Running Like Hell (228th new thing).

December 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

I had been simultaneously dreading and looking forward to Day Two Hundred Twenty-Eight, the day I would run my first 5K. Actually, I had probably leaned a little more toward dread in the weeks leading up to it. I hadn’t been whole-heartedly embracing my Couch to 5K plan and by the the time the Run Like Hell Halloween-themed race came around, I was only at about week five (out of eight). Maybe even day one, week five, which is basically week four.

So race day loomed and I was barely running for more than five minutes at a time. Regardless, Patrick was super supportive and my friend Kallen was running as well, so we could be a trio of champions. I had originally (like six weeks earlier when I signed up for the 5K) set my time goal at under forty minutes. As each day passed I added a little more to that figure. On the actual day of the race I was just hoping I would finish before my play list ended. I mean, I could probably speed walk 3.1 miles in an hour, right?

It turns out, running a 5K wasn’t actually as difficult as I imagined. At the beginning the runners bottlenecked through the starting line so I did a strange jog/walk/stop for the first couple minutes until I could really let loose. My play list reverted to shuffle as soon as I moved my arms at all, so all my careful song planning went out the window. I ran at least the first mile nonstop, until I hit a hill and practically tripped over a woman bending over to tie her shoe in the middle of the race. The rest was a run/walk combo for me. I ran when an older woman in a poofy tutu came close to passing me (no way was I letting her beat me) and walked when I knew my face was redder than a beet (which was pretty much constantly).

The race ended in the cemetery, after jogging around what felt like dozens of different curves. I would speed up, thinking I was almost done only to round a corner and be confronted by yet another path lined by gravestones. That was kind of cruel of the race planners, I thought.

After what seemed like forever I caught sight of the finish line and struggled to plow through. I imagined myself tripping over a paving stone right at the end and failing to finish. That would be beyond embarrassing. More embarrassing than how red my race turned after so much exercise.

My official time was 39:12, but since we didn’t really get to the starting line until 2:00 minutes after the clock began, I completely believe that my real time is around 37:00. Which is pretty damn good for my first race. Kallen and I wrote down our “clock times” (as opposed to “real times”) and ended up in 423rd and 424th place. At least we weren’t last. Patrick, however, earned a respectable 121st place in the race. I think. You see, his handwriting is so terrible that when I looked up the results, based on his finish time and name and age, I could only assume the officials misread his surname. Or he’s living a lie. What do you think, Mr. Hu??

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My Running Playlist (227th new thing).

December 14, 2011 § 2 Comments

I was T minus one day from the culmination of my Couch to 5K program. In less than twenty-four hours I would be meeting a thousand others at Oakland Cemetery to participate in the “Run Like Hell” Halloween-themed 5K race. I wasn’t totally pumped about the upcoming experience, and I hadn’t even made it to the point where I was consistently running more than ten minutes at a time. In fact, I had actually only been jogging a couple times in the previous two weeks. Mostly because I was busy working, but also in part to an underlying element of laziness. If I failed to finish, I could always fall back on my lack of experience as an excuse. I needed to get pumped up for the next day’s activity. So I made a 5K playlist on Day Two Hundred Twenty-Seven.

Here it is.

  1. The New One for Reals – Matthew Reveles
  2. Animal – Miike Snow
  3. Ce jeu – Yelle
  4. Lahaha – Shugo Tokumaru
  5. Katey vs. Nobby – Galactic
  6. Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  7. Atlas – Battles
  8. Daylight – Matt & Kim
  9. Tighten Up -The Black Keys
  10. Kids – MGMT
  11. Mile End – Pulp
  12. Parantheses – The Blow
  13. Rich Girls – The Virgins
  14. Psychic City – YACHT
  15. Zebra – Beach House

I figured it would be a good warm up – pump up – cool down transition. And it was long enough so that if running a 5K actually took me the hour plus that the music lasted, I would still be in good shape. Well, except for the fact that I could have probably walked a 5K in the same amount of time.

Day Six. Jogging Hurts.

March 17, 2011 § 2 Comments

Running is for assholes. And on day 6, I attempted to be one.

Running a 5K is on my brainstormed-bucket list of new activities I can pursue this year. Never having run before, like never having ran a whole mile before, I had to start somewhere. So Patrick, fresh off his first 5K the day before, suggested I go jogging with him. He even mentally prepared a route around our neighborhood that wouldn’t involve many uphill struggles and was about ¾ miles. I’ll round up though. It was totally a mile.

I woke up feeling generally sore. We’d hiked Mt. Arabia Saturday and had our first kickball game of the season Sunday, so by Monday I had actually exercised. Patrick suggested I walk Murphy when I got up that morning, if I felt like I had the time and energy. He then mentioned that he and a friend would be going to lunch in about a half hour if I wanted to join. “So you want me to go now, right?” “If you think you have time…” I got the hint.

Murphy and I got back home, the first bout of mini exercise behind me, and I was seriously feeling the burn in my legs.  We went to Bell Street Burritos for lunch, so Patrick suggested we go on our jog about 6pm, to give us digestion time. Those burritos are huge and delicious, but I wouldn’t dare do any running just after having eaten one.

At 5pm we started our P. Hill-approved warm-up via the Wii Fit. Patrick was really into the game a couple of years ago. He lost like 20lbs doing the exercises with his Mii daily. I was impressed, but his achievements didn’t really motivate me to give it a whole-hearted attempt. He has a lot more self-control than I do. I, in turn, have a lazy conscious.

So after our Wii-led yoga routine, we set off. I quickly fell behind and starting wondering what I looked like running. You know how some people look really goofy? I’m sure I would fall into that category, legs all akimbo, arms a little flailing, and mouth hanging wide open catching air. I  had to keep my eyes firmly glued to the sidewalk lest klutzy me trip over a stick or rock or my own feet. After the first stretch of about 200 feet I slowed to a near walk. My throat and chest were burning. It felt as though I had the worst chest cold, and it was voluntary to boot!

I made it home in about 15 minutes. I walked up the final hill. And even though Patrick ended up running almost four miles that day and making me feel like a wuss, I still felt like I had accomplished something. At least now that my breathing has returned to normal.

Four Mile Sweat

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