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In which I make progress and collect another T-shirt 
22nd-Sep-2011 11:07 am
running, shoes
Yesterday, I went and participated in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge for the third year in a row. This is basically an event where Bay Area companies compete to bring the biggest and/or fastest teams to run or walk 3.5 miles, and the proceeds go to charity.

Doing this event is always weirdly like some kind of strange school field trip. We get loaded onto buses and issued T-shirts so that our chaperones can tell us apart from the other kids. After the race, we all get sandwiches and many reminders to drink our water. And then there's that moment of anxiety when you're trying to find the bus and you wonder if they drove off and left you stranded. (Or maybe that's just me.) All that's missing is that no one ever starts up a chorus of "99 bottles of beer on the wall" on the bus ride.

There were 8700 people there total, with Genentech, as usual, bringing the largest team with over 500 people. (My employer managed a pretty respectable couple hundred.)

I decided that I might as well try a little running and see how it felt. I more or less followed this protocol: After walking enough to warm up, run for a bit, focusing on staying relaxed and using good form rather than speed. Drop back to walking the moment I feel any discomfort or tightness in or near the hip area. Walk for several minutes, then try running again. Good news: I did a decent amount of running, and feel no pain today. Bad news: My left hamstring does have a tendency to tighten up if I run for more than a few minutes at a stretch, so I still need to work on hamstring flexibility and/or glute and quad strength if I want to stay injury free.

I am also amused to discover that the manager of my company gym (who coordinated our corporate presence at this event), knows me by name and greets me like a long-lost friend. This is funny only because we've never been properly introduced, so as far as I can tell, the only way she knows my name is because she's heard my trainer say, "Come on, Wendy, give me two more reps!" waaay too many times in the gym lately.
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