Archive for July, 2015


Posted: July 31, 2015 in Running Blogging
Tags: , , ,

Tonight was another run after lifting day. OHP today- I feel like it only works if it’s after a bench or OHP workout because it’s different muscles and bench and OHP don’t typically leave me as overall tired after as squats or deadlifts.

Though I took some time to rest between so it wasn’t all together.

This week it feel like I’ve ever had a “whoo I can do all the things today!” feeling, or been too ill to get out of bed at all, with no in between. Not that my “do all the things!” days have even been remarkably productive, but… this happens from time to time and it’s really frustrating. Even though I’ve been up since early morning, I’m still up and it’s early morning now because after doing random errands and job applications today, I felt like I could totally still get in OHP and sprints before bed. And it’s hard to not want to take advantage of that feeling while it lasts, but then it’s not really great long term since it throws me off for tomorrow.

Anyways… sprints. Well before sprints I headed outside to deal with some wasps in my yard while it was dark. After that I did a little bit of stretching outside, while Blake watched me from the window.

Runkeep annoys me a lot- I started it off and after a few minutes of walking looked at the time and realized it was counting my distance but not time! So I stopped and restarted it, meaning I did a longer warmup walk than planned. My first sprint felt awkward because my feet were hurting a lot today before the run but I decided to go anyways, but after a bit I got used to it. By the second sprint I felt like my form was much better than usual for sprints, it felt much more natural and I felt like I was going faster than normal for me. Third sprint I was a bit distracted by the fact that I got a notification for the sprint right after walking pasted a police car and started to worry the officer was going to chase me down for being suspicious for breaking into a run right after walking past their car lol. That did not happen though. 4th sprint I was starting to get tired and my walking interval after was more of a crawl pace. 5th sprint was much slower as I was still tired, and I was thinking 6 sprints is 2 too many. 6th sprint went better than 5 though since it’s easier when I can remind myself it’s the last one. The sprints are actually supposed to be faster each time but I suck at judging % effort for running so I end up going all out for the first several and having almost nothing left in the tank for the ending ones.

I got back home did some quick stretching outside again. After coming in and shocking runkeeper though, I realized that it totally messed up on recording my pace for sprints and walks- it had my sprints as the pacing of slow walking and my walks at the pace of slow jogging. I never feel like I can trust it since the time shown on the app and the audio notifications are always a few seconds off, but I don’t feel like that alone would account for such a huge mismatch in my paces. So I have no objective way of measuring my relative speed during the sprints, as usual actually.

Though one thing I do like about runkeeper is I was able to listen to audible instead of music which was nice.

Next up, zombies 5K week 5.

11760112_10107033898263314_2029246387723816319_nSo I wanted to do a workout today, but was having trouble deciding if I should do a lifting workout, or run. Really, I actually wanted to run (weird), but I felt like I needed to get in a lifting workout.

So I decided to go ahead and do both! Why not, since I’m avoiding being actually productive tonight anyways. I do like using workouts as a means of coping with things falling to shit. Everything else is total crap in my life, but I can feel like I got something done if I at least get in a workout!

Of course doing both meant I did just a really short and quick bench press workout. Then 10 minutes stretching, then finding some running clothes to change into, then headed out.

I was actually feeling excited to get out for a run… right up until I stepped out my front door. Really hot, ridiculously high humidity and fog. But, I was planning to go for a run, I got dressed for it and this sports bra is annoying to get on or off, so I’m going to do my run dammit.

5 minute warm up walk followed by 5 minute super slow jog. Calves were cramping a bit at the end again, but not as bad as last time. Then walking intervals.

This is one of those storylines where I am just like FUCK YOU ABEL TOWNSHIP! I’m still training to be a runner, and clearly not very good at this yet, and what do they have me do today? Oh, let’s go be zombie bait!

Which also makes me realize that I may not be a good person to have around in the case of a real zombie apocalypse, lol, because I am not thrilled with being the person luring a hoard of zombies away from someone else. Though I think I have some other strengths, like the stockpile of canned foods I have- those would probably come in handy.

Walking intervals (slow walking then fast walking) were when I was trying to get the zombies to notice me. Running intervals (running then walking) were used after the zombies noticed me to get them to chase, staying far enough ahead to be safe, slowing down to not get too far ahead that they stopped following.

Based on the storyline the 15 minute free form run then comes when the zombies are successfully lured far enough away for runner 6 to get back to the base, and the free form run is running back to the base, hopefully losing the zombies in the process.

I was not feeling great about this, and pretty miserable in the heat and humidity. But still I kept running (15 minute free form run, again, follows immediately after a 30 second run interval). I like to keep my phone in my hand during the free form run so I can see how far in I am. I don’t look constantly because then it seems like longer, but I like to check in now and then. So I’m running and feeling not great but not terrible, I can do this… I’ve feeling a bit sore, probably a good 5 minutes in now, so I look at my time on my phone- 1 minute into the free form run. So that was a little demoralizing.

But I kept going. Was not loving the music this time but whatever, tried to get into it. and just kept going. And in the end did the whole 15 minutes (slightly more actually) running! Didn’t slow to walk even once, though this meant I ran back and forth a bit by the street crossing to avoid having to stop and wait for traffic to clear to cross. It was a little after 15 minutes by my count that I got the game notification that my free form run was done, and i slowed to a walk, a few blocks from home again so I got my cool down walk in.

