subversive shit I did last week (3/5)

Hi again. It was another week of mostly goddamnitwhatthefuck, but I’m plugging away. I read some good stuff on International Women’s Day and planned to write a whole blog post about it but since I suck at blogging, I never got around to it. I included some links in this post though.

Who I supported

Who I contacted

  • I contacted my reps to oppose The REINS Act. This is the one that has the potential to bring the regulatory process to a screeching halt. It “radically repositions Congress, the most political branch of government, as the place to make the ultimate decisions that involve detailed technical matters.”
  • Locally, this Crown Hill deforestation shit came to a head. Construction had started and things appeared pretty bleak, but a 25th hour letter from Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett seemed promising. I contacted the VA director, David Shulkin and asked him to listen to the mayor and consider an alternative location that would not require destroying the inner city’s last virgin forest, and I contacted Indiana’s (D) senator and asked him to do as the mayor has done and speak up on behalf on Crown Hill Forest. THEN, civil disobedience success! People put their bodies in front of the trees! I wish I had been there. I know we shouldn’t get too excited, but it appears the VA is at least open to a dialogue with the public. It’s a relief to feel my actions perhaps made an impact.
  • I contacted my Indiana reps to oppose a state pre-k funding bill. What? I’ll explain. This legislation proposes expansion of a pre-k pilot program, which sounds great and I would be a huge supporter of free, public preschool, but there’s some voucher language tied into it that I don’t like. From an article in one of our weekly papers: “Indiana needs to expand pre-school but not with an expensive link to guarantee K-12 private school vouchers,” Smith [Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary] said. “Any pre-K student, including public pre-K students, get a voucher for life. This would be the biggest expansion of voucher eligibility since 2013.” And that sets off all kinds of red flags in my head.
  • I contacted my reps to oppose the AHCA, because obviously. If you’re on Obamacare, consider telling the White House about your experiences. They’re looking for negative stories, so let’s make sure they also hear from all the people the ACA has helped.

What I read

And some special stuff for International Women’s Day

What I did

I was sick last week so I mostly sat around the house feeling sorry for myself.

child-crown-hill--1024x683

Read all of my subversive shit posts.

Running last week and the week before that

It’s race week! We camped at a music festival ummm…like two weeks ago? And then it apparently took that long to get my life back together.

This might have had something to do with it.

This might have had something to do with it.

I did run once at the festival. Saturday morning I woke up early (because camping) and I felt pretty good so I scarfed some coffee and a granola bar and ran to the hills.

hills

I’ve been struggling a little since. My knees and heels have been achy and one butt cheek has been sore on and off. I’m not really sure why. I’ve been obediently doing my weightlifting and stretching and conditioning and maintaining around 22-30 miles a week. I should be feeling good.

blankstare

Anyway since I didn’t get around to blogging last week you get the ultimate treat of two weeks worth of runs.

Week before last

Monday: My usual weights + an easy run, 2 @ 9:47. A little tougher after running 10 the day before. Also, all the 7.5 pound dumbbells in the entire gym were being used so I had to use 10s. Oof.
Tuesday: Fast people: don’t laugh. This is what passes for speedwork when you’re me. 1×2 (9:12, 8:57), 1×1 (8:39), 1×800 (4:04), 1×400 (1:48), 1×200 (:50) for a total of 7. Also in the first mile of the 1×2 I accidentally yanked my earbuds out of my phone and then dropped the phone as I was trying to shove it back into my flipbelt. Let me tell you about blind fury. I screamed “FAAAACK” and probably someone heard me.
Wednesday: Weights? I don’t remember anything about this because it was two weeks ago.
Thursday: 5.5 – I don’t really remember anything about this either except that I ran one mile at 9:08 and still averaged 9:57 so it couldn’t have been that great.
Friday: Nothing. We were busy packing up and taking Kenzie to preschool and then as soon as we got to our campsite I started drinking.
Saturday: 5 @ 9:40 with some moderate hills. I ran out of the camping/music park area and took a farm road a couple of miles out of town. It was humid but not unbearably hot yet, and I always enjoy running in a new place so I had a lot of fun.
Sunday: Nada. We slept in as much as we could and then had to pack up our shit and drive home. I was exhausted and bloated with junk food and beer so I pretty much laid around like a beached whale for the rest of the day.

