I’m not sure if I’m going to qualify for my workplace’s gym-visit-reimbursement policy, because I don’t go to the gym enough.
Wait, wait, hear me out!
I used to do all my non-race running on the treadmill. I trained for my first 10K without doing a run longer than a 5K outside — yep, 5 and 6 miles on the treadmill, fun fun fun. (Because I thought it was… going to be cold? Awww, young Monkeys, so afraid of a lil’ weather.)
Now I love my morning runs outside and would never give them up. If you still prefer the treadmill, though, I get that. It’s really useful for things like, oh, long runs the day of a hurricane, and beyond that: sometimes it’s good to get out of the house. I find being around a lot of people working out can sometimes make me want to do so.
To qualify for the discount, you have to have gone to the gym 100 times by the end of September. I’s a policy that makes sense if you do the math (100 / 9 months = 11 per month or slightly less than 3 per week). Have I worked out 100 times since the beginning of the year? Probably. But as far as actual gym visits, hmmm… I’m thinking maybe 50.
There are so many health metrics out there, we could all pick our own to decide when we’re “fit enough” or not. If you want to hit a certain deadlift and you do, that’s your standard. If you want to complete a 5K without walking and you do that, you can say to yourself: I have accomplished this. BMI is beloved by a lot of people, but some (I) find it reductive and unrealistic. And there’s always dress size, favorite jean size, vertical jump height, 100-meter dash time, Yasso 800, etc. etc. etc.
By this program, I am barely moving my ass, and it irritates me a little. Okay, fine. But I know the difference, and the difference is I’m working out strong, and I’m happy, and never mind the rest.
(But… Do you think they would accept my uber-dorky paper running log as proof? My handwriting is mostly legible!)
Seems like my Garmin takes the longest to “lock in” in the mornings, to the point that I usually just start running and then manually add the distance later. Otherwise I’m standing on a street corner pacing back and forth, waiting for it. It’s like it’s saying, But it’s early! I’m sleepy! and I’m saying Get out of here, Garmin. You are not a creature. You are a fancy toy that spends 95 percent of your time sleeping on my desk.
That said it’s delightfully cool out there so get at it!
I just made my workout schedule for the week but I might have to change it because I’m donating blood on Tuesday. I haven’t donated in years, so definitely before I was getting regular exercise. Will I feel up to running the day after? Who knows?
Hilariously my donation e-mail states that I should “please remember to eat before [my] donation.” Big breakfast here I come! But I’m also supposed to avoid “fatty foods” for 24 hours, a requirement I’ve never seen before (I believe the sum total of instructions at our high school blood drives were “Be 17 and stick your arm out”), so… Big healthy breakfast here I come!
I’ve gotten a lot of questions and comments since I decided to take control of my life. Questions of all sorts from all sorts of people. I’m very open and honest and will answer any questions I receive, to the best of my ability. But, honestly, some questions/comments are just borderline rude — and usually come from my friends and family who are not active or eat healthful foods:
How much money have you wasted spent on race fees, anyway?(And, yes, someone actually used the word “wasted.”) My response is always the same: “Probably a lot less than I would have spent on junk food, eating out, medical bills and alcohol.”
Geez, how much did you spend on those shoes? “I spent enough to get a good shoe that’s going to ensure I don’t get hurt.”
I wish I had your kind of money so I could buy new shoes every few months (usually said with a snort or laugh of some sort and a sideways glance at a nearby friend). Yeah, a lot of the questions are related to money. Not sure why running or training for a race makes the way I spend my money everybody’s business.
You’re obviously not eating enough. What do you eat, anyway? Clearly, I am not underweight. And, if you spend any amount of time with me, you will see that I eat plenty of food. Plenty of delicious, healthful food. And ice cream.
Don’t you ever get sick of being so picky about your food? First of all, asking for what I want is not picky. And, no, I don’t get sick of ordering what I want. I don’t get sick of eating foods I enjoy that fuel my body properly.
Imagine what you could do with your life if you weren’t running all of the time. Yes, imagine. Why run when I could be eating and sitting on my butt and feeling sorry for myself? Just like the good ol’ days. (Obviously they have forgotten that I’m a fairly successful, professional 30-year-old who worked to pay her way through undergrad and grad school and who volunteers in her spare time.)
No wonder you’re single. I don’t even know how to respond to this one. I’m single right now because I made the choice to get out of an unhealthy relationship. Not because I run or eat healthful foods. In fact, I’m a way better catch now than I ever was.
