this post is not really about a run

I always enjoy finding out about awful crimes in my neighborhood by happening upon news crews when I’m out running. (Warning– discussion of sexual assault in this post.)

This weekend is booked solid so I moved Saturday’s 5 miler to today (and I’m scrapping today’s scheduled 3mi because I can). Just about 4 miles in, at the top of the hill I saw 2 guys in shirts and ties and 3 people with news video cameras, and in a nearby lot I saw a van for one of the local news stations. Never a good sign. I walked up to them to see what was up and one of the shirt-and-tie guys (a newscaster, I guess) lit up and got his microphone out and came up to talk to me. Turns out a woman had been raped there early this morning. I’m sure he was excited to get an opinion from me, a white woman running in the neighborhood, about how horrible it was and how unsafe I felt. (My suburb is quite diverse and most of the people they might run into would be latino or black.) I declined to talk to him and went back to my run (no, I did not want to be on TV 4 miles into a 5 miler thanks).

And I pretty much cussed a blue streak all the way home.

I’m angry that a woman was harmed while she was just going about her business this morning. I’m angry that we can’t live our lives and feel safe. I’m angry that I can’t feel safe in my neighborhood, and I can’t go out on a run without taking out my headphones and looking over my shoulder every 10 seconds.

I hope the woman recovers quickly and fully.

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Okay, that was supposed to be a portmanteau of "runner" and "commuter" but it just sounds weird, doesn’t it.

Anyway, I had a straightforward 3 miles on the schedule for today and early meetings in the morning, and so I decided to run to the train. It’s almost exactly 5k, so it works out really well. 3.09 miles in 37:47, I made it to the train on time, and I didn’t get hit by any cars crossing the busy intersections (I always walk through them just to make sure people see me). Wins all around.

There are still some logistical issues that I need to iron out before this becomes a weekly habit, mostly around my backpack and my lunch. I have a daypack that I really like, it’s 40L but it straps down to be very compact if there’s not much stuff in it and it has a good system of straps and clips to keep it in place. Today I packed up my clothes and work shoes, wallet and keys, a small thermos of coffee and the shaker bottles for lunch (just the powder, no liquid ingredients). That was about as much as I would want to have on my back! And the daypack doesn’t have as good separation between compartments as my usual commuter backpack, so I had to wrap things up to ensure that my clothes didn’t get dusted with protein powder. Last week I just bought lunch on Wednesday. That might be a better way to go.

It’s starting to get chilly in the mornings, and before long it’s going to still be dark at 7am. Putting on another layer is no big deal, but the darkness scares the bejeezus out of me because cars. It might be time to look into some more reflective gear.

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Intervals surprise

Oh hey, we’re 2 months out from Thanksgiving– which means it’s time to start my training for the 5k I always run on Thanksgiving morning. I’m doing the Higdon intermediate 5k plan again, because it’s familiar and straightforward and I always get a little faster on it.

Therefore, the first speed workout of the plan: 5x400m intervals. I started with a 0.75mi warmup and then got to work. 400 fast/400 recovery, and I finished in 3 miles and 34:43. The first work interval was at 10’00" pace and I turned it up a tick every cycle; the last one was at 9’00" and I did not die but it was very hard. So that worked out okay, better than I thought it would. It’s always nice when I go into a workout saying "let’s see if I can do this" and it turns out I can!

I didn’t run yesterday, but I did do my favorite Youtube yoga practice for the first time in a while. Despite living in a 3 bedroom condo with far more room than we need, there was no good place for me to put my mat down, away from the TV– my husband was watching the Vietnam documentary and that is not a good backdrop for a calming yoga practice. Any open space was in the living/dining area and I couldn’t get away. In the bedroom there was just enough space on the floor for the mat so I went there and dealt with my husband’s piles of clothes on the floor (ugh). He’s slowly decluttering, but the piles drive me nuts. I try not to get on his case about them… but something will need to be done with them when we start to stage the house…

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new gear test: will it chafe?

First, there are few things more exciting than spending 57 minutes running 5 miles on the treadmill and watching 2! episodes of Flea Market Flip. Bleh.

