Back in the spring, I tried to start writing in my blog again, but just couldn’t get back in the swing of things. I never published a recap of Boston, and left everyone hanging (once again). I think it was because my heart wasn’t really into my running, so I didn’t really know what to write. I’m feeling the urge to write again so hopefully, I can be a bit more consistent. I’ve got lots to say but not sure who will want to read it at this point. My blog has always been called “Inverted Sneakers”, and it used to be because I had a love for both yoga and running. These days, my life has been about all of the “inverted” things, and a little less about the sneakers.
I haven’t given up on running and still lace up my running shoes almost daily. I aim to get out there six days per week, and I’m happy running easy in the 5-8 mile range. The past two weeks was a little less because somehow, I managed to upset my right Achilles tendon. My best guess is that I was running easy all summer, and suddenly the temperatures dropped. It finally felt good to pick up the pace, and I busted out two back to back days of blistering paces. My achilles ached a little, so I backed off the pace in the following days. I ran with a group a few days later. We didn’t run crazy fast but it was enough to aggravate things. I was in a decent amount of pain, so I only ran four days last week, three miles each time. It’s funny – with the absence of big races in the near future, I’m not that upset about it. As long as I get out there for a few miles to get my fix, I’m good. I’m not worried about missing workouts or being unable to hit paces. I am supposed to run the VIA Marathon as part of a relay team this coming Sunday, but my leg is only 5.8 miles. I’m not going to get stressed out over it, and if I have to take it easy that day then so be it.
I’m pacing the 1:45 group at the DL Half marathon on November 5th, so that is my current “goal race”. As far as running goals go, I’d like to spend the fall running easy getting my mileage back up so that when it comes time to train for Boston, I can hit it hard. I’d like to tell you that by then, I’ll be in the right mindset to try for that sub-3 hour marathon. I just feel like it’s going to be such a big goal to tackle. I am confident that I can do it, but I know it’s going to take everything from me – mentally and physically – and I don’t know if I’m quite ready for that commitment. I think forcing it will lead to burnout so right now, I’m doing what feels good. If I feel good in November, I might sign up for some holiday races – but as of now, D&L is the only other race in the foreseeable future.
Part of the problem is that my strength training hobby, pole fitness, has become a bit more than just some cross training. If I’m being honest, it’s almost like my running is cross training for pole. I know I blogged about training for a competition last year, but I don’t think I ever wrote about the actual competition itself. Back in the beginning of April, I competed in the Atlantic Pole Championships. I competed as an amateur, but in the highest level an amateur could compete in – the Championship Division, Level 4. I had a routine that I worked on tirelessly and I knew I was more than ready to compete. On the day of the competition, I performed my routine better than any of my rehearsals. Other than a few seriously minor details (like I forgot to point a toe, etc), it was nearly flawless. I’ve never been a dancer of any sort – as a matter of face, in high school drama club, the director could never cast me in dancing roles because I sucked THAT BADLY at dancing. Somehow, I won my division. I never shared my routine here (but if you follow me on Instagram you probably saw it):
In winning my division, I found out that if I want to compete with Pole Sport Organization (PSO) again, I have to “level up”. If you win your category, you can’t compete at the same level again – which is totally understandable – but for me, leveling up means that I now have to compete in the pro division! So, on November 18th, I will be making my debut as a professional pole dancer at the Northeast Pole Championships in Boston. Yep, you read that right. BOSTON.
Do you see the irony in this?!?! I feel like no matter what I do, Boston is always the place where big things happen in my life. Running Boston has always held such significance in my life since becoming a runner, and now I get to compete as a professional pole dancer in the same place I’ve crossed that iconic finish line over the past seven years. I don’t know, maybe I’m weird for making that connection. The promise of that race and what it holds for me brings me strength, and maybe I can remember that and draw from that strength when I stand on stage on November 18th.
As for the actual competition, I have a song. I have a routine that I spent all summer choreographing, and it’s pretty cool. It’s a LOT different from the routine I posted above, which both excites and scares me. Excites me because it’s super challenging (for me) and has SO much potential, but scares me because I really loved my last routine and in my head, I keep comparing them to each other and I want my new one to top it. I loved all of the tricks and combos I used last time, and I hope I can polish this routine and love my choreography just as much – if not more. I hope I can perform it the way I see myself performing it in my head. As of now, I can run the whole thing without stopping, but its a pretty big shit show. I have two full months, so if I could do my routine perfectly right now, that wouldn’t be ideal either.
In addition to being wrapped up in competition training, I started teaching pole classes. I teach a level 1 class every Thursday night, and it’s super fun. I have my RYT 200 for teaching yoga, but I haven’t taught in a long time. Over the summer, the owner of the pole studio went on vacation and left my sister in law and I in charge. I taught her flexibility classes in addition to pole classes, and it felt good to use my yoga certification again.
As for everything else, the new school year started two weeks ago. It’s so weird being back. This is the first time in my entire teaching career where I feel like I actually lead two lives. Running is one thing because I can hang posters of it in my classroom and if the kids ask what I did over the weekend, telling them I ran a marathon is completely acceptable. It’s not the same with pole dancing – the stigma attached to it makes unacceptable to say, “Well, I learned this really cool new pole combo…” While my Instagram is public, I don’t follow my students and I don’t want them following me. I am not ashamed of what I do, but it’s not something that they need to know about me. I’m sad to be back at school and sad that my summer freedom is over, and I’m really trying to figure out a way to balance doing all of the things without burning out.
That’s all for now. In the spirit of it being Wednesday, here is something that I was jamming to all summer long that you probably need on your playlist!
What’s new with you? Upcoming goals/races/etc? Any new music on your playlist that you’re loving?