Los Angeles

Something wicked this way runs

RIP Mr Bradbury

It’s National Running Day. Last year, I took a rest day to celebrate. This year, I planned my route so it would take me past Ray Bradbury’s home in Cheviot Hills. I didn’t know Mr. Bradbury lived so close to me until LA Observed’s post about his passing. Included of the post is a 2009 picture of Bradbury in front of the Palms-Rancho Park branch of the LA Public Library.

I’m sure I’ve passed the Bradbury home before on a run, but never had an idea that one of the best science fiction writers lived only a mile away.

I considered downloading an audiobook of the first Bradbury novel I read, Dandelion Wine, to listen to on my run. That didn’t seem right. If there’s any writer’s work I should read the old-fashioned way, it should be Ray Bradbury. Instead, I listened to a podcast of my favorite daily news show (The Madeleine Brand show). As I neared the Bradbury home, Brand and her guest, local bookstore owner David Kipen, memorialized Bradbury. They discussed Kipen’s visit to Bradbury’s home in Cheviot Hills. I found that fitting.

Rest in peace, Mr. Bradbury.


New Rules and streaking

In hindsight, starting a new weight lifting plan the same week I decided to join the Runner’s World summer running streak was a bad idea. Okay, it wasn’t bad, just not good.

I ran 25 miles total for May. I don’t know the last time I ran so little, but it makes sense since I took a few weeks off when I got sick, was out of town and then had that rare fainting spell.

Now that I’m running again, I can feel the effect of those weeks off and the low mileage in April (~50 miles). It’s discouraging to need a short walk break during an easy 3 mile run. While I’m not training nor have any races lined up, I don’t want to lose more of the fitness and speed I worked hard to develop in the months I was training with Marc.

Enter Runner’s World’s summer running streak. Runner’s World outlines the parameters here, but the rules are pretty simple: run at least 1 mile a day from Memorial Day through 4th of July, a 38 day streak.

I like my rest days and have never run more them 4 or 5 days consecutively. I’ve also never just gone out for a single mile. That’s easy. It probably would take me longer to get ready to run than to actually run a mile.

Fitness stuff for the home

Starting the running streak the same week I started stage 1 of the New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROLW) program wasn’t a good idea, but it’s been manageable. Each workout leaves my legs pretty sore, so running the next day — even for 10 minutes — feels like running the day after a 20 miler or a hard half marathon. I’m glad I only have to do 1 mile a day.

Monday: 3 miles, NROLW workout A
Tuesday: 1 mile walk, 1 mile run
Wednesday: 1 mile warm-up treadmill, NROLW workout B
Thursday: 2 miles on the track
Friday: 1 mile warm-up treadmill, NROLW workout A
Saturday: 1.3 mile run, 5 min walk
Sunday: 2.7 mile run (I wanted a whole number for my weekly total)

The runs are all generally 9:30-10 minute pace, except the track where I run closer to 9 minute miles.

As for NROLW, so far I really like the workouts. I read most of the book a few weeks ago but delayed starting the program because I was still training for the Pasadena half marathon. The only downside is that I need to get in the gym for the workouts. It’s not required as there are at-home modifications, but my dumbbells at home are too light.

Kinda like this outtake

It’s also nice to workout with Sean. He’s pretty familiar with the weight room and has been helpful getting me set up and correcting my form as needed. (I like that I look like I’m mid-flex rather than moving hair out of my face in the photo above.)

I should be back in the gym today, but need to give my ass some rest. Before my run yesterday I bent down to pick something up and felt a strange pain on the right side of my butt. This didn’t bother me during my easy run, but I had to put off today’s workout which calls for a couple of sets of lunges and deadlifts. I don’t think I pulled a muscle, but I know rest will help. I still plan to run a mile… because it’s only a mile.

Cultura, Los Angeles

Frida on my mind

Glad I caught the In Wonderland show before it ended

A month ago, Sean and I checked out In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States show at LACMA. Despite seeing the banners all over the city featuring Frida Kahlo’s “Autorretrato con Collar de Espinas” (Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird), I waited until a few days before the show closed to check it out. I’m really glad I saw the show.

My older cousin, Bibi, introduced me to Frida’s art when I was in 6th grade. Thanks to Bibi, I knew about Diego Rivera’s philandering ways, the horrible bus accident and the monkeys.

I liked Frida and her art, but didn’t love it like some of my friends. I even prided myself on the fact that I wasn’t that kind of Chicana. I made a banner advertising that fact in my early blogging days. (And yes, I know there’s not one way to be a Chicana.)

Las Dos Fridas

Something stirred in me when I finally saw In Wonderland. Frida Kahlo was just one of about 50 artists featured. Most of her paintings were in in the section on self portraits. Despite being familiar with a couple of the paintings in the show (Las Dos Fridas, Autorretrato Con Collar de Espinas, Frida y Diego wedding portrait from 1931), I still had to stop and look at them for a bit. I stood in front of Las Dos Fridas amazed at the detail. Up close, I found new details I’d never noticed in prints, books or even a tableau vivant Halloween costume. I did the same with the wedding portrait. I’d always just thought of that one as an example of her small stature compared to el elefante, Diego Rivera. But this time I got the chance to read the text and imagine how she felt on her first wedding day.

I had no clue Las Dos Fridas was such a large painting

I went through the show once and then walked back to find a crowd around Las Dos Fridas. I couldn’t blame them for stopping to stare and take it all in.

It may have taken twenty years to find my inner Frida fangirl, but she was there all along. I just needed to see the real thing to realize it.