If you got the Forrest Gump reference in the title, kudos for you. If you were one of my students you would get a like stamp.
Where was I? Oh right, running. I realized a couple of weeks ago (July 17, to be exact) that the weekend I was going home to Illinois City for my followup eye appointment (you can read about that whole experience here and here) was the same weekend as Illinois City Days. You guessed it, it’s a weekendlong summer festival thing that includes a tractor pull, street dance, parade, and general merriment/socializing/alcohol drinking. Basically small-town heaven. Also that weekend, on August 11, is a 5K in honor of my cousin Alexis, who died of brain cancer in January of 2011. She was 7 years old.
This is the second annual Alexis Bassett Fun Run. I was at teacher institute days in Normal preparing for student teaching last year so I wasn’t able to go, but this year I was going to be home that weekend anyway, so why not do it? Oh right… because I haven’t run a step in months and the race is in less than 4 weeks. Oh well, let’s do it anyway!!
I texted my cousin Tricia who is organizing the race and asked if I could still register, since I think it was past the date to get a tee-shirt at that point. She said I could- I just had to send 15 bucks and my tee-shirt size to the fire house and I would be good! I did so that week and then started focusing on the difficult part: running.
That first night that I set out to run went really well. I stretched my legs a lot before and after; I ran 2.5 miles and didn’t walk at all. It wasn’t too bad. The next night I ran 1.5 miles, then took a day off. The next two days in a row I ran were ROUGH. I ran 2.5 miles and 1.5 miles and both times I was struggling and had to stop and walk. Granted, the 1.5 mile day was in the morning after a late night, but still, it was only a mile and a half! I felt pathetic.
I took another day off then set out to run my 2.5 mile loop. Dare I say it was easy? I felt like I was running at a pretty good pace (for me, anyway- I always forget to look at the clock so I never know my time) and toward the end of my loop I decided I could run my 1.5 mile loop as well. So I did it! I ran 4 miles and didn’t walk at all. By the end I felt like I could have kept running tiredness-level-wise but my right calf was killing me. It felt super tight and tired so after the run I stretched really well, like I always do.
I took a day off to recover then ran 2.5 miles the next day. Just that day one of my directors at work had told me how when he runs he alternates between sprinting and walking to “train” his body to be able to get his heart rate up and then slow it back down fairly quickly. It made sense to me- I remembered that in high school when we had physicals they would make us jump rope and take our heart rate, then have us rest for 2 minutes or whatever and take our heart rate again to see how quickly it got back down to your resting heart rate level. That day I jogged about a mile and then decided to do the whole sprinting-walking thing. I didn’t do any specific distance, I would just sprint for awhile and then walk for awhile for the rest of the 2.5 mile loop.
After that I took 5 days off- yikes, I know! But I left to go to Illinois City on Thursday and didn’t go back to my Schaumburg house until Monday after work and even though I took my tennis shoes home with the intention of running, especially on some hills (there are NO hills in Schaumburg! What the heck?!), it didn’t happen. So on Monday I ran 2.5 miles- I decided I was done doing just my 1.5 mile loop. It wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t easy either. Then yesterday I set off to do my 2.5 mile loop and decided to keep going; I set off down my 1.5 mile loop then took the long way home, so it ended up being about 4.5 miles. Again, tiredness-level-wise I could have kept going but I didn’t want to hurt myself and it was getting dark, so I stopped.
Today I am definitely feeling last night’s run. My legs aren’t sore like they were after the first couple of runs (walking down stairs was TORTURE) but my left hip hurts a little and my back doesn’t feel the best. I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow, but I’m definitely taking tonight off and going after work to stuff myself with sushi using the coupons I have to Benihana. HOLLA
So that’s where I am in my 5K training right now! I don’t have any specific goal time for the race; mostly I just want to beat my dad (I REALLY want to beat my dad), who in turn wants to beat my cousin Sam. That’s what’s motivating me! Depending on the feedback I get on this post I might write another one documenting the rest of my training and the race, or maybe not. Is that something you would like to read? Let me know!