On the Homestretch for 5K #1: My Body’s Rebellion

We’re coming up on one week from the 1st 5K in the Super Awesome Year of the 5K. This is going to go so badly.

All in all, running sessions have been going fairly well. I’m not progressing as quickly as I usually do, but that has been intentional.

That said, I’m a competitive person. I know what I’m reasonably capable of when I haven’t been an underachieving sloth for a year.

My first 5K came in at 31 minutes even though I walked large chunks. I can’t stand the thought of coming in later than 35 minutes. I’m not sure how much is that I’ve never been that slow and how much is that I know it’s going to look weird when the guy of a healthy weight appears to be waddling toward the finish line in the later groups instead of at least being somewhere in the middle.

So when the Competitor overcomes Fatty, I sometimes still lose. I’m pushing harder on the free running segments on my Zombies, Run! app (these segments allow you to go at whatever mix of running and walking you can). This is good because I’m getting farther, but it comes at the cost of my body adapting to the runs.

Basically, my body is fighting itself during this transition into activity. It’s a fun list to pay attention to:

  • Feet – One foot is a lingering injury from high school from getting stepped on with cleats that gets aggravated by shoes that are the wrong size. The other got hurt by those Nikes
  • Ankle – Those damned Nikes struck again one last time to tweak my ankle about 2 weeks ago. I don’t notice it with the Brooks, but even in the new Adidas, I could feel my ankle not enjoying the ride.
  • Shins – And it appears I might be working my way toward shin splints. Luckily, once the 5K is past, I have a full month until the next one, so I can take a week off to let my legs rest a bit.
  • Knee – Again, a lingering problem from high school. I’m militant about using my foam rollers after runs because it’s been the best thing to prevent knee pain. Yoga also helps.
  • Hip – This is just from sitting for a living. Sitting all day is evil. Yoga’s been my only answer for this.
  • Back – One more lingering problem from high school, just for funsies. This is the trump card. I’m the biggest jerk in the world when my back is hurting. This is where running is the most annoying. Pushing close to 200 lbs. doesn’t lead to a gentle run, so a lot of that impact/stress ends up in my back. Yoga and foam rollers are my only recourse, and even that’s not 100%. I’ve just gotten used to intermittent, daily back pain. As long as it’s not a full-blown spasm, I’ll take it.
  • And typical tightness in calves and quads – That’s just a product of running, of course. I foam roll for these. They’re always the tightest.

That’s a lot of crap to be going on. That said, it could be worse. I’m moving around pretty well, and a lot of these things are getting slowly better.

But still, I’m one week away from that 5K. I made a run yesterday, and it was absolutely hellacious in terms of exhausting me. I’ll take a couple of days off, do one more run, and then I’ll be taking my recuperation before the 5K so that my legs will be fresh if nothing else.

And as we get close, I watch the weather. And it’s not looking good. It appears to be getting colder as the week goes on, with temps dropping close to 30.

This has led to me googling ways to get warm before the race. I’ve already gotten gear to stay warm during the run, and that’s gone well in my test runs in the cold (though I still hate running in the cold ‘cause, you know, it’s cold).

My favorite is when the tips finally hit that magic point of “just stay inside.”




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