Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Gingerbread Man?

"Run, run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me. I'm the Gingerbread Man."

I've always liked "The Gingerbread Man" fairytale. Mostly for the gingerbread, and not so much for the running part. Plus, he does have a catchy little rhyme, and that appeals to the English major in me.

I'd rather eat gingerbread, sit on the couch, and paint my toenails any day of the week than run. Eeew.

So I truly thought my sister Alison was joking when she asked me last night over dinner if I'd be interested in running a 5k with her and the rest of the bridesmaids in August as a "Bachelorette" thing.

I stopped laughing when I saw the earnest look of sincerity on her face.

"Really?" I guffawed. "I mean, seriously? I do not run."

My last memory of running would be from the college days when an entire meal would consist of two leaves of lettuce, a rice cake, and a Diet Coke. I ran back then in a frenzied attempt to stay thin. If I had known what two kids and a lot of watching Thursday night TV would do to me, I think I would have just sat down and had a brownie.

Even when I could run, I hated it. At this point, I think running to the end of my (very short) driveway to get the paper would be disastrous, at best. Why run when you can walk and enjoy the fresh air and the view of the neighbors' enormous van backed up to their front door?

I gave my sister and the rest of the table my reasons for not feeling inspired to run a 5k:

1. I don't like to run.

2. I don't like being outside and sweating. Unless I am on the beach, in which case I can just dip my toes in the cool, refreshing ocean.

3. I don't own any good running shoes. Cheap running shoes from Target to wear to Body Jam at the gym do not count. Plus, my red stiletto sandals are way cuter.

4. I don't like to run.

5. August is hot.

6. I don't wear shorts anymore.

7. I am a much better cheerleader. Why can't I stand at the finish line and hand out water bottles?

8. My iPod is too bulky and heavy to run with.

9. I don't like to run.

10. Running is boring. It would be ever so much more fun to just drive the course. I know this because my friend Erin (who is a runner) and I drove the course of the Marine Corps half marathon a couple weeks ago to hang signs for our friends who were running it. I very much enjoyed riding in the car.

Then they hit me with a real whammy. Did you know that a 5k is THREE miles? I did not know that. That is why I got a degree in English, Speech, and Linguistics. I hate the metric system.

I am usually a joiner. My sister knows this and tried that approach with the "Everyone else is doing it. And Sam and the guys are doing an Adventure Run."

I don't know what an Adventure Run is, but what happened to the good, old-fashioned bachelor/bachelorette wildness?? I may be twenty-faux, but I'll take a darkened club, flashing lights, dancing, some form of alcohol over plodding along down a boring old course in the heat and sunshine that may or may not give me skin cancer. I could be wrong, but I don't think they hand out French martinis at mile 2.3.

I could see that they were not giving up any time soon, so I decided to break out the big guns.

"What's in it for me?" I wanted to know.

They stared blankly at me. I think in their addled little brains, they assumed that I would run for the sheer joy of it. Um, no.

T offered to buy me some real running shoes. Eh, unless they've got lots of pink and are studded with diamonds I'll pass. Hmm...speaking of diamonds...

I glanced across the table at the diamond ring on my mom's (Mimi) finger. The ring that, by family tradition, should have been passed on to me when I turned twenty-one. Mimi has all sorts of excuses as to why I can't have the ring. She swore 6 or 7 years ago that she'd give me the ring if I gave her a grandchild. Two grandchildren later, and now she claims she said "a grandson." I guess I don't qualify yet.

Alison saw me staring at the blindingly dazzling beauty of the ring.

"Mom will give you your ring if you train for the race and finish it." she stated.

Darnit. She had to add the "finish it" part. Mimi looked panicked for a split second, but then relented.

"Oh, fine." Mimi said. "I'll give it to you if you run the race with your sister and the girls."

They've hit one of my weaknesses. Glittery, shiny things. They're like kryptonite to me. I am powerless to resist.

Not really sure if running and getting all sweaty outside is worth it, or if I really believe Mimi this time, but it's worth considering.


Should I follow the example of the delicious, sugary Gingerbread Man and run?

Or should I just eat some gingerbread?
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  1. omw, omw, omw, DO IT!!!!!! reasons why you should do it:

    1. excuse to buy cute running skirts and shoes
    2. obviously diamonds, uh, hello?
    3. you will be SO proud of yourself
    4. you'll look even hotter in that bridesmaid dress!
    5. i will be SO proud of you!!!!

