Heeey 2000s, it’s me Marie

I’m doing three things Thursday but it’s only Wednesday!

fuck-the-police

I wanted to blog about three exciting new things I got into this week, but it occurred to me that none of these things are exciting or new to anyone else but me. Then I realized it’s my goddamn blog and I can talk about whatever I want. So!

LuLaRoe. For a while I was like FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SHUT UP ABOUT LULAROE. Then my mom bought me some LuLaRoe leggings as a gift and now I’m like, OH JESUS BRING ME ALL THE LULAROEZ. I still really do not like the ‘independent consultant’ buisness model because as an introvert I prefer to do my shopping (and most things) without having to go anywhere or speak to anyone, but they’re soooo soft I just might be willing to venture out of my comfort zone to buy some more.

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Streaming TV! We have a really old television that doesn’t have the HDMI port you need for streaming. The TV just won’t quit on us so it seems frivolous to buy a fancy new HDTV just so we can be cool and watch Westworld like all of our friends. Finally though, we decided to look into what we’d need to do streaming and it turns out all you need is this dumb little converter box. I KNOW. It took literally three minutes of Googling to figure this out.

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So we bought the box and the Google Chromecast device and behold! Now we stream. In a few more years we just might trade in our VCR/DVD combo for a blu-ray.

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Gel nails. I get my nails done about once every decade so it isn’t any wonder that nail technology has improved by leaps and bounds since my last encounter with a nail tech. I went on a mani/pedi + margarita day date with some girlfriends on Sunday and the lady talked me into getting gel by telling me they are much sturdier and don’t easily chip.

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Apparently the superior gel technology is substantially more costly than conventional polish but somehow these babies only cost me 22 bucks plus tip. (Apparently some places charge upward of 50 bucks?! Newwwwp.)

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This is day four, you guys.

(Note: the lighting in my kitchen totally makes them look shit-brown but they are actually more of a purplish brown.)

That’s all!

What is something everybody else was doing before you? Are you an early adopter or do you hold out like a grumpy old lady refusing to learn computers? I was also among the last in the developed world to get a smartphone.

shit I’ve been reading

HI I’m here again!

So I thought I’d do a book post because I love when other bloggers do those and Cthulhu knows I don’t have anything else noteworthy going on.

I go through phases where I devour a couple books a week and then I go through dry spells where I spend all my free time staring at my phone and reading virtually nothing of substance. Currently I’m in a reading phase. As far as I know, my last book post was this one from back in March, so I’ll continue where I left off. This time, I tried to put them in some kind of order. (Note: I’m reading House of Leaves in the “remastered” paperback edition but the rest of these are on Kindle.)

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THE BEST BOOK EVER

The Pulitzer prizing winning Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. One of the most achingly beautiful books I’ve ever read. I didn’t want it to end. It’s 539 pages and I burned through it in a few days. It’s about a boy.

HORROR/THRILLERS

House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski. I’ve only just started this one but I wanted to mention it because it is already SO, SO GOOD. A family moves into a new home where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Isn’t that brilliant?? The text was apparently passed around on the internet before making it to print. There are multiple narrators and a fuckload of very elaborate footnotes but so far I haven’t found it difficult to follow, although it’s definitely disorienting, which I believe is the intent. Every moment I’m awake I long to be engulfed in this book. It’s so sharp. I’d actually like to be reading it right now instead of writing this stupid blog post.

Bird Box – Josh Malerman. Apocalyptic horror thriller! Everybody starts killing everybody! This was recommended to me by several people, and I was not disappointed. Some scenes were so tense that I was actually clenching my whole body in bed while reading. I stayed up until 1 a.m. to finish it and then my kids woke me up at the crack of dawn and I hated myself, but it was worth it.

Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe – Thomas Ligotti. Two fantastic collections of contemporary horror stories. I found the recommendation in a comment thread on a friend’s Facebook page and felt like I won the lottery! If you’re into horror, especially that of Poe and Lovecraft, you will adore these stories.

Finders Keepers – Stephen King. This is the second book in the Bill Hodges trilogy. It was good. Stephen King’s got that shit nailed down. But I didn’t like it as much as the first one. I’d like to read the final book in the trilogy but I’m honestly waiting on the price to go down. The KINDLE edition is $14.99! Fuck that.

Run – Blake Crouch. Horror/thriller. This is another apocalyptic thriller where everyone turns into homicidal maniacs. It’s fast-paced and gripping and just really brilliantly written.

