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Morning dog play.

Morning dog play.

Two weeks ago my journal it reads, “sleepless, heavy, bloated, extreme lumbar pain, no endurance, fat belly, anxious, angry, 121 pounds.” I laugh as I read that.  I felt terrible and everything hurt, my left knee, right hamstring, right lumbar spine, I felt like I was  dying and hated getting out of bed.  This seemed to come out of nowhere in less than a 30 day period.

I couldn’t run without pain and I had trouble moving. My easy 10 miles at 8:30 pace  in January was now a really hard 10 miles at 10:30 pace in March. It made no sense so I decided the stress of teaching, being chairman, beginning my new artist residency at Govenors Island, and caring for my dogs (who by the way get walked over 50  miles a week!) was just too much. It is not that I wanted to stop running, but I put on a hold with my coach as I could not answer to another person and I got a dog walker 3 times a week.  Then  on a whim I took  the “Two Week Test” of carbohydrate intolerance  by Dr. Phil Maffetone.

The TWT is a test to see how your body handles carbohydrates by going off them for two weeks. Since I don’t normally eat meat or dairy I knew this was going to be tough. The premise is to cut out all carbohydrates for 14 days, with the exception of vegetable, but no potatoes or corn. You can eat eggs, fresh meat, (not bacon or cured meat), fish, nuts, heavy cream (no milk sugar) and that is  it. That is a lot of variety with loads of types of vegetables, fish and nuts. You cannot have any milk products, soy or rice beverage, fruit, cashews, peanuts, soda, energy bars or any grains what so ever. It is not gluten-free, it is carbohydrate free. You can read more about it on the link. Then after 14 days you introduce one fruit into your meal and see how you feel. You can add in a single carbohydrate to see if it sets off any feelings of being bloated, tired, low energy, poor concentration, gas or increased craving for sweets. If it does, drop the food, go back to only protein and fat and try a different carb at a new meal.

In 14 days, this is how it went. I ate a massive amount of fat, existing mostly on nuts and seeds. I  got to the point of making coffee with a tablespoon of raw unrefined coconut oil and two tablespoons of grass-fed cow heavy cream.  That drink was so fat I could last 5-6 hours before eating anything.   I never craved grains or sweets. My energy was through the roof, in fact it was almost annoying as I was firing on all cylinders. I ran almost every day between 30 and 60 minutes. My pace was slow, but that was also intentional. After today’s run I was dying for some fruit because I knew it was the last day.  This would be the first test. I went to Fairway and got giant packages of organic black and red raspberries, bananas and pineapple. As I washed the raspberries I was chucking them in my mouth, in fact I wanted to open up the whole box and stuff it in, but I resisted. I put them in a bowl and began to write this post. After about 20 berries I was done. I can’t eat any more. I don’t feel sugar laden, I am just satisfied. I put the bowl back into the refrigerator a little disappointed because I wanted to gorge on fresh fruit.

As for my “symptoms” listed at the beginning. Sleepless-I sleep far better and less hours.    My feelings of heaviness and  bloated-gone, extreme lumbar pain-gone,  no endurance-still working on that,  fat belly-gone anxiety-gone,  angry-gone, 121 pounds down to 116 and feeling really light, happy, and incredibly relaxed. Just the feeling of relaxation is amazing. Almost all the symptoms were gone between 24 and 48 hours. Just goes to show,  some experiences are really worth the effort. This was a successful experiment.

A little set back.

My one month follow up on my  2016 goals for. First, it has been a rough month. Nothing particular happened. The weather was glorious and warm, then suddenly it is -10 and kind of miserable to go out. I got a hamstring strain, then knee pain, then a wrist thing,  and a bit of falling apart. The good thing is that I have physically fallen apart in so many times, I know it is temporary. But as I watch my 7 year old labrador, the younger of my two, limp by me with all his exuberant sports injuries, I just want to curl up with him and fall asleep until everything heals up. At the same time I am planning my running outfit, because while it was -10 two days ago, it will be 50 today.

Goals

  1. Pistol Squat. I have not done anything in particular to keep working on this. But I am working on strength through kettlebell workouts. I love the StrongFirst method of kettlebell training.
  2.   Get  StrongFirst Certification. I took the one day workshop at the end of January. It was fantastic. It was one of the best classes on exercise techniques I have ever taken. That is what I like about kettlebell, while you are getting strong throwing around weights, you have to learn good form and technique. This further fed my desire to get  certified.
  3. Race the WhiteFace Skymarathon. This is in July and I am still planning on it. However I chose it because of the date and that I would still be in NYC, but now I might not be. There is a chance I can head to NM as early as July 1, and that I would do.
  4.  Race the Marquette Trail 50 in MI. This is the biggest change. I was excited to run in Michigan but my friend Gabrielle got into Leadville 100. And I can think of no better fun then going to Colorado to pace my friend in a 100 mile race through the Rockies. So I will switch this up.
  5. Build a canoe by hand.  I have that all schedule and I am very excited. I will make a preliminary kit canoe while at my LMCC Governors Island Artist Residency. 

