Monday, January 26, 2009

Half a Marathon (Double the Fun)

Yesterday, I got one step closer to my goal of running a marathon when I completed a half-marathon (13.1 miles) in Central Park. I finished in 2 hours and 23 minutes, and placed 4061st (of 5000), which I am choosing to interpret as there were over 900 people who finished after me (including a fellow dressed in a cardboard structure of a lighthouse). I think I finished after the 90-year-old man who walked the whole thing, although we were in a dead heat for a while there.
But it was 14 degrees out (all of the water froze in the cups at the water stations), and I ran 13.1 miles- something I wouldn't have thought I could ever do.
I only started running about a year ago when I moved offices and suddenly found myself in a situation where I had to take the subway to go to the gym. It seemed like such a waste of time- I was decidedly a non-runner, but logic prevailed when I realized that I could get a better workout just by putting on some sneakers and running out the door. We used to live close to the Hudson River, and I started running along the path there. I considered myself to be in pretty good shape when I started, but running is pretty good at making you humble- I could barely run a mile without turning into a wheezing mess. But the more I did it, the more I could feel myself getting stronger and better endurance (so much more rewarding than some Belly Dance Aerobics class at the gym).
As added motivation, I also got the Apple Nike + iPod System- a sensor which goes in your shoe, and a chip which attaches to your iPod- the system provides constant feedback about your distance, running time and pace. For me, it was a huge motivator to set and meet a goal of running, say, 3 miles in under 30 minutes, as opposed to "I'm gonna run to that bridge and back". The information is displayed on the iPod's screen, and a voice pipes in periodically to let you know how you're doing. And there is no denying the motivational power of running with music. I also more recently started running with my friend, T. We like to run at about the same pace, and have a comfortable no-talking policy (I am incapable of chit-chat while running, if no time else), but running with someone is inspiration to get out the door, and to keep going, even when you really really want to stop.

What's the shortest way to get from being a couch potato to completing a marathon? Well, running, of course.
T and me, approaching the finish. See how there are people behind us?

(For you Nancy Drews who notice that I am wearing a different hat in the top pic and the bottom, and that the time on the finish clock above is wrong, that's because the top pic is actually from a 5-mile race I ran a few weeks ago. I just liked the iconic quality of seeing the finish line sign. I took some editorial liberties, okay? So sue me.)


Gecko said...

I be impressed!

Chloe said...

Go lil! Almost there` Can't wait until you run the one in NOV. !!! I will have to send you a congrats gift! Along with the house warming present that is so long over due! xox

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