Getting hotter

Today’s run was a tough one! I’m not used yet to running in hot weather, and my ankles are tired from spending the weekend in not very comfortable Doc Martins (slooooowly I’m breaking them in). I finished 3 miles in 39 minutes on the monotonic route. I really need to give some thought to my pacing; the first mile was quite fast for me, and then I pooped out in the second and pulled it back together for the third (which was all downhill, so that helpedĀ  a lot). As usual, I wish there was a flat place to run around here so I could do my runs without battling hills– I swear it’s half psychological; I know where the bad hills are so as soon as I come up to one I fall apart.

I need to settle into my summer skin too; between my run on Friday, the weekend walking around, the top-down trip home, and my run today I’ve been nursing a mild sunburn for a while now, plus I have this lovely sun allergy thing that gives me an itchy rash for the first few exposures. I hate wearing sunscreen when I’m sweating (isn’t it the worst when it drips in your eyes?) and I need to find some other way to keep the sun off. Hat suggestions, anyone?

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I think my GPS is broke…

I headed out for a 4 miler today (I have the day off! so what do I do? go for a run) and it had a pretty inauspicious start: as I was standing waiting to cross the street, I hear someone yelling out a van window at me, “ASS.” Really?

The first quarter mile notification from my GPS said I had run it at an 8:25 pace, which is ridiculous, since I don’t think I’ve ever run that fast in my life. (Now that I look at the map, the GPS seems to think I ran over into a nearby football field when I was just going along the street…) But I kept up a decent pace for the rest of the 4 miles, and finished it up in just shy of 50 minutes.

I have the day off today because around 3 my partner and I are heading out to a music festival (not the kind where we’ll camp, the kind where we’ll stay in a hotel and go to a theater to see the bands). I’m really excited, but I have a bit to do in this last half hour before we leave…

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Farewell, Thursday yoga

At the beginning of this morning’s yoga class, the instructor announced that the class was moving again– to my telework day. As much as I enjoy the class, I also enjoy working at home in my PJs, so I’m sad. On the other hand, though, this means I can sync back up with J; I’d been missing him on Thursdays since I finished up well before he would go to the gym.

The instructor, in a bid to make me feel better I guess, asked me to pick out something I wanted to do in class today. I requested pigeon, and he laughed and said "you don’t really want to do pigeon" and I replied that I didn’t but it was good for me. He stuck it in towards the end of the session, so I got my wish. The rest of the practice was good too, I always learn a lot in these classes. I’ll miss them! Maybe I’ll find another class during the week I can attend…

This might also motivate me to expand my repertoire of Youtube yoga practices. They’re not a substitute for attending a class with a teacher, but they at least offer some motivation to move my practice beyond the standard stuff I always do. It’s easy to get stuck in a yoga rut, but if I apply myself and practice the things that are difficult I get better at them (like half-moon pose!)

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No-Weigh May

I’m pretty sore this morning (thanks, squats) but I managed 3 treadmill miles anyway, in about 37 minutes. I’m certain I’ll be even sore-er tomorrow, but tomorrow is yoga day so that’s okay. Today, however, ibuprofen is my friend.

The month of May is almost here, and I’ve decided that it will be a "No-Weigh May", just because it rhymes so nicely and makes such a great slogan. I’ve never managed to set aside the scale completely; I do weigh myself infrequently (and start singing Talking Heads’ Once In a Lifetime, "same as it ever was…") But I’m going to remove that burden from my brain for a month, and free up those cycles for more productive use. (Now what will I do with them?)

While I’m pondering gradual life changes and creative disruptions, have you guys ever played around with Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies? It’s a fun tool to sort of give your brain a kick in the pants when you’re feeling stuck. And if the one that comes up isn’t working for you, click refresh…

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“lookin’ good, girl, you losing weight?”

For some reason, I was super excited to go workout today, and now that it’s done I’m still super excited about it. It was a combo day, with a longer session of lifting followed by a short and fast run.

