running week of 5/15

EDITOR’S NOTE: I need to not write these things when I’m drinking. I forgot about Wednesday night’s run and added it in later. 😛

One of the ways I usually fuck up races is by running too hard during race week. Basically I think I’m stronger than I actually am. Last week, I did try to rest up while still satisfying my need to run and work out a lot.

Monday: 4 @ 9:35. Usually a weights day but I really felt like running and also thought it made sense to cram in the running early in the week for race purposes.
Tuesday: I did sort of a mini tempo: warm-up, 2 miles at 8:57 and 8:38, cool-down for a total of 4. I wanted to do one more meaningful training run, more for confidence than anything else.
Wednesday: AM Weights – mostly arms and back, I really tried to stay away from any leg stuff because I’ve had this lingering quad thing going on and didn’t want to exacerbate it. PM 4.8 @ 9:11 running store group run. I have a hard time not trying to keep up with the fastest runners at these things but this time I hung back and ran at a comfortable pace. I also got to try out the new Saucony Freedoms, which I ADORED until I saw the price ($160!!). 
Thursday: Weights (just my floor exercises and some stretching) + 2 @ 9:40 
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Rainbow Run 5k

Sunday: OFF

Total: 18ish miles

That’s it! And my next race isn’t until August 19 so there’s probably a LOT more mediocre running to come!

Rainbow Run 5k 2017

Hi!

First of all, I’m doing a Facebook fundraiser for Indiana Youth Group until June 3. IYG provides safe places and confidential environments where self-identified LGBTQ kids are empowered through programs, support services, social and leadership opportunities and community service. Only one person has donated (embarrassing!) so go over and give them a few bucks if you’re able! Thank you.

I ran the Indy Pride 5k Saturday morning and finished in 24:47, 48/221 overall. Gender-division rankings aren’t indicated in the results, presumably because for this event, entrants were not required to choose a gender. However I counted all the non-male 35-40 year olds ahead of me and there were just three. 🙂

So I’ll get the whiny stuff out of the way first and then I’ll get to the rest of the race report. I’ve been trying to PR at the 5K for A LONG TIME. If by chance, you’ve never read my complaints about it, I used to be a bit faster than I am now and that bothers me probably more than it should. I ran my previous 5k PR (25:06) in 2013 when I was three months pregnant, so you’d think it’d be easy not pregnant to beat that time, but no. I’ve been trying for almost four years. Sad!

So forgive me if I sound ungracious, but even though I technically PRed Saturday (and that’s a *BIG* technical since I don’t think the course was certified) I’m still a little disgruntled because in my mind I still think it’s possible for me to run something closer to a 7:40 pace for this distance. Please don’t tell me I’ve reached that age where I’ll never be as fast as I once was. No.

So yeah.

When I ran this race last year (26:08) it was muggy and about 20 degrees warmer, I was tired, I was sick, I hadn’t slept well and I had just started my period. Everything about it sucked. I went out too fast and fell apart HARD in the last mile (okay, in the second mile) and I was pissed off about it for days. 

This year I had some things working in my favor: 55 degrees and overcast, TWO consecutive nights of good sleep, and no period. Oh, and training. I actually trained for this one.

I ran to the start just seconds before the gun (gun = somebody shouting “GO!”) after standing in the porta-potty line for about 10 minutes. There was no timing mat at the start and my Garmin wasn’t showing an accurate pace in the first mile so I anxiously ran faster than I might have otherwise. Mile 1 – 8:06

I found my rhythm and settled into a pace that I thought (THOUGHT lol) felt hard but doable. The plan was to run about 8:00 for mile 2 and maybe 7:45 for the last mile. Mile 2 – 7:58

Yeaaaah, that 8:00 pace started feeling pretty brutal. I had a mild side stitch and felt like I was concentrating way too hard on not tripping over the potholes and cracks in the road. And as soon as I thought about tripping, I actually did sort of stumble. I was ready to finish doing the thing. Mile 3 – 8:06

There’s the finish line! There it is! Seeing it gave me a final burst of energy (thank you, fast finish training runs?) and I hauled ass down the final stretch. Last .1 – 7:36.

