Active Recovery

If we’re friends on Insta you may have seen this update from me yesterday:

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A real feel of 112*F (with 60% humidity). HOLY COW was I really glad that yesterday was an active recovery day and I didn’t need to hit the pavement to run.

I had a busy afternoon driving around for meetings and then Adam and I went out for a nice little dinner. By the time we got around to the gym it was pretty late and we were just about the only people there!

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On active recovery days I like to keep it light so I just did the stationary bike (rolling hills, level 1) and then some stretching.

When I first started working with my new coach I asked if I could do strength training on active recovery days, but she says that it’s best to keep recovery days truly all about recovery. Instead, I’m doing a full body strength day after speedwork. This formula hasn’t been easy (and I’m not even doing hard speedwork right now), but I am interested in seeing how it all works out.

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I got all caught up on my NBA free agency news while riding out the hills :). I feel pretty good about the chances of D Wade resigning with the HEAT pretty quickly… and you know I’m excited about Dragić resigning down here!

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And because I am obsessed with checking the weather and complaining about how hot it is outside I decided to check more one time (I swear I check the weather on my phone 15 times a day!).

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A real feel of 93*F at 10pm!!!! I am SO glad that I didn’t have to go running!

To all of my fellow hot weather runner friends, isn’t this summer way worse than last year? Ugh!

Do you have an active recovery day built into your training schedule? What type of easy workouts do you do? 

 

 

The Weekly RUNdown!

Hey! How’s it going? We’re just over here hanging out.

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I’m working from home a couple of days a week right now and all of Cecil’s dramatic sleeping poses are keeping me amused!

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It seems bae may have outgrown his crib tree ;).

I forgot to share a recap of my training last week in yesterday’s post so let’s roll with it today:

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Monday: 4 miles easy
Tuesday: stationary bike
Wednesday: 3 miles easy
Thursday: 4 mile run with pickups + strength
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6 mile run  4 mile run
Sunday: 8 mile run

Total: 24 miles 23 miles

My coach is having me slowly work my way back up to a 30 miles per week base before reincorporating any real speedwork into my schedule. Right now I’m all about building my mileage, getting my long run endurance back and spending time on my feet.

I kept asking my coach about paces and she finally just said, “I promise you’re going to be doing a lot of hard runs this summer so enjoy this easy period!” Haha, okay, I get it! I need to just RELAX and trust the process!

Speaking of the process, I have my second back-to-back long run this weekend. Eight miles on Saturday and eight miles on Sunday. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to this! The idea of running a 16 mile long run this early in my training plan would be completely overwhelming from a mental standpoint, but running 8+8 doesn’t sound bad at all. I’ll let you know how I feel on Monday, but right now I feel like this is a really good thing!

And in other news I have continued my stationary buying trend and am finally seeing what all the hoopla is about with Moleskine notebooks.

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They seem like they’re just overpriced notebooks?  I haven’t written in a Moleskine yet though. Maybe when I put pen to paper I’ll end up banging out the next Harry Potter series or something.

Finally, because I am sure you care, I picked up the latest Fort Lauderdale magazine and found my apartment complex featured inside in an article about new complexes in the area!

20150626_155950East Fort Lauderdale is going through some pretty major changes right now and in my opinion the most exciting part is that we’re finally getting a Trader Joe’s and a Nordstrom Rack… AND they’re going to be in the same shopping center! Goodbye paycheck!

Do you have a Trader Joe’s near you? Is it really better than Whole Foods or Fresh Market?  

Anyone else counting down the days until 4th of July weekend? I can’t wait! 

Back-to-Backs Leading Up to Chicago

Last week I was going over my 5K time trial with my coach and I mentioned how surprised I was that I PR’d. My mileage has been so low the last couple of months and my speedwork has been almost nonexistent… so how did it happen?

Strength training.

My coach reminded me that even though I wasn’t able to log as many miles as I would have liked to while I healed from hip bursitis I put in serious time at the gym.

