Thoughts on a Hometown

daily life, dissertation, graduate school

We are back in my hometown for the next two weeks. Even though I think I know this area pretty well, things have changed since I left for college back in 2008. Bruno and I decided to do some exploring and ended up at a new (at least new to me) coffee shop that a reviewer claimed had “the best chai tea latte in all of Ohio.” I have not had every chai tea latte in Ohio, but it is the best chai tea latte I’ve had.

I was voted most likely to never come back when I graduated from high school. I don’t have the yearbook for that year — 18 year old Ali was “too cool” for that — but there’s a picture of me in a yearbook rolling a suitcase with my superlative written underneath. I was really proud of that superlative at the time, but in hindsight I suspect it had more to do with my willingness to hate the “provincialism” of the area. I’m not proud of that.

Hometowns are complicated places. Not everyone really has one. I’m talking about the type of place where everyone knows everyone. Your teachers taught not only your siblings, but also your parents, your aunts and uncles, and all your cousins. When you tell someone your last name, they say “you must be this and that” because your last name means something to people. Its the type of place where a stranger says “you look/act so much like your mom/dad” because, yes, they know them. I do not remember my graduating class number, but I do not think it was over seventy. I knew most of them since kindergarten. That can be stifling. It was stifling.

I spent much of my life wanting to escape. And yet, strangely, it is still a place I refer to as “home.” As in, “I’m going home this weekend” or “I’m back home for the next two weeks.” And while I do not want to move back (hard to imagine any political theory jobs popping up around here!) it is no longer a place I want to escape.

Part of it is because I see how much this place made me. I have a college friend that joked about me that you can take the girl out of the small town, but you can’t take the small town out of the girl. This is probably true. I cannot imagine knowing how to work hard on my dissertation if I had never worked on a dairy farm. The high school experiences — getting busted by the cops for having a football party when I was a sophomore, regularly skipping class, regularly partying (often in barns and cornfields) in some ways led me to run arms wide open into discipline and routine. But they also made me empathetic when other people mess up. I get it. I was there in high school. Time spent working in the local factory (and my father) gave me a blue collar sense of humor and I know that. For every delicious foodie meal I’ll ever have, I’ll never be too stuck up for the local greasy bar pizza.

When I’m here I feel reconnected with the important things — faith and family. While the anxieties of dissertation writing, planning to teach my very first college class, the really shoddy academic job market never really truly leave, they seem like lesser problems. The important thing is to make sure I spend time with my younger, still in elementary, middle, and junior high school sisters. The important thing is to make sure I stop by and see one of my best friends who just had her fourth baby and let her know she is a total bad ass for becoming a mother again. It is watching my nephews for a week because their babysitter is on vacation. I’m not too busy for loving people when I’m home.

While we were driving to this coffee shop, I told Bruno, “I just feel so relaxed.” We were driving along the country roads listening to the John Denver song of the same name. I’ve been working hard and getting back on a routine. The fourth chapter is swinging along. This was not the relaxed state of doing nothing on a beach. It feels like the relaxation of having your priorities straight. Time spent in a  hometown can do that for you.

xo, Ali

 

Monday Miles : June 11 – 17, 2018

crossfit, monday miles, running

Not so many miles this week. As I mentioned yesterday, it was probably the least productive week of my summer — with packing and moving. I underestimated how long everything was going to take me and Friday was a total scramble. Even though I’m in my hometown for the next two weeks (aside for an excursion to Nashville) I’m hoping to get it together with more consistency.

I’m not good at not working. I could feel my relief working on my dissertation this morning. Ah, this feels right. I suspect the same feeling will come to me when Bruno and I work out later this afternoon. We have a few travel WOD’s planned (I think my mom is planning on joining us today!) and I’ll be getting back on track with running, biking, and swimming.

6 / 11 : Nada. Nothing.

