Monday, December 09, 2013
Yesterday's discovery about the discontinuation of my Garmin watch and its replacement by ugly colors including the gag inducing hated pink was just the start. I was also looking at some running gear sites at medal holders and discovered a way to store/display racing bibs too.
Except..."Run like a Girl" ? More pink ? Girls Run ? More pink and powder blue ? Don't even get me started on women's shoe sizes and colors! Or perhaps I should say "girls' shoes" !
Are we really so insecure as a society that we have to minimize the abilities of women, by refusing to grant them full adulthood? Run like a girl? What, I'm 4 years old? And did you, gear manufacturers, ever consider that maybe, just maybe, we would like to wear something other than pink and other pastels?
I, personally, find manufacturers' insistence on marketing women's items in pink to be offensive. It is patronizing, it is trivializing.
I have to wear men's running shoes because there are none in a "women's" size that are wide enough and I refuse to have tight shoes and be uncomfortable. I want my shoes to be bold and vibrant and make me want to run...not boring, bland and white / pastel.
If I want a hammer or a power tool sized to fit my hands - which are obviously smaller than a man's - why is my only option pink? A pink power drill? A pink hammer?
If you are female and like pink and like being called a girl...good for you and I mean that sincerely with no sarcasm.
But for me it is sexist, demeaning, trivializing and discriminatory. People are people and should have equal opportunities (and responsibilities!) without the trivialization. If a woman wants to do a "man's" job...she should be allowed to do so (and the reverse is true as well!). If there are valid physical requirements to do the job then a woman must be able to meet those requirements too. Note the word "valid". Nor should those VALID requirements be reduced just because of gender (or race or any other stupid cultural division)...if she wants it bad enough she will work for it. Oh boy, this could be an entirely new rant!
Don't make pink my only option just because I am a woman. Enough with the pastels as my only choice in foot wear and give me real size options. Because I am just SO sorry my feet are not petite and narrow. Don't tell me how great a company you are for making tools sized for women and then demeaning us by making them pink...because they are "only for women". And yes, I do know at least one tool company like this is actually owned by a woman which makes it even worse.
Maybe I'm too sensitive.
Or maybe I'm just tired of how our society constantly bombards us with overt AND covert messages that demean and objectify women and reduce us to children.
Run like a girl?
I don't think so.
I run. Period.
Ok, end of rant, back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Went for my inaugural run in my new Asics this afternoon. I bought them back in June when I was in Michingan because running shoes are a lot cheaper in the US than in France. I normally wear a Brooks, or a Mizuno, stability shoe, extra wide in "men's"...really it is almost considered a boy's size but it works for me.
But unfortunately none of the stores had either brand available in my size...so I agreed to hive the Asics a shot. It was only recently that I've put enough miles on my last pair of Brooks to need to switch, but my knees have started to feel a little achy...so it is time.
3.6 miles today on the paved forest trail and everything seemed Ok. Although I really do need to get real running socks, not the pseudo fitness socks I've been putting up with. My wool running socks are finally dying, they are worn so thin I might as well be barefoot.
My last pair of Brooks instantly felt great when I tried them on the first time. That didn't happen with the Asics, but they weren't bad either. Just...there.
But so far, so good. At least on the shoe front.
Sometime awhile ago, maybe a year, I accidentally washed my Garmin in the laundry. It has mostly worked, but occasionally has some minor meltdowns, like when it told me I ran a 1 minute mile. I can't always trust the GPS since the wash, and the bad part is it is not always obvious when Gamin is being wonky.
Yesterday and today it refused to complete the "searching for satellite" routine at all, so I just ran with it anyway. Yesterday was a local telethon in my village with a run (as many times around the course as you wanted to do) and somebody told me how far the distance was; today I ran a known route and Garmin was accurate enough.
But Garmin is declining. So I went online tonight to look for a replacement.
To my horror...Garmin Forerunner 410 is discontinued!
Why Garmin? Why discontinue my watch and replace it with the hideous square day glo Forerunner 10? In neon colors? Really?
I may have to change sports now. Obviously there is no place for fashion consciousness in the world of sports watch makers, where one's choices are limited to basic black, orange, or day-glo lime green or pink.
Where's the puking emoticon when you need it !
My pretty blue sleekly designed Garmin :
What I am supposed to replace it with :
Also available in basic black (but who wants to be a lemming?), pink (sexist, thoroughly despise the color), day-glo green, orange (so it can be Halloween all year long), or violet (only slightly less objectionable than pink).
I draw the line at wearing a pink sports watch. It is one of the absolute basic truths of the universe that FFK does not do pink.
eBay, here I come
Thursday, December 05, 2013
At 9:30 my time this morning - so about 3:30 am in Michigan - I received a text from my son : "am going to hospital, think I have MRSA"
So I call him up immediately because MRSA is dangerous.
He has a "pimple" like spot on his leg that has grown and is now quite painful and is obviously not a pimple. In his internet research for a diagnosis he came across MRSA, it seemed to fit and so he decided that is what it must be.
Of course I told him to get into the doctor today & let me know what it is. I do not think it is MRSA from his description, or anything immediately fatal lol.
But what a way to start my morning though - "3:30 am, going to hospital, have a killer disease".
This week I have been trying to plan travel for my children to come visit me in France. I verified itineraries with my daughter, asked her to confirm she was OK with the dates more than once. Yes, yes, everything is good.
