Strong Feels Good

All morning long I couldn’t shake this chill. The temperature had dropped to maybe 4-5 degrees over night and I am sleeping with my window open. Yesterday morning I woke up warm but the moment I stepped out of bed I was shocked by how cold my room was and that feel stayed with me all morning. After I had finished with the Kombucha I put on my warmest running t-shirt and headed out for a repeat of a solid 10 mile run I had done two weeks prior. The race last weekend had made me miss my long run so I was feeling anxious about getting out there again. Especially since my calf was tight since before the race last weekend.

My legs were still feeling tired even though I had taken two days off. I did go quite hard last week running 5 days straight all of them quality runs. By the time I found my pace it was already the end of the 3rd mile and I was heading into the park. The shirt I was wearing turned out to be too warm so I stopped briefly to stash it under a tree. Through the park I tried to pick up the pace and managed to do three solid miles hitting 6:33, 6:38, 6:33. My average pace was still 6:47 because of the slow first miles so I held the pace and hovered around 6:35-6:40 for the rest of the run.

On the boulevard path I passed one of the racers from the Puma 5km series who was running with who I assume is his partner. He had beaten me the first race when I was still finding my legs but had placed right behind me in the other two 5kms. He seemed to recognize me and we said hello as we went by each other. I came into the last mile at 6:30 and a total time of 1:08, a full minute slower than the previous run. Oh well, can’t PR every time.

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This morning I went to the YMCA for the first time in maybe two weeks. The nice weather, racing and playing so many shows had taken up all of my time, or at least posed as a nice excuse not to go lift weights. But today I sucked it up and went in.

I had a quick breakfast of left over pizza and a shake before hand. I snacked while looking over workouts and weight training exercises on the internet. Plyometrics has really been the only thing to seriously drain the life out of my legs. Maybe running the Hill on one of the hard days did too but doing a Plyo workout seems more efficient maybe. I drew up a work out plan for today and I am hoping to repeat it later this week and early next week again. Here’s what I did:

Warm Up – 1 mile easy, 2 x 30m A’s, 2 x 30m B’s, 2 x 30m Butt Kicks into High Knees, 4 x 30m Bounding

3 sets of – 10 x Split Jumps, 10 x Jump Squats, 1 lap easy
30 second recovery

3 sets of – 2 single leg squats + 10 hops per leg, 10 x Kangaroo Jumps, 1 lap easy
30 second recovery

2 sets of – 10 chin ups, 10 dips, 10 suspended leg lifts, 10 push ups, 1 lap easy
30 seconds recovery

2 sets of – 10 x Bicep curl to overhead shoulder press (20lbs), 10 x ITB weighted stretch and pull back (20lbs), 1 lap easy

2 sets of – 20 x Weighted incline sit ups (10lbs)
2 sets of – 10 x Weighted incline sit ups (25lbs)

3 sets of – 15 x Weighted back ups (10lbs) (haha these are like a reverse sit up… I don’t know what they’re called)

3 sets each leg /w weighted cable attached to ankle – 10 x knee raises (60lbs), 10 x abductor pull (40lbs), 10 x adductor pull (40lbs)

1 minute of bringing knees to chest while balancing my butt on a 1/2 bosu ball.

15 minutes of stretching /w some yoga poses.

15 minutes in the pool. Lightly kicking legs /w flutter board to release lactic acid build up.

10 minutes in steam room

Looking at that now it seems like a lot and I was there for maybe two hours by the time I had showered and gotten dressed. No part of my body feels worn out though. I just feel like I’ve actually done a work out, and like I’ll be able to run hard tomorrow which is what I plan to do.

I walked to the ‘Drag afterward and made myself some left overs. I was planning on doing some prep but seeing the state of things I’m pretty sure we’ll be okay tomorrow without me getting into make soups and stuff right now.

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Amuse ‘Booch

This morning I work up late, and that was frustrating. I am going to set a bedtime for myself, maybe 12:30am and asleep by 1am. I can’t deal with sleeping from four or five in the morning until noon anymore. It throws me too far off when I have to wake up for work at 8am some days.

B. stopped back as I was watching Chariots of Fire last night. She didn’t care for it and I hurt her feelings by watching the rest of it. I had thought things where cool because she didn’t mention not wanting to finish watching it with me. Maybe when people come over I should just stop what I was doing alone and give them my attention. I find that really difficult sometimes as I just want to see whatever is it I’m doing through to it’s end.

We stayed up quite late talking about that and now I’m very tired. My plan is to go on a hard 10 mile run before work today and I hope I find the energy despite my lack of sleep.

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The reason I am posting now is to document the beginning of my Kombucha project.

