be disappointed. I am going to put something on my Ipad so I can upload posts on that so you won't have to go so long without a post in the near future.

My co-worker Jeff asked before he went to Hawaii, when I am going to post about work because that is what he is excited to read. If you don't know I'm a lobbyist and to answer your questions: No I don't do oil and gas, cigarettes, firearms lobbying, No we don't get to sit in box seats of Bronco's games and entertain legislators with fine wine and sushi, Yes sometimes politics makes me sad.

I lobby at the state level and the Colorado General Assembly is getting ready to start up again in January. Right now my office is doing all the prep work before session; drafting bills, finding sponsors, cleaning out files. This session should be interesting, it is the session before an election which means a lot of "constituent pleasing" in the form of Legislation. Often that means we have to try and kill bad bills. I will probably do a "what to look forward to for 2012" blog post once I have some more intel on what bills are coming forward. I do want to talk about one recent event that I think is important, it's called Personhood.

Colorado is home to Personhood USA, a group that tries to create personhood for fertilized eggs. They are an extreme anti-choice group that has tried and failed at getting a Personhood amendment onto our state's Constitution. The amendment (48 in 2008 and 62 in 2010) sought to give rights to fertilized eggs which in turn would ban most forms of birth control, invitro-fertilization, and abortion (even in cases of rape, incest, or health of the mother). It would take away a women's right to plan her family. I don't care much to argue about whether you agree with abortion or not. I will argue about a woman's ability to make choices that affect her body. I will also argue about whether it is right to put things like this into our State's Constitution. But that is for another time. Right now I just want to make you aware that the Personhood USA group announced their campaign to put another initiative on the ballot for 2012. The language is different, but as they stated in their press conference, "It will do the same thing that the amendment in 2008 and 2010 sought to do".

That's really all I'm going to write at this moment. Shelley asked me to go get some soup for lunch and that sounds pretty good. I do plan on writing some more this week so stay tuned. Future topics include: CROSSFIT or as I call it concurring the 35lb bar, Why the Honda Fit is called the Honda Jazz in Norway, Favorite beers, and running.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Relearning how to run

In full disclosure I just finished reading Born To Run which is probably the reason I got the idea to run the Leadville 100 stuck in my head. Even if you are a non-runner I recommend the book for the following reasons:

1. You learn a lot about human history

The book goes into how humans were actually born to run, that we evolved in such a way that running was what solidified our existence over the neanderthals. This plays into the "barefoot" running trend that has been pretty big in the running circuit the last couple years. Those five finger shoes are cool and I'm tempted to get some, but I have also had fewer knee issues since running in my Mizuno wave alchemy and their similar trail shoe.

2. There are a lot of interesting characters in the book
Runners are sort of weird in general, to put it in perspective runners think ultra runners are weird. Just the existence of these characters make this book a fun read. You are already starting with a crop of people who are doing to do things you don't expect or think are humanly possible, hilarity ensues.

3. You learn about another culture
The book is centered around the Tarahumara Indians that live in the Copper Canyons of Mexico. The book gives you the quick version of their history and their existence today. These people could definitely fill the pages of many books, but given their remoteness and way of life few people come into contact with them which means there is little written history about them.

All in all this book combines aspects of competition, capitalism, hippieness, and drinking which makes for a great read.

So I read this book on the plane to Arkansas and it got me really excited. Just excited about running in general. I attribute the book to my successful 5K race the next day (I won my age group 30-39). In the book the author has to rethink and relearn running after being plagued with years of injuries. I'm no stranger to being hurt, especially my knees, so I figure I can't get worse by trying this too. During the 5K I kept thinking about the first element in the book to master the new way of running "easy" and just kept telling myself to make each step easy and before I knew it there was the finish line.

I went for a quick 5 mile run last night and during that run I focused on driving my knees forward. If you know me you probably know I have small feet and when I run I take little steps (tying in the name of the blog). Focusing on driving my knees forward made my strides longer. I kept thinking I was going so slow, but at the end of the run I ended up running just as quickly as when I'm "trying to run faster". It wasn't easy though, I had to constantly tell myself to drive my knee forward. As soon as I would stop doing that my knee would hurt a bit and I would get a stitch in my side.

5 miles is pretty far off 100, but you have to start somewhere right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This is my first post

So this is my first post. I have never written a blog before, but I read other people's blogs so in the world of internet that qualifies me to write a blog. Although, to be honest, I'm pretty hit or miss on actually following blogs so I have pretty low expectations for myself. I just figured I made a goal for myself to run the Leadville 100 by the time I'm 35 (I'm currently 30) and big life changing announcements with deadlines require you to start a blog and force the world to come along on your journey.

My blog isn't going to just be about my pipe dream of running the Leadville 100. I also play ultimate frisbee and work as a Lobbyist so expect to hear some stories about frisbee and politics. I also love the Evil Dead Series so that may come up too.

Thanks for reading. I don't know how often I will post, but I assume my followers will be clicking back regularly hoping to hear about my latest running break through or what some Legislator did that day that was totally weird. Like yesterday, I went to a hearing of the Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission about grease. This guy who collects yellow grease (the stuff people make bio-fuel out of) was super pumped about his job and in reference to being able to freely collect used grease without regulations "Is what makes America so great!" That made my day, considering my day was a 5 hour hearing on grease it didn't take much.

It's gems like the above that will make this blog worth reading....