6 / 12 : Mid-day 40 minute heart-rate run (keeping myself under 152 bpm). It was burning hot. I could not keep my heart rate down. 3.4 miles. Crossfit. Warm-up — assortment of single-unders, dead lift practice, lunges. WOD: Every four minutes for five sets. 35 foot dumb-bell walking lunge. First set 15 lbs., second through fifth sets 25 lbs. dumb-bells. I think the first set of 3 dead-lifts were 125 lbs. Every set after were 135 lbs. This is the highest I’ve ever dead-lifted. I know this is pretty light, but I was so proud of myself. The women I was lifting with kept adding more weight when we were building up and I remember thinking, “I have no idea if I can do this.” And I did. Three sets of 15 Good Mornings, 20 sit-ups. Romwod for mobility.

6 / 13 : Rest. I was so sore in the best way possible from Tuesday’s work out.

6 / 14 : Still sore. Crossfit. Warm-up — “Rowling.” Rowing and burpies. I suspect I ended up doing around 700m row and about 15 burpies? Dumb-bell squat progression. WOD: For time — For time 30 calorie row, 50 dumb-bell front squats with 15 lbs. dumb-bells. 6 minutes 38 seconds. Core work.

6 / 15 : Moving.

6 / 16 : Hometown. Relaxing. Visiting.

6 / 17 : Father’s Day. Relaxing. Visiting. Sleeping.

Total : 3.4 mile run, 2 hours Crossfit.

xo, Ali

 

 

Favorite Things : June 8 – 15, 2018

favorite things

A very belated favorite things. This week has been chaotic to say the least. I seriously underestimated how long and how time consuming packing and moving could be. Then as soon as everything was in our new house, we drove down to Ohio to my hometown. My mom and step-dad have been living in Spain for the last two years and they moved back home this weekend, so we rushed to get everything done so we could drive down see them. We’ll be here for the next two weeks.

This was not the most productive dissertation week (I don’t think I looked at it at all), but I did get my third chapter approved with edits and sent an abstract in for a conference. So — some small things were done. This week I will have to hit it hard if I want to get the fourth chapter in by the end of the month. Goals.

Other than that nothing new. We went out with my elementary/middle/junior high/high school friend (over two decades of friendship here!) and her fiancé last night and today we are doing the Father’s Day celebrations. I’ve been relaxing, but I also just mainly feel antsy to get back to work, get back on routine, and enjoy some family time.

So, without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

I keep going back and forth on this. When I read that authors I love, like Zadie Smith, have a flip phone and no social media, articles like this make deleting facebook and Instagram more enticing.

Hilarious!

In defense of extreme moderation.

I love this essay on cooking.

Post-work out makeup and skin routine.

On of more serious note, two things:

I did a huge research paper on Title IX for my Modern American Regime class and I still follow it fairly closely. This article on its abuse is an important read.

This Cup of Jo essay on suicide is a must read.

Have a lovely rest of your weekend!

xo, Ali

 

 

Race Report : Flirt with Dirt Dirty Duo 5k & 10k in Novi, Michigan (June 9, 2018)

races, running

I begin this by noting I have no pictures and race pictures are not up yet. Bruno and I both ran and both left our phones in the truck because of the rain. By the time we finished, neither one of us I think had the energy to run back to the truck, grab a phone, and ask a stranger “hey, can you take a picture of us?” If there was a picture of us, it would look like a muddy, wet, mess. The race was called Flirt With Dirt and indeed I took quite a bit of dirt home with me.

Let me begin with my arrogance, pride, hubris: I read a few race reports online, most runners saying that the race was not so bad, easy even. I researched the elevation gain which did not seem bad at all to me after Trail Half-Marathon. In fact the hills seemed significantly less than what I run here in Hillsdale, so how could it be that bad? I saw one report, just one that said the race was hard. But this was one out of several “not so bad at all’s” so I ignored the warning. I forgot hills are not the only thing that make a race hard. Terrain makes a difference. And while I can do hills. I have little experience with technical trail terrain.

