matociquala: (comics invisibles king mob)
So I haven't been running since last summer, really, because I fucked up my foot. It started hurting when I ran, and then I rested it and got better, and did a trail half, and it started hurting more, and then I did a book tour and walked a lot in dressy shoes, and it hurt even more, and after Worldcon I tried to run 5K with some intervals and as a result was laid up on the couch for two weeks in agony. I saw my doctor and she thought it was Achilles tendinitis: "Rest it and stretch it."

Well, it seemed to be getting better slowly. And then I danced on New Year's Eve and the next day I couldn't walk. I'm a pretty tough girl, and I was in so much pain I had to hop to the bathroom.

So, to make a long story short, I saw an orthopedic surgeon yesterday, and there's very good news: the x-rays are fine, and there's no tendon or bone damage requiring surgery. What I do have is very, very tight calf muscles, which is probably half the fact that I live and run in a really hilly goddamned place, and half that I got slack about my yoga practice starting last year.

The calf muscles pull on the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia, causing... excruciating pain in my foot!

So I got a cortisone shot (Jiminy Christmas, that hurt. I had one in my bum shoulder before and it was no big deal: this one was fucking agony) and a PT routine, and permission to resume exercise and activity as my pain levels permit.

Er. Once I'm over the pneumonia. You know.

If the PT doesn't work, he says, they can surgically lengthen my calf muscle. So... I think I'm going to try to pick up the pace with my yoga practice.
matociquala: (criminal minds morgan garcia gotcha)
As I write this, Karen Memory is the #12 steampunk book on Amazon. I learned this morning that it's already been sent back for a rush reprint. because the first run sold out, and honestly, I'd love for Karen to be the #1 steampunk book on Amazon. So if you are an Amazon shopper, and you were planning on buying the book anyway,

If you are not an Amazon shopper and you want to read Karen Memory, please do order it through your library, preferred online retailer, or--best of all!--local retailer!

It formally goes on sale tomorrow, though there are scattered reports of it being on some bookstore shelves already.



You can read an excerpt here.

Yesterday I also learned that I had four things on the Locus recommended reading list for 2014.

Those four things are The Steles of the Sky, "The Hand is Quicker," "Covenant," and "This Chance Planet."

[livejournal.com profile] truepenny's glorious The Goblin Emperor is on there, too, and [livejournal.com profile] scott_lynch's delightful "A Year and a Day in Old Theradane."

And a lot of other really awesome stuff as well.

And [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange and I ran 13.1 miles in Galveston yesterday, and then went out dancing last night with Austin friends.

matociquala: (Default)

Airborne bear! Here I am at the finish line of the St. Paul Monster dash half marathon last weekend.

We anyways look our best in race photos.

matociquala: (literature sally and encyclopedia)

Oh, adventure.

Dear Reader, it's been a dratted long time since I did any serious updating, for which I apologize. Let's just say it's been busy, and I'll provide a few highlights to convince you.

To start with, here's a fun thing. I will be appearing at a couple of the Project Hieroglyph book launch events September 30th-October 2nd, in New York City and Washington DC. Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future itself is of course available at fine book retailers on and off line, everywhere.

Also, here's my Hieroglyph story up at Slate: "Covenant."

Here's what I will be doing this week:

Project Hieroglyph Book Launch and Celebration
Tumblr and ASU Center for Science and the Imagination
Tuesday, Sept 30th, 2013 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
NY, NY

Register for free tickets here.


Can We Imagine Our Way to a Better Future?
Keck Center of the National Academies
500 5th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
(This event is booked full, but there will be a live webcast.)

In other news, I finished my third official half marathon on September 13th--the Milford CT Gulf Beach half, which was lovely and I felt like I did well in, despite being twenty pounds up from where I was this time last year (blame a hard winter, too much convention, and France. You would not believe the subcutaneous layer of cheese and butter from Normandy I still have to haul up walls) and otherwise out of shape from a long summer of hotels and bar food.

Here's the obligatory pre-race shot:



Finish line:



Post-race with swag and new contact lenses.