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 9.15.27 PM Thank you to my friends the squat and lunge for helping me improve my running!

Back-to-Backs

This training cycle my coach is having me run a hybrid of the Hanson’s method. Some weekends I’ll be doing back-to-backs and some weekends I’ll be doing a single long run.

When I was training for Portland last year I ran about 30-35 miles per week with a peak of 42 miles twice. As you can imagine, about half of my weekly mileage came directly from the long run.

Last year my long runs included two 15-milers, and only one 16, 17 and 20-miler (I never ran an 18 or 19-miler). While it would put me at risk for injury to do more than one 20-miler since it takes me well over four hours, my coach does want me to get that long distance experience more than one time. Hence the introduction of back-to-backs in my training plan.

I’ll only be doing one 20 miler but I’ll do several double digit back-to-back runs leading up to Chicago. There is a lot of research that shows back-to-back runs have the same effect on the body as a single long run. We stop gaining any physical benefit from running over 2.5 hours – in fact we put ourselves at risk for injury when we do. That’s why it’s just not beneficial for someone like me to run multiple 20-milers in marathon training.

Portland was my first marathon and my training plan last year felt right to me. A part of me thought I should probably be running higher mileage but another part of me was glad that I wasn’t. This year I know what to expect and I’m ready to train hard.

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This weekend I logged my first back-to-back. I was supposed to do a 6 miler on Saturday and an 8 miler on Sunday. I ended up doing 4 miles on Saturday and 8 miles on Sunday.

On Friday night I went out to celebrate a colleague’s birthday and let’s just say I drank too much and stayed out too late. On Saturday morning my head was pounding, my stomach hurt and my legs fought me through every step. I guess I’m not 20 anymore!

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That look you give when you get home super late after doing shots like you’re still in college. Oooof.

Sunday’s run went much, much better even though I ran on the treadmill because it was just TOO HOT outside. Honestly the treadmill wasn’t bad; I watched a couple episodes of Wayward Pines to pass the time. Afterwards I rewarded myself with the juiciest orange ever! Mmmmmm!

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After a long run there is nothing better than oranges, cantaloups or watermelon! I’m so happy that summer is here and my favorite fruits are in season again. It off sets how dreadful the sweltering temperatures are!

I hope you had a great weekend filled with friends, family and miles :).

Do you watch Wayward Pines? I’m only 3.5 episodes in right now.

Have you ever used back-to-backs in training? Thoughts?

So Well Composed

Thank you all for your very supportive comments on my last post. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it!

Bonjour!

Last week Adam and I treated ourselves to silly gifts. Adam watched a YouTube video of some girl constructing a mini burger and fries candy set and decided he really wanted to try this out so a couple of days ago these things arrived on our doorstep:

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^ A mini sushi kit, a mini donut kit and a mini hamburger candy set! Adam made the sushi kit the other night. It tasted like super sweet gummy candy but the consistency of the sushi and rice was somehow pretty true to life! So bizarre!

I went the more adult route and bought myself some pens.

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I love pens, notebooks, sticky notes, highlighters and all other office supplies! When I saw the purple pen that said “so well composed” I just had to have it!

On the running front I’ve been spending a lot of time with the treadmill. Okay, well “a lot” is an exaggeration but I’ve done my last two runs in the gym. It may have something to do with this weather:

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93*F just doesn’t get me excited about running outdoors. Last summer I did A LOT of treadmill running during marathon training. This year I said I wasn’t going to do any of my runs on the treadmill… but you know how that goes. By the time I get around to running after work the world is just a hot hot oven!

The good news is that my loooooonnng two hour commute into work has finally come to an end. That means I won’t have to leave my house at 7:25 in the morning anymore and I also won’t get home at 7:45 at night. Hallelujah!

My number one goal for the next 30 days is to make morning running a habit. I’ve never loved morning running but I see the advantages and I want to give it a real try – chiefly I want to skip running in 90+ degree weather.

