Hello! Happy Monday! It's Secret Santa here - apparently Mondays are going to be "my thing." I hope today is going well for you, because MAN Monday after Thanksgiving holiday sucks. Even though I have your info and everything, I have to ask... what do you WANT for Christmas? Because I'm all about providing people what they actually want, not some lame bullshit present they'll roll their eyes about. :) Let me know! - xoxo SS
Dear Santa, what I really want is to go back in time to a few days ago when I said “December 1st is a perfect day to start eating healthy again” and erase that conversation from memory…
But since you are probably not that kind of wizard, here are a few stocking stuffer type things I always like to get:
Books, preferably nonfiction because I don’t keep up with it and would like to read more
Lip balm/ gloss
Hand lotion I can keep at my desk for particular boring meetings, and because I moved to The Tundra
Gloves — constantly losing them (or one, which is worse)
Anything New York-related, because since I moved away I am a sucker for all that marketing.
I also need some oven mitts, which isn’t glamorous but I know every day I don’t have them I am TEMPTING FATE.
If you don't have anything to do at work, I feel glad for you, son
I’ve got 99 problems, and ONE of them is that I am currently hiding in a conference room because coworkers around me don’t have anything to do and are listening to a Thanksgiving etiquette webinar at top volume. They are discussing whether you have to take home your own leftovers or if you can leave them for your host. WHO CARES?
Update: The person who insisted on putting the webinar on just sent an email to a large group misspelling the word “dessert” so I think she just proved my point.
This story is troubling for a lot of reasons, especially how it reflects on other, less culturally charged prescriptions which may also not be effective for patients who are at higher weights. Or drugs that haven’t been thoroughly tested on women to begin with.
Then I made the mistake of reading the comments (trigger warning: awful human beings at work) where I learned…
Fat women shouldn’t have sex
If men would stop sleeping with fat women, they will get skinny (MAGIC!)
Fat women are destroying the country by making us spend $
Women shouldn’t be fat, period
Ineffective drugs are “just chemistry” and there’s no way to change them so they actually work
The only women who take Plan B are teenagers and sluts anyway
If you consider taking Plan B, you already deserve what’s coming to you because SHAME
No one who doesn’t want to get pregnant should have sex ever
"Reproductive responsibility" belongs only to women
If you use birth control and still get pregnant, it’s your fault
If you use multiple methods of birth control and still get pregnant it is STILL YOUR FAULT
Women are ruining healthcare by forcing it to cover all their lady stuff
All your health care needs are your fault
Everything is all women’s fault
And ugh, I need about a million showers now. I agree with commenter Capn Cack: “Let’s not let facts get in the way of all the misogyny here!”
What I am saying is, this is a really important story for women who may rely on emergency contraception at some point, and rather than reaching people who may need it it’s just going to get drowned in grossness and shaming. So I’m posting it here, hoping that it will reach a few more people whom it can help.
Helloooo! Your Secret Santa here! I wanted to say I hope you're having a great Monday. I'm so looking forward to finding out more about you & putting together the most wonderful gift for you! Stay warm today: it feeling like 19 in the city does NOT sound fun! xoxo - SS
This is the kind of Monday morning message I like.
On that note, would anyone like a holiday card? I decided to break them out last night because A) Hanukkah starts Thursday (I’m not Jewish, but some of my friends are!) and B) “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” was on TBS. Send me your address in an ask, I’ll be writing them in the next few weeks.
A few weeks ago, one of my coworkers went on an epic rant about how much she hates the smell of broccoli and no one should be allowed to bring it or make it in the office. She didn’t know it was my broccoli she was railing against. Now I feel self-conscious whenever I bring broccoli for lunch (every few weeks, or less) even though I don’t think it bothers anyone else. It’s not like I’ve been cooking it with fish or burnt popcorn. And you know, there are people who bring weird leftovers, but I don’t say they can’t do it ever. Everyone has to get along.