The Europe trip was lovely, if hectic. And Scott and I were both incredibly giddy by the end of it. Iceland was gorgeous; Normandy was spectacular; Sweden and Finland were fantastic and England was just as I left it, though we saw some new bits this time. NB: I highly recommend tramping the downs on the Isle of Wight.

I have never quite felt so slow-witted as I did at the Worldcon panels. Wow.

Anyway, I did the race in 11:25 miles, finishing in just under 2 and a half hours. Not a PR, but very respectable given my lack of training. (Now I'm working on doing better at the Monster Dash in Minneapolis on October 25th!)

Also, we've been scraping and sanding the porch preparatory to painting. I hope the damned thing magically paints itself before I get home.



Anyway, tl:dr, here are some photos.



One does not simply WALK into London...



Re: what I said about the Isle of Wight.

A Bear in Iceland:



Snails and barnacles:



It's been a good year for the morning glories:



What else? Oh, Omaha Beach and Mont St. Michel are both totally worth a visit, and I have written a couple of stories and some gaming content, and as soon as the Hieroglyph publicity trip is up I'll be diving back into An Apprentice to Elves. That's what I'll be doing at Viable Paradise while my colleagues are all teaching. I feel like I ran a great scam this year.

Here's a blurry photo of Carlos and his perfect hair holding the first copy of One-Eyed Jack I ever personally saw, at Nine Worlds:



And here. Have a fuzzy caterpillar, and the Giant Ridiculous Dog, for his fans, with the shark Sarah Monette sent him for my birthday: ...hey...

 

matociquala: (bear by san)
Well, that's 80,000 words. The book is theoretically done at the contracted length... except I still have two and a half climaxes to go. The protagonists are walking up the beach toward the antepenultimate confrontation with about as much plan as a pack of player characters.

This won't end well.

But I got to type antepenultimate, and how often does that happen?

I wrote 3000 words today, and got them done in time to take the dog out for a leisurely sunset run, since it got above 20 degrees and all. Then I ate a lot of curry and decided to spend my dinner carbs on a cocktail rather than rice. It consisted of 1 part Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay coconut rum, 1 part pomegranate liqueur, 2 parts unsweetened 100% cranberry juice, .5 part Rose's sweetened lime juice (that's Rose's lime cordial for you UK types), and the juice of half a fresh lime. Shaken over ice and consumed rather quickly, with a pinch of crushed reds sprinkled on top and a lime wedge.

I am calling it a Captain Kidd, because what else do you call a piratical drink made with cranberries if not naming it after New England's best known and most controversial privateer?

There are photos.



Since my brain is now dribbling out my ears (this is more book- than alcohol- related. Alas, the drink was four hours ago.), you get photos rather than sense.

Here's where the magic happens:


Here's a dog with a teddy bear:



And here are two scenes from our run:



matociquala: (atc)

Item: I was actually in tears this morning when I heard of Pete Seeger's death. Just saw him in 2011, I think, at a fundraiser for church in Middletown. It was raining like a son of a gun.

[livejournal.com profile] pecunium is right. Pete would say: "Don't mourn; organize."

Still, an American hero has left us. And I feel like that demands a moment of recognition.

***

Item: (The following possibly triggery for weight and fitness stuff; skip if that bothers you.)

Fitness is a lifetime commitment...

...and I will keep telling myself that. I had made a pretty good comeback after slacking during all that travel last fall--was back up to an 11 mile run for my long day, and was climbing regularly and working on getting back into yoga two or three times a week.

And then the cold snap and the book deadline hit. -20 wind chill is a real disincentive to get out and run, let me tell you.

Anyway, I have been managing to get to the climbing gym. And last night I stuck around after climbing and hit the elliptical for some hard intervals. AND did a little kettlebell. I was doing swings with the 40 pounder, and they were hard, but I didn't kill anybody! (My friend [livejournal.com profile] ashacat and I also played catch with a 14-kilo medicine ball. That was fun. And heavy.)

