I just RT'ed this tweet. And as I did that, for a split second there was a voice in my head that said: "but that one time when a boy in high school grabbed your breasts you were drunk." "And that other time when a stranger kissed you on the mouth out of nowhere you were by yourself and wearing a skirt." "And when you're in a club it's nearly normal that guys grab you when you walk by."
Why am I making up excuses for the men who did this? When was I taught that being drunk or wearing a short skirt are consent for sexual assault? Because obviously they are not.
I guess this is how that works: when you hear those kind of excuses often enough you start to think it is normal that these things happen. And even worse: you almost start to believe that your actions cause these things to happen. Which in itself is already #notokay.
For years I have run, mostly as training for other sports, and almost never in races. A couple years ago I ran 10 miles in a race and on the one hand I thought it was awesome, but on the other hand, I had clearly not trained enough because I seriously injured my IT band during that race. I kept running, also when pregnant, but hadn't done a race except a 5k for years. Until my friend texted me - while I was out on a run - if I wanted to do a half marathon. I found it such a funny coincidence that she texted this during my run, that I said yes and increased my weekly mileage a bit to prepare*.
Last Sunday was d-day and as I said before, I was kind of nervous to run further than I had ever run before (18 km was my furthest training) but the atmosphere was great and so was the weather (although maybe a bit hot). I learned the following things:
- When I ran on the beach a couple months ago and thought to myself: this is something I need to train for, as this half marathon has nearly 5 km on the beach, I should have actually done that. Now, I trained mostly on roads and that is certainly VERY different from a sandy beach. Also, the water covered that nice hard sand so you could really only run on the soft sand. Unless you took your shoes off and ran in the sea, which some people did.
- To get off the beach, there was a dune the size of Mt Everest that made every single person walk instead of run.
- I get why people bring their own water and/or sports drink: I spend a lot of time worrying about being too thirsty, too hungry and worried to drink too much not to upset my stomach. I can see now that carrying your own in a race definitely has its advantages.
- I was not very fast, but I finished and did not injure myself. The only pain was being VERY sore the days after.
- I think I can be faster if I make a better training plan so my mouse hovers over the subscribe button of another half marathon early next spring...
*I ran 2-3 times a week for a total of 10-20 km a week. Not a lot, but just to show that it is do-able to finish a half marathon with little kids and work and everything else that takes up time.
On Sunday I'll be running my first ever half marathon and I'm really starting to get nervous about it. I think I've trained enough to be able to finish for sure and am hoping for any time below 2:30. Also, about five kilometers will be on the beach and to get on the beach there will be dunes. I've never been there so no idea how hard that part will be. But the prospect of pain and wanting to accomplish something makes me really kind of nervous. And that made me half-jokingly ask myself if this is part of the reason why I quit academia. So I'm thinking about Monday and how happy I'll be to look back on it 🙂