House Keeping

I am proud to announce that over the weekend I completed my second ever half-marathon! It was a fantastic run and I loved every minute of it – yes, even the last half mile which was close to an 11% grade going up hill.

So first off I want to say a huge thank you to all those who have encouraged me and supported me in getting ready for this race! Especially my reluctant training partner and husband, Trav, who helped pace me through many really rough training runs.

This brings me to my second point – please welcome to the internet – nerdgogglesgorunning.wordpress.com.

This will be my new running and training blog where I share my running philosophies, random running thoughts, as well as recipes that are good for the wallet and your body.

I will still continue to post on 1224 but as more of a lifestyle blog! ūüôā

Here’s to blank pages and new beginnings!

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Stop Sweating Your Wedding – It’s Not a Sauna

I hate this sentiment: 
sweating-for-wedding--junior-fit-basic-bella-2x1-rib-tank-top_0c63d6ec00f0315393300f9a80e331ad_5294489_0_big

I really, really do.

Before I write a single word more, I want to start off first of all by stating:¬†I Think it’s wonderful you want to get in shape! Do not in any way¬†misconstrue¬†my post as being anti-workout! Or that I am dissing on your effort! Or that I think weddings aren’t worth getting in shape for!

Trust me! I get it. You’re proud of the effort you’re putting in to looking good for That One Day! Your Day! Bride Day! Wedding Bells and Rings Day! Expensively Free Booze and Drunk Relatives Day!¬†

I was a bride very recently. I get it.

I hate this particular sentiment for two reasons: Reason one the Tyranny of the Wedding Industry; and reason two because I’m a runner¬†and runners believe in consistency.

So, reason one: while you’re busy Zumba-ing, yoga-ing, Pi-Yo-ing, etc. your rear off at the gym, the wedding industry is busy raking in your (or your parent’s) hard earned cash, telling you that if you don’t have perfectly sculpted arms, shoulders and a bikini ready bum you are somehow unworthy of a white dress.

And that’s bull.

You are perfect the way you are – your future husband or wife picked you because you’re perfect right now and perfect for the rest of your lives.

The changes that the wedding industry thinks¬†you should make for your day aren’t sustainable. As soon as the wedding is over and you don’t have another goal to work for and post wedding bliss sets in – trust me – you’re going to see changes in the opposite direction.

Which brings me to my second reason why I hate this poor shirt’s sentiment¬†so¬†much:

DON’T DO IT FOR YOUR WEDDING!!! Do it for you!!¬†Your wedding does not equal The End! They do not roll credits after the champagne toasts! After your wedding you have a marriage.

And that’s pretty awesome.¬†

So – yeah – your wedding makes a great goal date for getting rid of those ten pounds you’ve been meaning to loose. But if that one night is all you want – then you’re wasting your time and money.

Keep it going! Keep getting in shape! Run a half marathon! Go make gains!

Always be moving forward! You’re getting better every day!

Workout because it makes you happy – and happy people don’t shoot their husband’s.200_s

Workout because you want to have a stronger, leaner healthier you, for the rest of your life.

Workout because you like to workout. Or workout because you really love cookies.

Workout because you’re stressed and this is good for you. Or workout because you’re not stressed and you want to keep it that way (and this is good for you).

Workout because you’ve got a life ahead of you!

You’ve got a marriage ahead of you!

Don’t just sweat for a dress.¬†

Pain and Suffering

Since last Thursday I have gotten in 13.1 miles. Which is, weirdly, the exact number of miles in a half-marathon.

To complement training, I’m reading Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I highly recommend it.

In the forward of the book, Murakami talks about how every runner has to have a mantra of sorts that they repeat to themselves. It’s how you get through those hardest miles that never seem to end.

Murakami mentions some of the ones he’s heard, including, “pain is inevitable – suffering is optional”. It’s sort of a Spartan-ish sentiment but I think that its something that everyone who is training – running, swimming, cross-fit, weight-training, etc.- needs to keep in perspective.

If you push yourself through those hard workouts; if you work hard; if you want to see changes, you’re gonna hurt.

You’re welcome

You’re breaking down muscle to rebuild it, so its tougher and stronger. You will hurt – probably not as badly as Captain Rogers did¬† – but you will hurt (sorry, my inner nerd-ling escaped).

I am not saying that you need to break yourself every time you work out. Rest is part of the program. Your body needs it to recover and heal!

What I am saying is that – when you hurt; when you’re on X-mile of a Y-mile long run – and you hurt; Or when you wake up the next day and you hurt, Don’t feel sorry for yourself.

That soreness is your body getting better.

You get better every time you max-out. Every time you finish your training run. Every time you stretch into Bird of Paradise. Your body gets better!

So, are you going to push through it – or suffer through it?

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Running

I am registered for two half marathons this year. Yes, two.

No. I am not in crazy good shape.

Actually – I’m sort of a rhombus, just, well square. I have left over muscles from 10 years of farm work and cross-country running in high school – but they are indolent muscles.

They are Netflix and wine muscles.

They are muscles that quietly sing Bruce Springstein’s Glory Days as they cry in their beer!

BUT NO MORE!daily-motivation-25-photos-148

Today, I become a positive runner!

Today, I am on a mission!

I have twelve weeks to get into good enough shape to run the Bald Peak Half Marathon, in Hillsborough, Oregon!

It is going to involve a lot of hill repeats! And Tempo-work! But, here’s to twelve weeks:da-mo-225

#theNextNorm

Family rests outside of farm near Noida, India.

Family rests outside of farm near Noida, India.

A lot of stars have aligned this week to make this post happen.