While walking back home I did start wondering though if running will ever feel easy to me. I mean, in theory you keep doing something enough and it gets easier, with time you run further or faster (to use running as the example) in order for it to still feel challenging, right? With time the same distance and speed should start to get really easy. Yet I find myself often skeptical of this. For those who haven’t read all my running blog posts, I restarted this summer with the Zombies 5K again, which I’ve done before, and couch to 5K a few times before this. I’ve never been a good runner, but in the past I had built up to running several miles at a time. But I gotta say, I don’t feel like it ever really got easier. I feel like I’m still always a minute in like “oh my god is this over yet!?”

On the other hand though, I got home and after stretching but before writing this I checked my pace for the run and unsurprisingly it was faster than my last run, but I’ve also been faster than I used to be at all! Now, I’ve always tracked my time, distance, and pace to include warm up and cool down walks. But still, even with all the walking, including slow walking, I did in this workout, my pace is faster than it used to be when I would do a short warm up walk, run a few miles, and then a short cool down walk. Of course this mainly just goes to show how incredibly slow I have always been because my pace this time was only a bit under 17 minutes per mile.

Next up is sprints and then “week” 5. Zombies 5K is an interesting layout. It’s not the simple progression of longer intervals that the coolrunning couch to 5K is. The one thing I’ve like about the Zombies 5K though is the longer free form runs from the start because they give you a chance to push yourself. Of course as if goes on more of your run is free form and it really only works if you are running them. But then they add in a lot of other stuff. Like I don’t really know what the point of the slow and fast walking intervals during week 4 were, though I’m hardly one to argue about it because I enjoy walking lol. Week 5 will have heel lifts again but is basically just a mix of free form runs and running intervals. But then week 6 is interesting because a fair bit of it is just half squats and stretching.

In Michigan, where I live, at the state level we have legalized medical marijuana but not recreational marijuana (of course it is all still illegal at the federal level). That means that if a doctor fills out some paperwork saying that you would benefit from medical marijuana (and typically requires stating that other medications have not been effective) and you file that with the state, you can get a medical marijuana card making it legal (state level) to be in possession of marijuana, grow small amounts, and purchase it from medical marijuana providers.

This has been something I’ve been meaning for awhile to try, I haven’t yet simply because it costs a fair bit of money for all this. Even if you have a real medical need, most people have to find a doctor who specifically does this- they charge around $70-100 from what I’ve seen to look at your medical records and meet with you to decide if they think you have a medical need for it. I believe there are also costs after this for filing with the state. I’m too broke to afford that at the moment, so I haven’t done this yet. The reason I’ve been looking into this is because I’ve read about marijuana being effective in treating migraines and I know other people with chronic migraines who were finally able to find relief with medical marijuana. Given how the medication I have for migraines are only partially effective, it seems worth it to give this a try if I can ever come up with the costs.

But this post is actually about legalizing recreational marijuana use. So as someone who might benefit from medical uses of marijuana, why do I car about legalizing recreational use?

Short version, because I think it hurts people with real chronic illnesses when other people lie about them for drugs.

Last weekend I worked at a local festival and was chatting with someone else working it. There was someone nearby trying to get people to sign a petition to get legalizing recreational marijuana on the upcoming ballot, and the other guy I was working with mentions how glad he is to have a medical marijuana card. So I start asking him about it and where he went- because if anyone knows a cheaper option than those I’ve found, I’d like to hear it!  So he tells me how where he went he actually had to pay more for the card because he doesn’t actually have any medical issues and you have to pay more to find someone to claim you do. He just uses it recreationally, and having a card makes it easier to get and prevents him getting arrested for it.

Obviously inherent in this is that I don’t think recreational use of marijuana is harmful, and I think people should be able to make that choice. In combination with that, I would really like to see recreational use legalized so people stop lying about illnesses, most commonly chronic pain, in order to get high. Doing this makes it easier for people to dismiss those of us who actually suffer from chronic pain issues, because everyone knows that “chronic pain” is a simple catch all term that anyone can claim to have. Whether it be related to marijuana use or not, the more people lie about it, the more others are inclined to see anyone talking about chronic pain- especially when we don’t look like we suffer from chronic pain- as lying.

I’ve actually seen the opposite argument made before, interestingly not by someone with a chronic illness. The argument that just leave it at medical use, because people who use it recreationally can still easily lie to get a card, and that way people who really do need it for medical use won’t be branded druggies. Except that when people lie about needing it for medical use, in order to use recreationally, those who use it for medical use are still already going to be assumed to just be recreational users.

I’d much rather it just be legal and let the reasons be personal. No one needs to know if I’m drinking green tea because I just really enjoy the taste of it, or if I’m actually drinking it for some medical reason. While I certainly don’t think the stigma of marijuana use would go away overnight if legalized, it’s not going away with it being illegal either, and hopefully overtime the stigma would reduce and that’s going to help recreational and medical users. And those of us with chronic illnesses will have fewer people lying about being ill increasing the impression that we are also lying.

Ok, stealing the name change and photo from the person who nominated me.

I was nominated by Honestly Libby for this. From her post:

This is a chance to get to know each other better, introduce one another to new blogs we love and basically give someone a pat on the back for their blogging endeavors.

Ok, so here is how the thing is supposed to work

  • Thank the person who nominated you and put a link to their blog.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers.
  • Let your nominees know you have nominated them.
  • Post 7 facts about yourself.

Seems like a great way of introducing folks to other blogs we enjoy, though I’m not sure I even follow 15 bloggers, so I don’t think we will get that many here, lol.