I missed about a week running because everything just hurt in a bad way, not a “oh I just had a great workout way.”  I raced in 1 degree weather on Sunday and did horrible. My whole right side seized up, I could not feel my feet and I have to stop and walk then jog in a 3.3 mile run. It was bad. Thankfully my two relay partners were speedy so we still came in first. But right now I hate the way my body feels and I have no idea why it feels like it does. Basically it is as if I am not responding to training, then it never gets easier and that I am sore after the simplest of runs. My 10 mile runs at an easy 8:30 pace, I was suddenly struggling to run at 10:00 pace.  I am not doing much mileage, under 35 a week now. I registered for the Queens Marathon at the end of April, but I now have serious doubts. I feel like my body was replaced by an alien abduction overnight. It is frustrating because  I love the feeling of running, there is nothing like a few hours of loping through the city or trains. But now I tend to cringe at 6 miles, which I am about to go out and do. Maybe to day will be better.  I just hang in there and eventually I know it will change.

SMART Goal Reports

Has it really only been 10 days since I posted my goals for 2016? It is feeling like months ago. How am I doing on them? Well, lets see.

1. Master the pistol squat
I got pretty excited about this. I worked on it 1-2 times a week during a TRX workout. I have not put specific focus into the pistol, but I have been working ankle flexibility and regular squats to help make it happen.

2.  Get  StrongFirst Certification
I am registered for the 9 hour technique course on January 17 at Five Points Academy in Manhattan. I am looking forward to it. I am also taking kettlebell class 3x a week right now. I plan to do more as I work it out with my running schedule. I don’t want to burn out doing both.

3. Race the WhiteFace Skymarathon.
I am registered for the Skymarathon at Whiteface in the Adirondacks and I have a coach who is working me out daily.

4. Race the Marquette Trail 50 in MI
I am registered for the Marquette Trail 50, a now sold out trail race in Michigan. But, two friends just got into the Leadville 100,  through the lottery, Leadville 100 is probably one of the most coveted  racing in the country, that takes place in Colorado the same weekend. One friend I paced at the Javalina 100 got in, and, well, I would love to skip my race to pace her to a 100 mile finish. I will still get in my 50 miles, but in the mountains of Colorado and with a super fun friend.

5. Build a canoe by hand.
Until I secure my class, which will be with Hilary Russell, there is a great fundraiser for a canoe at Yestermorrow School.  It is a beautiful hand built canoe, a narrow passage 14, only 22 pounds, made by Mr.  Russell. For only $10 you can enter the raffle for a  $1400 canoe. If you have never heard of Yestermorrow, and you are interested in design and hand-built, you must check it out.

I have been working with Coach Sean Meissner at Sharmaulta for just about 4 weeks. My distance is increasing and the quality, fast running, is increasing even more. I had a few days of painful lower back, high hamstring which created undue anxiety and emotional stress that made me overall cranky but I ran 14 miles yesterday in a pretty relaxed state and feel good now.

All in all my goals are remaining S.M.A.R.T., I can measure progress and build all my other life events around it, like putting up an exhibition. I have an exhibition of printed and cut paper going up in Brooklyn at LIU, over the next 8 days and I have application out for grants and residencies to carry through to 2017. I feel like I am honing in on a few things and it feels pretty darn good.

S.M.A.R.T. 2016

hilary_bolder

Hilary at Bald Peak, Adirondack Mountains, NY Dec. 2015

It  turned midnight for my friends in Lake St. Clair, Tasmania, in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. Happy New Year! Yes, of course Happy New Year to all in Australia, but I have friends in those four places and want to make a particular shout out to them.

I do not make resolutions but I do make goals for the year. They are nothing crazy, they are  measurable, reachable goals that involve developing skills and strength through practice.  These goals only make my life more rewarding by having a healthy strong body but they are also really fun and will involve 6 months or more of practice each.  So in particular order:

  1. Master the pistol squat. 
  2. Get  StrongFirst Certification
    This is not so that I can teach Pavel Tsatsouline method of kettlebells, but to prove to myself that I can develop the strength to do 100 kettlebell snatches, 12kg in 5 minutes. along with perfect form in the

    • Swing (one 12kg bell)
    • Turkish Get-Up (one 12kg bell)
    • Double Clean (two 12kg bell)
    • Press (one 12kg bell)
    • Double Front Squat (two 12kg bell)
    • Snatch ((one 12kg bell)
      There is a 30% failure rate on those that can even make it to  certification day.
  3. Race the WhiteFace Skymarathon,
    So when I say “race” I don’t want to just participate and run it, I want to run it hard and do well. Thanks to my new coach, Sean Meissner at Sharmaulta I am feeling really good about this. I have worked with Sean for just 2 weeks now, but I love how he puts together a training plan.
  4. Race the Marquette Trail 50 in MI
    Same as #4. Additionally having a coach, I can focus on the work I need to do, running, and not think about planning my run schedule. Plus a coach can see far more clearly when their athlete needs to be pushed or needs to back off. This is hugely important to me.
  5. Build a canoe by hand.
    This takes a lot of skill, none of which I have.  I identified two canoe building teachers, one at the Adirondack Folk School,  the other at the Bershire Boat Building School. What I especially like about the Bershire school is that the man who own’s it is named “Hilary.” Many of Hilary’s boats classes are  solo lightweight canoes for easy carry and would be awesome for Adirondack canoe camping.

