Archive for September, 2015

I have been pretty inactive recently. Runs been cancelled due to weather a few times, but I’ve also been dealing with some depression that had me not working out so much.

Finally went out for another run yesterday morning and was going to do just another short 1 mile run. I made it 1.5 blocks running before my calves were cramping up so badly I slowed to a walk. Walked a bit further on but then turned around and headed home- fully limping by the time I was headed home.

I walked a mile to and a mile from a street fair during the evening yesterday/today and just walking felt very difficult. My walk there I don’t think I was really limping, but slow with an uneven gait. Walking around the event it got worse until I was limping, and the walk home was slow and limping. Calves and arms started cramping up, which has me wondering if my potassium is low. If not I don’t know what the hell is going on because that’s certainly not normal for me.

Of course it’s not just running, but I haven’t done  a whole lot of lifting recently either. And despite not doing much of anything after my non-run yesterday morning I somehow injured my shoulder.

Since I’ve been blogging about my runs and more specifically am supposed to be blogging about my experiences running with the Fat Girls’ Guide to Running clubhouse, I felt obligated to make this post, but I really don’t have much more to say. Training has not gone well recently, and so I will be working to get back at it more often.

I also may lay off running for awhile and do more walking instead, depending how things go/how I feel.

Though if there is anything of importance to say in this post I think it’s this: this in many ways really gets to the heart of my approach to working out- thing get in the way. I am never going to be perfectly consistent, and I am not going to make that the goal. Sometimes I won’t be as active as other times, but I will not feel like because I wasn’t so active these last couple weeks that this defines how active I will be in the coming days, weeks, or months. Everytime my activity level takes a dip I will accept that for what it is and just work on getting it back up again. Everytime, without self-chastisement, without making promises to myself that it will never happen again when I know I can’t keep that promise. Things will always happen, but I will not let that discourage me from the long term focus on staying active.

Bisexual Visibility Day

Posted: September 24, 2015 in About Me
Tags: , , , ,

bi pride flag

So yesterday was Bisexual Visibility Day/Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Seeing all the bi pride stuff on social media and hearing bi folks sharing there stories it got me thinking about my own identification. Background for those who don’t know already- I came out (to my friends) as bi my sophomore year of undergrad, and identified as bi for many years after that. Shortly after ending things with my first girlfriend though, which was just a bit over 2 years ago, I started questioning where I fell on the sexuality spectrum. It become more and more apparent that I clearly had a strong preference for women. Even before dating my ex-girlfriend, while I didn’t question my identification as bisexual I decided to stop dating men after a few dates with men where I found myself wishing I were on a date with a woman instead. So then I went through a phase of questioning exactly how much interest and attraction I have for men. A phase I’m not sure I’m really past yet.

What I know right now is that I prefer women, but I certainly have some attraction to men, but not enough to be interested in dating men in general. I could fall for a man I know in some other context, but since I so strongly prefer women, as a rule I do not date men.

Given that I’ve taken to identifying as queer, or gay, or a lesbian, but not bisexual anymore. These feel more accurate when considering that I am not interested in dating men. Yet, when talking about bisexuality it reminds me of how I feel torn between these different identities still. Falling between an even bisexuality and 100% gay, even as I fall closer to the gay side, I feel like in some ways I have one foot in each box. I only date woman which makes me feel pretty gay.

On the other hand, talking about the issues bisexual people, and in particular bisexual women, face, I feel a lot more solidarity there. Especially when it comes to the biphobia from lesbians. Which whether I call myself bisexual, gay, or a lesbian doesn’t matter that much, to many lesbians I am still tainted because I’ve slept with men. Even if identifying as a lesbian did give me a pass with some lesbians who find bisexual women untrustworthy and icky, those are not people I want to be around or associate with regardless. That feeling of exclusion because of not “picking a side”, or fitting neatly into prescribed boxes kind of makes me want to take up the bi label again, and wave a proud bi flag.

I have no conclusion to this, I still don’t know where I fall, but I figured I’d in these thoughts on bisexuality for awareness/visibility/whatever.

Photo of my jeans

Photo of my jeans

A little while back I went to a thrift store with a friend and decided to buy some men’s jeans, because I was interested in playing with some less femme outfits.

This pair of men’s jeans has now become my go to pair of jeans… mainly just because they are currently the only jeans I own that both fit and don’t have huge gaping holes in the thighs.

Wearing them though has really emphasized some of the difference between men and women’s clothing. These are things I sort of knew before, but it’s different to hear about than experience.