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Country road…something something…

Last week:

Monday: Weights. I was eager to get back to a routine but I still felt achy and bloated so I did a kind of halfass weight workout with some stretching and and floor exercises and that’s about it.
Tuesday: 9×400. I didn’t get out early enough so it was really hot and I couldn’t hit the pace I wanted but I tried some 400s anyway. My best was 1:51, my worst was 2:20. But they were mostly around 2:00.
Wednesday: 3.3 @ 9:34. (9:56, 9:54, 9:01, 9:07). Basically bleh.
Thursday: Weights.
Friday: Meant to do something but I thought Kenzie was getting sick so I stayed home with her. Turns out she was just really whiny that day.
Saturday: 12 @ 9:50. I did 4 tempo miles at 9:05, 8:55, 9:07 and 8:52, which is about what I wanted but it felt harder, I thought, than it should have. This tempo has been a huge confidence builder for me in half marathons past. I did it the week before my best half ever so now I like to do it whenever possible. Oh, and I had a shitting situation in mile 8 but luckily there are a lot of new homes going up in that neighborhood and I found a porta-potty. I was in and out in less than a minute.
Sunday: Nada.

I’ll be doing sort of a mini taper before this weekend’s half marathon. I’m excited! It’s a new race (for me), close to home and if I’m lucky, the weather will not suck too much.

I thought this post could use a picture.

I thought this post could use another picture.

so can I just write you a fucking novel right now?

I meant to publish this several days ago so that I could write a fun, lighthearted and obnoxious 2015 blog recap for you tonight but, story of my life, neither one of those got finished in time so you’re getting this. A dodgy consolidation of both. Here are the TLDR bullet points:

  • I lost a friend
  • Both of the kids got sick
  • Husband and I went on a one-night, whirlwind mini vacation/early New Year’s celebration last week and spent a night downtown while my parents stayed with the kids.
  • We saw The Force Awakens
  • Kenzie saw her first movie in a theater (NOT The Force Awakens)
  • I drank a lot
  • I didn’t run very much

sdlfjsdklj

And now here’s the long version…

Yeah so, I found out late Christmas night that one of my friends died. I was scrolling my newsfeed while drinking wine in the kitchen when I saw a picture of him that an overzealous mourner had posted to his page barely 24 hours after it happened with the caption “RIP.” So the shitty thing about Facebook is that sometimes you find out your friend is dead via Facebook. But the kind of cool thing about Facebook is that sometimes you get to see a lot of people (like, hundreds) coming out of the woodwork to offer their condolences and share their photos and memories.

Brian and I were friends back when I lived in Texas. He came to my wedding in 2005 but I hadn’t seen him in 10 years, so hearing from everyone who knew him, from childhood all the way to the present, helped me feel more connected. He was a kind, funny, tremendously talented writer and all around cool dude and I think he probably had a couple of brilliant novels in him if he’d just had more time. I’m still sad and stunned.

And now I’m going to try my best to segue into holiday shit without sounding too much like a self-absorbed ass twat. We had a nice time. The kids got a ton of gifts and were spoiled absolutely rotten by their aunt and grandparents. And we took advantage of all the free babysitters and did some fun adult things. We’re basically the luckiest people on Earth. I mean than sincerely.

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I mean just look at them.

Kenzie got to see her first real movie theater movie. It was The Good Dinosaur and it was kinda good. Kinda weird. The dinosaurs were farmers, and also there were humans living in the same period as the dinosaurs so it was sort of obnoxiously inaccurate, but Kenzie liked it, so I guess that’s all that matters.

popcorn is all that matters

Popcorn is all that matters.

