Thursday, August 21, 2014

Angel Island 12K & 25K Recap

Long time, no writing, I know.  I'm stealing just a few minutes to talk about last Saturday's race.

It was awesome!  I had a great run: challenging, rewarding, and fun.  The weather was perfect--nice and cool, overcast but still light, a great breeze on occasion.  The trail was awkward in spots, where I figured it was going to be awkward, being a very narrow dirt trail on a hillside with high poky plants on either side.  I did have to walk on some of the uphills around mile 4-4.5.  It was steep enough and my legs were tired enough that I just didn't want to push myself to the point of foolishness.  I would walk for 10 paces, then run for 10 paces and decide if I needed to walk again.  Deciding that it would be more fun while dressed as a superhero, I put on my Hawkgirl-inspired costume from the superhero trampoline adventure back in January.  Yellow leotard, green tights, red briefs and tall socks, plus black sleeves because I knew it would start off cold.  No one recognized me as Hawkgirl--several people called me Robin.

This is Hawkgirl.
This is Robin.

My official time was 1:15.36.  I was aiming to come in under 1:20, so hooray!  I also thought this was a pretty good time for running 7 miles.  Then I realized that 12K is nearly 7.5 miles, so double hooray!  Also, it was nice to see that I was fourth in my age group (females 35-39) out of 26 runners.

Maybe I should put the 25K run on my calendar for next year.  I'm definitely scoping out a half marathon to do next spring, if I can find a reasonably flat one.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Stuck in the Middle

Within the past week, I have been on opposite sides of the FA/HAES world.  I was able to interact personally in one incident, and decided to remain outside of the second.  It was an interesting firsthand experience with 1) thin privilege and 2) exercise hatred.

First was the positive experience.  While hiking with my college chums last weekend, while they were talking about their favorite forms of activism, I spoke up about the activism that I'm interested in, which is combating sizeism.  The first comment of one friend was along the lines of, "Well, fat people are okay as long as they're not unhealthily obese, and they should all work to lose weight."  After a few teaching moments on my part, on the issues of size acceptance and HAES, and because this friend has the capacity for rational thought, she realized that her initial statement was a knee-jerk reaction based on her life experiences, so she took it back and was understanding of why I feel the need for activism on this subject.

Second was a more negative experience.  On an online FA forum, a woman wrote in about a friend/cousin/someone, a dancer and frequent exerciser, who had fallen and done some damage to her low back, including a broken L5 vertebra.  Her doctor had said something along the lines of, "Good thing you've been exercising, because the damage could have been worse."  The responses within the forum were 99% in the vein of, "My fat gives me extra padding from falls.  Maybe if she hadn't been breaking down her body with so much exercise, she wouldn't have been hurt so badly."  Needless to say, as someone who both loves to exercise and has suffered from back problems over half her lifetime, this response upset me.  I know for a fact that I have recovered from minor back injuries faster and have had fewer problems and less pain because I have strengthened my back.  But I'm afraid to write in and have my opinion discounted because of my thin privilege.

It's just interesting to see the herd mentality on both sides.