The First is Obvious: The Different Cut

Like I said- obvious. Though despite knowing that men’s pants were not designed for people with significantly wider hips than waists, it still didn’t help to much with trying to guess what would fit me. Although men’s jeans are sized supposedly with straight forward numbers for waist and inseam, that didn’t help me much. Should I try to find a waist size that is the size of my hips? No, surely that would be too big… But it should definitely be larger than my actual waist size.

It didn’t help trying to guess that the men’s jeans that fit me look way larger than women’s jeans that fit me because of the fact that they are basically straight up and down. The women’s jeans I typically wear have a smaller waistband than hip/ass area, then they are fitted around thighs, knees, and upper calf then either straight down from the calf or slightly wider after the calf. So men’s jeans that fit around my hips look massively larger in every other area.

I think the size for these jeans ended up being about 5 inches larger than my actual waist measurement. I expected them to be a bit on the big side and to need a belt but they actually fit fine without a belt. A bit loose around my waist when standing, but smaller than my hips by several inches still so no risk of falling off. So clearly I was right that I didn’t need to get a waist size as large as my hips, but certainly more than just a couple inches larger than my waist.

Oh, also I wear them around my waist, higher than most of my women’s jeans fit. Because I cannot get used to men’s clothing were the crotch ends up between your thighs.

The Material is Thicker

This is probably the biggest difference. The material is so thick and heavy to me. There are good things and bad things about this, it’s been an adjustment getting used to how heavy they feel compared to women’s jeans because they have a thicker material. Also more material than fitted women’s jeans that I would wear, but even compared to some wide legged women’s jeans I’ve had, these are much heavier because the material is so much thicker.

Like a lot of women my size, I am constantly having to replace jeans because the thighs end up with huge holes in them from my thighs rubbing together while walking and wearing away the material. I find myself wondering how long I could go before that would be a problem with these jeans- I am sure they would last much longer due to the thicker material that seems designed to hold up to wear better.

Now obviously I am working with a very limited and bias sample here. Also for women’s jeans I prefer the stretch material jeans which is a thinner material. But imagining tight fitted pants in the material of my men’s jeans… I don’t think I’ve able to move!

The Pockets are HUGE

Seriously- HUGE! I’ve always known that men’s jeans have bigger pockets, but damn! Even when I have women’s jeans with pockets, and pockets that seem a decent size to me, my phone will typically take up the whole pocket and still be sticking out a little. If I put my wallet and keys in my pocket- part of that is hanging out.

These jeans though- the pockets are almost the size of my primary purse. I have purses that are smaller than these pockets! I feel like I need to put my phone on a string to pull it out of the depths of the pockets. I could fit whole books in the pockets if I wanted to- not that I really want to, but I could! They pocket starts a little below my waist and ends about halfway down my thigh. Now, I’m only 5ft, so that is obviously not as far a distance as taller people, but still. HUGE!

Really the main take away though, and reason I felt like posting this is how much it really makes obvious to me how men’s clothing are designed for function, and women’s clothing are not. Women’s clothing often don’t have pockets at all, or small pockets when they do, because pockets can ruin the lines and look of clothing- no one gives a shit about if you have shit you need to put in a pocket, it’s always appearance over function. The thinner material likely goes hand in hand with fit difference, women’s being designed typically for a form fitting look. Yet it definitely has me wondering about the average lifespan of men’s jeans vs women’s jeans, because I am sure these men’s jeans will hold up longer than my women’s jeans.

1 Mile Run

Posted: September 14, 2015 in Running Blogging
Tags: , , ,

I was planning to get in 3 runs last week but after the Wednesday running group I couldn’t walk without limping until today. Feet still hurting, but I decided to go out for a short 1 mile run (plus warm up walk and cool down walk) after my OHP workout today.

OHP’s didn’t go great. I find it very hard to make progress on them and was feeling very weak during the workout.

So then out for my run. Not used to measuring my runs in distance. Had runkeeper set to repeat .5 mile run with a warm up and cool down. So warm up walk, then I get the notification for my first .5 mile run. After the first block of running I’m thinking “how far is a mile? Am I almost done? I don’t think I can run this whole distance.” But shortly after 5 minutes ish in I was feeling better about it.