But here are some blogs I really enjoy:

Running While Fat

G’s blog description: “I’m fat. I run. And lift. And yoga. And swim. And…” A good summary 🙂

Of course there is also Fit is a Feminist Issue which is an absolutely fantastic blog about fitness for people of all sizes and feminism. I can’t believe it was so long into having this blog before I found their blog! It’s also a blog with posts from several different awesome bloggers, so I’m not sure this really fits the nominate a blogger style, but still.

Cassandra Morrilly is another great blogger. She writes about a number of things including fat acceptance and fat admiration. I’ve learned quite a bit reading her blog.

The Keen Peach, Angela blogs about fitness, lifting, and clean eating. I wouldn’t say her and I always have to same approach to these things, but I still enjoy her blog 🙂

Lara Lifts, Laura blogs about powerlifting and HAES and I love reading about her competitions.

Crippled Scholar is a great blog about disability issues.

I am also a huge fan of Molly GalbraithNia Shanks, and Girls Gone Strong. These blogs like some others I listed talk about and advocate weight loss, which I know is pretty different that what I blog about, but I still enjoy them. I know some other folks aren’t interesting in any blogs or resources that don’t take a HAES/weight neutral approach, but these are blogs I enjoy and personally I don’t mind skipping past the occasional weight loss oriented things that don’t interest me.

I’m sure I’m forgetting many other wonderful bloggers, and I’m sorry if you didn’t get a shout out here. I’d love to hear from others, those linked and those who aren’t, about what your favorite blogs to follow are!

Before I do my 7 things, I’d like to take this time to talk a little bit about my blog and some fun facts here. Like How I recently passed 200 followers. Which is not a huge number, but pretty wow worthy to me still!

When I first started this blog I tried to check out the blogs and usually follow back anyone who followed me. That did not last long. I know not all >200 followers actually read this blog regularly, and it seems a lot of people use following just as a way of trying to get people to notice them- and I was getting a lot of followers from “bloggers” who were mainly trying to sell things I wasn’t interested in. So I often don’t look at blogs that follow me, and won’t automatically follow back on here.

However, when people comment I usually try to check out if they have a blog as well and if it looks interesting I will follow.

Which is one way for me to say, if you’ve been following and reading my blog but don’t ever comment, feel free to use this post to say hi! And let me know if you have a blog you think I’d enjoy 🙂

Ok, now for 7 things about me. I write a lot about myself on this blog so I thought maybe it would be fun to use these 7 facts to tell you some things unrelated to this blog that you might not otherwise know.

  1. Well, let’s start with some basic facts about me that you may or may not know. I’m a social worker, I have my Master’s in Social Work and I’m currently working on my PhD. My research topic right now is women seeking asylum in the United States due to gender based persecution, with a focus on policy.
  2. I have a lot of ideas about things though. Some of my classmates have suggested I should consider changing my focus because I seem very interested in internet communities- and I am, but I do not think I want to change my focus. Though I would love to be able to do some research in this area as well. It’s very different than my other interests but I’m very curious about how people relate to online communities, and the functions they serve for people.
  3. I’m also trying to start my own non-profit that has nothing to do with either of those two interests, lol. The non-profit I want to start is one that would help low income people with mental illnesses with the expenses related to having pets. Pets can be so much help to people struggling with mental health issues, and I know certainly Blake really helps me through some rough depression patches. I’ve also seen how important pets can be for clients I worked with when I interned with community mental health. And yet, many of the clients I worked with were low income, living off Social Security Disability and/or Supplemental Security Income, and received food assistance for groceries- yet food assistance cannot be used to purchase pet food, or other pet related everyday needs like cat litter for cats. Not to mention the difficulty of coming up with funds for vet care. I started a Go Fund Me for this, which sadly wasn’t as effective as I hoped and so I have not given up on doing this, but I am temporarily stalled because I don’t have money to move forward. Also I really need a new name before I make it official- anyone good at thinking of names for things want to help me out with that?
  4. Totally random, I really enjoy watching fan music videos on yoututbe for shows and movies I like- for example, Avengers, Stargate SG 1 and Atlantis, Star Trek Voyager and DS9, X-Files, and many more. I can waste far too much time just watching the awesome videos people make with clips from the shows or movies and putting them to music. Also there are a lot of songs I have downloaded that I would otherwise probably not like, but I enjoy them because the remind me of a well done video. There is some amazing talent folks have for creating these, some of the best in my opinion are ones that actually tell a different story than really existed in the show. For example a few videos I really like for SG1 basically tell a story about Daniel and Cam having a relationship, which certainly was never in the show. Oh, or a really cool Supernatural video that is about a relationship between Charlie and Becky, who I never would have thought of but they make a cute couple in the video.
  5. I also like geeky parody songs as well. My last fact reminded me of I Ship It by Not Literally Productions. “In canon they have never met/ I don’t care- I ship it”
  6. hmm… ok, totally random fact- I was really into art in high school and for awhile had planned to do that in college, but toward the end of high school I really just couldn’t imagine how I would turn it into a career so I switched focus (to religious studies actually. It wasn’t until after I started college that I switched to social work). I sometimes run into people from high school who know because of my art at that time. Sadly I didn’t keep up with it after high school, and I’m just now trying to really get back into it.
  7. hmmm, last one, I feel like I should make this good, but…. what to say? Oh, ok, how about this- I have friends online I have never met in person and they are at least as much real friends to me as people I know in person, if not more. Most of them are people I met through livejournal, back when we all were a lot more active there. Through reading my online journal and me their’s, many of them knew/know me better than most IRL friends. Several don’t use lj anymore and we stay in touch with facebook. And some I have met now, meeting for the first time after years of online only friendship. I think it’s silly when people treat the internet and what happens on here as if it doesn’t count. I’d also count several people I’ve met through fitocracy and chatted extensively with on kik as friends, even if we’ve never met, and in some cases we live on different continents.

