running

the weather broke @ a record fifteen miles -iii

The sunlight was cheering me up and the kind exchanges I had with passerbys along the way. I was softening at a point in the run where I figured I woulda been going into ‘warrior’ mode. I passed a woman who looked awfully sad and wished I coulda cheered her up. A young man cruised past me on the uphill, doing sprints. There was a lady getting coached on the Guy West bridge, and I thought about my boyfriend who was gonna follow me on his bike today but had to cancel. I think it’s just as well – I like to run alone.

I always see many homeless encampments and the homeless folks either are keeping to themselves or, in my experience, are just as kind as anyone if you give them a shout and a smile. There are pits and labs off leash sometimes by the river, but I found so long as I don’t scare easy and just keep running toward them, everything will be okay. Only once (last week) did I change course because a dog was running toward me bellowing. He turned out to be more bark than bite.

The last four miles would prove to be the hardest, tracing the river west on the levee, but by this time I was just a slow train to sacramento and I was able to remove myself from the effort so that I honestly felt my body was its own charge and recharging system (paired with a couple more packs of gummies i stashed in my flipbelt), so all I had to do was envision finishing and get out of the way.

The idea of feeling pain crossed my mind but never really caught hold! Again, training in the heat had acclimated me to a higher threshold of pain. It gets so heavy some days when I finish these levee runs close to noon, I find myself dipping off the trail around sutter’s landing (2 miles from home) and splashing the cool clean waters over me to cool off. Today I still had cool breezes coming over me, which made all the difference in the world.

I made it home in 2 hours 45 minutes – exactly 11 minute miles x15 miles = 165 minutes. I made it! My boyfriend is really nice and he took me out for a large Peach Perfection at Jamba Juice to celebrate the victory.

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running

the weather broke @ a record fifteen miles -i

Before you let yourself start believing change cannot be kind, remember how summer breaks into fall and the most welcome change of all. I confess I hit the café for the pumpkin latté this morning to celebrate. The sweetness of the drink did of course mask her flavour, so I did what any good lover of coffee might well do and went home to top her off with a fresh pot. Since then I have been shining commensurate with the rising sun. Reading all the headlines may we not be pinioned by tragedy, no, may we only resonate with the triumphs in the world. Wanna try?

Yesterday I ran a new personal best in distance, down the river and back, more than 15 miles. I run a slow pace, slow and steady and I don’t care, eleven minute miles. The idea is to run and enjoy running long distances (my mom is funny, she’s calling me forrest gump). I tallied 41 miles across a five day stretch last week: 6-9-6-5-15. Each day more painful than the next, but I prayed to god saturday night I would wake up feeling ready and able to do the morning long run… and sure enough when I got up @ 3am sunday i felt okay and took it slow, ate a bowl of noodles and drank a thermos of black london tea no.1, did some light stretching to the gems of piano sonatas strung out by the gentleman on public radio, wrote a little, read a Russian fairytale, laced up my gray wolf Nike Pegasus runners, took a B complex vitamin and a caffeine pill, drank some organic juices and water, buttered my skin with Banana Boat, charted my course on g.maps, shook it out and hit the trail at marathon standard time, 7am…

journal entry

Journal # 09.02.2016

Tomorrow I will be driving with a friend 2 hours north past Lake Tahoe to Reno so we can hike Mount Rose. This mountain has the highest base in the Tahoe range, somewhere around 8,000 feet. The peak is 10,000. No big deal, just a fun trip and a way for me to cross train. Honestly my body feels like hell still from last week’s 41 total miles running so I am happy to take another day off this week. I have felt progressively worse since the 13:7mile B2B. That was my first ever half marathon, so maybe it was an overexertion? It’s all a big experiment. My nutrition and sleep needs are also part of the equation. I have been drinking a lot of water and V8 juices and eating PB&J on whole wheat and oatmeal, and salmon. But I lapsed for a few days into sourdough bread with cheese and tomato, and even had a 5-egg cheese omelet yesterday for lunch with sausage. I convinced myself that I oughta clear out the remnants of my old diet from the fridge – by eating! Bad idea. I am expecting to lose 15-20 pounds by december for the CIM, so I can be at ideal race weight (I have lost about 5 this past month). I can tell my legs are much stronger, and my lungs are doing more with the oxygen because I am rarely out of breath anymore. I’ve been keeping up with yoga and running in sun and heat lately, because I cannot get off work until 830am (would prefer to hit the road around 700am). The good news is that I have been feeling fantastic when I am on the road or river trail and running. I think if I continue to stretch well, tweak the nutrition and cross train when my body tells me I should, pushing the limits on the long runs, I should be just fine and ahead of the Hal Higden schedule I am following. I kinda wish I had chosen a trail run like the AR25 instead of the road marathon for my rookie race, cause I’m finding that the trail is so much softer on the body. Wait! I did sign up for the AR Parkway inaugural 20 miler in November. Though it’s registered as a road race, I can only hope it will be hybrid, if they leave room for running on the margins of the bike trail, where there is indeed earth.

