We are officially at the halfway point of the Super Awesome Year of the 5K. Hulk came in at 31:03.
A bit disappointed I didn’t crack 31 minutes, but I didn’t feel like being a prat and sprinting to the end for anything less than breaking 30 minutes.
Compared to last month, this was a vast improvement. But that’s probably more to do with the conditions. It wasn’t as hot, as muggy, as hilly, or as all-terrainy (just pretend that’s a word). It had climbs, but it didn’t have the a-hole climbs and mud from last month.
And because I wasn’t running through woods, the Mississippi mugginess had nothing on the Florida mugginess (well, really it was that the air was heavy, which I’ll get to later).
I say the time improvement was due to the conditions in part because it just didn’t feel like a good run. I wasn’t with it at all. I wasn’t running as fast, and I felt like I was walking too much. Usually in these things, I feel like I’m running too fast or at least feel somewhat energetic. None of that was to be had today, unfortunately. Luckily my only true goal is to finish a 5K each month, so even when I run like crap, I don’t have to put that on the log sheet. I just put that I finished.
Can’t say for certain what the issue(s) was, but I can take some guesses. One issue is that I just haven’t run that much since the last 5K. My legs were so shot, I had to give myself a week off. Then I started lifting again, which just put my body in a general state of fatigue (including when I did squats and lunges, and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be taking the stairs ever again). I’ve only done two real runs since the last 5K. That’s just not a good idea. Hopefully as I get into the swing of lifting again, I can get back to running at least twice a week.
Another issue may have been my breakfast. I don’t like to switch things up on my stomach on race day, so I ate what I’ve been eating the past two weeks. Unfortunately, that’s been egg muffins.
While that’s been great for helping me deal with the weight room, it’s not such a good idea to go protein dense before a race. But I needed to eat something. I only had one instead of my usual two, but that still wasn’t the best thing. There isn’t a good answer here, unfortunately. If I eat carb-based breakfasts, my runs shouldn’t be adversely affected, but then I’ll pay for the every other day when I’m not doing a race or weekend run. If I eat a protein-based breakfast, every other day is good, but I’m not helping myself with my races. I may just have to try going without food pre-race (provided it’s in the morning) to see what will happen. I don’t like that plan, but I need to figure something out.
And lastly (and possibly the silliest), it may have been my music. I was dreading my run, so I wanted something that would put me in a good mood, so I decided last night that I would play Disney music. Yep. That wasn’t the best idea. Now the first song was a fun start.
Unfortunately, it just wasn’t a great list for racing. I’ll have to keep that in mind the next time I have a bright idea.
My one real highlight from the run was doing something I’ve always wanted to do. Again, I wasn’t with it. For the first time this year, I stopped to grab water at one of the stations. I drank a little bit, and then I poured the rest over the back of my head and down my back. It was the most fantastic thing ever.
I wish I could do this in my regular life. It would make presentations much more dramatic. If you ever get a chance to do this, do it. You don’t know what you’re missing. And honestly, it seemed to jump-start my body. I felt much more with it after that (pity I did it at mile 2 instead of mile 1; might have cracked that 30-minute mark).
Now before the run, I had one very big concern. I’ve mentioned the demon Nikes I had to replace because they damn near broke my foot two years ago. I don’t know what the damage was, but it was enough that I was hobbled for a month, but when I went to the university quack shack (I didn’t have good health care, and I also didn’t know my crappy health care let me see real doctors), the “professional” didn’t want to do x-rays because “they might not show anything.” Never mind that I could barely walk and something structural had clearly occurred. But I went with the medical professional’s guidance because I was an idiot. I kept the shoes thinking it was purely my idiocy that did the damage (running too far in new shoes too soon). They didn’t hurt me again when I started running again, but they made my feet and calves so tired, I knew they weren’t right for me. I switched to the Brooks, including getting a proper fitting and buying special insoles for my left foot. All was well, but occasionally my foot would start to twinge if I left it on its side or other random events. I figured out during the initial injury that rolling my foot over a ball seemed to help, so I did that stay on top of things. But I moved and left the balls behind for a coworker who dealt with something similar (I was good by that point, so I let hubris get me).
Now in the past few days, I started to feel that old twinge. It’s been months if not more than a year since I felt that twinge. And I don’t race in the Brooks because they’re so heavy. I was worried that the twinge would turn into something more. Still a little worried. Luckily, I made it through the run without problems. Now to combat this, I bought tennis balls yesterday to massage my foot pre-race and post-race. I’m actually taking one into the office because that’s when I’m best about doing it. If this flares up again, it will throw a serious wrench in the system.
Now earlier, I mentioned the mugginess of the Florida race trumping Mississippi mugginess. I made sure to point out that it was the heaviness of the air that bothered me. I wanted to tell you that to tell you this: The heat doesn’t really bug me that much. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still wiped at the end of a run in the heat. The thing is I was raised in the heat. My body likes sweating.
I sweat an obscene amount today. After all the races, I’m basically dehydrated the rest of the day no matter what I do. But it doesn’t affect me during the run. For 3.1 miles, I can deal with the heat. Of course, I have no real proof of this. I just don’t feel like I’m that much worse off like a lot of folks do. Heavy air on the other hand is a killer. Conditioning will always be bad for me, and anything that makes it harder to breathe is going straight to the top of my #ihaterunning list. But the sun being out? Bring it. I’ve got sunscreen, sunglasses, and my opens don’t open wide anyway.
Now we’re switching gears really quick before we call it a day. I wanted to save this for the folks who were committed. I have one real ambition with this blog. My dream is that one day I’ll have a post that’s worth being picked up by a real fitness blog. And even bigger? I dream of Runner’s World paying me to complain about running. The way I see it, if Kanye can have a fashion line, I can get paid to write my crappy blog. The Hulk has dreams too, you know.