Last week’s running

Last week was pretty light on the mileage since the kids and I were both sick, but I ended up with a couple of decent workouts and don’t feel like the whole week went to waste.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday: Nothing. Not even walking.
Wednesday: 4.85 @ 8:49. Heh, I overdid it a little. I was excited to run again after a few days off and a local running store was holding a group run to let people try new models of Sauconys. I ran from my house to the store and then did three with the group (in the new Kinvara 7s and they were glooooorious!) and then ran home. Bonus: the running store had water, Gatorade, beer, fruit, and sandwiches from Jimmy Johns, AND a couple people I knew were there so it was a good time. (Side note: I’ve lived here for 10 years but it’s hard making friends when you’re in your 30s. Also, I’m something of an introvert so I have to balance my desire to have friends with my aversion to interacting with strangers. Basically, the novelty of running into people I actually know has not worn off yet.)
Thursday: Weights. I spent a while doing my hamstring PT exercises before my workout and then did a nice long slow weight routine. I even sort of enjoyed it.
Friday: weights + 3.3 @ 9:50. I went to the gym with the intention of just lifting but after my workout I impulsively decided to go outside for a quick run. I didn’t have my Garmin so I just ran by feel, which was interesting since I never, ever do that. My pace was pretty much what I thought it would be.
Saturday: I got up at 6 a.m. to run but Codie woke up at 6:15 (after also waking up at 2 and 4:30) and I was really tired so I stayed home with her and pushed my run back to Sunday.
Sunday: 10 @ 9:26. I slept in and headed out for my run at around 7:30 a.m. I was feeling ambitious so I threw in four miles at HMP for good measure (9:04, 8:57, 8:47, 8:58). It was a bit cooler Sunday and I had an absolutely fantastic time. Real hints of fall! SOON.

Total: 18 miles

I have two more weekends before the half but this weekend we are camping at a blues fest (SANS CHILDREN and OMG I am SO EXCITED [obligatory statement about how I love my children]). I want to do some longer runs this week because I know if I run at all this weekend, it’ll be short, and probably hungover. I’d like to do a 12 mile run before the race but this isn’t my goal race so if it doesn’t happen, [shrug]. It might be interesting to see how I hold up in a half with my longest training run only 10 miles.

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Non-running commentary: why I hate the ‘white lady journey’

So the other day there was a story in the New York Times about a woman who traveled to Newfoundland in order to recover from her “first adult crisis.” I obnoxiously commented, “Eat Pray Love II: a white lady’s journey of soul-searching, self-discovery and cod.”

Now, maybe I’m missing something, but it seems like if you can afford to just take off on a road trip, things aren’t all that desperate (terminal illnesses notwithstanding).

The NYT piece also made me realize that in all these years of blogging, I’ve never written a blog post about how much I despise Eat Pray Love. Incredible.

Okay, so I did not actually read the book or see the movie, but the whole concept of traveling as a means of coping with your problems is a privilege afforded to almost nobody. Many of us have problems. Many of us would love to escape them. Many of us have never been to Provence. Many of us would be homeless if we quit our jobs to go there.

I call this the “white lady journey,” but there are men who do it too.

We treat these people as if they’re so brave and courageous for “leaving their comfort zones” to “follow their dreams” but it’s actually only people with serious reserves (or wealthy parents, or a ton of job flexibility) who are able to do these things. For the rest of us pathetic losers living paycheck to paycheck, it seems patronizing and cruel to recommend to us that we not settle for anything less than our ~*wildest dreams*~

The woman in the Newfoundland story says says she spent the “dredges” of her money on “ferry passage and a rental car; a driving atlas of Atlantic Canada; bread, tomatoes and tins of anchovies,” yet somehow she comes up with the funds for sea scallops and beer. And a place to come home to.

“Sometimes you just have to leap and the net will appear,” said this dreadful woman in a humblebrag-laden Cosmopolitan essay about how she quit her $95,000 writing job to move to an island. Except for most people, it won’t. (Did she mention she went to Yale? And was making $95,000? Yes, yes she did.)

