Race report: The one in which I qualify for Boston

Fit and Feminist

caitlin-albany-marathonI’m not even going to bother with trying to make this suspenseful, and besides, if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook or, uh, Facebook, you probably already know. But yes, it is true – Project BQ is officially a success. This past weekend, I achieved a goal I have been working toward for the past three years. I qualified for the Boston Marathon.

In retrospect, what I was experiencing in the weeks leading up to last weekend’s Albany Marathon was a pretty classic case of taper madness.  I felt antsy over my decreased activity levels, I started second-guessing every stupid little tweak in my legs, and not even two weeks had passed after my twenty-mile run before I said to Brian, “I’m pretty sure I’ve lost all my fitness.”

This video is the most accurate description of my feelings during this time:

It was all compounded…

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Celebrating Women…At Home, Abroad and in Twitterland

Petchary's Blog

So, Sunday was International Women’s Day 2015. The solar-powered plane took off on its first round-the-world flight, and I followed its adventures via social media. A pedigree dog at Crufts Dog Show in England was allegedly poisoned. Liverpool Football Club struggled to a dull goalless draw in the FA Cup. The FBI is investigating ISIS hacking Western websites.

And how were the world’s women? In Australia, a woman was stabbed to death walking in a Sydney park while talking to her husband in India on her cell phone. In Jamaica, a 71-year-old farmer in deep rural Cornwall Barracks went out to check on her chickens and was also stabbed to death. And so, sadly, the world turns. 

Overseas, too, there were many challenging and extraordinary messages. It was quite a weekend, altogether. I saved some interesting posts on my Tweetdeck and might share some with you in future editions of…

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Crocodile Attacks in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Repeating Islands

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This—“Crocodile attacks surfer in Tamarindo” by Lindsay Fendt—is an interesting article because it looks at the “crocodile problem” from several angles, including pointing out that, more often, it’s people—not crocodiles—who cause a problem. It also proposes getting help from the Costa Rica Environment Ministry (MINAE) for several solutions, such as posting crocodile warning signs and training the local guides to stop feeding crocodiles during their ecotourism excursions. See excerpts with a link to the full article below:

On the first day of his surf trip in Tamarindo March 6, Montreal native Val Muscalu was waiting his turn for a wave when suddenly he was ripped off his board. Muscalu felt something strong clamp down on his left foot.

He remembers kicking out and swimming backstroke to shore, but everything else is a blur. It was only later, on his way to the hospital, that Muscalu learned the identity of his underwater…

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Mexican mayoral candidate reportedly decapitated – body found on dirt road | World news | The Guardian

The body of a woman running for election as mayor of a small Mexican town has been discovered after she was kidnapped and reportedly decapitated in the same region where 43 student teachers disappeared last year.

Aidé Nava’s body was found on a dirt road in the beleaguered Mexican state of Guerrero on Tuesday night, hours after she was abducted by a group of armed men, Guerrero’s chief prosecutor Miguel Angel Godínez told Milenio TV.

via Mexican mayoral candidate reportedly decapitated – body found on dirt road | World news | The Guardian.

With Plan to Walk Across DMZ, Women Aim for Peace in Korea – NYTimes.com

Suzy Kim, a professor of Korean history at Rutgers University who is another main organizer, said the group had yet to hear anything from the South Korean government side. South Korean officials declined to comment on the proposal Wednesday.

The group’s intent is to walk across the DMZ, from North to South, on May 24, International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament.

Ms. Kim credited the original idea to Ms. Ahn, who founded a group called Women De-Militarize the Zone a few years ago. “She had been thinking of how neglected the women’s role had been” in attempting to solve the Korean impasse, Ms. Kim said.

Ms. Ahn’s website, WomenCrossDMZ.org, said the planned walk was meant as a “symbolic act of peace.”

Thirty female peace activists from around the world are the core group of walkers. They include Ms. Steinem’s fellow honorary co-chairwoman, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, a 1976 Nobel Peace laureate from Northern Ireland, who helped organize enormous peace demonstrations, mostly of women, that crossed sectarian lines and helped end the bloodshed there.

Another organizer, Leymah Gbowee, shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work in leading a women’s peace movement that brought an end to civil war in Liberia in 2003 and led to the eventual exile, and successful war-crimes prosecution, of President Charles G. Taylor.

Ms. Kim acknowledged that the currently high level of North-South hostility, coupled with the North’s regular denunciations of the United States, the South’s principal ally, was “not a climate to achieve an agreement” to replace the armistice.

“On the other hand, the kind of deadlock we’re in makes it all the more important and necessary in not being O.K. with the status quo,” she said.

via With Plan to Walk Across DMZ, Women Aim for Peace in Korea – NYTimes.com.

California is punishing low-income people for having children

Studies show that family caps do not reduce the number of children women have. What they do is deepen the poverty rate of single mothers and children. In fact, California now has one of the worst rates of child poverty rates in the nation under the Maximum Family Grant.

Essentially, this policy punishes women for being low-income, but does nothing to help them escape the cycle of poverty. Thankfully, California lawmakers are currently working on their third attempt to repeal the policy. Hopefully the other 15 states where family caps exist will follow suit and do the work of legislative bodies, not legislating bodies.

via California is punishing low-income people for having children.

Suspected case of bird flu in Arkansas | MEAT+POULTRY

For example, all live poultry, hatching eggs, domesticated waterfowl, waterfowl being transported into Arkansas or other avian species must be accompanied by an official veterinary certificate stating the birds were examined and declared free of any signs of highly pathogenic avian influenza strains H5 and H7. Also, any personnel from a foreign country or an area known or suspected of having a bird-flu outbreak must be quarantined for three days from live poultry or other avian species. Individual companies are responsible for enforcing the quarantine protocol.

via Suspected case of bird flu in Arkansas | MEAT+POULTRY.