I’ve made a completely arbitrary decision that, starting in October, I’m going to run a 5k nearly every week so that I run 40 5ks the year before I turn 40. “That’s not 52 weeks!” Yeah, I know! But I’m planning ahead for failure, weather, and illness, so hush!
These won’t all be race events. Frankly, I can’t afford $25-50 a week in entry fees, and winter has a dearth of race events, too. Plus, my job has me incredibly busy the first two months of the year.
I think this goal will keep me on the road as much as possible when I’m not that busy and help me be mindful of training that will keep me from being totally out of shape and help me maintain my mental health when I’m really busy at work. My trusty exercise bike will help me get through the coldest of days. It runs on batteries, so even if the power goes out during one of the 11 polar vortices that wander our way now that our climate is unpredictably crappy, I will be able to keep myself warm for at least a half hour and keep my leg muscles strong for when we the survivors climb out of the snow a week later when the temperature swings to 70F with tornadoes. Yay weather!
I would love also to be able to shave some time off my 5k. I’ve started adding hip stretches and leg lifts to strengthen my hips, and I’m alsoadding lower body plyometric exercises to my routine to try to strengthen my leg muscles. I’ve missed this past week’s workout because of being social three evenings in a row, then being full of food and a little alcohol after being social, then being sick. I’m doing the Body Shop video linked here, not the 30 burpees per day business, and I’ve had to modify the exercises to minimize the impact on my legacy injuries (ankle, knee, wrist, foot, shoulder). The first time I did them, I definitely felt them the next day, though the soreness wasn’t unlivable or as much as it is when I start up weightlifting again (which I can never stay consistent with for some reason). I felt faster the last time I ran, and I came pretty close to my race day PR speed for an everyday workout.
A good way to start it out: I plan on buying my first pair of nice running shoes around the time of my birthday. Working for a department store, I sometimes get good deals on running shoes, but I’ve always had to be very mindful of sales price, which has gotten me burned on occasion when the shoe I can afford wasn’t the shoe that was necessarily best for my feet. However, I’m getting a budget upgrade for my birthday, and I’m going to do it right. I’m researching now what brand and style would do me best, though it also depends on what is in stock and what recommendations I get as to where I settle, and there’s no one perfect shoe – I’m sure my feet aren’t so special that a variety wouldn’t give me great benefit. I would love to patronize a local running store for my purchase, too, to both get the benefit of an in-store fit and to support local brick-and-mortar sports outfitters for their expertise and accessibility. Most of the shoes I’ve been looking at have nearly identical prices in store and online, and I would rather know I’m getting a shoe that fits and suits my needs rather than get something, go through the bother of returning if it doesn’t work, etc.
So there we are – new shoes for a year of consistent running. I hope to achieve my goal or learn something on the way there. And I look forward to joining the cool kids club when it comes to sneakers.