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A few weeks ago Self Magazine ran an article about (paraphrasing) how stupid it was when runners dressed up in tutus and other such nonsense. You can see the unparaphrased article if you’d like.

I’ll tell you my opinion on it. Because I’m sure your day would seem unfulfilled if you didn’t know where I stood on a certain issue.

I’ve never considered myself a runner. I jog, at best. I’m slow. I look like a T-Rex when I run (which is odd, given I have arms like a gibbon). I am a very awkward runner. I cringed just now saying that I was a runner. I’m not really sure how to explain it, but I have a difficult time saying that I’m a runner.

Then I went to my first official race. It was a Disney Princess race. My sister was going to be running the race with her daughter and decided to see if the sisters wanted to make it a girls’ weekend. My whole attitude about running changed (even though we walked the entire 5K). I mean, people! There were Disney characters with whom we needed to have our pictures taken!! Whether it was because my sisters were there, or whether it was because it was Disney, I kind of fell in love with the racing atmosphere. I mean, really…how can you NOT LOVE THIS:

Girls' Weekend 143 Girls' Weekend 144 Girls' Weekend 148 Girls' Weekend 170

All smiles, all through the race. It was infectious.

Then my hysterectomy happened and all that whole mess (if you don’t know that story, look at the POP category for an explanation). After two years of battling with female issues I knew I’d need to do something to get back into shape. I was WEAK! Hell, I couldn’t even do the “hover” thing in a public restroom. Weak, I tell ya! As a motivation to stick with the running, I signed up for a couple of 5K races. I found out that it was not just Disney that had such a fun atmosphere, but that it was the running community in general! It’s like no sporting event I’ve ever been a part of. Everyone is supportive of everyone! There’s no trash talking. No bad mouthing. No putting down beginners. All I have found is encouragement. And tutus! Lots of tutus! Not just tutus, I guess. But crazy outfits.

With the Go St. Louis race this past weekend I was stoked to see what people would be wearing. The runners. They did not disappoint!

Michelle nearly jumped out of her skin. "Mom! Mom! The Incredibles!!!" She was damned near giddy!

Michelle nearly jumped out of her skin. “Mom! Mom! The Incredibles!!!” She was damned near giddy!

Even the spectators were hilarious. In case you can't read it, it says, "Worse Parade Ever!" Hah!

Even the spectators were hilarious. In case you can’t read it, it says, “Worst Parade Ever!” Hah!

Michelle saw this guy before I did and goes, "You HAVE to get a picture of him!!" So I did. She looks at me and goes, "You know he lost a bet to someone."

Michelle saw this guy before I did and goes, “You HAVE to get a picture of him!!” So I did. She looks at me and goes, “You know he lost a bet to someone.”

As various people would pass by, we’d comment on what prompted the outfit of choice. It was fun. It was COLD out as spectators and having something to take our minds off the brisk morning was awesome. The ridiculous outfits add to the atmosphere and mood surrounding these events.

I’m not sure about others, but when I was struggling at about 2.5 miles in my 5K, seeing someone come prancing past me in a tutu made me smile. Being able to smile when I was wanting to walk gave that extra push to not stop, but to carry on and finish. It reminded me to not take myself so seriously and to let loose and have fun when what I really wanted to do was stop running and just walk the rest of the way in. My body didn’t need to stop. My body felt fine. But my brain was tied up in knots and the ridiculous outfits freed it.

I’m not sure why Self Magazine thinks tutus are such a horrid thing in races, but for me, that’s one of the best parts about the running community!