Last night I brewed a bunch of organic black tea and added a load (1 cup) of sugar to it. I didn’t measure it out exactly but it tasted sweet enough from my past experience. I made note to use filtered water from the Mondragon and not to over boil it to keep a good amount of oxygen or something like that in the brew. SCIENCE!

Organic Black Tea steeping & cooling overnight.

I left my mother at the Spence Haus when I moved out and can only assume it’s been thrown out since then. Instead of useing an existing mother I am going to try and grow a new one by adding a fresh bottle of Kombucha from the Mondragon and another half bottle we had sitting in the fridge. I poured the bottles into my existing tea and let it sit for 5-10 minutes while I washed out my carboy with a bit of bleach and water.

I poured the tea into the carboy, there was more than I had thought. My goal is to make enough for a week if I drink roughly 1C a day. I have a few old Grolsch bottles kicking around from last week that I will use while the brew carbonates. I covered the carboy with a sleeve from a plaid shirt I had cut up for a white trash party a few weeks ago. The theme of that party had actually led to a mild confrontation between my punk friends and my neighbors. And then a larger argument between myself and my friend… it was a shitty night.

To keep the light out I covered the carboy an old running shirt that has an hilarious picture of Jesus on it and the word FREEDOM written really big across the chest. This should become my permanent Booch Cover.

a) Two bottles of already made Kombucha I added to my tea in hopes of cultivating a mother b) Steeped organic black tea, sugar and the two bottles combined in a carboy and covered for protection c) To keep the light out and help the mother grow I have asked for help from my number one best buddy Jesus Christ.

Now we play the waiting game. Roughly a week from now I should have a tiny mushroom or “scobby” growing ontop of the tea. At that point I’ll drain the brew into the grolsch bottles and let it carbonate for an extra dew days before putting them in the fridge to await consumption.

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Chariots of Pizza

Sometimes the kitchen table is cluttered and I can’t be bothered to clear it off before I make food. I pushed everything to one side to clear a spot to make the Spelt Dough for this pizza. In a large bowl I mixed 2 cups of flour (1 unbleached white, 1 spelt) 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt before making a valley for the wet half. Into a cup 1 measured roughly 1/4 C of Olive Oil, 2/3 C of Unsweetened Almond Milk and about a tbsp of apple cider vinegar and poured that into the dry spelt valley. I lightly floured the table and kneaded the dough for maybe 5 minutes before letting it rest back in the bowl with a light coat of olive oil to keep it from drying out.

In small sauce pan I heated some oil and quickly fried some italian herb mix, red chilli flakes, dehydrated garlic and a pinch of salt. In went a can of tomato paste with a touch of water to thin it out and after a few minutes of stirring I had a quick and easy pizza sauce.

I rolled out the dough with an old wine bottle, because I’m a class act, slathered on the sauce and proceeded to layer. First step seemed obvious, a healthy dose of nutrional yeast for those B vitamins. Then came thin full coin slices of organic zuchini, thin sliced local onion and a load of mushrooms from the Loveday growers just outside of the city. I added roughly chopped fresh hydroponic basil before, a layer of Pepperjack Daiya, a good spinkle of sunflower seeds for some crunch and then into the oven it went. 400F for maybe 20-25 minutes, I forgot to look at the clock but in the end out came dinner.


I am now sitting, eating this plate of pizza and Chariots Of Fire has finished downloading just in time for a late night movie date with myself. I am also making Kombucha tonight and will document that with pictures for a post tomorrow.

Posted in Another Day, Recipes, Vegan | 1 Comment

Easing In

I had my first shift in a little over a week today. S. had taken me up on my offer to take her opening grocery shift. Sometime in the past two weeks the start time for that shift had changed from 9am to 8am, something I was unaware of. Even though I was late I was able to get all of the opening stuff done in time and the day was pretty relaxed from there on. The ‘drag tends to be pretty dead on long weekends, especially if it’s raining.

A good hour was dedicated to writing an e-mail to the collective. I outlined a few communication issues I think the collective is having, regarding accountability and out ability to give and receive feedback. It felt good and it was something I needed to do.

Maybe through actions like this I can get back to being a forward push instead of a stubborn anchor. I have grown tired of being “the complainer” but I also don’t want to stop being critical of what goes on around me. The transition to doing that in a healthy, supportive and productive manner is going to take a lot of watching my own shit, keeping my language and actions in check.