Notification for the second .5 mile run which meant time to turn around and head home. About 2 blocks in, I stop for a car- this time of night/morning the lights are blinking reds or blinking yellows and no sidewalk crossing signals, so I just wait for cars to clear. Except even after I wave for him to go, he is still stopped at the light with no traffic. Ok, I’ll cross then. As I’m in front of him I hear the person honk. I finish crossing and take out my headphones, but I don’t hear anything at first, then dude pulls slowly around a bit and next to me and says something I can’t hear, so I walk back a bit and ask what he said. He says something about working out together, and wanting to meet new people. So I respond “you want to workout with me?” He says yes, says he walks in the mornings and it would be nice to have someone to walk with. Then he says “or do you have a boyfriend?” I ask him if he’s looking for a walking buddy or a date. I don’t have a boyfriend but I also don’t typically date men. He says he just wants a walking buddy but wouldn’t want to be talking to me if I have a boyfriend.

… So you just had to check if another man owns me or not before talking to me?

So that’s new!

So I went back to my running, thinking how I won’t be able to have an accurate sense of my pace during the mile now.

Though I was a bit confused how doing .5 out and .5 back the second .5 was a full block longer than the first somehow o_0 What’s with that runkeeper?

I am now back to limping :-\

I’ve also been out of kinesiology tape for awhile. Hopefully once I get some more and go back to taping I won’t be limping between runs like this.

This is an old post I started and didn’t finish awhile back. At the time I had recentrly read a cracked article: The 5 Most Terrifying Side Effects of Exercise. I was looking forward to a humorous take on some of the scary or just unpleasant things that cane come with exercise. I was disappointed though that almost everything on the list was specific to endurance activities, not lifting and so I decided I would make my own list of the “terrifying side effects” of lifting.

This isn’t really based on any significant research, just some things I’ve either personally experienced or read about.

Also a disclaimer: a lot of comments on the cracked article complained about how it made exercise sound worse than it is, and these things don’t happen to all people, and suggesting this would make people not want to exercise. I think that’s just kind of stupid. There ARE unpleasant things that can happen with exercise. And honestly, I feel like the folks most inclined to appreciate that they exist are the people who engage in those activities. Thus why I was disappointed that most of the cracked article’s side effects weren’t related to lifting, as someone who lifts.

I love lifting, there are so many reasons to do it, and so many positive effects that come with it, and I have posted about them and I will continue to, but this post is related to the negative stuff.

Last disclaimer- I’m not a comedian or comedy writer so don’t expect this to be super funny.

1. Acne

I went with “terrible” instead of “terrifying” for my list because some of the first ones that comes to mind for me are more annoying and frustrating than terrifying.

And the very first thing that comes to mind for me is acne. I’ve had acne since puberty, but it’s gotten a lot better since then. It’s never totally gone away and been a non-issue but as an adult watching what I eat (because I know sugar can cause breakouts for me), I would get occasional break outs, but never too bad and not all the time. Until I started lifting that is. I was not expecting that! Here I am, doing something really healthy, that has all these awesome benefits for my body… and then it sends me back to having constant, more severe, breakouts? Not fair!

Took me awhile to put it together. I ended up looking up info about this and it is indeed a thing. There seem to be a few factors. First off directly lifting weights increases testosterone, which can cause acne. While an issue for both genders from my google research, it seems like it tends to be more often an issue for women. Or we just talk about it more? But it certainly makes sense that the effects of testosterone would vary a bit by sex. I’ve also noticed anecdotally that men seem to mention body acne as a side effect whereas women seem to mention breakouts on our faces. Which is consistent to my experience, my breakouts are typically restricted to my face.

There also seems to be some indirect ways that it can increase breakouts. One of those being diet. According to websites I found googling this, dairy products including whey protein can increase breakouts- and when taking up lifting I also increased these in my diet.

Of course I’ve also found that even eating the same when I didn’t lift for awhile my face cleared up a lot more, so definitely lifting seems to be having an effect in and of itself.

Of course there are also other factors as well, like wearing makeup while working out can increase clogged pores. I’m a lot more cautious now to remove any foundation and concealer before working out and washing my face immediately after a workout, not that this has completely solved the problem, but it certainly helps.

2. More Facial Hair

This one is specific to women. Remember how I mentioned above that weight lifting increases testosterone levels? Well, there are a lot of side effects that can cause, including more facial hair for women. My source this is mostly anecdotal- I’ve seen a number of women report more unwanted hair after taking up lifting due to hormonal changes. And noticed it myself. I’m told this can also be an effect of aging, though it seems  quite a coincidence that this aspect of getting older for me has coincided so specifically with when I started lifting heavy.

