Friday, June 8, 2012

50 to 5K

It all started in April of 2011 when a memo went around my office inviting people to participate in the Biggest Loser Pool with the following attached: Must be located in New York Office to participate. Rule breaker that I am, I objected and found a way to participate. I mostly quit drinking Coke, down-sized my portions, and started walking. In the first round I took second place, having been edged out by an over-zealous dieter who starved herself the last three weeks to take the cake. The third session I won, my overall weight loss total being greater than 20 pounds. I bought a Fitbit with my winnings. Since then I have stabilized at 23 to 25 pounds less than my beginning weight. But I've also been running.

Yes, this recently-turned-50-year-old is running.

I worked my way up to running 30 minutes a day - well about five days a week. Then I signed up to join my colleagues in the NYC office to run the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Central Park on June 14. Then I began training for a 5K.

I have slowly been acquiring running garments and switched to Merrell Vibram Barefoot Roadglove running shoes. My incredibly fit and athletic sons talked me into a shoe that in theory would be better for my skeleton. Breaking in my Achilles tendons and calf muscles to this new shoe was a painful experience. But I powered through and now I think I love theses shoes.

Typically I run on the field roads behind our house. I have my route marked in miles from driving the Jeep out there and noting landmarks as mile markers. A 5K equals 3.1 miles. I have a playlist on my iPod I call Dance Break. When I feel winded or pain, I breath, pray, dig deep, and remember my colleague, Melissa, who has been battling Leukemia this spring. I can't imagine the pain she endures in her treatments, nor do I know where she draws the courage to take on her illness. But I admire her, and whatever my aches and pains, I know that I can tolerate it and I change my thought to sending up prayers for Melissa. Running is as much a mental/emotional discipline as physical.

On Wednesday I ran a 5K on the treadmill at the YMCA and finished in 35 minutes.

I rested yesterday.

This morning I took to the road to begin my final week of training (today is day T minus 6) on a paved surface. It was WINDY and 76 degrees. The first half of my 5K took a little under 20 minutes. I had to give up and walk the second half due to the pain on the bottom of my right foot. Praying for Melissa couldn't get me through.

I think the issue is a combination of the hard surface and the crown of the road. Like many humans my skeleton is not symmetrical. My right side is slightly larger and my right leg is almost an inch longer than my left. Running against traffic on the left side of the road exacerbated the discrepancy between my leg lengths, causing my longer limb to smack the pavement harder then her left counter-part. Usually it's my gimpy left leg that struggles to keep up.

I think I'll stick to the dirt for the rest of the week. I'd rather enter Central Park healthy than too beat-up to even try!

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