Alrighty, so there’s 7 things about me that have nothing to do with the things I typically blog about here 🙂

My running outfit tonight, mismatched injinji socks, some selfies during the walking intervals, and stretching with Blake after the run.

Finally back out for this run. I’ve been doing a fair bit of walking the past week in shoes that aren’t great for walking any real distance in. I can’t seem to walk more than a quarter of a mile in any shoes except my vibrams without ending up with blisters. Since I either didn’t want to or couldn’t wear my vibrams for most of the walking this past week- my feet have been covered in blisters, so I’ve been waiting for them to mostly heal before I did another run. Today they seemed mostly all healed up so time for a run it was 🙂

One day I will be able to just head out for a run like a “normal” person I’m sure, lol, that day was not today though!

My pre-run routine today started with soaking my feet in warm water with epsom salt and tea tree oil, washed my feet, dried them well, and then put on my kt tape. The main point was putting on my kt tape, but the rest was to try to help keep the tape on as long as possible.

After that was 13 minutes of stretching, then I headed out for the run.

It didn’t go well today. Started the 5 minute warm up walk and already was not feeling good about it! Just did squats yesterday, and my legs were sore and just walking felt difficult.

It didn’t feel very hot when I first started out, but- oh god the humidity! Have I mentioned how much I do not like heat and high humidity?

So then was the 5 minute free form run. I feel like I’ve been getting better with figuring out good music for runs, maybe… 5 minute free form run ended up being to Country Grammar which today seemed like a good fit and I got into the song as I was running. (Though on the other hand sometimes I hate running to this song. I can’t really mouth the lyrics in certain parts because at one part pretty much ever other word is the n-word, and that’s awkward for me.)

Running felt difficult but not too bad until I finished the 5 minutes and slowed to a stop. It wasn’t until then that all the sudden I felt my calves cramping up terribly. I was barely able to move at all at that point and my walking better resembled a shambling zombie than a Abel Township runner. I kept stopping here and there to stretch but no amount of stretching seemed to do a thing to help with the cramping feeling.

One fun thing about Week 4 Run 2 in the Zombies 5K though is that Dr. Myers doesn’t show up until about halfway through so for the first half of it Sam does the drills with you and actually goes out with you, and has a nice chat throughout. Though it’s funny because he tries to start taking during the 5 minute free form run and is winded and says he will wait for the walking part. It’s funny how sometimes it can feel like you are with someone, because I’m just like “good idea Sam, because I really can’t be trying to focus on a conversation with you right now!”

As I continued the fast walk slow walk intervals the cramping started to let up a little bit but not entirely. I also started feeling really nauseous, starting shaking, and feeling dizzy. So that’s not great.

Then time for 30 second running intervals. Nothing special about those. They were not really difficult, but didn’t feel easy either due to all the previously mentioned intervals.

Sometime during that point I crossed over at the last crossover (same street as my last run) this time, and headed back toward my house on the opposite side of the street. Remembered not to go as far down this time.

Again went right from a 30 second run interval into the 15 minute free form run. I was not feeling that, so I decided to walk the first minute of the free form run. After that I picked up to a slow run for a minute. One thing with the runs I was doing this time was trying to run in time with the music. Which meant running faster but it also kind of felt better to do that.

Still after just a minute of jogging, I slowed back to a walk for a little bit. The next few minutes I spent jogging maybe 30 seconds, then walking a few seconds (maybe 10 seconds)- neither lasted long, but I was definitely jogging more than running. That didn’t last though. The air felt so friggin heavy and I started to feel like I was suffocating from it, and thinking about that I started to have a bit of a panic attack. I walked for a bit until I calmed down, then would try to jog but it was more walking with a few seconds of slow jogging interspersed in there.

But I also tried telling myself that was ok. That if I even just walk the 15 minutes that’s ok, not every run goes well, and if this goes badly it’s just one run and doesn’t mean much. Honestly telling myself things like this does help! I feel better. I certainly feel better than beating myself up mentally because I didn’t do as well as I planned.

Then about 10 minutes into the free form “run” Fight Song by Rachel Platten came one, which i’ve been a bit in love with since I first heard it not long ago, I was feeling a bit better combined with a song that I liked I decided to run again. I picked up to a slow run, and was mouthing the song as I went and feeling good. So I told myself that I would run for the rest of this song at least and just focus on the song. That worked and I was feeling ok by the end of it, so I kept running. Next up was Move It like This by Baha Men so I did a little bit of a dance like run for that song, trying to focus on the song. Made it through that song as well, and I don’t remember what was next but there was just a few minutes left to the 15 by that point so I kept going. Actually worked out pretty well, the 15 minute free form run ended right at a street crossing where I stopped waited for a car to pass and then crossed back over. I was only a few blocks from my house fora nice little cool down walk.

Got home, felt so good to get inside my house with my AC on. Did some stretching and foam rolling and now posting this. Feels like it didn’t take as long total today, but really wasn’t much difference in time I don’t think. I started pre-run stretching around 1:30am and finished post-run stretching and foam rolling around 4:30am. Going to try to get up and make some food after I post.

It wasn’t a good run overall, but in the end I’m feeling pretty good about it anyways. Still sooo sore though, lol.

Image of a potato with text saying “I’m offended by this potato”

I am so sick of hearing folks talk about how terrible it is that other people make an effort to be respectful to other people- ie, caring if something they say is offensive. And images like the potato one here being shared around social media as oh so edgy! When did intentionally being an asshole become something to brag about?

