A year ago, I trained for my first marathon. It did not end well. In the eleven months since that failure, I've had a lot of time to think about what went wrong, and the thing that I kept coming back to was how I did not train properly--if you can consider what I did training at all.
In December, I realized that I need to figure out how I was going to train for the Big Sur 21-miler this time, as well as coupling training with my goal to lose 30 pounds by the end of the year. After doing a lot of research, I choice Hal Higdon's Novice 1 program, coupled with Jeff Galloway-esque run/walk intervals, and 2-3 CrossFit WODs a week.
I know there may be purists who disagree with this approach, but my decision was based on continuing my current level of activity, layered with a practical approach to balancing marathon training with my regular life.
I officially kicked off training in January, and since then, I've been on a constant roller coaster of fatigue, soreness and constant discovery of clothes that don't fit me anymore. On Saturday, I ran what I am calling the inaugural Half Mere-athon (or as most people know it, a 13-mile training run), which gave me a lot of time to think about how the first half of my training has gone. I decided to make a list of the things I've learned in the last few months in the off-chance that there's someone else out there is like me.
You know those days when you just feel like "Blah?" That's me today--I skipped my 6AM run this morning to read and don't plan on working out today (save for my yoga video tonight). It's days like today where you just need something comfy to pull on, and automagically look adorable. And it's not easy finding that type of comfy cute look when you're plus-sized. Things that make other girls look cute make you look like you're in a muumuu or a tent.
When Greenstyle Creations announced a tester call for the new Scarlet Swing Dress (affiliate link), I applied to test. I make no secret out of my love for Greenstyle--it's kind of like Angie has this magical power like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Her patterns look good on every body.
The dress is a simple swing dress, with (we think) 110 options. I did the math on it, but I majored in anthropology and have a master's degree in humanities--I make no claims to be Will Hunting. That being said, there are tons of options, and no matter what build or shape your body has, this dress has a flattering option for you.
Besides the whole "looking good" thing, the pattern is also amazingly simple to cut and sew. I started my final version at 11AM on Sunday morning and was all done and taking pictures by 2. (And that's with cutting in my workspace across town and sewing at home.)
My version is the above-elbow length sleeves in the shorter length with a scoop neck. Since I'm always either coming from a workout, going to workout or sore from a workout, my intentions for this dress--and it's many future iterations--are to be the hug I need when I'm tired, the dress I pull on when I simply don't want fabric touching my skin because everything hurts (I'm looking at you, Murph), and the easy-to-pack option for the many race weekends ahead of me.
Plus, it makes for a pretty dope curtsy, if I do say so myself.
You can get your copy of the Scarlet Swing Dress today for $8.50, but after Wednesday, February 8, the price goes to $10. Get it today, because as Scarlett O'Hara would say "After all, tomorrow is another day."
You can get the pattern here. (Affiliate link)
My dress is made from Double Brushed Poly from Pretty Posh Prints. I got the pattern for free for testing. The total cost of my dress was $22.75.
While it's technically not my blogiversary for another couple of days, the idea was born about a year ago and Google Domains renewed my URL on 1/31, so I'm calling it my anniversary.
While I'm still not established enough to do any of those cool giveaway things that a lot of bloggers do, I did want to celebrate by writing a blog post about the biggest thing I learned in the last year of attempting to have a regular blogging practice:
It's easy to be fake when you write a blog.
You may think that's obvious or you may be shocked, but either way, it's true. I've found myself pretending to be someone I'm not several times. This forced faux version of myself has made it hard for me at times to write posts, which in the end make it so I don't write at all.
I've had a lot of time to think about this. After all, my full time job is in social media. I think we all like to pretend that we are happy, put-together, superheroes on social media, but in real life, we're stressed out balls of weirdness. And there's nothing wrong with that if we embrace it.
I don't know if anyone reads this blog, or if the tiny bit of traffic Weebly tells me it gets every week are spambots or Google. But what I do know, is that if I want to keep doing this, I need keep it real.
So, to celebrate the first anniversary of this blog post, I'm making a promise for year two:
I will be appropriately authentic on this blog.
I've been guilty of posting things on Instagram that I don't know that I believe, as well as sewing things that I don't love or registering for races I don't really want to do, just because I think that's what is expected of me.
I haven't told the stories of the pattern test photos where skirts are pinned on to me, garments aren't hemmed or with upside down waistbands. I haven't shared the runs where I sit down and give up because my body is beyond tired or the mornings when I wake up sick or ravenous because I didn't eat like a real athlete.
I recently heard Shonda Rhimes' 2014 Dartmouth commencement address (below) and realized that I want to be a writer, and to do that, all I have to do is write. To write, though, requires an honesty and transparency with yourself, and I simply haven't been doing that. I'm not a good runner and I'm, at best, a mediocre sewist. But what I am good at is being a nerd, loving pop culture and winning at trivia. I'm great at making messes, watching movies and buying fabric I never intend to use because I don't want to "hurt it." (And yes, that is an actual quote I've said.)
If you're reading this blog, I assume that you're okay with meeting the real me. And if not, well, I'm glad you're on the Internet and probably not someone I know in real life.