Wayward Pines Trilogy – More Blake Crouch. As soon as I finished Run, I immediately went looking for another Crouch. I don’t want to give too much away because I feel like it’s better to go into these books knowing nothing about them. I’ll just say they were fucking brilliant. Exquisite and vivid and terrifying, and just…astonishing. More adjectives. All the adjectives! And the tv series directed by M. Night Shyamalan happened to premier shortly after I finished the novels so that was fun too.

Good Behavior – Blaaaaake Crouch. This was a collection of three novellas with a common character, and apparently is also being adapted for tv. Crouch writes very rich, very well-developed characters and his stories are riveting.

The Confessor – Daniel Silva. Gabriel Allon #3. Silva’s written like a literal fuck-ton of spy novels, and I’ve read a bunch of them, not in the correct order. They are pretty formulaic, but suspenseful and fast and fun to read.

Behind Closed Doors – B.A. Paris. This was a $2.99 cyber Monday deal. It’s a NYT bestseller so I had high hopes but I thought it was just okay. It goes in a past-present format building up to a big reveal about halfway through that is pretty much just what it portends, without any major plot twist. Also, I find it frustrating when there’s a character who is trying desperately to convince other people of something and the premise is really weak for why no one will believe them. So there’s that. I did actually really like the ending, but I was frustrated through much of the book.

Flotsam –  Troy Blackford. This was a $2.99 Kindle STEAL! A collection of short stories the author published through Kindle after multiple rejections from magazines and literary journals. He notes the number of rejections each story got. They were all pretty clever and fun and easy to read.

The Girl With No Past – Kathryn Croft. Psychological thriller along the lines of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, both of which it has been compared to ad nauseam. The first review on Amazon really nails it– the story moves along at a nice pace and the characters are well-developed, but the plot just kind of falls apart. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t really get all the praise, either. (I also didn’t love The Girl on the Train as much as other people did.)

The Least of My Scars – Another $2.99 kindle deal. Horror novel written in the first-person perspective of a serial killer. It was a good read for the most part but there were a couple of really fucked up parts (involving a child) that I honestly just wish I hadn’t read…and that’s saying a lot for me. If you’re not reeeeally into horror (specifically serial killer gore), you should probably skip it.

COP NOVELS!

So, just a note about all of these. I’ve been searching for a cheaper alternative to Michael Connelly’s cop thrillers because while I love them, they ain’t cheap. Most of these were $2.99-4.99 and some of them were pretty good, but none of the were like, incredible. 

Silent Girls – Erik Rickstad. Murders in a small town! This was a fun crime thriller and I didn’t guess the plot twist so I was pleased that it wasn’t predictable.

Lie In Wait – Another Eric Rickstad, another small town murder mystery. I liked it, but I thought Silent Girls was better.

Silent Scream – Angela Marsons. Detective Kim Stone #1. Main character is a brilliant detective who has a lot of baggage and gives zero fucks. I read three more of her novels before I got a little tired of the formula and moved onto something else. I’d give all of these about 3.5/5 stars. A good beach/airplane read.

Evil Games – Detective Kim Stone #2. See above.

Lost Girls – Detective Kim Stone #3 ^

Play Dead – Detective Kim Stone #4 ^

The Girl in the Ice – Robert Bryndza. Detective Erika Foster #1. Same here. It was a pretty good police procedural/crime novel but it didn’t, like, MOVE me.

Abducted – Lizzy Gardner #1. Just okay. I finished it, but I wasn’t enthralled.

Mouth Sewn Shut – I put this one down about 20 pages in. Just couldn’t get into it.

middlesex

Did I mention Middlesex?

some running I did last week

Last week was my first almost-normal week since the half. I took two unplanned days off Wednesday and Thursday because I hadn’t gotten much sleep.

I’m still mostly running on the treadmill. It’s boring af but I like that I can run faster and give myself an inflated sense of accomplishment. The only thing is that I probably run too fast for my easier workouts because I’m bored and want to be finished.

Monday: Weights, and I think I did like one mile on the treadmill. (I don’t log a one-mile run unless it is extraordinary, like I ran it in six minutes or something, lol).
Tuesday I tried to run outside but I was underdressed and it was a lot colder than I thought it would be so I went in to the treadmill after a mile. 1.15 outside @ 11:15; 3 miles on treadmill @ 9:04
Friday: treadmill 3 @ 8:43
Saturday: 5.48 @ 9:16. I ran outside, and sure enough, my left heel hurt for the rest of the day (but it feels fine now). I did some quicker intervals including 1×800 @ 8:37, 1×400 @ 7:39, 1×800 @ 8:34, 1×1200 @ 9:00 with half-mile recovery jogs.
Sunday: rest
Total: 12.65

I know, I’m incredible right?

omg-wow

there will literally be blood

Hi!

