I hate running. In my opinion, there is nothing fun about it, except the part where it’s over and I can take a nap. Why I would agree to run a 5K on a cold,
damp October morning can only be attributed to one thing – I could do it dressed as a pirate.
Yes, that’s right, a pirate.
The organizers of the Muddy Monster 5/15K race at Seminole Valley Park had found my weakness. As much as I loathe running, I love Halloween; and I couldn’t resist the lure of donning my favorite costume and running along side the likes of Hansel and Gretel and Bret Michaels.
But half way through the race, I began to regret my decision.
Sweat was running down my temples, my heart was thumping furiously and my lungs were fighting to take in enough air. I hit a wall on the home stretch and was struggling to finish the final mile needed complete my first 5K.
Encouraging words from my running partner helped silence the voice in my head saying, “Go ahead, walk a little, no one will notice,” and I managed to keep up my pace for another mile.
“Arrrgh matey!” I cried out as I crossed the finish line with a time of 35 minutes and 31 seconds.
Not exactly a record shattering pace, but fast enough to place 205th out of 279 runners and burn a few calories. And since the Muddy Monster supports the Variety Children’s Charity my $26 registration fee would help provide services to hundreds of Iowa children; a thought that helped ease my aching muscles.
So, if you are like me and running really isn’t your thing, find a race that combines it with something that is. Bring along a running partner for support and encouragement — I would have walked the last mile if it wasn’t for mine — and keep your eye on the big, inflatable finish line. Because once the running is out of the way, the fun part begins, usually with free food and massages. If I had that to look forward to every time I ran, it wouldn’t have taken me two years to complete my nine-week Couch-to-5K running program.
Check out www.runningwall.com for a searchable calendar of races in Iowa.