Behold, consistent mediocrity.

And then I immediately began second-guessing that third mile and wondering if I could have worked a little harder. It would have been really nice to see a 7:54 right there.

And since there are no photos posted yet, here is a picture from last year’s race in which you can just see the top of my hat! 

I’m behind that good looking guy in the headband.

QUESTION: Do you still count a PR on a non-certified course? I’m just a hobby jogger, so I don’t mind counting it, but if I were more competitive (or if the distance seemed wildly short) I probably wouldn’t.

subversive shit I did last week (Mother’s Day edition)

I meant to actually publish this on mother’s day but let’s call this mother’s week.

Who I supported

Who I contacted

  • I contacted my Indiana House rep Todd Rokita (aka fuckface) and asked him to do the right thing and vote against the ACA repeal bill. (Here’s how every rep voted so you can praise/chastise yours accordingly.) The ACLU had a crazy easy tool where you plug in your phone number, your phone rings and prompts you to enter you zip code, and then it connects you to your rep! EASY. And it was after-hours so I didn’t even have to talk to anyone. I just left an awkward voicemail saying that the repeal will hurt women, people with disabilities and people with preexisting conditions.
  • I wrote the White House and asked the president not to sign the religious freedom executive order, which I figured would be a waste of time, but the order turned out to be a pretty watered-down version of the one we feared (though still not great) so maybe they actually remembered what happened in Indiana and decided not to do that again? Conservatives were kinda pissed, actually. 🙂
  • I wrote and faxed all three of my members of Congress using the Resistbot to ask them to speak up about appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the Russia-Trump ties.
  • I have placed repeated calls and emails to my two senators to oppose the latest “healthcare” bill AKA tax cut for the wealthy.

 What I did

  • Nothing, really? I guess what I’m “doing” right now is trying to focus on changes and impacts I can make locally. I think I’ve had a tendency to concentrate on too many broad, national issues while ignoring things that are going on right in my backyard, so to speak. I’m not gonna run for mayor or anything, but I’m trying to be more involved in my own community.
  • Something I’ve been meaning to do is go back through all my subversive shit posts and do an update on any issues that have since been decided. We’ve had a couple of small victories in Indiana, but not many.

What I read

Some good things

Image source
Read all my “subversive shit” posts

running week of 5/8

I had a fun week that ended with a colossally bad run on Sunday, hooraaaaay!

Monday: Weights. Emphasis on legs, which made speed drills on Tuesday…interesting.
Tuesday: 8×400 with .25 recovery jogs and here are my splits: 1:48, 1:45, 1:51, 1:51, 1:48, 1:47 and the last two, predictably, 1:55, 1:55. I KNOWWWWW I ran these way too fast (5k pace for me is around 8:15 if I’m lucky) but whatever. Total of 6 miles.
Wednesday: Weights. Emphasis on arms. I still can’t do a chin-up.
Thursday: 6 @ 8:50. This one went better than expected. I ran a 6 mile progression back in March at near an 8:30 average but I’ve been struggling just to stay under 9:00 lately. Last mile: 7:50!
Friday: Weights (wailed on my arms and back and my lats are still sore) + 2 @ 8:48. I didn’t want to run too hard because I was planning a longer run Saturday (which ended up not happening) and it took me damn near two miles to feel warmed up anyway, but I felt good toward the end.
Saturday: The plan included running but I had a rough night and slept in until after 9:00! NINE. I can’t even remember the last time I did that. Even when I do have the option of sleeping in, I wake up at the crack of dawn. But Codie has been doing this thing where she wakes up at night and then takes an hour OR MORE to go back to sleep. This time she woke up around 2 a.m. and then again around 5:30. I’ve never been hit by a train, but it can’t feel that much worse than not sleeping for a month. (Also, help? She’s going to be 3 in a month and we’re still nursing.)
Sunday: 6.6 @ 9:37. I was planning another progression or in the very least a faster last mile but neither of those things happened. I had another rough night (but thankfully husband got up with the kids again and let me sleep in!). I didn’t get out until around 10 and it was already hot af. As soon as I started running I knew it wasn’t gonna be my day. After the first mile I was still struggling to stay under 10:00 and every time I tried to pick up the pace, I’d fall back into the 9:30s. So fun. :/

total: 20ish

5k on Saturday! Taperish week and it’d also be fun to sleep more.