I've been more or less maintaining weight despite somewhat lackadaisical discipline, which is encouraging, but I've been claiming for two years now that I'm going to get this last thirtyish pounds off for the sake of my climbing and my joints and--hell--my vanity.

(I got rid of fifteen of it at one point, and then ten of that crept back. And then I got rid of ten, and five has crept back. It's the long stints of traveling that my job entails that do me in. Hotel food is the devil.)

Still, I've been stable in the low 190s despite holidays and cold and only intermittent exercise and occasional Restaurant Incidents and the Hobbit-related alcohol consumption.

I think I can knuckle down and make this happen. I have a size 10 dress that I want to wear for fancy this summer, and I can get it on, but I can't zip it--so now it's hanging by my bedroom mirror. Inspiration!

Also, I'm running in my second half-marathon in June. So I'd better make sure I get back into training and stay there. It's the Sour Grapes trail run in Brainerd, Minnesota.

My climbing-related goals are to climb 5.10 consistently and start work on 5.11s, and to take a sport lead climbing class. Those are trickier, because my time in Wisconsin leads to much less climbing. But since my new climbing gym also offers weights and cardio stuff... Thursday I plan to hit the rowing machine and do weights after climbing. Whee!

And Friday or this weekend, depending on weather, a six mile run. Before I lose the ability to do six mile runs. :P

I can't wait. *g*

***

And now I am going to finish this fucking book.

matociquala: (comics invisibles king mob)
I've been playing Zombies, Run! for the past couple of weeks, which is largely [livejournal.com profile] coffeeem's fault. And I have to say, it's delightful. It makes me want to run more, so I can get through the story faster. In fact, it makes me want to run more than is probably healthy for me, so I have to make a point of taking rest days. (Between that and the fitbit, the compulsion to feed my exercise tamagothis is perhaps leading to a slight obsession. Ahem.)

Not only is the game smart, populated by a diverse and interesting cast of characters, and addictive... it gives me something to think about other than how many miles I have left to go. I just wish I could chain together multiple episodes over a two-hour run without having to stop and restart, but that's a minor complaint, and the radio mode helps with that.

Although I don't know what the zombies actually want with me, I'm not sure. Day 246, still no sign of brain regeneration. And yet, deadlines.

I think I need six months off from writing.

I have, however, discovered that Warren Zevon, surprising no-one, is the perfect music for running from zombies. Tom Waits, as well. And the Tina Turner cover of "The Bitch Is Back" cracked me up when it came on. Also surprisingly pleasing in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the English countryside: Everlast's "We're All Gonna Die" and Squeeze's "Annie, Get Your Gun."
matociquala: (criminal minds reid runs like a girl)

I spent my Worldcon being chased by velociraptors.

No really. Proof!



(photo Scott Lynch; editing Fran Wilde)

How did you spend yours?

matociquala: (comic tick ninjas hedge)
This is the most dramatic weather breaking I remember.

Three days ago: 98 degrees.

Right now: 38 degrees.

HELLO AUTUMN WHAT KEPT YA?

In related (elated) news, I slept better last night than I have since before worldcon. Which might also have something to do with the 11.6 miles I ran yesterday, through the faerie villages of Western Wisconsin. (Seriously. New Richmond has embarked upon a program of encouraging the return of the Fair Folk. By building them housing. I keep finding tiny houses and barns in odd places around town.

See?





Going to walk to the grocery store now and buy the ingredients for a pear-ginger upside-down cake. Also, a latte. Because AUTUMN.

I'm wearing a sweater. It's the BEST DAY EVER. Also, one of the neighbors is making onions in butter for breakfast. I CAN SMELL IT. I WILL FIND THEM.
matociquala: (criminal minds reid runs like a girl)
[livejournal.com profile] coffeeem convinced me, and I just tried out Zombies, Run! And ran 3.62 miles in 36 minutes. And then realized I had forgotten to use my inhaler before heading out. And then nearly got eaten by zombies because sprinting, not so much.

I would do that again.

I would use my inhaler first. Still: Project: Valkyrie stretch goal unlocked! Outdoor 10-minute miles! 3.6 of them!

