So I don't know if you know this, but I had a baby last year. I've been running my booty butt off to get back in shape. Running is the hardest thing in the world to me exercise wise.
My goal is to run a 1/2 marathon. (We're going to talk about that later.) But in order to run 13.1 miles, you first have to, you know, actually get out there and run somewhere. So, in January I decided to run the Capitol 10K, which is practically 1/2 1/2 marathon. Or a 1/4 marathon!
I ran and ran and ran around our neighborhood. Sometimes I ran pushing both my kids in the Bob double jogging stroller because I'm awesome like that. I'm also a really slow runner, so this training is especially time consuming.
I was really excited when Nike came out with the Nike+ running system many years ago. Simple concept: put a pod in (or on top of) your shoe, put a receiver on your Nano and it can give you voice feedback about your run. Which means I no longer had to go to a track or trail where the mile markers were labeled in order to run a certain distance--I could walk out my front door and run for whatever distance I needed. With kids and even less time in my life, this was wonderfully awesome.
In the last year, Nike has improved upon this even more by creating a GPS application for the iPhone (I always run with a phone in case of emergency or rain or just general boredom.) No pod, no Nano -- just go! And when my run starts, the app updates Facebook. Anytime someone "likes" or comments on my run, the crowd goes wild in my ears! The app updates the Nike + website, so I can tell you that I've run 273 miles since June 2007 (with hiatus for pregnancy, new baby, and two broken bones)
So, two weekends ago, I joined my new 23,000 friends also running the Cap 10 K and ran! I ran a PR (that's personal record for you unschooled folks) for the 10K, which was awesome!
I had completely forgotten how much fun it is to run with other people in a race. People hand you water. Awesome. When I run around my neighborhood, I have to run by my house to get more.
And there was a ton to look at. The Cap 10 K is a big party with a costume contest. I saw several princesses, Thing 1 and Thing 2, and some random group of rainbow body suited persons that stopped at mile markers to take pictures. The course takes you around the state capitol and around to Town Lake, and is a great (but hilly) course. In addition to my virtual fan club in my earphones, there were actual real people cheering me on throughout the course! It was a ton of fun, and so it's no surprise that I ran faster than normal.
Technology has changed significantly since I last ran this race. My pictures taken around the course also included a video of me crossing the finish line. Very cool.
P.S. If you are also on the Nike+ website, friend me! I'm CynthiaB1