I had a pretty excellent week. Professional and creative writing time was very productive. The weather was gorgeous. My runner’s tan is slowly but surely coming along. My taxes are finished! I really enjoy bookmarking and sharing the novelties that have been most meaningful to me each week. So here are a few of this week’s favorites:
What I’ve Been Listening to (Podcasts):
Runner’s Academy Episode 74: Margaret Webb: How to Turn Back the Clock and Run Strong for a Lifetime
I get really excited whenever I see a new Runner’s Academy podcast. Nearly every episode is inspiring to me on a personal level. This episode particularly piqued my interest. Margaret Webb is a writer who is using running to turn back the clock on her body so she’s able to work with a more sound and creative mind. Her latest book, Older, Faster, Stronger, is all about maintaining your running speed and endurance as you age. I’m still in my 20s (for a few more months, at least) but I still think a lot about how my running will change (and stay the same) as I get older.
I also think a lot about the effect running has on my writing and my overall productivity. Running is a huge stress release, which makes writing about stressful or challenging topics much more manageable; in this way my running identity and my writing identity work together. On the other hand, my running identity can also work completely separate from my writing identity when I need it to. Sometimes, I really need to put work down and enjoy a long afternoon run or a weekend race. I get so caught up in the excitement of running that I completely forget the book in progress, or, as David Foster Wallace put it, “…a kind of hideously damaged infant that follows the writer around, forever crawling after the writer (dragging itself across the floor of restaurants where the writer’s trying to eat, appearing at the foot of the bed first thing in the morning, etc.) …”
Anyway, in this podcast Margaret talks about the importance of increasing your mileage and frequency of speed work/intense interval training as you get older, in order to prevent injury and diminish the effects of aging by stimulating the release of HGH.
Every female runner should watch this speech. Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon (with numbers). Even though she was assaulted on the course by a male official, she (and her boyfriend) fought back and finished the race. Her thoughts on the unique strengths and talents of female runners, plus what running can do to drive social and political change in areas of the world where women are systematically abused and oppressed, are incredibly inspiring.
“Men have had the marathon for 2,500 years; women have had the marathon for 40 years. We have a short history, but we’ve got a very long future.”
What I’ve Been Listening to (Music):
Young Fathers, White Men Are Black Men Too
I’ve had this one on repeat. I love all of Young Father’s albums and I was running to Dead quite a bit last fall/winter. I kind of can’t believe how consistently they’ve managed to put out such excellent, consecutive albums. I took White Men Are Black Men Too on a fast 5K shakeout run last Friday and it was just what I needed to get my legs turning over on a cloudy, bummer day. Favorite tracks: “Still Running,” “Shame,” “Feasting,” “Old Rock n Roll”
I got really into a few of the songs on this album last summer. After listening to Carrie & Lowell more times than any emotionally healthy person should, I decided to revisit Sufjan’s electronic/folk/hip-hop collaboration. It’s even better the second time (summer) around. A lot of the album’s electronic tones seem to be a prelude for what would become Carrie & Lowell. Tracks range from hypno-mellow yoga fodder to faster, brasher running beats. Favorite tracks: “Take Me,” “Rhythm of Devotion,” “Hardly Hanging On”
What I’ve Been Wearing:
The bun huggers have arrived! I was kind of in a really bad mood on Monday, before these bad boys showed up. My taxes were still not finished, I had tons of work piled up on my desk, I was sore + really tired, and, despite my cash money award winning performance at last Sunday’s 5K, I had yet to receive any professional endorsement offers. (I still haven’t heard anything from Asics, HOKA, or Mizuno, but I am an optimist so I’ll never give up hope.)
Anyway, at the very precise moment Monday started to become too much, the UPS man knocked on my door! I haven’t run in them (yet) but, after trying them on, I have to say I am really impressed with the quality of these briefs. I’ve never owned a pair of running briefs before, so I am probably not the best at gauging how any particular pair stacks up, but, from the reviews I’ve read online and my own personal consensus after a one woman bathroom fashion show, I think these are a win. Even if I don’t end up liking them for running, I think they will be excellent bikini bottoms. The coverage is impeccable, the fit is so flattering (I swear they make my stomach look way more defined), and, for $24, they’re cheaper than any decent, well-made bikini bottom anyway. (As I write this, it’s dawning on me that I should probably graduate from Target bikinis this year.)
For reference, in case you are considering a pair (you totally should be): I am short (5’1″) and thin and I have basically no butt. I ordered these Oiselle briefs in a size small and they are decently (pun intended) snug on me. I could maybe even rock a size medium since I like running clothes to fit comfortably. I’m hoping I love these as much while running as I do dancing around my living room. I will update after the bun huggers make their public debut sometime this weekend!
What I’ve Been Eating:
This crack ice cream:
I’ve been asking myself all my life whether or not I prefer Edy’s or Bryers ice cream. Finally, It dawned on me: Bryers is so much better, simply because it takes so much longer to melt. Case closed. This flavor in particular is ridiculously good. You know how most cookies and cream flavored ice creams are a strict, two-part mix of vanilla ice cream + chocolate cookie pieces? This kind is smashed with legit Oreo cookies, which means it’s a mixture of ice cream, plus cookie pieces, plus creamy cookie filling, which tastes so much sweeter suspended in frozen ice cream than it does at room temperature and/or dunked in milk. I extracted a few complete Oreos from the tub I bought, which was as satisfactory as finding a few pristine swirly, hermit crab type shells amidst all the thousands of crushed up ones at the beach.
I’ve been thinking about the beach a lot.
Questions for the Internets:
Have you worn Oiselle running apparel before? What other pieces do you recommend?
What’s the most inspiring running podcast/documentary/movie you’ve seen/listened to?
What is your favorite ice cream brand/flavor?