Daily Archives: April 24, 2014

Nike Women’s Marathon (2010)

In the rare instances where I write about doing any form of cardio, I think I invariably mention how much I hate it. This was not always the case. While I’ve never loved it, I really did give it a fighting chance and…tolerated it for a time. Back in the day, when I was dating an avid runner, he’d convince me to come with him on his crazy treks throughout town. The very first time, I obliged, but on my bike. That was actually kinda fun (and I didn’t feel like I was slowing him down, so there was that), but I was dragged on several more of these crazy adventures throughout the year, and it was pretty much a testament to how much I liked spending time with this guy. After he introduced me to/I fell in love with weightlifting, running was but a distant thing of the past (other than uh, some more 6-7 mile runs that I managed to live through only because it meant that we’d get to eat the world afterward).

Anyway, if you fastforwarded (really rewinded, since we are now in 2014) to May of 2010, a Nike college ambassador came into my exercise psychology class to pitch to us the awesome-ness that was the Nike Women’s Marathon. Her exact wording may have been something along the lines of how “finishers [would] get a Tiffany’s necklace presented to [them] on a silver platter by a hunky SF fireman in a tuxedo.”

I’m usually not into this whole expensive jewelry thing, since I’d much rather spend my money on food (they don’t call me a black hole for nothin’!). But if I were to run a half marathon and they’d give it to me? Why would I ever say no? Especially when there was a fat discount offered to college students? (My mom was appalled by the idea of having to pay to run. I think once upon a time, I thought the same way about this, but anyway.)

I coerced two of my friends from junior high to come along and run it with me. At the time, I’d started running somewhat regularly, but was forced to take a break in the fall due to a super-fun back injury. The idea of this half-marathon entered my head when I’d just gone through ~1.5 quarters of cardio kickboxing. I figured that signing up for this would do me a whole lot of good, including:
1) Motivating me to actually run regularly
2) Giving me an excuse to hang out with Whitney/Becca once we were all back home (this was the year we all graduated from undergrad, in case you were wondering)
3) Brag rights if I finished running it without dying

#2 slightly backfired because Whitney ended up not being able to do the run with us. #1’s “regularly” was relative, but considering my running as of that year before and how grumpy I got after mile 3 or so, I’d have to say this was a vast improvement.

The Friday before, I got together with Becca so we could make shirts for the occasion. My fabric paint backfired on us (or at least, the colors I wanted to use did), so we ended up using pink. I think they turned out fairly well though. As somewhat of an explanation, two years ago, we were trying to come up with a term that could collectively incorporate all three of us, and we somehow came up with this:

“We Be Friends,” because we’re hella ghetto.

We went off to SF at noon to pick up our race packets and check out the expotique. We’d gone on an epic run up Mill Creek on Monday (bright and early at 6 a.m., because my physics class had gotten cancelled and covered about 10-11 miles, which, at that point in time, was the longest distance I’d ever run. I figured 2-3 more miles should definitely be do-able.

My name on the wall! It made me feel super-special awesome, but alas, I’m too short, and could only point to ‘Frank.'”

My main concern was to be able to finish the race without dying (such an ambitious goal, I know), mostly because I hadn’t really have a lot of time to train for speed. (Although to be honest, I doubt I ran anywhere near as much as I should have to prepare for it.) For the better part of my high school/college years,my favorite forms of physical activity have been [and still are] gymnastics, horseback riding and dance, none of which were a regular occurrence. (I have since added on weightlifting, MMA, pole-dancing, occasional yoga/pilates, and for that short period of time, running.)

We had a pasta dinner the night before and went back to Becca’s mom’s friend’s hotel room. On the way back, I was stopped by a guy who asked me what I used to style my hair.
F: (recalls how she stayed up til 4 a.m. the night morning before watching Make It or Break It, and blearily woke up this morning to pick up Becca) Um, nothing?
Guy: You don’t use anything to get it so perfectly straight like that?
F: I didn’t even comb it this morning. :[
How’s that for honesty? It’s nice to know some things don’t ever change.

Bright and early at 4:30 a.m. (I’ve only ever gotten up this early to run one other time in my life >_> ), we got up to eat and get everything ready, then walked our way over to the starting point. Auntie Judy handed us bottles of water, but since we’d overestimated how much time it would take by…a lot, Becca and I ended up leaving to give our water away to two homeless people we’d passed by on our way there.

Somewhere around 6 a.m. in the morning…

Waiting for the race to start…

The first three miles or so felt pretty surreal. I couldn’t really believe it was actually happening, and before I knew it, we’d already gotten to Mile 6, which was the start of the horrible hills. Oh, what fun. But they weren’t actually that terrible, most likely because the Mill Creek run did us a lot of good.

We were handed all sorts of things throughout the different miles (water and Gatorade every other mile, orange slices, POM, Luna bars & Clif Shot Blocks at Mile 9, Ghirardelli chocolate squares at Mile 12… I ran with Becca for 13 miles and sprinted the last 0.1-ish. Finishing it felt pretty much like…it hadn’t really happened. I thought it’d be a hell of a lot harder.

So. I forgot to get a picture with my fireman. :[ But we did do a video testimonial together that they probably shouldn’t use. I believe I said something about how you get a pretty necklace from a super-sexy fireman and how Don’t Stop Believin’ is an awesome song in a semi-fob accent. And then we couldn’t figure out how to turn the thing off because we’re hella awesome. Yeah.

The fruits of our labor!

NWM 2010 Necklace! :D

I didn’t die! :D

I seriously cannot fathom running even 3 miles now without gasping for breath, which is pretty depressing. When I look back on this, I usually feel a sense of complete disbelief that it ever even happened. So why am I talking about running to begin with?

I’m thinking of actually starting that up again. Linda took me on a mini-tour through the town I’ve been living in for the past 1.5 years and I discovered that there’s a beautiful park with an amphitheater, a track, what used to be the pool that is now a community garden, pull up bars, parallel bars, playgrounds, picnic benches the river…and it’s literally less than half a mile away, just down the hill from where I live. How did I not know that this existed!?