Curiosity Conditioning Program: Four Week Update.

I’ve completed four whole weeks of my conditioning program for “PCT 2023? ” and wanted to share my results thus far!

Harken back to > this post < for more info.

Sooooo, I’ve failed. Kind of.

I was supposed to hike 5 miles, three days a week and see how that felt before moving my miles up to 6. Take it slow and easy BUT somehow I ended up hiking six miles, some of the time anyway! Here are my stats:

Week 1. 4.61 miles @ 1 hr and 35 mins. . 5.23 miles @ 1 hr and 36 mins. . 5.08 miles @ 1 hr and 58 mins.

Week 2. 6.24 miles @ 2 hrs. 5.35 @ 1 hr and 52 mins. 6.17 miles @ 2 hrs 4 mins.

Week 3. 4.23 miles @ 2 hrs 36 mins. 5.87 miles @ 1 hr and 57 mins. 5.76 miles @ 2 hrs and 4 mins.

Week 4. 4.36 miles @ 1 hr and 38 mins. 6.31 miles @ 2 hrs and 18 mins. 8.18 miles @ 2 hrs and 38 mins! ( So proud of this one!)

It’s just the way it worked out! I wasn’t trying to go over 5 miles and I was especially not trying to go EIGHT MILES but somehow my curiosity led me down a street or two and the miles just added up.

How do I feel?

Great! STRONG! My body is hardening up. I’m recovered nicely by the next day. Not hobbling around. I haven’t injured myself and my normal pace is on par with the average person at 2 miles an hour. So not as out of shape as I thought I was. On my last walk I was playing around with speed and managed to walk @ 3 miles an hour which is FAST! But not really sustainable in the long term at this point. I’d be super happy to even out at 2.5 miles an hour with a full pack.

What have I learned these past four weeks?

  1. A mile is a hell of a lot longer than a kilometre, ha! BUT 6.2 miles is 10 KM which sounds really rad.
  2. Food is your friend. A simple snack at around 3 miles can really perk a person up.
  3. You MUST stretch both BEFORE and AFTER. Stretching makes such a huge difference in both performance and recovery. Here is a link to the stretches I’ve found most helpful.
  4. Try and lay down with your feet up above your heart for 10 mins after your hikes, especially if you have circulation problems. This will help with leg heaviness.
  5. Train with a pack. In the beginning it doesn’t have to be your full pack. Just throw in your water, a jacket and some snacks for now. I learned that training with my pack encourages me to be more mindful of my posture which in turn helps to prevent injury and ensures I’m hiking efficiently. For more tips on posture check out the book – Chi Walking– by Katherine and Danny Dreyer. An excellent resource. I use their tips ALL the time with much comfort and success.
  6. You’re not just training your body you’re training your mind and your mind can be the trickiest bastard of them all. Watch your thoughts. Listen to what they have to say and them pick the best ones that will help you meet your goal. Be consistent with this, you’re building resiliency. When I hiked the Inka Trail, I was so surprised to find the real challenge of the hike was mostly mental!
  7. A person can use every condition, be it weather, a shitty attitude, your own forgetfulness, navigation mistakes etc. etc. as a training tool. Forgot your water in your rush out the door? Guess now you get to experience what it’s like to hike in the heat, thirsty! Turned the wrong way and now you have to backtrack 2 miles? This will happen to you on the trail, how are you going to react and how are you going to manage this problem? Cold and pouring rain? Are you going to stay home or are you going to get out there discover how it feels to hike in the wet and cold?! Use every opportunity as a training tool. I’m SO excited for the ice and the cold and the snow this year! Crazy right, especially considering this is ME talking. I’m just so curious to see how I do because this will give me better insight into how I will manage hiking through the scary Sierra Nevada. Put yourself out there in these situations while you have the privilege of comfort in your everyday life!
  8. Reward yourself! Celebrate your successes! Bring snacks you LOVE to eat and use them as encouragement for miles completed. Give yourself a treat for meeting your goals once you complete them. I’m going to enjoy some sushi and tempura today to celebrate the end of week four. Have some fun with your training.

What’s next? I’m upping my miles to 6 officially. I’m going to hit up different terrain ( if I can avoid the sexual assailant in the river valley) and I’m going to keep working on my attitude as we move into the colder, wetter weather. OH, I’m going to add some weight too. I’m thinking 5lbs.

