Thursday, February 7, 2008

Jerky jerks

So, I used to run. A lot. And I thought, when I got pregnant, that I would keep running. Then, along about 8 weeks into the pregnancy, I started to feel very sick. And tired. And running wasn't very fun. I could barely make it through the work day. So I stopped running. After my first trimester I definitely felt better. But I didn't start running again. Because I was lazy.

Since the Bean was born, I kept promising myself I would get back to running. I love running and I missed it. But I didn't. Because starting back at zero with absolutely no lung power? Very discouraging. And spending time away from my precious Bean? Not very desirable.

But I am trying to get myself back into shape, lose those last 5 pounds of "baby weight" and treat myself to some "me" time. So I have been quietly trying to start running again in hopes of doing another half-marathon in June.

It's going pretty good. Husband has been on Bean duty when we get home from work on M-W-F so that I can get out for a quick (as in short, not as in speedy) run, and I've been going out once on the weekends. My 2 mile run is getting easier, and I'm starting to feel better about it. My lungs don't burn quite as much, and I'm not dreadfully sore the way I was after the first couple of runs. All in all, I'm pretty happy with my progress so far, even though my runs are still pitifully short. Once I can get my lungs into shape again, I can start increasing the mileage. My legs and joints are doing well, so I know that won't be a problem.

All of this to tell you about my run last night.

When I used to run, I would often get catcalls from construction workers and honked at by passing cars. It always made me feel really self-conscious about my body, and I detested it. But I was usually running during the day, with people around. So it would piss me off and make me uncomfortable, but I could deal with it.

Last night I went for my (pathetic) run after work. It was rainy and getting close to dark (because I live in the land of no sun and crappy weather). In the first 3 minutes of my run, a car honked at me. It kinda pissed me off, but it wasn't too bad. Well, towards the end of my run, I'm on a side street and there's a group of about 4 male teenagers up ahead. And I start to get really anxious. Eyes down, I forge ahead.

They don't say a word to me, but I can hear them laughing across the street. As I pass, two of them actually turn around to look at me. My cheeks burn and I pick up the pace.

A non-event, perhaps, but it made me really upset. I doubt that male runners experience the same kind of discomfort when they're out training. It's frustrating to feel like I can't just go out for a run without feeling intimidated and harassed by strangers. What in the hell makes men (and boys) feel like they have the right to harass a woman on the street? To at best make her feel self-conscious and at worst make her fear for her safety.

Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys...

6 comments:

Jennie said...

that's really crappy. I've never really felt that running but during almost every (women's) rugby practice some guy in a car would drive by and scream out the window or honk. However that was a group situation and just pissed me off, didn't really threaten me.
On a side note. Have you thought about a jogging stroller so Bean could go with you? Maybe not on cold and raining nights but at least on the week-end runs.
I'm also pathetically trying to get back into runing. I had my 3.5 mile loop down good (not great. I think about 45mins but I was afraid to time myself) and then the snow hit. I don't love running enough to go in the snow, or below freezing weather.

Lisa Sandigo said...

i used to walk the long, back way home in high school to avoid the cars on the busier street for that very reason. when i did walk the busy street my back would be stiff because i'd be so paranoid that everyone was looking at me, esp. because of whistling/comments

The bean-mom said...

Just wanted to say... so sorry about those jerky jerks. But kudos to you for getting back to running and doing something good for yourself! (I've never been a runner, or good at any type of exercise)

mamabear said...

the safety issue is a big deal for me. i'm not saying i would be out running everyday if the world were 100% safe...but it is a big deterrent for me.

ScienceGirl said...

Harassment/intimidation is a big issue for me. I won't be caught out by myself in the dark, and in the light I prefer to work out somewhere I won't be stared at. Perhaps not surprisingly, none of this is a problem if I am working out or running with my husband...

Ms.PhD said...

Ugh, that sucks.

I'm happy to say that, probably because of where I live now, I don't get this as much as I used to. Or maybe I'm just getting older and frumpy enough that there's not much to look at anymore!

During the winter I've mostly switched to mostly exercising indoors, or in places where I already know everyone.

Unfortunately my sacred yoga class was invaded by a new person this week, and she spent the entire class staring at me. Probably just to see what to do next, but I hate the distraction of knowing you're being watched. Even if it's totally harmless, it can wreck your focus.

Keep running, just stay safe.