Greetings everyone. I did something today I haven't done in quite some time, which was to run in a 5K run for charity. I use the term "run" loosely here. It was more like "jog/walk/jog/walk/jog" but I did finish (slowly) without incident. I ran in part because my company was sponsoring the race and I got to do it without paying an entry fee...but it was also part of my "get in shape/diet" plan which has been kind of stalled in the last couple of weeks.
I used to run quite a bit. I even ran in a marathon once. Those days, as evidenced by my performance today, are long ago. However, I think this will motivate me to start exercising more. And running, while it can be hard on your knees, is excellent for weight loss. So, we'll see how it goes. It will probably be harder to get in shape in my 30's than it was in my 20's...but it's still doable. As a point of reference, my time today was twice as slow as I used to manage on 5K's I did in my mid-twenties when I was running a lot. But while I might not get down to that time again, I know I can improve a lot on what I did today.
The run (aside from my pathetically slow time) was fairly well designed, but it was an "out-and-back" course, which I've never been a fan of. That way, you see all the fast runners returning as you're still running out to the halfway point, and it makes you realize how much farther you have to go. The last bit of the run involved a "lap" around the sports structure where the post-race party was being held, and that was pure torture, since you think you're almost done, and you get back near the start, only to discover you have another mile or so to go. Oh well. Overall, though, the run was well-planned and there were adequate volunteers, water, first aid, etc. to make sure everyone had a fun and safe time.
The post-race party was kind of fun but I didn't stay for the awards. However, while much of the free post-race food was healthy...much of it wasn't. I assume this was for the benefit of all the families running, but post-run pizza is something I've never seen before. (And yes, I did have a slice of it...I do love pizza.) They also were handing out danishes, ice cream, sodas...no beer though. There was also the typical healthy post-race food of bananas, apples, bagels, etc. available along with water, juice, and Propel fitness water by Gatorade.
As this was a run to benefit cancer research, there were many family and corporate teams in the event, many of whom wore custom t-shirts identifying themselves. The group of volunteers handing out pizza were attired in T-shirts which read "MLF Volunteer Team." I almost smiled, thinking if they had one more letter on their shirts it would have been really funny. Was Stiffler's Mom around somewhere? Obviously whoever designed the shirts didn't share my twisted sense of humor.
One thing I usually like about runs is the sense of accomplishment afterwards. Of course, if you're not an elite runner, you have no chance of winning one of the prizes, but you know you finished and ran the same distance as everyone else...which makes you feel good. It's definitely a feeling you don't get just by watching a football or basketball game, even a live one.
UPDATE: Unbeknownst to me, this race hired photographers that took pictures of every single runner. I was able to download the pics from their web site and I'm attaching the least embarrassing one of yours truly. This was taken near the end of the run, which explains why I look like I'm about to keel over.