I give all the details to the travel agent, she gets the approvals from HR, books the tickets late Tuesday night (my time in France).
Today my daughter calls and asks if they can be changed...after the 24 grace period is over. Apparently she has a cheer practice & competition on the 4th & 5th - while she is still here in France.
No, sorry, the tickets are not changeable unless I personally want to pay the fee and any difference in pricing. And I don't want.
Back in October my Mom mailed a check to my bank in the US, for deposit into my account, for my birthday. She mailed it with a deposit slip directly to the bank branch. As of today it still hasn't been deposited; my mother confirms it has not yet been cashed.
So I call the bank and inquire if it could be sitting on someone's desk because it is not exactly a normal situation...and before I can even finish the person cuts me off with "It is definitely lost in the mail, we never received it". And nothing would budge her from this position to even check with the branch or put a note in the system. Except it has happened before when the property manager mailed in my rent check it sat on someone's desk for more than a week until I called to inquire. I got the same story then ("Oh, it must have been lost in the mail") but miraculously the USPS found it right about then because the deposit showed up the next day in my account.
So I'll give it a few days and see if the "USPS" pulls off another miracle. If not I'll tell my Mom just to let it go, it's not worth the cancellation fee. She's not out any money that way and if it does eventually show up & get deposited after it has been canceled there will be even more fees.
But...when I called to tell her this she was in tears. My Dad was out trying to find some neighbours to help them lift their dog into the van...they have to take him to the vet to be put to sleep. He had just gotten home from the vet last night and then just collapsed this morning...he can't stand or walk or basically even move, his heart is extremely enlarged & he is retaining about 20 pounds of water. His heartbeats are much slower than they are supposed to be, because his heart is so enlarged.
Clyde is a Great Dane and now weights well over 200 pounds with the water weight. He's also just about 8 years old...and 7 is old for these dogs. Some do live to 10-12 years but many do not.
He's been declining rapidly the last few months and there really is no hope for improvement. He is just old and worn out because of his size and medical conditions (inbred puppy mill dog). They don't want him to suffer, which he is doing right now. I could hear him in the back ground.
So no more phones for me today. I'm afraid of what I might hear next.
ETA: too late, I should have listened to myself. Just checked for texts (because I am waiting to hear from my son about his dr. visit) and had a typical message from DH, the ex-husband. Note the DH in this case does NOT stand for "Dear Husband" but is rather an appropriate description of what he thinks with.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Wow, it's been almost 2 months since my last blog! I have a lot of catching up to do...later.
A few months ago I signed up for this race through the activities committee at work. 17km is about 10.5 miles, at the time I expected it to be no big deal. After all, I've done 8 or so HMs and I was starting to train again.
Then August happened...I just stopped running. No real physical reason, it just didn't appeal to me so I found excuses. Then came September and I knew I needed to start getting ready...and didn't. The last time I ran at all was August 8...until last Sunday's 4.6 miles. I did another 4.5 on Wednesday and 6 on Friday.
So I knew I could do 10 and finish but that I would also be doing a bit of walking and would have a 2+ hour time.
Since the activities committee registered us I never actually looked at the race details other than the distance. I knew it was between 2 Chateaux but assumed it was a back & forth.
Yeah...well, I was wrong, discovered that this morning as I was getting the address & walking out the door 15 minutes late.
This is where we started, in Pierrefonds :
The weather report had been calling for completely cloudy & 80% chance of rain. I'm happy to say that the weather reports was completely wrong. It was a beautiful day.
At mile 1.86 my Garmin lost the satellite signal and therefor decided to stop timing as well. It was a few minutes before I realized it and never did get it to start up again. Finally got the timing working at least, so I could track my run/walk intervals later on, but had to rely on the km markers along the course.
Just past the 4km marker a lady asked if I wanted to run along with her, since she was going slower because she was recovering from an injury. We ran together for 5 km and then I told her I had to walk for a bit and to go on ahead. I'm am very happy I was able to run with Bernillle for a time because it pushed me a little harder than I would have done on my own.
I kept her in sight the rest of the distance and caught up as we ran the last km to the finish.
2 hours & 10 minutes.
Not great, but not bad for no training and given I am a slow runner even when trained. So I'll take it.
I had intended to take a taxi back to Pierrfonds, to get my car. So after some minutes realized both that the taxi stand was far from the finish and that in my rush I had left my wallet at home. So no money to pay for a taxi.
Let me just say the forest of Compiegne is HUGE. There are multiple trails heading off in multiple directions andtrail cross-roads where you can change directions. SO I am extremely grateful that at the last second I decided to put my phone in my fanny pack because without the GPS I would still be wandering about the forest 8 hours later.
AND...bonus...the GPS cut a whole mile off of my return trip! WooHoo! Only 9.5 miles back to the car, not the full 10.5! And a new distance PR (even if I wasn't actually planning on it).
Saw lots of different kinds of mushrooms...and several mushroom hunters, in the forest. Apparently this is mushroom season. There is a "class" on mushroom hunting next Saturday I am going to try to take, if it is not already filled.
And next Sunday is race #2, the 11km race in Compiegne that I did last year. This year - thankfully! - I am doing the relay with a French coworker so I only have to run 5.5km. We had to choose a team name...we are not creative people so we came up with Franglish (for French English).
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