this is not ok

It happened again this week.

Another female runner attacked for having the audacity to do something male runners take for granted.

In case you haven’t heard the news, a 25-year-old runner training for Chicago was attacked during a morning run in artsy River North over the weekend. This comes about a little more than a month after 30-year-old Karina Vetrano was found dead after a run in Queens–sexually assaulted and strangled–and after police found Vanessa Marcotte a half-mile from her mother’s house in Massachusetts. The 27-year-old was found naked and burned.

“She shouldn’t have worn those shorts.”
“She shouldn’t run in a sports bra (nevermind that it’s a bajillion degrees).”
“She shouldn’t run alone.”

I’m so sick of reading headlines about missing runners and even more sick of the comments that follow.

When is enough, enough? Because even when I run in capris, a long-sleeved shirt and bed head the comments from passing cars still come.

Thankfully for this runner she’s still alive. After a man came up behind her, grabbed her by the neck, threw her to the ground and started to choke her, a Good Samaritan noticed and helped. Shaken up but otherwise unharmed she was lucky.

The sun was out. It makes me angry to think that it could have been worse. It’s infuriating that I don’t have a way to fix it.

We take self defense classes, carry pepper spray, change up our routes, wear longer clothes and yet none of those things are a solution.

What exactly are we supposed to do differently and why is it up to us?

am i a unicorn?

Am I a unicorn?

After six months of sending resumes to every media outlet within a 60-mile radius of Fort Campbell, I joined the Kentucky New Era as a staff writer in September 2013. The local daily served a city of 35,000 and a tri-county area of about 125,000 people. Like all entry-level reporter positions it paid peanuts, but it was exactly what I always dreamed of doing. I love news and struggled with leaving once orders dropped.

Three years later, I’m still struggling to find a media outlet that will take me. I get that I chose a profession with pre-existing struggles and dumped a whole other set of obstacles on top of it.

And don’t get me wrong, PCS Life is hard for everyone, but it wasn’t until we moved for the second time that I realized how difficult it would be to continue pursing reporting. Journalism was always the plan before the Army, and it’s hard to accept doing anything else.

At NAS Pensacola I spent the first four months after the move counting down the days, weeks and months until our future move to journalism mecca. I just had to hold on for three more months and we’d be in the D.C. area for good.

Or so I thought. Paperwork sat on a desk, and seven months turned to a year. I took a job through a temp agency at a local radio station so I didn’t murder my husband for self-fulfillment.

Packing up every two to three years, setting up a new house and maintaining a career through it all can seem impossible when you first start the military life journey. You go to school with one plan in mind and then life turns around and craps all over it. Good prep for military life I guess?

Well, sometimes it seems impossible. Disheartening. Defeating.

That’s why being surrounded by military spouses of all professions and backgrounds Monday afternoon was so uplifting. Co-hosted by Starbucks, the first meeting of In Gear Career’s National Capital Region chapter kicked off over free coffee and cake.
InGear1
IGC is a networking group for professional military spouses in pursuit of career advancement, not just a job. I first found the group at Fort Campbell when I wondered, “Could there be other spouses established in their careers and unwilling to let them go?”

Surrounded by about 20 other resilient, hard-working, eager spouses the answer was clear to me.

Yes, we’re here.

InGear2
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of In Gear Career. As always, the opinions and text are all mine. Photos by Sandy Davis Photography.

nyc marathon packing list

It’s almost here! After more than three months of training I can’t believe I’m headed to NYC for the race of my life. I usually put stuff to the side throughout the week so that I don’t forget it and pack basics from a list the day of or night before a trip. We’re leaving in three-ish hours or so and I’m just getting started but luckily my go-to strategy means packing everything I need only takes me about 20 minutes.

I usually go through and layout all the outfits that I’ll need so that I don’t under or overpack. Both can be bad.

For NYC, I’ll need something to sleep in tonight and tomorrow night, something to wear during the day tomorrow, my race clothes and comfy clothes to wear post-marathon. I’ve found it saves space to have your clothes do double duty so I’ll sleep in the next morning’s (clean) gym clothes and wear a sundress for sightseeing because I can keep it on for that night’s dinner.
NYC Marathon Packing ListOnce we get to NYC I’ll stop at a grocery store and pick up a couple of bananas, and I’ll go to a Goodwill to get throwaway clothes for the start to avoid taking up space in my bag. I like a really big puffy jacket when I can find it (because Floridian) and that pretty much takes up my whole suitcase if I were to pack it.

There you have it!

Ah. Now to put all these things in my bag. (Pro tip: roll your clothes). Two sleeps until race day!

Anything I’m forgetting? Last-minute packing tips for me before we head out?