As I’ve mentioned hundreds of times, running is not my forte. Which is sorta ironic when you consider I started a running group. And participated in not one, but two fun runs this weekend.

The weather outside is finally starting to feel a little more like winter, but the mornings have been downright pleasant. Last year at this time, I wasn’t doing much Sloth Army activity because it was not just cold and rainy, but super windy as well. This year, I have only canceled one meet-up, because I wasn’t feeling well, not because of the weather.

This weekend, I did not have a regular Sloth Army trail run. I invited my Sloths to join me and Chris for two fun runs on the island, which always occur back to back, and I always get suckered into doing them both. The Jingle Trail is put on by the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce and takes place the first Saturday in December. It starts from Camp Casey and goes into the state park. There are breathtaking views of the sound as we run along the bluff in Fort Casey. It’s really not a bad run.

The Elf Chase is a fundraiser for Whidbey’s Parent-Student-Teacher Association and takes place at the community park in South Whidbey. This is the normal spot for nearly all the 5K fun runs in the south end, because I guess they have the perfect route mapped out. It’s a rather enjoyable trail, looping around the wooded, gravel trail twice.

I’m glad there was an Elf Chase, because I was able to meet-up with most of my Sloths and most of us ran together for the whole three miles. But I’m not so sure I enjoy the Elf Chase’s course as much as the Jingle Trail.

There’s something about repeating yourself on a trail which is somewhat un-motivating. Part of you knows you can do it, because you JUST did it, and you know how far you have to go. But the other part knows as you pass difficult portions of the trail, you will have to do that again. To be honest, if I hadn’t met the Sloth Army there, I probably wouldn’t have done the Elf Chase this year.

On the flip side, the Jingle Trail is a lot more open at the beginning. By the time you enter wooded trails, people have spread out so you aren’t running into each other. But the Jingle Trail feels a lot slower than the Community Park 5K’s. My biggest gripe with Jingle Trail is they don’t have a clock for you to judge your time.

I did a personal best today at the Elf Chase today, just under 41 minutes. My goal was 40 minutes, but I pushed myself the last leg. I didn’t stop or slow down from the time I started going downhill on the second lap. I should be proud of what I achieved this weekend.

If you told me when I moved to the island that I’d be leading a running group, I would have laughed in your face. The same if you told me I would run in 5K’s. Let me assure you, I. DO. NOT. RUN. And if you ever see me running, you should run, too, because something is likely chasing me.

Something has been chasing me lately. My dream to be my best version of myself. To experience nature every day. I’m chasing it, and it’s chasing me. It pushes me to get outside my comfort zone and explore options I never thought possible.

I did two 5K fun runs this weekend. My ankles and legs are feeling it, but I’m on cloud nine.