The Joy of 30 with an Ugly Sweater, Santa, and Boozy Hot Chocolate!

Well, that was a fun ride!

When I started to pursue a running regimen, I had little clue as to where it would take me. I have always exclaimed that I am one of those who has a love/hate relationship with running. What started out as a challenge to myself and use it as a tool to burn calories and cut weight became an obsession. In less than two years, starting back in March of 2016, has culminated with me just completing my 30th official race event. Mostly 5K’s with some 4 and 5 mile races thrown in. Wow! I really never thought I would get this far, yet here I am, and I am not about to quit anytime soon.

These legs have a lot more to go. Run, Forrest, Run!

The road to 30 was quite an adventure. I realize that to many established runners this would seem like a minor accomplishment as running races is pretty much like breathing air to them. Yet, for myself this was a major undertaking. Sure, I hit the gym a lot and love to pump the iron. Have completed a Tough Mudder and a few other obstacle course/mud runs. Still, to lace up the running shoes, put on the gear, and hit the pavement on a daily schedule over and over took a lot. It still does at times. It takes plenty of dedication and motivation. Through good and bad weather. Tired nights. Injuries. Long work days. The stress and responsibilities of life itself. To get to this point is a real undertaking in perseverance when you wait until your 50’s to start running. Not many guys pick up the running life at this age. Most at 50 are on the couch and sedentary.

The struggle is real.

Believe me, there are many nights when I’d rather be on the couch with a beer in my hand watching the boob tube! Or hiding under the covers in bed rather than getting up at the butt crack of dawn to run in a 5K race. Sometimes I wonder myself why I partake in this madness.

There are those days now when I wake up with a mystery injury. What the eff? How did I pull a muscle sleeping? Don’t even get me started on the times I have sneezed hard and thrown out my lower back. Climbed on a stepladder to screw in a light bulb and tore up a shoulder? Been there! Yet, the worst was back in August when blew out my hamstring just as I was literally feet away from crossing the finish line at a 5K race. It wasn’t so much the recovery time and pain that bugged me. It was that I looked like I was walking around for weeks with underwear on two sizes too small and a stick up my ass!

Why do I do this?

I really don’t know at this point. Perhaps, it’s that I enjoy the challenge. Perhaps, I secretly enjoy running. Perhaps, I am a masochist. Perhaps, I am too stupid to know any better. Perhaps, I might actually be one of “those people” – A RUNNER?

I still can’t figure it out myself.

I’ll admit that I do enjoy running some of these races for charity, and have raised funds for many wonderful organizations. It’s always good to give back in some way, and I really believe that if one has the ability to do so, then make an effort!

As I stated above, I recently completed my 30th race. It was the Ugly Sweater Run 5K out in Brooklyn, and it was a blast! I ran this one for fun, and for a great charity cause, One Warm Coat, which helps those who are financially challenged and in poverty receive coats to keep them warm during the harsh winter weather. The course was set up like Santa’s North Pole –  blow ups of candy canes, reindeer, a bouncy castle, and even Old Saint Nick himself. Fire pits, holiday music, decorative photo-op spots, Kahlua hot chocolates and coffee post-race, and even a chance to take a pic with Santa himself! They really set up and organized a terrific event at which all runners seemed to have a great time.

I ran this one at a nice easy 10-minute pace on a beautiful NYC fall morning, and finished in a little over 30 minutes. I received my medal, took a pic with Santa, and went right to the Kahlua stand to get my drink. Met up with friends and my gal for brunch afterwards. What a perfect day!

SANTA!!! I know him! I know him!

Well, now what? I guess I will keep on keeping on with this running thing. There might even be a few more left to tackle before New Year’s.  On to the next 20 races.

The Road to 50? Here we go!

Ugly Sweater Run – http://theuglysweaterrun.com/

One Warm Coat – https://www.onewarmcoat.org/

2 thoughts on “The Joy of 30 with an Ugly Sweater, Santa, and Boozy Hot Chocolate!”

  1. Great Job! You remind me of my friend who also set a running goal. She joined a running club that gave her the edge she needed to get her to each goal. Run Forrest Run!!

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