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I’m sitting on the ferry and my tired mind is trying to calculate precisely what leg of the journey I’m on…I stop because at the best of times, calculating isn’t all that fun.

It began just 6 days ago, when I packed up the Delica and slowly headed to Cortes Island for Social Change Institute at Hollyhock. 

It was her maiden voyage as a new convert to waste veg and I was 2 parts excited and 1 part nervous as I drove to pick up a crew of fellow SCI’ers. I was also several parts guilty as I had not fully disclosed the Delica’s top hill climbing speed of 40 km/ph or the fact that I was completely in the dark with the waste veg fuel thing and if we broke down on the highway my best solution would be consuming the contents of the tank so we wouldn’t starve.

Fortunately, we managed to make it to Hollyhock without incident and without having to learn what cold fryer oil tastes like.

I am still processing Social Change Institute…a concentration of the radicalist of the radicals, environmentalists with hearts so green they made the superb garden jealous, journalists, poets, activists, spiritual warriors, healers, artists, poets, young people and young at heart people in a place where ancient cedars cast shadows on the sea.

The whole experience was a bit like being spun in a cotton candy machine of bright ideas, positive energy, and beautiful connections. I felt like I was spinning and being layered by this sweet ethereal experience. Exhaustion and euphoria made the colours brighter, the voices more melodic.

It seems I had been craving this energy and so I consumed it heartily. I think it was this deep intake of goodness from so many brave and intelligent change makers that propelled me on my run on Sunday. I felt buoyant and moved by something both inside and outside of myself.

I hope I am able to store and harness this energy on my upcoming journey. It is the ultimate form of renewable energy! 

I’m talking about between my toes. It was a tip I read on this running site: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/beginners/your-first-marathon-words-from-the-wise/2800.html

…and I have to say it’s an excellent one! Toe chafing is highly uncomfortable as is any kind of chafing for that matter so I have begun using vaseline strategically for all my long runs.

I also had to do some research on the delicate matter of my lower intestines violently trying to escape my body (I think you know what I’m getting at here) at about the 2 hour mark of running. It’s an extreme situation that I’ve come to learn is whimsically referred to as “runners trots.” Having grown up around horses, I find this term highly amusing…What’s not amusing is actually having a fierce case of the trots descend upon you, forcing you to frantically scurry into the bush for what can only be described as a mild exorcism.

Once the shaking and sweating subsided I found myself a little worried thinking about race day and how awkward the “trots” would be. Apparently, too much fibre and caffeine could be to blame (guilty on both counts) and just having “novice” bowels as it were. I actually read that it is an affliction that happens to novice runners…It seems my bowels have some maturing to do. I’m delighted that this marathon is supporting personal growth on so many levels.

Other than this super personal stuff that I’m sure everyone finds fascinating, I’ve really been lucking out with the weather for my long runs. Monday was a gorgeous blue bird day that looked right out of an ad for Whistler Blackcomb, much like these:

http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/photos/index.htm

(I figure if I don’t take pictures, I can at least show some that others have taken)

Better still, check out the work of local photographer legend Blake Jorgenson:

http://www.blakejorgenson.com/photography/

So that’s about it. I am off to do some Fartleks at the gym. I sure hope they weren’t named after someone. That would have been one awkward childhood.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself and my little ole playlist until I did some research on the world wide web and discovered this blog:

http://www.remanents.com/blog/best-running-music-ever/

This guy makes playlists for his runner wife and friends- that are timed to specific beats per minute. “Jamie” for instance has “Best Running Music- Jamie’s Mix: 140-160 BPM (for runners w/ mile pace of 9.5-10.5 minutes).” All I can say is: Wow.*

So he is pretty much ruling it in the husband department and the making playlists for runners department.