Then the next day, husband and I sneaked out after breakfast to go see The Force Awakens.

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We thought it was dope, but apparently we got ripped off.

Also, I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it here, but the last few Christmases, we’ve gotten sick. Last year, my husband, mom and sister-in-law experienced the joy of a holiday stomach bug. This year it was bronchiolitis and ear infections.

The week of Christmas (Monday? Tuesday? I can’t even remember anymore) Codie had a really rough night. She could not physically stop coughing long enough to fall asleep, so I nurse/rocked her for hours and hours until she finally passed out around midnight. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic AND nebulizer treatments AND a steroid. She improved tremendously in just 24 hours but the steroid made her go fucking berserk. She was too wacked out to sleep, basically running around in circles like a crazy person and she’d scream if I tried to rock her or lay down with her. She didn’t go to sleep until after 11 p.m. Christmas Eve and was up before 5 a.m. Christmas morning.

Here she is discovering her gift from Santa about three hours early.

Here she is discovering her gift from Santa about 3 hours early.

After that horrific night I made the executive decision to put an end to the steroids and the following night her sleep improved by 1000000%. She slept 13 hours without waking up once.

Naturally, as soon as Codie was feeling better, Kenzie came down with that garbage. She woke up the day after Christmas barking like a seal and blowing metric shit tons of snot all over the place, so we did the most reasonable thing possible and left her with my parents so we could take off on a date night downtown. But, well, we paid for the hotel in advance and…my parents insisted? (She did see a doctor– we are not total jerks, I promise. And she’s fine now.)

We like to party but we don’t like crowds so we rang in the new year a week early! #introvertlifehack. We hopped around to a bunch of different breweries and bars, including the Slippery Noodle which is Indy’s oldest and best. We ate a ton of delicious bar food and closed out the night with vodka martinis and then a giant plate of nachos. It was really quite romantic.
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Running…

I managed to stick with my KEY runs during the holiday week (a tempo, a “faster” run and a “long” run) but I scrapped a couple of the easy runs. I could have done them, I just didn’t.

Last week:
12/22: 3 @ 9:29
12/24: Tempo w/ 4 @ 8:47 (6 total)
12/26: 3 @ 9:19
12/27: 5 @ 10:17

This week so far:
12/29: 3 @ 9:10
12/31: 6×400 @ 7:19 (5 total)

My tempo miles were supposed to be at around 8:43 pace but I was up late with the baby the night before and then had a couple proseccos at breakfast (Star Wars pregaming, DONTYOUJUDGEME) so I would have been pleased with anything under 9:00.

Today Yesterday, for my last run of 2015 I did 6×400 @ 7:19! I did it on the treadmill and I am 100% certain I never would have come close to that pace running outside. During the last 400, my legs felt trashed.

The Year In Running

I didn’t start keeping track of 2015 mileage until June, but I’ve done about 600 miles since then. I’m not as fast or as strong as I used to be but I enjoy running just as much, if not more. There are NO MARATHONS on the horizon for me, but I am hoping to log a 5k and half marathon PR in 2016.

And in everything else

As far as everything else in 2015 goes, it was an incredible year. I am still trying to figure out this whole parenting thing, but I am so lucky to have a) fallen in love with a guy who loves his daughters to pieces and would do anything for them and b) these precious few years that I am privileged to spend at home with those girls. I think a lot about people who have struggled to have children, who have struggled through the loss of children and who struggle more than me to give their children the kind of life every child should have. I am so much luckier than I deserve to be. My goal for 2016 is to just try as hard as I can to take care of the people around me and to make every moment count.

this is my baby

Even when that moment is watching my baby pee on the carpet behind the curtain in my bedroom.

I love you guys. happy new year.

nondescript blog post title so the dudes will still read it

Hi!