Naturally the day after I vowed to blog every day, I did not blog. And the day after that, I also did not blog. After we put the kids to bed Thursday night, I sat down on the couch with a glass of wine and my kindle and didn’t move for three hours except once to refill my glass of wine and it was glorious. I thought briefly about getting up to write something and then I was like, haha no way, fuck that.

But I have so many interesting things to catch you up on now!

Thursday I took the girls to the children’s museum with some friends and Kenzie had a really weird accident which resulted in torrents of blood but no permanent damage. She was trying to jump up in front of a window ledge and her chin caught the ledge and her teeth caught her tongue. I don’t know if you know this about tongue wounds, but they bleed. A LOT. I rushed Kenzie to a bathroom and then proceeded to stand there wondering what to do while she screamed and bled into the sink. Sorry I don’t have pics but it looked something like this:

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Luckily my friend spotted a museum staffer and asked if they had a first aid office. They did way better– they instantly radioed for an EMT to come right up to us. Can you believe that? I had no idea the museum had EMTs on staff but I was so relieved I almost cried. By the time he arrived, I had talked Kenzie into rinsing her mouth a little with some water so I could try to see the extent of her injury. I didn’t know if I was going to see missing teeth or chucks of tongue or what, but I was relieved to just see two little cuts that, though they looked small, kept pooling with blood as soon as she’d rinse it out. Did I mention the blood?

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Anyway, the EMT took a look at her tongue bites and determined they were straight punctures and no chunks were missing. (I KNOW.) And then he radioed for a popsicle.

We took Kenzie to the doctor just as a precaution and he said it would heal just fine and she got another popsicle. Codie got one too just for being the baby sister.

I guess that’s really the only interesting thing to catch you up on. I also finished a book and went running but since I’m doing this whole blogging every day thing I’ll probably save that stuff for subsequent postings.

Kisses!

 

Indianapolis Monumental Half (#3) + Gobble Gallop 5k (#5)

Yo.

So like almost a month ago I ran my third Monumental half marathon and then this happened and I couldn’t bring myself to blog about my stupid slow race times anymore (even though I believe running\fitness is a totally legit way of both coping with and escaping from life’s horrors).

I still kind of feel that way but I’d like to get back into a habit of writing for fun again. I haven’t really been spending my free time in a useful way (partially anxiety related and partially just laziness). But I need a recharge, so I’m probably gonna do what I do every few years and start a new blogging challenge. I’m going to try to write something every day for the rest of the year. OMG ROFL RIGHT? But I’m going to try. It’s more productive than angry shitposting on Twitter (but maybe less cathartic, haha.) I’d also like to share more of what I’m reading because I love when other bloggers do that.

Anyway, I’m going to cram two race reports into this one post today since they’re both so long overdue. (Although maybe that’s unwise since I just vowed to start blogging every day…?)

The Monumental Half

I finished in 1:59:37, 163/798 in my division, 905 out of 4798 women and 2459/8114 overall. My PR (STILL, FROM 2012, IS 1:58:36.)

While it’s annoying to hit another 1:59 when I feel I could have done better, it was a really beautiful day and a nice race so I’m trying not to feel too discouraged. (Especially since there are far greater things to feel discouraged about these days.)

I think coming away from a bad cold and signing up for three halfs in three months was too much for me. My legs were really beat up after the race; both my heels were in plantar fasciitis hell, and my knees, right quad and my left hamstring were all aching. I felt like I’d run a full marathon instead of a half.

And all for naught! Pretty much the same thing happened in this race that happened in the Indy Half in October: I ran at my goal pace for the first 10 miles and then crashed at 11 and couldn’t get it back. Miles 11-13 were 9:14, 9:14, 9:12. And this time it had nothing to do with fueling or hills. I kept up with my gels and this course was flat as fuck. The plantar fasciitis didn’t really impact me much while I was running, but afterward it flared in both heels and there were moments in the following week when I was in bed and they were throbbing and on fire. My right quad was still tender and tight.

I took some time off after the race to just work on conditioning, rehabing my heels (it is kind of astonishing and funny just how well the tennis ball thing works) and maintaining my lifting routine. I also ate a whole lot of junk food and gained five pounds.

My first run after the race was a week later, three miles outside that felt like total garbage. I did another week of garbage runs outside and my heels ached after every run. And the quad pain persisted. But then something weird happened: I started running on the treadmill and all the pain vanished almost overnight. (Only slightly exaggerating!) I also started wearing an old pair of running shoes around the house at all times and I think that helped too.