I think it's time I admitted to myself that I have a problem. I may be addicted to running aps.


Pullups.
Half marathon.
Ten minute miles--more than one, in a row. Indoors. Outdoors.

I will deadlift a me.
I will bench three digits.
I will kick up to handstands at home, when there is no comforting pad under me.
Free headstand.
And I will climb 5.10 reliably, rather than on good days and easy routes.
matociquala: (drive train _ netcurmudgeon)

Working with windfall apples requires a particular kind of attention. At the risk of sounding like a Christopher Kimball essay, you never quite know what you're going to get from looking at the outside of the fruit. I mean, you can spot the rotten ones pretty easily--but then sometimes you can have one that looks completely miserable, but once you peel it and cut out a couple of bruises, it's all sound fruit. And then there's another one that looks rosy and perfect--not even a bruise--and even seems fine once you peel it, but as soon as you cut more than skin deep, you realize it's riddled with wormholes.

Anyway, as you've probably guessed, there's a hundred-something-year-old Macintosh tree on the property line between us and the neighbors, and its been dropping apples slightly smaller than tennis balls all over the back yard. I properly earned my thrifty Yankee card today, because after my morning run not only did I go out and clean up a bunch of apples, but I picked out the decent ones, took them inside, and turned them into an apple crisp that is now cooling on the kitchen counter.

I also pulled all the picked-over chicken carcases out of the deep freezer and boiled up a batch of stock, part of which will be chicken soup for dinner tonight and the rest of which will go back into the freezer in quart containers for future soup, gravy, and the like.

2013-08-20 13.06.22

(Dogs think chicken soup day is the BEST DAY. Especially since he gets all the kind of squidgy bits when I pick the bones over.)


I feel like I earned my apple crisp tonight.

I've got a new running route--or actually, two new routes with a common root, as it were. A fellow runner tipped me off to a pedestrian-friendly back way to the neighboring town, which is not the terrifying corrida de toros the state highway entails for foot traffic. It's gorgeous! Tree lines lanes through farms and orchards, and on the way out the hill is gentle and easy. (On the way back, you do it all at once, so it's brutal--but then it's over with, and you have that long gentle hill to run back down for dessert.) So I can run out, loop around the neighboring town's common, run back, loop our common, and get 10K. Or I can run over, run around their lake, run back, and get 11 miles.

 And it's pretty and I like it a lot. Ahem.

Anyway, when I got home, I happened to notice that the dill from our farm share had a hitchhiker:

2013-08-20 09.35.37

2013-08-20 09.36.00

Isn't it lovely? It's a black swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio polyxenes) (my favorite local butterfly), and though you can't see the osmeterium in these photos, it poked it out at me when I harassed it to make sure it was alive.

Well, reader, I am kind of a sucker. Because it turns out that these caterpillars feed on plants in the carrot family (thus its home on the dill: they also like fennel, carrots, parsley, Queen Anne's lace, and such like).

None of which we currently have in the yard.

So I carted the little dude down to the local park and found it some Queen Anne's lace to hang out on:

2013-08-20 10.15.08

My good deed for the day.

matociquala: (loose tea for loose women)

I'm working on revisions for my short story for the Hieroglyph Project, and wishing I had a lot more time to work on it. I am full of partly-gestated ideas, and not sure how to make any of them crystallize. Especially since I'm having serious trouble focusing today. But I will put on my big girl pants and get 'er done. Because that's how we roll.

(Also, I just figured out a great scene for the end of Steles of the Sky. Which was finalized last week. Le Sigh. Maybe I can work it into a sequel, if Tor wants any more Eternal Sky books down the line.)

So I bring you photos of things, instead. And the Return of Tea, since I picked up a new mismatched but aesthetically pleasing cup and saucer at a barn sale this morning.

Here are some nifty wildflowers I noticed while walking the dog this morning, for example:

2013-08-18 09.29.28

And here's that teacup and saucer.

