Awesome women for a snowy day

I’ve been dealing with norovirus this week so my physical activity has dropped to zero. I only started really eating solid food on Friday and am still not feeling 100% – so since I’ve no new musings on running or yoga lately I’ll be doing something different.

I’ve found that one of the best ways to cope with a difficult situation or find motivation is to share your experiences. Every time I’ve shared something I’ve been embarrassed about or struggled with – I usually find I get responses from people are “Me too!!!” No one else has their shit together either, we’re all just fumbling through this and doing our best. So today I am going to share with you some of my favorite resources and women that have made me laugh, made me feel less alone or made me think “I can do this!”

1. Anna Akana

I stumbled across her YouTube channel when I had just moved into my apartment post-divorce. I had no friends in Kansas and worked alone so needless to say I was lonely. I think I googled something like “how to be alone” and up came one of her videos. Not only is she hilarious and genuine, but she also struggles with anxiety and confidence but is constantly working on herself. In the last year she’s gotten even more into film making so you can always expect a quality video that will make you laugh. Oh, and she’s a total cat lady.

2. ALBinWonderland

ALB is pretty ‘internet famous’ from my understanding. She has a popular YouTube and tumblr (which is where I came across her) and she is a great voice for modern feminism. She is also down to earth, and shares stories of falling on the treadmill, dealing with cat calling, depression and developing self-love. I also really respect her approach that “femme isn’t anti-feminine” and you can be any type of woman you like and still be a feminist.

3. Chloe Dykstra

Chloe is again, another YouTuber, and big in gamer/cosplay culture. Now I don’t play many video games so most of that is lost of me, but she does has some great personal videos about dealing with insecurities.

Lagusta owns an AMAZING gourmet chocolate shop in New Paltz, NY. I learned of her through a bunch of our NY vegan friends who introduced Scott and I to her chocolates. Hands down, the BEST vegan chocolate out there. It’s beautifully hand crafted and no detail is lost on her. All aspects of her business are as sustainable as possible (compostable ribbons, socialist sliding soup scale days, policy of not fraternizing with shitty companies cough *UO* cough). Her personal blog is a fantastic window into being a feminist, anarchist, chocolatier in this complicated modern day and age. I very much admire her quest to avoid sweat-shop clothing as much as possible and to do it with style. No seriously, it’s great. Just browse her instagram here.

Photo by Deena Feinberg for The Hairpin
 So! There’s something for you to browse if you are stuck inside like us on this snowy Sunday.

Training update and recent revelations

I am FINALLY back to running. It seemed very touch and go there for a bit. I would run here and there, then get set back by a cold, then run again… then be stuck in bed…

And just as I was starting to get over the cold again I was struck down the day after returning from our Boston/NH New Year’s trip. It probably didn’t help that one day I ran in the slushy snowy rain around the city. I was basically bedridden for all of last week.

Anyways, with the assistance of doxycycline, I have prevailed! And just in time to kick off my 16-week training plan for the Mini-Marathon in May. The Mini is hailed as the nation’s largest half-marathon (which may or may not be true) and is the culmination of the city’s celebrations surrounding the Indy 500 race. I spectated it last year, and ran my first 10 miles in months if you remember, and am looking forward to racing it this year.

Official training began yesterday with 3 miles downtown from work. Scott advised me to start small since I’d been sick for so long – and that was fine with me. The mileage was fine, but the conditions were a mess. It was below freezing, ice was all over the sidewalks and the wind was raging. I took my 5 mile speed work to the treadmill today (1 mile WU, 9:00, 8:40, 8:30, 1 mile CD) and was pleased those were relatively comfortable miles.

Noticeably different to me was my experience on the treadmill. Not often am I running more than 4 miles indoors as that is about as long as I can keep my attention. But today I went in with the mindset of ‘training’ and the miles flew by. I was there to work. Not to work out. Not to keep a new year’s resolution. Not to read a magazine and fuck around on the elliptical. Having one successful ‘training period’ under my belt has really bolstered my confidence. I’ve chosen a more intense training plan this go (volume-wise) but I don’t have any of the fears I did last time. Mostly I’m just excited to see where I can go from here.

Another realization I came to was how different my attitude has been lately concerning my appearance. I’ve been reading Derek Jensen’s The Culture of Make Believe and it really is putting dominant culture into perspective for me. It is much easier for me to reject beauty standards once I realize that they’re a tool to keep us as insecure needy consumers. And are a means to further oppress women, to limit our role to being pretty objects for men. I felt empowered on the treadmill knowing I wasn’t running to ‘look good’ or ‘burn calories’. I was there to fucking run.(Might’ve helped that I was listening to Sleater Kinney).

Oh! And I signed up for the ENTIRE Dino trail series. That is pretty much a trail 15K once a month starting in March. So yeah, 2015 is looking good!