Still, I developed unrealistic expectations of what I could probably time at the race. These expectations probably wouldn’t have been absurd if it were a regular road 5k and 10k (the expectations were slower than my PRs in both these areas), but trail? Cute, Ali. But also, get it together.

I was excited about the day. It was going to be Bruno’s first trail race. We were up at around 4 in the morning. I showered. Bruno made the oatmeal with almond milk, strawberries, chia seeds, and plenty of cinnamon. We went through McDonald’s for some coffee (chain coffee preference in order : Dunkin, McD’s, Starbucks) and were on the road to Novi a little after 5am. It was pouring rain and storming. I kept checking the weather for Novi, but mostly felt ok. Whatever would happen would happen. I was pretty chill.

I was pretty happy that despite by ambitious goals for the race, I maintained that core gratitude of “I’m just happy to be out there racing,” because I needed it later. Race parking and check-in were easy enough. Everything was easy to find, organized. By the time I checked in, waited in line/stretched for the port-a-potties, it was already time for the 5k.

The race starts going downhill and let’s just say that downhill is tricky. It makes going faster seem easier, then a mile later you wonder “why does this feel so hard?” The first mile glided by for that 5k — I ran it in 8 minutes, no problem. I don’t even thing I panted. But I think I ran off the adrenaline and momentum for the downhill, because I went a minute slower every mile after that. By the time I was on the last mile I could not believe I signed up to do it all over again for twice the distance. I finished at 29:50. Almost five minutes slower than I had planned. I was still pretty happy with my time — happy it was under 30 minutes and happy to just take a bit of a break before I ran another 6.3 miles.

I already significantly lowered my expectations for the 6.3, but I was nervous. Like I said, I forgot how hard trail running technically is — even without a lot of hills. I landed strange on my foot and my Achilles tendon was bugging me. My attitude was kind of low. Plus it started raining. The trail was muddy and wet. Bruno made jokes and I would just give him a cursory thumbs up. I was grumpy. I was sore. I wanted the race over with.

About mile three, I had a serious talk with myself: “You could not even do this last year! You could not even do this six months ago!” I took a deep breath and just started thinking about how grateful I was. I was grateful to be on this muddy, constantly twisting and turning trail. I was grateful to be around for Bruno’s first trail race. And I just repeated those things over and over and over again. I was and am just grateful to run. Always.

During Trail Half-Marathon, I still had a little bit of juice to finish fast and strong. I did not have as much for this race. I was beat, exhausted, but at least now, in a much better, positive, grateful mood. We still sprinted up the hill, but it was probably more like a hobble. Bruno and I grabbed hands and crossed the finish line. It was a victory. I went from being a total grumpy 10k runner to one filled with joy and gratitude all in the course of 1 hour and 10 minutes. Miles change you.

It was still raining, but we checked our times and places for the 5k. Bruno got fourth in his age group and I got third — which, frankly, has never happened to me before — so that was awesome. We received Dirty Duo beer mugs and age group award race jars, and then hopped in the truck, changed (I was soaked), and drove the two hour drive home.

I learned a lot from this race. 1) Have reasonable expectations. 2) Be grateful. Always.

I’m not sure where I will be in June 2019, but if I am still in Michigan, I would love to run this race again. I cannot help but be a fan of a race that humbles me, kicks my ass, and makes me feel grateful all in a few miles. Flirt with Dirt, I think its love.

5k : 29:50

10k : 1:10:21

Dirty Duo Time : 1:40:11 (9.3 miles)

xo, Ali

 

 

Monday Miles : June 4 – 10, 2018

crossfit, monday miles, running, swimming, training, triathlon

We are about to start a full week. We are moving all of our stuff from our current house to the new house this week, but because the landlord wants to put some new stuff in the kitchen (a cause for delay I am totally fine with) we cannot move in for another two weeks yet. So at the end of this week we are picking up my mom and step-dad from the Detroit Airport on Friday afternoon — they will be moving back to the states after two years of working in Spain — and heading back to Ohio for two weeks. Add to all this that I managed to mess up my left elbow again (it was previously broken a few years ago) and lifting anything, straightening it, holding anything with my left hand leads to a lot of pain. So, yes, it is a little chaotic over here.

