Organic: Can I have what she’s having?

Inspired by Pic and a Word #147 – Organic. Again, Patrick’s lovely picture and prose lead me down a different path. This ode is to a practical struggle that some people (especially parents, I think) grapple with every time they go to the grocery store. (Also, if you don’t get the reference in the title, then you and I are not of the same generation!)

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I didn’t buy it

Despite the warnings

The “shoulds” of good motherhood

Like wipe warmers and vaccines

It’s a well educated privilege

Yet

The expense – Is it worth it?

You know, it’s a conspiracy, right?

We didn’t grow up that way

Don’t spoil them

A little dirt is good for you

But

It’s more than dirt

It’s more than chemicals

It’s molecules and manipulations

And making money

Still

The 9 haunts me

The butterfly taunts me

I should have just bought organic


©️iido 2018

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As a runner and a mom, healthy eating is important to me. However, following through on every food related recommendation can be daunting, especially when you have numerous mouths spouting (and sometimes shouting) competing requests.

This summer, I’ve been endeavoring to eat more non-processed foods, especially for the snacks. I was inspired by the book, Nutrition Performance for Runners. I’ve been buying organic, non-GMO foods when it doesn’t break the budget. Steering the kids (and myself!) towards whole fruits and veggies instead of fruit snacks and bars is constant retraining.

We are fortunate enough to live in an area with a lot of farmers’ markets and roadside farm stands. However, not all these farms are organic or non-GMO. I’ve found it is important to ask questions about how the food is grown. I still go to the supermarket and reading labels has become second nature to me. Needing to balance time (how many farmers’ stalls can I visit and still have time to stop at the store before picking up the kids?) and budget, factors into my food buying decisions.

Am I alone in this dilemma? A lot of people seem “all or nothing” regarding what to buy (as well as where. Did I mention we just got a Whole Foods market that is already causing traffic?).

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First Time

(An ode to my older daughter)

The first time I saw you

I thought

Perfection

Your stand up hair

Your knowing eyes

Your pouty lips

Your teddy bear belly

Your crinkled toes

Your peaceful breathing

I made you

(With help of course!)

I grew you

As I continue to watch you

In wondrous

Perfection

You hold me

You teach me

You admire me

You humble me

You forgive me

You better me

I am broken

I am healed

With each First Time

You remind me

You are already

Perfection

I should just stand back

And watch

©️iido 2018

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My older daughter joined me for a group run with my MRTT chapter. It was her first time running with me and my running friends. One of the other moms also brought her daughter (which is what inspired my daughter to join us). While this run was more of a walk, it was refreshing to see this route – that I had run many times before – through my daughter’s eyes.

I remember running in high school gym class. You needed to run a mile in under 20 minutes. We ran the laps indoors. I was the last one to come in at 19 minutes. And I collapsed on the floor when I crossed the finish line. One of the other students (Rob H – whatever happened to him?) came over to see if I was ok. I felt like I was going to die – from exertion and embarrassment.

I hope my daughter will never have to experience the Double E. Right now, she doesn’t absolutely love running (lol – in fact, her runs are more like “walking with some short running intervals”) but she is not daunted by running. I can see her getting stronger (in body and mind) and that sense of accomplishment at this age is priceless. The first time I realized that I could overcome the Double E was in my late 20s when I actually trained and ran my first 5k.

They say you never forget your first time – first run, first race, first PR. What running first do you remember? Was it a happy, sad or maybe even a double E memory? I’m looking forward to more runs with my daughter. She is my inspiration!!

Clouds

A poem inspired by Pic and a Word Challenge #146. While Patrick’s optimism shines through in his writing, mine took a slightly different turn…Thanks for another great prompt, Patrick!

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Amorphous clouds engulf me –

My true hand unseen

My heart frozen, unloved

My breath stilled and unworthy

My solid form deemed weak

What was supposed to shade me

Protect me

From the bleaching hanging sun

Now hurts my skin with its

Wispy viper tendrils

I thought you were my friend

But I missed the forecast for

Cloudy with a chance of

selfish entitlement.

In conclusion….

Our vacation is over and I must say, I feel quite accomplished! Besides the customary over-eating, I was actually much more active this vacation than most. I hiked and walked. I read books. I wrote posts for this blog. I even did laundry…

I read this book by Lauren Graham (of Gilmore Girls game) called, In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It.

It was a very light read but with some good messages. Like this line about progress being found in the “small, seemingly uneventful accomplishments”.

I’ve found this to be so true about running and staying healthy and about life in general. It is all about these small accomplishments that add up to being a better runner, a better mother, a better person.

It’s what gives me hope that people are still inherently kind and considerate of other people. What might be a small accomplishment to you, could be a huge life changer for someone else.

Yes, those are unisex bathrooms (from 2 different locations). They are just like the unisex bathrooms you have in your home!

When I was the chapter leaders of the San Jose MRTT Chapter, I started these daily posts where I would recognize the accomplishments that the women posted or told me about. Sometimes it was a mom going for her first post partum walk with her newborn. Sometimes it was a woman who ran her first double digit mileage run. Sometimes it was a mom who was able to workout and shower in the same day. Our small accomplishments can be so often overlooked by the people in our lives so I think, having it recognized by a group of like minded women was something that was really appreciated.

