Welcome! This Blog is run by two amazing lady runners who don't fit into a box.

I am a runner who does NOT fit into the stereotypical body type of a runner. I have hips, a bum, thighs, and breasts. I jiggle all over the place no matter how much spandex I put on, and my gut usually hangs over my shorts. I work in the mental health field, and have a passion for inciting outrage regarding the media's portrayal of women, their bodies, and their abilities. I am a beautiful woman who sometimes struggles to remember it. I am a runner who sometimes feels more like a slogger.


I have the spirit of a runner inside me that just won't let me quit- no matter how much I sometimes would like to! Physically, I certainly have many of the things Chrys mentions up there- hips, thighs, bum, boobs, tummy, all of it- and Lord knows all of it likes to jiggle around while I do just about anything, especially running! I am passionate about body image, the Health at Every Size & Size Acceptance movements, and love finding inspiration in as many places as possible. Working as a therapist, one of my personal goals is to live as in-line with my values as I possibly can- this blog is one of the ways I figure all that out.

Join us on out adventures in running and ramblings on Body Image.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Beach has Been Reached.

This weekend was pretty crazy – crazy in a good way, that is. I spent the weekend with all of the krazy kids (of all ages) from City Year New Hampshire at Reach The Beach, participating as a runner for the first time. It was a harrowing event, for sure – fraught with a stinky van of runners in various stages of sleep deprivation and subsequent caffeination, worries (mainly from me) about not being able to complete assigned legs and “letting down the team”, and a tire that no one was REALLY sure would make it until the end of the race. Add in the (rather unexpected, judging from the clothing we all brought) SNOW, a last minute change in course because of Hurricane Irene, and a few missed hand-offs, and it was, indeed, an experience.

Here is where I wax sentimental about City Year. Basically, the young men and women that serve in City Year are some of the most AMAZING people I have had the pleasure of knowing. I kind of forgot that having been away for several years and having had a rather difficulty service year. Seriously, though. Being around the open, generous, heartful, positive, wonderful culture that is City Year and City Year Alum was amazing. Despite being by FAR the slowest person on my team (our team came in with an average pace of 9:04 as the preliminary results have been posted, and my average speed was probably about 13 min… ) The camaraderie, support, and love was all there. Even on my run that started at 4:30, my team was there, cheering me on – everyone got up from their sleep to see me off and cheer me back in on all of my legs, knowing I needed the support. I got congrats and I got TRULY positive feedback, because we were all there to have fun and to do some crazy race that some crazy person dreamed up. Sure. It would be nice to have a good time. To finish better than CYNH had every finished before (which we actually managed to do), but more importantly, we were there for each other. We bonded over shared experiences (the corps and running), and enjoyed each others’ company. I would happily let anyone that I rode with crash on my couch, so long as they still wanted to after meeting my crazy dogs. I was offered more couches, beds, and spare floor space than I could possibly take up in one weekend when I headed up here unsure of what my plans were as far as sleeping arrangements. That’s the thing about City Year. The people who are involved with it, and especially those who stay involved with it or close to it once they have finished their time as a corps member are so giving, caring, and helpful; someone who falls into that category has an automatic “vouch” from CY as far as their trustworthiness. I felt perfectly comfortable sleeping on a strangers couch, and they felt perfectly comfortable having another one of the runners let me in after they were asleep and letting me crash at their house. This is a rare thing in this day and age.

I served in CYNH in the 07-08 school year. Of the 14 people involved in the team (12 runners and two drivers), 4 were from our year (and we were 4 of the 6 girls involved – yay girl power!), which was just amazing. Of the people who I know where they came from for this event, 2 came up from DC, one from California, I can from North Carolina, and two came from Milwaukee. Wow! It was amazing to see some of the people who came before me and to meet some of the people that came after me. A bunch of people from my corps year were there, and I got to catch up with many of them. Those who are not rocking it out in City Year as Staff members are doing some amazing things to contribute to the world and to the communities that they live in. We have someone working at a college, a few teachers, myself and another mental health worker, several people working for non-profits geared towards bettering educational opportunities for minority youth, some working for the Student Conservation association and I can’t even remember all the other absolutely amazing and giving and caring things that these alum are doing. Yes, I had a difficult corps year. Yes, I ran into (and am still running into) some professional roadblocks because of changes in rules and laws that happened during that year or that I would not have run into if I had not taken a year off after grad school. Having these people in my life, however, makes it all worth it. This weekend really helped me put that back into perspective.

Now for some ramblings on the running and the importance of training properly. Because wow! I was not trained properly! Now, I knew this going in to the event this weekend, but I also knew I made a commitment, and I knew that I hadn’t seen New Hampshire or a lot of my friends from CYNH in over 3 years. So I decided I would go and tough it out. While I don’t regret that decision in any way, shape or form now, maaaaan did I regret that during my first run, which was 5.1 miles. That doesn’t sound too bad despite the fact that I haven’t run more than 3.3 miles in… oh… forever, right? But this was 5.1 miles AND HILLY. The net elevation gain over that 5.1 miles was 144 ft. Again – sounds totally doable, even if you have been training on flat runs. Then you realize that it’s cold. That you have Asthma, and that Asthma isn’t really a fan of a)hills, b)cold air, or c) things it isn’t used to. And that it’s actually running UP 551ft of elevation gain with some reprieve thrown in there to bring the net gain to 144. OOOOPS! Now, my asthma is pretty manageable. I can train it to handle a lot of things (like… oh… running…) though it does sometimes flare up out of the blue and it does slow me down overall I Think. I just really did myself a disservice by not training hills (not much to be done about the weather.) PSA for the day – train for your run! Don’t just train – train for each specific race that you are going to race! If it’s hill – make sure to train some hills. If it is going to be humid, get your butt out and run on humid days! If it is going to be dry and cold – try to find some dry and cold days to go and run! Train, train, train, and listen to your body. If you have to walk, walk. If you have to take a day off, take a day off. Train, Train, Train, and remember to throw some fun in there too. Listen to your body and listen to the “Experts” (i.e., do your research), and you will be much better off on race day for the effort :-)

That’s definitely MY plan for my next big race (in Feb) and… dare I say it? For Reach the Beach 2012.

1 comment: