There are a lot of things I could focus on today – the hearings in the Supreme Court these past two days and the movement toward marriage equality – all of the emotions brought up by a very moving Passover Seder I attended last night - I have all manner of business and personal work competing for time. Of course I do have my attentions on these things, in reasonable measure, but what am I really determined to buckle down and tackle today? The Zombie Apocalypse.
On April 7th, I’ll be up bright and early in FDR Park, where a toxic spill will begin the city’s descent into chaos. If I were an unsuspecting person attempting to run a regular old 5k, I’d be in for a big surprise. Apparently, zombies will start the chase after the first kilometer, liquid vaccinations will fail, and we’ll all run for our lives through a military zone thick with creatures back from the grave and up to no good at all. Luckily, there’s a Quarantine Party at the end for everyone, whether you make it through “dead” or alive. I’m definitely getting psyched for, and a little nervous about The Zombie Run.
This time last year, I decided to take on a sprint triathlon with my friend LauraLynn Jansen who was training in Panama City, FL. We formed a small support group and scheduled phone conversations to stay motivated and to learn about things we could do to best prepare for the swim-bike-run. I wound up deciding the trip to Florida wasn’t the best for me at the time, but that I’d stay with the two-month training, find the best places for me to do the distances, and complete it on the same day and time as the official event. It was intense and exhilarating, and I found myself enjoying running more than I’d ever imagined.
The inconvenient trip to FL was my stated reason for not attending the actual race. In truth, I was pretty intimidated by the thought of racing against other people. I am way into fitness and pushing on towards personal best, but not so much the competition. Yes, I did hear all the anecdotes about how so many other people do it all in fun. I guess I just wasn’t ready. Apparently, I’ve discovered what will get me over my exercise self-consciousness. Just add zombies! I’ll be running away from the undead while trying to prevent them from popping my (optional) latex-free “life-balloon.” Why worry about looking silly? If I’m going to take comfort in fitting in, I’ll do it with flair.
I have to admit, I don’t really get the fascination with zombies. I am a geek about other things to be sure. I guess I’m zombie-curious. My old friend Betty definitely gets it. I may ask her for advice, as my knowledge of zombie culture is shaky. So I’m kick-starting my workouts, and I’ll run as a participant, but also an observer and journalist. Who are the people who are drawn to dress up in torn clothes, blood, and decay? Who are the ones, like me, who’d rather run through the craziness and stay relatively unscathed? So far it’s about the theater of the absurd for me – and basically, if it involves costumes, I’ll probably like it.
I am looking forward to writing about my workouts and my experience of the event. Fitness, health, and the creative spark are still incredibly fused within me. I keep searching for the coming out party for the next burst of inspiration, songs, and newness – The undercurrent of excitement I have about The Zombie Run hints it could be the thing.
I’ve started working on getting faster, training on the street and treadmill, alternating with speed walking, exercise bike, and yoga. Two Saturdays ago, I took on my first outdoor 5k of the season. 40 minutes 6 seconds. Yikes. I’ll have to do better than that if I want to survive.
Philadelphia is only the first city to be affected by the zombie problem. They’ll apparently be visiting a lot of other cities across the U.S. this year if you want to join the fun.