Today I brought broccoli for work, steamed it and threw some goat cheese on, and it was delicious. But I know somewhere else on Tumblr:
“I just wake up at 3 a.m. most days,” the first-term congresswoman said matter-of-factly. That meant going to bed early, even when there are evening parties to attend. “Like around 8 p.m., I’ll be at an event and I’ll look around and start to panic a little bit because I’m thinking, ‘I have to go home and eat and go to bed.’ ” It was also tough flying back and forth between her home district and Washington — but really, it’s all about discipline, she said.
Internet complainers: do you want to bitch about how lazy and sedentary Americans are and how they won’t get off their couch? Or do you want to bitch about having to see people running and being proud of themselves (I don’t exactly know what the author’s gripe is- that people are proud of themselves?) Because you can’t have it both ways!
Or are we trying to encourage activity but only if it’s done secretly, with no pride? I’m so confused!
What she said. And let’s not forget, this is the same op-ed page that mere weeks ago was griping that the country’s average marathon times were too slow and that’s why we never win Olympic medals. The new American dream: Being super-fast, not training and definitely never talking about it ever.
I have officially spent too much time on the internet, and here is how I know: I have no idea how people make friends in real life any more. Ever since I got back from New York I have missed my friends terribly and felt their absence in life out here.
Because I don’t feel good at it, it’s easy for me to just avoid it. But that doesn’t solve all my problems, it just keeps me from feeling awkward temporarily. Oh guys, right after I moved here I went on a friend-date (is this a term?) with a woman who went to college with two of my friends back East. She was perfectly nice and really smart and cool, and I was just a total damp sponge of nervousness. I really had nothing to say other than “I must have human contact at all costs!!!” So we really haven’t hung out since then. And it’s not the kind of thing I feel like I can write about on Facebook etc., because those are all about making your life look good and yourself look proficient in things. At most a self-deprecating joke on Twitter, no more.
Then this morning I was reading about crazy running groups in Runner’s World on the train to work and I thought “THAT would be the ticket!!” Only I would probably not be able to keep up with them, which impeded my progress. Or maybe that is just an excuse??? I sometimes ran with a group in New York who were always really nice to me, but I always had a sense of not being able to hang with the group. I wanted to hang! But at the end of the day, they were always superfast, and I was not.
One thing I forgot to leave out of my marathon recovery post was the tiredness. Good heavens, am I exhausted! I had eight hours of sleep last night, more than I usually get, and I am just barely hanging in there. The first few nights I could understand, even Tuesday because I flew back early that day, So I haven’t written a recap of the marathon yet because as soon as I get home, make dinner and do 1 fun thing I’m asleep. (Last night’s fun thing was finishing the new Salinger documentary, which not only wasn’t that fun but also left me with a lot of questions and misgivings. Then I tried to watch "Computer Chess" because I heard it was so funny and fell asleep in the first 15 minutes. Like I said, only 1 fun thing allowed.)
But I’m going to forge ahead and talk about what I’m up to now that the marathon is over, because that’s what I feel like writing about right now.
Measuringlife wrote a good post the other day about reflecting on a “best” time in your life. When I thought about this in the context of fitness, I realized that I felt my healthiest/ fittest while I was training for a half-marathon but also had the time and energy to cross-train and take random classes. I was happier with my body, and I felt more well-rounded (the ol’ “I can run X miles but can barely walk up the stairs” feeling). And I enjoyed the benefits of being healthy, without feeling like I was always in the gym or training. If you feel stuck in your own health, definitely make your own list.
Right now: I am resting! Starting this weekend: I am rebuilding! I’ll be going to PT, running a little (as allowed) and limbering up. For cross-training I’m going to cash in every free 1-week gym pass I can get, take random classes, use random machines. I’m going to go back to yoga and aim to go once a week. I’m also going to try Bar Method, because the one near me has an “unlimited month” special and I want to see if it’s for me.
