Meanderings and Hedgehogs
I vote to honor my father, who doesn’t always support my politics but always supports me. I vote to honor my mother, who has taught me always to strive toward being better educated and less judgmental. I vote because my grandparents still send me newspaper clippings to make sure I am aware of issues around the world. I vote because they grew up in a world where you could be killed for being Jewish
. I vote because my great-grandmother wasn’t born with the right to vote. I vote because I reject cynicism and embrace hope. I vote because, despite America’s imperfections, I still believe that this is the greatest country in the world and that we have the responsibility and distinct honor of keeping it that way.Why do you vote?

I vote to honor my father, who doesn’t always support my politics but always supports me. I vote to honor my mother, who has taught me always to strive toward being better educated and less judgmental. I vote because my grandparents still send me newspaper clippings to make sure I am aware of issues around the world. I vote because they grew up in a world where you could be killed for being Jewish

. I vote because my great-grandmother wasn’t born with the right to vote. I vote because I reject cynicism and embrace hope. I vote because, despite America’s imperfections, I still believe that this is the greatest country in the world and that we have the responsibility and distinct honor of keeping it that way.

Why do you vote?

On being f*cking crazy, and blogs

One of my very favorite mantras and one that I try to remind myself of all the time is don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. For a long time I would get so discouraged by failing to do something absolutely perfectly that I would just give up. This applied to eating, working out, cleaning my apartment, etc. I refer to this as being f*cking crazy - I will explain this below. 

I think I’m a lot better at not getting discouraged by imperfection and throwing in the towel, but today I had a setback. I ran four miles at lunch, including four 800 repeats, and they completely kicked my ass. Sidenote: I’m finding speedwork haaaaaard these days and I think it’s because I’m actually doing it at a challenging pace for once?! 

So, I had these grand plans to ALSO go to Crossfit after work. I LOVE the Tuesday/Thursday night instructors at my gym because they’re super helpful with newbies and I hate missing class, but damn, was I zonked after my run. 

I decided not to go, and then of course, I started beating myself up and getting frustrated about not being able to do both.

Anyways, I think in some ways, reading running/triathlon blogs can really exacerbate this kind of thinking for me - when I’m reading about apparent superhumans who frequently work out twice a day and go without a rest day for months, I start to believe somehow that that is the norm. Instead of celebrating completing a totally challenging workout, I’m disappointed in myself for not finishing two. Not to mention how shitty I feel when I realize my speedwork pace is an easy run pace for many bloggers. See why I call going down this rabbit hole being f*cking crazy? 

I wish I could find more blogs about real, normal people with normal people amounts of time to dedicate to training. Normal people get tired, and have to work late, and sometimes just would rather hang out with their friends than go for a run. Real people are slow, cranky, and sometimes can’t help but eat the free donuts (I only had 2.5, ok?!). Training is way more fun and rewarding when you’re not f*cking demoralized by reading blogs written by people with completely unrelatable lifestyles.

So crazy blogger people who never miss a workout and never eat the wrong things and OMGLOVEEVERYRUNTHISMUCH, I raise my glass of Schlafly Pumpkin Ale to you (from the couch, obviously), but I no longer want to be one of you. I promise from here on out to write the kind of blog I want to read. 

Today marks the end of being f*cking crazy.

I am all over the place

Ever since I can remember, I’ve liked to plan ahead for stuff that might happen in the future. Not in a productive or helpful way like making lists of things I want to accomplish, etc, but essentially by day-dreaming about the future.

Right now, that future is about as open-ended as it could be. My boyfriend is filing his residency application tomorrow night. He’s applying to x amount of schools, all over the country, and will spend the next four years of his life at one of them learning how to be the best doctor he can be. 

We’ve been long distance for 4/5 years at this point, and suffice it to say, that’s about enough. I know that wherever he decides to go, I will eventually follow. I say eventually, however, because I really like my job and I really, really dislike the idea of being unemployed. 

But all that not knowing about where I am going to live in a little more than a year is making me batshit crazy. I have, in the last week, Zillow-ed the crap out of New York City, Baltimore and San Francisco. The part of me that likes to daydream about the future is going fucking haywire. Part of me wants to LOCK THAT SHIT DOWN and start, like, saving for moving costs, and another part wants to dream about all the cool things I could do in San Francisco and NYC.

Part of me wants to stay in Baltimore, a comfortable mid-sized city that’s easy to live in and where I won’t go broke, and part of me wants to move to NYC because I don’t feel like all my crazy days are over yet. 

I really don’t know where we’ll end up. No one does at this point, except for possibly a computer algorithm. But not having control over it is making me like a fourth grade girl doodling her crush’s name on the inside of her notebook. 

Anyways… I have six miles on the schedule for tomorrow morning. Pray that the run exorcises the crazy that I apparently have going on right now. 

Running the C&O Canal Trail

My absolute favorite place in the DC area to run is the C&O Canal. I love running on the C&O Canal so much that I will drive 30 minutes each way in crappy DC traffic for a four mile run.

Who could blame me? 

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There is something so beautiful and peaceful about this trail, and it is a fantastic place to get lost in your own thoughts (or an audiobook!) while pounding out some miles. 