Do you think you’ll ever be happy with yourself? Um, just because I believe in working to improve and change as a person doesn’t mean I’m not happy with myself. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: I’m very happy with myself. And because I’m happy with myself, I know that I deserve to treat my body, mind and spirit right. And part of being a whole person is exploration, growth and change.
Reblogging because some of these are astounding to me… and some of them are kind of familiar.
It won’t work for every situation but I find if I fix them with a 1000-yard stare and say that the running is “for my mental health” people usually don’t probe. I don’t know if it’s because I give good crazy eyes or because I believe it.
This morning I ran 7 miles on the treadmill. It was okay. Got my mind off all things Irene-related. Was going to stay for yoga but it was canceled.
Kind of irritated at people who are chastising others for “overreacting” and “making a big deal out of” the storm. (Not you! On the rest of the Internet.) I’ve never been in a hurricane before, so yeah, it’s scary to me. I’m not roundhouse-kicking anyone in the face for the last gallon of water, nor do I plan to, but yeah, I have a “go bag,” I bought canned food (and wine), I’m trying to follow all the city directives. Now is not the time to tell me about how I must have control issues because of how I’m acting.
I think I’m going to stop reading the Internet so much and put some Instant Watch on.
I have only done this once so I am no expert, but what’s truly awesome about running to work is the sense of accomplishment it offers. I didn’t just run X miles — I went somewhere! Look at me go!
I wish this post had been around when I was planning my little jaunt. One modification: I hate carrying stuff with me when I run, even a small backpack, so I would stash my post-run clothes at work or the gym the day before, or in extreme cases wait till it’s cold and then take a jacket with lots of pockets.
“Have you ever wished you could wear your shaper to the gym?”
NO. NO I HAVE NOT.
I mean I don’t own Spanx, but from what I’ve heard it’s not what you want to wear if you would like to be able to walk/bend down/sit/breathe, and I’m pretty sure that when I go to the gym I’d rather be able to do those things. So I can kick some ass, not give mine a lift.
Spanx has been aggressively moving in on the clothing market, so this doesn’t surprise me, but it’s still kind of gross.
I have owned some Spanx and they range from “compression short-ish” to “OMG can’t breathe.” But honestly? At the gym? I’m not there to look like I’m fitter; I’m there to get fitter. And those old T-shirts aren’t getting worn anywhere else, anyway. This is like the lady equivalent of those old-timey sauna suits I cannot believe you can actually still buy. I’m shocked they don’t also claim to “burn more calories than the leading brand.”
Also those are $98 knee pants and $68 tank tops up there, so in case looking good at the gym really is important to you, I suggest you can do it for far less money.
After run club you go to meet your friends at happy hour. They know you had “a thing” beforehand, not what it was, but they are happy to see you sweaty and disheveled and don’t ask where you’ve been, missy. Because whenever you need each other, there you are.
And just when you’re feeling like you’re doing a great job of balancing your life you realize you’re still wearing your heartrate monitor under the dress you threw back on in a hurry at work so you could meet your friends on time despite having a sucky run and feeling sucky about your life, etc.
Do you go to the bathroom and take it off? Or…
…maybe you stay because there are 10 minutes left in happy hour and you are right on time, and if this isn’t balance it looks pretty damn good to you.
Bright and early today veggielife and I helped out at a local 10-miler called the Battle of Brooklyn. I don’t volunteer for races much and I should do more, because it made me excited to be around all those runners and happy to be doing my part.
I helped set out and give out the timing chips (runners had to pick up their chips the morning of the race, and they were the kind that were collected at the end of the race), staked out the bag drop and handed out bagels and bananas. Giving out chips was my favorite; I liked to see who was nervous and reassure them, or check their name on the chip and greet them by name. I made small talk with people about their race swag.
Even though Miss V.Life and I had to get up really early, I think we had a good time. The only real bump in the road we hit was when the organizers ran low on or out of (not sure) water — it was remedied, but that is not news anyone wants to deliver to people who have just run 10 muggy, hot miles.
I say we “helped out” and not “volunteered” because not only were we spoiled on site (free coffee, free bagels, free bananas, free tech tees) but we were also paid in credit at the store that organized the race, Jackrabbit. This is not like other volunteering I have done! Aside from the swag everyone was really nice, and I was pleased to spot two of the runners in the store’s "Run for the Rabbit" charity competition… who I obviously called out by name because I am a huge dork.
