Monday, September 1, 2008

Human Race

Yesterday I ran the Nike+Human Race 10k, the world's largest one day running event. Races were held in 25 cities across the globe. A portion of the proceeds went to one of three charities: the Lance Armstrong Foundation,, and the World Wildlife Fund.

My training for this race included running short distances and Friday noticed a tightness on the lateral aspects of my leg, in my iliotibial band. Saturday morning I went by the Natural Health Center for kinesiotaping and some racing advice from Dr. Minarik. Kinesiotaping is a method of therapeutic taping used by physical therapists, chiropractors, and physicians to help support muscles in daily activity or in rehabilitation and to increase circulation of blood and lymph. After a brief consultation with a student clinician, Dr. Minarik taped my ITB and my shins, to ward off shin splints. After the initial application, my legs instantly felt lighter. It was as if the tape was lifting my legs, defying gravity itself. I did not get black or a fancy, bright colored tape as seen at the Olympics, but a more subtle beige. He then gave me advice on staying hydrated and what and when to eat the morning of the race.

A friend lent me a water bottle carrier that strapped around my waist which supplied me with electolyte-infused water during the run. I also carried some homeopathics and my cellphone, which I used to text friends when I reached the halfway point. Cheesy, yes, but I couldn't believe I had actually run that far, I had to share!

I completed the race in 1:13'57", a full half hour faster than I originally calculated. Running with others inspired me to keep going, and I picked out certain runners to keep up with and maintain my pace. I started slow, then after the first 2.5k only slowed down up the few inclines along the course. My iPod played a carefully chosen song selection to keep me motivated. I even placed Nada Surf songs every 12-15 minutes so I could keep track of my timing. The Brooklyn-based band played the post-race concert, and even though I had just run farther than I every had in my life (and faster, too), I danced throughout the hour-long show (that's me with the ponytail at the front of the stage, to the right).

I asked one woman at the start of the race what inspired her to participate and she told me she wanted to start getting in shape as well as be a part of something big. I admit it was pretty amazing being part of such a huge event, and I am now inspired to keep running to maintain my health, help reduce stress, and inspire others to do the same.

Photograph of concert: Official Nike Running Blog

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