Time to Get Back in to the Groove!

30 08 2016

Well, now, it has been a while since I was writing this blog.  Interestingly enough, there have been people who have quoted the older posts.

I took some time off because I graduated from college, dealt with a lot of injuries and made a few discoveries about myself and my racing.  When I was first putting together this blog, I was chronicling, for the most part, a “middle aged” beginning race walker who chose to walk in running races. This was all fine and good, but then I realized something.

I wasn’t living my dream.

I was skirting around the edges, but not really doing anything real about it.  I was working on motivating others to find their dreams and live them, but I wasn’t doing it.

So, I decided to do it.

Actually, it was after a particularly irritating half marathon where everything started out OK, but I was just getting frustrated. Why can’t people accept that I’m walking faster than they can run and that I am genuinely polite about it? I found myself getting more sour through the event because I realized it really didn’t mean anything to me.

I wanted to focus on race walk events.  Judged Race Walk Events.

Then, as life does, things just kept cropping up, however I decided I would chip away and start making those dreams happen. No amount of wishing  was going to do anything, it is action.

So, I decided to start the blog. Register for events and learn as much as I could while trying to keep four jobs going and a remote sense of sanity.

This is a musing file. Will have race walking, but if I learned anything along the way, those speed bumps and pot holes of life make observing the wonderful world around us easier to do. As I type this, the world feels like it wants to rip itself apart. There is a lot of anger and frustration; dissatisfaction and separation. I can only hope that this blog about race walk, change, growth, the dog, and the fact it isn’t currently snowing in Denver helps folks.

Here goes. Change happens and I’ll be changing over time.

Cheers – Lizzy

Time to get going again

9 10 2014

So many things have happened since my last post, so I’ll do a nice update because I think that it is time to start blogging again.

This blog post is my 360th post.

See you soon!
Lis Shepard

Kingsport Today

29 09 2012


Well, today marks my first properly judged 5k. Wow. Can’t sleep only because I have too many variables and the room is too hot. Sitting outside in something like 96% humidity and 67 degrees. Cool and sticky!

Yesterday, Marianne Martino, a friend and racewalker I admire boatloads from Denver area saw me.

“Lizzy – are you a part of HART?” HART is High Altitude Racewalk Team from Colorado. After I said I was she said, sternly, “Good. Now you, Rita and I are a team. You better not DQ!” And off she bopped to warm up. Ok. I was planning on finishing, but with Marianne on the sidelines yelling in either English or German, I better!

It is actually a bit chilly for me right now. I am waiting until 5am to use the microwave in the room because I have roommates. 

Warm up the toes and listen to the chirping bugs.

A few hours off – Multi-Tasking stupidity

26 09 2012


I seriously have been nearly a day off for a week. Woke up with one of those “oh crap – how am I getting from the airport to x, y, z” and was trying to figure it out before I realized I was up 2 hours early and thinking about the wrong trip. Yesterday was the memorial service for a really spectacular kid I knew from when I volunteered at the Natural History Museum half a lifetime ago. He was truly special and would have laughed that I thought his service was Thursday not Tuesday. Back then, I really had more calendar issues. I remember a fellow volunteer saying that I should choose between wanting to volunteer and wanting to race. The suggestion was that the choice would be simple – the museum as racing left me sore. The real problem that I have had is my tendency to multi-task. The problem with this is that nothing gets done well. It is kind of an addiction in this country. Being able to do 300 things at once is sort of admired, but the toll it takes is huge. This past summer, I took a time management classxand realized I knew what to do – always have. It just goes against the social programming. I started to chop out the multi tasking. It wasn’t easy at first, but gradually: *Food tasted better and I started melting off weight. *More time freed up because I didn’t fall over exhausted into time wasting activitied *I felt more relaxed, lighter, and speech slowed down and was quieter. *I was able to notice things more. The positive definately outweighed any perceived benefit but it was a new habit. I felt like I was more in control, but noticed all the things I had short term taken care of which really needed to be faced. Many of those short term fixes were coming to roost and it was time to pay proper attention. The real problem has been the last couple of weeks when I first left for California and then was back for a week and am now bouncing East. Everything ramped up, double timing, cramming a lot in, time stress. I laugh now, at 2:56 AM, because I woke up with that old, familiar dream of not knowing where the heck I am and what direction I am going. It is a reminder of where I used to reside. I lived under this multi-directional stress and thought I thrived, but it was a fallocy. What I did was take a thwack at my health and miss out on those little things that makes life worthwhile. It this most recent case, I lost a week of classes and felt a huge drop – like a free-fall on a roller coaster. What is worse is the realization that I used to think this was normal. What the hell does this have to do with athletics or racing? Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with it. Because I knew I was not living my regular life with discipline or balance, I really believe I wasn’t giving my all to my events. I was short changing them because they were another thing on the to do list that didn’t get full attention. The problem with this is that this is where injury and lack of satisfaction reside. Must personal motivation has been splintered because I kept having a mounting pile of undone or half baked things. The worst bit is knowing they are half baked. Listening to the rain, I realize this and have a great opportunity to get back on track as I have carved out time to do this. When I get back, I do need to retackle the apartment issues. One thing at a time.

Embracing my Inner Treetrunk

25 09 2012


The other title for this post was far more mundane and about goals. By the time I shot the photo of what was around me, I forgot the boring title! Yeah!