Photo: JamesClear.com

Photo: JamesClear.com

My reminder will be my alarm, the routine will be running in the morning before work and the reward will be spending more time with Adam at night!

Hopefully running in the morning will wake me up so when I arrive to work I won’t look de-caffeinated. Instead I’ll look endorphinated!

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^ Just a little selfie time yesterday morning on my stroll into the office. I was happy because it was my last day of the long commute, but I was struggling with no coffee in my system yet.

That little attempt I made to not drink coffee in the morning is over, haha. I have no idea why I was even trying that out. I should have known it wouldn’t have worked! Just the smell of coffee makes me feel 10X calmer in the morning. It’s definitely an addiction but a pretty safe one so I’ll live with it!

How have you been? 

Do you have any little guilty pleasure buys like pens, notebooks, shoes, etc? 

Being Called a Fat Bitch

Last week two strangers, both males, made unsolicited comments about my body. The first occurred when I was walking to my car after work and a construction worker yelled out, “hey momma, looking good.”

Thanks, your opinion is really important to me. 

Another night I upset one of my charming neighbors and he yelled “you fat bitch!” at me.

I suspect that this lovely man was really drunk, which is pretty incredible for several reasons:

  • He was operating a motor vehicle
  • It was 7pm on a week night
  • He had trouble pulling into the parking garage at our apartment complex
  • When I saw him two days later he didn’t seem to remember me at all

This a-hole completely threw me off guard because you never really expect a 40+ year old man who is likely well educated with a good job to use such an immature insult.

This guy is not really my neighbor, he’s just some random guy that lives in my apartment complex, so I actually don’t know anything about him. I don’t know how well educated he is, but I do know that you have to meet certain financial criteria to live here (and that he drives an expensive car) so he probably holds a decent job.

…Money can’t buy class!

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When this guy called me a fat bitch I was on my way home from a five mile run. Not bad for a fat bitch.

There was a time in my life when his comment would have sent me into a spiral. I would have starved myself, or binged and purged or cried myself to sleep … maybe even all of the above. I’m not that person anymore though. My skin is thicker and I know his insult was a reflection of his own personal issues rather than a reflection of mine.

Instead of feeling badly for myself, I just want to challenge him to a run off! I’m pretty sure this fat bitch has more endurance than his drunk ass.

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^ Not certain people, just one certain person.

I wasn’t sure I was going to blog about this incident because I did feel a certain amount of shame in being called fat. As someone who struggled with body image issues for so long it’s not an easy thing for me to just shrug off. A part of me just wanted to sweep the incident under the rug and pretend it never happened, but holding it in didn’t feel right either.

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I am lucky to have this blog as a place to share my honest feelings. Somedays I talk about running, some days I talk about my job and some days I have to talk about things that would otherwise eat away at me if I held them in.

Going through this incident made me realize just how lucky I am to be a runner. Running has given me self-confidence and that is such an important instrument to have in your toolbox for dealing with life.

Now that I’ve written about the incident it’s been transferred from my mind to “paper” and I can just let it go. Thanks for listening!

That Should Be Illegal

Sorry that I went unexpectedly MIA at the end of last week but I had a million things crop up out of no where that needed some attention. The most exciting of all the things is that after only 13 days on the market my mom’s house sold for her full asking price! Now we’re on the clock for packing up and making sure she finds a place down here in Fort Lauderdale before August 15th.

We are all so surprised by how fast the house sold but the family that bought it seem like they will be a perfect fit. It’s a family of five with two dogs – which means the pool and backyard should get really good use! The husband is a police officer which seems fitting since my mom’s husband was a very proud (retired) police officer before he passed away two years ago.

I know selling the house isn’t easy for my mom, even if it is the logical thing to do, but at least she can feel good about it going to a nice family. Now we just need to find my mom a place down here … and fast!

In between looking at potential residences for my mom, I’m catching up on my blog reading (and obviously doing a little writing too).

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Oh yeah, and I’m running!