This was going to be a facebook post but I feel like this will get too wordy for a facebook status, so blog post it is!

This is actually most recently inspired by conversations I’ve seen around a free pride (alternative to the main pride which many feel is too commercialized) in Glasgow deciding against having any drag performers at the event because some felt it would be offensive to some trans people. They apparently are working on changing this policy btw.

The thing is, looking at discussions about this- I actually saw a lot of really great and thoughtful discussions about this with people talking about the role drag has had in the history of the lgbtq right movement through time, and how it has been important for many cis gay/queer people and trans and genderqueer people in being able to embrace who they are. And some trans folks spoke about why they find drag upsetting, negative experiences with drag performers, and some cis gay/queer folks talked about why they are uncomfortable with drag performances- how many performers draw on misogynistic, classist, and racist caricatures yet it’s given a pass because it’s a performance/comedy/part of queer culture.

And then other folks but in with such insightful commentary as “haha pc police going overboard!”, “the movement to not be offended is imploding on itself!”, “if you are offended by anything ever just never leave your house!” and so on.

The underlying idea behind all that of course is that the thoughtful conversations that I previously mentioned are utterly worthless. Attempting to understand where other people are coming from and find ways to be more respectful to a wide variety of people is stupid. The cool thing apparently is being an asshole just for the sake of being an asshole. If you hurt someone unintentionally and they say so, laugh at them for being a human being who has feelings- what a loser!

The thing is, there is not actually any real movement out there to never be offended. What does exist is a lot of people who have decided “hey, let’s try not to be assholes!” Who actually care to listen to what other people have to say and perhaps make changes if what they are doing is upsetting people.

I don’t think “I’m offended” is or should be the end of the discussion. And the truth is, I don’t think anyone thinks that. That may be the starting point for a larger discussion that hopefully leads to greater understanding and empathy. It is certainly not the end all, be all it is made out to be by the same people who talk about “social justice warriors” as boogie men. (Because when being an asshole is cool, social justice is bad.)

If someone tells me something is offensive to them and why I like to hope that I would consider the point they are making. I would certainly not keep doing/saying the same thing for the sole purpose of hurting them, because I’m not a sociopath. I recognize that other people are human beings with feelings, and I try to be respectful of that. If I have a reason to say something that I feel is important though, I will say it. Take for example “queer”. A lot of people, especially in my experience older people, in the lgbt community find the term offensive. If I know someone who find it offensive I will not purposefully refer to them as queer to upset them, in fact I will do my best to use their preferred identity to refer to them specifically. I won’t stop using queer in general though, because it’s still the term I feel best fits my identification and I’m not ok with being told how I’m allowed to identified. There is actually nuance to these things. And there is a huge difference between using a term because it has important meaning to you, and using a term just to upset other people or because you can’t be bothered to be considerate of the fact that other people exist and have feelings.

In contrast to my use of the word queer, many years back a friend called me out on my usage of the word “retarded” as a generic negative. And while my immediate reaction was actually rather defensive at the time, over the next few days I considered the point she made and realized she was right, and there was really no good reason for me to keep using that word. It took awhile to get out of the habit of using it, but at the end of the day there was no good reason for me to use that word. Whether I agree with people being upset by it or not isn’t even relevant, they are and it’s a word I have no good reason to need to use, so why not make an effort to be respectful? It’s not that hard.

And yet, for some reason instead of recognizing the nuance and purpose behind these discussion, there is a large portion of people who want very much to reduce this all to “haha, you’re a person who has feelings!” and cries about “pc police”.

It’s been forever since my last run! I’ve been putting this “week” of runs off because they are so much longer!

We already know that I have a weird things about not wanting to run during the day. So trying to find time, after dark, when I have the time and energy to spend several hours on a workout. Obviously the actual run is not that long- according to the brief synopsis on the app it’s scheduled to be 50 minutes long. But there is clearly a lot more involved than just the run, and it did indeed take me several hours to complete everything today.

1AM: Pre-Run

I went to my basement to start some pre-run yoga right about 1 am. Of course that wasn’t an immediate start, rather I spent a few minutes looking around for a video to follow, since I wanted to follow a video this time. I found a yoga video that said it was for runners that I’ve done before but not recently so I didn’t remember it well. So I went ahead with that. Did about 25 minutes of yoga- though the last couple minutes I stopped following the video and did my own thing as the guy on the video was repeating a lot of the same poses as before that I felt were not really the type of stuff I needed pre-run whereas I hadn’t felt a good stretch in areas I felt I did need some stretching in pre-run. During the yoga I had a terrible migraine starting, but did not feel like calling quits on the run.

Of course it’s not like I was immediately out the door after that, I did my yoga barefoot so I still needed to put on my vibrams shoes, I took some alieve and exedrin migraine to try to stop the migraine (all out of my prescription medication) made sure I used the bathroom this time, then decided i really wanted to change clothes before my run, I was worried my pants were too loose and would be falling down the whole run and I was wearing a black t-shirt with black pants, and thought a shirt even a bit brighter would be safer in terms of visibility running at night.

I used the bathroom again to be safe because I was about to be nearly an hour walking/running without a bathroom near by and having to pee that whole time would not be fun. Then I grabbed my spibelt, my keys, and headphones, said goodbye to Blake and assured him I would not be gone long as he gave me his usual “why are you leaving me!?!?!?!” sad kitty face. After locking the door I put my keys in the spibelt and start up the app. By this point in time it was somehow 2am already, apparently I spent more time digging around for a new shirt than I thought.