I’m no closer to deciding whether or not I’m actually going to hike the PCT in 2023 but I am feeling very hopeful and relieved that thus far, this body and mind are working well. Plus, after a year and 5 months of not working, it feels GREAT to have a purpose and focus again ❀

How about you? Do you have anything you’re looking toward?

Do you have any training and conditioning tips you’d add to these?

I’m all ears! ❀

The Change- Micro Dosing with Melatonin for S.A.D

Stepping out onto my rotting wooden porch, a familiar feeling overcame me. A sensation I felt throughout my body. An organic, all knowing feeling of the truth in that moment.

I don’t usually make note of what exactly brings on this feeling. It’s not really all that important. I trust my instincts. The details dont really matter.

But this time I did take note…

The sky around me was a darker shade of blue, filled with puffy clouds. Both the sky and the clouds seemed closer to me than they had the day prior.

The air felt cool even though the sun was shining. Even though my favourite weather app told me it was 20 degrees C outside.

Autumn, my Friends! Autumn is in the air!

If you’re following along with me and my S.A.D journey/experience for yourself (and you’ve done your own research!) this is your reminder to start taking your micro dose ( .5 mg) of melatonin daily,( in the late afternoon) as soon as YOU feel Autumn in the air, wherever YOU live.

I’m excited to see if starting the melatonin micro dose now does me any greater good than it did last time. It sure helped me last night. I slept like the dead and woke up feeling less ugh than I have in the past four days.

What I’m trying to stave off are the three months of vile muck I go through every Fall when we lose the light. My wish, my fondest hope, my deepest desire is that by starting the melatonin as soon as I notice the light change from Summer to Fall, I will glide through the worst of it with a low grade soft depression as opposed to the hard angry kind.

I’ve given up all hope for a total cure. This is the way I am, because of where I live. Nothing short of moving to the Equator will cure me. ( An idea that has crossed my mind, believe you me!)

I won’t know if it’s worked until I’m out of the worst of it of course, and last time that didnt happen until mid November. Depression is an asshole that tricks you into thinking you’re just “fine” until you come out of it.

I scared myself last year. I’m >this< close to going to the Doc for meds which is something I don’t want to do hence this massive pre-emptive attack. ( I have a whole program planned) There is nothing wrong with meds, AT ALL. I just don’t want to take them. I’ve seen too many of my friends suffer from the wrong med or side effects and that has really turned me off them. BUT I will if things get unbearable. And if you decide to do that too, good for you! I hope you feel better.

For now though, I’ve got this experiment to keep me busy plus a few other tricks up my sleeve. I’ll continue to document my experience for those who need it. IN the meantime here’s a link, should this subject interest you!

Science Friday

And get moving on your Summer Fun! We’ve got 8 , EIGHT, weekends left!

Best Of Lune.

Best Book:

I’ve read 9 books this month. Not my best month but I’ve been playing outside every chance I can get so it’s ALL good! I do intend to do MORE reading OUTSIDE from here on out because that’s a special pleasure that comes and goes through a short time frame πŸ™‚

My favourit book this month was:

The Last Hours by Minette Walters

A descriptive, interesting, engaging tale about life during the Black Death. I found it a little long about 3/4 of the way through but then when it ended I was left craving more! Good thing there’s a second one!

I also enjoyed these two:

Aprons and Silver Spoons by Mollie Moran was fast paced and fun to read. Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird really got me thinking good.

Best Movie:

That;s easy. It’s also the only movie I watched this month, ha.

Always Be My Maybe !It was smart and funny and sweet without being saccharine. It held my attention the whole way through and left me feeling happy. You can find it on Netflix, I believe. Go watch!

Kindest human interaction:

It’s a toss up between the lady who asked me ” Are you OK? Do you need a ride? ” when OV and I were playing in the pouring rain OR when Hubs gently rubbed cream on my roasted sunburnt back, without me asking…

Coolest thing I got in the mail:

My first box of Universal Yums! A monthly subscription box of snacks from around the world. This month the country was Colombia. Colombia? I am enjoying your snacks! You make the BEST queso tortilla chips! And I love your coconut toffee.

Best Lune moments:

I bought myself 30 small and medium gifts as tangible reminders to celebrate everything but the best and most valuable things were moments engaging with loved ones. Even in sadness.

