Crazy people with nice shoes

Thats what I used to think when I saw runners.  I would see these people running for "fun" all over town, and really what looks like more fun than running down the street panting, sweating and in general looking like you're that fat guy at burger king who realizes that he's just had one onion ring to many? Turns out: nothing.

A year ago I used to think Run fat boy run was just a good movie. Now I know that it's truly one of the great movies of our time as it describes my jumping into running perfectly. (It's also taught me that its perfectly acceptable to ask some how their nipples are right before a race. Or in a bar, you know, wherever.) When I first started someone mentioned doing a "5k" to me, and without knowing what the distance was in real terms (I held a strong belief at the time that the metric system was nothing but chinese magic meant to confuse the round eye) I agreed. After going home and wikipedia-ing the distance I was a little surprised at what I got myself into. I thought...this can't be so bad though...I can run a mile, I just have to do it three times.

Race day: I'm lined up, ready to rock and roll. Everyone around me is holding their watches with fingers pressed to start the button and looking about as serious about pressing that button as a Russian missile commander in 1983. The gun fires and we're off! Looking good so far...I'm running as fast as I can, the old people with walkers are way behind me, and the soundtrack to Chariots of Fire is playing in my head and when I feel like we're pretty decently into this run it hits me. I'm gonna crush this thing!! I look back to see how far I've gone....about 30 feet. Shit. This could be harder than I thought...
As I round a corner and try to at least keep ahead of the little girl scouts who have decided to skip and sing the enitre race I feel like I must have missed the mile one marker somewhere along the way. Not a big deal just keep running...5 min later....there's the mile 1 marker. great.
As we come around the last corner and see the finish line on top of the hill (I swear there is always a hill at the end of these things. I'm pretty sure every race director goes ok sooooo thats 3.0 we're gonna need to construct a hill here for the last tenth of a mile. It's also apperantly some sort of understood rule that the longer the race the higher and longer the hill has to be. Because you just haven't worked hard enough yet) I am passed by two gentlemen who I am fairly certain stormed the beaches of Normandy with my grandfather. I look at them as they breeze by and swear old guy number two muttered the word "pussy" under his breath.
I finally cross the line at just over 25 minutes and run into the friend who had talked me into this horrid nightmare in the first place. "How do you feel??" She asked. "You did really good!" To which I eloquently responded "nngghhhhh uuuuhhhhh...." she then pointed my in the direction of the free water. (There was also a medic there, but I like to think she had faith in me and was just showing me the water.) First race down, and I decided to reward myself by getting some actual running shoes. Thus, the hulk shoes were born.


  1. I felt the same way after my first 5k. Seemed an impossible distance and I wanted to die when I crossed the finish line. Took me a few days before I decided I MIGHT run it again. Now a 5k is a warm-up! I actually smile when I run now! And I agree, the hill is always at the end!


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