Workouts for last week (or lack thereof) were heavily influenced by my non-functioning left elbow/forearm/wrist. I tried to take it easy in preparation for the Dirty Duo Flirt with Dirt on Saturday. It is better, but still not optimal.

6 / 4 : Crossfit — 2x 100m run, 15 morning glories, 15 air squats, 30s/30s ankle stretch. Movement prep with PVC pipe for cleans. 4 x 5 cleans with 35 lbs. bar bell. My form was pretty atrocious for the movement, so the coach just had me working from the mid-thigh to jump motion over and over again. WOD – For time. 15 cleans (same mid-thigh to jump motion) and 21 calorie row. 2 minutes and 53 seconds. Romwod.

6 / 5 : Morning — 700m swim. 200 m drills/breast stroke warm-up. 500m 10 x 50m swim w/ 30-45s recovery. I was really happy with this swim. But afterwards, this is when my elbow started bugging me. Crossfit — RUNNING! Hoorah! Warm-up was a bunch of different mobility walks — lunge twists, kick-butts, high knees, hurdle walks, etc. WOD: 4 x 200, 1 minute recovery in between, 3 minute recovery after last 200, 3 x 300, 1 minute recover in between, 3 minute recovery after, 2 x 400, 1 minute recover. It took me 22:06 minutes and I ran about a 7:00-7:30 pace for each interval. I am really loving crossfit, but sometimes I get so overwhelmed with how much there is to learn, so it was nice to have a day where I knew what to do — just run. Romwod.

6 / 6 : Rest. Here begin the onslaught of elbow woes.

6 / 7 : Rest. Elbow.

6 / 8 : Rest. Lots of stretching and hamstring prep for the race on Saturday.

6 / 9 : Flirt with Dirt Dirty Duo 5k and 10k. I will be writing a race report this, but for now, I can say it was a very humbling (and muddy) experience.

6 / 10 : Rest.

I’m hoping to get back to more training this week, the elbow feels a bit better (but not much). Running, though, my main love, should be fine.

xo, Ali

 

Brief Thoughts on Kate Spade

fashion

After my parents divorced, my mom traveled to Chicago frequently to visit her younger sister. Sometimes my sister, brother, and I would go along. One of those times she bought a Kate Spade bag. It was black and white, the standard handbag.

Without ever seeing any advertising, without having any awareness of the “whimsical” nature of the brand or the founder, I knew that my mom buying this purse was a big deal. That was advertisement enough. She would return back to our rural Ohio town with a “Kate Spade.” We went up the Signature Room of the John Hancock building and drank hot chocolates. I was probably twelve at the time and I remember feeling sophisticated. I knew I wanted to grow up to be the type of woman who owned a Kate Spade.

Coach was the chosen-purse while I was in high school. I owned one, but I never particularly cared for the gaudy C’s all over everything. I feel the same way about Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors purses. You do not have to be discerning to notice the brand, it screams at you like a portable billboard. A Kate Spade is very clearly a Kate Spade, but you wear the purse. The purse does not wear you.

I own my own black Kate Spade handbag, given to me by mother for Christmas a couple years ago. At that point Kate Spade the person no longer had anything to do with Kate Spade the brand, but the purse is black, simple, functional. It is all business on the outside with pink polka dots on the inside. I still use it. I am the type of woman who owns a Kate Spade purse.

I think when I was twelve I thought this type of person would be living in a big city, sipping something more potent than hot chocolates, glamorous, sophisticated, cosmopolitan. Today I am none of those things. I live in another (slightly larger!) rural Michigan town. I’m more bookish than glamorous. The only sophisticated and cosmopolitan thing about me is that I can read (but not speak) French. And I use it not to read French Vogue, but to read Rousseau.