3. Stress Incontinence

This is another specific to women as far as I know. And to be fair, this is not at all caused by lifting so much as possible to experience during lifting- even for women who have never experienced other forms of stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is “leaking” urine during certain activities that can include sneezing, coughing, or exercise. While typically the assumed cause is weak pelvic floor muscles this isn’t necessarily the case, and a woman who never “leaks” when coughing, sneezing, running, or jumping, may still find that she does during a heavy lift. And the solution isn’t always as simple as doing kegel exercises. 

From the linked article Ann Wendel explains some of the causes for urinary incontinence when lifting heavy:

  • The muscles of the pelvic floor may be weak from being stretched during vaginal delivery or even from the weight of the baby during pregnancy. They may also be weak due to postural habits (standing with a posterior pelvic tilt) and lack of exercise.
  • The muscles may be hypertonic (overactive) and unable to relax, which decreases the strength of the contraction when they do fire. So they are overactive, but weak.
  • The pelvic floor muscles may be overactive but strong; yet, the client has stronger abdominal, back, diaphragm and glottis (voicebox) muscles. Women who leak while lifting a heavy load may be in this category — holding their breath leads to a rigid thorax, yet they can’t contain all of the pressure, so they either grunt/yell, leak urine, or sustain an abdominal hernia or herniated spinal disc. The pressure escapes the system through the weakest link. (For more on this topic, check out this post from Physio Detective on pelvic floor dysfunction.)
  • The pelvic floor may have been damaged (think episiotomy, forceps, vacuum extraction of baby, cancer/radiation) and the scar tissue affects the ability for the muscles to contract properly.

So even with strong pelvic floor muscles, a woman can still experience this during heavy lifting. Though certainly it’s better than an abdominal hernia or herniated spinal disc!

4.  Serious Injury

Ok, so the previous item references risks of abdominal hernia or a herniated spinal disc which are clearly much more serious than anything else I mentioned!

Using basic safety measures lifting heavy is actually relatively safe, but there is always a risk of accidents and injury and adding large amount of weight to the mix can increase the danger. In 2014 a crossfit athlete was paralyzed when he failed a snatch and the dropped barbell bounced back up and hit him in the back. Depending who one asks this was either a freak accident or something that could have been prevented with a safer platform. I’m unqualified to make any judgement on that.

However, risks can be reduced through proper form, not trying to lift heavier than what you can safely manage, having a spotter or a power cage or squat rack set up to catch a barbell, and knowing how to safely drop the weight. Since I workout alone at home without a spotter my power rack is incredibly important to me for lifting heavy. I do my bench press in the power rack with bars on the side that will catch the barbell if I were to drop it so it doesn’t fall on me. I’ve failed reps on bench before with no injury because I have those bars there to catch the barbell. Lifting alone at home makes it harder to get feedback on proper form vs form that puts you at risk for an injury, but with the internet it is possible to record lifts and get feedback on them from people online which is great.

9.9affirmationsrun - Copy

Me right after I got home. Feeling terrible. And wearing my “Don’t Judge Just Run” shirt (says “I follow the Fat Girls’ Guide to Running” on the back).

So I went to a running group today at the local lgbtq community center. The group just started last week and I saw it on facebook an hour too late last week. I was already from that point planning to go this week, and it worked out pretty well because Julie choose a social run for the goal this week with The Fat Girls’ Guide To Running Clubhouse. That worked perfectly for me!

Though it was not incredibly social.

Initially I planned to walk there and back since the community center is walking distance from my house, but that plan changed because I was running late and also I wasn’t sure till the last minute what I wanted to carry with me so driving meant I could leave stuff in my car last minute.

So I got to the center right about at the start time, said hi to a volunteer I know, and then met 2 people there. I was incredibly nervous, nervous meeting new people, nervous because I’m not familiar with running groups, nervous because I’m a “bad” runner. Nervous even though the group specifically states it is open to runners and walkers of all abilities, which did make me feel more at ease but not to the point of not being nervous at all. We waited a little bit and just before heading out 3 other people showed up, so there were 6 of us total. The group offers a 3 mile route and a 6 mile route, though this time everyone was doing the 3 mile. The woman who organized it says she is doing just the 3 miles because she already ran once today and was not feeling well. So if 3 miles of running for her second run of the day is what she’s doing because she’s not feeling well, she is definitely way above me in running ability.

