I did the 10K last year, and I actually think about that night frequently — the postrace part more so than the race, though it was definitely a pleasantly different running experience.
In addition to the fear of being alone in the woods at night, the plans to meet up at my favorite local bar (yeah Olympic!) with friends afterward motivated me to keep moving. Nothing "Hangover"-esque happened; it was just a bunch of people meeting up for a few beers, but I remember it so fondly because it made living in Rockford feel as best as it ever felt.
My postcollege time in my hometown got off to a prolonged underwhelming start, but by fall 2011 — exemplified by the post-HOBO Olympic drinks — I'd gathered high school friends, work friends, newly made friends, high school friends' college friends, and their co-workers together into a positive that outweighed the negative.
When I thought about this during the more summery weather, it was in the context of "wow, what took four years to build in Rockford has been built in less than four months in Des Moines" — the people I already knew here, the ones I've met since moving and even the ones who don't know me yet always seem game for adding another seat at the table, in the bleachers or at the movie theater.
Back to the HOBO run. Until Doug's preview post, it hadn't dawned on me that nearly a year had passed since that race night; reflecting on it now, it does feel like a year has passed.
And I'm glad it passed. Reaching the HOBO run was a long uphill battle, but it also marked a short plateau that dropped sharply and dramatically over the rest of 2011 and into 2012. Of course — obviously — it turned around just as sharply and dramatically: I wish I could've given the HOBO 10K a second try ... but I'm glad to be in Des Moines instead.
* * *
This post was only marginally about running. If I had made any running breakthroughs since the HOBO run, I would mention them, but unless you count running consistently through the summer — made possible by a new job that lets me be at home at night instead of working at night — it's been fairly status quo.
That's not a slight, though. Maintaining a status quo that is "keep running" for more than three years ain't bad for someone who, as my dad is so fond of saying, could barely be moved to walk down the driveway and fetch the mail as a child.
That also doesn't do justice to the help running was, before and definitely after HOBO 2011: endorphins and stress release, yes; employer-hosted blog that could be added to resume, of course; but most of all, sense of accomplishment — that I'd done something difficult and that I made connections to people through doing it/writing about it.
(Token, non-insightful link to the rest of the post has been stretched to its limit.)