Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Santa 10k

You might have noticed lately that every once in a blue moon, I mention this crazy thing called running... For exercise... Quandary... While I have never (not even remotely in the tiniest way) been called sporty, I did enjoy rather intense dance classes in my youth, and I was once known for conducting flying classes during recess when I was in elementary school. Even so, running has never been my thing. But it's relatively cheap, you can do it wherever, and signing up for various runs can actually be a lot of fun. I ran my first 5k a couple of months ago, and was rather flabbergasted that I was able to run almost the whole thing. This, from a girl who had such bad asthma in her youth that she could never get through a mile without walking half the distance. Even more surprising was when I signed up for a 10k less than two months later! My running friend and I wanted to do another 5k, but when I happened upon a "Santa Run", I instantly became smitten and daydreamed about myself galloping about in a Santa suit. 

Tragically, or rather fortuitously, the only distance in which people officially dressed up was the 10k. My stupid friend, who has not yet learned her lesson when proposing absurd ideas and expecting me NOT to accept, mentioned she might be ok with doing it. So away we went! For the past month, I basically assumed I would have to walk part of the way. My schedule has gone berserk, the weather has been terrible, all leading to me not ever having enough time to truly train. So, as the date approached, I was excited but not overly hopeful... Except for the fact that I know that ridiculousness is generally better than any sort of adrenaline or aphrodisiac. Put me in a costume or give me a prop, and all is well with the world.

Though Sunday morning was definitely presided over by Jack Frost, I made my way to the sports center ready to do my best. Unlike the 5k, this was a huge affair, tons of people around with Santa costumes, hats, and various paraphernalia of a Christmasy nature. There was loud music, a big screen, and I could see the finish line with medals awaiting us. Reportedly about 18,000 people strong, mixed among the several races of various distances, ages, and levels of seriousness, it was a lot more official than the 5k we did a while back. Everyone was into the festive holiday spirit and the energy was pumping through the crowd. 

I started the run with a high level of enthusiasm, thinking I could at least make it halfway before a break, but determined to just keep on going until my legs or lungs gave way. After the 5k point, I was pretty determined to sally forth until the end. Except for a really steep hill, for which I slowed down just in case my lungs chose to explode, I ran... the... entire... distance... Coming in at 1 hour and 6 minutes. I was absolutely floored with my result and beaming with pride! I had never run a mile before this year, never mind 10k! With a cute little medal around my neck, and a thimble-sized cup of hot wine as a reward, I went home to stretch, to collapse, and to feel utterly accomplished.

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