I forgot just how exhausting it is to run in summer weather. After my 10-miler on Saturday I took a FOUR HOUR nap! Every single minute of that nap felt well earned.

Honestly, running double digit miles is a struggle for me at this point. I know in a few weeks it’ll feel easy again, but right now 10 miles might as well be 20 because I’m totally exhausted by the end.

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This is my “I am delirious from a mixture of heat and endorphins” face:

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The picture is a bit foggy because I placed a sweaty finger on the lens at some point. Oh well! #RunnerProbs

On Sunday I went to Target mid-afternoon and got sweaty just walking across the parking lot! The part of summer that I hate the most is the part where it takes my car a good 10 minutes to cool down after it’s been sitting in the hot sun.

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Real feel of 107*F! That should be illegal.

I know someone who loves the heat though and his name is Cecil, also affectionately known as Sea Salt, C-Cat, CC, Meow Head and many other nicknames I’m sure he finds annoying.

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Like most cats he’s happiest laying in a scorching hot sunbeam dreaming about treats. ZzzZZzZzZ.

Do you have a ton of nicknames for your pet? I always call Cecil “sea salt” and recently told Adam that someday we need to buy a boat so we can name it Sea Salt!

How did your weekend running go? 

Chicago Marathon Training: My 5K Time Trial

The 5K is a beast and I hate everything about it.

I’m not fast enough to say, “well at least it’s over in 20 minutes” and I’m not novice enough to say, “I just want to get to the finish line in one piece.” Instead I’m just below average and have to embrace the pain for over half an hour.

Last night I ran a 5K time trial to help determine my paces for marathon training. My goal was to run 36:51 or 11:52 pace so that the McMillian calculator would list 5:59 as a feasible finishing time.

During my drive into work yesterday I noted that it was already 86 degrees at 8am. Groan.

I knew it would be nice and toasty by the time I got around to running after work… and I was right. According to my phone it was 84*F with a real feel of 89*F when I began my run.

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I was burning up by 1/2 a mile in and I wondered if I would even come close to achieving my goal. I thought about how stupid it was to run a time trial when it was so hot out, and I thought about how stupid it was to race after a full day of work. Mostly I just thought about how stupid 5Ks are.

All of those thoughts seemed to aggravate me enough to run fast (for me) because I knocked out a time of 37:07 or 11:58/mi.

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My goal was 36:51 or 11:52 pace so I missed that by 16 seconds … which sucks. I tried so hard to push it at the end and make up those seconds but I fell short.

I know exactly what went wrong. At the beginning of mile 3 I was really fading and I told myself it was okay to run easy for a minute and I willingly dropped my pace. I would feel bad about that except it really felt necessary.

Even though I missed my goal time I’m still pretty happy with this run because it represents where I am at today. It doesn’t represent where I will be at the beginning of October. I’ll be better by then!

The McMillian calculator now estimates my marathon finishing time as 6:01 based on last night’s run. By the end of this training cycle I hope that I can shave those two minutes off to go into race day with a realistic goal of 5:59.

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My coach and I will be talking soon and she’ll be able to give me more insight into goal planning, training strategy and more.

Maybe Cecil will give me some tips too, he’s really good about sprinting around the house at paces I can’t even imagine running.

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I hope that you’re week is off to a great start and Wednesday treats you well.

I have the day off from running – not sure what I’m going to do for active recovery yet. What are you planning to do today? Run? Lift? Something else? 

The Nutrition/Food Part of Marathon Training

Why is foam rolling such a pain in my ass? Oh yeah, because I have a sore glute. It’s nothing serious, just your run-of-the-mill tightness that needed to be worked out with this torture device:

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Adam and I used to share this nice soft foam roller but recently he bought this super hard monster to take care of business – ouch!

Today is the day that I run my 5K time trial! I already know it’s going to go really well because I finally parted with $12 of my hard earned dollars and bought Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. I’m going to listen to Bad Blood on repeat and GET IT DONE: 36:51 is the time to meet or beat so that I can set 5:59 as my goal for Chicago. That’s about a minute faster than the 5K PR I set back in December, but also about on par with the fastest 5K I’ve ever run during training.