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You too can be an inspirational white lady doing handstands on a beach. Photo cred: cosmopolitan.com

A lot of bloggers have also tried the whole permanent tourist gig and I was pleased to learn that some of them end up scrubbing toilets (an activity suspiciously omitted from their instagram feeds until their blog profits inevitably dwindled and they needed another boost in page view$).

And let’s not forget about those wholesome YouTube couples! Turns out internet stardom is also not an attainable goal. Not everyone gets a reality show.

I think you get my point already, but just to hammer it home one more time: if you quit your job on a whim but you have a bank account, a home, light skin, a college education, rich family members, you are not brave (DID SHE MENTION HER SALARY THO?).

You’re just lucky.

Last week this morning

In case you don’t feel like reading this whole thing here’s the TLDR version: I ran 23 miles last week, I’m sick and I have a possible back-of-the-knee-lower-hamstring-area injury.

Before that happened though, man I had a nice week. I cut back on my long run but did a couple longer ones during the week so I ended up with about the same mileage as the week before.

Monday: weights + 3 @ 9:50 (splits: 10:06, 9:52, 9:42).
Tuesday: 5.2 @ 9:35  (Warmup;3 miles @ 9:17, 9:15, 9:12/cooldown)
Wednesday: Weights + 30 minutes cycling. The idea of running after my weight routine nearly brought me to tears so instead I did hill intervals on the stationary bike.
Thursday: Treadmill – 6. We went to the state fair in the morning and I didn’t run until 4 p.m. when it was approximately 170 degrees outside so I ran to the gym (half mile), did 5 on the treadmill at about 8:45 (with some moderate hills thrown in for good measure) and then ran home.
Friday: weights + 3 @ 9:48 (splits: 10:32, 9:32, 9:28)
Saturday: 6.2 @ 9:50. I set my alarm for 6 a.m. but just as I was sneaking out the door at 6:30, Codie woke up. I didn’t want to be an ass and wake up my husband on his one day to sleep in so I hung around and handed her off to him when he and Kenzie woke up around 7. It’s been really hot lately and there was a rainstorm moving in so it was also obnoxiously humid. I kept the pace relaxed and finished with every article of clothing I had on dripping with sweat.

Unrelated: Later Saturday we did a bottle share at a friend’s house. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed I got about 50 new Untappd badges in one day.

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Relax, the kid was napping the whole time.

Total: 23.4 miles

So, the leg thing. I believe the injury coincided with me deciding on a lark to use the seated leg curl machine at the gym. I generally don’t use a lot of the machines except for the calf press because I think they’re useless and boring. I do squats and lunges and dead lifts and a bunch of body weight moves I swiped from Jillian Michaels.

Anyway, the next day the area behind my knee on the back of my left leg felt weird. Not really all that sore, but weak. I noticed it mostly when I was trying to get up off the floor after playing with the kids. I went about my business and continued running and lifting (sans leg curl) and it didn’t hurt during my workouts but felt sore later on. I’ve been icing it and doing PT exercises consistent with a hamstring injury. (I don’t know that it’s a hammy, but it seems safe to treat it that way until it either goes away or gets worse.) I haven’t run since Sunday because I’ve been sick anyway and it feels better today, so I’m hoping by the time I’m well enough to run, the leg thing will have resolved itself too.

Running lately

I’m about a month out from my first half of the fall (for some reason I signed up for three of them) and even though it’s been hot and running has been awful at times, I think I’m about where I want to be.

I’ve been averaging 20-23 miles a week and I’m up to 10 mile long runs. I’ve also committed to lifting three times a week, which I used to hate, but it’s actually become…dare I say…not intolerable? And I’m seeing results. I’m going up in weights, feeling stronger and not feeling so creaky and broken after running five days a week. And my “relaxed” pace is a little faster than it used to be, which also feels good.

I’d hoped to race a 10k before the half in September, but in August I didn’t have a lot of options aside from a couple of obnoxiously expensive trail races. So I’m mostly just doing the solo thing.

