As runners, we often get caught up in all the competitiveness we place on ourselves; to run that extra mile or to run faster than we did the last time we ran a similar distance. Every now and then we need to make sure that we don't forget that we should also be enjoying our runs.

For the last three years, I have planned out my running calendar each February to mark my "running season" from March to October. This year my calendar includes spring and  fall 5K's, summer 10K's and my first planned half-marathon in September. Of course I have also created some goals for myself in both 5K and 10K distances. To date, I have achieved my 10K goal (less than 1 hour) and still look achieve my 5K goal.

As you can see, I am very focused on my running plan and goals, I see myself as not very different than most runners, regardless of where you are in your program or running health. However, the one thing that we all need to remember is to put some fun into our schedule.

Put some fun in your run

During your running calendar try to schedule some fun runs. Fun runs can be for a specific charity, a scenic route, a costume run or a even a crazy run with a twist. There are plenty of these runs out there. Check out magazines like Runner World, Competitor Magazine or www.runlocator.com to find some fun runs near you.

Here are a few fun runs that I have included in my calendar the past few years.

                Disney Twilight Tower of Terror 13K

                I ran this in 2009 (Disney has since changed it to a half-marathon) when it was a night time run            
                through Hollywood Studios and Disney world properties. It was a race with fun, excitement and
                music all through the route ending with an after party at Disney Studios, where we rode the Tower of
                Terror until about 2am! Disney always does some fun runs.

                Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the Fifty 10K (and 5K)

                This race is held at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, and finishes with all runners
                crossing the 50 yard line on the field. Cheering crowds of family and friends await you as you enter
                the stadium as you see yourself on the Jumbo TV. It is a fun day with kid's races in the afternoon,
                late afternoon start and fireworks at night.

                The Wild Colonial Tavern Grog & Dog Jog

                This 5 mile team relay definitely required a different training regimen. It required each person
                (dressed in a costume) to run 1.25 miles then drink a 16oz beer and each a hotdog before the next
                teammate could run. This race wasn't really about the running, it was about the costumes, craziness
                of chugging a dog and beer after running over a mile, and helping a great cause (all proceeds wen
                to local food pantries). 

As you continue to plan your runs for the rest of this year and for years to come, don't forget to put a little fun in your runs and sign up for some exciting, different or "just for the hell of it" races.

We want to hear about some of your fun runs!

Leave us a comment about some of the fun runs you have found. If you email us a picture of yourself (you2canrun@gmail.com)  in a fun run, we will add it to our slideshow too!

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