I also carried a bag with me with a water bottle which I don’t think I’ve ever done before. I don’t really run long enough usually to need to carry water with me- particularly since I run at night when it’s cooler with no sun on you. But with it being warm out and sunny, and me sweating from the heat before I even started the run, I wanted water to avoid ending up dehydrated (though I was the only one to carry anything with me).

The 3 people who showed up right as we were heading out were planning to walk, the other 2 planning to run, and me hoping to run as much as I could. So I started out at a pace with the other 2 runners but it was only about a block before I was falling behind even at a running pace. I fell far behind the 2 runners, and was still ahead of the 3 walkers, so I did the 3 miles by myself. It really didn’t feel much like being part of a group at all. Though that wasn’t entirely too bad, felt less pressure. Also didn’t have to try and talk which is good because I’m far too busy trying to breath while running to talk lol.

But since I went out planning it to be social, I also had no headphones in for music or an audiobook. So it was a bit boring.

I was a half mile in until I remembered that I forgot to set up runkeeper tracking before I left. It seemed silly to start it half a mile in so I didn’t. I didn’t touch or look at my phone the whole time. Which was also unusual for me, because I had no real measure of how long or far I was walking or running at any point.

I started out kind of bored and uncomfortable. I had several people in cars, yards, or standing on the street say things to me- all friendly. One dude told me “run, lady! run!” I guess that could be taken positively or not, I choose to interpret it as encouragement. Still I’m a bit uncomfortable with people yelling encouraging things at me. Something that happens less at night and if it does happen I can’t hear it because of headphones.

For the first while I did very short running and walking intervals. Was trying to stick with the 60 second rule of slowing to a walk for no more than 60 seconds at a time. Though counting it myself is unreliable. I got better with time at getting myself to run further distances by doing the “run to that fire hydrant/street/sign/tree”  and then changing it to a different object ahead once I got there. Around 1.5 miles in though I gave up on the 60 second rule because I was starting to feel ill and so decided I would walk as long as I needed to. I don’t know what made me feel that way- just bad tolerance for the heat? electrolyte imbalance? I headed out with my 64 ounce bottle of water filled up and it was near empty by the end, so I don’t think I was dehydrated. Or maybe it was the fault of running after a short fasting period? (hadn’t eaten in over 12 hours when I headed out). Though I’ve run before during longer fasting periods with no trouble, but then not in the same conditions (sun and heat).

from 1.5 miles until 2 miles I was still running a fair bit though slowing to a walk when I felt ill and walking till it passed. The last mile I mostly walked, and the last half mile ish was entirely walking at a very slow crawling pace.

By 2 miles in I REALLY had to pee (sorry tmi), so that was the biggest factor for my lack of running at the end. I can’t run when I have to pee. I’ve heard people complain about men who just pull their dick out in public to pee in bushes when they are out running and have to go, during this run I was definitely jealous of the ease with which they can!

Was about an hour and 5 minutes total when I got back to the center and rushed to the bathroom (which btw some group was congregated at the door and when I walked in I heard someone say “can’t someone lock the doors?” The fuck!?! It was over an hour and  a half before the center closes. There was a person leaning against one of the doors and I opened the other one so she wouldn’t fall, no one was leaning against the door I opened. I don’t understand how you wanting to congregate at the doors to the building should mean locking them to other people during hours the center is open. I was more angry about this than normally reasonable because of how badly I needed to pee and thus how bad it would have been for me if they had locked the doors to avoid the inconvenience of someone entering the building while they were congregated at the door.)

I didn’t see either of the runners when I got back to the center, but when I came out from the bathroom the walkers were there so they were not far behind me it seems (no surprise). One of them said “we did it!” and high fived me, we exchanged a small bit of small talk while walking out of the building and that was all. I am worried I didn’t come across as super friendly at that point but I felt so terrible it was hard to focus on anything except how much I wanted to just collapse somewhere.

I was so glad I drove because I felt like I was going to vomit any minute on the drive home.

It wasn’t even that it felt like a grueling workout though. I think it was mostly the heat/sun. Definitely feels different running during the day.

So even though it didn’t really go great, hopefully it keeps going on and I can keep attending 🙂 And I’m also really glad to have gone, met people, and got out of my comfort zone in many ways.

My “guns” may not look impressive, but I was feeling strong regardless 🙂

I really like blogging about my runs after I do them. Strangely though, while I like lifting more, I don’t talk about it as much here. For some reason I just rarely have much to say about my lifting workouts.

So that said: bench workout today! got up to 90lbsx5. which felt good. Did some assistance stuff too. … see, normally this is all I would have to say.

