What I’m Working Out to Wednesday!

Hey guys!!

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 ย 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 ย students and I don’t want them following me. ย 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?

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28 Replies to “What I’m Working Out to Wednesday!”

  1. Welcome back!

    It’s amazing to see how far you’ve come with pole. I still remember when you first started taking classes, right after Grandma’s Marathon, a couple years ago. Look at you now!

    I understand completely how you’re feeling about running because it’s pretty much the same for me. I have a marathon on the docket next month but I’m pretty much just running it for fun now because I can’t get into training and my mileage has been really low all summer. I have to say though, it actually feels kinda nice to throw time goals out the window. After that, I’m likely taking a long break from racing and focusing on getting in the habit of doing what you’re doing now: running just for the sake of it.

    Glad to see you’re doing well!

    1. I always said that if I didn’t have a race on the agenda, that I probably wouldn’t run at all. I am really happy to learn that this isn’t true! I have really been enjoying running with no pressure, and being able to dictate how many miles or how fast I want to run – or even where I want to run – based on how I feel in the moment, rather than what I have planned on a piece of paper. Looking forward to getting caught up with you and reading all about what you’ve been up to. Glad to hear we are in the same boat with running ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ You will probably have more fun with your marathon next month because you took the pressure off of yourself!!! Enjoy the day, enjoy the time outside and enjoy the simple act of running, regardless of pace!

  2. It’s so good to read you again!

    Listen, people evolve and there’s no reason why your blog shouldn’t evolve with you. If you want to turn this into pole dancing blog because that’s what your life is, then let it! I will happily read away whatever you write.

    I also keep a bit of a “double” life. My students don’t need to read about my personal private life, so I use an alias for my running/social media stuff.

    1. Awwww thanks Elle โค I miss reading you and I'm excited to get caught up again! I definitely see my blog evolving but I miss writing so I'm just going to go with it! I need to get better about having more of an alias for social media stuff. I changed my name and took off my last name on Instagram last year, and I think that helped a bit. I also don't feel like students need to know about my personal life! It's tough to keep everything separate these days!

  3. Welcome back! I’ve enjoyed watching your pole videos on IG–you’re so damn strong! I know what you mean about running being less of a focus. I’ve been all about the CrossFit lately and much less about the running, but I still love both and try to make time for both. It can just be hard with a full time job and other life stuff. I hope that you settle into the school year and are able to keep up. I can’t wait to see your competition routine when it’s all done ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks, Rae!!! I remember reading about you getting into CrossFit – that is so awesome! A few of my running friends have turned to Crossfit and loved it. It looks so freaking hard!!! It’s so hard to find a good balance but I am determined to do it this year!

  4. I’m so glad I saw this post in my blog reader this morning! I still follow on instagram and see your pole posts. I remember when you got into it just to cross train, I think you had a Groupon or something, and it’s so neat to see how much your heart is in it now and that you really enjoy it, even if running has taken a backseat. It sounds like you have a really healthy outlook on running and your goals for Boston and other races, too. In the end you have to do what’s bringing you joy and making you happy, and if that’s pole, then that works!

    1. Hi Amy!! Glad to hear from you ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I totally started pole on a Groupon for a free week because my sister-in-laws encouraged me to come with them! It’s so nice because now I spend lots of time with them and its so much fun. Running has certainly taken a backseat but I still love it just as much, but in a different way! Can’t wait to catch up and see what you’ve been up to ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. HIIIIIIII!!!! I feel like I also fell off of the Facebook scene too! I’ve become increasingly obsessed with Instagram, haha!!! I need to up my game with my social media skills these days. Haha. How’s your school year going??

  5. I’m obsessed with your Instagram. I never heard of pole dancing in anyway but the most base until I read your blog, but your dancing is incredible! I love the athleticism.

    1. Oh my gosh!!! That is so sweet!!! Thank you!! I never heard of pole dancing (except for the kind you find in clubs) either – until my sister in laws forced me to take a class. You should try it! Super addicting!

  6. Wow Allison! That routine was killer! Your strength just astonishes me. We finally got a pole studio not too far from me that I haven’t tried yet. You reminded me to check what their schedule is again.

    I hear you about changing focus. I’m still working hard at my running and I switched coaches last fall and got quite a bit faster and I’ll be training for Boston this spring ๐Ÿ˜ณ But my new fitness love is boxing. Not the studio classes that combine boxing with Pilates or something but the boxing in a bare bones gym with a former pro boxer teacher, usually one on one. I’m not planning on fighting (don’t want to hit anyone or be hit) but I LOVE it. It’s the hardest workout I’ve ever done, like the last couple miles of a marathon. But I always can’t wait to get back to it. And it’s balancing me out as a runner too. Im so much stronger overall — i might even be able to hang onto a pole with more than just my legs, lol. I still have really pathetic flexibility though.