paradigms and marathons

Activism. I was thinking back on the the Occupy Oakland movement and 2011. Brought on by one of Lacey Reah’s threads about MLK and demonstrations. I don’t always feel like revisiting the year, the time, because I was in trouble and of no use to anyone and definitely not a political movement of any kind, yet I remember the buildup one day toward an imminent call-4-action. There had been posters stapled to telephone poles and canvassing all throughout Oakland leading up to it. I was in my apartment watching Democracy Now which was covering the event, and you could already hear the helicopters hovering over downtown. They weren’t gonna leave after rush hour was over and the sun went down and the people began heading out on foot, by bicycle, by skateboard, bus, or train to Broadway and designated areas like the 14th and 19th street crosses downtown, subway stops near the lake. The organized protests were to be non-violent, but the city prepared for the worst kinda riot. I’m sure corporate lobbies were strong, what with all the infrastructure and banks and businesses situated there. The media would of course cover it all. The police were mobilized in force, with full gear and helmets and shields all up to make boundary walls that might enclose the protest in a demarcated area. This was many months before the most successful demonstration, which started in the afternoon and marched all the way to the Port of Oakland and blocked the trucks and stopped the million-dollar-a-day commerce from taking place for a couple of days. And after the Oscar Brown injustice, which set off a stream of protests and was (far from the first) precursor to all of the demonstrations we have seen lately in this country against police shootings. It had become a pretty regular thing for the city of Oakland to prepare for these events. Obviously the city is rich in history of demonstrations, being the home of the Black Panthers and neighbor to Berkeley and San Francisco. But the police force by this time was so corrupt and out of sorts it had been federalized, yes, the federal government took the Oakland Police under its jurisdiction by force of court proceedings! So there may have been extra weight behind them in the form of federal funds, but weaker local leadership.

None in the new millenium would get as much media coverage as the Occupy Movement which was of such national interest and concern five years ago. The internet allowed for speedy pop-up shop demonstrations and facile communication. Democracy Now provided almost a central organizing principle to the whole thing, or dressed it into larger, truth and justice-seeking themes. So anyway, what was I doing? Nothing worthwhile mostly struggling and depressed. I remember feeling excited nonetheless because the city was buzzing with tension. What was gonna happen tonight, downtown? All I knew was that I was gonna go, and I said I was gonna go and I never went. The story of my life that year, making plans and not following through. Addiction would have a chokehold on me until February 19th, 2013. Still, I felt like I was there; I talked to friends who went and I walked downtown the next day in the aftermath and saw all the vandalism that took place, mostly by renegade kids from the suburbs wearing masks. Broken storefront windows. Spraypainted everything. The only thing that looked more of a disaster was me and my life. It had been a night to forget for the Oakland PD. National coverage caught the cops implementing their weaponry, you probably saw it on tv. Looked  like the 4th of July, and sounded like war, the noise makers, the usual flares and tear gas and rubber bullets and tasers. It made for a new meaning for when-the-lights-came-up-on-broadway. That night a soldier who had returned from the war in Iraq was put into a coma when he was hit in the head by a flare shot. He would live to tell.