The only thing I have to say about lifting today though is that I’ve been thinking about resting. I know that I should not compare myself to others and so on, but I do sometimes. On fitocracy I see other people do these crazy long lifting workouts- well, they seem crazy long to me at least. And yet, even the shortest lifting workout for me takes forever to get through. 2 squat workouts ago all I did was the basic part of my program with no assistance lifting. Which meant I did a brief warmup (I’ve been doing jumping jacks and body weight squats), then 3 sets of warm up weight barbell squats, then 3 working sets (5 resp, 3 reps, and 1 rep respectively)… well, I take that back, I actually did 4 because the 200lbsx1 felt good enough that I decided to do it twice, then just a short bit of stretching and foam rolling. Still that took me somewhere around 45 minutes. Changing plates and resting between sets adds up (and it actually depends how I’m feeling whether I decided to count the changing plate time as part of my rest time or not).

I also sometimes get antsy during rests between sets because I just want to lift. I also know I could fit in more if I supersetted stuff instead of literally just resting between sets. But that also means I would be getting less actual rest.

And the thing is, I can tell I lift better when I get enough rest between sets though. If I don’t rest long enough I will end up failing sets, which will result in less strength, which will result in not lifting as heavy over time. Which is not my goal.

I’ve been asking myself- do I just rest longer than other people? Though between sets my rests are 90 seconds to 5 minutes depending how heavy/hard the last lift was, which from what I’ve read is not unusual for heavy lifting.

Basically I find myself mentally caught between what I know helps me meet my goals, and envy over other people who manage these really long looking workouts that would probably take all day.

Of course I can never help but wonder how much my health may play a role in this. Dealing with fatigue issues as I do, it seems entirely plausible to me that rest between sets is more important for me, or that I do need to err on the higher side of rest times because of that. I can’t say for certain if that is a factor, but it seems very possible to me that it would be.

So I just have to work though to remember that whatever the reason, I know rest for me is important for lifting heavier.

After my bench workout today I also did sprints. Not immediately after. I changed clothes because my lifting clothes aren’t good running clothes, drank a protein shake, put on music and danced around my living room while my phone charged up a bit more. Then I went out to do sprints. It was raining when I went out but not heavily and I thought “I’m not going to let a little rain stop me!”

So- holy shit it has been over a month since I’ve done sprints!

I could feel it, I was obviously not used to it. I did the same intervals I’ve been doing- 5 minute warm up walk, (30 second sprint, 2 minutes walking) 6 times, 5 minutes cool down walk.

So first run interval, I went all the fuck out! And hurt my shoulder, apparently I was moving my arms too much. And remembered that I normally don’t go so all out on the first sprint so I still have energy for the others.

Rain was getting heavier and I ended up with rain water in my eye and OH GOD IT BURNED!!!!! The fuck is the rain? Normally I would have blamed it on makeup or something but I was wearing none. Maybe sweat but I get sweat dripping in my eyes during workouts all the time, my sweat does not burn my eyes.

Second sprint was slower but still trying to give it my all.

Third sprint I was exhausted.

Rain was still getting heavier.

Fourth sprint I felt dead. Just trying to walk after  was difficult. Also took off my glasses since they were no longer serving any purpose in that rain (though I hate running without them because I cannot see well and it makes me nervous because I easily would not be able to see a dip, hole, or bump in the sidewalk.)

Fifth sprint was quite slow, but I was so exhausted. By the end of that I was really struggling to keep down my protein shake.

Sixth sprint was just a touch faster than the 5th but still slow. Then I got to walk the rest of the way home.

Nothing to exciting, but yay sprints! Though I need to get around to setting up a runkeeper workout with distance based intervals instead of time, because I do prefer to measure in distance.

Oh, and my plan for tomorrow is to go to a local running group, which I am a bit nervous about. Hope it goes well! I will definitely post about how it goes (crossing my fingers something doesn’t cause me to miss it). I get really anxious about things like this. Especially combining two thing that make me feel anxious-meeting up with a group of strangers, and working out around/with other people.

I think everyone should go check out this blog post by an MIT student about research on stereotype threat, and research on ways it can be countered.

In a now-famous study, psychologists at the University of Berlin falsely told participants that they had been selected to participate in a series of tests “to measure the ability to put oneself in someone else’s position” – a fabrication devised to avoid confounding factors in their real study on gender identity priming. They prepared a text describing a day in the life of a “stereotypical woman” who takes care of her family, works part time, and is insightful, helpful, and agreeable. They also prepared an equivalently-structured text outlining the activities of a stereotypical manly man who is tough, risk-taking, and does weight training after work. Subjects were randomly given one of the two texts, and then asked: “If you were the person described in the text, which adjectives would you use to describe yourself?”

