01 November, 2012

Running with Zombies

This past weekend I ran with zombies and it was a lot of fun. Wait, let me back up a little bit...

This past June, two big things happened to me. First, I found out my wife is pregnant with our second child,  and second, I turned thirty. When my wife was pregnant with our first child I found that I gained a lot of sympathy weight. Now, most people probably think 'well, that's not a big deal it happens just do this or do that and you'll lose it in no time.' I've never been one who's been considered skinny nor very athletic and have always struggled with weight management.  So after my first child was born it took emergency surgery and a five-and-a-half week battle with appendicitis to loose the sympathy weight. That's not an ideal way and is quite expensive. So when my the gravity of turning thirty hit me along with a side-order of fatherhood round-2 I decided to do something.  I've always been very interested in running just too lazy to keep with it. So I thought back to a conversation my wife and I had about running where she told me about the Couch-to-5K program. At the time I had looked into it and just did not have the motivation to get up and move. So, I decided to give it a try.  I talked to a few people, they encouraged me and so I went to Dick's Sporting Goods and found some running shoes with some birthday money. On 8 July, 2012 I stepped out my front door and changed my life.  On 16 September, 2012 I completed the Couch-to-5K program and I was elated. Despite trying many times before to stick to running this time I had done it. The structure of the program kept me engaged and the Active.com community kept me honest with myself.

I came across a zombie 5k run, in Nashville near Halloween. Zombies? Me? Run? Sounds exciting! So I registered for the Zombie Buffet 5K and continued to train. In the mean time I decided I wanted some experience under my belt (even just one race) before my outing with the zombies when lo and behold while in the Hermitage Starbucks I see a sign for the Mt. Juliet HS Run for the Gold 5K.  On 29 September, I ran my first 5k race. The band-boosters for Mount Juliet High School put on a race to support the band and being a band-geek in school and a music lover this seemed like a good start. I ran the race in 32' 20" doing 10:13 minute mile. Pretty good I felt for my first time out. The morning of the race was mostly a blur until the race started but most importantly I had a much better idea what to expect for future races. I continued my training in preparation for the scheduled zombie outbreak. Finally 27 October, 2012 arrived and it was a cold, overcast and dreary morning, we'll just call this mood music. The experience was incredible, between the non-stationary cadavers chasing me to the one chained to a tree lunging at runners it was so much fun. The cold air, the cobweb gray sky, and the since of urgency helped keep your mind on edge the entire time. Just as you would recover from one onslaught you would round a corner and see a terrifying site forcing your mind to perform a reality check asking, 'is this real or not?' Most of the time I passed through obstacles with either a smile or determination on my face however, a few times I know that it was very likely self-preservation.  I went out and gave it my all however I did realize that were this a real ZomPoc I am not as well prepared as I would like to think. I made it a little more than a mile avoiding most of the zombie obstacles until loosing my final life flag into the hands of a runner on a flank attack. I also had it violently shoved in my face that I really need to spend more time on hills as the third mile was mostly one big hill. Upon completion of the race I immediately start planning and looking forward to next year. Running as a survivor adds such a level of difficulty and requires a higher level of skill which adds to the whole experience but seeing how much fun the zombies had it really makes it difficult for me to decide which side of the infection I want to run next year.

Getting past the week encompassing All Hallow's Eve, I have already began prepping for starting a 5K to 10K program and look forward to stepping up the skill. My new goals have been set:

  • Short-Term: Complete 5K-10K Program
  • Mid-Term:   
    • Complete a 10K
    • Begin Half-Marathon Program
  • Long-Term:  Tough Mudder

Active - http://active.com/
Zombie Buffet 5K - http://zombiebuffet5k.com/
Tough Mudder - http://toughmudder.com/

Zombie Buffet 5K Photos: http://bryanbloebaum.smugmug.com/Sports/Zombie-Buffet-5K-2012/26192483_PX5WHk#!i=2178636353&k=kL6dv3X
Zombie Buffet 5K Video:  http://youtu.be/JBvFF0LJdUg

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