About a week ago, I went back to the San Francisco Bay Area where I was raised. I don’t go back all that often, but when I do, I sometimes come back with a little more perspective. This trip was so fast and had so much going on, it is anyone’s guess what I came back with!

I looked around a lot. Part of my studying/analyzing media is because of the way I was affected (effected? Never get those words right). I have never been a “skinny girl” naturally. The hardest part of being my build is that I really don’t have the build of my folks or sibling, nor do I have the body type so massively depicted as “desirable” in the mass mediated reality.

I am The Family Viking. I am a mosh pit of genetic material, but definately reflect the “bigger” side of the gene pool. As I age, I have come to some peace with it, except when I realize the 5’10” 176 pound me isn’t well represented as a “female ideal.” A lesbian friend said it was harder for the straight me because I am “competing” with Barbie.

Well, at least I am healthy.

One of the areas I have to come to grips with are my life long tree-trunk legs. I know that I am not built for endurance, but I keep trying for it. I had to think about why?

The only thing I miss about running was running trails and pounding up hills. I thought that meant I am an endurance kitty. No – that means I have the mental fortitude (when directed) to do anything I put my mind toward.

Today, I was reminded that I probably have more fast twitch over slow twitch muscle percentage and that, although I will always do endurance work, it is about time I started training what I got.

Funny thing is that I do like the push of speed work. I recover fast. I am finally making the commitment to not only to do what I am physically built to do but channel my fortitude into understanding two new sports (that require gear and weather)  and, after Goofy 2013, my longest may be the 1/2 marathon for running and, maybe, 30k for race walking. No, not because I can’t do things, but because I am sick of the injuries I incur swimming upstream.

Walking forward and taking a hard left. Time to rewrite goals.

Asked to start writing again

25 09 2012


Probably not one of my better photos, but backward shooting on a moving train.

I was asked to start writing again. I am not exactly sure why, but I guess it has something to do with my being fairly honest about my process with sport and evolution. To me, they are pretty linked.

This morning finds me still limping badly. Up to this point, I can honestly say I have missed every major training target due to those lingering issues that, if not handled, really put a railroad spike in my motivation.

I do see the positive, even in my crabby outlook. I am finally taking care of those injury issues that I have long ignored or tried to simply power through. The problem with the enduring thing is that I know I have far more potential and I haven’t been near reaching it again. The only way to reach any level, however, is building a firm foundation. In this case, it is chasing the recurring injuries and dealing with the causes once and for all.

Yeah – and that collides with the fact that I am an impatient person with myself.

I will admit that my becoming frustrated with the incredibly slow process and “oh yes, Miss Shepard, it is going to take 3 months minimum to burn/cut/heal the injuries to the bottom of both feet” really hit hard. I found myself camping out, stretching, in front of the telly, reaching for whatever was handy.

Around the Olympics my DVR and cable connections became wonky. I laughed at myself because I had started to have that attitude of “I can’t miss x or y telly program.” It is an attitude I truly don’t understand and here I was, sucked into it! Sure, my programs are usually well crafted mysteries or documentaries – but timewaster is waist-enhancer.

I took the DVR back to Comcast and picked up their regular box. I then noticed just how much I was paying for the thing. As I started to renegotiate the bill for the only service I truly *need* (cable internet), I found it was more expensive if I dumped the telly & phone (yeah – phone … not real landline either)!

I didn’t hook the box up for a couple of weeks. Didn’t miss much, I am sure. Happy to miss the political mudslinging. I relaxed, got on the balcony, and slowly took walks to try to rehab the feet.

The idiot box is back up. I catch the BBC news and use it for music. If I miss a program, who cares? The big thing I noticed was after all these years of explaining and linking media and society, I don’t understand the appeal of the offerings. That is probably a good thing. I can still tag demographics within 5 minutes — odd but useful talent.

As I limp onto campus, I hear people bemoaning some football call, parroting political soundbytes, and being plugged in to their screaming headphones; completely ignoring the beautiful morning.


Motivation takes time

6 06 2012

     Don’t get me wrong. I do love to workout and train. Sometimes, however, all the nonsense of life takes precidence.
     I set a very modest goal for today. I have not been feeling well and school just restarted. It has also been stupid hot here. 
     Ok – stupid hot for a Native San Franciscian.
     I had lunch downtown Denver with a good friend I definately don’t see enough of and got home to do more studying. Backside hit the couch and it took my staring across the room at a pair of retired race shoes for me to get off my keester and get changed.
      I am always surprised how hard it can be for me to do something I like for me, until I remember that the past few years of training has been frustrating and discouraging.
      The only way to get “back where I belong” is a day and a step at a time.  I know that I have not enjoyed my working out because of my letting outside concerns crowd out the fun of the moment – or experience of the moment.
      I walked down to the park noting what I have to do when I get back. In a way, I left those concerns on the path down so I could collect them as I walked back.
      My training walk was good. Not perfect but good. The big thing was that I got out, did a couple good miles, and picked up my things to do list that I psychically left on the side of the path. Interestingly, the untidy list I had left was now neatly organized.
     The best part about breaking a routine and exercising is that the brain gets fresh blood and the body re-energized.
      Does for me at least. Give it a shot.
       Train ride done.