Logistically, it’s not tough to get there from DC but it can take a while because of stupid traffic. I used to live in Takoma Park, which made it a lot easier because I could just hop on the beltway and park at Carderock. Now I have to do complicated surface road traveling (and dodge be-kitted cyclists on MacArthur) but, you know, it’s worth it.

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This weekend I did my longest “long” run in months - 6 miles on the canal. Harry Potter audiobooks got me through training for my first marathon and Saturday I started the Order of the Phoenix. I zoned out to Jim Dale’s amazing voice and all the pretty trees, and ran from Carderock to Great Falls and back. 

And although it was 9,000 degrees outside and I had to stop every 10 minutes to just stand in the shade and bring down my core temperature, I had a wonderful time. It feels right to be getting back to it.  

I have a training blog?!

What the what?! I have a blog? 

Sorry to the probably two people who read this blog (hi Kat! hi Miemo!), I haven’t been feeling much motivation to blog lately. I haven’t been feeling much motivation to do anything, to be honest.

But I sucked it up anyways and found the motivation to do the the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon on Saturday! I’m still totally bowled over by how great an experience this tri was - it was beautiful, incredibly well-organized, and super inspiring and absurdly fun for this newb. 

And in a move that will surprise literally no one except for me, I’m totally considering signing up for September’s Nation’s Tri. Brett had some good advice though - considering my aforementioned motivation issues, if it’s a good idea to sign up for an olympic distance triathlon, it’ll be a good idea in a week. So give it a week I shall. 

In addition, I’ll put together a race recap in a few days, once they release hilarious pictures of me choking on the Schuykill and looking like I’m going to die. Just you wait! 

For now, here’s one photo to prove I finished the tri (please ignore the hair).

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The Marathoner Could Not Hang

I can swim more than a mile, bike for two hours, and I raced both a half marathon and a 10-miler in March, but you know what I can’t do? More than five pushups.

My triathlon training group director said something recently that stuck with me: “triathletes get really good at moving forward, but really bad at everything else.”

In an attempt to prevent being really bad at everything else, this morning I took advantage of the one free personal training session I got with my gym membership when I joined.

Yeah, the trainer made that one free session COUNT. Apparently she specializes in circuit training, so she had me doing a mixture of cardio (inch worms, step ups) and strength training (aforementioned push ups, bicep curls). That shit got my heart rate up so high that I had to ask to take a breather at one point.

This marathoner simply could not hang, my friends.

Apart from generally suffering during the workout, once again I couldn’t get my nutrition together.

Last night I decided to “close my eyes” for 30 minutes and then woke up two hours later at 9pm. At that point I was cranky, sneezy (allergies) and really didn’t want to make a real meal, so I ate oatmeal - the dinner of champions!!

Then I had a single piece of peanut butter toast for breakfast, wtf. After the session, I had to have literally two more breakfasts before I felt normal again. Apparently protein counts. Who knew?!

So I’d love to get more sessions in to learn more about effective strength training, but I don’t know if I can fit it in the budget. I also want to practice yoga, get swimming lessons, try CrossFit, and you know, follow my 6-workout a week triathlon training plan and not go completely broke. FML.

You don’t have to be an asshole

It’s tough for me to get up in the morning. I’m going through a stretch where I don’t even register my first alarm going off, and the only thing that gets me out of bed is Brett calling to wake me up. This usually means I’m running late to whatever morning workout I’m trying to get in, and puts me in a pretty nasty mood. 

So when I’m already in my cranky place, the last thing I want to have to do is deal with someone’s snotty attitude. And maybe it’s because I’m a newer swimmer and cyclist, but I can totally spot swim and bike assholery a mile away. 

You know that guy/girl flying by you without as much as an “on your left” fully kitted out and on a tri bike at 8am in the bike lane? Asshole.

How about someone telling you they “don’t want to circle swim,” even though every other person in the pool is, because they’re “really fast” and you’d just slow them down? 

That’s exactly what happened this morning at my (public!) pool (Marie Reed for you DC residents out there) to someone trying to get in the lane next to mine. 

I hate circle swimming (because I’m one of those obnoxiously slow people), but with the pool as crowded as it is in the morning, you cannot just tell someone you don’t feel like sharing a lane responsibly. It’s rude, belittling, makes newbies hate the sport, and it makes you an asshole. 

But here’s the great thing: you don’t have to be a jerk. It’s a choice. So those of you who are old hats at swimming, biking, or even running (although I definitely see less of this crap running), remember the good ole days when you were a newb and the sport was still scary, and someone was really nice to you and how awesome that was.

So basically, don’t be an asshole. The end. 

This was my Saturday (it didn’t suck)

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22 miles on the Mount Vernon Trail. I spent the first 3/4 of the ride getting really pissed at myself for being super slow (average 12mph), and I spent the last 1/4 pissed at myself because I didn’t realize it was because my saddle was set too low. As soon as I fixed it I started gliding along at 14-15mph with little effort. D’oh.

This biking thing is hard.

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I also spent a large portion of my ride starving. I picked up some Shot Bloks (why the spelling, Clifs?) but ate two on the drive over to the trail (they are delicious and remind me of Gushers!) and then finished all of them before I was even halfway done. So as soon as I was done I drove over to Alexandria and ate some overpriced delicious food (including the above mocha).

I made this for dinner optimistically assuming I’d have one left over for later in the week. Yeah…. not gonna happen. YUM.