But I think, going back to that day when Kate Spade first caught my eye, is that the purse made me look forward to adulthood. As an awkward nerdy middle-school kid in a small rural town, I think that day with the purse represented what everyone who does not necessarily fit in where they are at: there is more out there. What that “more” looks like does not look like what I thought it would when I was twelve, but I think I found it, or at the very least, am closer to it.

Thank you, Kate Spade.

Monday Miles : May 28 – June 3, 2018

crossfit, monday miles, running, swimming, training, triathlon

This week, like always, was a little bit of everything. I took it easy on both of my weekday runs to recover from Murph on Monday. As I mentioned on Friday, my bike broke so I’ve been doing all my rides on an indoor trainer. While the trainer does let me set resistance, rpm, calories, heart rate, I actually cannot figure out anything else. It doesn’t tell me mileage, but I think it tells me power, but to be honest — this is how much of a newb I am — I have zero idea what any of it means. I’m just rolling with it so to speak and hoping to borrow a family bike after I go to Ohio next week.

Here are this week’s work outs!

5 / 28 : My very first Murph. It was scaled. It was still hard. Read more here.

5 / 29 : Rest. I was not expecting to be as beat as I was. I was not mentally tired, but I felt physically tired. A cheeseburger was a necessary part of my “recovery” diet.

5 / 30 : Morning – 50 minute run at below 152 beats per minute heart rate. 4.52 miles, averaging 11:02 mile. I get that eleven minute miles are basically slower than a warm-up jog for most people, but this is actually about twenty seconds per mile faster than last week’s run at the same heart rate and same route which made me pretty happy. Afternoon – back to Crossfit. Warm up — 2 x 100 single-unders (I only got to 75 first round and 89 the second), 10 wall squats with 3 second hold, 10 in and outs with a bar, 10 front squats with bar (mistakenly had a 45 lbs. bar for this — mistakes were made!). WOD : 5 x 3 front squats. Rounds 1 & 2 : 35 lbs. Rounds 3 & 4 : 55 lbs. Round 5 : 65 lbs. 3 x 6/6 split squats, 30 banded crunches. As with most crossfit things, this was my first time ever doing a front squat. Ever.

5 / 31 : Swim — 500 meters. 5 x 50 meters, 6 x 25 meters, 2 x 50 meters. 30-45 seconds after each 50 or 25. This was my first swim were I didn’t just do 25 meters at a time. It felt hard. It felt rough. I know it will get there. 5 x 100 single-unders. I will master you!…only to move on to double-unders.

6 / 1 : Morning : Indoor bike — 40 minutes. Every nine minutes increased resistance for one minute, then returned back to original resistance, tried to mainly just focus on going 90-100 rpm. I have no idea what I’m doing. Run — 40 minutes easy on treadmill (it was raining). 10:40/mile. Also, I did that thing where I breathed through my nose instead of my mouth for this run because I did not have a heart rate monitor. Afternoon : Crossfit. Warm-up — 50 single-unders, 100m run, 50m dumbbell over-head walk with 15 lbs. dumbbells, 15 x leg-throws with partner, 50 single-unders, 100 m run; 50m front rack walk (15 lbs. dumbbells); 3 x toes to bar practices, 45 seconds double-under practice, 100m run, 50m waiters walk and farmer carry with 15 lbs. dumbbells, 3 x toes to bar attempts, 5 x wall ball squats @ 14 lbs, 5 x wall ball thrusts @ 14 lbs, 5 x wall balls @ 10 lbs. WOD (yeah, you read that right. That was all a warm-up!) — For time — Run 1k, 50 single-unders, 100m double dumb-bell walk — 15 lbs., 50 single-unders, 30 wall ball shots @ 10 lbs., 100m front rack walk — 10 lbs., 30 toes to bars (attempts!), 30 wall ball shots, 50 single-unders, 100m farmer/waiter carry — 10 lbs., 30 toes to bars (attempts!), 50 single-unders, run 1k. I finished in 29 minutes and 8 seconds. It was no joke. Also, I think my grip strength is getting somewhat better because I could actually stay holding onto the bar longer, which was convenient.

