I always wanted to run in a 5K or 10K. It was a bucket list item of mine. Of course, when I think 5K/10K, I think of a warm spring day in shorts and a t-shirt. I did not think it would be in 30 degree weather with snow falling, which was today’s weather.
That is my wife with the blonde moustache. She is a runner, and I am not, but neither of us did any sort of training over the last month. Well, she runs quite often. I am not what you would call a motivated runner. Oh, I will go out and run every once in a while, usually around the softball field or officiating a basketball game. I was ill-prepared for three plus miles of running. Yes, I did run… some of it.
I am not quite sure why these people choose to do this running thing, and there were over 5000 of “these” people. To me, I always pictured running as a punishment for various offenses while playing sports. Fumble the football in practice equals running to the trees and back. Too many turnovers in basketball equals time for killers. “Get on the line, boys!” Make an inappropriate gesture to the camera during senior photos for a college baseball team, and it doesn’t get noticed until the posters are printed, well, that equals a SUPER LOOP. Come to think of it, that was the last time I ran a 5K. The SUPER LOOP was over three miles, but it really doesn’t count because it was just me and one other guy. Hey, we all have moments we are not proud of at the time, but we laugh about it every time the story is retold. No, NOT funny at the time… okay, yeah, it was pretty funny even though the running wasn’t. Actually, we had to run it twice, so that was my 10K. Awesome, I can cross both the 10K and the 5K off my list.
Today, I only had to run the 5K. My wife explained that this was not a typical 5K because there was no keeping of time. In fact, most people were just there to dress up in their worst Christmas costume and drink something called “Angry Orchard” afterwards.
As the race started, I realized that even though my feet were touching the ground, I couldn’t feel them. Did I mention it was 30 degrees out? My hands were numb for the first half of the run, and it wasn’t until I was almost to the top of the first hill that I started to walk. My wife had lagged behind and told me to go on without her. I felt like I was leaving a man behind, but I’m not in the military so I decided it was okay. That was a big mistake. I was now alone with only my numb feet, frozen hands, and no one to talk to.
That is the “fun” of the Ugly Sweater Run.” You talk to the people you came with. Nobody in their right mind would come alone. People come to meet up with friends and family, because if you are going to be miserable for a 3 mile run, you might as well have company. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the experience, but I am now absolutely positive that this is not something I will ever want to do willingly.
If you ever see me running a 5K in the future, you will know that it was not by choice. It will be for punishment. Maybe I will think twice before I make an inappropriate gesture at the camera when my mom gets us all together for the family photo at the reunion. I hope she doesn’t read this blog and go back to check the family picture from the Raabe Reunion of 2008. Hey, anybody need an ugly sweater for next year’s Ugly Sweater Run? I would like to sell it before we all find out the Mayans got it right. Send all offers to firstname.lastname@example.org