PBW: New Phone. Old Sneakers.

The last time I ran the Workplace Challenge at Jones Beach, I had a bad callus on my heel from old shoes. This year, I got a bad blister on the side of my foot from my new shoes. In the end, I wound up sticking with the shoes I used three years ago. They weren't in that bad shape. For one thing, they were fully intact, which beat the previous pair with holes in them.

Prior to the race, my friend suggested a warm-up run on the boardwalk. I think his “warm-up” was close to a mile, and as we waited for the race to begin I was winded, heated, and thinking I'd made a terrible mistake. As the horn blew, I trudged out with the rest of the crowd, breaking into a jog around the next bend. People were passing me, and I wanted to stop, but I kept going. Clouds had rolled in and the humidity had dropped, and I wasn't about to let two months of training go to waste. A local radio station van was blasting U2's Vertigo, which gave me a surge forward. A few pretty girls passed me, which also prompted me to pick up the pace. And when I reached the one mile mark and saw my time was still under 9 minutes, hope rose.

I caught up with a lot of the people who'd passed me, now walking on the side of the road to catch their breath. Just before the two-mile marker, another van blared Eye of the Tiger, clichéd but effective. I reached two miles around the 18 minute mark, which meant I had a whole 22 minutes to do the last mile and a half within my goal of under 40 minutes!

Near the end of the race is a deceptive section. You can see the stadium in sight by the finish line, but suddenly past some bushes the course veers into a parking lot where you have to run out along some traffic cones and back. I was feeling the strain by that point and had a bit of a stitch from drinking too much water at one of the tables along the way. I pressed onward, and heard a familiar voice greet me as my department's vice president appeared out of nowhere and passed me. I tried to keep up with her, but there's a hill on that final stretch and she quickly disappeared. I was ready to break down and walk despite being so close, and I actually tried. The funny thing is, when you're moving at a steady pace for that long, shifting back to a walk is like stepping on the brakes while flooring the gas. My feet slowed but my legs pushed and resisted, forcing me back into a run. And when I saw the finish line and the clock around 33 minutes or so, I freaking sprinted, passing dozens of people. A few feet from the finish line I ran out of energy, and stumbled through at 34:21, which isn't a bad time for me, and better than I'd been doing in the gym. The best I'd done in the gym was 38:15, so I was more than happy. I think my approach of running every day for an hour and getting in close to 6 miles was a good one. If I train to run a longer distance than the race, then the race will go by that much quicker. So much about running is psychological. And as always, I kept imagining songs from The Transformers: The Movie soundtrack because I'm a geek and that's what motivates me. You have to go with what works.

A week and a half ago my cell phone wasn't working. I shared that tale and posted pictures of the old phone and the new one I'd bought to replace it. The old one started working again, but froze occasionally, and I only kept it on long enough to retrieve my contact information. The new phone, unlike the new sneakers, was a wise purchase. I made a lot of mistakes in buying those shoes, not the least of which was buying them because they reminded me of KITT. Yeah.

Old Phone. New Phone. Old Sneakers. New Sneakers. Photo Blog Wednesday has shots of them all, as well as the free t-shirt all race participants got at the end:

(Click below for larger size)



Anonymous Tegan said...

Interesting!! Thanks for sharing your old and new stuff!! New phone and sneakers both are fantastic!! I too got a new phone from Verizon Wireless...

7/31/2009 8:14 AM  

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