Bringing the Fun back to the Run

This past Sunday was my first run since my first half marathon - Forest City Road Races at the end of April.  In case you missed it, a few weeks ago I was diagnosed with a femoral stress fracture.  So needless to say my running streak has been cut short.

So last Sunday was the first Run the District event called the Chuckle Run.  I was so excited to be selected as one of the Run the District ambassadors, but not super pumped about my stress fracture.  How could I be running ambassador and not run?   Well, I walked.  Yup, I walked my very first race ever.  And I have to say it was pretty incredible.

Besides the pouring rain and freezing wind, I really enjoyed the Chuckle Run.  And walking the race has given me a whole new perspective.  While waiting at the start I found myself surprisingly relaxed. Gone was all that nervous, anxious energy I usually have before a race.  No fiddling with my iPod or my watch, no last minute shoe adjustments or freaking out because I forgot something.  I just stood in the rain, with my tutu and frog umbrella and waited.  When the horn blew I headed out, back of the pack with a brisk walk.
There's me at the back with the tutu & froggie umbrella.
Fairly quickly, I ended up pretty well last with the medics on the golf cart in front and a police escort behind me.  But I didn't care, not about anything.  I didn't care that I was one of the last racers, that I was soaked to the bone or that I wasn't on pace...heck I didn't even wear my watch and couldn't care less about time.
Our fave Cop photo bomb!
What I cared about was the experience -enjoying every puddle, every cheer from spectators and actually keeping up with my friend Shannon.  Usually at races we start together and once the race starts we've gone our separate ways and find each other at the finish.  But not this time, for the most part we stayed together almost the entire race.  We laughed and joked and cursed each puddle we stomped through, but what was best was just having fun.

Throwing away all those self doubts, goals and pressures for a race was so liberating.  Running (or walking) without a care was fantastic.  And the best part was getting to watch Shannon cross the finish line ahead of me.  I was so excited for her!
There's goes Shannon, kickin' my butt!
So I may have finished 5th last at the Chuckle Run, but it sure felt like a PR! I really encourage everyone no matter how serious or casual a runner to pick one race and just run it for fun.  No goals, no watch, no PR....just fun!  There's so much more than just a finish time!

What's next for me?  Well, Run to the BBQ is in a couple weeks and I will be walking it too...but who cares?  I don't!

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