For maybe an hour just before the lunch rush I did feel like going home. We seemed overstaffed and I had serious doubts we were ever going to actually get busy. I wonder if I am guilty of using times like that as an excuse to leave. I could find extra tasks to do, like today I spent 45 minutes repacking the recycling bins and cleaning the back, but I often don’t. That is more than likely as a result of me feeling burnt out from doing tasks I feel no one else knows or cares about. I feel guilty for being selfish that way and kind of jumping ship when it’s time for me to do my due diligence and find the extra work that needs to get done.

Guilt isn’t going to get me anywhere though, that is something I need to learn. Guilt is the current theme to my life, which is stressful and draining. I feel guilty for all of my privilege, I feel guilty for feeling guilty about it considering how condescending that is. I feel guilty for my current mental health issues. I am among the most privileged people on the planet I don’t feel justified in being upset. On the other hand I wouldn’t feel justified in being made content by my privilege either. I want to destroy it. If only I could take a hammer to it. Everytime I get in this train of thought I end up at the same place. “Get over yourself.” And then the whole cycle starts anew.

Posted in Another Day, Mental Illness, Politics | Leave a comment

Montreal / No-Montreal

I was going to go with the Stagnant Stars guys and S. to Montreal. In fact, I had packed my bag and gone to hang out with them all day waiting for everyone to be ready. We drove all the way out of the city before realizing we were headed the wrong way. As we drove back to the other end of town I felt my house closing back into my life and I really needed to get out of the van. “I don’t think I can do this.” Maybe, if we had just left straight away at 10am like we had planned I would be with them pulling into Montreal sometime tonight. But, I am not. As they drove away I didn’t feel regret, I felt happy I could have a good meal and go on a run that night. I think I made the right decision.

I have called around trying to find a councilor, or a psychiatrist. The wait lists are from two weeks to three months and I can only assume my case isn’t pressing, maybe I’m diminishing the problem. I have given up on it already, which is maybe just me feeling defeated. I don’t think they’re actually going to help me, maybe that’s me being cynical.

Sticking it out with my self treatment seems like the way to go right now. I am spending more time outside and running a lot more. The time off from work has been good. I’m going to try easing back into a routine there starting with 2-3 shifts a week and heading back up to full time before Folk Fest and Fringe when I will fully dedicate myself for one last stretch to the Mondragon.

I had told everyone that I would come back next spring/summer. I fear that might have been a premature judgment. Coming back would be great and it still might work out as I do love living in Winnipeg. It’s all just so far in the future it’s hard to say. Right now I’m still preparing to leave. I have sold my keyboard for $900 which paid off the rest of my debt and June’s rent. I have to replace the speaker in one of my amps but once that’s done I’ll be able to sell those off towards the end of the summer. With that cash plus what I can save up I should have enough cash to fly pretty much anywhere.

I have been looking a lot into traveling to Europe or the southern states. I have registered with HelpX and have been sending out messages to various farms about staying with them in the fall. There are olive harvests in Greece, and wines to make in France and permaculture retreats to help out on in New Mexico. I hope I hear back from someone. I made a profile which is kind of hilarious, like a hippy resume haha. It’s honest but selling yourself always feels like a bit of a compromise to me.

In the end I think I’m on the mend. I’m probably on a bit of an up right now but it’s lasted longer than any high time I’ve had in the past month. It’s Dawn!

Posted in Another Day, Mental Illness | Leave a comment

Let’s Start Again

I haven’t posted in over a week. I have been putting this off ironically because I have had so much to write about. Over the past week and a bit I have been involved in a few intense political arguments with my friends, I’ve played 3 shows, have almost left Winnipeg for Montreal, MC’d a fundraiser for the A-Zone collective and have run maybe 40 miles. I’ll give some brief highlights of what I can remember.

A-Zone Fundraiser:
Was great! To be honest I have no idea how much money we raised but on Saturday night when I left the Mondragon we were at roughly $5000. I MC’d for four hours with M. Parts were really difficult. Filling 10-15 minutes of dead air by yourself is hard and by the end of my time I was feeling mentally and emotionally drained. I wish I had prepared a little more maybe.

Sh!thawks played a set which went well. I left feeling almost embarrassed though. We didn’t screw up noticeably, but for some reason I felt singing those songs for people was too personal. I had sharing a bit too much of myself at a time when I was feeling very vulnerable. After my set I went home right away with B.

Show @ All The Way:
Fists In! played and we screwed up soooo much, I was really embarrassed.

Sh!thawks set was a little bit better. Chris was there to video tape it and I’m hoping I can edit some of that with him to put on YouTube. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

Running:

I won a race last Sunday! F. and I drove out to the Wellness Center at the Seven Oaks Hospital. It was the first race day of the year that wasn’t total shit. The past races had been plagued with snow and sleet and rain, but on Sunday the sun was shining and it was almost even too hot.

