car key lost car key

Thursday & Friday: Lazy days. No excuse.
Saturday: 8 miles, 1:24:40

That today’s run didn’t go as planned is an understatement. I’m still surprised I finished them.

Felt good this morning, took my time heading out (Jon is in class all day, so I had a quiet morning), and went to the trail around noon.

I also lock my wallet and keys in my trunk and just tie my car key on my shoe. My mind was apparently really occupied on the coming run, because I pulled my house key off, tossed everything else in the trunk… and closed it. And then realized I had the wrong key.


Jon is in class, so I couldn’t borrow someone’s phone and have him meet me in an hour and half. My car is a pain to “break” into so that’s not an option. Sigh*** I’m annoyed with myself at this point.

But hey, I out here for a run. Fine. I take my run back home instead. I have no idea how far it is, but oh well. Getting home took me exactly 30 minutes. I guessed it to be between 2.5 and 3 miles – 2.62 to be exact. I checked.

I don’t have a fancy GPS watch, as it’s not in the budget at the moment, so I run marked trails (or neighborhood routes that I know the mile markers) and just lap my timer. This mean no split times for today.

But I did check the distance on after I ran home to map out the rest of my 8 miles. Get a drink, grab my spare key, and run back. Plus another 2.5 miles.

Let me just say, I do not enjoy running on roads. I like parks. Trails. Even a track. I don’t like sidewalks, people, intersections and cars. I don’t understand how people so street runs with headphones in.

All in all, I finished those eight miles in 1:24:40. Average of 10:24 per miles. I gotta say, I’m happy with that. Half way through the run I made a goal of finishing in 1:25:00… and particularly considering I didn’t have per miles to push myself, I’m a little surprised I hit the goal.

That, and the last two miles were terrible. As in horrible. As in the most miserable miles I’ve run in memory. My calves are so sore, and I am SOOO enjoying my new prescription compression socks. (More on that later, but in a word, awesome).

And horrible miles do not matter anymore, because GUESS WHAT???

Now starts my week–long running diet. I’m so excited.

no running sign

get involved

Occupy, PlankADay, emergent church
& the Climate Reality Project

To be part of a movement is to be part of something greater than yourself. It is joining in solidarity with people of similar goals. A single voice is lost in a crowd, but the unified voice of a crowd is hard to ignore.

The Occupy movement recently hit its one year anniversary, and it has led me to consider the power of a “social movement.” In some areas of my life I feel very connected with a community, and in others I’m still searching for a place to settle. Being a part of something hits close to home. What follows are thoughts and examples from my personal experience.

Occupy movement demonstrator oaklandI was just an observer as Occupy took center stage this time last year. But I will say, as a non–participant sympathizer, I was touched. People around the country came together to demand change. They went beyond letting their “voices” be heard via and election and took to the street. They became desperate enough, hurt enough, angry enough to organize protests in over 600 communities until they were heard. As the country was in the bitter grip of recession and the Arab Spring was exploding across the ocean, I thought for the first time that we might see truly violent protests here at home.

Now before anyone jumps on me for not having my facts straight, I will say up front that I followed the Occupy news pretty closely and I still had a hard time really understanding. I mean, the basics were clear: the 99% are tired of the economic structure that favors the top 1%; the government bailed out Wall Street but left struggling families to fend for themselves. The main challenge and critique of the Occupy movement was that there was not a clear demand.

But I digress. The purpose of this post is not to argue the validity of the Occupy movement. I more interested in talking about being part of a movement. Any movement. So here are a few more examples from the last several months:

1. #PlankADay

I became part of this twitter community just a week ago, and I love it. What started as two friends who hated core exercises has grown into a thriving online community of nearly 5,000 “plank tweeps” at the last update. The movement is complete with a leader board, t-shirts and Plank Police to catch those who haven’t been posting times. This is a small example of a social movement…. but they all start small, right? It is growing organically; it is a community of support; the movement has a clear goal – get more people planking, more people fit, more people motivated to be healthy!