Soon after participants described themselves with either the male- or female-associated traits, they were asked to take a mental rotation test presented as independent of the first part of the study, supposedly to measure their personal spatial aptitude. On this mental rotation test, women who were “primed” with the female identity scored an average of 3.86 on the exercise, compared to the female-primed males’ average of 5.14. Okay, expected. But then when primed with the male text, women scored an average of 5.49, while men scored 5.53… wait a second, what?

As it turns out, there is zero statistically significant gender difference in mental rotation ability after test-takers are asked to imagine themselves as stereotypical men for a few minutes. None. An entire standard deviation of female underperformance is negated on this condition, just as a man’s performance is slightly hindered if he instead imagines himself as a woman. (well then.) Although this study is of course not a logically definitive answer to all things “nature versus nurture,” it does add a tremendous structural asset to the growing mountain of evidence that “natural” ability differences are confounded by identity and subconscious self-stereotyping. Demographic expectations may be subtle or overt, but they are omnipresent, and they are likely much more powerful than most of us have ever considered.

There is a lot more really great info in the original post, so go over there and read the whole thing!

Image says: If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business. -Dr. Gail Dines

A page I follow on facebook shared a link about some guy who developed a vibrating bra that was demonstrated to actually increase a woman’s breast size, I believe it said 1 cup size in 1 week.

Unsure if this was meant to be serious I googled this… I’m not sure about this dude who apparently just invented this because this is a real thing and numerous products for this already exist. So I just wasted a bit of time looking at a bunch of different breast enhancement devices- there are vibrating bras, vibrating things you put inside your bra (both of which sound more like sex toys to me, but are marketed not for being pleasurable but for increasing breast size), weird looking rolling massagers designed specifically for use on breasts again marketed for increasing breast size, weird suction cup things, and of course all sorts of creams and pills.

All of which I feel fairly confident do not even work.

Of course I have now convinced amazon and google that I am seriously considering buying these products, so I know what ads I’ll be seeing a lot of online now!

Most of these products look just absolutely hilarious, so I’m laughing quite a bit looking at these things and thinking “people actually buy this!?!” Then I remember, yes, people actually buy these, and feel rather sad. As ridiculous as they look and sound, they exist because there are people who will buy them. People are taught to hate their bodies so much that no matter how ridiculous the product, any small bit of hope for “fixing” all those flaws, and finally being happy with your body seems worth it.

It makes me sad to think of how much money is wasted on hating our bodies instead of actually doing something that really does make us happy. I know I’ve wasted more money that I would ever care to think about on things that promised to fix flaws with my body.

And this is hardly limited to vibrating bras, and breast massagers promising larger breasts. There are so many products out there that exist for no other reason than to prey on our insecurities. I see all over social media the wraps- things that cling to your body and promise instant fat loss, and also can be used to make your boobs perkier, and they make your skin softer and clearer, give you a firmer, more lifted butt, et cetera. Pretty much anything you could possibly dislike about your body, I’m sure the sales people will tell you they do because all that matters if that you buy them! The same companies sell drinks and pills that they say will cause you to lose weight, creams to remove any “problems” with your skin, and pills that give thicker, smoother, silkier, longer, hair and stronger/longer nails.

I wish we could finally see a cultural revolution, where there was no longer any market for all these products that exist for no reason other than that we are taught to hate our bodies and prioritize “fixing” them over everything else. I want to just laugh at how ridiculous these products are, but it’s sad that there is such a market for body hatred.


Selfie right at the beginning of my cool down walk, feeling really good.

From an outside perspective there is nothing particularly noteworthy about my run today, but I feel FUCKING PROUD!

It was Saturday (after midnight as I type this though), so last day to get in the last reboot. Though I was fucking exhausted!

I was putting off the run because of that. I did not feel at all capable of running, so I told myself… numerous times actually, that I would just go out and walk the 30 minutes. A walk is surely not to much to manage!

Still I got dressed for running in case I decided to run a little bit on my way out. Set up my runkeeper for 2 times of 10 minutes running with a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down. Third reboot run is 15 minutes out, turn around and head back. Thus, 5 minute warm up, 10 minute run, runkeeper notifies me when that is over and moving into the next 10 minutes so I know to turn around, and then 5 minute cool down walk… or however long to get back to my house.