1. Learning about the new developments in my friend’s health, the sorrow and the conversation and the love and wisdom that followed. 2. Having my entire family over for dinner! All the kids, blood and otherwise, all the spouses, former and current. 3. Seeing my mum in law and enjoying her feierce love for me. 4. Spending the week with my Hubs doing nothing much but having fun nonetheless. 5. Chatting with my daughter every day. She calls me and says ” What’s more annoying? Me as a kid or me as an adult? as way of apology but you know, I am grateful and appreciate that she WANTS to talk to me. I’ll take her daily phone calls, joyfully. ( The answer is always ” You as a kid!” ha ha. She was a tornado, that one! )

I’m happy for July because I’m hoping the weather sort of evens out a bit…but I’m enjoying the ever changing nature of the way things are now. We get rain every day and we get sun every day so if you plan it right you can enjoy it all and life never gets boring! The days are flying past so I’m making a few intentions to keep my butt on track:

  1. Read my books outside when it’s not raining.
  2. Get my ass on my bike!
  3. Eat my meals outside when I can…
  4. Check out a new part of the city every week.

What are your best June memories? What are your intentions for July?

Everyone Should Keep A List…#5

Of all the little things they love!

  1. Being woken by a storm in the morning.
  2. When my Crow friends seek me out in the window…

3. Racing the volatile June weather. Sometimes I make it home in time…sometimes I don’t!

4. Drying all my herbs and roots!

5. Spring flowers!

6. Making friends with wild Ravens:

7. Sitting comfortably outside to read my books, watch the sky or just be.

8. When everybody gets along and the general energy amongst all is good cheer.

9. Gigantic salads for dinner. This one HERE, was particularly good. Mind you I didn’t bother with slicing the lettuce into a slab- I chopped it up because who wants to fuss eating a salad with a freaking knife and fork!?- and the recipes says peaches but if you look at the recipes their very own photo shows nectarines… I used nectarines too!

10. Dorky hats. I didn’t buy this super cool fishing hat because I have a million floppy hats but still…floppy hats are just fun!

11. Getting good mail. Packages, surprise cheques, letters or cool catalogues.

12. Feeling the very wet underside of my little dog as she jumps all over me, after she’s been outside in the rain.

13. Having an animated chat with my daughter on the phone.

14. Funny texts from my son that tell me he’s come back to me. It seems I have my boy back. Not the drug addicted human but the boy I know and love.

15. My first moto ride of the season even if it was two hours TOO long and my body hurt for days, ha ha.

16. Hoop earrings I can close with a simple and satisfying click.

17. That compact feeling you get when you’ve been consistent with your core exercises and good posture.

18. Cat frog legs and toe beans!

19. The sun shining in my eyes at 930 PM (!!!!) forcing me to put my sunglasses on to read in my house, ha ha. I adore these nights leading to to Solstice. I stay up so late because I’m just not tired at my usual time with the sun still blaring away at me. This year I’m giving myself over to it. I’m letting myself fall into step with the cycles of the earth.

20. SOLSTICE!!! 95 days of Summer( here in the Northern hemisphere. )Well, technically sure. But in actuality…after these first few days these Summer days start getting shorter and the weather starts making it’s turn toward Autumn. Enjoy the sun and the warmer days while you still can. I don’t think I’ve worn shoes in weeks, ha ha, even with the rain. Do I sound negative? Not my intention! I’m trying to remind myself of the impermanence of all things and that I need to make the most of Summer while it’s here. Maybe that will help me come Autumn. Fingers crossed!

OK, now it’s your turn. Tell me, what are some of the little things you love?

Plant Medicine – Using Cannabis Spray.

After using my spray a few more times I now feel confident enough to share my testimony!

I bought this stuff here:

It even comes with an official seal:

It’s a non flavoured spray and there are something like 400 sprays in that wee little bottle.

It’s called Balance because its a balanced mix -or close to it- of CBD( 12.20 mg) and THC (13.20 )

CBD is the stuff the medical community is all excited about. THC is the stuff that makes you feel funny! So you can see, there is very little THC in this stuff!

I was told that with this particular product, my mind would stay clear but my body would become really relaxed. It would be good for the pain in my bicep and later, once that resolved itself, it’d be good for calming my anxiety too. I would be able to use it – after experimenting with the dosage safely first- and be able to go to work! That’s how clear my mind would be.

Good! In the past I’d hated feeling high. I wanted to be melty and gooey but not paranoid and stupid, laughing at any dumb thing or freaking out because “everyone can tell I’m high”.

