Life gets crazy and running gets ousted. You go from running 4-5 times a week for 10 weeks to I-ran-to-work-on-Tuesday-maybe-I-should-squeeze-in-some-treadmill-speedwork-since-it's-Saturday-already. Don't get me wrong...I've still made time for strength training, racquetball, core work, and a delightful yoga conditioning class (review to come), but running is one of those things that I enjoy...but don't love so much that I make it a huge priority.
One of the best ways to get moving is to sign up for a race.
This works for me for several reasons:
1. I am a cheapskate. Or at least, I like to think I am. No way am I going to plunk down my dough for a race that I do not intend to run.
2. I have never been what I would consider an athlete. Some folks are competitve/fit/superman enough that they can do well in a race with minimal training. My theatre background eschews this sort of improvisational racing. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. I get super nervous doing things on the fly. I prefer calm to panicked, so I usually train up in order to feel cool and collected (or at least collected since I get hot and sweaty super fast) the day of the race.
3. I love schedules and plans. If you have a race on the calendar, you can make a spreadsheet showing what training you intend to do when and for how long or at what pace. I am weird, but this kinda thing warms my little heart.
So, my hubby and I are all signed up for the Winter Pineapple Classic, a crazy little obstacle course 5k that we've done twice before.
This race is awesome. It's only 3.1 miles, so it doesn't require months and months of training. The obstacles are fun and challenging (crawling under ropes or climbing over hay bales), but not life-threatening like running through fire or barbed wire. People dress up (note Waldo next to us) and there's beer and Hawaiian food at the finish line. Plus, it's a fundraiser for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Oh, and you run the race as a team. You've got to help each other over the obstacles because your team time doesn't count until the whole team has crossed the finish line. Pretty good team-building experience huh?
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Another great way to get involved in racing is to volunteer!
This is a fantastic option because:
1. You don't have to be trained up at all.
2. It's free. (Hey, races can be pricey.)
3. It allows you to enjoy all the fun hoopla while serving others!
My sweet friend Jessica invited another friend and me to run the Pumpkin Push for Neighborcare Health last Halloween. We dressed up as angels and had a great time.
|Teammates sans angel get-up and running gear|
Jess, let's not lose the car again this year, huh? (Last year saw us wandering around in the rain for about an hour and a half looking for the car. This was about 3x what it took us to actually do the 5k. Smart.)
I'm SUPER excited to volunteer because...I've never volunteered at a race before! I've been running 5ks to half marathons on and off for the last 12 years or so, and never once volunteered to hand out gatorade or safety pins. Clearly, it's time for me give back, and I can't wait!
Have you ever volunteered at a race? What was the best part? Anything you didn't expect about the experience? Favorite race to help out with?