To learn more, or join the Plank A Day Nation, check out these resources:

2. Emerging church

Also known as the Emergent Movement or the Emergent Conversation. According to Wikipedia, emergent participants are part of, or from, a wide range of Christian faith traditions, including protestant, post–protestant, catholic, evangelical, post–evangelical, adventist, reformed, charismatic, and more. They are politically liberal and conservative.Dear Church Sarah Cunningham Emergent church

“Many within the emerging church claim to be disillusioned with the “organized” and “institutional” church. They support the deconstruction of modern Christian worship, modern evangelism, and the nature of modern Christian community (Wikipedia).” The emergent movement places great emphasis on social justice, using the original cultural context of the Bible, communal living and a desire to imitate the life of Jesus.

This example is fairly personal. My  brother and sister–in–law were involved in an emergent church before they moved, and Jon and I are still exploring where we fit in this varied world of Christianity. There are a lot of things about the emergent movement that we really respect and appreciate. Then again, there are things about other Christian traditions that we respect. So currently we are in this “middle space,” exploring different churches around town to see where we fit. As far as I know, there is not an emergent community here, but if there was, you better believe we would be sitting down with them and asking questions.

3. The Climate Reality Project

From the website: “Climate change is not your fault for the car you drive, the lights you turn on, or the food you eat. The climate crisis is our problem. Real solutions, systemic solutions, innovative solutions, can only come when we address it together…. The Climate Reality Project is bringing the facts about the climate crisis into the mainstream and engaging the public in conversation about how to solve it.”

climate reality project 24 hours of realityWhat I appreciate about this project is that, from what I can tell, they are not about blame or fighting over the cause of climate change. The project focuses on solutions; on changing how we think about energy and climate; on education and communication.

As the others I’ve talked about, this one is new for me. Being passionate about environmental issues is certainly not new, but I learned about The Climate Reality Project recently from Jon. And I have to say, I’m impressed so far. This is something I can buy into. A movement I can be a part of . Change I can really get behind.

Which brings me to my conclusion. This journey has taught me a few things about social movements (and these are just my opinions). First, that they must be organic. Sure, in time, movements either die out or become an organized system, organization, political party, etc. But somewhere in the beginning, in the founding stage, in the growth, it has to be organic.

Second, a movement must have a clear purpose. Occupy is an example of this not being the case, and it showed. The emergent church movement is similar. Proponents of both could say this lack of clear, organizing purpose is partly the point, and I can see that. But I also think a movement is much stronger and has a longer life span with a clear focus that people can understand and support.

Third, in our culture, a movement has to be social online. I could be a little biased because social media is a big part of my job, but so much of our get involvedcommunication, news gathering and idea generation happens on the blogosphere that a social movement simply will not as effective without a social media component.

And finally, they must have some form of leadership or founders. This one I’m willing to be argued out of, but bear with me. My online communities center mostly around fitness and health. That’s simply the part of my life that I allow online. These bloggers, tweeters and professionals have a clear goal of motivating people to life healthier lives. So is my social community also a social movement? Parts of it maybe; but not the whole. The same way I would not say all religious scholars writing blogs are part of a movement for more religious or faith involvement. For me, this is where the definition goes gray.

I guess what is most important to me is that people are active participants… they are part of something. As a professor friend said to me once:

“I want my students to be passionate about something. I don’t care if they agree with me or not. I just want them to get involved in something they care about.”

Isometric calf stretch

Tuesday: no workout
Wednesday: bike to work, 25 min. total | ZWOW #35, 12:30 | upper body strength, 150 reps | abs & core, 150 reps

Sorry…. what?

I’ve now had an MRI, an electronic nerve test, a thyroid test and visits to various medical offices. All came back fine. I’m fit as a fiddle. The neurologist told me, “I don’t deny that the symptoms are real. But there is nothing wrong with you.”

And yet I still have numbness below the knees. I still get an obnoxious tingle-y muscle spasm sensation that is just horrible.Calf stretch downward dog

The conclusion during today’s follow–up appointment with my primary doctor is that I need to stretch.

This is mildly annoying to hear now, after everything else. And I should point out that I stretch very regularly, including calf stretches. I have a dance background and I’ve been active pretty much my whole life. I know how to stretch and I’m more flexible that most people I know.