For running: I have a fun run in mid-December, the Rudolph Ramble 8K, and might do a Turkey Trot if I can find one but that’s all the racing I have planned for now… UNTIL March 16 when I am running the NYC Half Marathon. Seems like forever ago that I was volunteering at this year’s to get that guaranteed entry! I’ve never run it but knowing all about it makes me feel confident and excited. Plus, more time to visit with people I barely saw or didn’t see during marathon weekend (I’m sorry, friends! I was busy eating/ herding my family/ running).
I will also be looking for a second half marathon in the spring, maybe April or early May (SUGGESTIONS? Will travel!) This year and in 2011 I ran two half-marathons within several weeks of each other, and found it to be an enjoyable way to use my training. And I hope to get a Ragnar in there somewhere (Van 1 reunion!!!)
I haven’t signed up for another marathon, and I’m not sure I will do so in 2014. It’s going to take me a while to decide. I need to gather all the data. (But when people asked me on Monday I said “absolutely no way” — it’s a sickness.)
My mom saw I was wearing my Road ID this weekend and quizzed me about it. Now she wants one for Christmas, which is great because she often runs by herself in the dark in remote areas and I worry. I hope she wears it all the time and never needs it!
Fun fact: I never made a marathon playlist last year.
It was one of my last “to dos” before race day and I was going to work on it the night the race got canceled. Feeling weird, sad and guilty, I forgot all about whether I had the correct Jay-Z to dad rock ratio and spent the rest of the night with a bottle of wine and Baby Roommate. (Hey, remember when I lived with a baby? That was pretty cool.)
It’s normal to compare this year to the same time last year, but this is one of the fun chores! Between working on this and the baseball game,
Excellent post on breaking the “women = weak” paradigm.
"It wasn’t until I’d spent quite a bit of time lifting weights and running that it slowly started to occur to me that our culture had basically fetishized feminine weakness, and that I no longer wanted any part of that paradigm. I wanted to feel strong and courageous, and I didn’t care if others thought this was proof that I was somehow damaged as a result of my history. (I would like to submit this for you, that our culture is filled with narratives of young men who hit the weights so they could fight back against bullies, and that the only thing that separates me from those young men is that I happened to be married to my bully.) I needed to do these things for myself, so I could move on with my life and no longer dwell on those years of pain and fear. I needed to heal so I could really learn how to live, and not just survive.”
This post was staggering and this blog (subtitled: “Because it takes strong women to smash the patriarchy”) is going to be a regular read for me, I think.
I am getting an MRI tomorrow to check on what’s happening with my hip pre-marathon. So far it doesn’t look like a fracture (via X-ray and the super-scientific “hop test”), but “some things can show up” on an MRI. And I made an Adult Decision to actually get the MRI, instead of just trying to pretend like it never happened. (Amazing how good a person can get at ignoring what’s good for her.)
What I am saying is, think good thoughts, but also take my phone and Internet away so I don’t whip myself into any more of a lather. I wasn’t thinking about this all weekend, but now that I am: PANIC CITY POP.1
Shades of last year… The NY Marathon is probably getting booted from its starting area (Fort Wadsworth, a national park) but that’s nothing compared to this. My heart goes out to you guys. Just rotten.
That awkward moment when a coworker who has run the Chicago Marathon twice says “you have to be with a training group” because “otherwise you won’t do it right” and “nobody can run 15 or 20 miles by themselves”…
On the advice of his doctor, a famed weight-loss guru and author of popular diet books, he went on a low-fat, low-calorie diet. He avoided snacks. He kept a careful diary of what he ate and weighed himself daily. He hired a personal trainer and rode a horse for exercise. And he wrote his doctor, Nathaniel E. Yorke-Davies, with updates on his progress, often twice a week… He was 48 when he first contacted Dr. Yorke-Davies, and spent the remaining 25 years of his life corresponding with the doctor and consulting other physicians in a quest to control his weight.
This is so fascinating! Anyone subscribe to the Annals of Internal Medicine and want to send me this study?
Let's go down to the tennis court, and talk it out like yeah
Slept in, long run (18 miles!!!!), now lying on the couch listening to Lorde and trying to decide whether I want to nap, get frozen yogurt or watch a movie. Very attractive options!