What was your small accomplishment today? How are you recognizing it?

Here are mine:

– finishing this post which I started last week.

– not being late for my appointments today.

– running for 1.75 miles straight with no walk breaks.

– setting aside time for reading with my kids.

– eating salad with minimal dressing for lunch.

So in conclusion, don’t worry, be happy…Small accomplishments can lead to big rewards!

Peaks

First a haiku…inspired by Pic and a Word Challenge #145. Thank you, Patrick!

Running up and down

Should I welcome the plateau?

I have peaked too soon

And now, some thoughts….

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A serendipitous coincidence occurred while we were hiking the Shirley Canyon Trail: the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run was taking place at Squaw Valley Resort that same weekend. The day before the actual race started, they held the Altra 6k Uphill Challenge and the route crossed the trail we were doing. (Um, running a race before the race? Seriously! These are some hard core runners!!)

I got really excited when I saw people with bib numbers on the trail. Of course I had to be all fan girl and clap and cheer for the runners I saw. It’s the closest I’ve been to seeing real live ultra runners in action and WOW! The grace and strength of their bodies coupled with the confidence of their strides – truly awe inspiring!!

While I probably will never run the Western States 100, I’ve still felt the excitement and anxiety of running such a challenging trail race. Have you ever had to step back and let your “little baby” climb up boulders on his own (or pour his own milk or walk down the hall to his classroom alone on the first day of school) because he is a big kid and wants to do it by himself? I’m pretty sure it’s that same feeling. It reinforces the truth that running (and parenting) is as much a mental activity as it is a physical one.

I’m an “advanced maternal age” runner so I haven’t been as prolific as runners who started earlier in life. I ran my first marathon at aged 40 and finished in 5:59 – one bucket list item checked off! But I haven’t been able to run a “sub-6 hour” marathon since. It’s still one of my running goals but as I get older, I wonder if I should keep it on my “list of things to do”.

Then, I see this:

Is there more than one peak in my life? Heck yeah!! At least, I hope so! Either way, I’m going to enjoy the journey as I find out. How about you?

Mountain Air Moving

(Haiku)

Mountain air moves me

Leaving city hurts behind

Nature heals my heart

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Trail Review: Shirley Canyon Trail, Tahoe-Truckee, CA

I had resolved to incorporate more physical activity in my daily life. I’ve come to realize that the “waiting for the perfect alignment of weather, schedules, and motivation” work out method was really NOT working for me – hence my weeks (months!) of not running.

I usually don’t get any workouts done on my vacations but I had planned ahead this time and made sure we had more than just restaurant reservations on our itinerary. While I don’t think the hikes and walks totally counteracted my indulgent eating, I did get to see some spectacular sights and I felt fantastic closing my circles!

The Tahoe-Truckee area has fabulous trails that wind up the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains. While beautiful to look at, the water was still freezing cold despite 70+ degree weather.

Climbing the hills above Donner Lake.

Climbing the hills above Donner Lake.

Hiking the Shirley Canyon Trail.

Hiking the Shirley Canyon Trail.

The Shirley Canyon Traila was a terrific trail for our group of 4 adults and 6 kids aged 12 to 3. We did a two mile out and back route on this trail due to the two sets of little legs we had with us. I have to say that both my 5 and 3 year old did terrific on this trail. There is a section where you basically have to climb over rocks to stay on the path. They clambered up those rocks like they were part mountain goat (must be on my hubby’s side!). We only had 1 serious scrape that needed first aid and minimal whining!

This trail is also very dog friendly. I was surprised by how many dogs were channeling their inner mountain goat on the rocks!

The trail had two waterfalls – one about a third of the way in and the other around the 0.8 mile mark. We turned back at that point but if we had continued we would have reached Shirley Lake (about 2.3 miles one way) and then eventually have reached High Camp, part of the Squaw Valley Ski Area (about 4.4 miles total one way). Once at High Camp, hikers can take the ski lift tram back to the bottom for free. Once my kiddos get older, we will definitely attempt to reach Shirley Lake and High Camp.

During this hike, I couldn’t help but think of the families who traverse the dangers of their country of origin and walk towards, what they believe, would be a better life in the United States, only to be torn apart at our southern border. As a mother and an immigrant, the anger and sadness of this injustice keeps me awake at night. While I cherished the time I get to spend with my kids before, during and after this hike, I mourn for the families who are separated due to the current US politics. Whatever side of the debate you’re on, if you are a parent and an American, I hope you realize that this is the antithesis of what our country, our flag and our Constitution stands for.

©️ iidorun 2018

Focus (A Poem)

It’s easy to lose it

And end up wandering

Or wondering

The shoes of my mind

Scattered

Like questions asked by a precious if not so precocious child

Why why why

Whispering like leaves caught underfoot

Who have no say

As to where they go

Running used to find it

Embody it

Relish in the discipline of it

Until the leaves got smashed

Surprisingly stuck to shoes

In my mind

Slipping

Scaring

Scarring

So that when it’s found again

(And it will be)

It will be changed

The path is the same

The leaves underfoot

The shoes

Now tied tight

As my breath

Held

Focus

Let go

And begin again.

Written in response to Pic and a Word Challenge #144.

©️iidorun 2018