Monday, May 11, 2015

Guess what? I'm going to China!

Hey, blog friends,

How have things been?  Good?  Fantastic!

I've been good too.  My husband and I are in year two of being Austinites.  We bought a house and I started a job as a kitchen planner about a year ago, and it's all going pretty swell.

Something that I've been wanting to do for more than five years now is finally happening.  I'm going to China!  I leave tomorrow morning, early.  Today has been all packing and anxiety.

I'll be there for two weeks.  The big event in the first week is my dad and I running The Great Wall Marathon.  Yeah, I'm terrified.  I went into a small panic earlier because I couldn't find my body glide, and I have to wear my Hoka's on the plane.  They, alone, probably qualify as a carry on.  The second week is my Brother's wedding.  That week, I have no idea exactly where I'm going and when.  I'm just following my brother.  It should be exciting.

I'm pretty sure I won't be able to access facebook from there, so I'm firing up the ole blog account again.  It's been way too long.  So, keep checking in to see how my trip is going.  I'll be updating periodically.

See you on the other side of the world!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Angry All The Time

I've been really angry and my only possible explanation is that it's something to do with the holiday season.  There is a lot of stress that comes with trying to squeeze in a visit to everyone in my completely divorced (grandparents and parents) family, plus in-laws.  Then there's the fact that I'm a gay supporting liberal who voted for that black guy in the White House, making the rounds in rural north Texas and Oklahoma.  It's not really my scene.  And for the sake of family relations, I keep tight lipped about my political leanings.

But my problems are stupid, and in an effort to pull my head out of my own self centered ass I joined a running group.  A running charity, actually.  It's called Back On My Feet, and although I've known about them for years, I finally live close enough to a chapter to join in.  Basically, through running, homeless people gain confidence and a positive self image.  They also receive job training.  I'm pretty excited to be a part of it, plus hopefully I'll make a new running friend! 

Tomorrow is my first day to wake up at 4:30 and meet the group downtown.  Wish me luck.  It's gonna be soooooo cold and early!


Friday, November 15, 2013

The Chosen Marathon

Lots of stuff has been going on.  I did a booth for my daughter's school's International Fair.  We chose Colombia because my in-laws have hosted a barrage of Colombian exchange students, almost all of which are still in close contact, and are still considered family.

I've been running on the treadmill trying to improve my speed.  My knee (which I fell on last week) still feels weird.  It's fine on the treadmill, but when I went outside to run, I didn't like the way it felt.  It's just bruised, so It will be fine in another week.

Now, onto the marathon I ran last month!

The Chosen Marathon!

I signed up for it a long time ago, but life and moving and stuff impeded my training.  My longest long run was a mere 10 miles.  But I needed to get in a marathon for 2013 and time was running out!

Despite my small amount of training, I wasn't hurting that bad at the end.  I actually felt pretty good.  I also didn't crash in the last 8 miles.  I attribute this to doing T25.  I have a stronger body over all, and it really helped.  Now, if I can just combine great endurance and cardio WITH the strength I've gained from T25!

Two things I love about this race: 1) 100% of your registration fee goes to the cause.  The cause being orphanages and and adoptive families.  2) The entire course runs along the Guadalupe River with the start/finish being in historic Gruene, home to the oldest dance hall in Texas.  Gruene is choc full of beer, great food, little shops, and live music.  After the race, I happily walked off my soreness via the busy streets of this magical little town.  It was fantastic!  The only thing that could have made it any better, would be camping on the river the weekend of the race.

This is the only picture I have so far.  I ordered a cool one of me running, with the river and the hills in the back drop but it hasn't arrived yet.  Also, we're standing in front of a display of adopted kids and my niece is in the top left hand corner.  I LOVE this cause.

The race is pretty small.  There were over 2,000 people running but only 187 were doing the full.  I was concerned about this since I have a terrible habit of getting into my own head and breaking down.  But that never happened.  The scenery was so fantastic that running solo on the course was OK.
What the Guadalupe looks like in the summer
What it looked like for the race....
So peaceful.
I threw my run/walk routine out the window, and instead, just tried to settle into a comfortable and relaxed pace.  I went slow and enjoyed myself.  My finish time was 5:47:something.

Then there's Gruene.  Just a few dozen yards up a hill and over a bridge, then bam!  You're there!  And I promise I'll finish the "Where I've Been" post for that place, because it's awesome!!!

I recommend this race!  The Chosen was a great experience and I can't wait to do it again next year!

-Hugh Jass

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Things I Should Have Blogged About By Now

I can not gather and organize thoughts lately.  I have 4 drafts about 4 completely different things halfway typed up and sitting the queue.  For now, my mind can only work in bullet form.

