Archive for the ‘Keep the jungle green’ Category

Thanks weeds, I can’t touch my toes

Tuesday, 10th June 2008. Filed in Keep the jungle green1 Comment »

I can run, I can swim, I can yoga without being reduced to popping ibuprofen and walking very gingerly up and down my stairs (peanut gallery: maybe that’s because you’re not training hard enough. Ya, ya, ya, I hear it, I hear it!). But, three hours in the garden on Sunday pulling weeds and pruning shrubs kicked my butt. Or actually, kicked my hamstrings to be precise. The problem is, I never think to stretch after I garden. It doesn’t feel like a workout to me (peanut gallery: well, by the looks of it, it probably isn’t much of one, the garden’s still a jungle. Ya, ya, ya, I hear that too!) But, it’s really nailed me this time.

I hurt. My live-in masseuse has promised to come upstairs and sort my ‘hammies’. He’s very nice like that.

5 miles. 55 minutes. Too much trash.

Monday, 15th October 2007. Filed in Eco-running3 Comments »

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day


Litter sucks.

Just like Lake Tahoe, only different! Yippee!

Wednesday, 29th August 2007. Filed in Cross-training, Eco-running, Running3 Comments »

I think officially somewhere it says that the August Bank Holiday is the end to summer in England. Well, thank goodness the sun came out for it! Yippee!

Friday afternoon we eco-ran down in Cliff’s End/Pegwell again. We adventured a bit with our return route and came to a dead-end at the disused hover port, but I guess it just meant more training! Yippee!

Without planning it, I did a reverse (mini) triathlon on Saturday. 3k run to calibrate my footpod (finally! When I ordered my heart monitor with footpod, I didn’t realize it would be so hard to find an average American high school with a running track to calibrate the footpod. Silly me. This is England. They don’t have tracks here. Or, if they do they are very well hidden. I needed a room of requirement!) Then a 22k ride to Ramsgate to test my new Italian.

And then I went all out for my open water swim. It was, well, more like an open water float with a paddle and kick or two while relaxing on the inner-tube. (I brought the goggles along for dramatic effect.) I’ve never inner-tubed in the ocean. It was just like Lake Tahoe, only you didn’t have to wait for motor boats to zoom by to get waves. And I don’t believe as cold. It was great. Yippee!

And then Monday we ran from Minnis Bay to Reculver. The sun was shining, but there was a bit of a breeze. Crunchy husband hit a new milestone. He’s never run 7 miles (all at once) before. He did very well. I think it was the cheer from the Ipswich Town fan riding by on his bicycle that kept him going. Or the back wind in the fifth mile. Or the ice cream stand at the finish. Three cheers for Crunchy husband. Yippee!


Ah, a hot chocolate-cuddling October day…in August

Wednesday, 22nd August 2007. Filed in Eco-running, Running6 Comments »

Sometimes I think England feels like it needs to live up to its reputation as dreary, rainy, and gray. I keep telling it not to feel so much pressure. If it wants the sun to shine, it’s okay. But it is pretty insistent to maintain its drizzly world image.

I was psyched to go running this morning. I was organized and on top of things. It was cloudy, yes, but it would be all right. I threw some stuff into the back of the car and then went back into the house for a quick bathroom stop. Apparently the time was ripe for the clouds to take a pit stop too. When I got back outside it was pouring. But, I thought, hey, it’ll pass. Let’s go out to Minnis Bay anyway. I’ve got a schedule to keep.

It didn’t pass. I sat at my run start for a few minutes waiting, willing the torrents to subside. I don’t mind running in the rain, but this was RAIN. Struggling with the thoughts in my head (the devil sneering, “ha, ha you’re gonna have to run 7 miles on the treadmill today,” the realist knowing I would make it only a half a mile before utter boredom struck and I chucked it in for the snack bar), I finally gave in and resigned myself to the gym. I turned the key in the ignition and the solution hit me. I didn’t have my towel. I can’t use equipment at the gym without my towel. That would just be rude and inconsiderate. So I decided to have lunch and then give the Minnis Bay to Reculver Towers another try.

So in take two, something weird happened. I felt like I was living the movie “Groundhog Day”. I got into the car and it was the same song that was on the radio when I drove out the first time: the Kooks, “She Moves in Her Own Way”. And then the next song came on. Halfway through “You and Your Hand,” the signal died. And when it came back on, it was the Kooks. And then it was Pink. And then I got stuck behind a silver sedan double parking at the exact same spot it happened to me on the first trip to the sea.