It was recommended that I start out with a small dose of two or three sprays. The gent at the counter actually suggested ONE, since I hadn’t used it in 35 years so one is what I started myself at.

I was honestly really nervous to try it that first time. I had a problem with the unknown of the whole thing. The gent who helped me in the store told me that while, there was a certain consistency to how a body would react, every body is different and everyone reacts in a different way.

There was only one way to find out how that way would be for me so I took the safety seal off, figured out how to use the locking mechanism and gave myself a spray.

Right in the back of my throat.

Don’t do that!

I felt like I was having an allergic reaction! But I think it was just poor application that made the back of my throat itchy.

Under the tongue or in the lip like a spot of “chew” is a much better idea!

It tasted kind of skunky but tolerable.

Within 15 mins I was feeling the effects. My body remembered it right away-humans have cannabinoid receptors. Did you know that?- and soon I was feeling it most strongly in my body. It was very strange at first, to be so relaxed. I didn’t notice my arm at all. (Which by that time was not hurting as bad as it had been) I checked my eyes in the mirror and they looked normal. I felt mostly normal, still clear headed. I was able to play Mahjong and hold normal conversations. There was still this sort of pull to go “into myself” and be alone with the relaxed feeling but it wasn’t so strong that I wasn’t able to tear myself away. I was still social and coherent.

I went to bed shortly after that and slept for TEN FULL HOURS!

The relaxed feeling lasted for days after too. I wasn’t like a puddle of goo or anything, I was just … chill. Calm. Unbothered.

My second does was after doing… something…I can’t remember what … gardening probably! I took one spray again and went straight to bed. This time my experience was kind of meh.

My mistake was taking it, waiting 5 mins and then brushing my teeth. I felt it less than the time before and it only lasted about an hour and then my mind was back to it’s usual self, chattering away. When I finally did fall asleep though, I slept well.

The third time was a one spray experience too but this time, I gave myself time before bed and while I was happy with the way my body felt, my damn mind would not shut up.

The thing about being super relaxed like that is that any part of you that is a sort of “problem” spot reeeeeally becomes more noticeable because everything else is nice and chill. My jaw for instance. My bruxism is BAD. And of course, my monkey mind! This is a very common occurrence according to my internet research, SO keep this in mind if you intend to try it too.

Now, the last time I tried it, was after a day of naughty gardening again. (Naughty because I’m not supposed to be using my arm! ) This time I used TWO sprays to see if it helped the monkey mind – it did not- and while it was a little more melty making, it wasn’t long lasting and I woke up with arm pain in the night. ( I had really over done it that day) I got up to pee and stretch my arm and then fell promptly back asleep so while I did still feel some pain, being able to fall back asleep was definitely an improvement.

I’ve tried it a few more times and each time was different but positive.

What’s my final verdict?

It’s still evolving, really.

It’s great for sleeping. It’s great for relaxing the body. It seems to have helped me achieve a greater state of mental calm- even with my monkey mind!- in the every day, just from a few uses by sort of calming down my central nervous system. It allows me to be clear headed and function when I use it.

I’m not sure how I feel about going to work while using it though. I think my anxiety is somewhat helpful in keeping me on my toes…but I would be able to if I chose to do so.

I can’t really say what it did for pain because I haven’t used it while in a highly pained state. It did help me relax enough and not think about the discomfort I was feeling though…it wasn’t useless like the Toradol, by any means. And while I did wake up once in the night, in pain, I was able to fall back asleep. That has never happened before…I think in higher doses, the pain relief would be good- higher doses comes with foggy brain though but if I was desperate, I would choose that!

It showed me my trouble spot- monkey mind and jaw clenching- which I appreciated. I’m more conscious of tending to those things now.

It surprised me by showing me something else…I want that floaty brain feeling! I felt like it was missing from the experience. I would LOVE to get my mind to shut up for once!

Whaaaaaat?!

I know right?!

I never, in a million years thought I’d want to feel like that again but I find myself craving it. The body relaxation feels incomplete without it.

It’s highly, highly unlikely I’ll be seeking that feeling out for the same reasons I don’t seek out my beloved Ativan, ha ha, but I wanted to mention it as part of my experience, in the interest of honesty and authenticity. Instead, I’ll mediate “like my hair is on fire” and calm my monkey mind the old fashioned way. It’s nice to know the option’s there … but I’m not sure it’d be wise of me to use it for that.