So even though zero of you have asked me to write a post about breastfeeding, I’m going to do it anyway because maybe someone out there in blogland is getting ready to go on a trip and leave their baby for the first time and will find this encouraging and helpful. Also, I don’t write letters to my children on the blog or take those monthly photos with the age stickers and the carefully curated outfits and backdrops, so someday when my kids are on the internet and come across this blog, at least they’ll know how much I loved them when they each read their own personalized TMI breastfeeding post. (And also how much I cursed and drank.)

01

What’s a blog?

My goal for breastfeeding was always to “make it” to a year or whenever the baby called it quits. (Kenzie was done at around 11 months.) I (naively, perhaps) never assumed I’d HAVE to breastfeed past the year mark.

1

HEY, I CAN STOP WHENEVER I WANT.

But here I am, breastfeeding a practically-toddler and flinching a little every time I read or hear things like, when the child can walk over to you and ASK for milk, maybe it’s time to stop. (Honestly though, I haven’t personally encountered much negativity about breastfeeding at all.)

2

Breastfeeding is so metal.

I said in my last post that I thought it would be safe to take an adults-only vacation when Codie was 15 months old. Oopsie! But the kids actually both did really well with my parents and Codie didn’t have nearly as much trouble falling asleep without her boob fix as I thought she would.

I had the BEST PEOPLE ON EARTH babysitting my kids. They never let the baby cry, and they were willing to sit up and rock her for hours and hours if that’s what it took. (Though I don’t think it actually took hours and hours.)

3

FEED ME.

I’m in a breastfeeding support group on Facebook (Kellymom, highly recommend!) and I asked for advice on whether I should try to wean her before the trip, or just hope things would be okay for three days while I was gone. Everyone recommended NOT weaning, as long as our caregivers were willing to take extra measures (rocking, babywearing, snuggling at all hours of the night, etc.) to comfort and soothe her and help her get to sleep without crying. I knew she’d be in good hands, so I didn’t even try to stop nursing before we left. (I knew there was a chance she’d self-wean while I was gone, but that didn’t happen. She asked to nurse as soon as I walked in the door.)

4

Green smoothies or else you don’t love your children.

I was a little nervous about having to pump for three days, especially since Codie hasn’t had a bottle in ages and pumping has never worked that well for me. (For instance with that fucking machine, I’d pump for half an hour and just get drops.) But I decided to just be relaxed about it. I’d only pump for 10 minutes at a time, and only when it was reasonably convenient– I didn’t want to have to throw down my fork in the middle of dinner and run off to the nearest bathroom because OH SHIT 7 P.M. PUMPING TIME! Sometimes I was able to pump out 3-4 ounces, sometimes I got less than an ounce. But I pumped enough to keep a decent supply and now that I’m home, I haven’t had any issues.

5

I mean, issues related to breastfeeding.

Things that helped me:

  • Obviously, my kid being 15 months old and already a pro at solids and sippy cups. I didn’t need to leave milk for her caregivers or SAVE the milk I was pumping to bring back. (It would have been alcohol milk anyway.)
  • I only nurse from one side now. Yeah, funny story. So I completely lost my supply on the right side a while back when I injured my rotator cuff. I inadvertently favored the left one for several days because it hurt my shoulder to hold the baby on my right arm. Then one morning the milk was just kind of gone. I briefly freaked out about it and tried to pump to get the milk back (didn’t work) before I realized she was getting plenty from the one side anyway. Now I have one big boob and one little boob, but otherwise it hasn’t caused any problems.
  • I wasn’t REALLY worried about losing my supply. Like I said, the kid is 15 months old. She’s not on a feeding schedule that requires I pump XX ounces each day, so I could afford to keep things casual.
6

The expression “sleeps like a baby” is the biggest load of horseshit ever.

I used the manual pump, carried it around in my purse and dumped the milk when I was done. And again, only having to worry about one side was a real time saver. I never felt completely emptied, but I never got painfully engorged or plugged up either.

7

Aw, look at that. She thinks she’s people.

There was one time I had trouble pumping because I was in a public restroom and just as I was getting a good pump going, a lady entered the stall next to mine and started throwing up and just like that: no more milk. But for the most part I didn’t find it that much of a hassle.