I had set a goal of trying to break 36 minutes. There was a younger guy at the start line, a high school kid, who told me he was training to run a 1:14 half marathon. That is 4 minutes faster than I could hope to run it so when we took off the line I didn’t try to stay with him. He went through his first mile in around 5:10 but I managed to hold him in sight going through my first in 5:25. Even still way too fast, so I let off the throttle a bit knowing there were still 5 long mile to go.

Coming around the 5km mark he was starting to get out of reach. But even in the distance I could see him looking over his shoulder and a faint hope grew that maybe he would let off his pace a bit. I went through 5km in 18 on the button. Perfect, almost exactly where I wanted to be. I am trying to race in negative splits these day.

Over the next few miles I picked the pace back up trying to push and get and stay under 36 minutes. I started to make up a lot of distance on the kid as we headed down a huge straight away back to the suburbs and the turn around. Somewhere between the 4th and 5th mile I caught up to him. By then we were in the thick of a lot of traffic. The side walks and paths the race was on were packed with couples pushing strollers and walkers of all sorts. I asked if he wanted to finish together and he pleasantly agreed. We pushed through, yelling “TRACK!” and I heard a few people say “Woah! Look at those guys”

Come down the home stretch, 400m to go, I told the kid he should take the win. He said okay and went on ahead but didn’t start to kick like I was hoping he would. As we pulled down the home stretch I started a moderate kick assuming he would pick up the pace as well but I caught up to him. Seeing the clock I made one final surge and passed him in the last 5 meters. Woops haha.

I finished in 35:34 and he was 1 second behind me.

I won a pair of Asics shoes which I managed to trade for a nice pair of Adidas adiZero Pro 4 racing flats. And I got a green Saucony singlet so now I have a green and black racing outfit WOOT!

On Tuesday I went to the Kelvin track and tried out the flats. They’re super light and fit much nicer than my T5’s which I can now see are too big for me. I think I prefer the T5’s but having a pair of flats that actually fit properly is amazing. I did 3 half miles in 2:13, 2:13 and 2:16 and then 2 400’s in 59 and 63. Apparently I still have a bit of speed in my legs even though I haven’t done any sprint training yet this year.

All in all it’s been a good week. I’ll write about Montreal / No-Montreal in another post later tonight. Right now I’ve chosen to stay in town, start to work a few days a week again and live my life here. I think I’m maybe happy eating well, training and spending my off time with my friends and on the internet trying to find places in Europe and New Mexico to WWOOF. More on all of that later.

Posted in Another Day, Daily Recap, Goals & Plans, Running, Show Reviews | Leave a comment

Sunday’s Long Wet Run

On sunday I took off from my house despite the grey skies. The wind was gusting and it looked like the sky would open up at any moment but it wasn’t so cold as to be worried. Even in shorts and a thin shirt I was warm when the rain started to come down as I entered Assiniboine Park. After getting my new watch and reading about all my different paces I had made a plan to do 12 miles @ 7min pace. I had made my normal way down Wellington running 6:58, 6:47, 6:40… I felt good and when the rain hit me I picked up the pace even more.

I always keep track of where I am energy wise by my breathing. I start most runs breathing 5 strides in and 5 strides out, making my way down to 4/4 as I continue to warm up, then to 3/3 as I start to actually work and then 2/2 when I am actually pushing, even if I’m not going fast. This works because I try not to force my breathing into any one group, if I’ve been out for 5 minutes and already need to start breathing 3/3 I do it… but that tells me I’ve gone out too hard.

I ran on the paths and then gradually onto the road as the rain chased away the picnickers and soccer players. I wager there was only a handful of people in the whole park by the time I hit my 6th and 7th mile, now at 6:20-6:30 pace. I haven’t had many hard runs this year and I feel I need to change that, I was still breathing 4/4 up until the end of my 6th mile. I headed out of the park hard, comfortably hard. Making my over the paved paths through the trees, along the river and then finally under the train bridge still breathing three steps in three steps out.

Going into the last mile of the boulevard trail the rain had stopped and I decided that 10 miles at the pace I was going would be sufficient so long as I did a cool down. My shorts were floppy, wet and sticking awkwardly to my legs. My shirt heavy and sagging big and open around the collar. I held steady until the last half mile where I opened up a little bit my breathing finally getting to 2/2. I looked at my watch and saw the pace pick up. 6:10 to 6:05. I hit the bridge and stride over it comfortably, trying to remember what my 800m pace was back in high school.

The cool down was chilling and I was still soaked when I got home. I had to have a shower just to warm up but I felt awesome aside from the chill.

Posted in Another Day, Daily Recap, Running | Leave a comment