  2. Come on! My 6 year old has done two 5k's n the past 2 months. Granted he only ran half of each race and walked the rest, but still he finished. If a 6 year old can do it, you KNOW you can. Do you really even have to run? Just walk fast. Plus, as mentioned by the pp, it's a chance to go shopping AND you'll get diamonds at the end.
    BTW, I'm sure you can find some sparkly running shoes. If not, whip out the glue gun and some rhinestones and make your own.

  3. I clicked on you from SITS b/c I noticed that we have the same name:) Then, I came to your blog and discovered we have other things in common, too. Your mom is called Mimi, so is mine. You hate to run, so do I. You like TV, hey, me too. And did you say something about brownies?

  4. my oh my, manda....that IS sorely tempting....and they did not say win, go fast or run all the way, just said FINISH......with diamonds at the end......I think I WOULD do it......I won't say it can't hurt, but I will say wearing the bling might make it better....:)
    Go for it.......


  5. I'm running a 5K this weekend....and believe me you CAN do it!!! You will feel great afterwards....check out this site: it's called "couch to 5k" ~LOL~ :) I load my ipod (on my arm w/ an armband) with jammin music and go! I about died the first 4 times I ran.....can't wait to hear what you decide! :)

  6. Dude COME ON, it's only 3.1 miles. If you start running soon and veeery gradually increase the distance, you'll be fine. Plus you're running for completion, not for time. It's ridiculous that it's taking a diamond ring to motivate you (but alas, women are like crows, bc they like shiny things). It makes me think Alison has gone soft because she didn't just bully you into it. You'll be fine.

  7. this is very very difficult. i HATE running, but i LOVE shiny things. what to do, what to do? i think i might walk it (i'm not even going to pretend i could run 3 miles). plus, i'm all about new running shoes. right now mine are white with sparkly silver and hot pink patent leather. love them!

  8. Amanda, I have confidence in you! Not only do I believe you will finish, but the others will be eating your dust. VA Runner is the place to get those shoes. I will be "Grandma Debbie" when you need to run sans kiddos.

  9. RUN!
    In the immortal words of Nike, JUST DO IT.

  10. Stopping by from SITS. You should totally do it! I would start with a walk/run program to make your training easier. Good luck!

  11. You can do for to run good time! Run fast is for baby! Run good is for mommy! you win, you lose. Is all same no matter what happen!

    Jamie (aka coach Miroslav)
    P.S. I am great coach for to teach good run.

  12. Amanda,
    DO IT!!!! Here is the great news - if you started training now, it is the perfect amount of time to SLOWLY work your way up to a 5k. Start off by walking, then incorporate some running until you are ready! YOU CAN DO IT. And, you'll feel so very awesome after you do. Even if you have to run/walk the 5k. To finish it is a great feeling!
    I'm a member of a running group called See Mommy Run. We've had ladies from walkers to marathon runners and every now and then we do a "couch to 5k" program for beginners. If you want any information at all, I have tons of resources. And, as crazy as you might think I am, even in August, I don't wear shorts either! Just running capris.:) Let me know if you want any websites, etc. or if you ever want to get together for a walk/jog somewhere. I would love it!

  13. Also, Virginia Runner in Central Park is definitely a great place to get a good pair of running shoes. Just tell them you are a newbie.

  14. Um. I would be right there with you.

    No, thank you. :)

  15. Oh girl! Enjoy the ride :O) Look forward to hearing about your success! ~Jyll~

  16. I don't know what to tell you! How much do you REALLY hate running? Because if you REALLY hate it, then I don't think you should cave. Especially with Mimi's track record of ring promises broken!

    However, if you only hate the thought of the effort of getting in shape for the run, then I think you should do it!

    My good friend started running, then was totaly addicted and started doing marathons. When I started running a few years back, she was just sure I should train and do a marathon. She just loved it soooo much. But I didn't. And I don't. I enjoyed the sense of accomplishment I felt that I was ABLE to run each day, but I ran to stay in shape, and lose weight...not for the sheer joy of it. Because running does not equal joy for me!

    So if it's going to make you miserable...don't do it. But if you decide to do it, I will be your biggest cheerleader! We can like syncronize our training and work up to the 3.1 miles together long distance!!

    Good luck deciding!

  17. so... am I supposed to be running a 5k too? Good thing I read your blog!

  18. - su su - (oops)

  19. Ok Amanda....if you do it, I'll do it.

  20. Hmmm...let's see a pic of the ring.


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