Sunday, May 06, 2012
5K-K-K-Kount Me Out!
As we near the end of the school year, with it's track meets and testing, I'm reminded of when running and testing joined forces when I was a kid. The program was called AAU. It stood for something, but I can't remember what it was. Athletic? America? Uncomfortable? I don't know. But it seems like some president, in an effort to "keep American kids fit," had us all involved in a mandatory athletic program where we were tested at the beginning, middle and end of the school year. We had to do chin-ups (or the chin hang for girls) the wall sit, sit ups, and running. Was there more? Good heavens, I don't know. But I do know I dreaded that running. I wasn't a fan of the other stuff either, but the running--oh the running. It seemed so long, the running. Looking back, it was probably a mile (or less) but the pressure to beat your score from before was intense (intense, I tell you!). It seriously seemed like the President himself (Reagan, now that I'm thinking of it) was going to come to your school and talk about you being unfit if you didn't improve your score.
So I ran. I dreaded the end of year run more than the end of year tests. Those eight times around the blacktop just couldn't have been less welcomed--even at the time of year when the world is welcoming everything. I've never liked running since.
You're not going to believe this, but someone came up with an AAU for adults. Only instead of being mandatory, it is completely voluntary. And not only that, there is a charge for these kinds of AAUs. And typically, the more times you have to run around the blacktop (or through the city along orange cones) the more you have to pay. Some of the AAU's are called 5Ks. Other AAUs are called half marathons and the big daddy of the AAUs is the marathon.
It seems completely ridiculous, but people actually sign up! They volunteer to run in the heat, with a pack of other disillusioned people and they pay money to do it! At times I've wanted to stop a few of them and tell them it is free to run in my neighborhood. And, just to make sure, I'd let them know that the AAU program has been over for a few years and they actually didn't have to subject themselves to the torture anymore.
Then I got a better idea. Since it appears that the organizers of these adult AAU programs are making some good money (Our school needs pencils--come pay us to run!) I decided, I'd better keep this trend alive before all these adults find out that no one is keeping track of their score anymore. I've decided to have a Help Jayne remodel her bathroom 5K. It is going to be sometime in June (I'm really anxious to start tiling) and I'll set up some cones around my block. I'll have to drive around and find out how many times you'll have to run around to make it a 5K, but I've got time. Hazel and Parley will set up a drink station with my hose and if there's enough money left over, after I've bought the new sinks and toilets, I'll get some popsicles. Likely those twin pops though, don't get your hopes up. Those juice bars can get pricey. $25 will get you a ticket to run in my 5K, and that includes a paper number taped to your back. Julian is practicing his numbers, and I don't like to waste the paper. You might all be number 1, but that's really all anyone wants to be anyway, right?
So, June 17 (I just looked at my calendar and it's free). Plan on it. 10 a.m. at my house and all around the block. I will also set up a bar for chin-ups, and my wall will be free for the wall-sit. That will cost extra though.