The lifting was 2 sets of 10 each: bench@95lb, squats@125lb, bicep curls, skull crushers (doesn’t that sound all hardcore, I’ll say it in my metal growl), pec flys, overhead press, rows, lat pulldowns, and cable woodchops. Since I was so sore after my squats last week, I’m committing to doing "maintenance squats" twice a week to keep the DOMS at bay. Nothing heroic, just some load to make it a little hard. (Though I might get back to heroic! I don’t know. Heavy squats and running…)

Thing number 2 was a quick mile on the treadmill. Because it came up last week, I set the incline to 2.0 (2.0 whats?) and ran along. It definitely added some challenge; when I turned up the speed and put the incline down it felt so easy and I felt so fast! Then I turned the incline back up because it wasn’t supposed to be easy. Anyway, 1 mile in 11:50 with the darn incline. I was very sweaty.

Recently there’s been an uptick in the number of people commenting on my body– at the gym and in the office– and giving me compliments based upon the changes they think they see in it. It always blows my mind, because my weight is the same. It’s been the same for years now, like plus or minus 3 pounds. But I think I know what it is! It’s my clothes. Usually I wear relaxed trousers to work, but I’ve been rolling skinny jeans and tailored cropped trousers into my wardrobe and those apparently display my curves in a different way that leads to all the commentary. I don’t really care; my body is still the same under my clothes. And as much as possible I want to say "fuck flattering" and I’m going to wear the clothes that are comfy and express my aesthetic as much as I can. Today that happens to be black skinny jeans and a little black cardigan and Pumas with rainbow laces…

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Sometimes a change of plans is ok

Well, I was really excited about going camping this weekend… but the weather just didn’t cooperate. My partner checked the forecast and said “uhh no”… and I was pretty disappointed at first, but then when Saturday rolled around and it was 38F and rainy I got over that darn quick.

Since I was at home with no plans I had plenty of time to get stuff done! I finished my sewing project (it worked! I have a wearable dress that looks pretty darn good) and got some housework in. And today the weather was pretty nice so I got out the door for a run this afternoon.

I was thinking about going for a long run today, 6-7 miles, but by the time I got out it was 3pm and I had lost maybe 60% of my motivation. I’ll take the 3 miles though, that’s something! 3 miles in 38:58. It’s breezy and pollen-riffic out there. I take back anything I might have said about my allergies– they were blowing up today. I came back in and used my neti pot and it helped some.

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Fat yoga, safe spaces, and check your thin privilege please

Each consecutive 5am wakeup becomes harder and harder, but luckily I should be able to sleep in a little bit tomorrow (until 6! so decadent). I just barely made it to the train on time to get to yoga class this morning. But I did, and it was good, a nice gentle practice this time. Before we started, the instructor asked how we were feeling, so I took that opportunity to complain about being sore from yesterday’s squats. I’m not sure if he changed anything up, but the first couple movements looked suspiciously like parts of the myrtl…

There was a post over on Fit is a Feminist Issue talking about the new concept of "fat yoga" classes that are designed to accommodate fat bodies, and that thin people thought it was excluding them– and I found myself having a really strong and angry response to that.

Tori‘s comment did a better job of elucidating the point than mine, but many fat people have had the experience in yoga class that their bodies weren’t celebrated and accommodated. Instructors assume they’re brand new to yoga, and there for weight loss. And lots of instructors can’t or won’t or don’t provide proactive modifications for poses. A pregnant person might approach the instructor before class, say "by the way, I’m pregnant" and the instructor provides modification. Am I supposed to do the same, pull them aside and say "by the way, I’m fat"? And for as much as it champions loving the body you have, yoga culture is designed around thin bodies. Fat people often find that they’re the only large person in the studio. Fat people find it hard to buy yoga clothes (for example, Lululemon clothes get no larger than size 12). And when’s the last time a person with rolls demonstrated a pose in Yoga Journal?

But that’s not what makes me angriest. This sounds a lot like when people with privilege demand entry to safe spaces that marginalized groups have developed for themselves. Men want entry to women’s spaces. White people want entry to the spaces of people of color. This seems to happen every damn time a group sets up a safe space.

And yoga’s theoretically inclusive, faux-kumbaya, hippie-dippie nature means that yoga people feel like they have a spiritual right to the space. "Yoga doesn’t exclude anyone!" Hey, this group over here that had to set up this safe space for themselves begs to differ!

Thin people, please: instead of demanding access to fat yoga, instead demand that yoga in general become truly welcoming to people with all kinds of bodies. Use your privilege to amplify the voices of marginalized groups in the yoga-sphere. When you teach, make a point to be sure it’s working for all the bodies there. Work toward making the yoga world as inclusive as you believe it should be.

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