I ran past the marathon expo and it was hopping. If you are visiting, I hope you are having fun. Avoid all those people on the blue shared bikes; they are clearly insane and most don’t seem to know how to ride. Eat ALL the carbs!
Whine No. 3: I’m not fat, so I don’t need to exercise.
The trainers’ comeback: Yes, you do.
This excuse “makes me cringe,” says Mallory Mansour Dubuclet, owner and head trainer at Positively Fit Lake Highlands. “Weight loss is primarily about diet; exercise is about internal health and fitness.”
Studies show life expectancy is not necessarily correlated with low body weight, she says, “but is definitely connected to cardiovascular exercise and resistance training.”
Friday-Saturday: Ragnar Relay DC, 13.8 miles; some random stretching during that.
Sunday: hip routine
If anything, a Ragnar in the middle of marathon training reminds me that running can be fun again. (That’s what happens when everyone around you is a running nutjob.) I actually had a moment during my last Ragnar leg where I thought “Imagine this is First Avenue during the marathon” and I felt chills, real chills. That’s good, because just like last year, I am getting a bit training-fatigued and looking forward to the part where I can just get up and decide how long I want to run, rather than what I must do.
My plan now is to reserve most of my energy toward the 2 long runs I have left, run extremely easy during the week, stretch like crazy and look forward to the end of this saga.
I got an email from NY Road Runners this week reminding me to book a hotel for the race. Um, are you guys on this planet?? That was one of the FIRST things I did. If you don’t know where you’re staying, you are probably not going to be in the five boroughs unless you are very wealthy. That’s pretty irresponsible tourism advice! Here’s what I’ll actually do this week:
Develop a break-in plan for my marathon shoes (which I purchased months ago, type A for life)
Figure out what I’m going to wear for the race — less a fashion question than a functional question, I promise
Print maps for my spectators and think about good places for them to go — less populated, but easy to reach for out-of-towners.
Sunday: Elliptical and incline walking on the treadmill, 1 hour; Hip routine
Total: 17.6 miles
My hip is getting better, so I ran a half-marathon (bizarrely called a mini marathon, although I feel there is nothing mini about that). Was running a half-marathon in a somewhat injured state my best idea ever? No, it was not. But I still feel that I am improving and I think it was useful.
I could feel my hip through most of the race, but focused on keeping my stride steady and trying to activate my glutes (um, mostly by thinking about them, to be honest). The only time I felt the same sharp pain as before was at mile 12 when I stepped into a pothole with my left (bad hip side) foot and ZING that really hurt. For the rest of the run, and the rest of the day, it ached enough that I eventually broke down and took Advil for it. (I’m not against it, but don’t want to take too much and there is science to suggest it can impede muscle recovery if used too often.) The Advil was a miracle and I was still sore, but not in pain.
I am traveling this week, first for work and then for Ragnar (GREAT PLANNING, SELF), but next week I’m going to try to get in to see a doctor about my hip again, just to make sure I’m doing everything preventative that I can. I would like to make up the long run that I missed as well as do my 20-miler, so that’s one thing I would bring up with him. Pending an official diagnosis of bursitis, I may be able to get treatments leading up to the race that I’m not getting now.
I will get to the marathon, I am so so close now. I will do what I have to do to get myself there in reasonably good shape.
Okay, but about the race itself: The Brewers’ Mini Marathon, now in its 2nd year, is a baseball-themed half-marathon in the streets of Milwaukee (near where I grew up) where the race swag includes a bobblehead doll. I missed it last year and I would not be denied, particularly of the chance to go home and hang with my dad who was there for my first 5K and my first half-marathon. (Now I’ve got to get him to run one. Not giving up yet.) This race was hilly and parts of it were nearly deserted, but it was super fun because I was home. And as usual, I was just happy to be out there. Taking a week off really sharpens your appreciation of the small stuff. There was also a band on the course covering “No Diggity,” which I would like to require for every race I run from now on. If you run this race next year, you can stay at my house for free… I know where all the good burger places are.