So I head out telling myself if I walk the whole time, that is ok.

5 minute warm up walk felt ok, so when I got the notification for 10 minute running I thought, ok, I will run some. Maybe I’ll do some short intervals of running and walking through the 20 minutes of running.

I was really slow running… or at least, I felt slow. I felt like I was moving at a slower pace than usual pace for me- spoiler, but runkeeper says this was a lie- I was actually at a good pace for me! But despite feeling very slow, it also felt comfortable. I can’t explain it unfortunately, I was actually not putting much though into form at all, but I feel like somehow being as exhausted as I was I fell into a running pacing and form that had me using less energy to move forward.

So I told myself I would run at least 1 minute and then I could walk-maybe 1 minute running, 1 minute walking throughout. I didn’t look at the time on my phone though, and felt like I was probably a minute in and told myself I could keep going and to try going further. Around this time I focused more on distance. Following my current usual route a 5 minute warm up walk and 5 minutes of slow running takes me to the end of on the cemeteries near me.

So I will try to run 5 minutes, which means the end of the cemetery. It is, again, easier for me when I think about distance than time.

I also was listening to my Wheel of Time audiobook, which I find much better to run to than music. I get into an audiobook more than a lot of my music. A good portion of my run was a part of the book from Elaida’s perspective (I’m on book 7) which lead to me saying “fuck you” and giving my phone the middle finger, lol. I might look silly, but getting into a story makes it easier to get my mind off the running!

So I was coming up to the end of the cemetery which was my 5 minutes and switched over from distance to time. If I just ran 5 minutes it would be nothing to do just another 3 minutes, right? I can manage another 3 minutes. That gives me 8 minutes of running then I can do a few minutes of walking before I do some more running on the way back.

8 minutes into running I might as well just run the whole way out (10 minutes), I can walk a little after that but I will run the whole 10 minutes out.

10 minutes running done, time to turn around and head home. Might as well not stop now!

I use this technique a bit and from what I hear from other runners it is a common one- sort of tricking yourself into continuing to keep going by setting short goals and saying you can stop then, but then constantly pushing those goal posts further.

Of course, there is a weird aspect of this that when you know you are doing it, you know it’s not true. You know the goal is not actually just to do another minute, or get to that tree, or whatever.

And that was me on my way back. I still sort of was telling myself small goals, but I know within the first few seconds of turning around that at that point, my real goal was to run the whole 10 minutes back. Back to the edge of the cemetery was about 5 minutes. Getting to that point felt good. I felt like if I could get there, I could run the rest of the cemetery (plus about another block) to get in that full 10 minutes. I was slow, my feet hurt a bit, and my calves were starting to get sore, but I kept going. By the time I was at the end of those (second) 10 minutes (20 minutes running total) I felt good. \

Actually my thought when runkeeper told me it was time for my cool down was “no way! I could keep going like this all night!” For real. Me. I thought that!

But I also told myself that that was not the planned workout for tonight and I slowed to my walk. Took the selfie at the top of this post. Though I was slower back than out so the cool down walk was a bit over 5 minutes.

I’ve actually heard some other runners talk about how the first 10 minute or so are always a struggle for them, that it always feels unbearable- even from people who are running half and full marathons! But that after that they start to get into the zone of it and it’s easy to do the rest. And i guess that is sort of what I experience.

Not that I can guarantee I will continue to feel this way with runs.

Still, I feel really good about this one!

This is also part of why I want to do more walking, because I know getting out even if just for walking makes it easier to run.

Also I recently have been feeling a bit down with my running- last summer I was running longer distances than I am now. So I feel a bit down that with my inconsistent bits of running all this summer, I’m covering much shorter distances than I was. But then I remember that on the other hand, I’m also faster this summer! I don’t feel it, but my trackers say I am!

I actual set a pace PR during the first 10 minutes of running (for that length of time of course)- if by only 1 second/mile. I came in at 15:59 minutes/mile.  A very slow running speed but actually pretty good for me. (It was 16:40 minutes/mile for the 20 minutes combined btw.)While I was hitting that and faster speeds for brief periods last summer, my running was usually averaging only around 19-20 minutes/mile. For me that is the same pace as a fast walk . Back then I wasn’t moving any faster by running, just moving differently. I’m marginally faster than a walking pace now at least! So that helps me feel better. Even if my distance isn’t what it was, my speed is better.