Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fun Runs Running Funner

I've spent the last two weeks dreading this Saturday.

Three weeks ago, in a fit of optimism, enthusiasm and joi de vivre (opti-thusi-joi?) I signed up for a 5k. Three weeks ago I figured I had enough time to train so that I could run well enough to not embarrass myself. Three weeks ago I walk/jogged a mile and a half on my first day of training and was feeling pretty smug.

Then thing got really, really busy. Just they do every year at this time. Just like I should have known would happen again. Just like I let totally blindside me again! Now I'm just two days out from the run, and my to do list is still at least 5k long. And my first training run was also my last training run.

There's no backing out though, because I've already registered and sent in my money. I'm not dedicated or foolhardy, but I am cheap. And stubborn. But mostly cheap. If I was to travel back in time and find myself boarding the Titanic and they told me tickets were non-refundable, I would grab a life vest and settle in for the ride.

The fact that I get out of breath walking to the refrigerator isn't enough to dissuade me from going, either. The Princess and I did three runs in the past three months without training. They were more about the fun than the run - “Hey, let's spend the night in Des Moines and run 5k in a tutu.” “Let's run around North Liberty after dark on a path lit by glow sticks.” “Let's run a mile in downtown Iowa City wearing Halloween costumes.”

We jogged a little, walked a little, had a lot of fun and got some exercise. I figured that was the whole point. We survived with only a few days worth of aches and pains after each.

Our lack of training isn't something I'm particularly proud of. (Being lapped by a chihuahua in a Batman cape really should have been a more effective motivator.) In fact, after every run, we'd gasp and say “We've really got to start training for these things.”

While the Princess and I didn't train to run, it's not like we just rolled off the couch, slipped on some tennies and headed out. We've been working out at the gym. Unfortunately, pushing a prowler loaded with 70 pounds for 30 yards is a lot different that pulling my ass loaded with 70 pounds for 3 miles. And I sincerely hope they won't make me stop at each mile mark and do a set of bicep curls – not the 12-oz. kind, either.

That reminds me of a girl I used to work with who did “hashing” runs. These “Hash House Harriers” runs involved following a marked trail (instead of a mapped course) and stopping to chug beers every so often. Back then it sounded fun and crazy. Now it sounds mostly crazy, and a little nauseating.

This Saturday's run/walk is a “Pancake Dash,” complete with pancake breakfast. I think it sounds like fun. I'm not sure I'll partake of the pancakes, but breakfast means coffee and that will keep me going. Heck, if they had Eric Balfour holding a trucker-sized mug of coffee at the finish line I'd set all kinds of speed records!

Now if you were to combine the hashing and the dashing you could end up with something really fun. Like a Mimosa cocktail run! Or maybe a Mimosa walk... which could lead into a Bloody Mary walk... and on to some little quiches and sausages, with fruit, or sweet rolls.

In other words, a brunch buffet.

That sounds like my kind of 5k.


  1. I'd never make it running, but I can walk 4 miles in an hour. I looked up the average time for the 5K and it's usually under 30 min. By the time I would finish (walking), everybody would be gone, including the finish line and there would be nothing but trash left behind to greet me. Just as well I do this in the wee hours of the day when nobody is keeping track and expectations are very low. Good for you and Gabby for going for it.