6 / 2 : Swim — 500m, 10 minutes of drills — 200m back floating, gently kicking, not using arms (thank you Total Immersion!). I would switch to breast stroke when I couldn’t get myself to move anymore, but after the first few times, I made most of the way down the pool. 300m — freestyle, 25m reps with 30-45 breaks. I tried to count strokes. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many strokes it takes to get down the pool: 22-24. There. I said it. Things can only go up from here. 40 minute indoor bike. Every four minutes increased resistance for a minute maintaining 90-100 rpm. Like I said, I’m just doing what I can with what I have for right now.

6 / 3 : Run — 7 miles. 9:44/mile. Average HR 161 bpm. This was both faster than the same exact run from last week at a lower heart rate and in hotter temperatures. I’m just saying. This run I noticed something different. There is a final hill on my very last mile that is always just excruciating for me. I usually spend the ten minutes before I get to it convincing myself not to walk it. This time it felt easy. Like, in the “why were you so worked up about that” kind of way. It felt good.

I’ve got another race coming up this week — the Flirt with Dirt, so the plan is to take it easy for this week.

xo, Ali

Favorite Things : May 26 – June 1, 2018

favorite things

How is it June 1 already? One more month and we are half-way through 2018. I’ll admit to being, for the most part, pretty on track with my 2018 goals so far, the biggest goal being to finish my dissertation by the end of this year (this counts even if I have to defend in early 2019). I’m waiting to hear back on chapter three 2.0 (I had to split up the original chapter three into chapters three and four) and will hopefully get chapter four, which was part of the original chapter three, in by the end of this month, leaving only chapters five (which I have already started) and six. I think once three and four get approved, it is going to feel very real that I am nearing the end of decades of school. This is terrifying because I have no idea what is going to happen next. Hello, anxiety.

We have no big plans for this weekend other than packing, a run, a swim, a bike, and most definitely some reading. My old mountain bike gave up the ghost this week, so I am currently training for my first triathlon and bikeless. I was hoping she would last until I could buy a road bike at the end of summer, but she could not hang out. I’ve been riding on the indoor bike on campus, but it isn’t the same. I really just want to feel comfortable with the road and hills. Cycling is scary for me and riding indoors is not helping me with that fear.

Anyway — here are this week’s favorite things.

Committing to your first ultra.

I love black beans.

“Without opposing reasonable, routine maintenance, Ehrenreich observes that the care of the self has become a coercive and exploitative obligation: a string of endless medical tests, drugs, wellness practices, and exercise fads that threaten to become the point of life rather than its sustenance.”

Something to think about : a critique of radical wellness culture.

I suspect this is probably true. I definitely judge handshakes.

Related (and for a laugh) : Seven signs that your man’s masculinity is non-toxic.

Stop imitating the habits of successful people.

Horrifying. I’m not sure I will ever eat calamari again.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Ali

 

 

 

 

Tales From My First Murph

crossfit

To begin, I have to say it felt good to do something to memorialize soldiers who lost their lives. I consider myself a patriotic person, but I think three-day weekends like Memorial Day or even the 4th of July can get lost in the things to do, places to go. I’ll admit that I probably do not spend as much time reflecting as I could or should. I tried to fix that this year beyond just doing Murph on Memorial Day, but also in what I read over the weekend.

Murph RX’d is : 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, 1 mile run. Add to all that a twenty pound vest and you are all set. The work out is named after Michael Murphy, who not only performed this work out called “Body Armor” on the regular, but died in Afghanistan exposing himself to fire in order to get signal to report the situation. You can read more about him here. I meant to read this book over the weekend, but it was “lost” in the library.

