The Reverse 5k.

Friday was hot. But after being cooped up in an overly air-conditioned convention center all day followed by a two-hour train ride home I was ready to get out and expel some energy. I laced up my bright-yellow Pumas and set out for my seven-mile route. (Holy hyphenation).

At about mile four I noticed some flashing police lights about half a mile ahead. Exciting! For anyone that’s driven with me, you know I can’t pass an emergency vehicle without seeing what’s going on … even if it’s slightly out of my way.

Well luck would have it today. These police cars were right on my route and blocking the road. A blocked road is a telltale sign that something bigger is happening. And since I was running and not driving, I could go past the roadblock and continue on my merry way.

So merrily run past the police I did.

I even got a head nod from both officers.

After going about a quarter mile past the roadblock and looking every which way for a sign of more emergency vehicles, I was starting to get discouraged. Then, to my delight, I saw that yet another larger road that butted up to the road I was running on was being blocked … again!

And about as I realized this second roadblock, I also realized a mass of people coming toward me in the distance. As I got closer, I realized I was on a race path and was now running against the crowd of the front-runners.

By the time I made the connection that it was an official race, I was already on the parkway and there were no other roads I could cut off, so it was either turn around and be running IN the race, which would be awkward since I neither paid to participate or even knew what I would be participating in … OR I could continue to run against the crowd, getting looked at by just about every person I passed. So that’s what I did until I passed the last runner, who was more of a walker in my opinion.

I will say though, having people cheering for you (or the others surrounding you) and ringing cowbells does provide for some excellent motivation when on a leisurely run. That, or the motivation to keep going and get off an official race path as soon as possible proves to be decent motivation as well.

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