As a result, I’m now feeling insecure about my playlist. I just threw together peppy songs I like. What if the BPM’s are all wrong? Perhaps it’s the reason I’ve been running a 23 minute mile? Just kidding. I only just made this playlist, I’ve been running that slow all on my own 🙂 (Really I’m just kidding)

Clearly, I’m in need of some help. THANK GOD, WordPress offers polls! I thought it was just a kitsch reference to Heathers (remember Heathers?!), but no the Poll is an extremely useful tool that I’m certain will come in wicked handy. Too bad, the functionality doesn’t function on my computer (Note to WordPress. Macs are cool now. Why can’t we all just get along?!).

So, here I’ve got a sweet little poll inquiring about best first songs for running playlists and I can’t upload ANY of the options. What gives?!  Before it even had a chance, my poor little poll has gone from “Damn! that’s good poll!” to “Ho hum, I guess I’ll go watch the English Patient now”

So my apologies for the mundane non-multi-media-ness of this poll.

I welcome any and all musical suggestions.

* There is a treeplanting term for this kind of person and it’s “High Baller.”

Since deciding to run the Edge to Edge marathon, I have been contemplating my motivation and real reasons for doing it. It seemed like a whim at the time I signed on, but I’m pretty sure it was cooked up by my sub-consciousness for some deeper purpose.

I’ve been thinking about intention-setting. Awhile ago, I stumbled across this amazing blog by Steve Pavlina called, “Personal Development for Smart People,” (because I’m good enough, smart enough and doggoneit, people like me”) that talked about intention-setting. I have a sneaking suspicion that Steve is of the self-help ilk, but I found some of what he had to say, well, helpful. Pavlina’s premise is that you have to be crystal clear about the polarity of energy behind your intentions. In other words, you must decide whether the outcome of your intention to meant to benefit yourself or to benefit the world around you. He makes a pretty good case for choosing one or the other explaining that the interconnectedness of all  beings means that benefitting the self will benefit the whole and vice versa. Interesting stuff. Check out: (www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2007/02/the-1-mistake-people-make-when-using-the-law-of-attraction)

So the question is: is this marathon about me working towards a personal goal or is there a way for this marathon to forward a cause that I really care about? Personally, I feel that intentions are stronger when they are directed outwards and goals easier to achieve when they are devoted to something bigger than myself.

For some time now, I have been following the developments of the oil sands expansion proposals submitted by Enbridge, Kinder Morgan and CNRail. I am deeply concerned with the prospect of any of these going forward, particularly the Northern Gateway pipeline that would transport bitumen from the Alberta tar sands across the vast province of BC exiting in Kitmat, the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.

The proposed Enbridge pipeline would cross some 1,000 streams and rivers, including sensitive salmon spawning habitat in the upper Fraser, Skeena, and Kitimat watersheds. Five important salmon rivers that would be impacted are the Stuart River, Morice River, Copper River, Kitimat River and Salmon River.

The likelihood of a spill is a near certainty; “The National Enery Board estimates large petroleum pipelines will experience a spill every 16 years for every 1000 kilometres in length.” [National Energy Board, Analysis of Ruptures and Trends on Major Canadian Pipeline Systems, 2004].
The consequences of tanker traffic in the Douglas Channel near Kitimat (disturbing marine life like humpback whales) let alone a spill at any point along the massive pipeline would be monumentally disastrous. It would be devastating for not just the environment, but for the First Nations and BC communities that rely on the integrity of the natural environment for the sake of their health and for their economic livelihoods. Wait- that’s virtually all of us.

The prospect of such a project and similar tar sands projects  being approved despite the tremendous outcry by First Nations and other BC communities has struck at my heart and I have been seeking out ways of supporting groups opposing it.

It occurred to me (on a run of course), that I could create a blog that would detail not only my running progress and epiphanies (of which there are many), but would also serve to raise awareness about this issue. And voila, kimnsrunningmonologue was formed. I am still trying to figure out how I can raise funds for protecting the Great Bear Rainforest, but I feel like this is a good first step. In the posts to come, I will write more about this issue and how it is progressing. Hopefully I will get some feedback from you good readers as to how I can raise funds and further increase awareness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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