The Insane Inflatable 5k was Saturday, and I’m happy to report I led my Rad Racing team to victory… whatever “victory” is when you run in a 5k that isn’t timed among a throng of other “adults” on a course filled with a bunch of modified bounce houses.
So yeah, it was a fun time. And yes, it’s fun to dress like a total douche nozzle at fun runs. Any excuse, right Jon? Shut up. Here’s how it went down.
Because it was Friday, and because I apparently have no self-control on Fridays even when I know I’m running the next day, I drank too much craft beer. Thankfully I recognized it early enough, and managed to stay up long enough to ensure I went to bed sober(ish), and got a good night’s sleep. When I woke up early the next morning thanks to one of the meowing jerks, I gratefully had no trace of a hangover and only slight congestion thanks to this year’s never ending parade of allergies.
Quick aside: Is everyone else’s allergies absolutely HORRID this year? I feel like some disgusting Garbage Pail Kid every freaking day with a running nose that never stops, eyes I itch like I’m on meth, and an equilibrium that makes me feel like I’m walking like a punch drunk toddler. Does this correlate to our moth infestation at all?
I managed to shower, push my hair into a douche-hawk, assemble my douche costume, and have breakfast – all like I had planned as I prepared (perhaps over-methodically) for this goofy run. One thing that concerned me was this little ball of anxiety in the pit of my gut I couldn’t shake. I couldn’t pinpoint its origin either, which only served to exacerbate my nerves. Is it Lupus?!?
When we got to the event, my anxiety only ratcheted up – and, really? I’m nervous about the run? Shit, that’s fucking clown shoes. But what if it isn’t?!? snapped my sub-conscious. You sucked the meat missile so bad at Warrior Dash, what if you do it again? What if you gas out a quarter mile in again? What if some fat old lady passes you? What if your friends make fun of you? What if failing to run this entire thing means you automatically become fat again when it’s over?
All of this ran through my head as I approached the starting corral where whatever bro’d out, morning zoo chucklehead emcee did some terrible crowd work with whoever happened to enter his field of vision. He stood at the top of the first set of bouncy steps where on the other side laid the first of many of the day’s slides.
The air horn sounded and we all bounded up the surprisingly buoyant steps where at the top I put an exclamation point on the first obstacle by jumping into the air, and sliding down the backside a la James Bond. Shit, this is fun already…
So, we were off, and after a short jaunt, it was time for the high knees, followed shortly by a giant pit filled with enormous exercise balls. Every run should have obstacles. And what was most surprising was that we hadn’t run more than a quarter mile (where my paranoia convinced me I would give up), and yet, here were people giving up and walking. Whaaaaat? I’m not even tired yet! Let’s keep running! Maybe all this running I did beforehand wasn’t pointless! Run on, Douchy Jon!
We ran through the stadium, out one of the gates and around one of the ancillary soccer fields where Deuce and I overheard some poor girl say this to her friend:
(looking at the length we’d have to go to keep running around the cones): “Oh my God, look how far we have to go. This is WAY longer than a 5k.”
Deuce and I could only chuckle as Deuce quipped, “5k means 5,000 ft, right?”
We cruised through the maze, climbed over the tangled web, and giggled and leapt through the giant moon bounce. Shit, this is STILL fun.
We chugged along jogging between obstacles, and it amazed me how much easier this was than running through my neighborhood. Never once did I really enjoy my little runs in training for this, but after having run this event, I realized I had at least learned how to power past wanting to give up, toughened up my feet, and expanded my lungs. Apparently all that training wasn’t just self-inflicted slow torture.
I will likely never be a runner, but I will NEVER be too old to hop around on a bunch of inflatable shit. And thankfully my goal of running just enough to enjoy this event was achieved. And like a true champion, I stood at the mountaintop claiming my prize:
And like the clumsy dork I actually am, I took an appropriate dismount as well:
And if that ain’t the picture of victory, I don’t know what is. See you next year at the Insane Inflatable 5k.