I put a lot of time and thought into the video and what I wanted it to display. This is a little less of what my year was, but more of what I learned from it and what I want to do in 2012.
What I learned:
1. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread shoved into a camelbak will be a bread, peanut butter and jelly ball after 5 miles…without fail. Use a harder bread instead.
2. Salami is NOT a trail running food…for ANYONE involved.
3. Running while your DayQuil battles it out with the NyQuil you took a few hours before because you thought you should sleep and then changed your mind and decided a run would be smarter …. IS NOT FUN. I might need to redo that trail because I don’t remember much of it.
4. Running on Vicoden isn’t smart either. When my back is out, just stay in bed because it’s THOSE runs that I get lost and end up running 25.5 miles and run out of water with 10 miles left to go!
5. Don’t do long term running in hiking shoes. I ran a good hundred miles on a pair of hiking shoes and lost about 4 toenails. They fit perfect for walking, but if you’re running you need to get about a half size bigger and shoes designed for running. duh.
6. A camelbak (water bladder/backpacky thing) can only hold so much and I have had everything in there at one time and after a year of this figured out what is needed for me to get through a run/hike; chomps, knife, snake bite kit, pill box, bandaids, bug spray, sunblock, backup shoe laces, lighter, food, electrolytes tabs and a favorite little snack.
7. There will be snakes. You can’t zone out for a second when running on canyon trails or you will pay the price by either going down a cliff or stepping on a snake (or two).
8. Pack a map. SO much less stress. SO MUCH.
9. For me, dress light no matter how cold it is, a mile in I am going to shed the jacket and leg wear and have no place to put it.
10. This is fun. I learned to enjoy it…that was after the shin splints, leg cramps, lost toenails, hip and back popping in and out and trial and error of actually doing it.
In my Relationship:
1. it’s taken awhile of wondering HOW I fell in love with him, but I did today when explaining it to a friend. I watched that man every day during one the crappiest time of his life walk around and treat people with as much kindness as he felt they deserved. He never once complained or even hinted that his life wasn’t all that had hoped it would be. He just was there to walk past my office and see that my door was closed and knew I was having a hard day dealing with the shit that was going on in my life and would just be nice when I had done nothing to deserve his kindness. Without him knowing that I knew what was going on, I would see him hold his head up, go to work everyday, never take his shit out on anyone else, never lay out all his drama on anyone, never talk shit about the shit he was being put through.
He had strength that I admired. It took awhile, but I see that now.
I know that this year coming year I have to stand up for myself when people aren’t treating me right. I have to take the steps THIS year to ensure that and of all the things I learned last year, the thing that will carry me through is, “I can…and I will.”
In January of 2011 I bought my first pair of shoes. They were Merrell hiking shoes. Within the first few hikes I began to run. I knew that I shouldn’t be running in these shoes because they didn’t have the support system I would need.
I bought a pair of Asisc trail running shoes, but after a month of running in them I had to return them because they didn’t release the heat and because I run through knee high water at certain parts of the trail and they didn’t let the water out.
I replaced those shoes with a pair of Brooks Cascadia trail running shoes and I fell in love with them. I’m talking IN LOVE, could write a poem about them…would marry them if I could.
During my trail running shoes adventures, Tabitha had bought a pair of Vibrams FiveFinger shoes. I wasn’t impressed with the look of the shoe or the support they would offer out there.
Soon after Dan bought a pair of them. Again, I wasn’t impressed with the look and endlessly picked on him about them.
Then something crazy happened…both Tabitha and Dan started getting ridiculous muscles in their calves and legs. They could both take these insane hills like they were no problem at all.
Long before Tabitha got the shoes, I started researching the pros and cons and watching an absurd amount of podcasts on reviews from runners, doctors, podiatrists and just normal every day wearers of the shoes.
I secretly decided I wanted to give them a try. Since I am one of those people that never wear shoes unless I’m outside and spent a million hours as a kid running around in the hills without shoes I figured what would it hurt to at least try them out.