8 months of lifting

I have been meaning to finish this post for a while! When I started writing it, it was actually called “6 months of lifting.”

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in running (besides just generally sucking at it) was not balancing the miles with any kind of a strength/conditioning routine. I was just kind of getting by on infrequent and/or once-weekly cross-training (cycling or swimming) and/or half-ass lifting but whenever I’d start doing longer runs or any kind of speed work whatsoever, I’d start feeling beat-up all the time. I was icing my knees every night, and a shin or a butt cheek or ham string always felt tweaked.

I’m pretty lazy when it comes to any kind of non-running activity so I’m not sure what finally convinced me to commit to an actual 3x weekly routine but now that I’ve been doing it a while, I’m finally starting to see results and enjoying the work instead of viewing it as a chore.

I haven’t taken measurements or anything like that (sorry no before/after pics!) but I am definitely stronger. I don’t feel wrecked after long runs. I have not needed to ice my knees in a while, and I don’t feel like I’m always on the verge of an injury. That said, I am still a total baby lifter and I’m still adjusting my routine so pleeeeease don’t laugh at me or take this as me offering guidance. If anything, I’m putting it out there so you people can tell me what’s missing, or what’s redundant, or just, oh my god Marie what are you doing.

Floor exercises (3 sets):
Burpee with a pushup) Actually, fuck burpees. I did them for a few weeks and then I decided I hate burpees WITH A PASSION so I went back to just doing pushups.

Ankle touch
Single leg bridge with a butt-raise (I don’t even know what you really call this, I swiped the move from Jillian Michaels.)
Scissors (vertical)
Scissors (horizontal)

With dumbbells (3 sets): 
Tricep pushbacks in a lunge
Tricep extensions
Seated overhead arm raise
Lateral arm raise
Bicep curls

Floor with dumbbells (3 sets):
Chest press
Chest fly with double-leg raise (one of my favorite steals from Jillian Michaels!)

More fun for leg day (3 sets):
Box jumps or sumo squat jumps
Single-legged calf raises with a kettle bell OR both legs with dumbbells
Deadlifts (standard with barbell). I honestly had to watch some videos on YouTube to refresh my memory on deadlifts because it had been forfuckingever since I did a deadlift. I found this one the most helpful. (I don’t like the over/under grip though. I probably don’t lift enough weight for it to be necessary.)

And I recently discovered (THE HARD WAY) that box jumps and sumo squat jumps are NO SUBSTITUTE for a good ol’ fashioned conventional barbell squat. So I started doing those again too and I swear to god, my quads looked mightier after just two days.

So, discussion questions? What is your favorite lifting/conditioning/strength move that makes you feel #SWOLEAF? I don’t think it gets much better than squats and deadlifts.

Also how the hell do you find the TIME? How do you balance strength/conditioning with running? I don’t do any swimming or cycling anymore. I’d have to give up a running or lifting day and I refuse to do that.

Keep it simple.

running week of 5/1 + April recap

Monday and Saturday were the only days I ran outside last week. It was pretty miserable here and I’d about had it with running in rain and 20 mph winds so I took the opportunity to do some speedier(ish? lol) runs indoors.

Monday: weights + 2 @ 9:08. I know I said I didn’t want to do any more perfunctory runs but I just really wanted to run, so I did.
Tuesday: treadmill tempo 4 @ 8:56, 8:45, 8:42, 8:34
Wednesday: weights + 4 @ 8:50. I remember nothing about this run so it must not have been that great.
Thursday: Weights + treadmill hills 5 @ 9:50. I, unwisely, added a new move to my leg routine before attempting a hill workout and my quads were pissed at me.
Friday: NADA. I was so sore all day I could barely lower myself onto the toilet seat without groaning. But I did some pretty violent rolling with The Stick Friday evening and it helped a lot.
Saturday: 7 @ 8:50. A perfect progression: 9:23, 9:12, 9:06, 8:55, 8:39, 8:33, 8:07. This run was bliss, you guys. One of those “this is why I became a runner” runs.
Sunday: NADA

Total miles: 22

~*April miles*~

Total miles: 107– 26 more than last month.