So what of all this? Why would I have anything to say about an event in which I did not participate? In a year in which I was completely broke down and out of commission? I don’t know. All I know is the Occupy and the Oscar Grant demonstrations had a great effect on me. The demonstrations against the Prison Industrial Complex did, too, but that one was safe indoors in a school gym. The ones in the streets meant more to me and it’s because I was in the streets back then, marginalized and easily dismissed, often desperate for a handout, some food, a couch, or even a word of kindness. Sometimes I think you almost have to be marginalized and feel that way, to really care about those who are marginalized. I say that, but at the same time I pause to recognize it’s not a fair statement, because there are plenty of lawyers and journalists and politicians and people who never have been marginalized, who have stood behind the marginalized. We call them heroes. And having been marginalized I know how it feels and I have a real adverse reaction in my gut every time I hear the Occupy Movement dismissed as some disorganized dilute homeless and criminal encampment looking for handouts! It was decentralized (on purpose) and not disorganized at all, and there were all kinds of people and all elements of society represented among its advocates, including the homeless and people with criminal records! It was branded by the government as some kinda terrorist activity so they could use funds from Homeland Security to stop it. And non-violent protesters were treated with shock and force and tear gas canistry, and piggybacked upon by losers from the suburbs putting on masks and coming in by train and breaking corporate storefront windows and spraypainting crap all over! The media at first blamed the violent response on the Occupy protesters or smudged them all together, though to their credit many journalists properly admonished the City of Oakland for terrorizing the movement, injuring civilians and overuse of force once they saw the Occupy people out there scrubbing away and cleaning up the streets the very next morning. No, the movement cannot be dismissed so easily!

There would be too much pressure against it, ultimately, for Occupy to continue having viable non-violent demonstrations across the country. But a statement was made and boldly. At the very least the general public got their heads dunked in cold water. That the wealth of this country is concentrated in the hands of too few, and the rest of us are seeing a declining portion of that wealth over time. Most of us knew this beforehand, and little could be done about it. The Occupy Movement was not any kind of failure, in my opinion, for it proved that something happens when people come together to rally behind a common cause. People come to know that they are not alone in how they feel, that horrible malaise of economic disparity. This venting may not in itself, correct the underlying economic disparity, yet is a critical part of a greater process which continues to unfold in its own time! This critical process is what we know as a social paradigm shift and is happening all around us, over time. It is met with great resistance (as all change is) but leads ultimately to overall changes in individual/institutional perceptions, changes in worldviews and changes in our culture trending toward justice, trending toward greater consciousness, many of which are toward healing and wholeness, and reclaiming marginalized parts of ourselves and society. You can see this all represented already in your world, if you just look around. LGBT rights, for instance. And there will be many more micro movements towards the macro movement. As individuals we need only follow the prescient wisdom of the day and ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’. To anyone who feels marginalized or discarded or hopeless at this time:Don’t give in and please Don’t give up!          – KatYa

My poetry was chosen for another ezine, you can find it here alongside some other good poets of the community — Words On Fire Ezine .  Also, I am training for the California International Marathon this December and donated some money to the crown jewel of Sacramento parks – The American River Parkway (my favorite place 4 cycling). This will be my first marathon. I am up to 10 miles now. You can find the CIM here — CIM! 2016.  Book #3 of myurban fantasy series should be out by October 31st, latest.

couch with netflix

some of my best decisions come outta me when i let go of logic and hold on to that feelin and so was tonite as i went ahead (with only a sliver of ‘proven’ in my pocket) and signed myself up (placed my bet) for the Cali International Marathon this december and the Run The American River Parkway (20 mile) event this november, so now i have 4 months of arduous training ahead which was not part of ‘the plan’ in my head all year, yet i will follow ‘the feeling’ instead cause it seems to make my life alot more interesting. i will be the first in my family to run a marathon so that’s cool, make my family proud. the greater hope i have and the part where the leadership quality in one’s own life appears (leadership as one who makes the unpopular and ever outrageous split decisions which turn out very well for everybody in the end), is not to shelf but rather to impel the big idea – the Book (of course) – i have my heart set upon. how? well, i reached ten miles (on my own time) in my latest run. i’ve been keeping a close eye on the physical as it interacts with my mental and psychological, and it’s been mostly stimulating. object in motion stays in motion kinda theory (which i believe in). yes there have been days lost to these long runs. but what is lost in the immediate aftermath of physical exertion is restored only to complement/supplement the mind and spirit quite soon after hydration and sleep. in these (restorative) conditions the muse is more likely to come out and play, and certainly more reliable than couching (her) with netflix.  my grace period (i gave myself) ends on halloween, what with national novel writing month on its heels. what i’m saying is, if you are leading the way in your life like you oughta, you may be unpopular with yourself but good things will follow, or inspiration follows perspiration (a duller way to say). i am making my moves and enlarging my ‘risks’ for greater ‘rewards’. the populist in me has the simple-minded view that drop-everything-2-focus-on-writing-the-books is the easy answer to all my problems, but the populist has made my life a living hell (in the past) because she’s an idealist and not at all pragmatic. times I so situated myself to carry on her way did not yield any bountiful harvest… i can see… so that my Book(s) may be written, I need only follow the feeling, drop the populist, lead the way, and amp up an already amped and blessed life scenario. are you with me? hold on cause here we go