Here’s what last week looked like:

Monday: weights + 3 miles outside @ 10:15 pace. I don’t have time to work out twice a day so I lift and then run at a very easy pace. My legs feel like lead for the first mile but then they kinda feel better. My splits were 10:32, 10:20, 9:50.

Tuesday: 3.3 @ 9:05 pace. I didn’t run until 4 p.m. when it was obscenely hot and humid outside so I did a fairly speedy hill workout on the treadmill and ended up feeling pretty rekt.

Wednesday: Leg day + 2 @ 9:19. I wailed on my quads and then barely made it to 2 on the treadmill.

Thursday: 4 outside @ 9:42. Warmup, 2 miles @ 9:27 and 9:16 and a cooldown.

Friday: Weights. Mostly upper body and core, making sure not to hammer my legs too hard before my Saturday long run.

Saturday: 10 outside @ 9:50. This pace pleased me because it felt relatively easy. I’ve struggled lately to maintain a 10:00 pace on my longer runs but I got up hella early Saturday and it was still fairly cool outside.

Sunday: REST

Total: 22.4

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3 things for World Breastfeeding Week

Apparently it’s ‪#‎worldbreastfeedingweek‬, so I’m going to say three things about breastfeeding that I think are really important:

1) In the United States, breastfeeding is a PRIVILEGE. It’s so cruel that so many moms struggle to get access to the resources that simplify a breastfeeding relationship: paid maternity/family leave, a job that accommodates pumping, health insurance that provides a pump, the means to stay at home or work from home, the support groups, the funds to meet with lactation consultants, etc etc etc. Breastfeeding might save a lot of money in the long run, but it’s not free. And it certainly shouldn’t be a luxury.
2) It is a RELATIONSHIP. I got this advice from the Kellymom group on Facebook (highly recommend) and it’s the best advice I’ve ever read. A healthy relationship relies on both the mother AND baby’s needs being met. Moms should not be expected to suffer through breastfeeding based on the misguided notion that “breast is best.” Breastfeeding can be pretty incredible, but not at the expense of a mom who is struggling with illness, depression, exhaustion, stress, supply, disabilities, a baby’s food/milk allergies, etc. The source of a baby’s nutrition should be balanced with the well-being of the parents who are providing it. (I mean, as long as they’re not feeding it Mt. Dew or whatever.)
3) It can save lives. If you are one of those “blessed” with an oversupply of milk (I realize that comes with its own struggles), consider donating it! There are little tiny preemies born all the time who have trouble digesting formula and their lives literally depend on it! Check out the non-profit HMBANA (Human Milk Banking Association of North America).
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And a breastfeeding selfie, of course.

Race report twofer: a 5k and a 4m

We’re in that part of the year where it’s mostly gross to run outside. Not much has been going on in the way of training. I’very been hovering around 20 miles a week but my longest run has been around 7 miles so I don’t feel like I’ve made any huge improvements.

I ran a 5K June 7 for Indy Pride and it was awful so I wasn’t all eager to get over here and write about it. Here’s a list I prepared of all my excuses:

  • I had done very little speed work.
  • I was sick (I think more sick than I wanted to admit).
  • I had just started my period (AGAIN– I think I’ve had my period for three of my last four races).
  • I went out way too fast and spent the last two miles just trying not to throw up.

It was bad, you guys. I achieved my 5k PR when I was about 12 weeks pregnant (25:06) and was aiming for something with a 24: on it but ended up finishing in 26:08. Embarrassing.

Anyway, so it’s been really hot but I needed redemption from that mess of a race so I recommitted to my weightlifting and conditioning routine and maybe it’s making a difference. I’m going up in weight, feeling stronger and noticing a little more definition. Last week we had a bit of a break from the heat so I was able to do a little speedwork and some longer runs. I had initially wanted to do a hill workout once a week but it’s hard to make that work without paying for childcare or waiting until evenings (when I’ve got other shit going on) or weekends (when I’d rather do a long run). So I’ve been more consistent with the weights.