I spent the last three days at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa. I met representatives from Non-profits and companies coming together to feed the world. And Whole Foods Market bought the inside front cover spread of Fast Company.

So – to paraphrase Whole Food’s beautifully thought provoking, windfall-of-incoming-money, ad – the time is ripe.

Here in the US we are overly blessed. The average household spends less than 10 percent of its annual income on food. We are able to produce all of our staple crops within the US, giving us the highest level of food security in the world. We have reached a point where we are literally able to give food away in terms of foreign aid for relief efforts in developing nations and domestically to government funded food programs at schools and local food banks. Whether you agree with these efforts or not – the fact remains we are able to do this without our local food supply being impacted.

There are a lot of behind the scenes players that come together to make food happen – crop insurance, good infrastructure, food storage and processing. And at the heart of it all is the farmer.

This isn’t a post extolling the virtue of farmers. Many voices, louder and clearer, than mine have taken on that task to varying degrees of success.

This is a post to say that we as a global consciousness have an obligation to feed the world.

Norman Borlaug died in 2009 at the age of 95 in Dallas, Texas. Norman Borlaug saved a billion lives.

But you’ve probably never heard of him.

He believed in empowering youth and feeding the hungry. Borlaug was, in his heart, a farmer.

In 1978 Paul Harvey gave an address to the National FFA Convention called “So God Made a Farmer”. He extolled on the virtues of the farmer – their sense of community, strong work ethic and compassionate nature. Paul Harvey probably had the American farmer in mind because farmers in America are community keystones.

Borlaug dreamed of this being true for farmers across the globe. He wanted farmers in India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Botswana and dozens of other countries, to be empowered through education, access to infrastructure and new technologies to become those community keystones.

The running theories are that this can be accomplished by empowering women, who preform the vast majority of farm work in developing countries; access to infrastructure and markets; and education. Its kind of a vague running dialogue.

But its not just any empowerment. Not just roads and bridges. Not just blanket education.

We need to define better what these broad terms mean.

It isn’t enough to tell women they have power over their minds and bodies. We have to break through generations of social constructs and show men why they should value their wives and send their daughters to school. But how do you do this without making it appear that their culture is on trial (harkening back to the epically racist, “Whiteman’s Burden” argument of the late 19th and early 20th century)? How do you show women they have a voice when they’ve never had one before?

In the US we have agricultural co-operatives that function as a collective bargaining entity for members. They have access to large equipment that would be too costly for individual farmers to buy. They have grain storage and transportation. But how do you implement cooperatives in remote rural areas where access to water and sanitation isn’t available, let alone give easy access to a central location on often minimally maintained roads?

Education needs to be a priority as well. But education has really become too generalized. Yes! Educate! Great! But what do we need to teach? The extension services in the US provide farmers with access to great new research and information on everything from invasive species to plant diseases – but how do you reach farmers when you consider all of the afore mentioned complications? How do you ensure that they even get a crop to market?

Many companies, governments, NGOs and private individuals are bridging all of these gaps.

Syngenta for instance is using cellphones and QR codes to provide insurance to farmers. A card with a distinct insurance policy number is put in each bag of seed. Once planted, the farmer then uses their cellphone to activate the policy and insure the bag of seed. If a drought, flood or other weather event occurs within 21 days of that policy being activated the farmer can initiate a claim with their policy number and be refunded the cost of that bag of seed within 48 hours via money transfer.

Many more solutions like this exist. It’s just up to our generation to find them. We need to be the next Norm’s.

Everyone hopes they will say something profound with their last breath. Few truly do.

Norman Borlaug was the exception.

With his last breath, he reminded us to, “Take it to the farmer.”

In 2050 our global population is projected to be 9 billion people. We will have fewer resources, less arable land and a greater need for food security. There are problems that are our generation’s to solve. So, will you be the next Norm?

The time is ripe – take it to the farmer.

Across the Universe

Something about the 1960s has always inspired me. I think there was a different consciousness toward social change. There was a deep seated restlessness that evokes a sense of awe to later generations – even to those who didn’t agree with the rebellions.¬†

In many ways the 1960s defined movements, social rebellions and how people connect with each other. 

Recently I think that the latent feelings of rebellion have reemerged. In many ways the social constructs have been shaken. I think that there has been change in consciousness and feelings that change is eminent have made people feel ill at ease. The millennial generation has realized its voice in the form of social media.

If we look at current trends we can see people moving back to the singer/songwriter, folk-y, mellow and psychedelic rock that defined the 60s. A lot of your fashion trends can trace their roots back to the 60s and 70s. Example, people, including this blogger, are wearing big black framed glasses. While tie-dye will probably never resurface (thankfully) other trends of the era have made a significant comeback. 

To the business man Рif you want your business to be successful in the the modern world Рthe era of the suit and tie, benefits and mini-vans are almost over. Your younger employees want to be catalysts for change, despite their love for computers and internet, they want to be involved. They want to feel rewarded but not by money or nominal awards, while those are nice too. 

We want local.

We want real.

WE want to know we have made a change in the world.

We don’t care about new and improved or rod and pinion steering.

We want to know what YOU have done to promote positive change.

We want stories to connect to, (hello, UpWorthy?). 

Speak to us, not at us. the era of being sold to is over. 

So from across the universe, we are finding our voice again, realizing that things need to change. Millenials are no longer just taking 9-5 jobs, we are finding our own ways in the world and realizing that sometimes fulfillment doesn’t just come from a bigger pay check, it comes from doing something that we can believe will help others, change the world, or promote positive social change.¬†