I’d been doing some half-hearted foam rolling on the quad, but I finally laid down on the roller and did a really LONG, HARD quality session and I FINALLY got it. I literally felt the kink smooth out. And so that felt better too. I continued doing short runs on the treadmill and the heel pain stayed away. So there’s something about the treadmill that is changing/improving my foot strike in a way that doesn’t exacerbate the heel issues. I HATE running on the fucking treadmill, but I’ll take it.

Gobble Gallop 5k

This race actually went a lot better than I thought it would, mostly because I went into it with super low expectations. I had done literally no 5k training whatsoever. I hadn’t run outdoors in almost a week but I’d done a couple really good treadmill runs and I thought maybe I could finish around 26:00

I finished in 25:23, 139/974 overall, 33 out of 551 women and 6th in my division. So while it was just one more race this year in which I fell just short of a PR, I’m not even mad because check out these splits: 8:05, 8:08, 7:57, and the last .19 was in 6:46!! A girl approached me after we finished and was like, “daaaamn, you were hauling ass there at the end!” (I’m paraphrasing, I don’t think she said “damn” or “ass” but you get the idea.) It made me feel so, so good.

Of course the PF came right back after the race and I’m struggling with that again, but it’s only mild compared to what I was experiencing earlier this month, and I’m staying on top of it.

All that being said, I have to think that if I can get in shape and do a little training, a January or February 5k PR is within my grasp. (I know I also said in October I was just SURE I’d PR, but FOR REAL THIS TIME.) I’d be thrilled just to finish in 24:59, but something like 24:15 would be really cool.

And last, off topic but I just want to thank everyone who has taken the time to publish their thoughts on the election and the horrifying aftermath, and other issues related to racism, privilege and social justice; among them Sonia, Elle, Caitlin, Angela and Sybil. One of the main reasons I love blogging and have been hesitant to stop even though my creative juices have basically dried up is that I adore the connections I’ve made online. Whenever I feel like an outsider in real life, there are always people I can connect with online and I’m so grateful for that. (Edited to add: and for those of you who are just trying to get through it, I’m grateful for you too.)

you can probably guess what this one is about

I’ve been trying to find the time to write up a race report on my latest half marathon and today was gonna be the day, but fuck man, my heart is just not in it.

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I am wavering between hope and despair, between righteous ambition and dejected paralysis. I want to march in the street. I want to curl up in my bed and cry. I have cried today. I’ve never cried over an election. But yesterday I saw so many strong, smart women going out to vote. I saw so many be-pantsuited friends. I watched a secret Facebook group go from 100K members to more than 3 million in just a few days and I watched as my friend’s likes and comments began showing up there. I saw photos of 100+ year-old women voting for the first woman president. I saw so much intensity, joy, hope and enthusiasm. It made me feel like the sisterhood was a real thing. It made me think we had this. I was fervently posting old-timey photos of women fighting for the right to vote. I was bursting with pride.

And now I feel like I was fucking delusional.

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The only thing more depressing than this photo is the one of all the bros chest-bumping and celebrating.

Anyway, instead of rambling on I’ll just post the thing I wrote on Facebook this morning, and below a list of loving actions and progressive causes we can support right now in Indiana and elsewhere.

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26 loving actions you can do to today to support progress in Indiana

If you’re overwhelmed by the election, here’s what you can do right now

This isn’t over, you guys. I love you. Keep fighting.

nasty-women

Race week: run hard with a vengeance

So let’s recap:

September 10: Half Marathon (nature, mistakes, BAD) 2:08
October 8: Half marathon (stars align, hills, PRETTY GOOD) 1:59
November 5: GOAL half marathon in which I PR, supposedly.

Except I got sick.

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My running recap for last week will be quick. Week of October 23: I did jack shit.

I can tell I’m getting better, but recovery has been slow. I was hoping to ease back into workouts this week and I still don’t feel up to it. For one thing, I’m still blowing out gallons of snot and have to have tissue with me at all times. This morning I forget to bring them with me when I took my kids to the park and by the time we got home I was practically drowning. Plus, Codie just cut one of her two-year molars (and I think another is on the way) and we haven’t been getting much sleep.

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I know it’s not the end of the world if I can’t run as hard as I want to. As I’ve mentioned probably a dozen times, I only paid 50 bucks for this thing. There will be more races. It’s not as heartbreaking as when I got sick last year toward the end of 16 hard weeks of marathon training.

But I don’t know if I can just not race. (Which is why so many of my races end poorly! When I’m sick or under-trained, I still pretend I can go out at an unrealistically fast pace and I fall apart.) I was complaining to my husband about being sick and he was like, “Well, don’t race it. Just take it easy and have fun!”

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I’d rather go out too hard and fall apart. I never said I was smart, you guys.