That Black Eyed Peas song’s in my head.

(This one.)

Ran my second 10k today as part of the Tel Aviv marathon.

My head was definitely not as much in the game as it was during my first run (the Jerusalem Night Run), where adrenaline and newbie-ness definitely took control.

It was fun, and it’s great to beat my personal best, and especially to run on flatter ground than this area.

But two things: it was way too crowded at the start and throughout, so I wasn’t running as fast as my usual pace. I think I could’ve honestly shaved 7 minutes off my final time based on the post-starting line taking forever to truly kick off. The other thing was… it was a bit anti-climactic at the end. Sure, I only ran the 10k, but the half and full marathons also seemed to have a quiet reception at the end. I thought there’d be more energy, DJing, music, encouragement. Maybe it’s just too big/popular a run?

I think I can do more but definitely not a half marathon yet (21km). The results are posted here, FYI.

Meanwhile, the judge approves of my medallion and proclaims it to be authentic.

Running 101: A 10k for beginners.

10k’d, bitches!

Last night I ran my first race, the Jerusalem 10k. The plan was to run up to about 6 (my top so far had been 5.3) and walk the rest, maybe attempting to finish the last kilometer on a run.

Instead, I ran the whole thing… whoops.

How could you not? It was incredible! Running with peeps, running past peeps, running alongside a lot of old peeps, getting taken over by old peeps… It was really a bonding experience without saying a word to anyone. That’s my kinda late-night fun.

What happened was, there were km-markers every 2 kilometers. I figured when I got to 6, I’d evaluate my sitch. Well, 6 never came, and the next mile marker I saw after 4 was 8. And by then I could see the Old City clearly and though, f it. It was also just then that my right knee was starting to show signs of stfu… and I suppose someone else would’ve realized running those last 2 uphill kilometers was incredibly irresponsible. But, like I said, f it.

There were a lotta lil thoughts I wanted to tweet along the way, so here’s as much as I can remember:

  • Why is it that all the restaurants we passed happen to be cooking steak right at this moment?
  • So. <breath> Many. <breath> Goddamn. <breath> Hills.
  • Just gonna safely assume that everyone else who grabbed a cup of water on the way and attempted to drink it got slammed in the face with a cup of water, right?
  • Love, LOVE the music choice for running across the finish line. Dramatic – check. Cheesy – check. Perfect way to finish – check.
  • Those charedi leg warmers I bought really came in handy after all…

So, for my first 10k, I clocked in at 1:09:56. I’m told that’s not terrible, which is pretty cool. I’m more interested in distance than speed at this point anyway.

Up next: The Jerusalem Marathon on March 16, in which I’ll run the 10k version. Then the Tel Aviv Marathon on March 30, for which maybe, just maybe, I can go for the half. But I have three months of *actual* training (as opposed to the usual winging-it I do) to determine that…

If the shoe fits (and isn’t older than your aliyah…)

On my bucket list, which I tend to revisit before or after having a kid, is to run a marathon. I know there are all types, all distances, but I want to get to the point where I can run together with a giant group of people and feel togetherness. 10k, 20k, 548626mm, whatever.

It all started sometime in the late 80s, early 90s; it was color war. We’d reach the mega race at the end of the series of races. Our team needed one more kid to do the major lap around the entire grounds; it was a rushed and last-minute decision. One of the head counselors looked around and then settled on me. He asked if I could run. I said ‘sure.’ Who can’t run? They psyched me up and sent me off. It felt amazing. I was flying. And we won. And ever since that, I have loved running and have always wanted to do it right.

I’ve made some failed attempts that ended in bad knees. But this time, I’ll do it right.

And it starts with not wearing shoes that are older than… my aliyah (coming up on seven years!) Or older than my college degree (yikes).

First stop: Tel Aviv on March 30th, 2012. Who’s in?

(By the way, the shoes are from Al Derech Burma, off the 38 near the entrance to the 1, between Beit Shemesh and the highway. Professional biking and running shop, where they test your feet to fit you. The owner is American-import Chaim Wizman, he’s really… wise. Highly recommended and the prices weren’t as painful as expected (500-700 NIS range.)

Running Jerusalem.

I’ve taken to running in the evenings with a friend. It’s an activity I’ve always enjoyed but just can’t summon the energy to do alone.

Running, jogging, speed walking – it’s a culture here in Jerusalem. I see it a lot more than I saw it back in New York, where I think more people go to the gym or run specifically in parks.

Since I’ve begun the routine here I’ve noticed something else about the culture of working out, something curious: People will actively call out to you as you pass them, “kol hakavod!” (good for you).

At first, I thought it was just men being men; it’s logical that they’d call out as young women pass by in tight tops and sweaty chests, right?

But it’s not just men. I’ll get respectful nods from women and men alike. Older folks will smile and call out the kol hakavod. There’s even a hint of respect from the young arsim who call out. I’m differentiating between whistles and the callouts, of course.

I think it’s cool. There’s this network of people who care about their health and actually do something – whether it’s walking at night with some friends, doing an all out iPod-esque run or a 20-minute jog. And there’s a real respect for it, too.

It just seems more visible here.