It’s October, which means that a lot of races are happening, and not just the big ones. In addition to Marine Corps, Chicago, Hartford, Wineglass, Lakefront, Baltimore, and Steamtown (all marathons on my bucket list), all over the country in every little town race companies and foundations of every kind are putting together Halloween-themed 5K’s to bring the community out and generate some revenue or funds.

Then there’s doing both, like these dudes at today’s (now yesterday’s) Baltimore Marathon. (Photo courtesy Baltimore Sun.)

My costume race of choice? The Monster Mask 5K.

The race recap itself will follow, but for now, here’s how I decided to go about doing an October Halloween-themed 5K.

  1. Hear about the race in August or September from race director on Twitter.
  2. Think about doing it in honor of my late dog, Monster, because of the name of the race.
  3. Decide my October race schedule was too full, and forget about it.
  4. Hear about it again through DC Capital Striders, which I’m not active with, but get the emails for, and reconsider.
  5. Realize not only does the name remind me of my dog, but that October was his birthday month, and the race is calling my name.
  6. Think about the irony that my dog who was born in the Halloween month was named Monster and how I should prepare myself for every October henceforth to remind me triply of my beloved late dog.
  7. Decide again not to do it because the early registration fees had passed and the race was getting expensive.
  8. Get the last-chance reminder email at 8pm from DCCS and think about how gross the weather is going to be tomorrow and be glad I’m not doing it.
  9. Go to Petsmart to buy cat food and see all the Halloween costumes for dogs.
  10. Remember how last Halloween, in 2012, I vowed then, when Monster was still alive, that in 2013 he would be the Tinker Bell to my Peter Pan, because I thought it would be hilarious, and because even though I like Tink better than Pan, Pan’s costume would be more fun, and it would be hilarious to make Monster wear fairy wings, and I was the one in charge, okay? So he had to be what I said. Plus, he was smaller than me so he had to be the fairy.
  11. Get sad thinking about all this and wish Monster was still around to do it with.
  12. Realize that like in Neverland, Monster will never grow up. Monster’s puppy heaven is Neverland.
  13. Walk out to the parking lot and see Michael’s Arts and Crafts store still lit up and open.
  14. Decide to just fucking dress up as Peter Pan and do the race.
And that’s my Replacement Pet (oh my god chill out it’s a joke) doing what cats do best – trying to destroy anything with feathers.

And that is how I, in true Peter Pan spontaneous fashion, ran around Michael’s and Target looking for shit to pull together for a running-friendly Peter Pan costume. Will I PR tomorrow? Hell nah. It’s almost 1am and I have to get up at 7 for this shit. And it’s supposed to be raining for it too. And those are opaque Merona real-lady tights, not runner-friendly, and that hat is one I made myself with felt and VERY dusty amateur sewing skills like two hours ago and if I want it to stay on during the run tomorrow I’m going to have to put like 800 bobby pins in it and I don’t know how that’s going to work if my hair’s in a pony tail so really the whole thing is a hot mess.

But I’m doing it in memory of this little pixie puppy, because I do believe in fairies and in some silly way, keeping my promise to be Peter Pan for Halloween is kind of my way of clapping him back to life for a brief moment.

RIP Monster, my Neverland Lost Boy. October 2010 to January 2013. Forever a puppy.

Oh, darling, don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little.