a deepening

if you wait in the least comfortable place you may let yourself into an inner door of a greater force and inspiration, well, i just experimented myself and got there and how did it happen? Okay, first ingredient was the new moon. I have apparently been wrong again! in my awaiting the full moon, investing too fully in the symbol of the full moon and nothing else for a return on my energies. This is what happens when one is pulled at by so many angles you lose yourself and collective archetypes begin to pronounce themselves to you… so you go for a really hard exercise (in my case an 8mile run followed by a 1mile walk yesterday) which takes you out of your mind and into your body. then you get some uneven sleep chopped up by the trend of cats in motion and a subtle but heavy rumbling through the walls (the inhabitants of adjacent apartments). then you get up after midnight and heat the coffee and milk on the stove and walk around feeling the dull aches and pains in the body, softened by slippers on the feet. the pain is all further softened by cereal followed by a whole thermos of coffee taken slowly over time in capfuls. the sounds you allow are windchimes and passing trains and autos in the night, and voices and laughter of late nighters, all through cracked windows, and inside its gotta be either silence or kitchen humming and a low volume atmosphere of local public radio – classical. jazz is not to be discounted, but jazz is better for winter, classical for summer to counter the general liveliness. I tried a firm chair in the back room with the laptop on a small glass table. Had a capful and bantered with the cats. Stepped outside on back and front porches between times of writing or reading or thinking. Delta breeze in effect tonight. I was several times convinced I would need to go back to bed to restore energy. But these thoughts make no sense. I am nothing if not well rested! For several months now! Last year this time it was quite the opposite, or two years ago, when I was much more invested in coffee and perhaps a whole pot a day versus today less than half a pot a day and much easier on the nerves. At any rate, this was the semblance of my condition about three hours into my new day at night, a dull suffering through a lull period alone, when scanning a cell phone article about a famed spanish director who just cut a film loosely based on a famed canadian author’s short stories, i suddenly felt my energy congratulate me with a shift and i stepped down into the dark of my backyard (seeking lightly the one cat whose always out and about hunting), and saw the new light from the apartment building across Eggplant alley which was always there but now the entire building presents itself to me on one flank, for the tree removal people took down the side of trees for some reason last week and what took so many years to hide, is suddenly bare and exposed forever. And I thought in an passionate way about a dispassionate subject of renting a home, well, how many little spaces with aircon units jutting out in little boxes, how many little nooks and crannies there are in this and any city! That if you set your heart on a little space, man or woman, you may seek and find your very own! For there are so many even right here within a hundred yards radius of my own! And this was a happy thought which followed and follows with more and more inspired and happy thoughts, and I certainly would have laughed in your face two hours ago when I woke up sore and wondering, had you told me then that several inspired happy thoughts would come my way and brighten up these new moon days of crescending energies, and they have. they truly have.

love.recklessly

Love your life

recklessly

like a spire
in the air
past some meddlin
point of
despair
like you
don’even
care
Love yourself
in the morning
all scraggled your hair
yawnin before coffee
and meds
kickin in
Love your life
 at night
when you
can’even
see
 in haystacks
    drunken alleys
and trees
 wall to wall
rolling wheels
of cheese
 second
to loving
no’one else
   dreamin
haunted
up to no good
at all
in mirrors
fancy clothes
long halls
in waders
rising up
jumpers
the fish
on your
 knees
Love your life
in cups
straight up
with no chaser
bent stemming cherries
an shaken
an stirred
collapsed
like umbrellas
When it rains outside
the mayhem
behind locked doors
open but screened
walled up within
thirstin for light
dreamin of pinups
and ticker tape
parades
pregnant with life
in floods and capris
glasses and ice flashes
in the sun
rooftop flashing
the sky for a
sign

KatYa ©2016