Last year, at the very last minute, I filled in for an injured friend at the Remembrance Run 5K.
To my great surprise, I ended up PR'ing (which I've since broken) and enjoying myself. (Don't judge me: It was Oktoberfest weekend, and while I was not hung over, I also did not feel like waking up early and working out.)
I told everyone how great it was — Jethro's BBQ at the end! Names called as you crossed the finish! Flat! — and then ... for some reason ... never got around to signing up for this year's run.
Fortunately, several of my friends did: Pam, who organized the excellent 5K in Boone, and Sharyn and Laryssa, who told me at the Boone afterparty that they were training for a November race.
I came to work after an excellent speed workout to learn this development from Sharyn. "You should join us!" she said, unnecessarily, because simply hearing about her registration had already nudged me to commitment.
So in two Sundays, I'll be back at Raccoon River Park, where my latent desire to run fast, and not just forward and steadily, woke up.
I look forward to spending time before and after with friends; to cheering those three on; and to hearing the right name called as I cross the finish.
And yes, hopefully, to another PR.
Hey, during the tempo run that preceded Sharyn's invitation, I kept a 7:55 pace for 20 minutes. Those stats can't be unseen. It's not inconceivable that I could break my 25:30 5K PR, if not at the Remembrance Run, then another time.
More important than my social life and speed, however: This race benefits families who lost someone at war. If you're in the Des Moines area and haven't signed up for this race, consider doing it.