Running Dilemmas

It’s been about three weeks since I’ve returned to running after a five week hiatus. You’d think in that time, I could have made a very important decision. What to wear.

Ah, every girl’s dilemma. Especially this close to Halloween. Especially when there’s a costume race on the schedule.

I know the shoes that will be on my feet.

I know what will be underneath. (Not my booty, by the way.)



But the rest of it is up for grabs.

Backstory. Every year on Halloween weekend, I run a local half marathon. This year, I’m going a different direction. For the last three years, this particular HM has absolutely sucked for me. All runners apparently have a race that kicks their butt, and this is mine. My first year it was hard, just because it was one of my first HMs ever. I didn’t know how to pace, went out too fast and bonked. Hard. The next year, it poured cold rain. For 12 miles. Not kidding. Those who know me are very aware of my distain for wet socks and undies. Last year, I set a goal for myself and  missed it despite working really hard at it and ending up with a big, nasty blister on the bottom of my foot that nagged me for weeks afterward.

This year, I am ignoring the fact that it’s supposedly a ‘fast!’ and ‘flat!’ race with a good tee and medal. I’m going a different direction and cutting myself some slack. Fortunately, the race gods are smiling, and there is a brand spankin’ new half marathon game in town, and it’s pure fun.

The Monster Dash! How fun is this? It runs through some of the best old neighborhoods (and cemeteries!) in Atlanta. And I’m running it with friends! For fun! In costume?!  Herein lies the rub.

Decisions, decisions.

I’ve already decided that I would just RUN this half marathon, not RACE it. I’ve been signed up for a long time, and after five weeks forced hiatus, I’m not quite back up to the speed or endurance I’d like. I’d have to push really, really hard to hit the time goal I’ve set for this year (yes. I’m that type-A.) Plus, I somehow pulled out a 2nd place AG two weeks ago in a trail race, so I’m feeling a lot less pressure to push hard on this one. That decision is made, and I’m quite pleased about it.

This is the first question for you, dear runner readers. How do you decide if you’re going to RACE an event or just RUN an event? Do you push hard on every one of your events, simply because you’ve trained hard and need to see what you can do? Do you set aside an event now and then to do just for fun? Or do you do them all just for fun, times be damned? I’m curious.

The longer I run, the more free I feel to decide how I’m going to approach each event. Is this wisdom or laziness? Lack of confidence or have I discovered some new level of running bliss? Is this sacrilege for runners who truly train to race?

Anyway, this decision made, I now have the all-important decision of what to wear! Normally, this is a simple task – Oiselle Distance Shorts and Singlet, Green Arm Warmers and my beloved Frogtown hat. But this is a Halloween-themed run event, and runners are encouraged to run in costume.

Despite my kids’ disdain, I’m not much of a costume girl. In the spirit of being seasonally festive (and because it’s my understanding that my running pals will be decked out), here are the options as I see them. Help me please! Weigh in on what you would choose. Each of these have been chosen with two primary goals in mind – comfort and low risk of chafing. Original would be nice, but not crucial. I’m not so festive as I am practical. Ah well.

The choices:

  1. Andy Warhol:  All black, a couple of images of Campbells Tomato Soup on my top, white wig. (I’m questioning the wig, and this may be too esoteric NPR’ish to be easy to recognize.)
  2. Superhero:  Running gear plus one of my kids’ small capes and maybe some lightening bolts on my sleeves. (Done. Overdone. Will see myself everywhere. Do anyway?)
  3. 80’s Jazzercise Girl:  Running gear plus leg warmers, blue eye shadow, headband and a cropped ‘shoulder’ sweatshirt – you remember those Flashdance style tops, yeah? (Funny, but those leg warmers could get annoying.)
  4. Festive Halloween Girl:  Stripey Halloween knee highs in white and green, purple or black running skirt, orange Oiselle vest, green arm warmers (per usual), bat earrings. (I have all of this. It’s comfortable. Not a character but festive enough?)

That’s about all I’ve got. Pathetic? (Especially considering that my own brother has his entire family dressed as the Incredibles – all age- and gender- appropriate for the roles, hair dyed, muscles pumped and the whole shabang.) I should be ashamed.

Help me out, friends. This decision won’t make itself and I’m running out of time.


3 thoughts on “Running Dilemmas

  1. First issue, being a newbie runner, I feel like races should be the time I give my all. Now, I have not found a group of friends to run races with so maybe if/when that time comes I will find races to be more fun than a challenge to be met.
    Costume issue…I love Halloween! The decorations, the time of year, etc. However, I’m not big on dressing up but when needed I do. I will admit though running in a costume doesn’t sound too exciting to me. Plus, being that I tend to be a sweater (unlike you) I would chose the less cumbersome outfit…the Festive Halloween Girl definitely sounds like it fits the bill.
    Regardless of what you decide it sounds like you will have a blast and I know you will do awesome as usual.
    And yes…your brother and family are making us all look bad. 😉 hahaha

  2. I vote for the last one! Comfort is key! Am I too late? Good luck in the race! Some races I run just for fun, others I push myself. Bigger distance races (for me that’s anything over 10k) are the ones I push for. 5 & 10ks are just for fun! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Halloween (Race) Report | mewruns

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