On a wacky-adventure note, I met the guy who ran the race in costume as George Washington (I guess he coaches for the store) — knee socks, wig AND MUSKET included. (The race is named for a Revolutionary War battle taking place in, well, can you guess??) He said the following things to me as I was carrying a load of spare bananas to his car for him:
"By the way, if anyone tells you to run a race in a powdered wig and a musket—don’t do it."
"The thing was, people would try to take photos with me during the race, and I was like, ‘I don’t know what that device is!’"
"Martha [as in Washington] just loves banana bread."
Awesome. If that doesn’t convince you to volunteer for races, I don’t know what will.
PSA: If you are in New York City, don’t go to the gym tomorrow.
Wait, scratch that. Don’t go to the gym till, oh, 11 or so. Sleep in! You have my permission.
It will all make sense when I tell you:
That my hot water is still busted, so after my long run tomorrow I guess I have to go to the gym to restore myself to normalcy. I have come to terms with my post-long-run state, it is the grossness of accomplishment. But you do not want to see me in that state, nor do you want to be, say, between me and a stack of towels in that state. Or really anywhere in a 10-foot radius.
The week Celebrity Doppelgangers was the hot Facebook meme I put up a picture of Winston Churchill. It was kind of an in-joke, but while I don’t have much in common with him (except we’re both white and I am a little British) the more I read about his life the more I think he is a man to emulate.
The above quote comes from a meeting he had right after he became Prime Minister, knowing that a lot of his fellow ministers didn’t want him to take the job. Less than a month later, he delivered probably his most famous speech, when Britain was facing the serious possibility of a German invasion, and said:
We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
This has been your daily chill-inducing history update. Please return to your full upright and locked position.
The existence of this makes me so, SO ANGRY. Kristine at Moxiebird writes:
Now, snark aside, I can see what the INTENTIONS were here. This poor Kramer character jumped on the child-obesity band wagon and decided to create something to reach these kids in a productive manner. Except the girl in the book is 14. And the target audience of this picture book? FOUR to EIGHT.
I dunno, maybe I was just lucky as a kid that I didn’t know whether I was fat or skinny? But I kind of think it was better like that!
It’s fine to show kids how to lead a healthy lifestyle, but the concept of “going on a diet” — and all the obsessive behavior and self-loathing that can go along with it — shouldn’t be part of childhood.
Tonight I ran 3 miles and then I had the most amazing long hot shower as the gym bathrooms were being cleaned. It was definitely in my Top 5 Showers of 2011. The employee in there definitely looked confused that I was showering at 8:30PM! BUT IT WAS GREAT.
When I walked home from the gym a guy catcalled me from a minivan and I had to laugh because of my amazing ensemble of rain boots and Nike tempo shorts, plus the wrinkled shirt I wore to work. It’s what they’re wearing on the runways this fall! Mismatched pinks and purples!
Then I went home and found that the hot water is still broken. For real?? Tomorrow I go on phone rampage to figure out what the landlord’s problem is… but I might hit up a yoga class first or do some cross-training just so I can shower again. This repair mess is great for my fitness so far… sigh.
I remember when I started losing weight vowing to myself that I would not be “that girl” as I was trying to lose weight or once I reached my goal weight. I would not get crazy about it. I would simply lose the weight and move on to the next big thing in my life, whatever that would be. To me, “that girl” was the girl who lost weight and ran marathons and competed in triathlons. I never wanted to be a cliché.
I relate to this a lot. And yet. I found that what I considered a jock cliché was richer and deeper when I was being it (or my version of it) and not looking at it on the outside.
Just like high school ends and no one is purely a jock or a nerd any more… I may be “that girl” to people who meet me and don’t get to know me beyond that one detail, just like at the deli I’m “Egg and cheese on a roll” and to that guy who just friended me on Facebook I’m “the new kid in the 4th grade.” (Seriously dude, who are you recently.) But I’m more than all of those. I may be less large but I still contain multitudes.
The other thing to remember is that, through Tumblr and blogging and running, I may know a lot of “that girls,” but those are some mighty small circles. Outside of here there aren’t that many of us, and if I feel less than special, I try to remind myself.
Today I was glad I slept in and didn’t work out in the morning because…
…WAIT HEAR ME OUT…
…we seem to not have any hot water in the house. (My roommate says it broke yesterday and our landlord “meant to send someone.” FTLOG.) What I’m saying is, I got away with a shorter shower than I would have needed had I gotten up to run. And, y’know, there’s always the gym.
