Posted by: apopalyptic | 06/07/2011

13.1

On Sunday, June 5th, I ran a half marathon with Elizabeth. The Dexter to Ann Arbor race in Michigan.

It was an amazing feat. I was happy the whole way, even though after the ten mile mark I ended up walking a lot. Aside from not being used to the elevation, the longest distance I have ever done is ten miles and that was a month prior to the race. But it was a great run. I spent time in a beautiful part of the country, ate good food (hello Zingerman’s Roadhouse biscuits with chocolate bacon gravy! I can’t wait to see you again!), listened to music with friends and got to do this thing that I never really thought would ever happen.

Here is my favorite photo that Shane took of us at the end of the race. Elizabeth finished before me, but at the end, after I made my way through fake finish line of balloons (I think it was 13th mile marker), I saw Elizabeth off to the right and started waving to her. She ripped off her bib as to not mess up the chip time, ran towards me and for the last tenth of a mile, we ran together. I crossed the finish line and the announcer said “From Washington, DC: Tina and friend!”  I think this photo captures the moment quite brilliantly:

Me seeing Elizabeth as I rounded the finish line!

taken by Shane

As Elizabeth pointed out, I had a very colorful race outfit. It’s similar to what I wore at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, and what I ended up with on my Run for the Apocalypse on the day the world was supposed to end: bright traffic-cone orange shorts (with purple and yellow trim), kelly green compression socks, a pink cammo headband I scored at the race expo the day before, and a grey tank top. I started off with my cammo running sleeves but it got too hot and somewhere around the first mile Elizabeth put them in her pocket, though I did wear them long enough for a photo opp:

They let kitty cats run half marathons?

taken by Shane

But let’s talk about the compression socks for a bit. A few people along the way asked me if they helped with the long distances. I told one guy: well, I think they do, so I guess that they do. But they really do. They are made of science (like Elizabeth’s compression pants) in that they hold everything in and make your muscles not cramp up, and they really help with shin splints, which put a huge damper on my very first ten mile run. It was a pain that would not go away and got worse if I stopped running. Compression socks don’t entirely fix the problem (for me, it was to up my intake of Vitamin D), but they have helped tremendously. Abigail gave me her extra pair. My compression socks are utilitarian and fashionable, which makes them the most apocalyptic element of my whole running costume. And, as you can see here, they also match my medal:

Duh, Winning!

taken by Shane.

Here’s the other thing. Over the course of the weekend, we talked a lot about running. I hate running. In high school, it took me like a half an hour to run the mile. I always wanted to fake sick that day so I didn’t have to go to gym class. But a few years ago, I just started doing it. I still hated it, but I felt great when I was done. Then I somehow got talked into running the Broad Street 10 Miler, and at some point during that training I was able to run three miles without stopping. I just kept doing it and kept signing up for more races. It’s not so much about trying to be super fast or winning as it is about the fact that this thing I thought I could never do– run ten miles and enjoy it– I’ve actually done… three times! I look forward to my weekend runs and don’t even need the company of my iPod anymore. And now, along with my great friend Elizabeth,  I have run the longest distance I’ve ever run, and I’m excited to do it again– what’s up Philadelphia Half!

Will I ever do the full 26.2? Maybe. I am thinking that I might just stick with 13.1 for a while and see how it goes. It’s kind of hard to make our bodies do something that makes absolutely no sense at all, but to quote one of my favorite mottos of all time, from one of my favorite bosses of all time: get your ass out of bed and your head will follow. If I just get out there and start running, then I’m capable of doing anything.

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Responses

  1. Fresh gams!


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