I got a pair a few days ago and I took them out for a spin.
My boyfriend has watched and encouraged me on my lifestyle change but has never joined me out in my playgrounds of Auburn California. I’ve promised him to take him out on a hike and not run if he would just join me once.
On Christmas morning with a deep desire to get a couple miles on the shoes, I asked him if he wanted to go for a walk and I picked a simple trail out in the canyons. We harnessed up the dog and headed out. I took it slow to see how the rocks and ground would feel. His walk is about equal to my slow jog and if I fell back just enough I could do short sprints to see how they would hold up. I could tell I was more in tune to the ground and how my foot struck. The Treks that I picked out have more grip than some of the other models of the FiveFingers and are made for trail running. They held up nice on the rockiest part of the trail. Not once did I say, “OUCH” like I was prepared to do.
At the bottom of this big hill I decided I was going to do a power walk up. There is something about the shoes that actually allowed me to sprint the hill and I didn’t have the lag I normally have halfway up.
On the way back I was encouraging the dog to do a little one minute jog with me and low and behold those little doggie legs kept up fine. I couldn’t help but notice that my boyfriend was actually doing a little bit of the running as well.
This morning we made our way to the shoe store so he could get himself a pair of Brooks so he can (possibly) do a run with me at the beginning of the year. There is no way to put into words the pride I have right now that he’s willing to take this small step into such a huge part of my world. He said he wasn’t going to run, but I told him he might accidently start running. I’m willing to hang back and enjoy the time we have together in our first (and maybe only) official race together.
On the Hiking with the Exes site I will be doing more on the review on the Vibrams FiveFinger Trek shoes. We shall see if this is for me. For the record, they are ugly as hell and I tried on all types of them in hopes of finding a pair that were bit stylish, but really…how can you make these Shrek feet looking shoes cute? You can’t…so I am just going to go with it and hope they grow on me.
I will be writing it as the year comes to an end.
I just can’t believe its December.
This is the first year in all the years I can remember that I am truly bummed that it’s over.
I had high hopes for 2010, but I was still working out all the bullshit from 2009 to fully grasp the new start I was being handed.
Yesterday I began working on my “2011 – My Story”. I swear, I made myself cry thinking about how depressing it is that I have to say goodbye to this year. This is such a foreign feeling for me because it feels like every year I just want NEXT year to be better, swearing that it will be and making up my mind to FINALLY make it happen. This year, I did it. Not a few months I was doing good, feeling great, loving it…I got the WHOLE YEAR. There wasn’t a single month that I can look back on and say, “That one sucked.”
This doesn’t mean that I didn’t have bad days, and even bad weeks. I have had some doozies. I’m going to chalk up every single dentist appointment I’ve had this year as a bad day. The cool thing about this year is that no matter how bad it got, I knew I was going to be okay and the only thing I could do was roll with it. By the time I got laid off from my job, I had built up a lot of strength. That day I was walked out, I got in the car, drove home and signed up for unemployment, went and found an apartment and gave my 45 day notice to my landlady. I kept waiting for the moment I was going to lose it, cry hysterically and freak out about my future. Later that night I was sitting outside with Lester and I asked him, “When am I going to snap?” … he said, “I don’t think you will.” He was right. I didn’t.
Since then I have of course cried a hundred times, but mostly for really stupid stuff…like the show Biggest Loser…a perfect sunset from my balcony in Maui…and when he pulled me into his arms and said ‘this is happiness’ on Thanksgiving. They are happy tears now.
What is going to happen in 2012? I know I am going to keep doing the things that made 2011 so fantastic, cultivate the friendships that made 2011 amazing and start repairing the things I need to repair.
I want to take on a new hobby that I can do on Saturdays. I’m thinking rock climbing or kayaking.
This year I am going to truly celebrate new year party when I VERY sadly say goodbye to my favoritest year and welcome a brand new year.