Tomorrow I am running a half marathon.
And I am borderline petrified.
Or rather I feel like I *should* be borderline petrified, but instead I'm just avoiding thinking about it.
Did I train? No, no I did not.
Have I ever run more than 5 consecutive miles? No, no I have not. And the last time I ran 5 miles was about 7 years ago. So I'm not exactly geared up for greatness.
I work at Nike. I should be a runner. Everyone at Nike runs. Instead, I joined Nike 2 years ago and my workload promptly took the space formerly occupied by Crossfit. I gained weight, I lost perpective of my health and my relationships, and I gave up a lot of myself somewhere along the way.
The irony is that I work on a team devoted to getting women moving.
So here I am. In a hotel room in San Francisco. Bound and determined to jog, walk, or crawl over the finish line of the race course tomorow. My partner is next to me. He is also untrained. What can I say? I'm a good influence.
It's not like I'm unaware of all of the amazing services Nike offers. I set up a training program on the Nike+ Running app and then promptly disregarded all of the notifications that popped up on my phone. Between travel, eating, sleeping, meeting my basic needs, and playing with my dog I just couldn't find the time. Plus I generally don't find running enjoyable. I like running along the beach in San Diego and along the Charles River in Boston and that's about it. I would rather lift weights any day of the week.
I decided to run this half marathon as a wake-up call to myself. It's time for me to put myself back together.
Right about now you might be thinking that you will never hear from me again because I'm not going to make it out alive. But rest assured that I did do one thing correctly: I shopped.
Sneakers: LunarGlide 7s. Black, blue, and fabulous all over.
Top: Some sort of featherweight Nike black tee.
Socks: Nike Elite Cushioned. Black.
Bra: Undisclosed brand. Nike makes bras, but they don't fit me. I don't want to give away any of our business to the competition, so I'm going to leave my choice a mystery. It's black.
Undies: Lulu "Light as Air" thong (Nike doesn't make women's underwear). My colleagues said my 3 undergarment choices were shorts with built in underwear, running tights with no underwear, or running tights with a technical fabric thong with a large butt strap (aka not a g string). My legs do not want to make an appearance in shorts quite yet and I'm a bit queasy about running commando, so big thong it is.
I know that posting a race outfit laydown the night before a big race is a thing that runners do. My room is just too small to do it properly and the lighting isn't good. It would include all of the aforementioned items along with a pre-race Vicodin, a mid-race Vicodin, a Nike arm band for my iPhone, and some race Goos.
I tested most of my gear this morning in a shakedown run, which was a 2+ mile loop around Union Square. I was told it was all on a 10'45" pace. It ended up being a 9'24" pace, which explains why I felt like dog shit by the end.
Everything went well clothes-wise expect maybe my gut that kept jutting out over my pants (Don't judge. I warned you I was out of shape). I think if I tie the drawstring on the pants tomorrow I'll be a bit more locked down.
The reason I'm spilling all of these embarrassing inner thoughts? It's threefold:
1. After two years my coworkers finally started Googling me and discovered this website. They're encouraging me to let people know what it's like to run a half marathon as a person who is out of shape and has not trained. At all. Even a little bit. I think they just want to have a good laugh at my expense, but I'm never one to deny people comedy.
2. I saw Glen Keane speak at the Future of Storytelling conference in New York 2 weeks ago. Glen is an epic Disney animator who spoke about vulnerability. He said we all feel like frauds and like we are just one step away from people figuring out that we're going through life faking it. He says that this is a sentiment that bonds humans together and if we would just all come clean and admit that we have no idea what we're doing that we would be much happier and feel more connected. This is me saying I'm afraid. I'm afraid I will get seriously injured tomorrow, but more importantly I'm afraid that my job has destroyed me. I am not healthy anymore and it makes me sad. My knees get sore, my feet hurt after walking a few miles, and my legs are too fat for all of my pants.
3. On the flight from PDX to SFO I listened to a Reply All podcast about people who love making prank calls. One of the prank callers they feature moonlights as a dominatrix and one of her specialties (aside from tormenting Comcast customers) is blackmail contracts. What's a blackmail contract? Here is a direct quote from the podcast transcript that might shed some light: Say you’re a guy who’s always wanted to try having sex with another man. But you’ve been too scared. You’ll make a contract with Mistress Morgan. You’ll give her humiliating pictures of yourself, if you don’t follow through, she’ll send those to your boss.
This post is like my blackmail contract with the world. I am publicly shaming myself to hold me accountable for getting back into shape. A shape that isn't circle.