Thursday, December 06, 2007

Running and Blinging

Recently, two of my friends ran a local marathon. They should be commended for this. I am still working my way up to a half marathon, and I'll still be run/walking it. Alas, the heart rate is there, but the joints, ankles, and foot structure are not. But I still love running. It's a cheap sport, you can do it anywhere, you can do it alone, and it gets you into shape fast. If you only run, as I do, 10-15 miles a week and skip a day or two between runs, then you don't wreak as much havoc on your knees and joints. I try to get around it by running 2-3 miles fast twice a week, and 6 miles more slowly, taking stretching and occasionally walking breaks, one day a week. Why don't I swim? Because I don't know how. Get over it.

I wish I had started this habit earlier. Last year, I was given to long, brisk walks throughout the hills of Liberal College City. That was nice, but very time consuming. Running is much faster. Now that my heart rate is really good, I have no excuse not to take a 30 minute run. It is not the same time commitment as a two-hour hike.

I imagine that it comes with being in a more pedestrian friendly city. I still get nearly run over all the time, but people are less mean about it, and I don't think they do it on purpose. I lived in a bourgie metropolitan city for a few years during law school, and I would have almost certainly died trying to cross eight lanes of traffic. Law school is bad enough for instilling terrible health habits, but living in a non-friendly city didn't help. In any case, it's good that I live here now and can run, weather permiting. Cold, inclement weather isn't as much a deterrent as a bus comin' atcha, so it does usually permit. Law school was miserable, and I compounded the misery by mistreating my body and health.

In any case, I'm very proud of my friends for running the marathon--it took months of training, and that's how I trained up to my minimum level of health after so many years of being unhealthy. I started running with them, just for the company. I couldn't always keep up at first, but eventually I caught up. Even now, with my slow pace, 10 or 11 minute-mile (9 on a really, really good day) and inability to run more than six miles without hurting not exactly being marathon-ready, well, this beats not running.

I want to run at least a half-marathon just to get the medal at the end. I haven't gotten a medal since I was a child. There's something kind of archaic, courtly, and ceremonial about getting medals of honor/valor/whatever. I am a little envious of my friends, who got Tiffany necklaces with a running motif upon completing the marathon. If it's another thing besides the bad health habits I got from living in a bourgie metropolis, it's a slight fondness for bling. At least now I go for understated bling though. I hardly wear my big chandelier earrings that were so popular in 2002-2005, or big pendant necklaces anymore. Occasionally, I will wear my cocktail rings and more streamlined dangling earrings. But in general, less is more now.

I just grew out of my magpie tendencies, and I think I grew tired of reflecting sunlight in such a distracting way. It is fortunate that I do not like twee heart-shaped things, or else I would have to kill myself. But I do wear the few pieces of "good," professional-looking jewelry pretty regularly: a strand of pearls, a diamond and sapphire ring my sister gave me, simple stud earrings, and my two delicate Tiffany silver necklaces. I do not apologize for being attached to this label or these particular necklaces, which are beautiful and meaningful. One was given to me by The Best Friend, the other I bought myself on the worst trip ever, and it was the only good thing that came from that. Besides, Tiffany's is an institution. Anyone who's questions this should watch Breakfast at Tiffany's.

When I told one of them how much a Tiffany necklace cost, she almost choked that someone would pay so much for what basically is the cheapest of jewelry metals. Is the cachet of the brand enough to justify so many times the price of the materials and production?

Yes! If it's something well made, and you love it and wear it, of course it's worth it. And wouldn't you wear something so cute, classy, and simply stunning? I would wear any of those, day in and day out. I will quote again from my favorite blogger: "loveliness is rare and must be pursued with abandon."

It's funny how the places we live eventually affect how we look and live. When I first came to bourgie metropolis for law school, I was a big surburban dork in khakis and sneakers. Eventually, I started dressing better, succumbing to the beauty industrial complex: I grew out my hair, wore heels, wore flashy jewelry, etc. Not without much initial resistance though. Now that I live here, I wear a lot more polar fleece, run a lot, wear walking shoes, and am less flashy. We eventually become an amalgamation of all the places we have lived: I have the cynical wariness of a big city dweller, but am softening up and find myself saying "hello" to people walking along the tree-lined streets here. I have too much fashion sense to ever go completely crunchy granola, but I imagine that the more time I spend here, the more relaxed I will be about the more painful trappings of feminity, e.g. heels. But not understated bling. You can't take all of the city out of the girl.


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