That being said, I have always had a very short Achilles tendon. Like, 20 – 30 degrees less flexibility than the average person, according to the doc today. He thinks that, particularly when I run, this causes my upper calf muscles to essentially bunch up, which in turn blocks or shuts down the nerves in my lower calf. Not really sure how that works, but hey. He’s the doc.

And it does make sense. I just complained to Jon earlier this week that it’s hard to really stretch out my sore calves after a run because I can’t get deep enough to really stretch my upper calves. Damn Achilles tendon won’t let me get that far. So my upper calves have to compensate for the lack of flexibility in my lower calves when I run, which works and tenses the upper a lot more…. and then I can’t really stretch it out well afterwards.

calf stretch angle boardAwesome! I’m now supposed to go a physical therapist to show me good stretches for this, build an angled contraption to stand on (like this guy <– ) and stretch everything out at home… and he wrote me a prescription for compression socks because I asked. Doc doesn’t think they’ll really help, but I want to try. Hopefully they will ease the symptoms while I get my stretch on to fix the problem.

Who woulda thought that flexibility would be the cause….

Have any of you had a similar experience? Does the extra special stretching work and I can really have hope this will get better??

Greatist: The complete guide to calories

If you know me at all, you know I’m a sucker for info graphics. Any subject, all purposes… if you show me information with pretty colors, nifty charts and succinct information, I’ll probably post it on a board somewhere and follow you forever.

Today’s eye candy comes to you from Greatist – which you should follow if you’re into healthy living. So… everybody. 🙂

Greatist: The complete guide to calories

Get health and fitness tips at

Texting and running; typewriter on the road

Sunday: active rest day; ~4 mile walk downtown with Jon.
Monday: 3 miles, 27:00 min. (8:18 / 9:30 / 9:12)

I am super proud of those three miles. Do you see those times? Not just under 9, but under 8:20? Longest one at 9:30?

You know, sometimes I amaze even myself. Thank you Han Solo.

I went into today’s run wanting a time of 27:00 minutes. I started hard, and took advantage of the downhills in the first mile. (Those are paired with a couple up hills, too, so it’s not like I have an easy downhill mile). The second mile in this park loop is always the hardest. The third is a bit easier, but I had to sprint the end to make my goal.

I’m satisfied. Though I can’t take all the credit. Jon was with me on this one, and was cheering me on at the end. “Go. Run. Get your time!”

My #PlankADay’s for Sunday was a 2:02 standard plank, 1:30 right side plank and 1:01 left side. Monday was 2:02 again regular plank, then 1:10 on each side.

The rest of today’s post is dedicated to texting and driving. Sounds cheesy, possibly annoying to hear again…. but it’s been on my mind since Jon received this text over the weekend:

“Please dont call. Im driving. Please text.”

Look people. Don’t be stupid. Everyone knows it’s a bad idea toHonk if you love Jesus; text while driving if you want to meet him text or email or even call while driving. So just don’t do it. No message is worth dying for…. and it certainly isn’t worth you killing someone else. It isn’t worth car damage, it isn’t even worth that stomach–in–your–throat swerving moment of not paying attention.

I have made it a habit for a long time now that I don’t even have my phone out when I’m in the car. I don’t pick it up when I’m at a stop light. I don’t read, much less respond, to texts. Except on very rare lapses, my phone is never in my hand while I am behind the wheel.

Granted, this can also apply to many things: drinking coffee, changing the radio, eating something, the classic putting on makeup…. the list it endless. Add another level to this as a biker. I’ve had too many experiences with drivers not paying attention and nearly running me off the road.

I’m not even going to argue that texting and driving should be illegal in all states. It’s hard to legislate stupidity.

So please please please, don’t be stupid. Just don’t do it. Be opposite of Nike.

And watch this. It’s a few years old – and fair warning, it’s pretty graphic – but really good.

Then let me know what you think in the comments. Does this PSA work? Should texting and driving be illegal? What are your habits behind the wheel? Any personal experiences with a text–related accident?