2013-08-18 13.57.55

The teacup was manufactured by Westbrook, in England. The saucer is by the Richard Briggs Company in Boston, manufactured in France. The flowers are from the back yard, except that insane Van Gogh sunflower, which was grown by a friend.

The tea is Upton's Jiu Hua Mao Feng ("Nine Glorious Mountains"), a nice light China green tea which looks amber in the photo because it had been sitting in the thermos for a bit, and had oxidized some.

In Project Valkyrie news, a ten mile run yesterday over a new route, because I got a hot tip from another runner in town about a back road through the hills to the neighboring town. It was gorgeous, and I may try to repeat it tomorrow, because we get one more day of cool weather before August returns. Hills are mostly trivial for me now, and I made the mistake of mentioning it to this acquaintance...

...well, there's one hill on this route that I had to walk up the last half of. But it was desperately pretty, and I'm pretty well hooked on this whole being able to go out and run for two hours thing. It is such a great way to look at the world and reset my brain.

2013-08-17 08.26.53

Jiu Hua Mao Feng "Nine Glorious Mountains"

(Body and diet talk below, skip as needed)

I'm currently operating under a relaxed version of The Discipline, in that I'm using a Fitbit (which I love with a passionate love: fitness Tamagotchi!) and trying to meet movement goals using that--and also use its calorie estimates to undercut my actual expenditure by about 500 calories a day. Which is not at all onerous, actually, given what I was doing previously.

My weight loss had stalled out with about twenty pounds to go, and my body was fighting like heck to regain about ten pounds--which it did; some of it muscle. As a result of that ten pounds, though, my running times have slowed down a bunch and climbing has gotten a lot harder again. I was doing 5.10s pretty handily for a while there, and they're back to being a struggle. Also, running in hot weather is a lot less miserable with less insulation, and in winter time I can put clothes on as needed.

(Slinky dresses are also a motivation, but you know, God in Her wisdom did give us foundation garments.)

So I'm working on finding a balance that will let me take this last bit of excess energy storage off, and if slow is what it takes, slow is perfectly doable for me.

What's hard is trusting in the process, and not fretting, and not trying to rush things. But since my body had pretty obviously decided that WE ARE IN PERIL CONSERVE RESOURCES and what I need it to do is STOKE THE FIRES!!!, this is what we're trying. My metabolism is an amazing beast; considering how much I exercise and how carefully I eat, that it manages to cling to the layer of insulation no matter what. *g*
matociquala: (criminal minds elle lucky)
I ran very far this morning (especially considering the heat), and spent that time thinking about my story for Hieroglyph, which I am currently working on. It all seems to have come together, and now that I've shoveled out my inbox a little, I plan to spend the rest of the day working on it. The exciting thing is that apparently I am starting to rebound from the post-novel ennui and the deadline-based braindeath, and I'm actually excited about the story and full of ideas.

After that, I have to get back to the much-delayed "Dark Leader," and a Sekrit Projekt. And, of course, Karen Memory. At least I have a week or so before I have to leave for my next convention, which is Space City Con in Houston, which should be awesome!

After I ran, I had to stuff my face with STAT cake and ice cream to keep myself from keeling over. Out Of Breakfast Error. 0.0

By the way, [livejournal.com profile] scott_lynch and I will be teaching a workshop on advanced worldbuilding at Context in September. You can read about it here!

travel and appearances 2013:

Up in the Aether: Detroit, MI, May 23-27 2013
4th Street Fantasy: Minneapolis, MN, June 21-24, 2013
American Library Association (guest speaker): Chicago IL, June 28-30 2013
ConVergence: Minneapolis, MN July 4-8, 2013
Readercon: Burlington, MA, July 11-14, 2013

Space City Con: Houston, TX August 2-4, 2013 (Literary Guest of Honor)
Lone Star Con (San Antonio Worldcon): San Antonio, TX, August 29-September 1 2013
Context: Columbus, OH, September 27-29 2013 (GoH)
Signing (and Scott Lynch's The Republic of Thieves book launch!) : Pandemonium, Central Square, Cambridge MA, October 8th 2013
NYC ComiCon: NY NY, October 11th 2013 (only)
Viable Paradise: Oak Bluffs MA, October 12-16 2013 
World Fantasy Convention: Brighton England UK, October 31-November 3, 2013


