I need to star in my own ’80s commercial for athletic wear

Have I mentioned that I signed up for the NYC Color Run? No?

Have I mentioned that I haven’t ran–or even TROTTED–any significant distance since 1995? Yeah.

Two of my favorite (and most sadistic, apparently) friends will be joining me–one of whom is flying up from Virginia solely for the occasion. Such good intentions…such admirable ambitions…such a stupid fucking idea.

I don’t even remember what got the hair up our asses to do this in the first place. I think it had something to do with “being healthy” or “setting goals” or “trying to die.” Whatever the reason, we are now a mere 5.5 weeks away from race day…and I haven’t even walked briskly in preparation, let alone begun the Couch to 5K program I vowed I’d begin six months ago. Winning!

My friend from Virgina has run a bunch of 5Ks in the past few months and is currently training for a half marathon. (This little jaunt to New York is nothing more than another notch on her bedpost. Slut.) Let’s forget she exists and focus instead on MOI and my native New Yorker friend who is equally unprepared.

Originally, we planned to train together at work during our lunch break, but that was before we realized that a.) it’s 14,000 degrees this time of year b.) we both refuse to shower in the locker room at work and c.) something else really convincing. So with that training program no longer being an option, we assessed how we can do this individually.

Long story short: it simply isn’t feasible or healthy for me to wake up earlier than I already do, and it’s impossible to run at night after work. By the time I get home and attend to my responsibilities here, it’s dark. I live in the middle of the woods surrounded by really steep, winding country roads that don’t have sidewalks or streetlights. In other words, it wouldn’t be uncommon to run into a bear if I didn’t get hit by a pick-up truck first. (Edited to add: as I was editing this post, something large and cavernous began creeping around in the woods outside my home office. Its loud footsteps are definitely not those of a squirrel, and I’m just waiting for the screen to cave in on me. Are you convinced now?)

Hemming and hawing over this yesterday morning in my cubicle, my race mate suggested: “Can you run in place in your house while watching TV?” Instantly I chuckled as visions of myself wearing sweatbands and pigtails danced through my head: me, running in place like a lunatic at a stop light unwilling to lose my pace. A few hours later, though, I began to give it some serious thought. I mean, it made sense. I’d be running–albeit not going anywhere–but I’d be running nonetheless…on my own clock.

This morning, however, I was on the train and had that same vision of myself running in place in front of a TV flash before my eyes and suddenly it didn’t seem so empowering or funny. Instead, it felt like the ultimate metaphor for my life: running while standing still. How incredibly depressing.

Thankfully, by the time I made it into the office I had an email from my race mate waiting for me with the greatest idea ever: JUMPING ROPE! Yes. We will jump rope while watching TV, and on the weekends/days that we’re able to run, we’ll run!

How many of you have passed out or had a seizure by now?

I realize that the two of us seem absurd…but bear in mind I commute 5+ hours a day and my race mate works full-time and has a newborn and 5-year-old child. We’re not right in the head! Does that exempt us?

So…I did something I never thought I’d do at the age of 35–I purchased myself a jump rope on Amazon. (Even *I* laughed out loud as I typed that.) I don’t know where I plan to do this…I’m assuming the basement ceiling is too low to accommodate a jump rope, but what will my dogs and husband do if I suddenly bust into jump-roping in the dining room? Do you suggest I play the Rocky theme song as I adorn a fluffy pair of Wigwams and manically jump rope whilst watching The Bachelorette finale?

The great thing about the NYC Color Run is that it’s less about the running and more about the fun. I’m not putting any pressure on myself to finish under a certain amount of time–but I am putting pressure on myself to run the whole thing. No walking for this former Track and Field Captain. I may not have laced up my spikes and hit the track since 1995, but I can hear my coach’s voice, “Stop fraternizing with the boys,” and I’m feeling motivated by sheer fright.

Will slow and incredibly unsteady win the race? Stay tuned…


  1. Do you need a personal photographer? I am photographing a 5k in October. When is this one?

    • July 19, 2012

      I’ll email you the details! You should come with us!

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