But I wanted to try a long and low-risk run to test out a couple new gear items. It’s easier to abort a treadmill run if there’s an epic gear fail than an outside one where you might be 4 miles from home.

New gear item #1: I got a new phone and a new case for it. It seemed like I was always pulling my old phone out of its case, putting it into an armband, and back and forth forever. But there are armband designs where you can slide the phone in, in its case. Well, my old armband was pretty great; it was stretchy and comfy and never chafed. This one was clunky, hard to adjust, and it chafed the crap out of my underarm after 5 miles. Maybe I’ll have to go back to case swapping after all.

New gear item #2: sports bra. I’ve been loyal to my Moving Comfort Fionas for years, but as I get a little smaller they’re not fitting well anymore, plus they’re wearing out and now Moving Comfort is Brooks and I hear the quality’s not the same. So I decided to check out some other ones. I heard good things about the Panache sports bra lines, and went with the un-wired one. I wear a 34G in normal bras (UK size), so I went with a 34FF. The cups are still a little big, and the front of the bra is wide so it feels like the cups are extending under my arms some (or maybe that’s just the styling?) But it’s an encapsulation style not a compression style, with actual foam cups (that unfortunately soak up sweat like a sponge) and the band was nice and firm so it was plenty supportive. But when I got into the shower afterwards the undersides of my breasts were chafed (ow)– a definite sign that I should try a smaller size.

This stuff will probably be fine for shorter runs, but not for the long ones.

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Hit the ground running

Yes, I’ve been getting my workouts in. Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to write about them! Tuesday I had a treadmill run, Wednesday was a chill day with elliptical and yoga.

Work has been just overwhelming lately. I feel myself slipping into that hyperconfident businesslady mode where I get ALL THE THINGS done but I stop enjoying anything and I start being short with people and I collapse when I get home. Very productive, not good for anyone.

Today I had an early meeting and wanted to get another run in. The weather’s good, so I decided to try another run to the train station to combine my commute and workout. It went well! It’s almost exactly 5k actually. If I hadn’t been late getting out the door, I would’ve made my usual train, I heard it go by when I was maybe a quarter-mile away. It worked out fine anyway, this way I got to sit my stinky butt on the train with people I don’t see every day.

When I got off the train I went straight to the showers and got my day started in a timely fashion. Nice.

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Racing the light

Today was an oddly hot day– it was 92F this afternoon. I waited as long as I could for it to cool down, and by 7pm it wasn’t really a whole lot cooler but the sun was about to set so it was time to go out. Apparently my Nike+ app wants me to run a 5k every Sunday now? So I took its advice and actually had a nice run, finished up the run on the monotonic hilly route in 38 minutes flat. No walk breaks this time, despite pushing it! It went pretty well.

I like running in the evenings when it’s juuuust getting dark but the trick is for it not to actually get dark. My favorite running route is one of the few places around that gets legit dark at night– no streetlights.

On the plus side I ran into a small group of deer just hanging out in someone’s lawn being pretty. A couple bucks with nice racks in the group, too!

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Crap day of lifting

I must’ve gotten up on the wrong side of the bed today. Not only have I been weepy and angry in turns all morning, but my workout wasn’t very great either.

Since I’ve been hitting running fairly hard this week I just decided to do a broad 5×5-style lifting sesh: bench (125lb), squat (125lb), OHP (60lb), row (75lb), and deadlift (1×5, 155lb). It was just not my day. I failed my last bench rep catastrophically and unexpectedly (no spot either, but thankfully there was someone around to rescue me) and everything else went to crap. I loaded up the squat bar with 135lb (not very heavy for me), did one rep, said NOPE and took weight off. Same thing happened with DL; I put 185lb on it and went NOPE after unracking. So much NOPE.

I’m in a different place than I was 6 months ago and I know I shouldn’t be upset about my lifting going drastically backwards but I’m not over it yet. I pinned my athletic identity on being strong, and now I have to revise that. Once I’m back to being able to eat for gainz I hope I can start going forward again.

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