One of the components my new coach has been stressing is proper nutrition. This is such a shaky subject for me since most people know I battled an eating disorder for a long time. I never think about calories in/calories out and I just try to not to think about food choices as little as possible. This may be one reason why I eat the same things almost every day, who knows…

I’ve recently realized that I spent a lot of years thinking about what I was eating, and now I’ve spent the last couple of years doing my best to not think about what I’m eating at all. Neither one has really worked out “the best” for me, although I would say right now I am happy with where I am at on my journey.

The last couple of days I’ve been thinking more about what I eat. I enjoy a good piece of fruit as much as anyone else:

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And I also enjoy a tasty cupcake too:

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Sometimes I make green smoothies:

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And sometimes I make pepperoni pizza:

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If I’m being honest, Adam and I eat out quite often. Probably much more than the average couple. Could we cut back? Sure. Will we? Probably not. It’s something we just like to do and it’s convenient.

I could make healthier choices when I eat out though, and this training cycle I’m going to try very hard to do that. Instead of thinking, “I ran 15 miles today, EAT EVERYTHING” I am going to try and listen to my hunger cues better.

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Photo: TheRisingSpoon.com

Last year was my first time in the marathon rodeo ring, this year I know what to expect. It’s time to look at all the things I could have done better last year, and put those things into place so I can meet my goals this year.

But first…. that 5K time trial. Here we go!

How do you deal with runger? Do you carry healthy snacks around with you? What are your favorite on-the-go snacks?

My Long Run Was Everything I Needed It To Be

Yesterday I blogged about a little bit of work controversy I had on Friday in a post titled, Was I Too Aggressive? I don’t like work drama so I’m hoping this morning I’ll walk into the office and everyone will be at peace. All of my runs this weekend allowed me to channel my energy into something more positive and I gained perspective on how I want to move forward in a thoughtful way. I may share more when I can.

While work drama is how I ended Friday, it actually started really well! You might remember that I had to be up before dawn to prep for a photoshoot on Miami Beach for a fitness client.

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We shot at South Point. If you’re wondering what part of Miami Beach that is, just think of any aeriel shot you’ve ever seen in the movies or TV of Miami. That’s where we were. It’s probably the most iconic part of our little part of the world down here.

South Point | photo: TripAdvisor

South Point | photo: TripAdvisor

It may be the most iconic part of South Florida but I had never been before! I was amazed at how different Miami Beach really is when compared to my beloved Fort Lauderdale beach.

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Big beautiful rocks have been imported which gives the beach a really cool feel. We don’t have anything like that in Fort Lauderdale.

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The morning was cloudy for the most part, but I’m sure our art director will work his magic in post-production. I’ve already seen some samples and you would never have known it was cloudy…. ah, the magic of photoshop! Sadly I don’t have his abilities and my pictures accurately represent the cloudy morning.

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My run on Saturday was EVERYTHING I NEEDED IT TO BE. I ran 8 miles and for the first time in probably two months I actually felt like myself. The first three miles were a bit of a struggle fest but somewhere in mile 4 everything felt so natural again. It was like I was just gliding along like a bird riding a wind current. My legs had so much energy and I wanted to run for days!

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I know I need to build up slowly though so that I don’t aggravate my hip again, so I kept the run to the 8 miles prescribed by my coach… but I wanted more. That’s a really good sign since I have my 5K time trial coming up on Tuesday and marathon training will officially begin right after that.

