Running Away

Sometimes we just need to run away from it all. Literally. The news has been pretty rough for a long time now, and I think it’s safe to say many of us are seeking brief escapes wherever we can find them. Me? I’ve found myself watching a lot of Steven Universe, and also lacing up my running shoes and hitting the trails more often. I listen to music, let a robot tell me when to run my intervals, and try to just be, outdoors and away from it all for a little while.

Sidenote: the app robot finds humor in our frailties, never forget. Or so I must assume, based on the time I gracefully wiped out trying to cross a four-lane road, leaving behind most of the skin on one shin, and as I tryed to raise myself with my forearms, I heard the smug, cold voice in my ear, “Congratulations, you have finished your run.”

I’d been dimly aware of the Disney Princess themed half-marathons for a while, held in the theme parks and pitched to women, but they hadn’t matched any of my interests (and my knees are never going to be up to that kind of grind). Then I found out that there were Disney princess races that interested me–I’m talking about Leia and Thor, of course.

Yes, apparently you can do immersive theme races at Disneyland, in either Star Wars or Avengers flavors, running with your favorite heroes and villains, cosplay very much encouraged. I have never had any desire to set foot in a Disney theme park before in my life, but I confess, I’m intrigued. While I would prefer permanent relocation to Marvel’s 2017 reality vs. the one I’m currently living in (even if my life would just become entrapment in one bewildering crossover event after another), it would still be fun to pretend to be there for the duration of a 10K (if I could ever talk myself into ponying up the entry fee, which ain’t cheap).

In the meanwhile, I can indulge in the cheap (free!) thrills of finally trying out the Zombies, Run! app, which invites you to “Run in the real world. Become a hero in another.” I guess if we can’t imagine ourselves into better places, imagining ourselves into worse ones does have its comparative consolations.

I meant to leave you a longer column on this topic to close out the week, but it has been a rough week for the world, and my words always leave me when I need a run really bad. Let’s huddle up in the comments and share our go-to genre escapisms, and I’d love to hear about theme races I missed, your app experiences, etc!

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