2013:

OWW EC: April 15, 2013
Popular Science
flash: April 22, 2013
Steles of the Sky final: May 1, 2013
OWW EC: May 15, 2013

"The Heart's Filthy Lesson": July 1, 2013
"Dark Leader": April 2013
"Green and Dying": June 1, 2013
OWW EC: June 15, 2013

OWW EC: July 15, 2013
Hieroglyph story: August 10, 2013
"Something's Gotta Eat T. rexes": October 2013

An Apprentice to Elves: ?


2014:

Karen Memory: January 6, 2014
Lovecraft story: 1 February 2014
Cyborg story: 28 February, 2014
Apocalypse story: June 30, 2014
Other apocalypse story: December 31, 2014



travel and appearances 2014:
Boskone: Boston, Massachusetts, February 13-15, 2014
RavenCon: North Chesterfield, Virginia, April 25-27th, 2014 (Guest of Honor)
4th Street Fantasy: Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 20-23, 2014
ConVergence: Minneapolis, MN, July 3-7, 2014
Finncon: Jyväskylä, Finland, July 11-13, 2014 (Guest of Honor)
Worldcon: London, England, August 14-17, 2014
World Fantasy Convention: Washington, DC, November 6-9, 2014



No fixed deadline:

Smile (unless its name is actually Salt Water)
Unsuitable Metal
Gotham Jazz

Untitled Gangland Urban Fantasy That Keeps Bugging Me
"Gallowglas"
"Untitled Space Opera Thingy" aka "Periastron"
"Posthumous Jonson"
"Steel"
"On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera"
"This Chance Planet"
"Flush"
"Coronado"
"Patience and Fortitude"
"A Time to Reap"
Untitled bard trolling story
matociquala: (criminal minds garcia mallory merlin)
I got up this morning and went for an 11 mile run. It was supposed to be 13, but the sun caught me and I ran out of Gatorade. Sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor--and I decided two more miles was not worth puking.

Now I am drinking Vietnamese coffee and sitting on the sofa, like somebody who has used up all her virtupitude for the day.

My stepcat was just in the corner suspiciously sniffing an old signing poster of Scott's that's been there for a month. Only now does it become a potentially threatening object. Cats. Or maybe he's just now figured out what Dad does for a living?

In other Scott-related news, this.

In writer-related news, non-Scott-related, the UK/Australian publication of John Joseph Adams' Wastelands anthology has occurred

And Publishers Weekly has given Book of Iron an absolutely bang-up review. (linky) (text follows) 

Book of Iron


Elizabeth Bear. Subterranean (www.subterraneanpress.com), $20 (128p) ISBN 978-1-59606-474-4

Friends are the family we choose, a maxim that lies at the heart of this short but sharp novella, which ties in to Bear’s Eternal Sky novel series. Bijou the Artificer (first met in 2010’s Bone and Jewel Creatures, here young and eager for adventure) joins the immortal Maledysaunte on a quest to the abandoned city of Ancient Erem to stop Dr. Liebelos, a precisian (wizard of orderliness), from summoning the Iron Book. With them go a crew of allies with mixed motives, including Kaulas the Necromancer, who is Bijou’s lover and rival, and the wizard Salamander, Maledysaunte’s companion and daughter to Dr. Liebelos. Under skies whose moons and suns vary in number, they must confront the threats of legendary beasts and betrayal. Bear injects the fizz of the Roaring ’20s (including travel by roadster, automatic pistols , aeroplanes, and silent movies) into a thoughtful exploration of dealing with loss. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Agency. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 06/17/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
matociquala: (criminal minds reid runs like a girl)

This is the face of a woman who has just run thirteen miles:



Also, I have a guest blog up over on Charlie's Diary on media, representation, and reality.

matociquala: (holmes confidence)
Still not Spring.

