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September 2, 2011 / kat uppman


Yesterday was my first day of official Marathon training. I’ve actually been training and building my miles since March, but now I’m on the 18 week schedule prepared by Hal Higdon. I’m doing the Advanced II calendar, if anyone wants to join me.

While running, I do a lot of visualization. Picturing what the parks and backroads will look like, wondering what characters we’ll see, thinking about how to pace myself. And of course, figuring out my race costumes.

The problem is, I’ve become very interested in the new movement to protect our young girls from the onslaught of pink, princesses and constant body image messages. I completely agree it’s getting out of control. Yet, the costumes I’ve picked out to wear for the races are…. princess outfits. Sold on a sexy costume site, no less, because I need them to be short and breathable. UGH! How can I feel like I need to protect our girls from a culture I myself play in to? One of the reasons I picked the Disney races was for the fantasy, whimsy and escape they offer. Is this ok because for the rest of the year I’m grounded in work and family? Will the little girls watching me run by understand that I can separate my Snow White costume self from my runner/entrepreneur/start-up/science teacher/book lover/Girl Power self?

I suppose this bleeds in to the larger struggle I find myself having, the more of these books, blogs and articles I read. How much of the princess culture is because we naturally love it, and how much was driven in to us at a young age? Is it really me choosing to dress as a princess, or have marketers so deeply penetrated my brain that I automatically default to that image when I want to feel good about myself? Do I want to know the answer? Could I bear the thought that consumerism has tainted my own, pure, personal running time? Or has it already, through the clothes, music, shoes, food and race themes I’m already tangled in?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. For now, I figure I’ll enjoy my costumes and know that they are just that-an escape for a few miles through the Happiest Place on Earth. Meanwhile, I’ll be trying to figuring out why I need that escape…..

Running costume or playing in to sexualization of women? Can you own your own sexuality while running?

Today’s miles: 3

Pace: 11:00

Total weekly miles: 3

Total miles since getting back on the bandwagon: 63


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