Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's not a competition

Last winter, I promised myself that I'd run a 5k this year. This is a big deal because I have been known to get a wee bit melodramatic about running in order to avoid it. As a kid, we had to run the mile twice a year and I plotted ways to get out of the dreaded run (wrong shoes? Bad allergies? No water bottle? These don't work, FYI, kids.). As a competitive person with little to no athletic ability, I always hated finishing next-to-last with a 13-minute mile. I didn't get running, I didn't like running and I didn't like how red my face got when I ran. Why would I want to engage in activity that made my side hurt and made me look like a tomato head? Pass.

(True story: I joined the lacrosse team in high school strictly because I liked the plaid skirt. I had no idea how much running was involved. Turns out, the skirt was not awesome enough to keep me interested in hour-long practices that involved non-stop running.)

At some point, running started to sound less disgusting and more like fun. Now, with the help of Gaga and my running buddy, Hubs (aren't we so cute you could vomit? I know!), I've been putting in 2.5-3.5 miles each day after work. I still look like I've been smacked around and gone bobbing for apples when I'm done, but I don't hate running.

To celebrate this crazy flip of the switch, Hubs, his mom and I are running a Turkey Trot over Thanksgiving. The course is only 2.5 miles, so it's not the 5k goal I'd set for myself, but that's OK. I know I could do a 5k if only I hadn't missed most of the 5k season building a deck and bailing out a basement.

Here's the thing bugging me about my first running event: Thanksgiving is a family holiday and so I imagine lots of babykids and old folks at this run. It's a fun run and not a race, but I'm scared to death that I'll be beat by a gaggle of youngsters or nosed out by a pack of seniors. I picture myself huffing and puffing over the finish line and collapsing in the nearest chair (this is, after all, my post-run ritual at home) while sporty families congratulate grandma on her six minute miles and junior does the course once more for fun, this time backwards.

It's. Not. A Competition.

It's just people having a healthy start to Thanksgiving, but know this, fellow Turkey Trotters, there will be among you a gal who is new to this whole running gig and just doesn't want to finish last, covered in mud and sobbing. Goals are very important, you know.

I guess, what I'm saying is, please try not to look too disturbed when I get all jazzed about an eleven minute mile. I mean jeez, this isn't a competition or anything.


  1. Oh, you will get passed by old people- guaranteed. I used to hate running as much as you, but I somehow ended up running a marathon- where I was passed by MULTIPLE old people. After a while, it stops bothering ya. :-)

    Also, Turkey Trot makes me think of getting the trots after eating turkey. Ewww.

  2. I couldn't do it. I feel like I'm going to puke after half a mile! I also blame my house projects for taking away all my running time. Yeah, cause otherwise I'd totally be out there every day! ha

  3. A) Be super proud that you're running ANYTHING! I'm a running hater myself, I also turn bright red for HOURS afterward, and pretty much look like Lurch loping around, BUT I can say I did it.

    B) Look at those old people and marathoners passing you by and know that your goal is only a 5K - which means you will still have your knees at 90.

    C) Pull together a kick-A playlist and focus on the tunes, not the crowd! You'll be surprised how many people that pass you in the first mile, that you pass in the last.

    :) Well done!


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