More photographic evidence: half-marathon finisher's medal, propped up against two Hugos.

2013-03-24 09.37.23

And here's Amanda in her race gear, looking very chic:

2013-03-23 06.41.34

(Do you know how hard it is to find good workout gear that's not offensive to a Goth sensibility? Seriously, there's a killing to be made in this area.... except it's possible that there are only three jock Goths nerds on earth, and we all hang out together.)

The following morning, I am still walking like John Wayne, and I have eaten my weight in carbs and protein. But apparently my body is hardening off to this endurance running thing: it wasn't that bad, though I think it was more like seven miles of rolling hills in the middle, not five, and two of them were pretty brutal: one was steep and high; one was long and relentless. I managed to run the whole thing, though, which was my goal--and I finished in under 2:30, which was my stretch goal.

At the beginning of the race, I was being passed on all sides by everybody, but once we settled in I started to pick some people off, especially on hills. (Let's hear it for doing the damned hill runs every other week even though they suck!) About four people passed me; one of them somebody I had passed in Mile 2 who made a stunning comeback and kicked my ass.

When you cross the finish line, they hand you a bottle of water. After you drink the water, you notice they also handed you a medal.

Final result: I was 360th out of 420 finishers.

I don't know if I will do it again. It was an interesting experiment, and I love being fit enough to do stuff like that. I might--it wasn't as bad or as hard as I expected it to be (let's hear it for long careful training and a good taper). And it's kind of pleasantly luxurious to have small children handing you Gatorade and Gu while you run. I'm not sure I won't do it again... but the training schedule is really stressful for me (one more goddamn obligation with a goddamned deadline that requires constant tending and attention, which is pretty much my entire working life) and since I'm not even remotely competitive even in my age group, I'm not sure what I get from running a race that I don't get from running around town.

On the other hand, I am officially declaring Project: Valkyrie complete and moving into maintenance phase. Project: Less of Me still has a bit to go, but I'm in no real hurry.

I'm planning on trying the Austin Run For Your Lives! in December, if my knees hold out. That should be fun, and I can do it with [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange.

After the race, [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange and I ate bananas and chocolate, drove home, checked our results, ate sammiches, and then drove into Boston for Richard Thompson, Emmylou Harris, and Rodney Crowell. I could have used a larger proportion of Richard Thompson (nobody should have to follow Richard Thompson), and I was tired and hungry and not my best self by the end of the concert (translation: the largest land arthropod is ME. Crab crab crab.) but it was in general really good and I am glad we went.

I especially liked the bluesed-up version of "Can't Win" and somewhat countrified "Tear-Stained Letter) RT did (most of his set was stuff off the new album) and Emmylou and Crowell doing "Poncho and Lefty," "Tragedy," and "Black Caffeine." RT came back out and joined them for a massive jam on "I Ain't Living Long Like This."

Now I need to eat some more protein, and thing about climbing in a bit.
matociquala: (criminal minds reid runs like a girl)

[livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange and [livejournal.com profile] evynrude and I saw the fireball last night, over Westport, CT. It was amazing and beautiful, and we actually mistook it for a firework it seemed so bright and close--green and orange and gold and shedding sparks all the way. Gorgeous: best one I have ever seen.

And then [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange and I got up in the cold pink dawn and put our socks on and drove to West Haven.

And I have run a half marathon. It was really boring and my glutes are killing me, but I'm pretty pleased to have done it and it wasn't so bad.

Evidence!



(Photo: Amanda Downum)

Now Amanda and I are off to an Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson concert, as out reward for Valkyieness.

matociquala: (spies mfu illya bitch please _ truepenny)
So I read some feminist fitness blogs, like you do. And one of them recently linked to a couple of posts that I'm not going to link to, but the gist of which was that women should not wear "running skirts," or "fitness skirts,"* because it's unfeminist to try to look cute when you work out. That women wearing skirts to work out "creates a sexist atmosphere."

That we can't take ourselves seriously as athletes if we're wearing sparkly ruffles. And that it's okay to mock women who wear them.