While my mileage was really low the last couple of months I got away from posting my training recaps, but I’m going to try and be more diligent about sharing them this summer. Here’s what was on my plate last week:

Monday: 3 miles @ 13:47/mi | 82*F

Tuesday: 4.3 miles @ 13:57/mi | 83*F

Wednesday: Stationary bike @ 60 mins

Thursday: 4 miles w/pickups @ 12:55 | 80*F

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 8 miles @ 13:43/mi | 82*F

Sunday: 3 miles @ untimed | 85*F

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Total: 22 miles

I was really pleased with this week of training. I kept my easy runs easy and my pickups were solid. They didn’t represent my fastest miles ever, but at least I got my legs turning over without any hip discomfort. That’s a big win in my book!

I’m looking forward to the time trial on Tuesday, it should be very interesting. I haven’t raced since the A1A Half Marathon in February and that race was just for run. I have to say I’m kind of nervous about this time trial because it’s going to set the tone for the rest of my summer! Holy cow!

I’ve got another day to get my mind right before the big moment comes! :)

I hope you had a great weekend!

Have you ever been to Miami Beach? Thoughts? 

How did your long run go this weekend? 

Was I Too Aggressive?

On Friday at work a conversation transpired that I haven’t stopped thinking about.

Every Friday we have “Council Meetings” where anyone in the company is able to bring up something that is on their mind with “total amnesty.” This policy has only been in place for about a month, but it was put into place because people were unhappy with some things that the executive team was doing. In response the executive team said we hear you and we want to talk openly about anything bothering you.

Last Friday I brought up a topic bothering at least 50% of the organization. When the executive team tried to move past the topic with a generic response I pushed back.

My area of focus in both undergrad and grad school was rhetoric, and as such I completely understand the importance of delivery, word choice and audience. I believe I was assertive while not being accusatory. Being assertive was necessary because so many people in the company feel wronged by the current policy in place, and while the policy doesn’t affect me directly, it indirectly affects me. When my best employees leave because they feel mistreated I am left in a bad spot. I lost one such employee three weeks ago and it sucks.

After the meeting, my boss, who is a member of the executive team, pulled me aside and said while he appreciated the message my “tone was too aggressive.” I explained that my tone was chosen on purpose because it correctly represented the level of frustration currently felt by the employees who feel they are unheard and mistreated.

While the idea of an open forum with amnesty is appreciated, it’s should be obvious that some employees will not feel comfortable speaking up to the executive team about potentially controversial issues. I am lucky to be in a place in my life where I know I am valued by the executive team, and perhaps more importantly in this case, if I were fired, it wouldn’t affect me as greatly as some other employee who really relies on having this job right now.

I’ve analyzed this situation from all angles since it happened and I still contend that I was assertive not aggressive, although obviously both can be seen as one-in-the-same by some people.

When I got home I turned to Google for some insight, and by insight of course I mean some backing that I was correct. I mean I am human after all! But in all seriousness, I don’t want to be viewed as a trouble maker; however, I do feel it’s very important to speak up.

Google turned up two articles that I found interesting:

“When a woman speaks up in a professional setting, she walks a tightrope. Either she’s barely heard or she’s judged as too aggressive.” – Sheryl Sandberg (in the NY Times)

“Passion is a key component of persuasion. The question is, how passionate can women be?  That is how much feeling can they safely express? In our 360-degree feedback survey analysis we learned that when women said they felt “passionate” about an idea or opinion, their male managers and colleagues often perceived “too much emotion.” (in the Harvard Business Review)

I can’t say for sure that this applies to my situation because it’s possible that I was too aggressive, but I do think this concept of women being judged as emotional or aggressive is important for me to consider in future situations.

I will always speak up because I don’t want to sit quietly and work for a company that does things that I morally disagree with, but perhaps I could handle them in a different way.

I still believe my delivery was the right one. My goal was to be heard by the executive team, but more importantly by the employees. I want them to know someone is advocating on their behalf. This isn’t an unselfish act, I want to push for change because it benefits me. I don’t want to lose good employees because when that happens it makes my work life hell until I can find someone new and get them up to speed.

I apologize for writing a novel this morning, but this has been on my mind, and it always helps me to write things out.

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Thanks for listening and if you have any advice or words of wisdom I would love to hear them in the comments.