Of course there are other things I will do, other races, personal bests I want to beat, but right now they are not specific or measurable, two requirements of a good goal, as in S.M.A.R.T. defined as one that is specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and timebound.

After being in a boot last year for my broken foot and getting  weak, I am all about strength focus and having fun. Being that my goals involve skill makes them all the more interesting. What are your S.M.A.R.T goals for 2016?

Dogs in the studio waiting for Hilary

Dogs in the studio waiting for Hilary, photo by Lisa Studier

We have been having a lot of rain in Abiquiu, NM, big thunderstorms every afternoon. This causes flooding and roads to wash out but so far things were passable, until my adventure last night. This has nothing to do with running, not really, but it is an adventure and my broken foot is involved..

After dinners with friends at a restaurant 30 miles from home, I return to find the road completely washed out and a fast running riverin it’s place. There was no way to cross it. I turned around, backtracked 12 miles try another way home. Just after my turn off, I seestalled headlights and a flood of rushing water. Two girls drove their tiny car into a rushing arroyo of water. Of course it stalled and they were stuck in who knows how much mud with water up to the car doors, at 9:30pm in the dark, no stars, no moon, totally dark.  I had no cell service told them I would go get help. I find a guy with a truck; that did not take long. As he went to rescue them, I drive back the 12 miles to get a room at theAbiquiu Inn. Meanwhile I was freaking out because I had a friend at home, Lisa, who I could not call and tell her what was happening. (I am not concerned about getting home, only that she is there and has no idea where I am). I get to the Inn just before 10pm, their doors are locked and no one is working. How does a hotel stay in business if they are closed to last minute travelers?  I freak out a bit more because I cannot tell Lisa that I am sleeping in my car tonight because the road is washing out. The nearest cell phone reception is 15 miles away and I was not about to drive it.  On top of that, just today I took my survival kit of boots, blankets, flashlight and goodies, out of the car to move some tables.  I do not even have a blanket, but I do have a jacket. Not that it is cold, I just like be covered up when I sleep.

I think about who’s house I can show up to at 10pm, and who has a passable road.  I was at dinner with Debra and Frank and I decide to go there. Their road is covered by mud slides but the good ole’ Subaru gets through fine. I get to their dirt driveway and see both their gates closed. The closed metal gate has tall tree limbs stuck through it preventing people from leaping over. But after all my attempts to get home, broken booted foot or not, I was getting over the fence. I climb the fence and it is pitch black out and muddy. I slide down the hill and work my way around to the dark back yard. Not a single light anywhere.  I then think, “What if they have guns?” It seems like most people do out here, so I decided to start calling out their names, even though I know they can’t hear me in the house.  I was worried  if they did hear me, they would think I am a prowler. (I never told them that part of the story) I find the front door and knock loudly, calling out their names. Frank comes to the door and just as I open my mouth to say what happened and how I have to call Lisa, I begin to cry a bit.  Debra immediately asks if I want to stay, “yes, please I need to stay.” I felt instantly better and so happy to be with them in their home. What a relief. After I called Lisa, I was fine. But guess who wasn’t? Homer, look at the sad face he wears when I am not home.

Sad Homer waiting for Hilary to return

Sad Homer waiting for Hilary to return, photo by Lisa Studier

When I drove home the next morning about 7am the giant earth movers had already been out for a couple of hours putting the road back together. It was  a good feeling to get home. The dogs have been stuck by my side all day. My foot is a little sore now but I do not think it was because I climbed a gate and sloshed around in the mud. I have been doing a bit too much on it. On Friday I get my next x-ray to see how it is healing, it has been 5 weeks.  I hate not being able to run, but even more I hate that I could not ditch my car last night and just walk home. That was the worst part of this.

Yesterday I posted my sold painting, it was on the wrong blog. I have my art blog, hilarylorenz.wordpress.com where I am doing a 30 day watercolor challenge.  But that mistake  get me to update this sports and adventure blog.

Basically I am about to jump out of my skin. Four weeks in a boot with my broken foot. While the pain has gone down tremendously, the doc wanted me 100% non-weight baring for another week. I have not complied. I always wear my boot, but I walk without my crutches. I am swimming a bit, but mostly feel pretty depressed from my total lack of exercise. I go back on July 10th for a follow up x-ray. At least I can see the bones in my feet now that the swelling is gone.

In the meantime I try to keep my humor with a weekly dose of donkey visits, really visits to see my friends Michelle and Tom, but the donkeys are a real bonus. After my foot broke I coached Michelle who is headed to Senior Olympic Nationals today for her first competition on Saturday. Good luck Michelle, I know you will do great. I will pet the donkeys while you are away.

Hilary with mini donkey

Hilary with mini donkey

Day 1 Elk Watercolor Sold

Day 1 Elk Watercolor Sold

Day 1 Elk Watercolor is sold, but check in tomorrow, July 2 for the Day 2 Watercolor Challenge, available at 6pm EST from

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