All in all, I would recommended this product to first time users, for sure. (After you do your own research, of course!) It felt safe and I didn’t have any weird or negative side effects. It’s become a part of my regular routine. I use it any time I feel like I’ve over worked my arm or if I’ve had a “big day” and am too jacked up to sleep. The good side effects are long lasting. I can take two sprays once in a week and I’m still sleeping well and feeling unbothered four whole days later! It’s worth it, just for that!

So there you have it. I hope reading about my experience helps you if you need it. If you have any thoughts or questions, I’m here to help if I can!

Plant Medicine – Spruce / Pine Tip Syrup & Tea ala Little Mountain Ranch.

Originally in this spot I was going to write about my experience trying my cannabis spray. Instead, I bring you today’s subject because the spruce trees are growing new tips RIGHT NOW and I wanted to get the information out there for anyone who wants to harvest their own! Cannabis is coming, I promise.

My friend Chelsea, has a YouTube channel where she vlogs about her homesteading lifestyle, amongst other awesome things.

She’s a truly great human being . The kind of person who inspires others and she shares some really awesome stuff.

She’s got a video up this week about making Spruce Tip/Pine Tip syrup. I had no idea a person could do such a thing!

Spruce and Pine tips are really high in vitamin C and while I’m not one for syrup, Chelsea mentions in her video that she also dries some tips for tea. Can you imagine the healing properties in that, right around cold and flu season? Now THAT is totally my jam, so today on my walk I brought along a bag and harvested my own spruce tips!

This is what they look like:

Like Chels says, you want the soft bits on the end and it’s pretty easy to tell the new tips from the old growth because the old growth is really ouchie to touch!

They pull off really easily too and it’s really pleasant to circle a giant tree, quietly picking off bits here and there. It would be wise to choose trees that are not near major roads and of course, it’s probably not a great idea to venture on to private property. I went to a local park that was well away from the road. Don’t take too much and if you’re witchy or so inclined, give the tree your thanks too.

But first, check out Chelsea’s video and channel here @ Little Mountain Ranch, for all the important information. She shares a lot of cool things and like I said, she’s an overall ginchy human you’ll want to get to know better.

I’ve got my tips drying in the sun right now:

And I’ll be back again, when I make my first cup of tea with them! Now get out there and get picking!

Ramble, Secret Cats, Worms, Reading & Chocolate.

Squee! I have some exciting news BUT I cant really share it just yet. So instead, I’ll use this cute meme I found to drop this weird and obscure hint and if anybody guesses well…it’s not like I told…

If it all goes well, someone I know and love is going to be growing chonky! ❀

Ha Ha!

I remember when I first started wearing glasses. I felt so self conscious. Now I’m so used to them that it’s the opposite for me : I think I look better with them ON, as opposed to off. But yes, blurry vision can have it’s perks πŸ˜›

They really don’t! Every morning after a rain, I see them on my patio or in the lawn, trapped by the rays of the blazing sun. Do they not know, the light is bad for them? Did they not learn that in worm school? Were they never taught basic survival skills by their wriggly mums? Or maybe, just maybe the worms I see on the surface are like, bad ass rebel worms. They KNOW about the light, they just don’t care…

I have giant issues with worms. I appreciate their work but they gross me out. Seeing piles of them on my yard is revolting. Even just posting that photo is giving me the squirmies. Yuck.

Of course, my yard is home to a large worm population. Of course it is! The worms in my yard are SO big they make noises when they move. *shudder.

This ^ makes me laugh like a lunatic every time I see it.

I hope you had a great weekend! I did nothing but garden really, oh and read!

I finished this:

The Huntress By Kate Quinn.

Twas a good read. Interesting and exciting , the story pulled right along. I had to set it down a few times because it was stressing me out, ha ha. But it wasn’t majorly disturbing to get through. Nothing too traumatic. It felt a little rushed at the end with some of the storylines but I appreciated how justice was served quickly. The main issue was resolved and that’s always satisfying in a book. Especially one on this subject. ( World War Two ) I had just been reading about the Night Witches so it was really cool to read a fictional account of these real life women!

I gave myself this:

I am a handmade pepper mill.

And this:

And then I had a chocolate accident, ha ha.

I used to make fun of these things because the commercials were sooooo cheesy but then one year, one of my work kids gave me a box and I tell ya … that shut me up right quick. These things are pretty damn good for mass produced chocolate ( as you can see by all the empty spaces πŸ˜› )

All in all, it was an active, relaxing, delicious weekend.

How was yours?