Days running: 19

Longest run: 11 miles on 4/15, shortly after which I decided that double-digit runs aren’t doing jack for my 5k training, so I stopped doing them.

Runs on the treadmill: Four, and three of them were last week!

Races: None.

Group runs: One – an overzealous “tax day” run organized by my local running store, which made 12 for the day and led to some wacky groin pain.

Best run: I was exuberant after my 7 mile run Saturday. I felt strong and finished fast.

Worst run: Last Sunday’s 6. I was tired and couldn’t catch my breath and none of it was fun.

Oh…and I signed up for another marathon, I KNOW RIGHT? LOL LOL LOL. It’s March 31, 2018 and it was only $31, so why not!

subversive shit I did last week (4/10-5/1)

I made a new friend last week. If you can believe this, I was at a meeting for my volunteer gig FIDO and the gal sitting next to me asked if I by any chance wrote a blog about subversive shit. I was so excited and embarrassed! I’ve never actually met anyone who recognized me from the blog, and it was a double-reward that she’s a fellow subversive. We didn’t have a lot of time to shoot the shit, but we talked briefly about local activism and how it felt good to know we weren’t alone. So anyway I just wanted to say hey to Tricia! Hope I wasn’t too weird!

I missed a few issues of the weekly action checklist, but I started following it again and I’ve found it helps me stay focused and it also gives me ideas for issues I want to look into locally. Like, how many people have been wrongfully convicted in Indiana? What are we doing to fight against mass incarceration? Which companies use prison labor to make their products? (Hint: more than you might think.)

I did want to mention one thing I read on the checklist this week. It says:

What to do if your MoCs are blue.

Call them. Praise them. Give them stories they can use to support great legislation. Calling MoCs who agree with you tells them you’re paying attention. It also keeps their lines from being full of opposing views. Don’t assume. Do call.

I would add to that: don’t assume just because your MoCs are Democrats that they’re supporting great legislation. Don’t praise them simply for being “blue.”

Example: Several weeks ago I wrote my Democratic senator to oppose the Choices in Education Act. The response I got (which took almost two months) included a vague summary of the bill and empty, noncommittal statements of solidarity without actually taking a firm stance against (or even for) it. I’ve gotten several other soft responses from alleged “ally” reps and it doesn’t make me confident that they agree with me. A democrat-in-name-only who assumes my support and panders to the middle/right does not earn my praise.

Anyway, here’s what I did last week:

Who I supported

  • For her birthday, my friend hosted a Facebook fundraiser for the Autism Women’s Network and I made a (very) small donation. I didn’t know you could fund-raise for a nonprofit on Facebook so now I want to do one for my birthday too.

Who I contacted

  • I contacted Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, urging him not to sign a really shitty piece of legislation requiring under-age women to have parental consent before having an abortion and a bunch of other shitty TRAP law shit. Stuff that would be really great for kids whose parents abuse or rape them or are just otherwise shitty! Of course I received no reply and he signed the shitty legislation.

What I did

  • Does this count? I bought a shirt. I’ve been looking for this precise wording on a shirt for ages and finally found it on Redbubble. The profits don’t go to any specific cause, but according to Redbubble, their products are ethically sourced and made in the USA (and not by prison labor). And I like to have a good subversive top to wear to the gym and play dates. 😛
  • We planned on attending Science March/Earth Day festivities downtown but Codie was coughing and the weather was kinda dismal so we ended up staying home. (However we spent the whole day this past Sunday out in the rain getting our boots muddy, buying plants and getting them in the ground so I think we made up for it.) Also, the plants came from Indy Urban Acres, a nonprofit farm run by the Indy Parks Foundation that helps feed hungry people who might not otherwise have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

What I read

Some good things

Read all my “subversive shit” posts