Showing posts from May, 2012

Ten Things I learned at the Born To Run Ultramarathon

Lesson #1 - Maintain control of your balls. You never know where they may end up.

I'm on the far right. You can pretty much see the horror on my face. (Thanks Sachin for the photo!)
I discovered that If you will yourself to not be chosen to participate in the Rarajipari (Tarahumara ball racing) you will be chosen. As Chris Scott was calling out names, nicely written on dollar bills we all placed in a sack earlier in the day, I was silently doing math to myself. If I had any idea that's what the dollar bills had been for, I may have tried to devise a sly way to avoid having my name in the bag.What are the odds, I thought. There is no way. There are so many of us. Please don't pick me, please don't pick me.

"Crista, with a C!" He called out. I stood motionless. There is a reason I'm a runner and don't play sports. I lack a special coordination that is meant for any foot and ball accuracy. I slowly walked towards the starting line, facing my sudden wave o…

To Kill or Not To Kill a Mockingbird

I am on the brink of insanity. No, it's not the massive amounts of papers and research I've been struggling with for my graduate degree. No, it's not the lack of money in my bank account. And no, it's not even dealing with life's common blunders.

I am losing my mind because of a pint-sized Mockingbird that has invaded my world and refuses to go away.

It all started two weeks ago when I found myself unable to fall asleep at night. It sounded like a car alarm, in varying pitches and tunes going off right behind my bedroom. The first five minutes it was intriguing for it's lack of giving up. It reminded me of a time when I was on a trip in Hawaii, and every morning I was woken up by the horrific monkey calls of a Franklin bird. When I asked the hotel staff about this curious sounding bird call, one of the staffers affectionately called them "The Single Ladies". Perplexed, he went into more detail. "You know," he said, shimmying his arms a bit.…

Training for my first Half-Marathon

Last year if you would have told me that I would be planning to run a half marathon on my 24th birthday, I would have laughed in your face. Even more, if you would have asked me a couple years back, I would have said you were crazy. I only wish I could find my race photo from my first 5k (3 miles) two years ago. I looked absolutely miserable, hated life, and crossed the finish line over 40 minutes later. Running was a painful experience that sent shockwaves through my body with each step.

Today, I ran nine miles on the beach and at times I felt like I was weightless, lost in my thoughts or observing something as I was passing it by. I realized that I had come a long way from my painful 5k's. Then something else struck me: the first 3-4 miles for me are always the hardest. It is in these miles that I experience the greatest amount of negative thoughts and attitudes towards running. Because I had never taken my distance past 3 miles for almost a year straight, EVERY SINGLE RUN was m…

On Running Injuries and Finding The Perfect Shoe

Undeniably, one the biggest things that runner's always discuss and argue about is shoes. Recently, the minimalist movement, thanks to individuals like Barefoot Ted and Christopher McDougall, the big brand shoe companies have started their own lines of barefoot-style shoes. Vibram, a company which originally designed the Five Fingers for sailors and surfers, was contacted by Barefoot Ted. He had ran the Boston Marathon in a pair of their five fingers and argued that human beings have perfect form-- so why wear shoes? Because he completed the huge feat without major injuries, many people jumped on the minimalist bandwagon.

This is a photo of one of the original Five-Finger designs by Vibram. 

Including Vibram, who within five years time would sell their patent to over six different shoe companies (Including Merrell and New Balance, to name a few). Funny thing is, they only sold the sole patent, which means there are countless running shoes being sold currently with the top half ma…

Ever wonder how I crochet owls?

So, people ask me how I crochet owls. And to be honest, I can't really give them a great answer. I have no idea how to read patterns, or let alone how to write them. I figured, the next best thing would be step-by-step photos of how I create the owls. This owl I made for my friend Olivia :)

Everything I make, more or less, starting with a crocheted circle. I've heard this called the "magic circle" before. 
The basic concept of crocheting is the process of adding "stitches" in the right order to make the piece expand or grow smaller.
This is going to be the body of the owl. Doesn't look like much right now does it?
I made another two circles, which will eventually be the owl's wings. I always add an extra stitch or two at the end to make the circle more of an oval shape than a circle.
This is the first time I've added a color around the outside rim of the eyes. Kinda excited about it actually!
After I sewed the eyes onto the body of the owl.

Fat, Sick, And Nearly Dead: Facing The Facts About My Unhealthy Lifestyle

Two years ago, while on traveling out of the country for the first time (Peru), I got terribly sick. Not in the, "I drank the water, now I have the shits for days" sort of sick. It was the, "I can't stand up straight, and I feel like I'm dying from the inside out" sort of sick. The saddest part of the whole situation was it was pretty much a food-induced sickness. I had eaten myself into a foggy, lethargic sandpit before I had left-- I had been told that I'd be eating an entirely vegetarian diet the majority of the time I would be in Peru. So....I did what any normal person would do. I ate all my favorite foods for the week before my trip. At the time, I was pretty much in the worst shape of my life, in the worst health condition, and in a third world country. It didn't get much worse than that.
This picture is of my dear friend Mikey and I. Both of us were completely unprepared for the insane amount of hiking we were doing every day. This photo was…

On Being Afraid to Run Alone: Where there is a will, there is a way!

On Tuesday I was desperate to run Wheeler Canyon Rd. It's a long windy road that leads into the middle of nowhere. The only people that go out there are the farmers (who run the farms that line the road) and FedEx trucks.

 I'm not sure how other women runners feel on the subject, but I am absolutely petrified to run alone. I have no problem running where there are lots of people around. But at night, on trails that reach beyond cell phone know, the kinds of places people go and never come out again. There are so many horrific scenarios I would be picturing during my run. Even if everything turned out OK, I'd still be thinking "I'm going to die, I'm going to die" over and over again. I'd think about it my entire run. Every noise. Every sound. I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself. The idea of running for over an hour and a half, by myself, with no music, sounds absolutely awful. Because zoning out, headphones blasting on a tiny windy roa…