2AM Run

I headed off on my 5 minute warm up walk. Spent a good portion of that on my phone as it was raining just slightly but I was worried about ended up with severe weather while I was not close to home. Everything I could find indicated there were no severe weather warnings for the area, though it also said the chance of rain was very, very low, and yet it was just barely raining. Luckily it never got any worse than that. I would not want to run in heavy rain, but I wasn’t too worried about rain. It’s being out walking/running miles from home if a thunderstorm started or worse, there was a tornado warning, that concerns me.

The layout for the run just says a 5 minute run, implying it’s expected you run the whole thing, but when Dr. Myers announces it she clearly says that it is a free-form run- meaning walk or run whatever amount you feel comfortable. Of course I’ve been doing these 5 minute free runs awhile now so of course I was going to run the whole 5 minutes. 5 minutes went by much faster this time than before, though I felt like just those 5 minutes took all my energy by the end of it, and my feet were hurting. I had been planning to go for a run a few days back and had taped my feet, but then realized that I needed to be to bed earlier than I would be able to if I tried to get in a run that night. The tape made it until today before peeling off, and I have only a few strips left and no money for anymore, so I decided not to retape for my run. Sometimes I suspect it’s really nothing more than a placebo effect, but I swear I notice such a huge difference between with kinesio-tape and without.

Next up was fast and slow walking intervals. Meant to have knee lifts but I skip those as I just don’t feel like doing them on a major street. While there are fewer people driving or walking around so late at night, there still are always some cars and people around. Most of the time I replaced the knee lifts with stopping to stretch my feet a bit to help with the pain.

After the walking intervals were 30 second running intervals. Which felt weird to do after having previous done longer running intervals. And these weren’t meant to be sprints so I wasn’t going all out the way I would with sprints. On the other hand I used them to focus a bit more on form. I read not long ago, I think on a fit is a feminist issue blog post (btw, great blog, you should check it out if you haven’t), about chi running and I’ve been trying to incorporate some of the stuff I read about it. One of the main things that made me interested in chi running when I read about it was the fact that it promotes a midfoot strike, which I had already been using as that also tends to work best with barefoot (or “barefoot” with vibrams 5 finger shoes as I use) running. Mainly I’ve been working on the leaning forward aspect, where you are supposed to basically be working with gravity when running by leaning forward, adjusting the lean based on speed. What I do is obviously not totally chi running, certainly not correct as I’m basing this all off of a few online articles, but still I find the elements I’ve been able to add from it feel more natural for me.

Now this run I did all along a main road, no side streets today. That combined with a longer run meant i went way further down the road than I ever have before (by foot). Knowing the run would be approximately an hour ish, I figured I should cross over and head back around 30ish minutes in. So around 25 minutes in I decided next crossing I will cross over the street and head back on the other side. Turns out, there aren’t anymore crossings that far down! So I’m going, and going, until I’ve crossed into the next city over already and I could see the freeway up ahead where the road splits, and there isn’t a crossover until I get up there, and i’m certainly not planning to go that far. At that point I decide to just cross where I’m at, already into the 15 minute free form run by the this point, and over 32 minutes in. Of course after crossing there I realized I could have just turned around and ran back on the same side of the street, lol. I have been in the habit of crossing and running back on the other side but there is no reason I have to! Oh well.

So at about 32 minutes the free form run started. I basically did the same for this run as I did with the last Zombies 5K run- I can’t say I ran the whole 15 minutes, but I only slowed to a walk/stop for a few seconds at a time, and only a few times at that. I saw stop because 8 minutes in I was getting a cramp in my side and stopped for just a few seconds to stretch a little, which just about got rid of the cramp entirely. This time though my struggle with the run was not at all boredom. Rather I was tired, out of breath, and my heart was pounding. Several health factors at play with that, though certainly my recent anxiety is a big factor. The job hunt is not going well, summer is nearly over and somehow I still have not found a real job, I have about $5 at the moment and that’s it. No idea what I am going to do about anything financially at the moment other than continue crossing my fingers that some job applications will pan out.  I’m constantly stressed out completely over this. Anxiety tends to raise my heart rate, combined with running, and well, that should be obvious.

My mantra through the free form run though was that I am capable of more than I think I am. I kept telling myself that and every time I felt like that was all the energy I had in me and I couldn’t run anymore, I just told myself that was not all I could do and I could indeed keep going. And it worked out!

Though I’ve found that the Zombies 5K app does not always have it’s math right. Like I said, I started the free form run (immediately following a 30 second run interval) around 32 minutes in. At 37 minutes Dr. Meyers told me it had been 5 minutes, added up. And yet, I think the notification was at 45 minutes in that there were still 3 more minutes to go. Then 47 minutes in came and went with no notification that the 15 minutes was up. 48 minutes in came and went without notification. A little after 48 minutes in I slowed to a walk. It wasn’t for another minute- after 49 minutes in, that Dr. Meyers said the 15 minutes was up. But by my count I had already ran (for the most part) over 16 minutes though, so I don’t feel bad about slowing to a walk early.

Of course I was still a ways from home though. As much as I feel like I should better plan my runs to end right near home, and a few times I’ve been close and just ran back and forth on my block until the end of the run, I actually prefer a cool down walk at the end, which the program does not have built in. Now a 20ish minute walk is way overkill for that, but certainly is nice to get a cool down walk in at the end. Even though I still do yoga/stretching and foam rolling when I get home, it’s not the same and still is better (imo) to do a cool down walk before that.