I was nervous all weekend. I looked up a million articles on Google about Murph, advice for first-timers, what to do, what not to do. The main thing on my to-do list for Saturday and Sunday was to drink water. When Sunday hit the nineties and I saw that Monday would be much the same, I became even more nervous.

All morning on Monday I had some real butterflies in my stomach. I had eggs, bacon, toast, and oatmeal with strawberries. I tried to stretch and calm myself down, but that nervous feeling in my stomach persisted. I let it go, figuring that I would feel better once I arrived at the box. I was right.

I’ve only been doing Crossfit for a few weeks and have started from the very bottom of upper body strength. I did Murph scaled : 1 mile run, 100 ring-rows, 200 knee push-ups, 300 squats, 1 mile run. I did them “broke ass Cindy” style with twenty rounds of 5 ring-rows, 5 knee push-ups, 15 squats, 5 knee push-ups. My A goal was to finish under an hour. My B goal was to finish.

Everything I read told me not to go out too fast for the first mile. At this point is was about ninety degrees, so I don’t think that was going to be too much of a danger. So I started closer to nine minute pace, gradually increasing to around 8:30 where I hovered until I had about a half mile left. I determined I felt good, so I increased until I finished in around 8:15 minutes. It felt like a good warm-up.

I thought the ring-rows, knee push-ups, and squats went fine. I told Bruno, if I learned anything it is that I should probably start doing regular push-ups and banded pull-ups during my regular work outs now. Everything I read/heard also said the push-ups are what will get to you. I am not even sure I can string together 20 regular push-ups (although if I can do 200 on my knees, I probably could), so I worried about that and opted to stick with the knee push-ups. In hindsight, I wish I would have given the regular ones a go at least for a few rounds.

I thought the twenty rounds went quickly, but I think I’m strange. I really like the “chipper” work outs. I looked at it like a six mile run. Every five rounds was a “mile”. I really did not struggle too much mentally during the work out, except towards the very end, but only very mildly because I was almost done.

I did have a rough time during the last mile though both mentally and physically. I ran the whole damn thing. I did not walk. I kept wanting to walk. I knew that even if it took me fifteen minutes to do the last mile, I would still meet my “A” goal, still finish in under an hour. But I refused to let myself. Someone took my picture and I had a few choice words about how I felt. I think the f-bomb was used. I ran the last mile a little over a minute longer than the first 9:30minutes. And I am not kidding when I saw it was the hardest mile I’ve ever run in my life.

I ran back into the box looked at the clock : 51 minutes 15 seconds. I laid down for a good two minutes. I could not stand. I felt so completely wiped. But I also felt like it was a total victory. I was really happy with my time, doing better than I thought I could. I was happy with that last run, because I just kept moving forward. Also, a friend of mine told me that I went out for the last run with the exact same stride as I went out on the first. I was really proud of that. Those 300 squats were not scaled.

I celebrated with some Bud heavy and we went home, showered, ate lunch, and Romwoded (is that a word? It is now) before heading out to a fellow crossfitter’s house to hang out at the pool. It was the perfect victory celebration.

33776656_10211696538195366_7230989055301779456_o

I feel like our faces say it all: happy, but tired. Also, note the color coordinating. This was not planned. 

 

33691393_10101720107768891_5505693665932083200_n

Officially my favorite picture of Bruno. 

 

I’m still sore and still tired, but I also feel really proud of myself. It was a really fantastic day.

xo, Ali

 

 

 

Monday Miles (Tuesday Edition) : May 21 – 27, 2018

crossfit, monday miles, running, swimming, training, triathlon

Hello and good morning from post-Murph/Memorial Day. I am wiped out and sore. For now, all I can say is that I survived. More on that later though. For now, here are last week’s work outs.

