Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wheaton's Law: Don't Be a Dick

It can never be said enough: Love what you love in the way that you love it.

Corollary: If someone loves what you love in a different way, that does not mean that the way they love it is wrong. It is different. Please remember that ultimately you are loving the same thing. You are not the Gatekeeper.

Let's talk about running in tutus ... or costumes for that matter. Yes, I did see the article about Self's making fun of the runner in a tutu ... who just happened to be a cancer survivor.

I've said over and over that cosrunning--running in costume--is a major motivator for me. It gives me a reason to sign up for races, not to mention get up in the morning to train for those races. I am well aware that to some Gatekeepers this is not a good enough reason. Hell, according to some Gatekeepers, I have no business running to begin with--after all, I didn't start running until my 40s, I'm still 60 lbs overweight, and I can't maintain a 10 minute mile. The fact that I have "only" finished a half (oh, not run the whole thing) is still not proof enough. According to these Gatekeepers, I am not a runner.

Screw you, Gatekeepers. I love running, and running in costume is the way that I love it.

Here's the weird part: when I'm wearing said-costume, I consistently receive support and cheers from onlookers--including (and especially) children, whose obesity epidemic you are supposedly fighting.* And, despite my age and my size and my lack of speed (or maybe because of it), my consistency--my love--has gotten others to start running too.

Isn't the goal to have others love the Thing, no matter what their path?

 In an effort to be fair, I read the article where the editor offered an apology ... for making fun of someone who had cancer. Just to clarify: the editor was sorry for making fun of the wrong person, not for the tutus.

I was never a fan of Self to begin with. I got a copy in a running swap, and it seemed like the focus--in pictures, if not in words--was that one must always be young and skinny rather than strong and healthy no matter where you are in your journey. Just so I don't eat my own words--if this motivates you, fine. This kind of "fitsperation" just doesn't work for me. The judgey-ness and half-hearted apologies only seems to emphasize my distaste.

I contemplated writing a letter; but since I'm obviously not their audience, I figured it would fall on deaf ears. I admit to a certain amount of schadenfreude when seeing the blast on Self's Facebook page. I guess you don't piss off women in tutus--we're already too much in Princess Mode to put up with this kind of crap.

What I would write is simply this:
Dear Self-Proclaimed Gatekeepers, 
I am a runner in a superhero costume. Deal or die. 
Frack you very much,
Chunky Wonder Woman

* I guess if they are running around playing and loving what they are doing rather than an organized sport, that's not the "right way" either.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Still Struggling (But Never Stopping)

I haven't enjoyed running lately. I've been dreading the training and been finding reasons not to go. I wish I could find solid reasons for this slump. The weather has been warming, but I've been fighting allergies. I've taken some vacation time which has been refreshing and tiring in its own way. But if I stay still too long, the Black Dog comes close.

I did a few things that are hopefully in the right direction. Firstly, I ditched the sub-65 10K training. I wasn't making the intervals for the bulk of the tempo runs. I couldn't work out the schedules at all. Rather than keep feeling bad, I decided to stop altogether. The constant failure wasn't doing my mental state any good.

Secondly, I started up doing Zombies, Run! again. By including the zombie chases, I get the speed intervals I've actually been enjoying. I have to watch my pace, though; I have to figure out how fast I have to go to outpace the Walkers but still retain the energy to keep running. I'm discovering that the chases are random; sometimes they even show up when I'm warming up or cooling down, so I have to be prepared at all times. It's part of the brain work that I need.

The final thing I've done for myself is to sign myself up for another race. There is a half marathon and a 5K option. I was going to do the half, but there is a 3 1/2 hour time limit. I did my last half in a little over 3 hours, and that's cutting it a bit close. Even if I don't DFL, chances are the bulk of the champagne will be gone. With the 5K, I have an hour to finish (easy-peasy), and I still get the tech shirt, the boa, the tiara, the champagne, and a medal (smaller, but a medal nonetheless). Since I'm taking the shorter route, I'm going for a PR--dare I try sub 40 minutes?

My new training plan is as follows:

  • Sunday - Long run, defined as a leisurely 4-5 miles so the 5K seems like a "short run." Done while listening to On Being for an extra piece of peace.
  • Monday - Cross-train (yoga, belly-dancing, something)
  • Tuesday - Zombie Run
  • Wednesday - Cross-train
  • Thursday - Tempo run, only about 3 miles, while listening to NPR
  • Friday - Cross-train
  • Saturday - Rest
I feel like a weenie reverting back to 3 mile runs, but right now that seems to be what best fits my schedule and my temperament.  I do want to do another half this year. For now, however, I want to find my joy again. Or at least a reason to move forward.