Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Friends and 5Ks

Today, in lieu of bragging on/mocking my running, I would like to brag on some friends/fellow Truman State Bulldogs who have been bitten by the running bug.

It started with Zach and Chelsea (fellow Warrior Dash participants), who did a 5K in May even though both admitted on separate occasions that they hate running.

I was happy for them then, but I was floored (in a good way) by them a few months later: On the Fourth of July, they took an early-afternoon run. Remember how hot it was that day? "You don't even want to know how slow we went," they said, but sheesh, just the fact that they periodically moved faster than a walk deserves a high-five and a cold beer.

Next came Jessica. She's been running in the St. Louis heat — oppressive enough where she returns from runs "drenched" and is laughed at by her dad — as she trains for the Torchlight 5K on Aug. 31. Luckily, that's an evening run, so if she can survive outside right now, she'll rock the actual race.

And finally, there's Ashlee (apparently the new star of my blog). The Color Run comes to Des Moines on Oct. 6, and she's committed financially and publicly to doing it — in my opinion, the best way to force yourself to make running a habit.

It's always exciting when your friends pick up your hobby, without your putting guilt or pressure on them. But I think it's especially awesome when that hobby is something demanding like running.

A lot of people have to make a conscious decision to push through the discomfort for weeks or months before running becomes fun ... or at least before they find it rewarding enough to tolerate the sweat, fatigue, boredom, side stitches, etc.

During many runs, I still feel that way, and that, perversely, is what makes me so psyched for my friends. It takes work — work that I understand from experience — but the payoff, of the endorphin rush and sense of accomplishment and appreciation for showers, clean clothes and food, is so excellent that I'm glad they're sharing it.

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