5 / 21 : Morning – 18 minute swim. 18 laps (450m) — free; 2 laps (50m) breast. I took a 30-45 second break after every side. I think in two weeks, I’m allowed to start put 25s together. Right now, just taking it easy, really, really trying to focus on form. That looks like three strokes breathe to one side, three strokes breath to the other right now. Some laps I feel really smooth, others I feel clunky, splashy, not right at all…like a human in the water. Afterwards, I went to the weight room to practice just hanging. I can barely hold onto the pull-up bar, so I thought I would just try to hold on for a minute, take a break and do another minute. Hilarious! I could barely do that, but could only manage 15 seconds. So this is what I did: 5 x 15s; 45s break. Starting from the bottom. Afternoon – Crossfit. Warm-up. 3 x 12 calorie rows, 3 x over-head weight jumping lunges @ 10 lbs., 3 x 12 barbell bridges. WOD. Pyramid back squats with increasing weigh, decreasing reps. 5 x 55 lbs; 4 x 65 lbs.;  3 x 75 lbs., 2 x 85 lbs, 1 x 95 lbs., I cannot remember the increasing rep, decreasing weights numbers, except I know they were heavier than on the way up, and I finished 5 x 65 lbs. I really enjoyed this work-out, but I had no idea where to start for weights. The girls helped me and I think I ended up figuring it out and next time I’ll know! 2 x 30 kettle-bell lat bends. I have no idea what these are called. Romwod for mobility.

5 / 22 : Morning — Pre-run. Rolled out quads, hamstrings, 50 clam-shells, 50 Jane Fonda’s, hamstring stretch. 50 minute run. I’ve been trying to make Tuesday my aerobic heart rate days and stay under 152 beats per minute. I ended up running 4.35 miles at 11:26/pace. I was actually pretty happy with this (even though I know it is oh so slow) because my legs felt good and I didn’t have to keep stopping to walk because my heart rate was getting too damn high. Afternoon — Crossfit. Various warm-ups, Spider-Man lunges(?), shoulder rolls, etc. WOD. For 40 minutes. Every two minutes. Run 400m. 30 burpees (I managed 20 the first round and 15-17 the last four). 375m row (I did this every single round). 20 box-steps and 15 v-ups (I did knee v-ups). I think I did this with low-grade nausea the entire time. But I made it. Romwod.

5 / 23 : Morning — I seriously debated not doing anything, but as I was rolling myself out I started to feel better. Rolled out quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, feet and toe stretches. Went to the rec center on campus and did five minutes of single-under practice. My jump-rope skills ain’t what they used to be. I managed 30 in a row without breaking. A victory. 40 minutes on the bike. I focused on rpm and tried (successfully) to stay over 90. 5 x 15s pull-up bar hold. 45s break. It went better than it did on Monday! Afternoon — Crossfit. Warm-up, different jump-rope skills (none of which I was capable of accomplishing). WOD. AMRAP 10 minutes — 10 pull-ups, 5 handstand push-ups, 30 double-unders. Scaled down for me — of course. 10 ring-pulls, 5 push-ups with knees on a box, 50 single-unders. I almost made five rounds — up to 44 single-unders on the fifth round. Romwod.

5 / 24 : Run. 3.3 miles. 8:56/mile pace. I did this run later in the morning — it was hot out! It is quite amazing how in the last three weeks how much stronger my runs feel, or maybe I’m just getting better at suffering. Romwod.

5 / 25 : Rest. Romwod.

5 / 26 : In the words of Rob Thomas ft. Santana (or is it the other way around?): “Man it’s a hot one.” 7 miles. 10:00/mile pace. Average heart rate 163 bpm. By the time I came back to the house I was soaked in sweat. Mostly the run felt good though. Aside for the heat, I have no complaints, concerns, comments, questions, etc.

5 / 27 : I was planning on going for a bike ride this day, but didn’t. I’ve usually been saving my Sunday bike rides for the afternoon, but I was so tired that I ended up taking a nap instead. I was fine with this change in plans.

Totals : 500m swim, 17.6 miles run, 7 mile bike ride, 3 hours crossfit.