Y’all. There’s a “shorts” pun I never, ever thought I’d actually get to use. But wonders never cease, and I actually have more than one thought/story related to running. (And by running, I mean walking. But still.)
You’ll remember that in my former life the faculty running club at my school was for a time called the “Lindsey Watson Rickshaw Club” because I pronounced that the only way I’d join was if they group members promised to bear me along in a litter. I posted in 2007 that I was done with running, and I’ve been true to that word in the seven years since.
And yet by some strange alignment of stars, I found myself signing up to participate in two 5Ks in one weekend . The first one was hosted by a family from our church who is raising money to fund an adoption. Stephen had signed up to help at the event which was held on a Saturday morning, and I’ve been in kind of a delicate place emotionally where pretty much anything sounds better than extra time at home by myself with the kids. The second one had actually been on our calendar for a while; my sister-in-law had persuaded us all to sign up for a race benefitting brain cancer research that was held near Austin.
I walked them both. But I finished them both! I’m calling that a win-win.
Here’s a picture my mom snapped after I crossed the finish line of the first race. I have mixed feelings about this picture being public: I can’t let a moment like that go undocumented, but it also lets one of my greatest secrets out of the closet. When my bangs are left to their own devices, they prefer to do the front-wave like they are trying out for the part of Chandler’s hair in Season 1 of Friends (that’s 1994, for you non-fanatics).
I keep that awful bang cowlick under control with a combination of daily flat ironing and a commitment to avoid sweating at all costs. But despite all the hype about pumpkin spice lattes and back-to-school fallishness, it’s still been 95 degrees here by 8:30 in the morning and so avoiding sweat was just not going to happen. Hence, the bang malfunction.
The Sunday race was out of town so we imposed on some awesome friends who agreed to let us crash at their place overnight. Can I just say: if you are not yet friends with a couple where she is a great cook in general and he decompresses by trying out new bread recipes, your friend roster is incomplete.
A sleepover that involves five children aged five and under are, by definition, insane, but the chance for grownup snacks and conversation after the kids (finally!) fall asleep make all the hassle Worth It.
People who identify themselves as “runners” claim that participating in races can be as addictive as eating ice cream or smoking tobacco. I find this idea completely ludicrous. I didn’t feel even a tiny twinge of those so-called “endorphins” that athletes claim to feel in the throes of a good workout. However, I’d gladly do another race for no other reason than the opportunity for adult conversation. With the kids restrained in five-point harnesses and that non-threatening shoulder-to-shoulder thing going on, walking with a friend is as conversation-friendly as a road trip, with the added advantage that you don’t have to cough up money for gas.
But the fact that I sustained conversation for the whole race tells you something about the intensity of my pace, yes?
Do you know what’s even more fun than participating in a race? Having done it. Because the sweat and the soreness is all in the past, and you get to move on to the never-gets-old fun of starting sentences with “That weekend that I did those 5Ks…”
Also it gave me at least three weeks of guilt-free ice cream eating in the evenings. Using the big bowls!!