  • Alaurie joined the Girl Scouts.  Last night at her meeting she said something that almost made me cry out with joy.  She said "Whoa!  This is going to be way cooler than cheer leading!"  Maybe I'm just a sore sport because of the trauma and embarrassment that was my 6th grade cheer leading tryout.  I shouldn't have attempted that fancy back walkover.
  • Also, Alaurie is taking violin lessons.  It's slow going, but she's catching on.  One of my biggest regrets is that I never learned how to play a cool instrument.  I do know how to play the french horn.  Like I said...
  • Whilst looking for some cool inspiration to keep Alaurie motivated, I found this...  AWESOME!

So now I'm a big fan of this chick.  I even created a Pandora station in her name.  That's hard core fandom.

  • Braden has been difficult.  He's jealous of all the things that Alaurie is involved in, but he's not yet old enough for his own things.  
  • On a scale of 1-10, how strongly I have resisted the temptation of my children's Halloween candy; I am about a 6.  I only rate that high because they ran out of the good stuff (Snickers, Almond Joy, Peanut M&M) quickly (because I ate them) and I was no longer interested.
  • I ran another marathon.  Yep.  The Chosen Marathon in New Braunsfels.  The start/finish was actually in this little area that used to be it's own town, called Gruene (like the color), and course ran along the Guadalupe river the entire way.  It was fantastic and it makes two of the posts that I have half written.  One about the marathon and a "Where I've Been" that is just about Gruene.
  • I'm doing booth for the International Fair at Alaurie's school.  I feel like I'm in college again, because the fair is this Thursday and I didn't start getting stuff together until Sunday.  
  • Oliver is large and in charge as always.  He's walking and throwing Tupperware out of the cabinets and climbing on the dishwasher door when it's open, and basically testing my love for him.  He's a rotten little boy.
  • I'm way behind on Poppy Seed Pin Up posts, but I'm doing well with T25 and still running.  I'm trying to get faster.  I've also been taking screen shot of my weight and body fat every Monday so I can catch back up with my posts.  Weight is constantly the same but body fat is steadily on the decline.  
  • I didn't make it very far on my Sunday run when I tripped, fell, and small rock lodged in my knee.  It was gross.  I have pics on my g+ page if you really want to see.
-Hugh Jass

Friday, October 18, 2013

The workout community vs the running community, in my opinion

Since I started doing T25 there is a slight change in way the I view myself.  Everything is centered around the scale and getting one step closer to that stellar "after" photo.  It's messing with my brain.

I've got quite a few online pals who are involved with various workout programs.  Crossfit and Beach Body (P90X, T25, ect) are just a couple of them.  The stated mission is always the same, "To be fit, active, and healthy..." yada, yada.  But the real goal seems to be that Greek sculpted body.  Those amazing abs, beautiful biceps, ass you can bounce quarters off of, and that sexy suggestive "V" just above the waste band of your shorts that makes everyone of every gender have to change their pants.

Whatever gets people to work out and enjoy working out is great.  And I definitely wouldn't mind having some awesome abs, although mine would be all scratched up with stretch marks.

My caveats aren't with the workout communities goals, it's in their version of inspiration after the goal has been achieved.  Yep, I'm bringing her up since she's been all over the internet lately.

That picture could be so inspirational if it were just captioned differently.  But now I just think I'm fat and that I'll never look like that.  She did an interview about the whole thing.  She seems like a nice enough lady and explained that she wanted to show women that they can do this too, bla bla bla.... Fail.

The reason that I love and belong in the running community is because the objectives are different.  The objective goes much deeper than appearance.  Here's something fantastic from Another Mother Runner's page...

And things like this, that tell even the most out of shape person that, they too, can be a part of this.

And then there's this that I saw on Steve in a Speedo's blog...

I'm sure there is some level of support within the workout communities too, but those people in the above image are total strangers.  How amazing is that?!

I'm not trying to bash those who have the muscles and love their workouts.  That's fantastic! Go you!  But I will ask that you not be a condescending prick about it.

I was feeling really down about myself earlier last week.  I kept looking in the mirror at my "mom flap" on my lower abdominal and thinking "I'm never going to look like those after photos".  So I skipped a couple of my T25's and went running instead.  It just felt good.  I am a runner.  I still like T25, but I need to use it as a supplement/cross training tool instead of a main focus.  The workout world isn't good for my mental state.  Maybe one day I will have a muscled up hard body.  If I do, it will be a byproduct of training for an Iron Man, or trying to BQ or something.

-Hugh Jass