Less than two weeks of training remain. As it turns out the 5k fun run I’m participating in takes place on a cross-country course. I downloaded a map of the course and printed out a copy. Thursday afternoon I decided to hit the trail. Unfortunately I neglected to bring the map with me and wandered off course as I tried to visualize the route from memory. On the positive side, it is a good gravel trail. However, much of the race is run in the woods on crisscrossing trails. Despite my inability to navigate the course, I was able to jog continuously for 20 minutes, which near as I can tell is about 2k. Part of that time amounted to retracing my steps so I could live to tell about it!
Saturday morning I returned to the 400 meter track for another training session. I jogged four laps (4:15 pace) and took a quick water break. It was getting hot quickly. Immediately, I resumed jogging for another five laps (sub 4:00 pace) and took another water break, this time walking a full lap. Since I still felt good, I decided to jog another two laps (3:30 pace).
It became apparent that if I hold my pace to about four minutes a lap I can run for an extended period of time. Jogging at this pace has done wonders for my confidence. I’m trying to put out of my mind the 5:45 laps (per mile) I ran in college. Oh well.
My weight loss over the past two weeks plateaued so I decided to shake up my diet by switching to eating chicken and a salad for supper for several days. Sure enough I began losing weight again. After my Saturday workout I touched 199.8 pounds on the scales. It didn’t matter that I was partially dehydrated and would gain back some of it later. It’s a milestone accomplishment and a great feeling to be able to say I’ve lost 25 pounds!
Labor day weekend has come and gone. That means I’m inside the thirty day window for my goal to participate in a 5k fun run. It is scheduled for September 29th. Forgive me if I’m not jumping up and down with excitement. I’m clearly not ready to participate with all the setbacks I’ve experienced this summer. Sounds like I’m making excuses doesn’t it! To make matters worse, in a moment of weakness, I registered for the event! What to do?
Last Saturday’s workout showed promise. I raised my workout to eleven laps on a 400 meter track. Of those eleven laps, I jogged five of them. I pushed my Labor Day workout to the full five kilometer distance (thirteen laps). Of those 13 laps, I jogged 6 of them. So far my ligaments and knees have not complained about the prolonged jogging.
My good friend Hastey, who as your remember challenged me to participate in the fun run, informed me that the course we will be running (let me rephrase that, walking/jogging) is available for viewing online. Since the fun run is being held across the street from my house, next week I plan to scout out the course.
On the bright side, I have continued to lose weight (24 lbs), which has been my motivation for getting myself into this mess in the first place.
As I sit on the sidelines waiting to understand my health situation, I can’t help but notice all the human activity going on around me. A runner’s feet pound the pavement as he strides by, his pace unwavering. There’s a pair of teammates zig zagging down a soccer field, abruptly changing direction after striking the ball. On television, I observe baseball players pouring themselves in the game they love; diving, sliding and colliding.
I’m not jealous or envious of any of these people because I’ve enjoyed the very same endeavors. I’ve had my day in the sun. I am, however, aware now more than ever of two things: (1) the beating we give our bodies while engaged in the athletic endeavors we love. (2) how amazing the human body is to heal, repair, condition and improve itself.
It is the second point I cling to as a source of inspiration.