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    Style Girlfriend Runs the Nike Women’s Half Marathon

    2nd May 2013
    One resolution: checked off!

    nike-women-half-marathon-style-girlfriend

    This past Sunday, I ran a half marathon – that’s 13.1 miles – in 2 hours and 6 minutes. While I’d love to tell you this feat of physical and mental strength was both long-planned and well-executed, I have to confess otherwise.

    Two weeks earlier, I received a text message from a friend at Nike, inviting me to the Women’s Half Marathon to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, being held in Washington DC.

    He said he knew I was training to run a half, and that I should “Come along. You’ll be inspired.”

    He was half right, anyway. I had, at least, professed to start training to run a half-marathon. I’d promised it to you readers in my new year’s resolutions back in January, and I run regularly, but was I on any kind of a plan? No, not yet.

    nikewomendc

    But sure, why not? I am nothing if not an American political history nerd, and hadn’t been to DC in awhile.

    “I’m in,” I replied.

    Then, five days before we were set to leave he asked, “Would you want to run it?”

    Ha ha ha. No of course I don’t want to run 13.1 miles this Sunday, you crazy person, I thought. I would slowly melt into a puddle on the ground like the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz. Or else, all my limbs would begin to simply fall off of my body as I ran.

    But then I reconsidered. Well…maybe? I had been planning to train for a half marathon in Madison with my brother and sister, but that wouldn’t be ’til August, and, well, I hadn’t really been getting any more serious about my running since making my race intentions known back in January…

    style-girlfriend-nike-half-marathon-wristband

    {Ruh roh}

    …And that’s how I found myself, in shorts and a tank top shaking off the chills at 6:50am on the Washington Mall, waiting, along with 15,000 other women (and a few men) to run a longer distance than I’d ever run in my life.

    Nike_Women_Half_Marathon_DC_g_original

    Nike_Women_Half_Marathon_DC_h_original

    {And we’re off!}

    I felt surprisingly calm, given how nervous and second guess-y I can be about my own abilities. Especially my athletic ones (did I ever tell you how my dance class – another resolution – went? Oy. That’s a story for another time).

    “I am so strong,” I told myself over and over in the days leading up to the race after agreeing to run. “I can do this. I can do anything.”

    And funnily enough, by the time the gun went off at 7am, I actually believed it.

    Nike_Women_Half_Marathon_DC_o_original

    {Let’s play “Where’s Hi-Vis Waldo?}

    Even with music blaring in my earbuds the whole time, so many thoughts floated through my head during those 13.1 miles. Here are just a few of them:

    • I hate the running skirts trend. They look so stupid. Although…I guess if I’m looking at them in front of me, that means the women wearing them are running faster than me… Guess I shouldn’t judge.
    • Oh my god, it’s only mile 2 and I really have to pee.
    • What does it say about women that the “medal” for a woman-focused half marathon is a Tiffany & Co. necklace? Is this what it takes to motivate us? What would be the medal in a men’s-only marathon – a ring of beef jerky? stripper tassels braided together?
    •  Oh my god, it’s only mile 4 and I really, really have to pee.
    • This is so great.  I love this.  I feel amazing. Tired, but amazing.  My feet hurt, but amazing.  I want to start talking more on Style Girlfriend about how important fitness is as it relates to style.  Because the way I feel about how I look is directly impacted by my exercise routine.  When I work out, I want to wear clothes that fit me properly and show off my physique; I don’t want to hide in anything baggy.  And when I wear clothes that fit me better, I look better. When I look better, I feel more confident.  When I feel more confident, other people notice that confidence and react positively towards me.  ….Wow, how have I not been talking more about fitness this whole time? That has got to change. It doesn’t have to be running, but I really want to encourage my readers to take up a fitness regimen, or recommit themselves to the one they’ve got now. We can do it together. We are so strong. We can be stronger together.
    • Oh my god, I hope no one saw me pee in the bushes near the mile 6 marker.

    So that’s about it. Women running in skirts: neutral. Lack of port-o-potties on the race path? Not cool. Tying fitness in to Style Girlfriend in a larger, more comprehensive way? Definitely.

    nike-fuel-half-marathon-style-girlfriend

    Tell me: How does your fitness routine (or maybe lack thereof?) affect how you feel about your style?

     (images: my own and Nike’s)

    -

    • http://www.facebook.com/tod.creasey Tod Creasey

      Certainly the 15 pounds I lost last year when I started cycling to work started me on my style journey in the fall. I could do with another 15-20 but now I can make a lot of decisions without having to think as much about my girth.

      Of course the downside is most off the rack shirts are way too big in the body now but I am not quite a slim fit.

    • http://twitter.com/Mansentials Martin

      Congratulations! That is a very impressive time.

      I ran the 10km during the Leipzig Marathon 2 weeks ago after going to a bender the night before. I was suprised to finish alive.

      A halfie must be hell, but as a sign near the finish line said: “The pain goes away, the pride stays.”

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        Thank you! Yeah, I was very happy with my time (since my only hope was just to finish)

      • Tom Allan

        Reminds me of when I was still based in Germany and had my 6 monthly fitness test the morning after getting back from Oktoberfest. I was sweating beer on the run, nearly threw up during the sit ups and had to lie down for a bit afterwards.

        Normally I’ll do circuit training 2-3 times a week and probably about the same of spinning classes. Weekends I might take mountain bike out.

    • ilyac

      Congrats on the half!

      Being healthier overall was part of my general “be an adult” mentality, which went right along side with reassessing my wardrobe. Can’t say which had a bigger impact, a revamped closet or feeling better physically, but doing both at once and my confidence shot up. I would not say fitness affects my thoughts style, but ‘looking your best’ is should not be limited to just the cloths you wear.

