So to start this off as honest as possible, I despise running. And when I say despise, I mean I truly do not enjoy running and cringe every time I think about it. Then why do I tell you to “run for fun” you ask? Because I found the only way that I consider running fun… a 5k! Not all of us can be like Forrest… This is me within the first 5 minutes.
If you love running, you may go for checking a marathon or half marathon off of your bucket list. Unfortunately for me, even after watching the fulfillment that my friends and family get from completing them, I have zero interest in doing that. Many of you cannot relate, because running to you is relaxing, therapeutic, or just fun. But, for those of you who feel me, whether you aren’t a cardio fiend or you have the knees and lung capacity of an 85-year-old like me, there is a running option that has become more and more popular that I actually enjoy!
A 5k is equivalent to 3.1 miles or 5,000 meters. For people that really do not like running, 3+ miles still seems far, but this is what I’m here to tell you. Go out and at least TRY a 5k! For those of you who 3.1 miles seems like a joke compared to your marathon mindset, I promise you that you will still find these fun!
Now, pick one that is related to something else that you love in life. For example, some that I’ve done and loved are:
THE COLOR RUN: I not only love this race because you become a living rainbow, but the music, the sponsors, the locations and the finale party just make me happy. I mean, it’s called the “Happiest 5k on the Planet” – that’s got to be worth something. My Erie peeps, enjoy it this weekend! Just don’t go out to eat in a classy place afterward… It’s awkward… Trust me. (bottom right)
ROC RACE: Also known as the “Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge” – this was a favorite for me. It consists of a 3-mile long path full of inflatable obstacles for adults and kids, like slip and slides, wrecking balls, foam-filled jumbo slides and more. (To give you an idea of the premise, they are partnered with the TV show Wipeout)
MUD RUNS: For you ladies who want a little more challenge, but still a pressure-free atmosphere, try these women-only, untimed 5ks filled with muddy obstacles. I chose to do the LoziLu Mud Run with a group of girlfriends and had an amazing time, but the most popular one I’ve heard of is the Dirty Girl Mud Run. You can even go a little further and form a team, pick a theme, make your outfits, and have fun with it! For those of you who don’t like mud, don’t even bother reading the next one…
HIGH-INTESITY: For those of you who WANT the mental pressure and physical challenge, while incorporating a 5k, try the Warrior Dash or Spartan Sprint. Unfortunately, I went straight to the Spartan Sprint, which is for advanced mud runners. BUT, despite feeling like I was going to pass out at one point, it was one of the most rewarding things I’ve completed. Ladies, you may feel like you’re failing miserably with guys passing you on all sides, but some of you may be shocked at how well you actually did when you see your time compared to women in the same age range! HIGHLY recommended for anyone physically capable of doing this! Also, HIGHLY suggested to train yourself a little for it. I didn’t… I lived… but barely. 🙂
Lastly, if you like the idea of the Color Run atmosphere where you can walk or run for nothing but fun, but don’t want to wait a year for it to come back to a city near you, try your local holiday or charity 5ks. Popular holiday+charity runs include the Turkey Trot for charity, the Jingle Bell Run for arthritis, the Susan G Komen Race for a Cure and more local runs. Some cities get creative with runs like a Zombie 5k, where you’re actually getting chased by zombies through the streets until you make it to the end… No, I’m not kidding.
TO ADD TO YOUR BUCKET LIST: Run in a 5k!
Yes, that includes all of you who hate running AND those of you marathon runners. There are so many fun ones to choose from that you can never use the excuse “been there, done that” – if you’ve done one, add another!