9

Need a palate cleanser after that last visual?

I think my supply did drop a little bit, but Codie is sleeping through the night now (KNOCK, KNOCK) and she still gets plenty of milk. And I guess I’m really not in a hurry to quit. I’m sort of trying to keep her a baby for as long as possible. Codie is definitely, definitely our last child and sometimes that’s a difficult reality for me.

10

Contemplating her own mortality.

As a sidenote\tangent\postscript, I don’t think marathon training has had any affect on my supply at all. I take a ton of water and calories during my runs and I really don’t need any help in the “refueling” department if you know what I mean. Right before I stopped breastfeeding Kenzie, my supply plummeted when I was violently ill and didn’t eat for almost 24 hours, but I don’t think exercise makes much of a difference.

8

They read quietly together for exactly 30 seconds.

That’s all! Tell me: did you read this whole thing or just scroll and look at the pictures? I’ll understand.

what doesn’t kill you will probably make you bitter and resentful

Yesterday, with my confidence bolstered by last week’s extraordinary 9 mile run, I set out to do an “easy” 10. I barely made it to seven.

dgsdfgsefr

It was hot as a motherfucker with stupid high humidity so I wasn’t trying to break records or anything, I just wanted to complete the mileage I set out to do. But instantly I felt like I was struggling to maintain an easy pace and I knew there would be no repeat of last week.

When I got to the point that I couldn’t even hold a 10:00 pace anymore, I realized there was no use slogging through another three miles and some change just to be able to say I did it. I headed home, dripping with sweat and the stench of failure. Sometimes you suck it up and finish your run, but sometimes you have to know when to admit defeat and save your energy for drinking beer in the bathtub. #sobrave

sldfjweiosjl

I’ve been doing my long runs on the two mile YMCA trail near my house because it allows me to make regular water/fuel stops without having to carry anything. I just put all my shit on a bench and every lap, I take a drink and a shot block. I also took a gel at about mile five but at that point I already had a serious case of the fuck-its and no amount of gel would save me.

Anyway, the important thing is that I lived to drink another day.

dsfwers

Long run over the weekend? How did it go? What have you been drinking? My favorite beer of late is Kona’s Castway IPA. It’s a really smooth, tropical IPA for those who aren’t fans of bitter hops. Cheers!

vacay photodump yaaaay!

Hey you guys, heeeeey!

We just got back from Albuquerque and we had a lovely time but now everyone is sick so instead of a whole bunch of (totally compelling and meaningful) prose, I’ll just give you a photodump and you can pretend you like it.

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I ran once while out of town, but my left knee was bothering me even before I started pounding the brutal hills of northern New Mexico and it’s not feeling a lot better after some rest and a lot of icing, so I’m taking a break this week.

Screenshot_2015-06-03-15-21-07~2

Hills in photo are more brutal than they appear.

Codie went from almost walking to ACTUALLY walking.

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We rode the train to Santa Fe (Kenzie LOVED it…for about 10 minutes and then she said it was taking too long).

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We met up at the Railyard Park for beers and a playdate with one of my high school friends and his toddler.

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We drove to Jemez Springs (an hour or so northwest of Albuquerque) where we hiked, waded in the river and had a picnic.

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Fucking A, right?

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Kenzie would have been perfectly happy dunking My Little Ponies in the river all afternoon.

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We saw a lot of wildlife! My parents live in the foothills north of Albuquerque and their “back yard” is a playground for snakes, lizards, coyotes, rabbits and bobcats.

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We also just did a lot of hanging out at the house and playing outside. My parents don’t have a conventional lawn, but they’ve created a really unique and gorgeous xeriscape using the natural stones and wildflowers found in the high desert.

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Kenzie had a nice place in the shade to dig and get dirty.