      Side note: When I ran the Tough Mudder I saw several people in full suit and tie (running sneakers of course though). Great workout gear I guess….

      • Alexander

        Same here, although the fitness preceded the wardrobe upgrade a bit as my father had warned me early on that I’d be better off doing something so I don’t get back problems like him as I ‘suffer’ from hyperlordosis.

        Unfortunately strict cardio was off the table because of my asthma and gyms were too expensive. I was doing Wing Tsun for 2 years though until it collided with my schedules, now I’m still doing form, kettlebell, indian club and bodyweight exercises but I’m also interested in things like Lacrosse, American Football/Rugby, Dancing (at least certain styles) that are rather rare here. When occasions arise I also enjoy playing a game of soccer with the right people or some Badminton. [/rantend]

        • ilyac

          The Russian in me says ‘kudos’ on the use of kettlebells, and the turn of the century gentleman in me says tips his bowler in your direction for using indian clubs. Both great ways to train.

          • Alexander

            Haha, thanks. I’m glad a buddy of mine introduced me to them. Learning how to use KBs with Pavel Tsatsouline instructions was definitely fun.
            And as I was already hooked by the KB exercises including more “motion” than the common dumbell exercises I thought I’d also give the clubs a try.
            Took some time to get accustomed to the 6lbs wooden clubs as entry clubs but it pays off. And as a nice addition they’re not too heavy on the budget.

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        Thank you :) And congrats on the tough mudder!

      • DanPatrickFlores

        Congrats to Megan, and it’s nice to see a fellow Mudder here as well.

    • Eric

      Congratulations on those 13.1 miles! Coincidentally, I’ve done some fundraising and participated in martial arts competitions to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Exercise feels even better when it’s helping somebody, doesn’t it?

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        Thanks Eric! And yes, feels even better when you’re helping others!

    • Andrew So

      “Working out is modern couture”. -Rick Owens (Designer)

    • Matt M

      Congratulations on completing the half Megan! I think most people would agree that when you look better/more fit, you feel better and more confident.

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        Thanks Matt!

    • Brett2142

      Having not trained that’s a great time. You can break 2 hours for sure in Madison. I was a chubby teen and got off the couch about 10 years ago and slimmed down. Just like improving style, it gives me a lot more confidence.

      Out of curiosity, have you used those Icebreaker running shorts anymore? My synthetic running stuff tends to get a permanent funk going after a while, and I’m really interested in merino wool as a possible solution. But it’s pretty expensive so I haven’t gone for it yet….

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        Y’know what? They’ve been sitting in my “to wash” pile forever because I was scared to send them out with the rest of my regular laundry. I’m planning to wash both the top and the shorts while I’m in Wisconsin this week!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1047240221 Adam Wyatt

      I just turned down my friend to run a half marathon with him, and now you made me feel bad. Maybe I should reconsider…

      Also, agree about fitness being important to style. When you feel good about yourself, you are more confident, and confidence is the basis for great style. More confidence leads to “yes, I can rock those bright red pants!”

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        Exactly!

    • Michael Fitchko

      First off, congrats! Second, brownie points for being in my hood; and number C, I couldn’t agree more that fitness plays a huge role in personal style. I think you can agree that style is way more than just clothes, to me it’s a combination of what makes you feel like the best version of you. My fitness-related resolution this year was to fill out the sleeves of my favorite shirts. Not a specific goal of doing 1,000 bicep curls every day, but a reminder to myself to keep up with the fitness routine. Plus it’s almost bikini season, never hurts to put a little extra time in to make sure the old boardshorts still fit haha.

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        Thanks! Another reader suggested SG meet-ups when I’m in bigger cities; I’m definitely thinking about it..I’d love to meet more of my readers!

        • Michael Fitchko

          oh yeah that would be awesome!

    • Dan from Wisconsin

      Honestly, a ring of beef jerky sounds like a pretty cool reward.

    • browniesaredelicious

      That was *you* in those bushes?? ;-)

      Congrats on the accomplishment. Like your idea of a little more of a fitness bent in your blog and of course, love the blog itself.

    • Adam

      Congrats on your half. The first one is a gateway drug to doing more races…

      My background is in exercise science (honors and master’s), so needless to say fitness is a key part of my lifestyle. For me it’s strength training, running and cycling. I’m also a competitive person, so I do running races (ran collegiately), cycling races and Duathlons (run-bike-run, racing my second age group world championships this year…). For sure I would say that exercising regularly makes you more confident and makes you dress more confidently (and when you’re confident you always look better). The only draw back is when it comes to pants… I like clothes that fit well, but I struggle with most slim fit pants or jeans because I have big quads, and a muscular arse, so it’s often either pants that look ridiculous because they’re way too loose, or trying to wiggle into things (often it means buying the least too loose thing and then a trip to the tailor to make them fit) (and worse than the pants dilemma is trying to find boxer briefs that fit an athletic arse and don’t ride up into a wedgie/VPL situation all the time).

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        This problem is definitely one I need to address in an upcoming posts; sounds like a lot of guys struggle with the same issue!

        • Adam

          The only suggestion I can provide is lots of trial and error. And then when I find an item that fits, buy multiples (I.e. jeans that fit, buy two pairs, chinos that fit but a few pairs in different colors…)

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.vanderhorst.1232 Mark Vanderhorst

      Great Job Megan, good to know we are all working towards a better body…. I have dropped four inches In the last two years…. just changed the diet, now I get to change the stuff in the closet…. swimming and biking are on the list to maintain the change.

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        I want to get into swimming this summer! It’s pretty much the perfect exercise – cardio and strength training, with no wear and tear on your joints!

    • Margaret

      Congratulations again Megs. So proud of you!!
      Your Momma

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        Why thank you :)

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