So it was after 3am by the time I got home.

3:10AM Post-Run

I then got home, kicked off my shoes, had to use the bathroom again, and then headed back to my basement. Before I started stretching i ended up massaging my feet a bit because they needed it. Then 12 minutes of stretching, and 6 minutes of foam rolling. By the time I was done it was after 3:30am. So if we count only to here all in all from when I headed downstairs for pre-run yoga, until I was heading back up after post-run stretching and foam rolling, the whole workout really took up 2 and a half hours.

Though after that I felt like I needed a shower, but then changed my mind and decided an epsom salt bath might be better. which meant first cleaning my bathtub (I always clean it before a bath), then had my bath. By the end of that it was about 4:30am. Obviously a bath after is not necessary, but it’s certainly not unrelated, I took an epsom salt bath because I knew it would help sooth my muscles and feet from the run, it’s not like this would have been a typical part of my night if I hadn’t done some workout.

The I went to get something to eat- made a protein shake. And then to my computer to compose this blog post. And now it’s almost 6am. All in all, took up pretty much my whole night!

EDIT: I spent a lot of time in this post talking about all the things that make an approximately 1 hour run a lot longer. I guess I should explain a bit that part of this was inspired by something I read awhile back, though I can’t find where it was, where someone was talking about that common “fitsportation” message that a 1 hour workout is only 4% of your day, so “no excuses”. The author talked about how that a 1 hour workout isn’t just the 1 hour you spend working out. They mentioned packing a gym bag, driving to the gym, changing, driving home. Of course there are all the other aspects too like, even if it is only 4% of your day that doesn’t always mean there is room for it within all the other things we have to fit into a day. Or that what reasons a person has for working out or not any day is none of your damn business. Still, I thought about this in terms of this run today. The run itself may only be an hour, but add in the yoga before, stretching and foam rolling after, not to mention all the little mundane things that take up some times, and it adds up to a lot more than just the hour ish I spend on my run.

Body Image While Running

Oh, one more issue, from my run, I run past a lot of buildings with glass which crudely reflects my image as I run past. For a long time whenever I would catch my reflection in them and I would try not to look and it would bring my mood down while running as I see my fat reflection running super slow, and all the stereotypes associated with that would flood my head. I noticed today that I didn’t mind my reflection so much today, and was not making any attempts to avoid it. So, yay for that, lol 🙂

So after my last post I started thinking about Spoon Theory, I remember reading briefly awhile back that there is a lot of debate about whether or not Spoon Theory can/should be used in terms of mental illness. My thought was (and I guess still is) that if someone has any form of chronic illness (be it physical or mental) and feels like spoon theory accurately describes their experiences with the chronic illness, then why not? On the other hand though, I hadn’t actually seen any arguments made supporting either side.

So I did a little bit of googling. Didn’t really find what I was looking for, but I found a few blog posts talking about variations people have proposed for spoon theory, which relate to other types of illnesses.

Fork Theory

The first I read was a blog post about a proposed Fork Theory. This seems to be applied mostly to mental illness. To get a good idea of it, you should probably read their whole post, but I will try to summarize it as I understand it. Essentially it’s an analogy for what people with a chronic illness have to ‘pay’ for a certain activities, balanced with the reward we get for those activities. Spoon theory was meant to illustrate and symbolize having a chronic illness how you have to really think about the energy you are spending on every little thing you do, that people who are generally healthy do not have to think about. Fork theory is sort of the same idea but whereas spoon theory, each day you have a number of spoons, and there isn’t anything you can do to get more spoons* for that day. Whereas with forks you have to spend a certain number of forks, but you can get forks by doing things. So it costs 2 forks to take a shower, but taking a shower gives you 5 forks. Which is a great deal, unless you don’t have 2 forks to spend. But also that you don’t always know for certain how many, if any, forks you will get from an activity. So it’s also a bit of a gamble.

*other than possibly borrow from tomorrow, but only at the expense of tomorrow having less, and not knowing for sure how many spoons tomorrow will even have to begin with. Which to use my last post as an example of this, maybe I could have gotten in a workout despite how I was feeling by borrowing spoons from today, but the consequence of that might be- and probably would have been- that I do not have enough spoons to do anything meaningful today. Which as I think about borrowing might be the wrong way to describe it. Because for me, a lot of the time I get fewer “borrowed” spoons for that day than the spoons lost the next day for it.

Fork theory makes sense to me, I’ve definitely felt that way. Taking a shower will make me feel better but I don’t have the energy to take a shower. I also know the gamble bit, particularly with depression. Talking to someone can help make my depression better… or could actually make it worse depending.

Picture of my lunch: Pita bread with chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, and cucumber sauce.

Interestingly though, I started thinking about how the fork concept can apply to things like my physical energy and abilities. I thought about this while I was making lunch, which is probably what made me think about it. I had the spoons today to make a pretty good lunch (imo). There are days I don’t have the spoons for that though. Or I have the spoons to cook but not cook and do dishes, but I haven’t had the spoons to do dishes in days so I have no clean dishes to prepare or eat food from. But on the other hand, obviously eating healthier is better for me in the long run. Unlike the examples used for forks though, the benefit is often not immediate. I won’t get more spoons for today from eating well. But eating better can pay off in more spoons per day long term, or fewer spoons per day if I don’t eat well. Same can go for exercise. To an extreme, the same goes for medications. It takes time and spoons (well, maybe more like 1 spoon) to set up my pills for the week. But if I don’t even have that spoon to spend on it, and it doesn’t get done and I’m all out of set up pills, I probably end up not taking my medication, and I will end up pay heavily for that.