However, the movie ended when I got to Minnis. It had stopped raining, the kite surfers were out, and you could even see the towers (my turn around destination) in the distance. And it was an awesome run. Take that treadmill! [Karate chops the air for added effect.] I planned to eco-run on the way back, but there was NO TRASH! (Or, no trash within reasonable collecting reach. I don’t do steep, crazy ditches and the beach is well, too big to tackle with just one bag.) It was really nice to see the path clean!

[Note: yes, I realize I did yoga this morning. I meant to post this last night!]

I caught so many people staring at my man tonight!

Friday, 3rd August 2007. Filed in Eco-running, Photography2 Comments »

SeaART 2007, an art exhibition put on by the Thanet Coast Project to celebrate the nature of the local coastal area, opens tomorrow. We went down to Margate tonight for the private viewing. I’m really excited to say my eco-running piece (featuring Crunchy husband’s backside) is displayed in the Community Pharmacy Gallery. The rest of my submissions, I hear, are hanging in the Old Lifeboatman’s Look-Out in Broadstairs harbour. We’re going to check that venue out on Sunday.

If you happen to be in the Thanet area, please stop in. There’s some good stuff, and we only saw tonight what is in two of the four venues.

Simple, and not so simple, pleasures

Tuesday, 31st July 2007. Filed in Crunchy grooves, Eco-running, Running7 Comments »

I’ve always harbored a secret desire to be one of the screamers on a live album. And now, I believe, my wish has come true. I got my recording from Peter Gabriel at Hyde Park, and I swear to you, I hear me. For real. The one yelling “Steeeaaaaammmm!” a fraction of a second before everyone else? That’s totally me. (I’m fast, really fast! And loud, really loud!) And during the pause in Family Snapshot? Me too. I swear to you. I know my concert scream. And I hear it. You’re skeptical, I can tell. But, it’s not hard to believe. Did I mention we were standing second row? BA-BY! (The proof is on Tony Levin’s website. You can see us best in the eleventh picture down, just behind the girl playing with her camera near the yellow rain jacket on the rail.) So, I think it’s very possible I hear me. And yeah, I’ll admit it, I sound good.

Rock and roll! Ah, another one of life’s goals ticked off the list.

In other exciting news, I officially registered myself and Crunchy husband for the Paris-Versailles 2007. So we are finally in training for something, as opposed to in training for something obscure and undetermined. We’ve been warned about the hill to Versailles, but how can you pass up the opportunity to start a run under the Eiffel Tower? Freddy the French Cat’s owner nearly joined Team Crunchy ‘Nanas in this 10 mile endeavor, but dodged this year’s run right before registrations went in by conveniently remembering he has tickets to go watch his Welshmen group hug and bite each other’s ears off in Nantes. Lucky escape, if you ask me.

There was way less trash on the path than I expected on my run today from Minnis Bay to Reculver. (I kept to the path. There is no way I could collect all the trash washed up on the beach.) Most people just kind of stared at me as I ran by, but one man yelled “hey, what about all this over here?” as he rode past me on his bike. He seemed jovial and friendly, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt and take that as thanks rather than him “taking the piss”. The run felt really good, which is to be expected since it is flat and I’ve been running hills mostly and today is a beautiful day. I ran regular tempo on the way out and eco-run tempo on the way back. I’m getting slightly better at grabbing trash without breaking my running motion, but I still need to slow/stop sometimes.

And then there’s the fact that summer has decided to grace England with its presence. There are many who still do not have clean water supplies to their homes, but at least (for now) the rains seem to have eased. I hope it gives it a chance for things to dry out a bit and allows people to go back to their homes.

And in final news that may be good or may be not so good, I will know by tomorrow I think, I’ve taken a bold step and submitted some coastal photography into a local art exhibition. Please keep your fingers crossed on something making the cut. It could go either way.

Don’t be fooled by the blue sky- the next deluge is upon us!

Monday, 23rd July 2007. Filed in Eco-running, Photography4 Comments »

Saturday, since the weather was surprisingly civil, we combined three activities into one excursion. We took an eco-run along Sandwich Bay to do my coastal survey. Because I’m a coastal warden, yo! And I love efficiency.

Crunchy husband in balance

What a man!

My large trash bags hid themselves cleverly in the depths of the backpack, so we packed as much trash as we could into the small shopping bags I had. We had to leave much behind, including this here land rover. Pushing this sucker out– now that would be a workout.

What a shame!

