It's September and have you thought about your New Year's resolutions? No, not the 2011 ones, the ones you promised yourself you'd keep for 2010. Whatever happened to those? Well, believe it or not y'all, we still have a grasp on ours!
The Mississippi Garretts pledged the same old routine
"let's get into
better shape" in 2010. But with a twist:
we decided to hold ourselves to participating in a 5K every month in
order to keep with the resolution. We
rang in the New Year
running huffing and puffing through a course that took us around
a Piggly Wiggly in Killen, Alabama. In
arguably the most ironic thing that has ever happened to me, I actually won
third place in my age division! With a turtle
pace finish time of 41:52, turns out there were only three women in our group...whatever,
it sure looks nice on the shelf next to the Emmy.
Sometimes we train for our runs, sometimes we just fall out of bed and show up. We're not really that hardcore, but we like having a goal. Honestly, my favorite part of the 5K is collecting the t-shirt! A side resolution developed out of this: I took a beginners quilting class while in Tupelo and am now inspired to make a t-shirt quilt from our running shirts. The cool thing about our move is now we have a collection of shirts from states all over the country. I am going to enjoy wrapping myself up in accomplishments when winter comes up here!
We've noticed that races are really different up here in the North than they are in the South.
- For starters, we've actually done a race on a Sunday morning since moving to NY. Back home, no event organizer in their right mind would ever ask a God fearing Southerner to miss morning church service to run in a 5K! And you couldn't hold the race in the afternoon because everyone would drop dead of heat stroke before they got off the start line, and if it was in the evening, them 'skeeters would carry right you off. So Sundays are pretty much off the board. They may happen, but I have yet to come across a race set for a Sunday in the South.
- Second: everything starts a little later up here. When you don't have to deal with soaring triple digits and humidity, I guess the start gun doesn't have to fire at 7:00 a.m. It's nice to sleep in just a little.
- The third biggest difference for us has been the altitude! Not something that we really put a lot of thought into until I just knew my lungs were going to explode while I was standing in the pitch black holding a glow stick on the side of a mountain in Vermont (another night race). Do you guys know you don't have any air up here?
We've had a great time keeping our resolution and
found some fun runs to participate in. Y'all have some cool themes up here! This past weekend we did the wildest one yet: the Warrior Dash at Windham Mountain in Windham, NY. It was about an hour drive and is touted by organizers as an "ultimate thrill seeking event for athletes." This 5K was not only a run, but had 13 obstacles on the course too! We found ourselves running up a 1,600 foot ski mountain, running through tires, crawl through 50 feet of black metal tunnels, climbing cargo nets, scaling walls, swimming a freezing pond, and walking a wooden plank over a gorge. But that wasn't even the fun part...the race ended with a bang!
First a huge redneck style slip'n slide...complete with black plastic, water hose and hay bales with plenty of mud. That's where I broke a nail and banged up my knee and arm pretty good. Brett managed to take out a lady who didn't get out of the way fast enough. The Southern gentleman that he is, he did offer to help her up before she got plowed down again. The next challenge was jumping over fire! It was a leap of faith, literally over fire. Talk about intimidating to be running along and see two rows of fire in your path! Luckily, no one went up in flames!
The Warrior Dash could have been a Tide commercial waiting to happen....the final obstacle was the muddiest, messiest and ickiest. You had to crawl, under barbwire, through a mud pit. It just wasn't pretty, folks. We both came out looking something the cat threw up. As you can guess, I'm a Southern girly girl. It was the dirtiest I have ever been in my life. That mud was like a bad spray on tan, it took forever to get it off in the shower.
Our clothes went into the trash (not even Tide could save that) and our shoes went to an organization called Green Sneakers. The group collects and cleans the shoes and then places them with relief agencies worldwide. I'm sure they'll change their mind about ours once they smell them!
I read a report that said only 12% of people who set New Year's resolutions actually achieve their goals. We still have three more races to do before we accomplish ours, but I think the light is at the end of the tunnel. Of course, at one point I saw a light at the end of the tunnel during the Warrior Dash, and I just ended up with bruised knee caps. And a broken fingernail.
Here's how to dash like a Warrior when you're more of a girly-girl Princess: