Today is the first Crazy Legs Classic 8k that I’ll miss since 2009. I only did it 3 years in a row, but I feel like I broke a favorite race tradition. In past years I would invite my out-of-town friends in to run it, we’d all celebrate with beers, and it was just nice to see my friends that I’m lucky to see once a year. Our evolving lives, growing families, jobs, etc keep us from seeing each other more.
The first year I signed up for Crazy Legs I was terrified of the idea of running 5 miles. Five miles seemed so far, and it would take me an hour. My “training” was lacing up, going out to run for as long as I could without collapsing, and them come home to use mapmyrun.com to see how far I went. I didn’t know anything about running, form, hydration, the 10% rule, and I wore cotton.
Interestingly enough, with not knowing a thing about running it was the most care-free running I’ve ever had. I didn’t know what my pace was. I never had a hurt knee, ankle, hamstring, or sore shins. I just ran.
On race morning in 2009 I woke up to a heavy downpour. We’re talking way beyond cats and dogs, more like dinosaurs and rhinos. The thought of not starting didn’t cross my mind. I signed up for it, I “trained” for it, I was going to run 5 crazy miles. But first I would have to stand in the wave corral for 40 minutes in the cold, heavy rain with chattering teeth before I got to start. Cold to the bones, I just wanted to run my first race.
It was exhilarating to be running in a crowd of 20,000 people, in the rain, all heading towards Camp Randall Stadium to finish on the 50 yard line of the football field. I ran the entire hilly course, with no walk breaks, and I was SO PROUD to have finished my first race. I was stoked to find beer at the finish too.
The beer is how I was able to talk my friends into coming to do it in 2010 and 2011. Running, beer, and friends is what Crazy Legs is all about for me. So 2012 Crazy Leg runners, embrace the rain today, run your hearts out, and drop an f-bomb on Observatory hill for me!