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    Style Girlfriend Runs the Nike Women’s Half Marathon

    2nd May 2013
    One resolution: checked off!

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    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.

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    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…

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    {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.

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    {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.

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    {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.

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

     (images: my own and Nike’s)

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