    I also stopped blogging — mostly because I had an unpleasant, unexpected life change last December. It’s turning out to be a poorly wrapped gift but it took the luster off putting my life out there at all.

    Anyway, sorry for going on and on. I’m just glad to see a post from you!

    1. Hi Judith!!! So glad to hear from you! Congrats on the new coach and the speed gains – that is SO EXCITING!!! I’m also so excited to hear about boxing – I used to do kickboxing at my old gym and really loved that, so I’d imagine boxing to be even more fun!! Looking forward to Boston training for both of us this year – the additional strength training from pole helped me tremendously last year, as I’d imagine boxing will help you!! I’m so sorry to hear that you aren’t blogging anymore and I truly hope everything is okay and has worked itself out. I’m glad you are still reading though!!!!

  7. Yay! A post! I’m so impressed by your pole skills and so disappointed you have to be wary of the stigma attached. I would definitely love to read more about your new obsession! Just curious: is the 200 hour yoga certification the certification that pole teachers need or is there a separate certification?

    1. Hiiii Liz!!! Actually, I was thinking of you when I was typing about the stigma attached to pole dancing because I know you’ve written a lot about being objectified as a female runner. I hate feeling like I have to explain myself when I say, “So I’m a pole dancer…” I feel like I always have to follow it up with “but I’ve never been a stripper”. And then THAT upsets me because since learning to pole dance, I’ve met several girls who dance at clubs and then I feel like I’m disrespecting my friends by saying that! I don’t judge people because of their career choice, and then I feel like saying that makes me come off that way. Still haven’t figured out how to handle those awkward moments. Anyway, because i have my 200 hour cert for yoga, I didn’t need to get any additional certification to teach pole. There are two programs that offer pole specific certifications, but they are not required to teach pole. You just need some sort of fitness certification and you are good to go! I did my 200 hour program when I was practicing Ashtanga every day. I still practice yoga regularly, just not Ashtanga, and I highly recommend the teacher training programs. Your practice is so beautiful, even if you have no interest in ever teaching you can learn so much!!

      1. I have always thought of pole dancers as athletes, whether or not they’re competitive or entertainers. That shit is hard! And the core strength you must develop is unbelievable. That is so interesting to know about the certification. Actually, this week, the owner of the studio I go to said she watched my practice and that I should get certified. So I am seriously thinking about it! I have about a month to make up my mind. โค

  8. So good to hear from you! As you know, I’m super impressed with all of the pole fitness move you’ve got going on. Seriously impressed – so I’m not surprised you’re now a “pro” ๐Ÿ™‚ That is an interesting turn of events with you competing in Boston for sure! And I’m glad you brought up your blog title because that was literally the first thing on my mind when you popped in my blog feed today!! Thanks for the clarification – I’ve always wondered what it meant.
    As for me, I feel like a hamstring issue has put me back to page one with my running – but the good part is that I feel like I’m improving now, and get to see my paces pick up as I keep slugging along! Starting over again isn’t always a bad thing.

    1. Ha! I should probably explain my blog title better on my About page or something!!! Feel like I’ve been able to keep up with you a bit since you post regularly on Instagram, which has been my social media outlet of choice these days. I’m so sorry that you are dealing with a hamstring issue! I have to agree with you: sometimes starting over isn’t a bad thing at all. Most times, I’ve found that some reduced intensity/mileage and taking a step back actually ends up helping you in the long run (pun intended haha!). Can’t wait to read and catch up with you!

  9. Can I just say wow! Your pole routine is incredible!! I used to dance pole a long time ago, and I would love to put a pole in my home, but I worry about my kids thinking that “mom’s weird”. It is an amazing workout for sure. I’m glad to see you posting again.

  10. I was JUST thinking about you. So great to see this pop up in my reader. How awesome about the pole dancing. A huge congrats! I think it is awesome to have passions beyond running. You are clearly a very talented runner, but we all lose our steam from time to time. To have something else to enjoy is very fortunate. Too many of us focus solely on one thing. Enjoy the dancing and keep rocking it. Running will always be there and that is wonderful to know.

    1. Heyyy!!! Good to hear from you!!! How are things?! Any races coming up for you and Rock? I have so much to catch up on!! I definitely love having another passion besides running but sometimes it causes a bit of an identity crisis, haha!! Glad you are still blogging, and I am looking forward to seeing what you have been up to!!!

  11. Ahhh i missed your blog. And i’m right there with ya, waiting for Boston to use that drive to train. I’m also enjoying my “cross training” of olympic lifting.. but am i running to help the lifting or lifting to help the running..hehehe. Oh well, time will tell i guess! Always good to have another passion in case we can’t run right??

  12. Glad you are back, I missed reading your posts. I wish of course there was more about running, but … music ideas are great too, or diet related posts ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Have fun pacing D&L half, it’s my favorite half in the valley. I won’t run it this year, since I have a marathon week later, but enjoy it. You do such a good job pacing.
    Hopefully, I’ll run into you at some of the other local races.

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