My flight back to New York was canceled last night because of the rain on the East Coast (could one of you out there go outside and turn off the water? Thanks!) so I’m working from my parents’ today. That means I had no good excuse not to hit the pool with my dad this morning.
Whoo! I tried to focus on using my arms instead of my legs, which is probably why I was sore by about Lap 5. I should swim more — it was fun.
I would kind of like to go for a run today as well because I’m missing run club tonight but might not have time before heading to the airport again. But if you have to be stranded anywhere, I recommend my parents’. There is so much broccoli-peanut slaw in the fridge and I will eat it all.
He doesn’t have a Garmin so I was timing and pacing for him… but I had to break it to him that his regular 4-mile route was more like 3.75. It’s okay though.
I’m trying to talk him into doing a half-marathon next spring with me, over my mother’s objections. Her primary stated reason that he shouldn’t is that he “wasn’t running like this 15 years ago,” and I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but: SO? Why are we limited to doing what we always do? He’s not an Olympian, but he’s in (what I think is) reasonably good shape for a fifty-something. He’s lost some weight and been getting out to run 3-4 days a week since last fall, maybe even last summer.
I told him he should check with his doctor before starting to train (as I did), but that I thought he could handle it. And that it would be super awesome. (He should be looking at all the pictures of happy half finishers I’ve seen this morning… so envious of you all! And you should be smiling!)
It’s been a great weekend in Wisconsin. We watched the Brewers take down the Pirates, went rambling around a state park just before it started pouring and caught up with the little cousins. Now it’s time for lunch out and the movies before I fly back.
You tear apart your apartment looking for packets of Gu, and only find 2 — and not even in your flavor of choice.
(Well, there were 3 but I tested out a Pineapple Roctane on Saturday before I went out because I was a little hungry but more impatient to get moving. It was too sweet, which is a fair criticism of all sports gels but I noticed it more in the artificial fruit. Still, didn’t bother my stomach.)
Sadly I think my beloved Vanilla Bean has been discontinued. I had to go to 3 stores in May looking for it. EDIT: They have it on Amazon… but am I woman enough for a 24-pack?
All of which is to say that I was dithering over fall half marathons, and trying to decide what to do, but the plan right now is to do 2. The first one was right in front of me: why should I runlong alone when I could runwith my friends? At least in spirit, I’ll be doing the Soaring Wings Virtual Half and a later half TBD before the snow gets here. Maybe that 24-pack will be handy after all…
especially with these prepackaged/deliver to your door cleanses that are mostly sugar. they don’t work. they’re selling you fucking snake oil.
oh, you feel healthier and cleansed? of course you do. you’ve been shitting straight liquid for three days. there is NOTHING LEFT IN YOU TO POOP. you lost weight? if you don’t eat proper meals made of solid food for three days you will see some weight loss. that’s just what happens. also all the pooping.
listen i have no problem with a person deciding that they feel heavy and gross and that maybe its time to “cleanse” a little. but then fucking eat healthier. add more greens to your diet. steer clear of anything that has been processed in any way. be smart about these things. it might take a little bit (aka more than 3-5 days) but you’ll feel better and you don’t have to pay some overprivileged asshole any money to deliver apple ginger spinach juice to your door every morning.
and also? as a person who has worked for people who were doing fasts ALL THE TIME? (every person i worked for in LA did the master cleanse at least once every 6 months). you need to eat something to make your brain function. and in my experience? brains don’t function well on juice cleanses. its really hard trying to understand the incoherent ramblings of someone who has been drinking lemon juice and maple syrup all day. it makes us hate you a little. and your weird mood swings aren’t helping your case.
so unless you’re lucky enough to be able to take off work and check out of life for a few days*, stop it with the cleanses. for you and for me.
*but if you could take three days off work and check out of life, why would you want to fast? i would personally prefer a pantry and fridge stocked with delicious salads and veggies and sandwiches and a dvr full of all the shows to a fast, wouldn’t you?
Usually I halfass my cross-training, but tonight I really pushed myself on the elliptical and I felt it. It was good, I had some stuff to work through in my head.
Unrelated, I’m convinced the new Facebook Messagechatemail system is possessed. If I set myself to “Offline” then I shouldn’t be getting message pop-ups in the bottom bar, end of freaking story. STOP CALL! STOP CALL! HULK NO WANT TALK NO MORE! (Never a bad time for a DRUNK HULK joke.) But now I’m chatting to my sister, so that’s good. I miss AIM.