Yesterday I ran the Run 4 Freedom. I like to mention as often as possible that my 4 mile PR is 30:45. I hit that one back in 2013 and it’s actually my fastest official pace at any distance. I haven’t even come close to 7:40s since then so I was 1000% certain I wouldn’t PR, but I thought it would be nice to come in around 33-34 minutes. (I lowered my standards a bit since the catastrophe in June.)

It went a lot better than I expected! I finished in 31:52 and placed 2nd or 3rd in my age group. (The printout at the finish said 2nd place but the website later said 3rd; I have the 2nd place ribbon so whatever.) The course may have been a little short (I don’t think it was certified) but it was a small race close to home and a nice confidence builder. (Well, the photos weren’t…lol.)

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Couldn’t get my fucking armband fastened.

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Help me I’m dying.

And those aren’t even the worst. There’s a photo of me nearing the finish where it looks like every part of me is loose and rippling. It’s enough to almost make me never want to wear shorts again. #fattalktuesday

My next race is a half marathon in September. I’d love to race a 10k or 15k between now and then, but it’s not bloody likely. All the summer races around here are 5Ks and triathlons. I could do a quarter trail marathon in August but it’s 50 bucks and I don’t like to pay that much for just 6 miles. The half I’m signed up for was only $40! #poor

Temps are going to be back up in the fuckingkillme range again this week, so I may resort to some speed and/or hill sessions on the treadmill, but it’s better than running slow to medium-slow outside, which is about all I can handle in 80+/80% humidity.

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I love you.

Stupid clumsy non-running-related injury #3242348

The other night (I can’t remember exactly when but it was at least four days ago) I was stumbling through my room in the dark and banged my shin right the fuck into the side of my bed.

Because the kids were asleep, I held back a torrent of 140-decibel curses, but the pain brought tears to my eyes. I iced it for 10 or 15 minutes before going to bed, and the next morning I hardly remembered it happened. I expected to see a ghastly purple bruise, but there was only faint discoloration and I pretty much forgot about it.

Then yesterday after running about four miles of hills and then going for a long walk with the kids, I noticed my leg was hurting. It hurt enough to cause some awkwardness when I walked, so I did some rest-ice-compression-elevation and it felt a little better. It didn’t occur to me until this morning that it hurt in exactly the same place where I banged it on the bed last week. I’m guessing some stress from the running or walking aggravated the injured spot, but it seems bizarre that it could hurt so much, so many days later. I’m one of those people who stubbornly refuses to go to the doctor unless bones are protruding, but I’m considering a visit to the sports MD if the pain continues.

Other than that, last week was uneventful. I did a couple of run/walks with Codie in the stroller and Kenzie on her bike, some long walks and only one actual run, at 10:00/mile+ and very casual. I also ate a lot of garbage and drank a lot of beer and gained five pounds. It’s nice to take some time off after a race to regroup and be slovenly (oh and injure yourself trying to get into bed). but now I’m ready to get back to work.

I mentioned I was signed up for a fall half marathon, but I also registered for a couple of summer fun runs.

June 4 – Rainbow Run 5k. I’d love to PR but regardless, it’s for a good cause (Indy Pride + HIV education, testing and treatment) and takes place in a part of the city where I don’t ordinarily run.

July 4 – Run ~4~ Freedom. My 4 mile PR is 30:45 so I have virtually no chance of a personal best here but it’ll be interesting to see if I can even come close. It’s also 5 minutes from my house and with a discount code, cost me less than 20 bucks.

September 10 – Hendricks County Half Marathon…uh, yeah, another half. It’s a month before the other one but it was only 40 bucks and very close to home so I couldn’t resist. If I’m smart, I’ll treat this as a training run but knowing me, I’ll try to PR. And blow it.

I ALMOST signed up for a mile road race June 2, but I decided I’d want to train a little longer than just 3 weeks in order to avoid an embarrassing 8:00+ finish. There’s another one in the fall if I still feel like I want to torture myself by racing one mile.

Question! What’s the stupidest way you’ve ever injured yourself? Several years ago I had an alcohol-in-high-heels related injury and had to miss a race I paid 60 bucks for. I haven’t worn heels since.

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