To which all I have to say is, "Fuck you, ladies."

If you're policing another woman's clothing, you are a horrible person.

(In fairness, the blog providing the links took exception to the idea that women should police other women's fitness wear, and admitted that if she didn't think women running in skirts looked serious enough, she needed to change her idea of what a serious runner looked like.)

Seriously, it hurts my heart to see women who claim to be feminists policing what other women wear, acting as though the only way to be taken seriously (to take yourself seriously!) as an athlete is to butch out, and blaming women (and how women dress!) for sexist behavior.

Now, I'm pretty butchy. I wear makeup twice a year, and skirts as costume. (They don't feel like real clothes to me.) I don't own a running skirt. I probably wouldn't wear one, because wind resistance. Although leopard print is kinda tempting, I have to admit.

But I'm also a fat girl (by endurance runner standards) who runs and you know what? I run in compression tights, with my belly pudge clearly defined. Gonna police my body for that? Gonna tell me spandex is a privilege and not a right? Maybe I should cover up my thunder thighs with a running skirt! But wait, can't do that, it's too girly!

Can't wear yoga clothes to yoga class; somebody might see my not-stick-thin abdomen.

Oh, wait. I don't care. And yoga clothes are comfortable, and form-fitting means they don't get in my way.

Why are you assuming the woman in question is trying to look cute for men?** Maybe she's trying to look cute for herself. Maybe she's more comfortable with her ass covered up, rather than outlined in skin-tight compression shorts. Maybe her running fantasy is that she's a marathon-winning princess. Maybe she's wearing that orange ruffled skirt because it's fun and outrageous and eyecatching, and she likes the way it clashes violently with her lime green kicks.

This association of things associated with femininity (skirts) as "bad" is a layer of misogyny. It's as simple as that.

If a woman wants to run in a skirt, it's none of your business. If she has dreadlocks down to her ass, it's none of your business. If she wants to run in a padded sports bra? None of your business. No bra at all? Ow, chafing and bouncing, but none of your business. If she wants to run stark naked except for a pair of bright purple Sauconys and an LED safety headband? No business of yours!

If she wants to run in a burqa? Her business. Not yours.

You don't get to police her body. You don't get to police her clothes. This is what feminism means. It means we respect other women's choices.

I believe in feminism. Feminism means that I believe that men should not be infantilized, that they are grown adult people who can make reasoned choices. Which includes not being sexist because a woman (or hell, another dude) is running in a skirt. Feminism means that I believe that femmes are people too, and that wearing lipstick does not make you less of a person. And if you want to go to a bouldering competition in a minidress, more power to you.

Climb hard.

I may have to go buy myself a damned running skirt just to show solidarity.





*These are basically spandex skorts with a compression short underneath.
**And if she is trying to look cute for men, or for a particular men, why is it any of your business?
matociquala: (criminal minds reid runs like a girl)

The good news is, despite a three-day business trip (BOSKONE! with attendant food and booooooooze and Fran's chocolate covered potato chips 0.0); a downtick in my exercise schedule due to crappy weather, tiredness following donating those packed red cells, and a minor injury (calf muscle threw a fit); and the conscious decision to pretty much eat and drink whatever I wanted while I was on deadline, my pants still fit.

I've gained some weight back--five pounds or so--but I'm not too concerned about it. Healthy habits will prevail.

And zomg zomg zomg I have only three more training weeks (and a taper week) before my half marathon. I was very worried about my long run today--first long run since January, zomg!--but got through 11 miles without dying. I have gotten some exercise--six miles on the hotel elliptical there, a four mile run here, a lot of marathon snow shoveling!, a daily walk, not enough yoga and nearly no climbing--but it's nice to know that my cardio conditioning isn't totally shot.

I was slower--and I did not try the route with the big hills--but I made it.

So I will try 12 miles next week, and my hilly 10-mile route for the third week, and then the week after that is taper and only easy runs, and Saturday is race day.

I'm only a little terrified. But my goal is just to run the whole thing.

And hey, I won't be overtrained. :-P

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