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I hate running.  I say this almost every day.  I grunt it on the sidewalk.  I’ll scream it from the rooftop if you’d like.  I hate running so much, I’m pretty sure that if hungry bear were chasing me, I’d let him have a good meal. But, this fall, my friends are doing a Mud Run—a 5K through an obstacle course caked in (what else?) mud—and I’m doing it with them. [Legal disclaimer: I, What’s Camille Dewing?, am doing the Mud Run of my own accord. Any aforementioned parties (“friends”) have not coerced by force or suggestion my participation in said activity (“running”). I, alone, am responsible for my involvement.]

The last time I ran any great distance was between Concourse L and Concourse G to catch a connecting flight through O’Hare—and I nearly fainted. To complete a 5K, I need help.

A quick Pinterest search found a basic chart: a 10-week plan to get you up off of the couch and running the 3.1 miles that make up 5 kilometers. I just finished Week 5 (when does the bikini body show up?), but I won’t even look ahead to later weeks as I cannot comprehend consistently running for longer than 11 minutes.


And, yes, despite the insane heat wave that has paralyzed the Northeast, I’ve been running outside. I even got up at 6am one morning because I’ve lost my mind I wanted to run before it got too warm. Hubs is running with me.  He’s no fan of running, either, but says he’s doing it because he loves me. He must love me a lot because most of the time he’s two or three blocks ahead of me.

Sadly, love doesn’t make me go faster, though rage at the Texas legislature or ignorant Internet comments does.  Also, music—something with a good steady beat or aggressive hook to make me forget what I’m doing. Unlike Hubs, I cannot run whilst listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival (can anyone, really?). I need Christina Aguilera’s Dirrty album or Nelly’s “Shake Ya Tail Feather.”  To the horror of my inner/outer feminist, the more misogynistic the song, the better the run.

Normally, I wouldn’t broadcast that I was doing this.  I’ve seen too many people posts statuses or Tweets saying, “Hey guys, i start training for a 5K this weekend. It’s going to be awesome!” only to give up for any number of reasons.  It’s like saying telling people you wrote a novel, then taking two years to “work” on your rewrites—er, something I know absolutely nothing about.

Right now, I keep waiting for the “runner’s high.”  I presume it’s the moment when you’re running and are suddenly bathed in an iridescent light, floating through time and space, unable to feel the hard concrete beneath your feet, hearing a choir of angels, the gods themselves call out, “Run, runner!,” and you sweat glitter and fart rainbows.  None of this, shockingly, has yet happened to me.

So why, if I hate it so much, am I running?  Because I have a goal.  Because I have friends who are going to do it.  Because I come from a long line of faulty tickers and it’s never too soon to take care of my heart.  Because my dad said I needed to learn to chill.  Because my overactive brain needs it. Because I’ve run out of excuses. Because I want to follow through on something. Because there’s a mud run in a few weeks. And also a color run two weeks before that. And then there’s that zombie run the next month, which reminds me…

Gotta run!