Types of Spoons

Following a link from the forks blog, I found a blog post about different types of spoons. The idea behind this is that not all spoons are the same, but can be specific to types of activities. Though to me it would make more sense to talk about it in terms of general cutlery (though it would conflict with fork theory were forks don’t work exactly like spoons) rather than types of spoons. Wouldn’t the analogy fit real life objects better if instead of spoons for different things in your drawer, you had spoons, forks, butter knives, steak knives, et cetera. And similar to preparing/eating different foods, different activities require different cutlery?

But aside from that, this does not hold true to me in terms of spoons as an analogy for energy/ability with chronic illness. I don’t feel like I have activity specific spoons, just general spoons and different activities cost more than others. It’s not time based of course, an hour of one activity will not have the same cost as an hour of another activity, but they all use the same spoons in general.

Of course I don’t have asperger’s/autism so of course my experience is different than that writer. Which does make me wonder though, back to the original question- how far does it make sense to apply spoon theory? How much sense does make to apply it across all forms of chronic illness or disability? Spoon theory started simply as one woman’s way of trying to tangibly explain life with Lupus to her friend. Turns out the concept applies to a lot of other physical disabilities/chronic illnesses as well, though it won’t apply to all. Or at least, won’t apply to same to all. And obviously there are differences between physical illness and mental illness and autism. Does it really make sense to use the same analogy to try to explain all these experiences despite significant differences? (I certainly have no answer to that right now)

Someecards says: “I’m so happy I got this debilitating illness so I can stay in bed for the rest of my life instead of participating in society and making a difference,” said no sick person ever.

So  I was thinking last night about the difficulty of balancing with chronic illness pushing through being ill to work out and listening to your body when it tells you it needs rest.

I was thinking about this last night because I was feeling very frustrated. I’ve been very ill for days, and as a result haven’t worked out in a few days. It might not seem like it from my posts here but I’ve actually been doing well at working out more frequently again.Keeping a calendar of the month where I very briefly state if I workout and what kind (lifting, running, et cetera) that day it makes it easier to see how often I workout vs how many days I don’t. I easily lose track of days sometimes, and it makes it too easy to not notice that several days have gone by without a workout but I swear it was just like yesterday that I did squats…

Anyways, so I’ve been getting better at that and trying to get even better at improving frequency,so I was really frustrating yesterday when my workouts get cancelled from my plans several days in a row due to being ill and I was feeling even more awful yesterday- pretty much not even functional level of feeling like shit. But I still felt like I should workout.

I ended up not because it was just far too clear that I needed to rest because my body clearly needed it. But it got me thinking about the difficulty I frequently find myself in with a chronic illness. I want to push through it all the time, but it’s not realistic. I need more rest because of it, and sometimes I will be too sick to workout, and I want that to not be the case, but it is. So I can’t follow the idea a lot of folks in fitness promote of just working out no matter what and pushing through anything.

On the other hand, it’s a difficult balancing act because I can’t take the approach other promote of “just listen to your body when it tells you you need rest”. Because my body is always saying it needs rest. And because I’m pretty much always sick, I’m going to workout despite things that are cause to take a rest day for other people (and for good reason. If you are generally healthy and feeling nauseous and throwing up, you should probably stop and get some rest. But dealing with chronic nausea, I know it’s probably not a sign of a flu or anything like that, so I will try to work through it whenever possible.)

Sometimes it’s clear when it’s something I can and should push through. Sometimes it’s clear when I’m really not ok and I need to just get as much rest as possible. But there are also a lot of times when it’s not clear if I should just try to power though, or if I really should just go ahead and rest. (And sometimes I don’t realize it’s the latter until I try to do something and just cannot.)

So today was sprints. Same layout as I’ve been using: 5 minute warm up walk, *30 second springt, 2 minute walk* repeat 6 times, 5 minute cool down walk (or longer depending how long it takes me to get back to my house). I might switch over to distance based sprints though. I am looking forward to an interval function on zombies run- though I can’t get the main app to download on my phone at the moment :-\ Keeps telling me I don’t have enough space on the phone. No idea why I should not have space though.

Spent awhile fooling around with that on my phone so actually ended up with another daylight run, sort of. By the time I got out it was just starting to get light out.

Sprints weren’t particularly interesting in any way. Though I’ve noticed my vibrams are starting to fall apart. Going to need to new ones soon. Too many things I need to buy, and yet I have no money to buy any of those things. Being broke sucks.

Not sure it might be related to that but I also have a bunch of blisters from sprints today 😦

This past week has been a bit cardio heavy for me, lol. Since it was a deload week I added some box jumps to my first lifting workout, then an evil 8 complex at the end of my second (combined deloads into 2 instead of 4 workout), in addition obviously to my last run and these sprints. All of these being interval work (last run less so than the rest though). I like doing these with my deloads, since I don’t want to do much in terms of heavy lifting since the point of a deload is a rest from that, but I still want to feel like I got in a decent workout. A complex or some form of HIIT is a nice way to feel like I got a workout that doesn’t involve heavy lifting.

Next up, “week 4” of zombies 5K. Runs get longer and a bit more complicated.

Week 4 runs will start with 5 minutes of walking, then 5 minutes running, then *10 knee lifts (I’ll probably skip those again), 1 minute slow walking, 1 minute fast walking* repeat 5 times, then *1 minute walking, 30 seconds running* repeat 5 times, and then a 15 minute free form run.

Which all in all is less running and more walking than week 3 was.  Longer free form run of course.