On Becoming a Feminist

I grew up in a home where women and men are treated the same (or close enough, boys mow the lawn and girls don’t– my mom was stay-at-home and made dinner, but not in an oppressed way, she always wanted to be a full-time mom). I was taught that I can do anything I want, have any job I work for, and deserve respect from everyone.  Along the way, I never noticed any negative sexism against me- we had a faculty member in middle school who told me he liked “my pants”– i think his true meaning is clear.. and we had a gym teacher who didn’t make girls workout when they didn’t want to.. because they’re girls? Overall, these things worked to my advantage that men thought i was a pretty girl who couldn’t do hard labor if she didn’t want to.  I rejected feminism all my life, believing this was the extremist movement of lesbians and butch women who were overreacting to the world from their biased standpoint that women should be both respected and revered. I saw this as a drastically misguided movement- you can’t be equal to men while still being revered as a women and bearer of life.

This summer– I became a feminist.  It happened rapidly.  Really, it all started in a town outside of Nairobi, Kenya.  I’ve spent time before in developing regions, but was never really on my own.  In Kenya, there was a lot to be done, and as a strong, independent adult, I did things on my own or with my female friend and teammate.  I continued to reject the sexism that people were projecting on me, but my professor urged me to work around it and through it.  We did, for example, by bringing a man with us to all of our meetings, something essential in this “culture”.  By having a man sitting at the table on our side, we could talk about the business– even though he had no leadership over us– his presence was essential for us to sit down.

Returning to “The Land of the Free” 3 weeks later, all the sexism in the world was quickly unveiling itself to me.  I was drawn in by Sheryl Sandberg’s TEDtalks on Lean In and how our discourse about girls and women influence how they act and are treated.  I realized that my high school teachers had treated me this way– I was called “AGGRESSIVE”.. did they really mean that I was being a leader? That I was strong? That my strength, intelligence, and independence threatened them?

Realizing for myself that I had never been called a leader in my 20 years of life, I became deeply offended and insulted by the male leaders and authority figures who were supposed to mentor me and teach me how to grow and lead the world into a better future.

My view of feminism has changed- so drastically- this summer. I now openly consider myself a feminist, and I address feminist comments when and where they are made.

This weekend, a drunk guy on the street said to me “damn you gotta fatass” (yes in the admiring way) and I told him he was being sexist and rude. To be honest, I love when guys on the street tell me I look hot, or when someone says I have a fat ass, but why is that? Is it because in middle school, the boys told me the only reason they liked me was because I was hot? Because I grew up being told that my ass was the best thing about me? Because I was compared to every other women that they listed as “hot” in high school?

***this was written in one breath of emotion, excuse my spelling & grammar.

Let’s revisit this soon..

What are your experiences with feminism?

Training Week 5 Recap & some recovery chitchat

Sunday- Rest

Monday- Rest

Tuesday- Speed: 1 mile warm up + 4 laps + 6 straightaways + jog home = 4 miles

Wednesday- Rest

Thursday- 4 miles

Friday- Rest

Saturday- 14.4 miles

My long run was supposed to be 16 but I just could not.  It was a hard run and I don’t know if I was in my head or just physically not ready for 16.. but I tried and just realized if I kept pushing I risk injury/ not recovering well and that’s not worth hitting today’s goal in the long term for this marathon. Also, I should note that this was attempting a 3 mile increase in distance from 13 last week to 16 this week which is more than I usually do, I increase my long distance runs 1-2 miles a week. The last time I ran 16+ miles was… last August.

Next weekend, I’m going for 16! And I’ll be on a trail in Boston which apparently has water fountains along it :)  I’m excited to run in a new place because I’m getting pretty tired of my usual routes.

After I showered, got dressed, and sat down long enough for my legs to work again (like over an hour) I headed out to grocery shop as I was completely out of food and didn’t have anything to make for lunch. And I was super hungry.

On my way to the store, I stopped at Sheetz for this delicious breakfast sandwich, god biscuits are good. I also got a TOASTED MARSHMALLOW iced coffee. Sheetz has the best flavors.  marshmallow and cake batter. jeeze.

photo 1

 

Later in the afternoon I iced my knees as I wore my new compression sleeves!! I bought the PROcompression grab bag the other day and it just came in on Friday! I got grey, black, and orange sleeves in it and I like them all.  I have one pair of compression socks I’ve been using for the past year and I actually like the sleeves a lot better.  This way no one knows I’m a freak… they hide perfectly beneath yoga pants. The socks I have are VERY purple so it’s quite obvious when I’m wearing them with Sperry’s or even sneakers.

So in this picture you may notice my legs are elevated on my foam roller.. this is because I read an article the other day saying that compression, icing, and elevation are the best for recovery.  I was really beat up yesterday so I tried to do my best at healing my legs!!

photo 2

xoxo Kay

Plan to get faster

Most runners work for speed, they love getting their times down and pace up.  Of course, I like getting a PR and the fact that running faster means you finish sooner, but I just have never been that motivated by speed/time.  I’m way more motivated by distance.  I put hours and hours into getting my mileage up, but I’ve completed neglected my speed work.  Now that I’m coming back into this marathon training cycle, this needs to change if I want to be sub 5 hours. YEA, THAT’S HOW SLOW.  And it’s ok that I’ve slowed down, I was injured last fall, then traveled over all of winter break, took some breaks during the spring semester, and traveled for a month in May. So I am just coming back into training again. But it is time to take my speed more seriously, so here’s my plan!

Sundays- off or light 2 miles

Mondays- 4 miles

Tuesday- Speed- track workouts: starting with 8 laps aiming for 1:80 splits

*(I’m starting with 1:80 based on last summer I was in much better shape and started speed at 1:50 splits, I don’t want to go too hard this early in training so I will try this week and reevaluate where I am for next week)

Wednesday- Off

Thursday- 5 miles

Friday- off

Saturday- 10 miles

Let’s see how it goes!!

Training week 1 recap: June 22-28

Sunday- 6 miles

Monday- off

Tuesday- 4 miles

Wednesday- off

Thursday- 4 miles

Friday- off

Saturday- 10 miles

* I planned to do 9 on saturday but I just really wanted to get to 10 to prove something to myself? I weirdly have no self control in regards to distance, I’ll run super slow for so long to just hit distance marks. I need to start doing speed work cause man am I slow right now