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This was our second flight with two kids (the first was back in October), and it went about as well as can be expected. Codie crashed for a few minutes on the way there and a few minutes on the way back, but mostly she was awake and wiggly. Luckily though, she didn’t seem to have any trouble with the pressure affecting her ears and she wasn’t at all afraid of the noise or turbulence on the plane.

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In fact, this is her laughing like a lunatic as we touched down in ABQ.

So now we’re home. The kids were both a little loopy yesterday as we transitioned back to Eastern time and real life, but I’m hoping they’re not full-blown sick and maybe what we have is just a little airplane snot due to the changes in elevation and climate. I’m optimistic (okay not really, I’m praying like mad to God, Odin, Vishnu, Cthulhu and the FSM) that we’ll all get some sleep tonight.

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2015 Shamrock 5k Beer Run

Saturday I “ran” the Indy Shamrock 5k Beer Run, and if the “beer” in the title didn’t give it away, this was a great event for beer drinking, not so much if you were interested in actually racing.

A side note: I probably wrote way too many words on this casual running event but it was my first one since Thanksgiving and also BEER, so give me a break.

Even though it was an untimed beer drinking event, I was still sort of contemplating racing it (even if only against myself) just so I didn’t “waste” my Saturday run. When I got there I realized that even treating it as a practice race would just be ridiculous: the “starting corral” was filled with people in costumes drinking pints of beer.

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SERIOUS RUNNERS.

So I called it in my last post when I said whatever my plan was, I’d ditch it right before the race. I decided just to have fun.

Another side note: I still don’t entirely get the point of “fun runs.” If I want to run for fun, I can do that for free. I pay for the competition and the timing chip. That said, I wasn’t that dickhead who tries to race at a fun run.

I got my entry from a Groupon, and it was still $39! So what did that $39 (or $78 if you paid full price) entry go toward? A lot of really good local charities, but also beer. Sponsors included a number of local breweries, and there was a round at the start (about a 3-ounce pour), another one at each kilometer mark along the course, a full pint at the finish, AND the option to buy tickets for additional pints. I also got a long-sleeve shirt (non-tech), a cool pint glass, and a combination medal/bottle-opener.

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that I haven’t seen since the toddler seized it after the race.

When I arrived at registration about half an hour before the race start, there were a whole bunch of lines: a registration line, a packet-pickup line, a tickets-for-extra-beer line, and an ID-card check. I waited in the wrong line twice before I got a volunteer to hand me a shirt without showing her any documentation whatsoever. She wrote a number on my hand with a sharpie, and I was carded, but I basically could have walked in off the street and got the shirt, medal, pint glass and beer for free because no one ever asked for my Groupon voucher or proof of purchase.

Anyway, this whole post has ended up being not about the run because the run itself is hardly worth mentioning. I started late because my friends and I couldn’t figure out where the start actually was or which direction the course was going. It was hard to tell who was just standing around drinking and who was intending to actually run. After standing for about 15 minutes in what turned out to be the very, very back of the pack with a bunch of drinkers who had no intention of running or walking at all, we made our way up through the “corral” and “started” the “race.”

I did try to run hard in between the “aid station” stops but obviously didn’t come close to running to my full potential. (Again, BEER, so I’m not complaining!)  I did have a few sips of beer along the course but I skipped the pint at the end because I assumed I’d have to feed the baby. Of course she didn’t end up wanting to nurse until way later, but I wouldn’t have banked on that happening and it probably never will again.

Anyway, in conclusion, for those of you who may be in the Indianapolis area, if you’re looking for a St. Pat’s party where you can drink beer and pretend to work out and your money goes to a good cause, you should do the Shamrock beer run. If you want to run an actual, competitive, timed race, do the No Luck Run in Plainfield.

So I still need a race fix! My parents are coming to visit in a couple weeks (read: free babysitters) and I lucked out by finding a 3-4 mile trail race that’s just a few minutes from my house. Another not-a-PR race, but it will be competitive and timed, so that’ll be cool.

beerDo you do a shamrock run? Is it a RACE race or just an excuse to drink beer?