It was low tide, and the water was WAY out there. (Don’t let the sunlight fool you. You can’t really see the Channel waters in any of the pictures, except maybe along the top horizon.) It’s amazing how far out the water breaks at low tide. I am fascinated by the patterns the receding water leaves in the wet sand.


I am also, as ever, fascinated with my own shadow and now, after the cull, I have 34 new pictures of my constant companion. Gotta love digital, baby!


There’s no telling when this will actually get posted. My server’s been down for 26+ hours so far, and there’s no hope for an end in sight, save a “wow, I’ve never seen it take this long” from the customer support agent online. My patience is nearly at its peak here. I wonder if I chose the wrong web host. Hmmm…

Give a hoot people, please!

Thursday, 19th July 2007. Filed in Eco-running5 Comments »

People are gross. Not all people. But some people. The people who toss their trash on the ground. Those are the people I’m talking about here. They are gross.

Inspired by this guy, I eco-ran today. The sun is out (!!) so I grabbed my sunscreen and a trash bag and went for it. I have to say, it’s not easy. I don’t quite have the finesse to swoop down and grab the trash without breaking my stride, so it’s a lot of stopping and starting. I had quite a few stares from the drivers along the A256 in Cliff’s End. So yes, if you googled “crazy running woman picking up trash on the A256 near Cliff’s End” that is me. If you’d like to join me next time, send me an email. There was WAY too much for me to pick up alone.

Collective change starts with individual choice

Tuesday, 3rd July 2007. Filed in Keep the jungle greenNo Comments »

So many people turn a blind eye to the reality of climate change because if they accepted it as a real threat they’d feel morally bound to do something, to make changes they feel will be difficult and detrimental to their quality of life. Because they are not willing to make these changes, they reject or avoid addressing the reality of climate change.

Wow, right on. We finally got “An Inconvenient Truth” in our DVD queue. Beyond all the graphs and powerpoint, which some could find a bit dry, it gets you thinking about climate change and the drastic impact it is having on the planet, of course, but also about how and why we make choices in general. How we apply the things we learn to our daily lives, how we use knowledge and understanding to live in the way we think is right. And, possibly more importantly, how we rationalize choices we make along the way that don’t always jibe with what we feel to be right. We all have those things that we think of as necessary evils. Things that we know to have a negative impact in some part on human life on earth, whether it be ours or the planet’s health, but are still things we feel make our lives easier, better, more convenient in some way. (As long as I am able, I will always get on a transatlantic flight to see my family and friends. But no, it was probably not necessary to drive to Canterbury when we could have taken the train. Bad us.) It’s important to re-evaluate them occasionally to see how necessary they really are, and to isolate where we can make changes, even small ones, to live what we feel to be a more moral life. We’ve heard it a million times, but if we all make small changes individually, the sum of the effects could really do some good. It’s easier for 6.6 billion people to move a mountain than for one person to shoulder the impossible weight. But, each person has to help, or else the mountain stays put.

The movie came to us at a good time. It’s Change Your World week here in the UK, but like I said previously, I think it’s something that can be applied globally. Hint, hint. (Yes, I walked to a smaller store for dinner groceries last night, rather than driving to Tesco. Though, I am still trying to figure out a safe route to ride my bike to the gym.)

I’ve also just found out that one of my closest friends has started a blog called Manifest Health thru Knowledge, a lovely notion that can be applied to so many areas. She forecasts her blog to be a chronicle detailing her learnings on her journey toward a healthy body, mind and spirit. “Health cannot be bought or sold, it must be cultivated and protected.” Kind of like the earth’s well-being, actually. While reading her entries, I kept thinking about how our struggles to affect changes that will benefit our personal well-being can be compared to our disinclinations to change things in our lives that are unhealthy to the Earth. Knowledge can definitely be power. But, when it comes to health sometimes we find it difficult to do what’s right, even when we know what we’re doing isn’t the best for us. I think it’s the same with how we treat the planet. I’m going to try to do better.

Change your world

Sunday, 17th June 2007. Filed in Keep the jungle green2 Comments »

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketSustrans, a sustainable transport charity here in the UK, is sponsoring a campaign called Change Your World. They ask that people pledge to give up one car ride during the week of 1-7th July, and choose a more environmentally friendly way to get from point A to point B. I assume the hope is that people will see how easy it is to do, and will continue to make choices like this, reducing emissions and traffic on the roads, and improving their health. Though the campaign is targeted at the UK, it seems to me to be pretty universally applicable. (No moaning about how public transportation is so much better in England than say, the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s terrible where I am!)

I’m changing my world. Will you?