Wednesday, February 24, 2010

An Actual Conversation

It is 5.45 am. I have dragged myself out of my warm bed, put on my workout clothes and driven to the gym. Squinting against the uber-bright florescent lights, I choose a treadmill, set my program and start to run. But my legs! They feel like whole frozen Christmas hams. They are heavy, heavy, and after 5 minutes I slow to a walk and hang my head in shame. I feel defeated.

Man on treadmill next to me: Seems harder today, doesn't it?
K: Yes, it does.
Man: That one is stuck at an incline.
K: That would certainly explain it. Thanks!

I moved to the next treadmill and had no trouble pounding out my 2 miles. Crisis averted!

Monday, February 22, 2010

It Felt Like Springtime on That February Morning

What a beautiful weekend to live in West Virginia! Saturday was warm and gorgeous. Sunday was warmer and . . . gorgeous-er. Today is rainy and crappy but, you know, it's Monday so no one really cares. I hear that it's supposed to snow again later in the week but for now, it feels like spring and that is enough to pull all of us out of our winter-induced funk.

Yesterday afternoon, Brad and I walked around downtown holding hands in the sunshine. We debated hitting up Ellen's for ice cream, but since they don't accept debit cards and neither of us had cash, we drove instead to our favorite Mexican restaurant for margaritas and nachos. I love days like that. Years ago, when we lived in Milwaukee, we would occasionally take an afternoon and walk around the city, going from bar to bar to restaurant, just the two of us, and it was always so much fun.

Five of Brad's friends are coming down from Pittsburgh this weekend for an epic, 2-day Kanawha State Forest ride. This means that we'll have a house full of bikes and skinny dudes in spandex. I'm planning to bake a few kinds of cookies and stuff for them this week. I love to bake but I refuse to have a surplus of cookies in the house; I would end up eating them for breakfast (or lunch, or dinner).


Oh, and I ran two miles yesterday, without stopping to walk. To most people this is not that big of an accomplishment, but for me it is! I'm 2/3 of the way to a 5K, which was my goal for the year, and it's only February! If I can run 2 miles, why not 3? And if I can run 3, soon it will be 5. And if I can run 5, I can certainly run 6! I might end up running a 10K this year in addition to the 5K.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I ran the 2 miles on the treadmill at the gym. I know, I know, it's harder outside. But I played around with the treadmill's incline and speed to make it more closely resemble outdoor running. Right now, I'm still working on building up my lungs. I'll worry about my legs later.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Something Has Got to Change

Snowpocalypse in Washington DC. An earthquake in Chicago. Snow in Louisiana for the first time in like 10 years. But no snow in Vancouver?

Meanwhile, energy companies in West Virginia are blowing up the beautiful Appalachian mountains for coal, coal, coal to burn; never mind the harmful run-off, which is rendering previously pristine streams and rivers polluted and unusable. They are drilling horizontal gas wells in the Kanawha State Forest. And that one redneck that lives on my street keeps throwing empty Gatorade and Natty Ice bottles out of his car window onto the hillside.

I've always been a bit of a tree-hugger, and I do my best to live a green life. We recycle, buy energy-efficient light bulbs, and try to reduce and reuse as much as possible. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Forum on Energy a few weeks ago, in which Robert Kennedy Jr. debated Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship on the devastating practice of mountaintop removal mining. Living here and witnessing this first hand has really opened my eyes. There is so much more that I can do.

I am pledging right now to do more personally. I will also be looking for ways to do more publicly. West Virginia is the most beautiful place I have ever lived, and I want it to remain as beautiful for my future children to enjoy.