The trouble with the 5k is that it’s not glamorous. You’ll never impress your co-worker in the break room by mentioning you ran a 5k race over the weekend. Actually I work at home so the only person in the break room is the cat, who is tolerant of hearing about any sort of athletic endeavor only if copious amounts of cat treats are involved.
How to get respect? Easy. Switch to the Ultra Minimalist Steeplechase.
People only notice the steeplechase during Olympic years, so the idea of the steeple has instant subliminal respect. As a Steeplechaser rather than a Lowly Runner, you’ll be the toast of the break room, assuming toast is being served. My cat is down with this, as long as butter is involved.
The problem: The steeplechase is Crazy Hard. I had an unfortunate accident as a lad in which I found out that it matters from which direction you approach a hurdle. I still have bits of cinder in my knees. And the water hurdle is 8 feet tall, immovable and then you land in a pond. No, thanks.
The solution: Minimalist Steeplechase. You do away with the annoying water jump and all the hurdles, leaving you with just a plain 400 meter oval; thus the term Minimalist. Your co-workers will be vaguely familiar with the term minimalism, and greatly impressed that you’re part of the mysterious subculture. If they question you, scoff dismissively and point them to “Born to Run” or possibly the works of Phillip Glass. Adopt the nickame Gato Rojo.
And if that’s not enough (and how could it NOT be?), you’re not just running the standard 3,000-meter steeplechase distance. YOU’RE RUNNING 5,000 FREAKING METERS, almost TWICE as long. Thus, Ultra Minimalist Steeplechase.
Run two in one weekend? Minimalist Maniac. Instant break room legend.
I tried it today and ran EXACTLY the same time as I clocked in a routine 5k a couple days ago, remarkable given how much more extreme the Ultra Minimalist Steeplechase is. I think I have finally found my niche. I just need an oval UMS decal for my car.
Now if I only knew where they keep that steeple …